Rom Manager is one of the must have/most used applications for rooted users. You can flash recoveries, download roms, create nandroid backups, partition your SD card and a whole lot of other things all within the application itself. It simplifies a lot of steps and has a lot of great features to take advantage of. The best thing about this app is that it can basically do all of the work for you when flashing a rom/kernel/zip/etc..
The problem with Rom Manager doing all of the work for you is that many people rely and depend on it to do all of the work for them. Why do it manually when you can have everything done in just a few quick clicks on screen, right? If you rely on it to do everything for you without attempting to understand what it is doing then you may never know how to fix a problem with your device until it is too late. It is highly recommended that you know (or even have an idea) what your device is doing when you flash a new rom or file. This is important for many reason. Rom Manager's auto flashing feature lacks the ability to wipe the Dalvik cache (affecting the JIT compiler). Sometimes the data may not be wiped thoroughly, causing a brand new rom to not function the way it should.
One of the biggest issues with relying on Rom Manager to load all of the files for you is that it takes away any reason for you take initiative in regards to learning all of the features in your device's recovery. Here is an important question. What if you are not able to access Rom Manager? Let's say you flash a new rom but now you are stuck in a boot loop and can't access your home screens. What do you do?
The purpose of this thread is to explain the process of manually flashing files through the Clockwork Recovery. I will go through the same steps that I follow when flashing a new rom. I hope you guys are read, because here we go:
PLEASE READ GUIDE FULLY BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO GO
THROUGH THE PROCESSES
-Your device must be rooted with Nand unlocked. Please refer to your devices specific hacking section in the forum for help with this if you do not have it unlocked.
-Koush's Clockwork Recovery. These instructions may not be of any use if the recovery is designed differently than CWM so please be do the research if you are debating on doing it on though other recoveries.
-Rom Manager (free or paid)
-Access to the internet (through your computer or phone) to download the rom you want to flash.
-Last but not least, the understanding that you are following this guide at your own risk. Nobody is at fault if you there is any harm done to your phone. Flashing through the recovery is very simple but if not done correctly it may lead to problems with your device. Always do your homework before flashing. Continue on if (and only if)
you fully accept responsibility for your device and any problems that may occur with your device.
HOW TO FLASH A ROM USING CW RECOVERY:
Find the rom that you want to flash and then download it. You can download it through Rom Manager (it will download directly to your sd card) or you can download it from the internet and then put it on your SD card.
Go to Rom Manager and select 'Flash ClockworkMod Recovery'. Follow the short instruction to select your device and then flash the recovery. This will flash the latest Clockwork Recovery that you will be using. It is recommended that you are connected to wifi because the recovery is a pretty big file but it is up to you.
When your devices finishes downloading the recovery you can now select 'Reboot into Recovery'. This will restart your device but instead of going to your home screen after rebooting, you will be taken to the recovery screen/menu. This is what it should look like:
[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click Here To Register...]
The method to move the selection box varies by device. For example, you would use the volume toggle buttons to go up/down and the camera button to make your selection. The Droid Incredible has an optical track pad that you can use to go up/down and click it in to make your selection. Normally the Power button on your device is the universal back-up button that will take you to the previous menu screen. Make sure you check to see what your device uses for it's controls.
Now you want to make a Nandroid Backup. What this will essentially do is create a backup of your current setup (your current rom) as well as all of your files and settings that on your device (this excludes your sd card). To do this you need to select the option 'backup and restore'. Now you have 2 options, 'make a backup' and 'restore backup'. You want to make a backup so highlight that one and select it. Your device is now creating a copy of its current software state.
Side Note: If you want to revert back to the previous state (prior to flashing a new rom) then you would select restore backup and then choose which backup to revert to.
Once the backup finishes you are going to now wipe your device. There are only 3 things that you should be wiping. You will be wiping the data (all of your user and app data), cache (accumulated junk files) and the Dalvik cache (related to you JIT compiler, if you are running 2.2 and above). From the main menu of your Clockwork Recovery screen you will need to select "Wipe Data/Factory Reset" to wipe all of you data. Next go to "Wipe Cache Partition" to wipe your device's cache. Last but not least, you will need to go to "advanced" and then to to "Wipe Dalvik Cache".
This is an image from version 184.108.40.206 which is older than the most recent version. The menu might look a little different but all you need to look for is "Wipe Dalvik Cache". This is what the menu screen look like after you select "advanced". [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click Here To Register...] NOTE: You might see an error message on the bottome half of your screen when you wipe the Dalvik Cache. This message will say something like 'E:Can't mount /dev/block/mmcblk1p2
(File exists)'. Do not worry,his is not a problem. It just means that your SD card isn't partitioned. You are still able to wipe the Dalvik.
Now you are ready to install the rom that you downloaded. Go back to the main screen of your recovery (back out of the advanced menu) and select "install zip from sd card" and then select "choose zip from sd card". Now you need to find the Rom file on your SD card. If you downloaded it through Rom Manager then it will be in your Clockwork folder. If you downloaded it through a browser and put it on your SD card then it will be where you placed it. It is important to make sure that you select the correct file.
After you select the rom of your choice you will be brought a new screen. It should resemble the screens when you wiped your data and caches. You want to select "yes" to flash the rom. Now your device is flashing the rom file so you can set it down and wait for it to finish. Once it finishes (you be brought to a menu), back out to the main menu and then select reboot device.
You have now flashed a custom on your device. Wait for your device to boot up to the google login screen and sign it. Now you can enjoy your device and it's new custom rom.
Congratulations everybody. Pat yourself on the shoulder because you guys/girls deserve it.
-The ClockworkMod Recovery images posted were found using google images. They are not pictures that I took.
This is a screen cap I took of my current set-up to give you guys/girls an idea as to what flashing a custom rom can do for you: