This is an updated version of a post we published over a year ago (How to recover your bricked rooted HTC EVO 4G or 3D), with some new links to the HTC Unbricking Project and RUUs, and hopefully getting the most recent tools that are needed in front of the people who need them.
This is generally intended as a guide to finding the correct information for your type of brick, not a support thread. If you want or need some personalized attention, try posting in our HTC EVO forum, instead.
Also, keep in mind that this guide was written 3/27/2013. If you’re reading it a year down the road, consider that probably all of this is now outdated.
Types of bricked HTC EVOs
There are multiple types of bricked EVOs. There are EVOs that have been bricked because you flashed something and your EVO won’t boot, and that’s considered a soft brick and is pretty easy to repair. This terminology generally includes boot loops these days.
There are also harder bricks, in which the phone either powers off after a minute and has a black screen with an occasional red light. On the HTC EVO 4G, that may be accompanied by the “Qualcomm five shakes of death.” This usually also includes the symptom of plugging it into a computer and getting an unrecognized device. The problems here can range anywhere from a phone that won’t boot up, to a phone that boots but the USB appears to be broken – or even an SD card that won’t mount.
Then you’ve got the real bricks. Real bricks involve a damaged motherboard, a blown battery, or things you’re probably not going to be able to fix unless you work at a phone repair shop. Real bricks are generally not cause by anything you managed to do.
Recovering from soft bricks
Soft bricks generally occur right after you attempt to flash a new ROM or kernel. Usually these are recognized by the “what did I do?!?!” scream that people emit when they realize their phone isn’t coming back up. For our purposes here, we’ll assume you’re wanting to go back to stock, and we’re also going to assume that, since you’re reading this article, you did not make a nandroid backup before you did whatever you did.
If getting your phone back up and running immediately is your goal, simply head over to Shipped-ROMs.com and grab an RUU for your phone. An RUU is a ROM Update Utility, and it should get you back to where you need to be. This is an application that you run on your computer, which will access your phone and take it back to the condition you first got it in. When searching for the correct RUU, remember:
- EVO 4G = SuperSonic
- EVO 3D = Shooter
- EVO 4G LTE = Jewel
As a side note, I’ve never had an RUU my photos, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your pictures or other media getting killed on the phone.
Recovering from harder bricks
There’s a time in many a root user’s life when his or her phone is quite simply going to give up the ghost. For me, this came to pass one day after flashing a (now-recognized) bad copy of TWRP on my original EVO 4G. The symptoms for me included my phone switching from S-OFF to S-ON, only running for a couple of minutes, and then shutting off after vibrating five times. For others it’s a brick after attempting to S-OFF their phone that results in a QHSUSB_DLOAD issue.
For these instances there are a few places to look. There’s no all-encompassing answer here, I’m afraid, but maybe I can point you to where you can find an answer.
For the EVO 3D there’s the HTC Unbricking project, which is primarily for failed S-OFF attempts. There’s also the Ultimate Recovery Tool, which should contain all the tools necessary to recover all the phone’s partitions.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of EVO 4G tools around that I can locate, so for these issues it’s generally a trip over to the EVO 4G help section of xda-developers. Also, there are generally helpful people in the #HTC-EVO IRC channel who can point you in the generally correct direction, and you can try your luck in our own HTC EVO forum, as well.
It’s fairly important to note that if your phone really is hard bricked, you may need to become familiar with setting up a live CD, as you’re going to require a Linux OS in most instances to do some of the repairs. Live CDs do not write to your hard drive, so you can boot off of one and, after it’s removed from the drive, come back to Windows or OSX.
Generally these phones are indestructible to the average rooter, but they can take some hair pulling to get things in order.
Got new or better information than I’ve posted here? Do I have something incorrect, or do you find me incoherent? Drop me a line or post a comment, and I’ll include your changes and credit in the piece.