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custom rom

If you fancy yourself a custom ROM, you may want to take a peek at the latest version of Nextgen+ which just received a nice little makeover. We covered the previous release here, noting that it offered some very interesting additions, including a stripped down core and new color emoticons for things like messaging and system icons. Version 2.0 looks to go even further and is now available in 'lite' or 'full':

  • Windows Phone 7.5 (Build 7740.16)
  • MultiLanguage (in Full Version)
  • High Speed
  • Full-Unlocked
  • Installing *.xap from IE
  • The easy, optimized and modified ROM
  • New exclusive iconpack
  • OEM apps, Wallpapers, ringtones, sounds from Nokia Lumia 710 / 800
  • Internet Sharing
  • Visual Studio Debugging
  • Colored Themes
  • New, great wallpapers, pictures, sounds
  • Some minor reg Tweaks
  • OEM apps from HTC Omega / Eternity

Not a bad set of features, in fact we may have to fire up our HD7 and throw this on there to see how it performs. Plus you can expect some excellent battery life and the usual speed improvements, which is great for that Gen1 hardware.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, volpi3000, for the link!

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For all of those with HTC HD7's, even if it is just laying around having been supplanted by the TITAN, you may want to take a look at this. Zloy Pryanik at XDA has bumped his NextGen+ custom ROM to v1.8 and we have to admit, this is starting to get real nice looking. The latest version brings the 7740 OS update as well as the latest drivers and radio software to the venerable Windows Phone. On top of that, there are quite a few interesting and unique enhancement to the ROM that has piqued our interest:

  • Light ROM (~260 mb *.nbh include radio)
  • Full-Unlocked (full support registry edit / ie install .xap ... etc) Mega Thanks DFT Team
  • Firmware reduced by 31MB , registry - 500kb
  • Update OEM software , add Touchexplorer, registry editor
  • Deleted Device Feedback
  • New sound camera shot
  • New Wallpapers, pictures
  • Ringtones and Sounds from Apple iPhone
  • Facebook-blue accent color
  • Custom system graphics
  • Watch videos from Zune in Bluetooth Headphones
  • Enabled IPV6

How's that for a feature-set? As you can probably discern, all of that reduction in file size and stripping of things has resulted in a clean, fast ROM with some neat customizations. For instance, the text emoticons are now colored as are the icons for setting up new email accounts--subtle, but nice. Even battery life seems remarkably improved, with one user's screenshot show the battery at 90% and an estimated 1 day, 13 hours remaining--we're a bit envious! If this sounds like something you want to give a go, head to the source link below.

Source: XDA; via

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For those who are into the whole custom ROM scene--a small but dedicated crowd--you'll be excited to know that DFT have finally released their v2 of their Freedom ROM. We reported back in October that this was in the works and Dark Forces Team has come through, as usual.

This version has quite a few suprises on board including:

  • Support for 20 languages
  • Internet sharing for gen 1 HTC devices
  • Updated HTC XAPs from Titan/Radar
  • Fully unlock with IE download XAP

The ROM is only available for generation 1 HTC devices e.g. Trophy, HD7, Mozart, 7 Pro and Surround) that are GSM. However, the team has noted that they are working on a CDMA versions for our Trophy and Arrive friends too.

While not for the casual user, custom ROMs offer some unique benefits including the ability to have tethering enabled. If you want to brave those waters, head over to XDA Forums for more info.

Thanks, Chris P for the heads up!

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It's been awhile since we talked about DFT's custom ROMs for Windows Phone 7, specifically those ROMs for Gen 1 HTC devices. Part of that is because most of us are pretty happy with our ROMs and the other is most of us have the latest version to boot. Still, the appeal of having a completely unlocked OS with a few bonus features is appealing.

DFT is hard at work with the follow up to their original release and in a threat at ol' XDA they have an informal poll about how to support languages (keep the same, go back to an older style, WWE + one language).  But in a small P.S. to the users, they drop the fact that they've figured out WiFi tethering/Internet Shaing for HTC devices--something that's been tough for 1st Gen HTC phones to hack on as of this moment.

And as a nugget of hope for our CDMA friends, when asked about future CDMA support which so far has gone missing, they chime in with "you will get it soon". Sounds good to us and certainly makes the idea of a custom ROM a little more tempting. Then again, you'll still have to wipe the device clean to do this, a hurdle which won't be fixed in #2, so maybe not.

Thanks, Chris P., for the tip using our app!

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DeepShining custom HD7 Mango ROM

Should you have a spare HTC HD7 at hand and feel extraordinarily adventurous, this is an interesting custom ROM for you. DeepShining claims to be the first ROM to feature nine different themes and lockscreen wallpapers with the addition of a black Nokia accent. Highlighted details and features:

  • Based on Shipped Mango ROM: HTC Europe 4.05.401.02 build 7.10.7720.68
  • Radio
  • 1st Worldwide ROM with 9 Themes and 9 Lockscreen Custom Wallpapers plus Black Nokia Accent.
  • Dev/Introp Chevron unlocked
  • XBmod Certificates
  • Unlock Hidden option in ease of access settings
  • Some minor reg Tweaks
  • OEM apps from HTC Omega like HTC Hub, Notes, Attentive phone, HTC Location and HTC Connected Media

Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility for damaged handsets - use this at your own will. For more information, screenshots and flashing requirements/steps head on over to the DeepShining thread at the XDA Developers forum (link below).

Source: XDA Developers forum, thanks Joaquim for the tip!

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For those of you still running an HTC HD2 aka the device the runs everything, you'll be pleased to know you can now load Windows Phone Mango 7720 onto that bad boy, making it a true, honest to Ballmer Windows Phone (it makes your SD card act as a single partition).

We're not gonna lie, the number of steps, folder moves, flashing and technique here is no small feat. You'll want to take your time, print out those directions and cross your fingers you don't miss anything. The features of this ROM are...

  • Ability to Install Mango 7720 Build.
  • Ability to Install Developers Update Cab.
  • Updatable via zune (for build after 7720 wait confirmation before apply)
  • Root, chevron and unlock features already in and reaplied after an update

The ROM was finished by XDA members xboxmod and YukiXDA, so it should be a pretty solid release. Still wanna try it? Head right here to XDA and give it a go! Thanks, JonnieLasVegas & Wideawake, for the tip!

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Last weekend was the release of DFT's HSPL/RSPL tools, tools which would enable one to begin the process of making a custom ROM for their HTC Windows Phone (first generation, except for the Sprint Arrive and Verizon Trophy). A few days later, we had a custom ROM for the HD7.  Flash forward to today and DFT have released their "Freedom ROM" featuring Mango build 7713 (that's one more than 7712 which developers got, but still not the RTM'd 7720).

The ROMs are ChevronWP7 unlocked, lack carrier customizations but do include your standard HTC apps. Other than that, we're talking a pretty straight port with no other discernible difference. Still, this is more about a proof-of-concept and a first step than anything else and for that, impressive.

The ROMs support 22 languages and the following phones: Gold (HTC Pro 7,T7575), Mozart (HD3,T8697,T8698,T8699), Mondrian (Surround,T8788), Spark (Trophy,T8686), Schubert (HD7, T9292,T9295,T9296) and as of now, this ROM cannot be updated via Zune though that may change later. We'll still sit on the sidelines here for a bit, but a big round of applause to DFT for this accomplishment.

Source: XDA; via: Pocketnow

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HD7 gets first custom ROM

We reported a few days ago that the Dark Forces Team completed work on their HSPL tools, effectively allowing the creation of custom ROMs for 1st generation HTC Windows Phones.

The first ROM comes from over at XDA, who's a pretty popular contributor over there. Now, like we speculated, there's not too much at this point that can be done with custom Windows Phone ROMs and this one affirms that. Still, it has some nice features:

  • ChevronWP7 unlock
  • MangoB2 update to 7403 and 7712
  • Stock ROM HTC_Europe_1.69.401.01_Radio_5.54.09.21_22.33b.50. 10U

Some sites are reporting that this carrier unlocks the phone as well, but we're not seeing that mentioned anywhere (they might be confusing carrier unlocked with the Chevron registry unlocker for side loading). You can grab it now over at XDA, but we'd stay on the sidelines for a bit and watch what happens--after all, it's not like this is bringing any new radical abilities to the device. But hey, it's a start.

Source: XDA; via Windows Phone Daily, PocketNow

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Looks like Dark Forces Team has done it again. Just last night we reported on how they managed to flash the RTM build of Mango (7720) on an HD7 and now today, they've released RSPL/HSPL tools need for flashing custom ROMs.

These tools won't be of much use to you regular folks out there, but instead are meant for those daring and brave ROM Chefs (a term we haven't used in about a year), who want to flash their own versions of Windows Phone 7 to their devices (first generation). It is currently limited to only HTC phones, specifically HTC Mozart, the HTC Surround, the HTC HD7, the HTC Spark/Trophy, and the HTC 7 Pro, but no love the for the Sprint Arrive nor Verizon Trophy.

It's a big step in many ways, even if more symbolic, just because of the difficulty in working with Microsoft's more "locked down" OS and bootloader. We say symbolic because we're still not too sure how much of a market there is for custom ROMs--bloatware barely exists and can be uninstalled, there are few if any differences in builds, etc. So it remains to be seen what this willl actually bring to the table, nonetheless, we're a bit excited to see what devs can come up with.

Source: XDA/DFT; via WindowsPhone Hacker

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Cook WP7 custom ROMs in the kitchen

A ROM Manual Kitchen has been released to allow developers and technically savvy folk to create and develop custom ROMs for WP7 devices. Haseeb Ahmed, a senior XDA member is behind the first ROM kitchen to be released into the WP7 realm, and a GUI based version is planned to be developed, but hasn't been 100% confirmed.

The archive contains a HTC ROM Image Editor with HV Edit and IMGFS packaged with a few .BAT files to make it all possible, and simple for not-so-experienced personnel. Haseeb provides easy-to-follow instructions that are listed after the break.

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Well, it's finally here folks. After months and months of tinkering around, Dark Forces Team (DFT) has finally completed their Windows Phone 7 to HTC HD2 port and it's all demonstrated in video glory (after the break). The whole process is demonstrated from flashing to it actually running and it's technically in four parts, but really only the first two you need to watch.

Here's the dirty list on how much works:

  • System starts quickly, after flashing the first boot needs about 20 seconds up to start settings.
  • Battery can be charged normally in WP7 OS. Testers reports that power consumption is normal.
  • Phone functions are working: call answer, dial without problems and good sound quality, speaker volume is very large, volume +,- keys works fine. During a call when you can adjust the volume.
  • SMS send and receive works without problems, display Chinese symbols right.
  • Import contacts from the SIM card works, the Chinese text displayed correctly, contact editing all normal. Setting ringtone working.
  • Camera works, all the features available, including the 720P video. (Photo-Flash sync is slightly buggy, better make photos without flash)
  • full list after the break...

Update: LIVE services seem to have been succesfully cracked, see here.

Xbox LIVE and the Marketplace still seem to be off limits due to Microsoft's advanced security, which is a bit of a downer, but the rest looks pretty solid. No word on when all of this will be made available, though we're sure your local XDA forums will have something on it soon. Question is: Is all of this worth it?

Check out all the videos of it in action after the break to see for yourselves.

Source: DarkForcesTeam; via @chassit

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1 adds membership options has added a membership system to their website. XdaRoms is a relatively new website repository for custom or cooked Roms.  As the inventory of roms build, it may very well become a one stop shop to satisfy your cooked rom appetite. 

XdaRoms membership gives you the ability to post roms and news. We have also been told by the website creator, bowpay, that in the very near future XdaRoms will have a few more new features.

The features include Rom Favorites which will alert members when an update to your favorite rom is posted; Rom Reviews which will give those shopping for roms a feel for what's out there; and Carrier Integration which will tie each rom to the various carriers. It is hopeful that these new features will give romaholics (or the casual flasher) more resources to choose a compatible rom and avoid bricking your Windows Phone.


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Confessions of a ROMaholic


Okay.  So there's no such word as a ROMaholic but I've come to the conclusion that I'm hooked on custom or cooked ROMs. I just haven't decided if that's a good thing or bad.

It took me years to finally take the plunge and flash my first cooked ROM. After what felt like months of research, soul searching, tarot card reading and conquering the fear I would brick my Windows Phone, I flashed.

I've since tried cooking from various chef's (personal favorite is NRGZ28) and tinkered with various radios. All in an attempt to get the perfect Windows Mobile variation and best radio performance available.

Where the addiction comes into play is when I have a perfectly good ROM installed I find myself flashing again when the Chef releases a new version whether I need the updated version or not.  It's not so much an issue of never being satisfied but rather a curiosity on what the new ROM contains. Whether it is the latest version of Bing added to the recipe or a new version of the CoOkie's Home Tab, I feel compelled to flash.

So, for those who do flash cooked ROMs on their Windows Phone, how often is too often? Do you jump on board right away or wait and see if the new versions have any bugs?  Or do you carefully study the change log of the new ROM to see if it's worth the effort?


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MaxRA's Analog Clocks

Are you running Cookies Home Tab modifier on your Windows Phone? Do you use the analog clock feature? If so, you might be interested in MaxRA's Analog Clock collection.

MaxRA's collection includes nineteen different analog styles ranging from the sporty style to those with a little bling.

Simply download and extract the .zip file, install the clock .cab file of your choice, reset the phone and you're in business.


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HTC S740/743 gets HardSPL

If you happen to be using a HTC S740/743 (a.k.a. the Rose) and often wished you could run custom ROMs, today may be yourr lucky day.

XDA Member jockyw2001 has posted a HardSPL kit for the S740/743. The HardSPL basically opens up the phone to allow for the flashing of ROMs.

Presently, there's only one cooked ROM being circulated over at XDA for the HTC Rose and it may take time before the chef's start adding this Windows Phone to the menu.


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The LG eXpo has been out for a few months already (see review) so it's about time some people gave it the traditional 'unofficial' upgrade. Work on a custom ROM and kitchen finally had a break through a few weeks ago at XDA and this past weekend, the first stripped down/improved ROM became available.

XDA user Dark9781 has released his 'Dragonstorm' ROM which brings the following:

  • WM6.5.3 (23563, w/threaded email)
  • Removed AT&T bloatware, LG Idles
  • 187MB Storage/73MB Program 
  • Office 2010
  • .NET CF 3.7 (removed/updated .NET CF 2.0)
  • Added a few minor apps (tip calculator)
  • Various tweaks (still needs LG Expo Tweaker though)

We've been running it for the last 24 hours and we have to give it a big thumbs up (see image to the left). Seeing as the eXpo doesn't have a Windown flag/Start button, having the new one in 6.5.3 near the bottom makes the device much easier to use. The device is noticeably faster, has much more RAM/ROM space available and is just much more organized without all the carrier nonsense

To upgrade, you'll want to follow the directions in this thread. Then download the .exe file from this post and run through the installation. During the install, let it install to the default directory and there's a good chance you'll have to install the USB drivers/restart before you flash. The whole process maybe took 10 minutes and LG phones have a reputation of being nearly "brick proof", so there shouldn't be to much concern. The ROM kitchen is also now available for others to make their own ROMs.

Now the big question: when can we get some Sense 2.5 action with that Snapdragon 1Ghz processor?

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It's been awhile in the making with lots of false releases and half-fixes (Soft SPL anyone?), but at last the full Hard SPL is now available by the DarkForces Team (bepe and Cotulla) for the much coveted HD2 (see hands on and review)

(And yes, it should work on the U.S. T-Mobile version, but we'll have to actually wait for its release to verify)

Get it here.

Not much else to say except find your favorite chef and forum and start browsing for some custom goodness.  As usual, be aware there is a risk with flashing a Hard SPL and using custom ROMs, so feel free to wait on the sidelines for 48 hours, m'kay?

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Hot on the heels of the Sprint Treo Pro's custom ROM comes one for the Sprint Snap, a device which I love and hate (hint: the KB drives me nuts).

As usual, credit goes to those mavericks at XDA.  Specifically jockyw2001, who did the HardSPL to unlock the ROM and ookba who brings a beautiful WM6.5 custom job with all sorts of goodies loaded up.

It's a pretty basic install:

  1. Run HardSPL
  2. Run SDA Application Unlock,
  3. Install Custom ROM

So how is WM6.5 for Standard?  Pretty. It's zippy, looks nice and works.

Ookba has done a great job of cooking all sorts of customizations, including Titanium Weather (similar to NRG Weather), button configuration utility, HTC UI Tweaks, IE keymaps, HTC Comm Manager, Skyfire, Opera Mini, HTC's Unlock screen...basically it feels more like the Verizon Ozone now (except the KB).

After the jump are a few screenshots. Remember, it's always nice to tip or at least give a thanks to these folks for all the hard work!

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