Upgrading Android on the Huawei Astro u8651t

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.

Finding Help

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.

Additional Issues

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.


David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.


  1. Thanks for this — it’s sometimes difficult to piece together sufficient information from a bunch of XDA forum posts. I ordered a T-Mobile-branded U8651t earlier today and am glad to know that it can be easily rooted.

  2. Much appreciated… I have this model as well (with WIND) and the CM installation went smoothly with your guide and links… I’ve also partitioned my microSD and used Link2SD to get a fully featured Gingerbread phone…

  3. I have the Wind Mobile U8651. I had no issues with root or google play.
    I did root same as you using clockwork mod and update.zip. I backed up my stock rom with ROM Manager (free version first). This phone absolutely needs to be rooted because its way too slow without upping the cpu speed and customizing startups. (Best program for this is System Tuner Pro) I have tried all of them. I use go launcher to allow me to put files in folders and get a better view than the standard 2.3.6 android offers. This phone is actually great. The only downside is the 161 mb of internal memory. I had to custom a partition of sd card @1 gb with mini tool partition wizard to get more space to install apps. I use link2sd to mount them on a custom 1gb partition. If you a little tech saavy this is a great phone.

  4. I also have the U8651T. I have heard that after rooting, it will have problem with charging. Is this true?

    Also, do I have to unlock the phone first before rooting?

    1. I haven’t had any problems with charging after rooting. Good question about unlock; I don’t know. I think that, by rooting it, you are unlocking it. I don’t think there is another step.

      1. In this thread: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=38435182#post38435182 people say that if you charge it while it’s off, it will go into recovery mode. Does that happen to you?

        1. No. I usually charge it before the battery’s died and not when it’s turned off. But I don’t recall ever seeing the recovery mode so perhaps I’ve never charged it when it’s off. I’m not sure why it would fail to charge even then, though. My battery ran down so I powered off and plugged in. Yes, it goes to the recovery mode menu. But, as I suspected, you select the first item (hit the Power button to select) and it starts up and you can see the charging icon in the task bar.

  5. I followed all of the instructions and after the cyanogen 7 logo flashes after it is supposed to boot the screen stays black, anyone know whats up?

  6. I also had the same issues after it boot the screen stays black..what should I do?

    1. I think you may need to clear the cache, but I always did it before the point you have reached. If you can get back to the recovery menu, clear the cache and see if that doesn’t fix it.

  7. u8651t t-mobile
    i flashed cm 7 now i want to return to stock rom in order to unlock it ,
    i did search but no soultion
    found some update but it faild
    thanks in advanced

    1. I think your choices are limited to restoring your backup of your stock ROM – which is usually unique to your phone service, I think, and which you would have done before you flashed the CM7 ROM – or see if someone has a copy of the ROM you can flash over CM7. I use a Wind phone, which is already unlocked, so I’m afraid I haven’t tried this.

  8. thanks alot for your replay
    i dont have backup
    wish if some one has a backup
    to send me on

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