HTC Wildfire S factory ROM update

A relative recently purchased a shiny new HTC Wildfire S from eking.co.nz. The phone itself is fantastic and I’ve had pretty good service from that site, however this particular Wildfire S turned up installed with a Chinese ROM, version 1.35.707. This version has loads of applications specific to China that cannot be removed and waste considerable space. I’m sure they are great for Chinese users but they are completely useless in New Zealand.

So the first step was to locate a suitable factory ROM image, so I decided on the European one. This took a bit of searching, but some ROMs are available from the following URLs. Note that the Wildfire S codename is Marvel (the original Wildfire codename is Buzz).

http://www.shipped-roms.com/index.php?category=android&model=Marvel
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1058089

I went for the Shipped ROMs version which is an official RUU installer from HTC. This contains a European ROM image. I’ve also made a copy available for download below:

HTC_Marvel_Europe_10.35.3029H_7.46.35.08_release_185724_signed.zip (use for SD and GoldCard updates)
10.35.3029H_7.46.35.08_release_185724_signed.exe
HTC Windows Drivers (install these when using Windows-based update)

ROM zip image MD5 sum:
0eb793740771a9d96ae4f5085c431516

Here’s the steps I tried to replace the factory firmware on the Wildfire S. While all three showed promise I ended up having to use the GoldCard method as the phone CID did not match that of the European firmware image, despite the fact that the images are signed by HTC.

If you purchased your phone from Eking and want to perform this I’d recommend going straight to attempt 3.

Note that I take no responsibility for any damage to your phone resulting from any of the instructions on this site!

The end result of the update was a fully functional phone with with an additional 60-70MB of internal storage freed up.

Attempt 1 – Official HTC Update Application (RUU)

My first attempt was to simply run the .exe file. Unfortunately this requires Windows but normally the process is fairly straightforward:

  1. Download and install HTC Sync.
  2. Ensure HTC Sync is not running or uninstall it and leave the HTC drivers installed.
  3. Power on the phone and enable USB debugging mode.
  4. Run the RUU application and follow the steps.

It did show that the update I was applying was actually a downgrade (v1.35.707 to v1.33.401) but it allowed me to proceed anyway. Unfortunately this failed after copying the image to the phone as it said the phone was the wrong type. After disconnecting the phone I powered it on and it still worked as before. Phew!

Attempt 2 – Flashing from the Boot Loader

The Wildfire S is like most HTC phones in that it can be forced to enter the boot loader by holding Volume Down when powering it on. From here it will look for a file named PG76IMG.zip on the root of SD card and attempt to load it if it exists, otherwise it will present the usual Android bootloader menu (text console with a picture of a three Androids at the bottom of the screen).

The neat thing about the Wildfire S supplied here is that it came already supplied in S-OFF mode.

The required zip file can be extracted from the HTC RUU application above. Don’t worry if the Windows built-in zip decompression doesn’t know how to open it; this does not mean that it is corrupt.

  1. Run the RUU application but leave it open at the welcome screen.
  2. Search your temp directory for a file called rom.zip and copy it to the SD card of the phone.
  3. Rename rom.zip to PG76IMG.zip.
  4. Close the RUU application.
  5. Unmount/safely eject the SD card (important!).
  6. Disable fast boot on the phone if it is enabled.
  7. Power off the phone and disconnect it from the USB port.
  8. Hold down the Volume Down button and power on the phone.
  9. When the bootloader screen appears it should locate the the ROM image file.
  10. Begin the update process when prompted.
  11. The phone will go through various update cycles and reboot itself several times.
  12. When the normal HTC splash screen appears it may take some time for the phone to finish booting; give it at least 10 minutes.

If you receive a message saying the update failed because of an incorrect CID (like I did) you will need to perform the GoldCard method below.

Attempt 3 – GoldCard Method

This method overrides the CID check on the phone.

