I recently got an HTC Wildfire to use on my second line, and was surprised to see that it was running the latest version of Froyo, 2.2.1. I checked to see if it was available for the Galaxy S. Unsurprisingly it wasn’t available from T-Mobile, so I investigated how best to go about upgrading. Sadly I had just upgraded my copy of Kies so I was unable to use the registry hack to download the new firmware.
I had installed a program called ROM Manager from the Market which lets you use the ClockworkMod recovery tool, but unfortunately because I was running Froyo I couldn’t access ClockworkMod as the phone was using the stock recovery program version 3E which won’t allow unsigned updates.
The solution for me was to install the CF-Root kernel, which includes a downgraded stock recovery program (2E) which can run unsigned updates. I had to deactivate the lagfix on my phone before doing this otherwise it might have led to problems. Follow the link for instructions on how to do this, but make sure you read everything very carefully or you run the risk of bricking your phone. (I can’t take responsibility for any damage you do to your phone by following what I did).
Once the new kernel was in place and I’d tested that ClockworkMod worked, I set about creating a custom ROM using the wonderful RomKitchen, which lets you customise the ROM to your heart’s desire. For information about the kitchen it’s best to view the XDA forum thread about it. I generated my ROM, added it to the internal SD card of my phone and followed the instructions on using ClockworkMod to use the new ROM. After a worryingly long time (it seemed to take ages wiping the data, then on the initial bootup) the ROM loaded and I set about restoring my apps.
The phone is now so much quicker, it’s strange to think the phone doesn’t work like this when you get it from the factory. The Quadrant score isn’t as high as it was when I previously used a lagfix, but I think that score is flawed anyway – actually using the phone is much quicker, there’s no slow-down in Game Dev Story (which was one of my motivations for upgrading) and everything just seems to work instantly. With the custom ROM that I used, it includes Harcore’s kernel, which allows you to apply lagfixes from within ClockworkMod recovery. You have to jump through hoops to get your phone into this kind of state but once you get it there everything becomes so much simpler, kudos to the developers of these utilities!