How to S-Off and Root the HTC Desire S, Sensation, Wildfire, Evo, Flyer [HD] – A step-by-step tutorial

Hi folks! I’m back with my repaired HTC Desire S and I’ll be showing you how to get root access to the phone by making it “S-Off”.

A full description is in the video and written instructions are below.

Any question, please ask.

This should work on the following phones and devices:

HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Wildfire, HTC Aria, HTC Incredible S, HTC Droid Incredible 2, HTC Thunderbolt, HTC Evo 4G, HTC View, HTV Flyer, HTC Sensation, HTC Evo 3D and the myTouch 4G

What you will need:

1 HTC Desire S (It does work on the Desire too)

1 USB cable

1 PC

1 lemon

What does S-Off mean?

If your phone is S-Off it means you have access and can write to the NAND memory of the phone. This allows you to do things that you wouldn’t normally be able to do – such as rooting your phone and installing custom ROMs (firmware).

Step 1:
Go to http://revolutionary.io and download the Windows package (or Linux if you are on a Linux box). Unzip it to somewhere you can easily find (such as your Desktop).

Step 2:
Uninstall HTC Sync if you have it installed on your computer. This is just so that it doesn’t interfere with the S-Off process. Go to your Control Panel and then find Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Uninstall a Program/Programs & Features (Windows Vista/7) and find HTC Sync in the list of installed programs on your computer. Click to remove/uninstall the application.

Step 3:
Turn off “Fast boot” on your HTC Desire S. This has to be disabled so you can boot into the recovery mode properly. Go to Settings on your phone and then Power. Now un-tick the Fast boot box to disable it.

Step 4:
Download and install the HTC Fastboot Drivers from the Revolutionary website: http://unrevoked.com/rootwiki/doku.php/public/revolutionary

Step 5:
Time to create your Beta Key. The beta key is required for the Revolutionary program and is generated using the serial number of your phone and the “HBOOT” version.

So, on the Revolutionary.io website, scroll down to the Beta Key generator and fill in all the details: your PC operating system, your phone model your HBOOT version and your phone’s serial number.

You can get your Desire’s HBOOT version by booting it into recovery mode. Simply power down the phone completely and then power it back up whilst holding the “Vol Down” button. You’ll see the HBOOT version listed at the top of the screen.

To get your Desire’s serial number simply go to Settings → About phone → Phone identity.

Make sure you get the serial number and NOT the IMEI number like I did initially!

Once you’ve filled in all those details you can now generate the key. I’d recommend pasting your beta key into Notepad (or something similar) so you can easily tell what letters are in CAPS etc – just so you don’t type it wrong.

Step 6:
Make sure USB Debugging is enabled. Settings → Applications → Development – tick the USB debugging box.

Step 7:
Plug your Desire into the computer and wait for any drivers to install. Now run revolutionary.exe and it shuold pop up and detect your phone (showing its serial number on-screen). This is where you type your Beta Key. Type it in and hit Enter.

Step 8:
Your phone will reboot into Fastboot mode and whilst you wait this is where you can use your lemon. I prefer to squeeze mine over a pancake or something but you can also throw your against a wall or something. It just helps to pass the time.

Step 9:
When prompted, press “y” to install the ClockworkMod Recovery tool on your phone and then press Enter.

Step 10:
That’s it! Your phone should now be S-Off! If you now want to root your phone – and let’s face it – why wold you be watching this video otherwise – then follow the next steps.

Get yourself back to revolutinory.io and on that same documentation page you downloaded the HTC Fastboot drivers find the link to download the “su” (this means Super User) zip file. [UPDATE 28/03/2012 – the link appears to be dead now so try this instead: http://goo-inside.me/superuser/Superuser-3.0.7-efgh-signed.zip

Step 11:
Once the su zip file has downloaded, copy it to the root of your SD card on your phone.

Step 12:
Turn off your Desire and then power it up into recovery mode by holding the “vol down” button. Select RECOVERY from the list byt moving the volume key down and press the power button once to select it. This will load up the Revolutionary program.

Step 13:
Go down to where it says “Install zip from sdcard” and select it. Now select “choose zip from sdcard” (again pressing the power button once to select an item). Now scroll down to the su zip file you copied across earlier and press the power button once. Scroll down to the “Yes install….” and press power once more. This will root your phone.

Step 14:
Once the su zip is installed reboot your phone and try a root-needing app such as Titanium Backup. If it loads up and asks for Superuser access then the rooting process has worked successfully!