  1. Format an SD card as FAT32 (if not already done).
  2. Boot the phone up with the SD card in it.
  3. Install GoldCard Helper from the Android Market and run it.
  4. Copy the CID.
  5. Visit http://psas.revskills.de/?q=goldcard and enter your email and CID. If you do this on the phone you can paste the CID from the GoldCard Helper app.
  6. When the email arrives it will have an attachment called goldcard.img. Save this somewhere on your computer.
  7. Connect the phone to the computer and mount the SD card on the computer.
  8. Copy the GoldCard image to the SD card.
    • If you use Linux, simply use dd to copy the GoldCard image onto the SD card. You will need to be root or use sudo for this. Also make sure you use the path to the SD card itself, not a partition on it. Mine was /dev/sdb but yours may differ.
      dd if=goldcard.img of=/dev/sdb bs=384
    • If you are stuck with Windows, download and install HxD Hex Editor.
    • Run HxD as Administrator (right-click and select Run as Administrator).
    • Go to Extras > Open Disk.
    • Select the physical SD device, not the logical one. Uncheck the read-only option and open it.
    • Open the goldcard.img file you received in another tab.
    • Select the entire contents of the GoldCard image and save it over the start of the SD device, address range 00000000 to 00000170. Save the changes and close HxD.
  9. Copy the ROM image to the root of the SD card and ensure it is named PG76IMG.zip.
  10. Unmount the SD card and disconnect the phone.
  11. Ensure the phone has fastboot disabled (change in Settings).
  12. Power off the phone.
  13. Hold down the Volume Down button and power it on.
  14. When the boot loader screen appears, release Volume Down.
  15. Confirm the update process when prompted.
  16. The phone will go through various update cycles and reboot itself several times.
  17. When the normal HTC splash screen appears it may take some time for the phone to finish booting; give it at least 10 minutes.
  18. Once the phone is back to normal operation, zero out the first 512 bytes of the SD card to destroy the GoldCard information.
    • In Linux simply run (as root), assuming your SD card is /dev/sdb:
      dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=384 count=1
    • In Windows just use HxD to overwrite 00000000 through 00000170 with zeros and save.
  19. Enjoy!
  20. Make a donation to RevSkills for their awesome GoldCard generator.

22 Responses to HTC Wildfire S factory ROM update

  1. name says:

    doesn’t work for me, tried it with two different SD cards, both gold cards. it says always that the firmware is not new enough=>version check is not disabled

  2. Andy says:

    There’s a slightly easier way of doing the Goldcard method:

    1. Install GoldCard Helper from the Android Market and run it.
    2. Copy the CID.
    3. Visit http://psas.revskills.de/?q=goldcard and enter your email and CID. If you do this on the phone you can paste the CID from the GoldCard Helper app, so I’d recommend doing that.
    4. When the email arrives it will have an attachment called goldcard.img. Save this somewhere on your computer.
    5. Download the Gold Card Tool from Modaco and follow the instructions from here – http://android.modaco.com/content/software/308798/pc-application-goldcardtool/
    6. Copy the ROM image to the root of the SD card and ensure it is named PG76IMG.zip.
    7. Power off the phone.
    8. Hold down the Volume Down button and power it on.
    9. When the boot loader screen appears, release Volume Down.
    10. Confirm the update process when prompted.

    I didn’t format the SD card – I just used the one that was in my girlfriend’s phone and didn’t even need to wipe any of the data. This method and the Shipped ROMs PG76IMG.zip file worked perfectly and left her with a tidier-looking phone without all of the Vodafone UK bloatware.

    I’d also recommend leaving the Goldcard partition in place – without it, any stock OTA updates will fail and you might find yourself with a constantly rebooting phone (I found that out the hard way with my Desire).

  3. Sammy says:

    Hi,

    I’m in the same situation (Wildfire S with 1.35…. ROM with only English/HongKong language…)

    I tried all your steps with the goldcard method, but always get a “Main Version is Older” error after loading/checking the PG76IMG.zip file in the bootmenu.

