HTC Desire Android 2.3 update begins, via DIY install

After a weird series of cancellations, retractions and odd rumours , the Android 2.3 update for the original HTC Desire has begun to appear. HTC has taken the incredibly unusual step of releasing a DIY download file, which users can flash themselves if they want to take the risk.

This is no “over the air” update. You basically have to wipe your phone and install a generic version of the Desire Android 2.3 release via your PC, with the update missing some HTC Sense features. Here’s HTC’s mammoth disclaimer:

Android 2.3 Update for HTC Desire

This update is only recommended for expert users who want to experience Android 2.3 and understand the limitations which apply to this update to the HTC Desire. Due to memory constraints several applications have been removed from this update and we are only offering the ROM upgrade utility (RUU) for you to download. Please note that flashing this ROM will erase your previous customizations, including any messages, emails, contacts, and other personal information. We suggest you take advantage of your Google account and other backup solutions available on the Android Market to ensure you do not lose your personal data. Your SD Card will not be erased or modified.

The major changes in this update include:

-All customizations, including operator applications, will be removed
-All wallpapers, except the default wallpaper, will be removed and placed online on the HTC Developer website
-Several HTC applications will be removed and placed online on the HTC Developer website
-The official Facebook application will be removed and is downloadable on the Android Market.

To download this update, please visit… http://developer.htc.com/

Note: This Rom update is for development only and not for general public use. Upgrades to non-authorized phones may result in loss of functionality. In addition certain functions may no longer be usable after re-flashing the ROM, including but not limited to MMS and SMS and HTC also disclaims liability for any unusable functions. HTC disclaims liability for the loss and/or leakage of any personal data resulting from the re-flashing of the ROM.

Updated – The following regional variants are not compatible with this upgrade: Germany (Telekom Deutschland), North America, South Korea and Japan.

htc desire android 23 update live

Such a weird thing to do, but at least it’ll go some way toward calming the angry masses. Let us know how you get on if you install it. We’ll be setting aside an hour or two later today. It’s a 161MB download that’s on HTC’s developer site here .

38 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Matt C

     /  August 1, 2011

    I’ve got as far as installing ClockworkRom manager and taking a backup. Now stuck with it saying signature verification failed error .

    It’s all very exciting.

    Reply
    • Gary C

       /  August 1, 2011

      I suspect we’re all going to see some very exciting new error messages over the next few days. I’m lucky enough that my Desire is now only a “spare” so there’s no need to worry about wiping it or backups.

      Reply
    • MarkG

       /  August 1, 2011

      Errm, this is not a rooted rom, and nothing to do with ClockworkMod…

      That’s where you are going wrong. As it clearly states, you need to download the RRU, run it, it will wipe your phone and install Gingerbread.

      Your back options are MyBackup Pro, which will backup call logs and stuff, use Google sync to backup contacts, and as for apps, reinstall them, but you will lose any app data.

      As it clearly states at the start: “This update is only recommended for expert users”

      Reply
      • Matt C

         /  August 1, 2011

        Ahh ok cheers, I’ve always used ClockworkMod to install ROMs before, so thought it would be the same as that.

        Reply
        • Matt C

           /  August 1, 2011

          Well that was much more simple that I expected!

          Download the ZIP
          Unzip the ZIP
          Unzip the HTC Desire Android 2.3 Upgrade.zip
          Run the .EXE
          Plug phone in via USB, click next a few times, watch phone reboot
          Play with 2.3.3

          Reply
          • Gary C

             /  August 1, 2011

            Gah. I’m still stuck on waiting for my phone to hit 30% battery :(

          • Carlos

             /  August 2, 2011

            Matt C,

            I have had the same experience. Fast and easy.

          • Matt C

             /  August 2, 2011

            Carlos, that’s enough about Essex girls, what about your phone update??

            BOOM BOOM !

  2. Right-o. Think I’ll play it safe and wait for Icecream Sandwich (on a new phone).

    Reply
  3. So does this mean that your phone has to be rooted and then flash an official HTC 2.3 rom onto it. Because surely the majority of Desire owners would never want to root their phones first. Luckily I have but if it turns out to be faulty I will not be happy.

    Reply
    • Gary C

       /  August 1, 2011

      No, no. The RUU is an EXE file you run on your PC, which updates the phone via USB. It’s usually a quite straightforward thing to do.

