HOWTO: Update ClockworkMod to flash CyanogenMod 7

Since writing this article, Koush has updated ROM Manager to support the new 3.x versions of ClockworkMod Recovery. The complex procedure within this guide is now unnecessary for the majority of users, who can simply flash CWM 3 through ROM Manager without requiring Engineering HBOOT or any console hackery.

Once again: 99% of users will NOT need to follow this procedure. If you’re not sure, you are in the 99%! :)

As always, I am not responsible for any loss of data, bricked phones or global thermonuclear wars that result from you following this guide.

At the time of writing (18 January 2011), the latest version of ClockworkMod Recovery is The latest version of ROM Manager is, and the similarity between those numbers seems to be causing some confusion amongst those trying to install newly-released ROMs based on Gingerbread. To put it simply:

The guide mentions the HTC Desire HD (HTC Ace) specifically because that’s what I have, but it should be reasonably universal - just Google which button combination gets you into HBOOT on your device, and make sure you download the appropriate ClockworkMod image for your phone.

Step 1: Get root and S-OFF if you haven’t already

If you’re still running a stock ROM and haven’t yet got root or S-OFF on your device, follow the appropriate guide on the CyanogenMod wiki. Here’s the one for the Desire HD. The Engineering HBOOT section may be listed as optional; it is required for this process. (There are ways of flashing your recovery with only S-OFF rather than Engineering HBOOT, but they are not covered in this guide.) Once you get to “Install a Custom Recovery Image”, ignore the wiki and follow this guide.

Step 2: Boot your device into FASTBOOT

Your device must be in FASTBOOT mode to accept a new Recovery image. For the Desire HD:

  1. Turn off your device. (If you came straight from stock and are using HTC’s quick-boot feature, you may need to remove the battery for a few seconds to stop it quick-booting.)
  2. Boot into HBOOT. (On a Desire HD, hold down the Volume Down button while turning your device on. This varies between devices, if you have a different phone, the CyanogenMod wiki will probably tell you.) You will arrive at a coloured text menu.
  3. The top green line should mention “S-OFF”, if it doesn’t, go back to Step 1 and try again.
  4. The first white-on-blue line says “HBOOT”. You’re in HBOOT mode.
  5. The coloured items are a menu, which the orange text tells you how to use. “FASTBOOT” is first and is already highlighted, so just press the Power button once to go into FASTBOOT.
  6. The white-on-blue “HBOOT” should now have changed into a white-on-red “FASTBOOT”. You’re in FASTBOOT mode.
  7. Connect your phone to your computer via USB.

Step 3: Put the fastboot app on your computer

  1. If you don’t have the Android SDK, grab it from Google’s site and install it.
  2. Get the ‘fastboot’ app (fastboot.exe, fastboot-mac or fastboot for Win/Mac/Linux respectively) from HTC’s site.
  3. Put the fastboot app in your SDK’s tools folder (“C:Android_SDKTools”, “~/android_sdk/tools” or wherever you installed it).
  4. Get the image for ClockworkMod from (thanks gridlock32404). Here’s a direct link to the Desire HD (“Ace”) image.
  5. Put that file in the tools directory alongside your fastboot app.
  6. Open a terminal on your computer and navigate to the tools directory.
  7. Run fastboot devices to check your phone is listed. (fastboot-mac devices on Mac. On Linux you may need to make fastboot executable first, run chmod +x ./fastboot)
  8. Assuming it’s listed, run:
    fastboot flash recovery /path/to/recovery.img
    – in the case of the file we downloaded above, if you put it in tools, the command becomes
    fastboot flash recovery ./ace-cwm3src3.0.0.5-1-15-11.img
  9. Run fastboot reboot

Step 4: Boot into your new recovery!

  1. Turn off your device. (If you’re still using HTC’s quick-boot feature, you may need to remove the battery again.)
  2. Hold down the Volume Down button while turning your device on. You will arrive at a coloured text menu.
  3. The first white-on-blue line says “HBOOT”. You’re in HBOOT mode.
  4. The coloured items are a menu, which the orange text tells you how to use. “RECOVERY” is second, so press Volume Down to highlight it, then press the Power button once to go into Recovery.
  5. After the HTC logo, you’ll see your new recovery image up and running. The menu should be orange, and the line at the top should say “ClockworkMod Recovery v3.0.0.5”.
  6. Happy flashing!


