I have my HTC Cha Cha for more than six months now. Their qwerty keyboard was one of the reason why I chose this model over the full screen display version because of the ease of typing. However HTC Cha Cha is considered a budget end mobile phone and thus the provided internal ROM memory is severely limited at 150MB. I read somewhere the reason for such low memory is because this mobile was just meant for simple users who would just want the phone for simple communication and not install much application. Boy did HTC get it wrong. Before even installing any other apps the build in apps (and other bloatwares) and other system function already took up more than 50% of the 150MB available and the user ended up with about 70MB. And when you completed putting a few essential apps and signing up the various accounts like emails, facebook, twitter, etc and downloading your gmail contacts you would be down to about 20MB.
You could try using App2SD to free up some memory but that only shift a partial section of the app software. The cache and data still need to reside in the main internal ROM memory. You could use aggressive app cache cleaner and task killer or even wipe out some data (not advisable to clear data as that would cause the app to lose settings and worse, won’t work properly) to help out a bit, but more often than not, those were just stop gap measure. Before long, I would get a warning about low memory whenever I hit a balance of less than 15MB.
So finally no choice but to root my HTC Cha Cha to gain more memory. Many people root their phone to use other non-official ROM by third parties gain additional function or make their phone work differently. For me, I will just stick back with the HTC Cha Cha stock kernal, because there are many other issues when using other ROM. What I want is just more memory so that I can install more useful apps.
However note that it is very difficult to root your phone and you will need several tries using several methods until one works. So get ready to be very frustrated when attempting to root your phone!
My HTC Cha Cha is a S-On type (Security-On), which initially meant there was no way to root it. Due to overwhelming request, HTC provided an unlocker program to unlock the HTC Cha Cha bootloader. It would still be S-On except that you now have access to the system files. However as an S-On type phone you won’t be able to change carriers and unlock the SIM card. Fortunately for me, my phone is not fixed to any telco company as I bought it from the store and not as a package.
Unlocking your HTC Cha Cha
To unlock your HTC Cha Cha head over to HTCDEC
Do read their terms and condition when unlocking your phone as your warranty would be affected if your phone is still within the warranty period.
This info from XDA-Developers forum
This process is made of 3 steps
1. Update HBOOT to support generating device tokens
2. Getting unlocking key from HTC-Dev
3. Unlock bootloader
It was suggested you do a full phone back up as the process will wipe out all your phone data.
STEP 1 – Update HBOOT to support generating device tokens
- Go to http://htcdev.com/
- Click “unlock bootloader” and then “get started”
- On the right, chose HTC Cha Cha from the dropdown
- Click begin unlock bootloader
- Login, or register first, then login
- Confirm the 2 nasty boxes and agree all stuff
- Scroll down, choose your phone version, download RUU
- Run RUU.exe and flash new HBOOT
- Click proceed
- Remove battery, re-insert, boot into bootloader (Power + Vol-)
- Click proceed
- get those 3 files: adb.exe, AdbWinApi.dll, fastboot.exe, read how to get them if you do not have them
- open a terminal as it is done on the site
- enter the command: fastboot oem get_identifier_token
- Copy the identifier token and
- paste it at the bottom of the page
STEP 2 + 3: Getting unlocking key from HTC-Dev
- check your e-mails, click on the link in it
- download attachment
- in the terminal execute: fastboot flash unlocktoken Unlock_code.bin
- with Vol +/- choose to confirm or abort unlocking
- press power to apply
Your mobile device will be Factory Reset and REBOOT.
(Fortunately for me, my HTC Cha Cha did not lose the data, still you should do a backup before doing the unlocking)
Check your HBOOT, first line should show “UNLOCKED”, if you did it right.
Install Clockwork Mod (CWM)
- Download Clockwork Mod file
- Place the file in the root of your MicroSD card
- Reboot your phone and hold volume down button and power button until the bootloader opens.
- It will scan for the CWM file and ask whether you want to update
- Confirm it with yes
- Reboot when done
- Delete the clockwork mod file from your MicroSD card when done to avoid flashing your phone every time your phone reboots.
- To enter into CLOCKWORK MOD (CWM)
- Hold volume down button and power button
- Bootloader will open, select recovery
- You should now be in clockwork Mod
It worked for me but didn’t work with one of my readers, so he managed to find another method which I will detail it here:
Method B – CWM Recovery
1. Download PH06img.zip
2. Open PH06img.zip and extract recovery.img
3. Copy recovery.img in the Android folder used earlier for HTCDEV unlock.
4. Open CMD and cd to that folder that folder
5. Run this in CMD: fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
Now you should have CWM Recovery installed.
