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Rooting HTC Dream

Rooting HTC Dream/G1/T-Mobile G1



Downgrading from RC30/RC9 and up

  1. Format your phone's SD card to FAT32 mode:
    • Hook your phone up to your computer using a USB cable and then wait for the notification to show up in your title bar of your phone.
    • Click the notification, and then click "Mount".
    • A new removable disk should show up on your computer. Right click it and select Format, and select FAT32 as the file system type.
  2. Download and unzip the RC29 or RC7 image file. Copy the DREAIMG.nbh file to the SD card. (RC29 for US, RC7 is for UK)
  3. Turn the device power off.
  4. Hold Camera button, and press Power button to entry bootloader mode. You should see a gray/white screen with instructions to flash your phone with the update on your SD card. If you don't see that, make sure you followed the instructions properly.
  5. As per the on-screen instructions, press the Power button to start upgrade procedure. DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO INTERRUPT THIS PROCESS.
  6. After it is finished, restart your phone by pressing the trackball button ("action button") and then press Call, Menu and End simultaneously.
At the end of this process, you'll now be running a build old enough to have the exploit we need to get root. Continue on with the next section.

Rooting RC29 and Lower


On RC29 phones and lower, a huge exploit existed where anything you typed into your keyboard was also being run in a hidden console with root permissions.


  1. Download recovery.img and copy it to your SD card (see the previous section on how to copy from your computer to your Phone's SD card).
  2. Download the Hard SPL and copy the zip file to the SD card.
  3. All files must be on the root of your SD card.
  4. Restart your phone. Wait for your phone to start up fully and show the home screen.
  5. After your phone starts up, type "telnetd" and press enter. (Yes, it will start up a contact search, don't worry. Just type it.)
  6. Download an Android "Telnet" application from the Market and connect to localhost.
  7. If you connect successfully, you will have a root prompt "#".
  8. Type the following into Telnet (these commands will give you root access easier in the future):
    • mount -o rw,remount -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
    • cd sdcard
    • flash_image recovery recovery.img
    • cat recovery.img > /system/recovery.img
Now you have root!

Next steps
Whether you gained root using RC29 or the downgrade method, the next steps are highly recommended. You will want to apply "Hard SPL" to your phone. HardSPL is what will allow you to apply flash images from other regions (like UK on US phones, and vice versa), create full backups of your phone, install the latest build from the Android source, and usually resurrect your phone if it is "bricked". You have already downloaded the file to your SD card, so now you can apply it.
  1. Power off your phone.
  2. Start up in recovery mode by holding home and pressing power.
  3. You will now enter recovery mode. You should see an exclamation.
  4. If you do not see a menu on screen, press Alt-L to show the menu.
  5. Press Alt-S to apply the update from the SD card.
  6. After the update is complete, hold Home and press Back to restart.

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