Hacking My HTC Thunderbolt

I have to say the process for cracking HTC’s most locked-down phone to date isn’t nearly as difficult as some of the online walkthroughs may have you believe. Contrarily, the process is fairly simple when you follow directions and understand exactly what you’re dealing with.

Got the Thunderbolt this week and have been hard at work researching and familiarizing myself with unlocking and rooting. Those of you who follow my Twitter page saw that I successfully rooted a couple nights ago. And, I have to say the process for cracking HTC’s most locked-down phone to date isn’t nearly as difficult as some of the online walkthroughs may have you believe. Contrarily, the process is fairly simple when you follow directions and understand exactly what you’re dealing with. Since there is no (and likely won’t be a) one-click root method by unrevoked due to the complexity of this phone, the process is broken down into multiple steps that involve using ADB Shell.

After thoroughly reading the official guide on xda’s forum, I began with nat3mil’s youtube video, How to Root the HTC Thunderbolt, Setting up ADB – Step 1 to familiarize myself with ADB Shell and make sure I got the correct drivers for the Thunderbolt set up. The walkthrough nat3mil provides is thorough and very easy to follow. I hacked the driver file to read the Thunderbolt, and moved on to his second video, How to Root the HTC Thunderbolt – Version 2.5. In this walkthrough, nat3mil shows you step-by-step how to crack the seal on the Thunderbolt and root. As advised on xda, I decided to keep the official guide pulled up as a fail safe fallback if something explained in the video didn’t make sense or differed at all from what they recommend. I was pleasantly surprised that there was only two instances when I questioned the video.

The first was during the temp root downgrade, right around the 5:23 mark. To save time, nat3mil transitions from the SD card reading the files and jumps straight to the update complete mark where you restart the phone. What he fails to mention is that his transition skips the step of H-Boot restarting before the actual update installs, which left me wondering if I had done something wrong or if I should go ahead and reboot the phone as he advises. Thankfully, H-Boot reads the SD card a second time and THEN proceeds to install the update after which you restart the phone. I point this out because it left me a bit confused for a second. If I had gone ahead and restarted during the short interlude I might’ve bricked my phone. I’m not sure if this happens every time or if it was an incident isolated to just my experience. Either way, be advised it could happen and if so continue to wait it out until H-Boot actually tells you the update is complete and gives the option to restart. DO NOT pull your battery thinking you messed up and this will restart the process for you — BRICK.
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