If there are no errors, power off (Fast boot disabled in Power options) and then enter bootloader mode with vol down + power and select Recovery to verify the install.
I have three versions of PH06img.zip, of the 3, one was reported not working so I will not include it. Since I couldn’t recall which of these versions worked, I uploaded these two. So try your luck and let me know which one worked, ok?
To Gain Root Access
This step didn’t quite work for me. But you could try see it worked for you.
Download the super user package 3.0.7 (640KB) and place it in your MicroSD card
- Boot into clockword mod and choose install zip from MicroSD card
- Then select the zip location for the superuser file and select it and confirm
- When done click back then reboot system
- If all went well you should be rooted
- Check by opening your app drawer and look for the SuperUser icon
If not, then it didn’t work.
So I tried another method using the Super Tool
- First you will need to install the HTC Sync software, get it from their HTC site
- Download the HTC Super Tools v3 (23MB)
- Enable the USB Debugging mode in your phone and connect your HTC Cha Cha to your PC USB port
- Extract the SuperTool.exe file
- Run the SuperTool.exe file
This won’t be easy either and you will need to try several times and try the various option in the SuperTool. You will also need to keep trying to get your HTC Cha Cha to connect to the PC because during the flashing your mobile will get disconnected from the PC and the rooting will fail. Finally after several frustrating tries I managed to get my HTC Cha Cha rooted using this SuperTool software.
Getting more memory for your HTC Cha Cha using Link2SD (not App2SD)
Once you finally get your HTC Cha Cha rooted, you can jump for joy! Pat yourself on your back and it is time to claim more memory for your memory strap HTC Cha Cha mobile phone.
First you will need to partition your MicoSD card. To partition, I used the Linux Gparted software. And yes, you will need to get it done using Linux and not Windows, sorry! There are other Windows based partition software out there so hunt around if you don’t like and don’t know how to use Linux.
Depending on how you use your mobile phone, usually a 2GB microSD card is fairly sufficient but if you dump a lot of files you will need a bigger microSD card. Leave the first partition as FAT32. This is the original format and needed by Windows to access the files when you connect your mobile phone to the PC. The second partition should be formatted to Ext2 or Ext3, a Linux native format. The second partition cannot be seen by Windows as they don’t have the function to view more than one partition for USB flash drives and memory cards, which is a crying shame.
How much space to allocate? I think 512MB second partition for Link2SD would be plenty. Link2SD is different from App2SD in that not only does it shift the entire android app software, the cache, dalvik cache and some major portion of the data is shifted as well thus freeing up your HTC Cha Cha internal ROM Memory. You can install quite a fairly large amount of android apps before the internal ROM starts to belch and reduce its memory. Note that some app somehow still stores some of its data in the internal ROM memory, but on the whole, most of the time the entire app including its cache, dalvik cache and data are stored in the second partition of the microSD card.
After installing many apps I still have balance of about 50MB. I still have to watch out on some android apps though as some apps do eat into the normal internal memory despite having shifted the app, cache, dalvik cache and data to the second partition.
Also note some apps do leave remnant data in the internal ROM memory, so some user suggest doing a factory reset every 3 months or so. Will see. Because to restore back the data is such tedious task, I probably forego doing this until absolutely necessary.
Download the Link2SD android app from the Play Store (Android Market) via your mobile phone.
Now you can also look through some of the ROM apps in the market and see what they can do for your HTC Cha Cha phone now that you manage to claim back additional extra memory!
HTC Cha Cha is like HTC Cacat. Low memory, low battery power, poor GPS connection. Only thing I liked about it was the QWERTY keyboard for very quick typing. Almost 1-1/2 years on, I see a good alternative from Samsung (forgot name of model) running on Android, price about RM499. It has bigger memory, but not sure on its battery usage. The Samsung screen was not as clear as HTC Cha Cha, but it has bigger display area.
Anyway, I have relegated my HTC Cha Cha as a secondary phone and bought the Nokia Lumia 800 to be used as my main phone. When used as a secondary phone, I didn’t have 3G internet data connection, so I cut out most 3G related apps including emails and that helped with the low memory issue. Running almost on spartan apps, the battery could last longer than a full day for average calls and SMS.
Anyway, I still kinda like the shape, size, and QWERTY keyboard and it was a so-so replacement for my old Palm Centro.