Step 15:
If you liked this video then please give it a thumbs-up and subscribe and then you can clean up that lemon you threw at the wall earlier.

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73 Responses to “How to S-Off and Root the HTC Desire S, Sensation, Wildfire, Evo, Flyer [HD] – A step-by-step tutorial”

  1. kochit Says:

    Hi brother help me pls

    I follow your instruction my HTC Desire S is S Off already but I can”t root.I have been copy Su 2.3.6.3 to the memory card.SU can not install and it show me Su:premission denied.So how do I do?

    • Jon Says:

      Are you definitely running the su zip file from the recovery mode? I could always e-mail you the file I used if you want to give that a go?

  2. kochit Says:

    I can not run because when I press recovery my phone is not run.It this like that come out

    Android system recovery
    Use volume key to highlight;
    clip power key to select.

    Reboot system now
    Apply update from sdcard
    Wipe data/factory reset
    Wipe cache partition

    ———————————————————————————

    E:Can’t open/cache?recovery/command

    • Jon Says:

      It sounds like you haven’t got the Revolutionary software installed. Try following my instructions again slowly.

      When the revolutionary software has successfully been installed on the phone you should see the pink “-Revolutionary-” sign at the top of your screen when you power on the phone with the Vol Down button pressed.

  3. kochit Says:

    Brother How do I do?thank for your help and kindness

  4. SimonK Says:

    Just for info, this method to get S-OFF does work on the HTC Desire. I used it the other day and am now running Cyanogenmod on my Desire. Many thanks for the tutorial, easier to follow than written instructions!!

  5. Stefano Mala Says:

    If i have 0002 hboot version i should follow the same method you used?

  6. kochit Says:

    Hi brother I’m very tired to try my HTC desire S.But I can not rooted.Where I missing to do I don’t know.When I run again revolutionary-0.3pre7 . That told me My HTC Dsire S is Off already.But I can’t root.Because when I Recovery m phone screen is like that.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucBs9RVGL0wIf I run with Eng S-Off It show me like that……..su:permission denied

    with the red triangle and the phone
    how do I do pls tell me.Thank for your help and I donate you

    • Jon Says:

      Does it say REVOLUTIONARY in pink at the top? When you get to the screen with the red exclamation mark press Vol Up and the Power button to bring up the menu

  7. Lee Says:

    I just used your video on YouTube.. it’s awesome, thanks so much for this. It’s saved me from a borked HTC software update 🙂

  8. Joseph Valor Says:

    Hi there! I’m a noob on these s-off and rooting of android cellphones. What does it do? Does it make the desire s run faster? Can I revert back to the old software if in case I don’t want the results after the rooting? Thanks so much.

    • Jon Says:

      When you S-Off your Desire it allows you to install customised “ROMs” or you may call it a “firmware” or even “operating system”. Doing this allows you more control over what is installed on the phone and how it works.

      Most mobile operators install apps on the phones they sell which most people don’t want/use. You probably notice the operator logo appear when your phone is turning on (unless you purchased it SIM-free).

      Rooting your phone allows you to really get into the workings of the phone. You can make the phone run quicker (by increasing the CPU speed) or even make it run slower (by decreasing the the CPU speed (if you wanted to save battery).

      If you are happy with the way your Desire works then there’s no need to do anything but if you fancy playing around then it’s quite safe to do so. I show you how to back up the currently installed ROM in the video so you can always go back to what you had before if you don’t like it.

      Cheers,

      Jon

  9. kochit Says:

    Brother I already rooted.I used GingerBreak_1.20

  10. Stevie Says:

    Eejits like me need more awesome guides just like this one!

  11. How to S-Off and Root the HTC Desire S [HD] – A step-by-step tutorial | sony HTC samsumy Says:

    […] View the original article here […]

  12. Candy0829 Says:

    Nice tutorial!! i have successfully s-off (ed) my Desire S..so easy. Thanks for the help =)

  13. akshat Says:

    JON,

    I havent still S-offed my desire s but i really like wat i saw and i feel it would be easy. but before doing so i have couple of questions
    1. IF i just s-off and dun root would i still be able to load custom roms.
    2. What exactly is Titanium Back-up and how is it useful
    3. Would i be able to get the official OTA updates released by HTC
    4. How can I s-on my desire s if ever needed.