      Reply
    • MarkG

       /  August 1, 2011

      No, the phone has to be UNROOTED. This upgrade will not work on rooted phones (you will have to wait for someone in darker corners of the internet to make a rooted version that installs via ClockworkMod).

      See the most excellent post that GaryC just posted. You need a USB cable, HTC Sync installed, and the RRU upgrade file (which you run from a PC).

      It will wipe your device, so it’s as new, so be aware of this. As long as you have all your Contacts as Google Contacts, your contacts and calendar will come back when you resign in after the update. You will have lost any apps you have downloaded, and have to redownload them again.

      Reply
  4. Mark G I am an experienced user but do not know how to run the RRU. Could you explain.

    Reply
    • Jimbo

       /  August 1, 2011

      If I remember correctly you need to have HTC Sync installed and then connect your phone and then just run the RUU file (double click) and it instructs you what its doing.

      Reply
  5. Can anyone explain how to start the upgrade process once the download file is downloaded.

    Reply
    • MarkG

       /  August 1, 2011

      Run the EXE from your PC with the phone connected via USB cable and HTC Sync installed.

      Reply
  6. andy

     /  August 1, 2011

    I’ve just read the full license the last paragraph is as follows

    Will HTC issue an over the air (FOTA) for HTC Desire update to Gingerbread?

    No, this downloadable RUU is the official update to your phone. The update required that we conserve space by removing customizations and wallpapers, we had to release the update as a downloadable update.

    Reply
  7. Sunnie

     /  August 1, 2011

    Just for info HTC Desire Z finally rec’d Gingerbread today via OTA installing now.

    Reply
  8. ObserandApple

     /  August 1, 2011

    What USB setting should the phone be on when you plug in the USB? It keeps saying that it can’t connect to my phone due to an USB error. Charge, mass storage, etc?

    Reply
    • Gary C

       /  August 1, 2011

      Just charge should do it. Have you installed HTC Sync to make sure you have the correct USB drivers?

      Reply
  9. dave bush

     /  August 1, 2011

    Message asking for ADB disc and then installation failed/

    Reply
  10. Gregi

     /  August 1, 2011

    I installed it, but i don’t want it, how to install cyanogenmod? the power + back or power+ volume down does not work

    Reply
  11. Nizzy

     /  August 2, 2011

    Do SMS even work? I don’t really like that part :/

    Reply
  12. stewarty

     /  August 2, 2011

    I have done the update and everything is working fine…

    Reply
  13. zenamez

     /  August 4, 2011

    When HTC broke the news about not updating the desire I just rooted and stuck the “insertcoin desire 2.3 + sense 2.1/3.0″ on it and never looked back. What troubles me when reading about the stuff HTC had to remove, how come the devs over at Xda can make roms to work on the desire with extras, but HTC can’t? I’ve seen loads of gingerbread + sense 2.1 roms kicking about and yet HTC found it extremely taxing.

    Reply
  14. n00b

     /  August 4, 2011

    If I try this and fuck it up, can I revert to back to Froyo, or do I have to buy a new phone? (Can’t really afford a new phone)

    Reply
    • Gary C

       /  August 4, 2011

      You can’t really fuck it up, this isn’t like a custom ROM. But no, you can’t go back to 2.2 once it’s on there.

      Reply
  15. Paul R

     /  August 4, 2011

    Does this actually change much on your phone or make your phone worse because i am really thinking of getting this update but i dont want to fuck my phone up because i cant afford to buy a new one,

    Reply
    • Gary C

       /  August 5, 2011

      It changes very little. Wouldn’t say it makes it worse, but it’s not a massive improvement, either.

      Reply
  16. rado

     /  October 6, 2011

    just done an upgrade, it’s pretty much as it was, all stock wallpapers are still there, my ringtunes etc, weird..

    Reply
  17. rado

     /  October 6, 2011

    ok there is only one wallpaper, but all icons ale still like in froyo,

    Reply
  1. HTC Desire recibe finalmente la actualización a Android Gingerbread | smartGSM Teléfonos Celulares
  2. HTC Desire Android 2.3 update – installation guide and gallery | Tech Gadget
  3. HTC Desire Android 2.3 update – installation guide and gallery | Islamic Business Zone
  4. HTC Desire Z Android 2.3 update now arriving in the UK | Islamic Business Zone
  5. HTC Desire 2.3 update begins via DIY install | Jonathan Bullock

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