Share this Story

How to: Root the HTC Thunderbolt and Unlock the Bootloader


The amazing hackers in the Android community took on the HTC Thunderbolt the minute it was released and stumbled upon some not-so-exciting news.  It had been completely locked down like no other HTC device in history.  While many were quick to yell at HTC, I’m pointing fingers at Verizon and will save further comment for another time.  The good news is, Team AndIRC and Scotty2 weren’t about to be stopped and permanently rooted it while also unlocking the bootloader and providing S-OFF.

So who’s ready for some TBolt unlocking?  Before you say yes, you need to be thoroughly warned.  This requires adb, a mega-list of commands and is one of the most intense rooting procedures I’ve seen in a long time.  You are essentially, flashing old system software, unlocking the bootloader, and then re-flashing the release software with S-OFF to open your phone up.  Again, this is intense and should only be attempted by those familiar with adb.  

*This is not for beginners.

*Fully charge your device before proceeding.

*Read the entire list of instructions at least once through.

*I have not attempted this, but our man Picolas has with success.

*Again, this is not for beginners. This could brick your phone.

Step 1


First, download these files:

RUU_Mecha_VERIZON_WWE_1.03.605.10_Radio_1.02.00.01 03_2r_NV_8k_1.37_9k_1.52_release_165253 (md5sum : aae974054fc3aed275ba3596480ccd5b):

Mirrors for the package (contains busybox, wpthis, psneuter, su, readme.txt, misc.img, and hbooteng.nb0) (md5sum : 3b359efd76aac456ba7fb0d6972de3af):

Custom RUU mirrors (md5sum : aff07b8256628a175c40938d408fa16f):

Step 2

Note that adb is required.

Push misc.img, busybox, and psnueter using the following commands:

adb push psneuter /data/local/
adb push busybox /data/local/
adb push misc.img /data/local/
adb shell chmod 777 /data/local/psneuter
adb shell chmod 777 /data/local/busybox

Step 3

This step will gain temp root and flash the custom misc.img. Run:

adb shell

Now the shell should display “$”.



You will now be kicked out of adb, and adb will restart as root. Let’s confirm the md5 of misc.img:

adb shell

At this point, the shell should display “#”.


/data/local/busybox md5sum /data/local/misc.img

Output should be “c88dd947eb3b36eec90503a3525ae0de.” If it’s anything else, re-download the file and try again.

Now let’s write misc.img:

dd if=/data/local/misc.img of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p17

Step 4

Here you will rename the downgrade RUU as PG05IMG.zip and place it on your SD card. Then, run the following command:

adb reboot bootloader

Choose the bootloader option and press power; let the ROM flash. When asked to upgrade, choose yes. Don’t freak, it’s a long reboot.  Once done, reboot and delete PG05IMG.zip from your SD card.

Set up the two part exploit, to gain root and unlock MMC.

Push wpthis, busybox, and psnueter:

adb push psneuter /data/local/
adb push busybox /data/local/
adb push wpthis /data/local/
adb shell chmod 777 /data/local/psneuter
adb shell chmod 777 /data/local/busybox
adb shell chmod 777 /data/local/wpthis

Step 5

Next, enter the following commands:

adb shell
To unlock eMMC:
adb shell

Step 6

Please pay attention – this is very important. This step involves a small chance of bricking if you mess up.

To push the eng bootloader:

adb push hbooteng.nb0 /data/local/
adb shell
/data/local/busybox md5sum /data/local/hbooteng.nb0

If the output does not match “6991368ee2deaf182048a3ed9d3c0fcb” exactly, stop, delete it, and re-download it. Otherwise, continue.

Now we will write the new bootloader.

dd if=/data/local/hbooteng.nb0 of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p18

Confirm proper write:

/data/local/busybox md5sum /dev/block/mmcblk0p18

If the output does not match “6991368ee2deaf182048a3ed9d3c0fcb,” try again; if it still doesn’t work, seek help from chat.andirc.net in channel #thunderbolt.

Now, reboot your phone and put the custom RUU (PG05IMG.zip) on your SD card. Then flash it. This will upgrade you to release firmware with an S-OFF bootloader.

Next, run this command:

adb reboot bootloader

After it flashes, you will be running release firmware with S-OFF.

Step 7

Push SU, busybox, and psneuter:

adb push psneuter /data/local/
adb push busybox /data/local/
adb push su /data/local/
adb shell chmod 777 /data/local/psneuter
adb shell chmod 777 /data/local/busybox

To gain root:

adb shell

The following will remount /system and set up SU:

adb shell
mount -o remount,rw -t ext3 /dev/block/mmcblk0p25 /system
/data/local/busybox cp /data/local/su /system/xbin/su
chown 0:0 /system/xbin/su
chmod 6755 /system/xbin/su

Step 8

Install Superuser from the Market.

Reboot your phone. You should now have full root permissions.

Step 9

Finally, install ROM Manager and flash the ThunderBolt recovery.


If you have problems getting SU to work, a couple extra reboots will likely fix it. If you still have problems, come to the chat: irc.andirc.net #thunderbolt or use http://chat.andirc.net:9090/?channels=#thunderbolt.

And for those of you that have completed this, please leave any tips you can in the comments.

*Last note* – We’ll sit back and hope for something simpler from the guys at unrevoked, but it could be a bit.

Via:  XDA, Android Police

  • Pete61

    What carriers can I use ? Does it have to be on a contract can I use month to month and can I use Sprint ,Ty to those who share their knowledge Pete.

  • Richbbqs

    Does anyone know if rooting the thunderbolt will allow AutoAnswer apps to work again?
    The MODIFY_PHONE_STATE permission was marked as “for system use only” in Android 2.3.While this was never intended for developers and publicly endorsed by Google, there are hundreds
     of apps in the marketplace using it. Unfortunately, a seemingly innocent checking by the Android folks has now crippled many popular apps for Android 2.3+.

  • Droid-life Pat

    I always forget the SD card must be FAT32. It gets me every time.

  • http://profiles.google.com/drastik651 Jim Kalista

    I need some help, for some reason i get to step 4 and where you go to flash the file it just checks it, does not flash it. All the md5 checksums match, and I have rooted my wifes TB using the same instructions. My adb is up to date with revision 12, I just cant see why it won’t work. please help

  • http://profiles.google.com/drastik651 Jim Kalista

    can anyone

  • Panda_rec

    I had an issue with step 4 when you Choose the bootloader option and press power; let the ROM flash. When asked to upgrade, choose yes. I does not ask me to upgrade is there a reason why? And one more thing does it matter if the 3 downloaded files are in winrar files?