    Thanks

    • Jon Says:

      Hi there, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Here are your answers:

      1. Yes. You’ll find some ROMs come pre-rooted however.
      2. An app from the Market which lets you back up your apps and their data
      3. It’s possible yes
      4. Haven’t looked into this yet but I’m going to create a video of me doing it as soon as I can

  14. imiy Says:

    Hi
    I can`t S-off my HTC Wildfire S .
    My HBOOT is 1.03.0000
    Many thanks for your info

  15. QingHai Says:

    Brother, I want to know If root or updating process failed, can it damage to my phone? I afraid of completely un-bootable. I’m newbie of android. Please answer.. Thanks

  16. bebek.gegerotak Says:

    thanks for clear guide.
    it work on my desire.

  17. Josh Says:

    Hi, great videos. I am a iPhone man for 3 years now. My new HTC desire S is in the post to me. I believe it is a branded phone by a provider in Australia called Telstra. Basically I want to just remove all the junk and make the phone as if it came out of the HTC. Where it will download updates from HTC an not through my provider.
    So does this mean I have to follow all the steps?
    S-OFF
    Then rooting
    Then flash??
    Or can I skip rooting and just flash?
    Thanks again in advance

  18. akshat Says:

    thanks a lot jon… Im okay for the delay as long as you keep replying and guiding us… Today i am gonna root my phone hope it happens as simply as i see. I am going to install cynogen mod 7.1… any suggestions… and yea im waiting for your video of unrooting to phone back to s-on…

  19. akshat Says:

    I s-offed and rooted ma cell… happened pretty smoothly… but while doing that sumhow i forgot to enable usb debugging… but it still happened… would there be any issue because of that. I ticked it later and rebooted phone again. in notification though it keeps prompting me that disable usb debugging…. what to do?

  20. akshat Says:

    Hey jon,
    I wanna install a custom rom but very confused which one to go for. My only requirement is better battery life, video chat in google talk and i shud be able to get official OTA updates when released. i heard saga lbc mod doesnt have option for official OTA updates as update is removed from it…
    Plz clarify

    • Jon Says:

      What phone do you have? A Desire or Desire S? I’d go with the Saga LBC Mod v0.53 if you have a Desire S. If you have a standard Desire I’d go for the LeeDroid ROM.

  21. akshat Says:

    i hv desire s… wat about lbc 0.6.0 ?

  22. Zamfir Says:

    when I select “Install zip from sdcard” I get nothing except the REVOLUTIONARY logo without any posibility to choose anything… Also I can’t do anything with the phone, not even power it down unless i take the battery out and power it up.

  23. Zamfir Says:

    I still have the very same problem unsolved: when I select “Install zip from sdcard” I get nothing except the REVOLUTIONARY logo without any posibility to choose anything… Also I can’t do anything with the phone, not even power it down unless i take the battery out and power it up.

  24. Gabriell Says:

    Hi there. I followed the video and got everything until the recovery step. When I select Recovery first I get a phone with the Sync symbol on it and after that the phone with a “!” in a red triangle. It just stays there and nothing more happens. I saw on youtube that I can press the up volume key and then the power button, so I tried it, but i only get the recovery from saga. Please help me out here.
    I do get the pink Revolutionary when i boot with volume down, the phone is S-OFF and the su zip is on the card. Thank you in advance

    • Jon Says:

      You need to make sure you’ve installed ROM Manager from the Android Market. Once installed, load it up and then press Install Clockwork Mod Recovery. This will install the recovery program for you to use when you reboot your phone 🙂

      • Gabriell Says:

        I did as you said and when I open ROM Manager it says “You must root your phone for ROM Manager to function. Superuser was not found at /system/bin/su.”. I select OK and move on. When I try to install ClockworkMod Recovery I get “An error occurred while attempting to run privileged commands!”. It does that for everything I try to do in ROM Manager. Thank you for replying.

  25. Jaxi Says:

    Hi Jon!

  26. Jaxi Says:

    PHONE – HTC Desire S.

