Rooting the HTC Hero

Note: This is at your own risk. If you fry your phone, your problem, not mine.

I recently got an HTC Hero. Great phone, I’m loving the Android platform. Pity that you don’t have full access to it, and I actually wanted to merge my old phone (Nokia E65)’s SMS database into this one, so I needed full access.

(Un)fortunately, these days the HTC Hero comes with the latest firmware, 2.73.1100.5, which on the one hand makes rooting harder (fixes several bugs and fastboot no longer works) but on the other hand makes the phone respond a lot better.

After some twiddling and reading on the XDA Developers Forum, I came up with this recipe:

Downloads needed:

Howto:

  • Download the Android SDK, and install/extract it somewhere. I’m using Linux and put it under /home/<user>/android/
  • Download asroot2.zip, superuser.zip, and extract them in a directory of your choice. For instance, /tmp.
  • Change to the Android SDK directory and in that one /tools (here: /home/<user>/android-sdk-linux_86/tools/
  • Start adb (Android Debug Bridge): ./abd wait-for-device
  • Put your phone in HTC Sync mode: drag the notification bar down and activate HTC Sync

After a while adb should return to the prompt. Should mean your phone has been found.

  • Copy asroot2 and su on the phone in /data/local:
    ./adb push /tmp/asroot2 /data/local/
    ./adb push /tmp/su /data/local/
  • Open a shell to the device: ./adb shell
  • Make asroot2 executable, and launch it:
    chmod 0755 /data/local/asroot2
    /data/local/asroot2 /system/bin/sh

Your phone should greet you with:

[+] Using newer pipe_inode_info layout
Opening: /proc/564/fd/3
SUCCESS: Enjoy the shell.
#

At this point, remount your /system filesystem read-write.
Before remounting, executing the mount command should return a line containing:

/dev/block/mtdblock3 /system yaffs2 ro 0 0

Now, remount the fs:
mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
(this returns no output)

And now executing mount should return a line like:

/dev/block/mtdblock3 /system yaffs2 rw 0 0

and copy the su binary into /system/bin:
dd if=/data/local/su of=/system/bin/su
and make it executable with root permissions:
chmod 4755 /system/bin/su

Next, copy the Supseruser.apk to the SD card and install it.
Then, reboot your phone (power off and on).

Restart your abd shell, and execute su in your adb shell: su, and on the phone it should come ask if you want to allow root permissions:

SU request

Tap “Allow”, et voila, you now have a rooted phone.

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12 Responses to Rooting the HTC Hero

  1. Mitja says:

    Hi there,

    this is by far the easyest procedure to root Hero i could found. Thx, relly great!
    I only have one question, as i have never done something like this and am quite new to android.

    Do i loose any of my data, application with this procedure?
    What about the sens ui?

    Thx

  2. Jan says:

    You don’t lose anything, you only add one thing: the “su” binary which allows you to become superuser (ergo root). Only when you start flashing you’ll risk losing stuff.

    Ofcourse, if you edit any files on the filesystem of the HTC Hero, and damage them, you might lose data…

  3. Mitja says:

    Hi,

    thanks for the info.

    I have followed your instructions and everything seems to be fine, except remount command just outputs the command again (don’t know what should be the output), and when i do su it also just outputs su and doesn’t ask me for it on the phone.

    Any ideas?

  4. Jan says:

    I’ve updated the procedure a bit with some extra commentary and a screenshot…
    Mount shouldn’t give any output, and su should come and ask it. Be sure that you have SuperUser.apk installed, and open. Might be that you actually need to restart your phone, that I’m not sure of.

  5. Mitja says:

    Hi Jan,

    thanks for the updates.
    I had some problems, but i think it works now…reboot of the phone was needed indeed.

    Can you maybe point me in to right direction for putting the apps to SD card?
    It is really annoying to have only few MB of space on the phone for the applications and there is so many of them i would like to have, but can’t. The main reason i wanted to root my Hero is because of this.

    I have found some description of how to do that with app2sd, but i am afraid of breaking my phone or it is just to complicated.

    Any info in this direction would be appreciated.

    BR

  6. Jan says:

    For this you’ll need to flash another firmware, since the stock firmware does not support this.
    See also http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=512743

  7. struddy says:

    All seems to go well up to the point of the making asroot2 executable. The terminal responds with
    [1] Killed /data/local/asroot2 /system/bin/sh
    to the second part but there is no response from the phone and it refuses to allow the remount as rw

    Any ideas

  8. Jan says:

    Hmm. No, not really. sorry :(

  9. Pingback: how to root my phone? - Android Central Forums

  10. steven powell says:

    i get the

    [1] Killed /data/local/asroot2 /system/bin/sh

    when running asroot

  11. Pingback: Android 2.1 (Eclair) on the HTC Hero… | sadevil.org

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