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How To Permanently Root HTC Inspire 4G With Hack Kit

Root HTC Inspire 4GThe AT&T HTC Inspire 4G is basically the same phone as the HTC Desire HD, with a few modifications and for this reason, rooting it has been quick after its release just a few days back. If you were one of the first ones to get your hands on this Android phone immediately after its release and want to root it, read on for our complete guide. This method also SIM-unlocks your phone and lets you gain S-OFF on it for complete access.

This rooting method and the Hack Kit have been shared with us by XDA-Developers forum member attn1 and they basically utilize the same methods used for Desire HD and specifically, the Telus Desire HD that we have been featuring here recently.

One limitation of this method is that when it downgrades to the stock Desire HD ROM to be able to S-OFF the device, you lose the sound. That is due to different sound hardware used in the phone. This can be fixed by later installing a custom ROM or kernel intended for the Inspire 4G with the sound issue fixed. See the end of this guide for one such ROM that fixes this issue.

Disclaimer: Please follow this guide at your own risk. AddictiveTips will not be liable if your device gets damaged or bricked during the process.

Update: XDA-Developers forum member r34p3rex has uploaded a video of this guide. Please not that there might be a minor difference in the end: the video does not involve restoring the shipped radio and just finishes with the ClockworkMod recovery installation.


Requirements (updated):

  • Create a Gold Card by following our guide on how to make a Gold Card for HTC Desire HD.
  • The latest version of HTC Sync installed (required for the phone’s drivers) HTC Sync drivers aren’t reliable for this guide. Get (https://droid.neolobster.com/roms/USB_driver_20101122_release.zip) these latest drivers from HTC instead.
  • (https://droid.neolobster.com/roms/ace-hack-kit-v002.tar.gz) HTC Inspire 4G Hack Kit v2 (extract to your computer)
  • (https://droid.neolobster.com/roms/ace-hack-kit-docs-3.zip) HTC Inspire 4G Hack Kit v3 update (extract and then replace the files in the Hack Kit v2 with these)
  • HTC Inspire 4G Hack Kit v9 (extract to your computer)
  • Backup any data on your phone’s internal memory before continuing. SD Card data will remain safe.


UPDATE: At the time of writing of this post, the latest version of the hack kit was 4, and by now version 9 is out. Therefore, make sure you go through any instructions included in the kit before proceeding with these steps and in case of any differences, follow the instructions provided with the updated hack-kit instead. Though the bulk of the method should remain the same.

Step 1 – Downgrading to a HTC Desire HD stock ROM:

  1. Enable USB Debugging on your computer from Settings > Applications > Development and connect it to your computer via USB in charge-only mode.
  2. You will be told to enter several commands throughout this guide. Do follow any on-screen instructions that you might get upon entering those commands.
  3. Launch a Command Prompt window as administrator (using right-click), browse to the folder where you extracted the HTC Inspire 4G Hack Kit and enter this command:
    hackerize-ace install-downgrade
  4. Once your device reboots in the white FASTBOOT screen, press the power button once and follow any instructions that you get on the phone’s screen to install the stock ROM.
  5. Once the process is complete, reboot your phone normally if it hasn’t rebooted automatically.
  6. Enable USB Debugging again and now enter this command in the same Command Prompt window:
    hackerize-ace clean
  7. The downgrade process is complete. Keep the Command Prompt window open till the end of the guide as we will keep on using it in the upcoming steps.

Step 2 – Gaining Temporary Root, S-OFF and Permanent Root:

  1. In the still-open command prompt window, enter this command:
    hackerize-ace rage
  2. Once this process is complete, launch Terminal Emulator on your phone (install it from Android Market if it isn’t already there) and enter this command in it:
  3. Wait till you see the output saying ‘Forked #### childs.’ and exit Terminal Emulator by going to Menu > Reset term.
  4. Launch Terminal Emulator again. It will force-close. Launch it yet again and it will successfully open with # prompt instead of $, indicating temporary root access.
  5. To make the root access permanent, enter the following commands in Terminal Emulator:
    cd /data/local
    ./gfree -f

You should now have permanent root access on your device but there are still a few steps left.

Step 3 – Installing ClockworkMod Recovery:

  1. Install ROM Manager from Android Market and launch it.
  2. Tap on the first option that says ‘Install ClockworkMod Recovery’ and select your device from the list of devices. If HTC Inspire 4G isn’t listed, simply select HTC Desire HD and provide root permissions when requested.
  3. Wait patiently while ROM Manager installs the recovery.
  4. The latest version of ROM Manager will install ClockworkMod Recovery 3 but that version will not work with flashing Froyo ROMs as it is meant for Gingerbread ROMs only. You must therefore flash an earlier version of ClickworkMod Recovery now. To do this, scroll down in ROM Manager, tap ‘All ClockworkMod Recoveries’ and select ‘’.
  5. Once it is installed, scroll up again and tap ‘Reboot into recovery’. This should finalize installing the recovery.
  6. Once you have successfully rebooted into recovery, reboot again from the first recovery option to get back to Android.

