6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

How To Video: How to install a custom Android ROM

About Video Transcript

How To Video: How to install a custom Android ROM

4:05 /

Now that you've rooted your Android phone or tablet, you can get into some seriously heavy customization like installing a customized version of the Android OS. From better power management to processor overclocking, there are numerous benefits to flashing a custom ROM. Here's how it's done.

You've rooted your phone, congratulations. Now comes the hard part, installing a customized version of Android. Hi, I'm Seth Rosenblatt for CNET, and today I'll show you how to install a custom Android ROM. There's a lot of reasons you might want to run a custom ROM, Android features that the phone company or hardware manufacturer has decided won't get pushed to your device, or just to get a more robust set of features. You can also run customized themes on a ROM. You're likely to see significantly better performance, basically you get more control over your phone. It's all about you, baby. Oh, and I hope you know this by now, but rooting your phone voids your warranty. Installing a custom ROM pretty much obliterates it. There are a few methods for downgrading your phone back to stock and though they're not simple, CNET TV has a how to do that, too. The mod we're going to be working with today is CyanogenMod which is in use on more than 100,000 Android devices, and is one of the most popular ROMs. I'm going to install it on CNET editor Antuan Goodwin's old Droid 1, mostly because that's the first spare phone that showed up. ROMs can be tricky things, so be careful that you use what I tell you here as more of an introduction or loose guideline for how to install a custom ROM. Definitely go look up how to install the ROM of your choosing on your specific device. So here is how it's done. First, we're going to create a backup of your system. Download and run a backup app like Titanium Backup, then download the ROM manager app from the Market, either free or paid will do. Tap the app, and then choose "Flash ClockworkMod Recovery." Tap "Motorola Droid" and then give the app root permission if prompted. If the app crashes, just allow it to force close and run it again. If the flash was successful, you'll see a box that reads "Successfully flashed ClockworkMod Recovery." ClockworkMod Recovery is a customized version of the Android default recovery screen and it allows for more choices such as Nandroid backups. All right, let's get to the ROM next. If you've bought the premium version of ROM Manager, there's a slightly automated way to do this. Jump into the app and select "Download ROM." Tap CyanogenMod after you install, you can back up existing ROM and wipe data and cache. When the install finishes, it will reboot directly into the CyanogenMod. If you didn't buy the ROM Manager Premium, you can still install a ROM relatively easily. Relatively. Go to CyanogenMod.com and download the latest version. If you use Google Apps like GMail, also download the Google Apps Package. Cyanogen decided to spin off the Google-sourced apps to avoid potential conflicts with Google. Connect your phone to your computer, enable USB mode, and place both the Cyanogen and Google Apps zips in the root directory of your SD card. Next, boot into ClockworkMod Recovery by turning off the phone and restarting it holding down the X key along with the power button. Use the D-pad to navigate. Choose "wipe data, factory reset," then "wipe cache partition," then "Install zip from SD card." Select "Choose zip from the SD card," then go for the Cyanogenmodupdate.zip. Then, install the Googleappsupdate.zip. Once the installation is finished, go back to return to the main menu and choose "Reboot now." Your phone ought to boot into CyanogenMod. If it fails the first time, but you can still navigate, give it another shot. Of course, if it doesn't do anything at all, you've got yourself a pretty little brick and that's how you install a custom ROM on an Android. For CNET, I'm Seth Rosenblatt.

New releases

2014 BMW i8 (CNET On Cars, Episode 56)
19:02 December 19, 2014
BMW's i8 is definitely a taste of the future -- but whose? We'll shed some light on MPGe, the benchmark for tomorrow's cars. And we...
Play video
Need a new size? Just tap the mirror
1:55 December 19, 2014
In a place where fashion comes first, tech is coming in at a close second. In major department stores and small boutiques, the dressing...
Play video
Did life forms exist on Mars? Curiosity makes a big find, Ep. 187
4:46 December 19, 2014
It's the last Crave show of 2014. This week, Curiosity makes a huge discovery, the US Navy has a shark drone and American satellites...
Play video
Obama: Sony wrong to pull movie over hackers' threats
2:56 December 19, 2014
President Obama addresses the Sony cyberattack and vows to respond to North Korea. Also, T-Mobile settles cramming lawsuit, and Facebook...
Play video
A cheap activity tracker you will actually want to wear
2:11 December 19, 2014
CNET's Dan Graziano gives you a look at one of the most affordable fitness trackers on the market.
Play video
Embarrassing moments in tech (2014)
2:53 December 19, 2014
The high profile tech of 2014 that aimed for the stars and landed in the gutter.
Play video
Solid tablet design hindered by so-so performance
2:48 December 19, 2014
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 has an excellent ergonomic build, but its performance lacks the same finesse.
Play video
Say hello to ZTE's mid-tier Grand X for Cricket Wireless
1:16 December 19, 2014
Featuring a 5-inch display, a dual-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera, the affordable ZTE Grand X is available prepaid from US...
Play video