Desire HD gets an Ice Cream Sandwich Rom, too!

One of the early “big-screen” Android phones from HTC, the HTC Desire HD has just been  blessed with some Ice Cream Sandwich goodness, thanks to XDA Member shaky156. It is based on the RCMix ICS ROM for the HTC Sensation, and includes the amazing Sense 3.5 overlay on the Android 4.0.1 version of ICS, Sense being one of my favorite UIs from my HTC Desire days. Keep in  mind though, that this is an early Alpha build, and shaky is still in the process of tweaking the build so as to get everything working.

A quick rundown on what works and known issues, quoted from the original development thread is given below:


  • Light sensor
  • Audio (not beats yet)
  • Phone calls/Sms/Mms
  • Mic
  • GPU acceleration (3D)
  • Video playback
  • Keys/Key lights
  • Touchscreen
  • Screenshot function (cannot save to SD card)

Not Working

  • SD Card
  • GPU Acceleration (2D rendering UI)
  • Wifi
  • Wifi Teathering
  • Bluetooth
  • Mobile Network/3g
  • Accelerometer
  • Compass
  • Camera
  • GPS
  • More things…

WIP ( Work in Progress)

  • Android 4.0.3
  • Kernel 3.0

As you can see, there is still a lot of work to be done on this ROM, but given the awesome developer community, it shouldn’t be long before we can try out a fully working ICS ROM on the Desire HD, too.

Pre-Installation Check

  • Rooted HTC Desire HD with S-Off . In case you are still unrooted and S-on, You can refer to this excellent guide which will help you get your device ready for flashing of custom ROMs
  • Battery Charge of at least 50%. I recommend a full charge, as ROM flashing involves multiple boots and is a battery intensive process
  • Installing/Flashing this ROM will erase your apps and data. So, it’s very important you back them up, before proceeding further. To backup your apps and important data — bookmarks, contacts, SMS, APNs (internet settings), etc. Restore APN settings if Internet isn’t working for you. You can refer to this excellent Android Backup Guide to back up all your data and settings.


The steps and methods included in this guide are considered risky. Please do not attempt to try this unless you know exactly what you are doing, as it may render your device unusable, and your pocket lighter by the amount it takes to replace it. You have been forewarned!!!!!!

Installation Guide

  1. Download the ICS Sense v1.0 Alpha Rom file . ( Filename :, Size: 384.71 MB)
  2. Transfer the downloaded zip file to the root of your external microSD card on the Desire HD
  3. Switch off your phone, and reboot into ClockworkMod Recovery (Press  Volume  Down & Power Key, and select recovery in the next screen)
  4. Perform a Backup of your existing ROM, so that you can always restore it from recovery if something does not work out with this ROM. To perform a backup, select Backup and Restore –> On the next screen, Select Backup again.
  5. Perform a full Wipe in the order given below
  6. Wipe data / factory reset –> Confirm Wipe data/Factory reset on the next screen
    Wipe Cache Partition –> Confirm Wipe cache partition on the next screen
    From the main menu, select Advanced, and then Wipe Dalvik Cache–>Confirm Wipe Dalvik on the next screen
  7. Now scroll to “Install zip from sdcard” and select it
  8. Select  “Choose zip from sdcard” & Scroll to the file you transferred in Step 2 and select it.
  9. Now confirm installation by selecting “Yes — Install”. The ROM will start installing.
  10. After the installation is complete, select “go back” and then select “reboot system now” to reboot your phone.

That’s it. Once the phone reboots, you should be running ICS Sense v1.0 Alpha on your Desire HD. Try it out and let us know about your experience in comments below. We’d love to hear from you.