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How to Root the HTC Sensation Running on Official ICS Firmware

HTC Sensation Android 4.0 ICS

Regardless of how well the HTC One lineup is doing right now, the Taiwanese manufacturer also has to consider its past flagship devices, and amongst them we can find a handset that sold in quite large numbers, the HTC Sensation. Although HTC took its sweet time upgrading its former flagship device to Android 4.0 ICS, it didn’t quite end up like what the users would have hoped. Instead of sticking with the more modern, fast and less resource hogging HTC Sense 4.0, the Taiwanese manufacturer decided to stick with the less responsive HTC Sense 3.6. As far as we are concerned, this was clearly a marketing strategy aimed at setting apart the new and the old smartphone ranges, and by the looks of it, it has proven itself quite successful.

Along with the official ICS update that HTC pushed to their Sensation, there was a big question mark regarding the amount of work it would take to root the new firmware. Thanks to the unlocked bootloader policy maintained by HTC it looks like rooting the ICS running Sensation can be easily done via an All in One application, but it does require the presence of a computer. The goal of this article is to provide you with a safe, easy and fast way of rooting your HTC Sensation if you are still running on the official Android 4.0 ICS Firmware. This should prove useful for those running the 1.27.00 firmware version who want to root their device but do not want to S-Off it.

As always, rooting your HTC Sensation will come with its price: losing your warranty. Do not be alarmed as you can always switch back to the official unrooted software with ease, so if you are ok with this you should read our disclaimer notice: This software is not our creation so we must warn you that you cannot hold us responsible for any damage that might occur to your device by following the procedures in this guide. However, we will try to help you sort out any glitches or problems that might arise by following the steps in this guide to the extent our knowledge limits us. The procedure we will be undertaking in the next lines has been tested and confirmed as working by numerous Sensation owners.

Rooting your HTC Sensation with this method should not corrupt the personal data stored on your device, but it is always better to have a backup than regret losing something later on. To this extent we have summed up a small number of apps and procedures that should help both backup and restore your data if needed after the rooting process is complete.

  • Text messages – We will back them up with the following application : SMS Backup & Restore
  • Phone Contacts –  You can simply synchronize them to your Gmail account or export them to the micro SD card as a .vcf file
  • Call Log – We will use the following application to backup your call log : Call Log Backup and Restore
  • Pictures, Music, Videos, and other files – Simply copy them to your microSD card.
  • Internet & MMS Settings – Write down all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”

As we mentioned earlier, this procedure requires a computer to perform, and thus you will have to make sure that both your PC and your HTC Sensation meet some minimum safety requirements. These requirements are in place to ensure that you do not brick your device so please follow them carefully:

  • Make sure to charge your HTC Sensation to full or to a minimum of 50% of its battery capacity to minimize the risk of your phone powering off during the updating process. If it does power off there is a high risk of it turning into an expensive brick.
  • Due to the fact that this is a tethered process, you will also have to enable the USB Debugging feature in your Sensation. This can be done from the following path: Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging.
  • The last requirement is that you disable or uninstall any antivirus or other security related software on your computer. The reason behind this is simple: some of the aforementioned software can block some critical parts of the rooting program.

After you have met all of the requirements above you can safely proceed to the last part of our guide. This is the part where we will actually be rooting your HTC Sensation. As this is a delicate procedure we strongly advise you not to stray from the steps below and not to skip any of them:

  • We will begin by downloading three files: HTC All in One Rooting Tool Kit – this is the actual rooting software, CWM Recovery – the best custom recovery, Super User Zip Package – the software that allows or denies other programs root access.
  • After downloading all the files above you will have to extract the HTC All in One Rooting Tool Kit Zip archive to an easily reachable folder on your PC. We recommend extracting it to your Desktop.
  • Now you will have to copy the Super User Zip package to the root of your HTC Sensation’s memory card. Do not place it into any sub folders as you will have a harder time finding it later.
  • Next up you will have to connect your HTC Sensation to your computer using the charge only mode and via the original USB cable. This is also the last chance to make sure that the USB Debugging is enabled on the Android smartphone.
  • In the fifth step you will have to open the folder where you have extracted the rooting program earlier and start the One X.exe application. Even though the name says One X it does indeed work with your Sensation if you use the correct files.
  • Now you will have to unlock the bootloader of your HTC Sensation. You can do so either by selecting the step labeled as unlock bootloader in the top left box in the One X.exe application or by going to this official HTC dev website and following the instructions from there.
  • Next you will have to rename the Clockwork Mod Recovery file downloaded earlier to CWM5827 and then copy the modified file to the “HTC One X toolkit folder”/Data folder/recoveries and replace the one inside. This will replace the recovery for the HTC One X with the one for your Sensation.
  • Now you will have to open the HTC One X program again and select the CWM recovery in the top right box and then press the Flash button underneath it.
HTC Sensation Rooting Tool

HTC Sensation Rooting Tool

  • Once the ClockworkMod Recovery has been flashed you will have to disconnect it from the PC and reboot your device into it. The easiest way to do this is to shut down your Sensation and then press the Volume Down button + Power Button and wait for the HBOOT screen to appear. One it is there do not touch the device for a couple of seconds, until some green text flashes. After this simply select the Recovery option by navigating with the Volume Up and Volume Down keys, and press the power button again.
  • Now you will have to flash the Super User Zip you have placed in the root of your memory card. To do this simply select the following from the main screen of the CWM Recovery: Install zip from sd card > Choose zip from sd card. Now you will have to navigate to the Super User Zip file and select it.
  • In the last step you will have to wait a couple of seconds for the file to be flashed after which you will simply have to press the back key on your device and select the Reboot now option from the main menu of the recovery.

