I recently decided to try Gingerbread, in the form of the popular Cyanogen Mod 7 on my HTC Desire.

How did I do this and what was the end result?

First off, it requires a rooted phone with recovery installed. In my case I had previously rooted the phone and installed ClockWorkMod recovery 2.5.0.7 so that I could upgrade to Froyo, and since 3 were dragging their heels with the OTA update.

You can see how I did the root and upgrade here: Froyo at Last. Remember, you do this at your own risk and I’m not responsible if you brick your phone.

So, my phone is rooted and has recovery installed. Next I installed ROM Manager Premium from the Android Market.

Why did I pay for this? Put simply, it’s because it gives you instant access to lots of different ROMS, not just those from Cyanogen, and all available for download to your SD card, ready for you to install.

There are also a number of other useful features, such as backing up your current ROM prior to any upgrades. I can’t recommend backing up enough before attempting anything like this, as you can restore your phone back to it’s former glory in minutes.

So, my phone is now backed up, and I’ve chosen my Cyanogen ROM and downloaded it to my SD card. I chose the latest at the time, 7.0.3, tough I believe this has now been superceded by 7.1.0-RC1.

Be aware that the Google Apps are not included in the standard build, and you will be asked by ROM Manager if you want to download them. If you don’t, it means no Maps, Navigation, GMail or even Market, so I did.

In ROM Manager, choose ‘Install ROM from SD card. Choose the ROM you just downloaded, and follow the on screen propmts.

Your phone should boot into recovery and start the firmware upgrade automatically, rebooting into the new F/W once completed.

If you have included the Google Apps, you then go into the setup wizard and put in your credentials as you would a new phone. If you didn’t, you’l get a pretty much a vanilla Android front screen.

Ultimately, I rolled back from this ROM because it does not include the Sense UI, which is one of the things that I love about my Desire, and it left me feeling that I was missing certain things that I wanted to have.

HTC are now possibly rolling out a version of Gingerbread for Desire soon, so I may wait for that and see if it satisfies my  upgrade needs.

That said, there are a few other ROMs out there other than Cyanogen, so I’ll have to keep looking and see what I can find.

Have fun trying a new ROM, but remember, if you brick it, it’s your fault, not mine!

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