In This Guide:
- HTC Unlock
- Installing a Custom Recovery (GSM Wildfire S)
- Installing a Custom ROM (GSM Wildfire S)
- Links and Resources
The HTC Wildfire S is a lower end budget phone. The Wildfire S is available for different carriers across various regions. In United States it is supported by T-Mobile (GSM) and Virgin Mobile (CDMA). The phone ships running HTC Sense over Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
Within the phone itself there is a 600MHz processor with support for Adobe Flash Lite as well as a 5 Megapixel Camera (with a flash).
The Wildfire S has unofficial CyanogenMod support.
The Wildfire S is also upgradable to latest version of HTC Sense via custom ROM flashing.
Device customization such as root access and flashing, is possible through unlocking the bootloader. The bootloader can be unlocked through HTC’s official unlock method at htcdev.com/bootloader.
The HTC Unlock process allows the HBOOT to flash unsigned images to the phone. This includes custom recoveries, ROMs, kernels, etc.
Using the official unlock does not allow the modem to be carrier unlocked for use on other carrier networks. It also does not set the HBOOT security flag to S-OFF. The HBOOT will remain S-ON after the unlock process.
HTC Warning Regarding Official Unlock
If your Wildfire S is S-ON see the HTC Bootloader Unlock Guide for help on how to unlock the bootloader.Verifying S-OFF / S-ON
You can verify your S-ON/S-OFF status by checking in HBOOT.
First in Android navigate to Menu > Settings > Power > Then uncheck the Fast Boot option.
Now Completely power off the phone. Once the phone is powered off hold the Volume Down and Power keys to enter HBOOT.
If the phone loads into Android, you may need to remove the battery for about 15 seconds then retry it again.
The phone should load into HBOOT (white screen).
The top line should show something similar to :
HTC MARVEL HBOOT S-OFF
If it shows S-ON the security lock is enabled.
Installing a Custom Recovery
TWRP 2.7 for HTC Wildfire S – xda-developers GSM Variant Only
See the link above for the TeamWin Recovery for HTC Wildfire S. The latest build of the recovery at the time of writing is 126.96.36.199 (July 2014).
The recovery image file is in an img format. To install the recovery on the phone the file can be flashed through fastboot using a USB connection to a PC. If you have followed the guide on how to unlock the bootloader you should already have some basic experience with using fastboot.
To begin reboot the phone into the bootloader and set it to fastboot mode.
After turning the device completely off ( Hold Power Key and select Power off)
To enter the bootloader:
Hold the Volume Down Key. While holding the Volume Down Key, Press and hold the Power key. Hold both keys until the device turns on and you see the bootloader menu
Use the volume keys (up / down) to highlight FASTBOOT.
Use the power key (Enter) to confirm the selection and start fastboot mode.
Once the device is ready in fastboot mode connect a USB cable to your PC.
Refer to the TWRP Guide for continued instructions on installing the recovery.
See the TWRP Recovery Guide for how to use the recovery mode.
Installing a Custom ROM
Following this guide, at this point after unlocking the bootloader and flashing a custom recovery you are now ready to flash a custom ROM on your phone. Installing a custom ROM replaces your existing stock ROM system with a more advanced modified ROM with additional features.
Some ROMs may be designed for better battery life, improved responsiveness, and other optimizations. On the other hand some experimental ROMs may decrease battery life, cause instability, or not all features may function properly such as the camera.
You may also lose access to some stock features on your phone such as carrier applications and other apps bundled with your phone. Other features included in your specific phone (HTC Sense, Wi-Fi calling, visual voicemail, etc.) may be removed as well.
By installing a custom ROM you acknowledge that you may experience these side effects as part of using a custom ROM. You can return to your original stock phone state at any time by installing the original system ROM through recovery mode.
Prior to installing a new ROM it is recommended to perform a factory reset. The removes data from the old ROM which may prevent the ROM from starting or potentially cause other issues. Be sure to backup the data you want to preserve so it can be restored into the new ROM.
It is extremely important that you only install ROMs and kernels designed for your specific device. Flashing files designed for other devices may permanently damage the phone.
There are multiple different methods to flash ROMs.
- An app such as ROM Installer or TWRP Manager.
- Directly in Recovery Mode
- ADB Sideload using USB in TWRP
- Fastboot Mode (Emergency Last Resort Only)
The easiest way to manage ROMs on most phones is using ROM Installer. You can use the app to install and update recoveries, download and flash ROMs, and create or restore NANDroid backups. For more information on using ROM Installer see the guide on using apps for ROMs.
This section of the guide only covers installing ROMs through recovery mode since it is the most reliable method.
Finding a ROM
Most phones have multiple customs ROMs posted if there is active development. Different ROMs are usually an option of user preference. It is generally advised not to ask which ROM is best since all ROMs have different advantages, disadvantages, and features. Most users prefer a ROM that is stable, well maintained, and offers reasonable features.
CyanogenMod is a very popular custom ROM that is supported across more phones and tablets than any other ROM. This section of the guide will use a nightly build of CyanogenMod 11 as an example.
The above link is a thread for CM 11 Android 4.4 custom ROM.
Be sure to read the entire first post and all important instructions before continuing.
Many Android ROMs and many other types of files are often hosted on Download Mirrors. Mirrors are a convenient way for developers to post files to share with their users. Mirror websites can appear different based on the website the developer is using as a host.
Usually mirrors will open a download link in your browser. Click the download link to begin the download. Be aware that some download mirrors may display ads, have a wait time before the download starts, or they may have an hourly or daily limit on how many files can be downloaded.
CyanogenMod ROMs usually follow the zip name format:
cm-11-<date here>-NIGHTLY-<name of device>.zip
Download Nightly zip with the latest date.
If you downloaded the file on your phone, it should save to the Download folder.
If you used your PC to download the file, use a USB to transfer the zip to the root of your SDcard.
Download Google Apps zip (gapps)
Many Android ROMs do not include Google Apps by default due to legal reasons. If you want Google Apps such as Gmail or the Google Play Store, it needs to be flashed as an additional zip. More information about the Google Apps zips as well as downloads can be found at the following link.
Now that we have downloaded the ROM zip along with the optional Google Apps zip. The phone should be ready to reboot into recovery mode, factory reset and flash the zips.
- Power off the phone. (Hold the Power key and select Power off, then tap OK)
- Reboot into the bootloader (Hold Volume Down then Hold Power)
- Use the volume up/down keys to highlight RECOVERY and use Power key for enter.
- In TWRP Recovery tap Install. Use the file manager to select the CM 11 zip.
- Tap Add More Zips. Use the file manager to select the gapps zip. (optional step)
- Slide to Flash the zips. (Pull the slider from left to right at the bottom of the screen.)
- After the zips finish flashing, return the the main home screen.
- Tap Wipe. Slide the slider to factory reset. This clears everything except the SDcard.
- Return to Home. Tap Reboot. Tap System.
- The phone should boot up into CyanogenMod for the first time.
Links and Resources
The following links are compiled from the HTC Wildfire S Development Index at xda-developers. I take no credit or responsibility for the content at the folllowing links. Links may be removed, updated, or otherwise changed at any time without notice.