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Update 25 May 2010 – This information is outdated. Please refer to this page on the XDA Developers forum:


Here are the steps to the how-to’s to get root access to your HTC Magic and load a custom ROM. I took me some time to find all the needed info to do the job. So I’m hapy to share it. There’s a lot of (cluttered) info but most of it is found in multiple page forums. Really great that there lot’s of people developing and using this stuff but a forum isn’t the right place for documentation.

Note 30-03-2010, the information below is outdated. Please look at the following wiki’s for more up to date info:



Got root?

Getting root access on the Magic isn’t so hard. Just install the SDK and USB drivers and push the images to the phone. In the last step is to install haykuro’s SPL update. This is the bootloader (correct?) and has a very usefull back-up option. It’s called nandroid and creates back-up images of the system. After this you have root access from the android debugger on your computer.


The second step is enabling root access from the phone. This allows you to su from the phone. Needed for installing rooted apps. It opens a security risk as mentioned in the how-to. But there a sudo-like app SuperUser whitelist to prevent unwanted root access (preinstalled on most custom roms). :


Custom ROMS

So now you’ve got full access to the Magic but stuck with a stock rom from your provider. There are lots of roms floating around for Android but most of them are for the HTC Dream (G1). I found out the hard way by installing a G1 rom, WiFi and other hardware functions aren’t working. Not so strange with a different kernel etc…

These are the ROMs that are available at the moment:

Sending a rom is really easy, just like in the rooting process with an update.zip on the SD card. Always take care when installing a new rom. Better safe than sorry and check if it works on your Magic/Sapphire/ION. The last thing you want is a bricked phone…

I tried the Google ION rom and it works well. The benefits of this custom rom are; it’s faster, rooted, voice commands and more!� This is a good rom but there’s a HTC soft keyboard instead of Google’s. I didn’t like it and replaced it. Instructions here, you’ll need a specific rom (for extracting system files) or it won’t work!

I’m now using the Smartphone France version. The main advantage between above ION rom is this one is, tethering works and a higher version update rate. You won’t notice anything of the French language (beside a few small apps on the rom).

Also check out my Android bookmarks!

Haykuro’s roms are excellent but it seems that he has stopped developing.

One Response to “HTC Magic rooting and custom ROMS”

  1. on 31 Aug 2009 at 18:22 Vincent

    haha, indeed, HTC soft keyboard is not so nice to touch on. Dude, this is really helpful. Thanks for sharing and get it in air on time. 🙂

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