Once your HTC Sensation has restarted you shouldn’t see anything different than before, but if you go into the application drawer, you should see a new app called Super User. Whenever another application will need root rights, this is the program that will allow or deny permission to access all the folders on your smartphone.

If you encounter any issues during or after the rooting process, you should simply restart the guide above and make sure you undertake all the steps in the right order. If you are still having trouble with this procedure please write us a line below in the comments section so we can try to help you.

If everything went smoothly you should now have a fully rooted HTC Sensation running on the official Android 4.0 ICS Firmware and that you have left now to do is to enjoy the benefits of root enabled applications and maybe even go as far as upgrading your device with one of the many customs ROM’s available for it.

HTC Sensation Articles

  • David

    Great explanation, I’ll try it right now Thanks 🙂

    • nyiko

      did u get it right? i failed what a time waste

  • Nitharshan

    There’s a probleme with the SuperUser zip Package, the link doesn’t work, it shows a message that the attached file isn’t available.
    Thanks by advance !

  • Justin

    I have a problem at the last step. According to xda forum, i do command “Boot to Recovery”, which is another way to go to the CWM recovery mode i guess. However i after i pressed the button my phone reboot and stuck at the HTC white screen. Also i can only find the zip file in the CWM recovery mode but not others right? How do i know that my fone has installed the CWM or not? Thanks

  • mark

    yeah the super link doesnt work. Also I have managed to get the android market app on my ph and also the market enable but when I try to open the app it crashes.
    Do I have to root the ph for them to work?


  • munkeeboy2

    thanx for this. new to rooting, tried once before and didnt get far. really good step by step guide. easy. now just need to have a play with some roms

  • ‘Ger Nachtrijder

    Will this method destroy all installed apps, data & settings or will it be preserved ?

  • asdfas

    please make the super user zip link work…

  • I am getting this “failed” error while flashing the CWM recovery with the OneX.exe

  • joe user

    You’ve stated, “Rooting your HTC Sensation with this method should not corrupt the personal data stored on your device”…

    However, HTCDev.com clearly states: “unlocking the bootloader will delete all personal data from your device”

    So which is it?

  • Atashamul

    does unlocking boot loader delete all my data?

  • Arman

    Just done it , gr8 , tnx
    be careful all Ur data would be deleted

  • greenrunner9

    can this be used for mac

  • Luke

    when i flash the recovery it says server not running and device not found. any ideas what i can do to fix this?

  • Shaggy

    Dear author, I have followed the step you said above, I got the super user app in my drawer. Now tell me plz that how can I install Custom ROM in my HTC? I need steps just like you mentioned above.

  • Muhammad Syauqi Asyraf Bin Ahm

    yeahhhhh,,,its work!!!!! thanks a lot… 🙂

  • nyiko

    this method failed it doesnt work tried several times, my advice dont try it waste of energy

  • Solal

    You forgot to link the toolkit!

  • Faithlarge

    Wow. Cant thank u enough. After several attempts of rooting from various sites, i stumbled on this. And boy is my phone rooted!!! Really apreciate your work. I use HTC Sensation 2710e Android 4.0.3 HBOOT version 1.27.0000 but all one needs to do before rooting is to ensure you google search the software listed by the poster and install updated ones, before you commence. Once again, thanks a million

  • bbbooost

    There is now an all-in-one-version kit for htc sensation. Download it and extract it. HOWEVER, and this one wasted an hour of my time, rename the file from “htc sensation all-in-one…. etc”. to simply “Sensation” and you will be able to get the token id.

  • Sophia

    Things start to not work starting here:

    Next you will have to rename the Clockwork Mod Recovery file downloaded earlier to CWM5827 and then copy the modified file to the “HTC One X toolkit folder”/Data folder/recoveries and replace the one inside. This will replace the recovery for the HTC One X with the one for your Sensation.

    Now you will have to open the HTC One X program again and select the CWM recovery in the top right box and then press the Flash button underneath it.

    I did that, and when I tried to open Recovery my phone gets stuck on a picture with the phone and the “warning” logo. I went and moved the entire Super User Zip folder into my phone SD card, and still I get the same picture.
    The HTC One X program also does not show CWM, but instead shows “Your Own Recovery”.
    Am I missing something?

  • Richard Salandy

    thanx i finally got my htc sensation 4g rooted. thanx a million plus one