Thursday, 3 December 2009

Rooting Android on the T-Mobile Pulse

Being the techy that I am, I investigated getting ssh access into my phone (preferably as root). The site with the best information on this is

I didn't find the instructions there 100% clear, so here is what I did:
  • Install the CD that came with the phone - this is necessary to install USB drivers, adb, etc., so the computer can talk to the phone.
  • Download (to my PC) the superboot root image
  • and the recovery image
  • and the MoDaCo Custom ROM
  • and the stock T-Mobile image (in case of emergency)
  • Turn the phone off, and unplug the USB cable.
  • Hold the volume down and red (end call) buttons, and press the power button. This puts the phone into bootloader mode.
  • Plug in the USB cable.
  • Unzip the superboot file, copy AdbWinApi.dll from the CD that came with the phone into the 1.1-pulse-superboot folder, and run .install-superboot-windows.bat.
  • At this point I restarted the phone by removing the battery, and tried it out - the phone was rooted, but I was unable to get into recovery mode to install the MoDaCo Custom ROM. Turns out I needed to install the recovery image first, and I think I could have done that straight away while the phone was still in bootloader mode.
  • Unzip the amonrecovery zip, copy AdbWinApi.dll from the CD that came with the phone into the 1.0-pulse-amonrarecovery folder, and run ._install-recovery-windows.bat.
  • Now restart the phone by removing the battery.
  • Go into the applications list (bottom right button on the home screen), and run the "Quick Boot" application that superboot has installed. Choose Recovery, and, when you get the sudo screen asking whether to allow root access, allow it. This puts the phone into recovery mode, which I think is a kind of boot image provided by amonrecovery. It's a bit like Windows recovery mode, or booting a Windows machine with a floppy disk - you can do stuff, but the main operating system is not running.
  • The first useful thing to do is to take a backup of the entire phone, using the Nandroid Backup option on the recovery menu. This backs up a complete image of the phone's ROM to the SD card, which you can restore later. I then turned USB mass storage on (so I could get to the SD card from my computer), and backed up that image to my computer.
  • Then I renamed the MoDaCo ROM zip ( to plain, and copied it from my computer onto the SD card.
  • I turned off USB mass storage (so the phone could see the SD card again), and ran the "Apply" option. This installed the MoDaCo ROM image.
  • Finally I rebooted the phone (from the menu). The reboot took ages. This is to be expected.

SSH into the phone in my next post...

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