    SAGA PVT SHIP S-ON RL
    HBOOT-2.00.0002
    RADIO-3822.10.08.04_M
    eMMC-boot

  27. Jaxi Says:

    Hi Jon!
    No solution yet for my problem?

    luky

  28. Pieter Says:

    so, following all the steps up until Step 7:

    Plug your Desire into the computer and wait for any drivers to install. Now run revolutionary.exe and it shuold pop up and detect your phone (showing its serial number on-screen). This is where you type your Beta Key. Type it in and hit Enter.

    my pc has a driver i guess cause when i look at safely remove hardware it has an “android ADB interface”

    it just sais waiting for device the whole time,,,,

    help!

    please 🙂

    ps: windows vista

  29. Anton Says:

    Hello Jon

    It does not work on my desire 😦
    HBoot 0.93.0001
    message: not supported

  30. Anton Says:

    o o, problem solved, now ist OK

  31. jamie edwards Says:

    Hi Jon

    Any idea when Revolutionary will work with HBOOT-2.00.0002?

    cheers

  32. Anton D Says:

    Hello John….. I’ve been battling for hours now on my Desire S
    1.)I have the purple Revolutionary and “Saga Pvt ship S-OFF”
    2.)I select Recovery
    3.)I Get the Red Exclamation – Up and power passes that
    4.)I select “Apply update from SDCard
    (I don’t see all the options like on your video. I only have reboot now, Apply update from SDCard, Wipe Data and Wipe Cache)
    At the bottom, I have in yellow E: Can’t open /cache/recovery/command
    5.)Superuser-3.0.7-efgh-signed.zip is in the Root of my SD Card
    6.) I get Invalid Operation and it boots normally

    Please Help

  33. sarfaraz Says:

    I did root my htc desire s with your guide ,,nice and easy ..but now i want to gain s-on !! can you tell me how ?

  34. Vineet Dhanawat (@vineetdhanawat) Says:

    Any Tutorial on How to Un-root and S-ON ? Waiting ..

  35. ernesarme Says:

    my HBOOT is 0.88.0000 which no appear in revolutionary options, neither HTC s610d (looks exactly like HTC merge). can I choose any other with similar spcs? any suggestion, pls!!
    thx. this the most clear tutorial have found.

  36. atmystyle Says:

    i’am afraid to root my HTC DESIRE S :(. . some says theres a problem with rooting.. like power button 😦

  37. bhavik Says:

    hi,
    i have s-off my htc desire,and after that processes, there are problem with install zip of “su 2.3.6.3 or 3.0.7”,

    i was go in to recovery mode and select the option of install zip from sd card and then it will sow me only revolutionary icon on display i m waiting for next processes about 10 to 15 minutes but it is not responding……..

    please reply me fast……

    • Jon Says:

      You need to press your optical trackball/trackpad button instead of the power button. This only is the case if you have a Wildfire or original Desire which has the trackpad

  38. Birkof Says:

    Thanks a lot mate. It worked as a charm on my HTC Desire. It is much better to you Revolutionary then plain AlphaRev tool. This is much more robust and much faster approach. Thank you for your tutorial.

  39. Anton Says:

    Hello John

    i used your video al ong time ago (11.2011) and it works fabulously however i want to update with an official OTA and now i have a problem. . .
    When i try to install the update the following message appear:

    Revolutionary CWM v4.0.1.4
    Finding update package…
    E:unknown volume for path [SDCARD:download/OTA_Bravo_Froyo_HTC_WWE_2.29.405.14-2.29.405.5_release224762nayurnz5rhts3hxk.zip]
    E:can’t mount SDCARD:download/OTA_Bravo_Froyo_HTC_WWE_2.29.405.14-2.29.405.5_release224762nayurnz5rhts3hxk.zip
    Installation aborted,

    Do you know a solution for this problem?

  40. makubex Says:

    Hi
    I’ve learned most of rooting, unrooting, custom ROM installation from your videos.

    I was wondering if you could please make a video explaining what a gold card is, what its for, how to use it etc etc… for the Desire S of course.

    Cheers

    • Jon Says:

      Hi there, a gold card isn’t really required and just adds complication. It basically allows your to flash a new image to the phone but it’s a lot easier either following my instructions or using htdcev.com 🙂

  41. Stevie. Says:

    Hi Jon, kinda suspect I know the answer, but going to ask anyways, any idea whether the update that is being offered through menu>settings>about phone>software updates (1.47.401.4 35.39Mb) will return the phone to S-on? That of course is a leading question which invites the enquiry as to whether it would be possible to S-off again after an update. I’ve tried telephoning HTC supprt but the nice lady was a little non committal!
    HTC Desire S, Revolutionary etc. etc.

    • Jon Says:

      Hi there, yes I would imagine it would make the phone S-ON again but HTC now provide an unlocking solution from their website HTCDev.com so you should still be able to unlock and install a custom ROM 🙂

  42. atmystyle Says:

    when will be the ice cream sandwich release? , im so excited. =)

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