I dropped my old Huawei u8100 phone. A couple of times. Finally, the headphone jack slipped and the phone thought a headset was always plugged in. This is great when it is, but not so great when you want to receive a phone call – or make one! I had upgraded the version of Android on the Windmobile version of the u8100 back in February. When I picked up a replacement Huawei, the u8651T or, as it’s known outside Canada, the Astro. Unfortunately, it came with the same limited Windmobile ROM as before. In particular, I missed not having the ability to do screenshots and some other tweaked functionality that is available with CyanogenMod.
The go-to place for information for me has been the XDA Developer site. This is where I found the details for upgrading my u8100 so I went back there. It was soon clear that the same process should work: run the ClockworkMod to root the phone and allow for recovery mode, and then flash the latest CyanogenMod.
Someone has already posted the instructions for how to do this. The instructions did not work for me because I couldn’t get to the ClockworkMod recovery menu. It looked like the Windmobile boot splash logo might be hiding it, because rooting the system worked. If I held down the power button and the Volume down button at the same time, CWM would report that it had flashed the ROM okay. The same poster then followed up with a download that included version 4 of CWM. That worked for me and I was soon at the CWM menu.
I had already downloaded and placed the CyanogenMod zip file onto my SD card so I could navigate to it and install it. You do not need to unzip the file; just place it somewhere on your memory card. In part because the poster above had asked for a copy of the original Windmobile ROM, but also because it makes sense to avoid bricking your phone, I backed up my ROM using CWM before flashing it with the replacement.
Root the Phone, Flash the ROM
This process worked just as before:
- Boot phone holding down POWER and VOLUME DOWN for 15 seconds
- Run the CWM batch file (recovery.bat in this case but usually install-recovery-windows.bat)
- A terminal window should appear, showing two commands, each ending with OKAY before disappearing. All going well, your phone reboots into recovery mode
- In recovery mode, you’re looking at a text menu. VOLUME rocker moves you up and down, and hitting POWER selects the option. One thing I really like about ClockworkMod is that the command that takes an action is never a default – you have to scroll to the YES line!
In the CWM menu, I took the following actions:
- a wipe and factory reset to return the ROM to a clean state
- backup and restore, and backed it up to my SD card. Make sure you have enough space on the card to do this (I needed about 250 MB)
- install zip from SD card
The last command is how you install CyanogenMod. There is also an apply update from sdcard and I don’t know how that differs from the install option. In any event, use the install zip menu item.
Once you have completed the installation, navigate back to the CWM main menu. A recurring issue is that people immediately reboot but you should clear the Dalvik cache first (select ADVANCED, then WIPE DALVIK CACHE). If you don’t do this, it seems as though you can end up with some old settings getting in the way of your new ROM. I haven’t experienced this since I’ve always followed the instructions to clear this cache.
Then select REBOOT THE SYSTEM and you’re finished. In my case, the Windmobile splash still appears, the icons at the bottom of the phone light up and then disappear, and then Cyanogen loads.
The version of CyanogenMod I downloaded said it was stable. And it is. But it doesn’t have Google Play installed, which means I couldn’t create a Google account on my phone nor could I reinstall my apps from Play. There is apparently a Google Play corruption issue so they have released the files separately so that Play can be installed by itself. It’s called gapps and the files I used are here. You place the zip file – do not extract it – onto your SD card, reboot the phone (notice there should now be a Recovery option to bring you into the recovery menu), select install zip from sdcard, and find the downloaded file. I found links to older versions of gapps but they are Android Market and wouldn’t update. The one I used immediately updated to the latest Play version.