Col. Hans Landa 24 January 2011

This is a great guide, especially for beginners like me. One question though, can I just use CWM to restore my Froyo nandroid backup or do I have to reflash 2.5.1 of CWM?

I've not tried it myself, but I've heard successful reports. If it doesn't work for you, you can flash CWM 2.5.1 through ROM Manager so it's a lot easier to downgrade than upgrade! :)

I got stuck here, any advice?

C:Program Files (x86)Androidandroid-sdk-windowsplatform-tools>fastboot devic
HT0AGRT02428 fastboot

C:Program Files (x86)Androidandroid-sdk-windowsplatform-tools>fastboot flash
recovery ./recovery.img
sending 'recovery' (4170 KB)... OKAY
writing 'recovery'... FAILED (remote: not allowed)

Do you definitely have Engineering (rather than normal S-OFF) HBOOT?

Engineering HBOOT is required to flash the recovery area remotely.

Never tried,it was on optional section. Anyway I have Desire Z not HDH. I`m glad I was able to install everything,it took me 2 days to do it after many failed searches.

That's why my Step 1 says "The Engineering HBOOT section may be listed as optional; it is required for this process"! :)

Glad you got it working in the end though.

have been trying step by step, repetitively for 2 hours but it doesnt seem to be working on me.. :(
everything went fine , but after reboot it doesnt change. still 2.5 . pls help me..

Could you please copy-paste the output when you run fastboot flash recovery ./ace-cwm3src3.0.0.5-1-15-11.img? Does it say "FAILED" at any point?

no..never failed. all the time it shows OK . and the flashing process will take like 3-4 sec before it show OK.

fastboot flash recovery ./ace-cwm3src3.0.0.5-1-15-11.img ... this is what i exactly never failed so far...but after reboot..version remain the same. 2.5 ,

Hmm, I haven't seen that one before. If you definitely get writing recovery... OKAY when running fastboot flash recovery, I can't see any reason why it wouldn't take.

A couple of suggestions offered by the internet:

1) Try erasing the recovery partition first, so:
fastboot erase recovery
fastboot flash recovery ./ace-cwm3src3.0.0.5-1-15-11.img

2) Try flashing from a file stored on the phone, so first mount your phone as mass storage over USB, copy the .img to your SD card, unmount but leave it connected, then run:
adb shell flash_image recovery /sdcard/ace-cwm3src3.0.0.5-1-15-11.img

Hopefully one of those will work for you!

Thanks Ian,

After several attempts i somehow manage to get the orange color ClockworkMod Recovery v3.0.0.5 .

however, is it normal when i turn on into ROM Manager , it shows ROM manager v3.0.0.7
under the Flash ClockworkMod Recovery
Current Recovery: ClockworkMod
Latest Recovery: ClockworkMod

is dat normal or i did mess up something?

Yep, that's normal. ClockworkMod 3 is still considered experimental, and ROM Manager doesn't support it yet. (For example, if you download a ROM with ROM Manager it'll give you the usual "Backup / Wipe" options that attempt to fire off CWM commands automatically on rebooting into Recovery, but they don't work.)

Once ROM Manager supports CWM 3, you'll be able to upgrade CWM to newer versions direct from ROM Manager, but I don't know how long it'll be before that happens.

Thanks a lot ian for the help. appreciate dat much.
Any recommendation on which android 2.3 custom rom to flash?

No problem.

CyanogenMod 7 is the only 2.3 ROM I've used - I found it so reliable from day 1 that I never got around to trying any others! I don't think there are any custom-skinned 2.3 ROMs yet (e.g. with SenseUI) so there's probably not a lot of difference between them.

If you want to give CM7 a shot, the XDA thread is here:

wow...interesting...but it looks like the CM7 is developing new rom every day is it?
its kinda confusing to choose which rom to flash.
and it stated theres no google apps on it.

Yep, there's no official release candidate for CM7 yet, so we're still using the automatically-generated nightly builds. You can get them from or straight from ROM Manager if you have the Premium version. (ROM Manager will still happily download the ROMs, even though it can't talk to CWM 3 in order to automatically flash them.) Go for the latest, which right now is #31.

Google Apps are here: -- you want what's under "CyanogenMod 7" and "Universal-DPI" in the table, which right now is Flash that after CyanogenMod using the same method.

If you're moving from Froyo to Gingerbread, you'll need to do a full wipe first, but moving between CM7 nightly builds doesn't require a wipe of your data.

Mirchanov 09 March 2011

How to flash HTC Wildfire clockworkmod from to

Since writing this guide, the ROM Manager app has updated and now supports ClockworkMod 3.x by default. Ignore this guide, simply install/update ROM Manager on your phone, and flash CWM3 from there.

Mirchanov 10 March 2011

Hi every one,
Yesterday i reflash my recovery from to v3.0.0.6.
Wipe data/factory reset and go to install cyanogen mod 7.
When instalation start in 4 minutes clockworkmod has stop worked (freeze).
I removed battery to turn off phone and tray to restore my system (nandroid backup), the phone again freez in 4 minutes.
This version of clockworkmod is very unstable.
How can I to install any rom?

Sorry for my bad English

Sorry I took so long to reply, the e-mail got buried in my inbox :)

First of all, try wiping /boot (from CWM's advanced menu) as well as wipe/factory reset, as I don't think the wipe does /boot normally. Then try restoring from your Nandroid again.

If things still aren't working, you could try following my procedure to re-flash CWM3 manually, in case something went wrong when you flashed it the first time.

And if you're flashing CM7 (or any other ROM), make sure the MD5 sums match (just in case).

I found this article: so someone has got it working, and it must be possible!

As an absolute last resort, flash back to CWM2, restore your Nandroid backup, and at least you'll have a working phone again while we figure out what went wrong!

Sanderson 11 April 2011

I got the same "FAILD (remote: not allowed)" error as Paffy, so apparently I don't have the engineering hboot. I can't get past the white HTC screen when I try to reboot.
I messed up my CWM somehow, so I'm trying to reflash it. But again, I have the wrong hboot.
Is there a way I can install just the eng hboot without having access to the phone itself?

I'm not sure, I'm afraid I just followed the guides around the 'net that execute the dd command from the phone. This might be one for the xda-developers or CyanogenMod forums I'm afraid!

When you say you can't get past the white HTC screen, is that booting normally (press power button) or booting into HBOOT (vol down + power)? It sounds to me like you may not have a working ROM, and maybe not a working Recovery either, but if you can't even get into HBOOT, you have bigger problems :(

Retry getting into HBOOT by holding vol down, pressing power, and releasing vol down when the display comes on. If that drops you into HBOOT, all is not lost!

Sanderson 12 April 2011

It's when I boot normally.
I can get into HBOOT perfectly fine. I just can't flash a new recovery (which should fix my problems) through fastboot, as I don't have the engineering HBOOT.

Then the good news is, your phone probably isn't bricked -- but like I said, flashing a new HBOOT or Recovery whilst you phone is in HBOOT isn't something I know how to do I'm afraid. I'd suggest you ask on the <a 0="" href="" rel="nofollow noopener"></a>" rel="nofollow">XDA</a> or <a 0="" href="" rel="nofollow noopener"></a>" rel="nofollow">CyanogenMod</a> forums, or if you're after a quick answer, maybe try the <a 0="" href="irc://" rel="nofollow noopener">irc://</a>" rel="nofollow">CyanogenMod IRC channel</a>. Sorry I can't help with this one :(

feedesire 13 May 2011

"Since writing this guide, the ROM Manager app has updated and now supports ClockworkMod 3.x by default. Ignore this guide, simply install/update ROM Manager on your phone, and flash CWM3 from there."

How do I flash CWM3 in Rom Manager?
I currently have ClockworkMod but want at least a 3.x version to use GingerSense roms and CM7.

First ensure that your version of ROM Manager is up-to-date - the latest I can see in the Market is v4.2.0.2.

Open ROM Manager, and the top item should be "Flash ClockworkMod Recovery". Press that, and it should download and flash the latest CWM ( at the moment) for you.

Thanks for the easy to understand guide.
Worked a treat on my HTC Desire.

Thank you! Easy to follow. It rescued me from hours of searching on how to use 'fastboot' command.

I'm seeing more and more ROMs coming out with EXT4 partitioned system but this is a question that I haven't managed to find the answer to...

I was wondering if it is completely safe to use EXT4 with the Desire HD's hardware due to EXT4 being faster than EXT3?

I know that since Gingerbread Android officially supports EXT4 and that the Nexus S is using it, but the Desire HD is a bit older than Nexus S and I just wanted to be sure that it's hardware and memory chip can take EXT4 pounding with no risk of shortening it's life. Oh, and I mean all this about the internal storage chip of the device, not about creating an EXT4 partition on the SD card.

I can only speak from experience, but I've been running my phone's main partition as ext4 for around 10 months now without issues. I'm not sure that ext4 is significantly faster than ext3 -- it's certainly not so much faster that it would cause any issues for the CPU or RAM in the phone (it's still an order of magnitude slower than cache or RAM).

The only related issue you might want to watch out for is ext3/4 partitions on the SD card -- as SD cards are quoted to withstand a certain number of read/write operations, it's possible that journalling file system such as ext3/4 will chew through SD card life more quickly than non-journalling filesystems such as ext2 or FAT32.

However, as you're talking just about the phone's internal storage being bumped from ext3 to ext4, this is not a concern. In fact, aside from the fact that Gingerbread ROMs will work, I'd be surprised if you noticed any difference!

Ok, thanks a lot for your quick reply, I really appreciate it!

And yeah, my main concern was that I've read quite a few reviews on ext4 on SD cards being a bit dangerous about the lifespan of the card itself, and since I can't seem to find more details about Desire HD's internal memory chip type and does it even have wear leveling which is required for ext4, I thought it was the same type of flash memory an got a bit concerned.

I know from reading that the default file system type of a stock Desire HD is ext3 and that even the latest HTC kernels only support up to ext3 but I've been seeing more and more developers encouraged to use ext4 on their new coming ROMs and I can't seem to find an answer for this.

HTC as usual don't even bother giving me an answer through their support; I'm getting the generic "the device has been rooted and we don't support rooted phones" answer.

Yup, I'm afraid as far as phone manufacturers and carriers are concerned, if you root your phone you're on your own.

As you've probably found, the internet is pretty quiet on the status of wear levelling in specific phones -- certainly I can't find any solid information for the DHD, or in fact any HTC phones. The most helpful thread I can find explaining the issues is this one:

It's for the Samsung Epic 4G, comparing RFS (which I believe is the default filesystem) with ext4. Besides that, all I can really say for sure is that in the ~10 months since Gingerbread ROMs started appearing, I've never had any problems and I don't recall seeing any threads about such problems on forums such as XDA-dev.

Hope that helped, and sorry I'm not able to give a definitive answer one way or the other!

Yes Ian I came across that particular thread which concerned the Samsung Epic, but in the world of Samsung phones things are a lot different. As far as I have read RFS is a completely different file system and the differences between it and ext4 could be pretty large. As in the case of our beloved DHD, it comes with ext3 by default so the difference could be just slight.

I've been asking even the ROM developers themselves on the forums why they chose ext4 (presumably they know what they're doing more than I do), but no one stood up to clarify that matter entirely.

Anyway, you've been of great help, I might even say that you've been the most helpful person I came across, so I thank you a lot for that.


If the developers can't justify it, I have no hope! :) I'm pretty sure the Gingerbread AOSP releases came as ext4 and developers adopted it for that reason. Whether ext4 is actually required or if it was just kept rather than go through the hassle of building the image as ext3 instead, I have no idea!

Add a Comment