Step 4 – Restoring Shipped Radio:

  1. Make sure USB debugging is enabled on your phone.
  2. Enter these commands in the still-open Command Prompt window:
    hackerize-ace setup-radio
    hackerize-ace flash-radio
  3. Once the phone reboots into fastboot, press the ‘power’ button once and follow any on-screen instructions that you get to install the radio.
  4. Reboot the device (if it doesn’t reboot automatically) once the process is complete.
  5. Finally, enter this command in the still-open Command Prompt window:
    hackerize-ace clean

Congratulations – you now have a fully rooted HTC Inspire 4G with S-OFF and a custom recovery installed. You should now be able to install any apps on it that require root access as well as any custom ROMs for this device. In fact you will have to flash a custom ROM right away to get sound fixed, as we mentioned earlier. To do that, see our guide on installing Inspired DHD rooted Android ROM on HTC Inspire 4G.

In case of any problems with this method, visit this XDA-Developers forum thread and ask there.


    • I have htc inspire 4g with 2.3.3 but its not rooted how can i root htc inspire 4g 2.3.3

  1. Hi I was wondering what I do with the HTC Drivers? there doesn’t seem to be a setup or executable file to install them..?

  2. Hi, I want to know if I root my phone and I don’t like it, can I run the factory data reset and undo the root? Can somebody explain it better to me? I’m new in this..


    so her is the comment:

    *****HEY EVERYBODY!!! just go to settings-

    Applications-manage applications-All-

    customizable settings provider- then press clear

    data-press back once-find settings-press clear

    data-than you should find in applications

    “unknown sources” *****


  5. I just bought my inspire and i heard rooting it is amazing, i also heard that rooting is pretty dangerous. Are there any fixes if the root process goes wrong? is there anyway to restore it back to out of the box state?

  6. I tried to the kack kit v9 but the link says file not found? WTF? any help, or at lest point to a server with the actual file

  7. uhmmmm i installed a rom without downgrading the CWM Recovery…. my inspire now hangs in the boot screen because there are no files it recognizes on my SD, How do you fix this?

  8. Hey I just wanted to say thank you! Followed your instructions along with the instructions included with the hack kit. HTC Inspire 4g rooted and working with CM7! Thanks!

    • Check that…now running Android Revolution HD 4.0. CM7 is a bit too striped down for me. Although I don’t use Sense UI (I use Launcher Pro), I do like how Sense handles contacts, I also like Sense’s phone and clock app (not widget).

  9. same problem please help…

    im stuck at step 2 sec. 5

    this works fine
    cd /data/local
    ./gfree -f

    i type this

    and it says /data/local/tmp/root : not found

  10. after reboot and it searches the card it sayd wrong version, old version and i have to reboot to normal. any sugestions?

  11. im stuck at step 2 sec. 5

    this works fine
    cd /data/local
    ./gfree -f

    i type this

    and it says /data/local/tmp/root : not found

    please help it took 2 weeks to get this far and also no contacts show on my phone from sim

  12. Not to sound like a noob, but, when you say “HTC Sync drivers aren’t reliable for this guide. Get these latest drivers from HTC instead.”

    after you get “these latest drivers” what are you supposed to do with them?

  13. I get “error: device not found” when I try to run hackerize-ace install-downgrade. Any idea what the problem could be?

  14. Hi Haroon, did you do it in windows 7? i try it in xp but when eboot to fastboot ask for android 1.0 drivers and no one works, did you have those drivers?


  15. Step 1.1 is somewhat misleading. It states “Enable USB Debugging on your computer…” I believe the author meant “Enable USB Debugging on your phone…” as the steps listed are to enable debugging on your phone

    • Thanks for the instructions. Can you please provide detailed information about your Android development environment? For example, where did you learn to code? What tools do you use? What specific files did you change? If you ran a Diff on the Android source from ATT and your Android source code (or whatever is different) can you please post this on the website.

      Teach a person to fish, she can feed herself…

  16. I just rooted my HTC Inspire and I installed the Android Revolution Rom, after i did all that do i still need the gold card in my phone, or can i switch back to my bigger sd card

    • Let’s put it this way…if you make a mistake with the procedure, there can be a high risk but if you follow it to the letter, the risk will still be there but negligible. Most people who followed the guide did not brick their devices.

  17. please help me. I get to the part where I open the terminal on my phone and input the “/data/local/tmp/rage”, after i do that the phone looks like it does a fast reboot meaning the status bar on top is still there but the screen goes into the “HTC Rethink” booting screen. Once that is up, i reopen terminal to see if the $ turns into # and it does not. I noticed that it installed some apps, ROM manager and VISIONary. I continue just inputting the rest of the command ./gfree -f
    but says “Module failed to load: Operation not permitted”. Can someone help me get perminent root access on the HTC Inspire? I did the downgrade to the Desire HD but is there anyway to see if it went via? Thanks a million!

    • If for any reason the process gets interrupted, try the commands from scratch again. That should (hopefully) fix most issues.

    • Same! after doing all the goldcard and hackerize-ace install-downgrade procedure, I do the booting thing and it says “Model ID incorrect!” 🙁


    • Regarding the incorrect Model ID, you must format the SD card as a physical disk with a single primary partition and no logical partition(s) before you make a gold card, and that should fix the problem.

    • You use it when attempting to install a ROM. Just put the ROM on that SD card and you should be able to flash it.

  18. hack kit v6 link is also broken plus the gold hex editor makes corrupted sd cards. 6 hours of my life waisted with these less than helpful tools. thanks anyway.

    • Updated the guide with Hack Kit v9. And the Gold Card method has worked for a lot of users. Trying again might help.

  19. Use this file instead of v3. Apply the same steps.
    Source: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=952352

  20. this link is broken…
    # HTC Inspire 4G Hack Kit v3 update (extract and then replace the files in the Hack Kit v2 with these

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