Update Desire HD to Ice Cream Sandwich with Blackout ICS XL

One of the early “big-screen” Android phones from HTC, the HTC Desire HD has just received some more Ice Cream Sandwich goodness, thanks to XDA Member QD2DC, in the form of a Custom ROM called Blackout ICS XL.  It is based on the2.12  Android 4.0.3 firmware for the Sensation XL, and includes the amazing Sense 3.6 overlay.

Keep in  mind though, that this is an early Alpha build with a few bugs here and there, and the dev is still in the process of tweaking the build so as to get everything working. While it may not be fully ready for use as a daily driver, it is definitely worth trying out to check out ICS on your DHD.


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!!!


This ROM is compatible only and only with the HTC Desire HD. Please do not attempt to flash it on any other device. We are not responsible for any damage that may be caused to your device. Check your device model in Settings » About Phone


Developer: QD2DC


– Android Version: 4.0.3 (IceCream Sandwich)
– Based on: Sensation XL 2.12 (No Resizing Needed!)
– Sense Version: 3.6


  • 2G/3G/HSPDA Data! – Only DHD Tested! Need Inpire 4G/Telus user Feedback/Help
  • Proximity sensor
  • Audio (no beats audio)
  • Phone calls/Sms/Mms
  • Accelerometer
  • GPS
  • Mic
  • Video playback
  • Keys/Key lights
  • Touchscreen

Not Working:

  • USB Mount – Used 3rd party app for now
  • GPU Acceleration (2D rendering UI)
  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth
  • Camera
  • More things…

Pre-Installation Requirements

  • Rooted/S-Off HTC Desire HD with Clockworkmod Recovery installed
  • This procedure will wipe all your apps, data and settings (but it will NOT touch your SD cards, so don’t worry about those). Backup your Apps and important data — bookmarks, contacts, SMS, APNs (internet settings), etc. This Android backup guide would help you.
  • Fully charged Desire HD

How To Install Blackout ICS XL on the HTC Desire HD

  1. Download the RD-MIUI-ics ROM file from the official development page.
  2. Transfer the downloaded  zip file to the root of external sdcard on your Desire HD, and disconnect the phone from PC.
  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 Nandroid 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 as follows
    • Select Mounts and Storage » Format System » Yes-Format System
    • Select Format Data » Yes – Format Data
    • Select Format Cache » Yes – Format Cache
    • Go back to the main menu, select Advanced, and then Wipe Dalvik Cache » Yes – Wipe Dalvik .
  6. Now select “Install zip from sdcard”, then select “choose zip from sdcard”. Scroll to  file on the sdcard (transferred in  step 2) and select it.
  7. Now confirm installation by selecting “Yes – Install” on the next screen. The ROM will start installing.
  8. After the installation is complete, select “Go back” and then select “Reboot system now” to reboot into the ROM
  9. The first boot will take a lot longer than usual. This is expected, so be patient. Wait for the OS to boot up.
  10. Once your phone has booted up, leave it alone for 10 mins to allow the ROM to settle down. Do not touch anything.
  11. After 10-12 mins, proceed to set up your phone, and enjoy Blackout ICS XL on your Desire HD

Visit the official development page linked above to download updates and add-ons, check out more detailed information and to submit bugs that you may come across. Go ahead and try out this ROM on your Desire HD, and tell us about your experience in comments below.