    • Sammy says:

      I found out that my current ROM (the HongKong one) has bootloader 1.03 and not the 0.90.
      I think that that’s the reason I can’t downgrade the HBOOT….

  4. Hey I just got an HTC Wildfire from eking so am about to try your suggestions but just wondered if that was the reason why it thinks I am roaming?

  5. Jack says:

    Thank you so much for an excellent article.

    Unfortunately I can’t get it working, I get an error while trying the goldcard method:

    Main Version is older!

    I do not believe hboot is the problem because the boot screen describes it has version 0.90.0000, which matches what we’re using here if i’m not mistaken.

    I have no proper idea why this is happening, has anyone seen this problem? I’m quite eager to know. Thanks

  6. Gruel says:

    Anyone who has the “main version is older error” have a look at this tutorial at XDA Developers: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1162971

  7. Mossi says:

    Can’t find the rom.zip file. Where to look for?

  8. I have this problem – when i try to boot the phone with SD card in it says that the zip file is missing or something like it…

  9. Does this turn an “S-ON” Wildfire S to “S-OFF”?

  10. nikhil says:

    does this work for wildfire s running 2.3.3 wid S-on

  11. I have tried all 3 methods and on the 3rd one I have created the gold card and put the right PG76IMG.zip file onto it and loaded the bootloader and it finds the file. But it then checks the PG76IMG.zip file and tells me ‘CID incorrect’. This must mean that the gold card hasn’t worked properly, right?

    I have tried making my SD card into a GoldCard with both the way suggested in this article and with GoldCard Tool (found on the internet) and I’ve made sure to follow the instructions correctly so I can’t tell what the problem is. My phone is a HTC Wildfire S (White) bought on and using the Vodafone IE (Ireland) network. I have been doing this to a spare micro SD card I have instead of the 2GB one supplied (which is the one I use generally for my phone with all my files). Is this wrong?

    Could someone please help me out?

  12. clol says:

    I cant see the rom zip when running the ruu,where can i find the rom zip when i using the laptop window 7 or window xp

  13. clol says:

    Why nothing happen when i create the goldcard img to sd card use goldcard tool ?????

  14. Satish says:

    Dear NZLamb Team,

    I have this HTC WS mobile from Telstra which was a prepaid one, and ebay seller was unlocked and selling it in ebay. Basicaly it is just one back I got this phone, I was searching for how to enable the SD card when connected to desktop, but I find this site interesting site. I go through the steps mentioned above, I prepared all required files. Then I followed the Attempt – 3 as my selection. Except for this step:

    “[Select the entire contents of the GoldCard image and save it over the start of the SD device, address range 00000000 to 00000170. Save the changes and close HxD.]”
    Every thing went well, atlast several attempts of the above step I sucedded In rebooting it.
    And now all the annoying Telstra stuff had gone, now I am enjoying like as company branded not like carrier one and using my different network sim happily.

    Anyhow thanks for th NZLamb for publishing this.

  15. jasonjlewis says:

    The goldcard method worked on my HTC Wildfire s that was bought in the UK from 3 network Good Job. Finally i get more space on my phone to install the apps I need.

  16. cinnamongirl says:

    hi there. I found two rom.zip files, each with same date/timestamp.
    Any ideas ?

  17. ian says:

    Quick question – what language packs are included in the European factory ROM listed? I am trying to find one with French as I only have English(Indian).
    Thanks

  18. nartu says:

    thank you!
    my wildfire s is now updated from 2.3.3 to 2.3.5.
    and i got no orange apps any more… great!
    nartu

  19. Danilo says:

    Finally something that worked for me. I used a combination of Option 2 (used RUU to get the rom.zip) and Option 3 (goldcard). On top of this, I had to lock my Wildfire S (fastboot oem lock), otherwise update would fail with “wrong image file”.

  20. tanks،ممنون says:

    very good

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