Data Roaming dead after Android 4.3 updateSo you followed the link to the HTC EVO 4G LTE Android 4.3 update the HTC VP posted, and installed the incredibly buggy Android 4.3 RUU update for the HTC EVO 4G LTE. If your phone survived, you’re now left with HBOOT 2.10 (which you can’t S-OFF), WiFi that works or doesn’t at its whim, an airplane widget that doesn’t work, phantom icons, and absolutely no data roaming if you need it.

Yup, that’s right – the base ROM that HTC released and subsequently yanked can’t roam for anything except voice, which means if you’re out of Sprint’s coverage area, you’re out of luck if you rely on anything that needs data.

Since your warranty was voided by installing software they released, HTC isn’t particularly helpful in fixing these issues and, according to some of our readers, HTC has even berated some consumers for not understanding the risks of upgrading to software that the HTC VP announced. In short, it doesn’t look like a better Android 4.3 update is getting here for a few more weeks at least, or HTC might have even abandoned it.

HTC is being its usual tight-lipped corporate self when, once again, it disappoints and fails a third time to make its deadline. It makes you wonder if these shoddy videos leaks of the New HTC One are leaks, or an attempt to say “squirrel!” and distract the customer.

For those stuck on a ROM HTC released to the general public and now left with no support who need data roaming, here are the steps required to get it working again. I’m going to point out these are not easy, and you have to learn a lot more than you probably want just to get your phone working again.

Step 1: Get root.

You’re going to need root. Sorry, there’s no fix for this otherwise unless you want to wait more for HTC to fix the mess. However, you’ve already jumped through a lot of hoops.

So,, unlock your bootloader at HTCDev, HTC’s official portal for developers and people who want root access. There are automatic programs to do this; I can’t tell you if they work currently, but hopefully one of our readers can.

Warning: Unlocking your bootloader will wipe your phone, so kiss your data goodbye unless you’ve backed it up.

After the bootloader is unlocked, you’ll need to flash a custom recovery such as the modified TWRP that’s required to work with the new partition layout, or Philz Touch CWM for the HTC EVO 4G LTE. After flashing the recovery you’re going to need to flash a superuser binary.

At this point, you’ve probably invested about an hour in the above steps if nothing went wrong and you haven’t done this before.

Step 1.5: Make a nandroid backup.

If any of the following steps mess up, spending 10 minutes or so here to make a nandroid backup will restore your phone back to the state it was before you go any further. You can see the basics of making one here. While that’s an old article, the basics are the same.

Step 1.7: Set the phone up as much as is required.

You’re going to need to install some software from Google Play, get the phone to the point where it can recognize your Google account.

Step 2: Install a terminal emulator.

You’ve got root now, and you’re going to need to be able to do something with that. There are two ways to get commands into your phone, ADB and a terminal emulator. If you’re not familiar with ADB, I recommend going the terminal emulator route.

I use Android Terminal Emulator, but you can use whatever you want. I believe I use this because it’s the first thing that comes up when you search, I’ve used others, and there’s not much difference for what I do.

Step 3: Download the roaming patched configuration file

A developer by the handle Captain_Throwback posted a configuration file that changes two items from “false” to “true” – these two items are the variables “allow_national_roaming” and “supportNationalRoaming”.

Download the default.txt from the link above, and save it somewhere on your EVO 4G LTE that you’re going to remember. I saved mine into the root of the SD card for ease of use.

Step 4: Swap out the buggy config with the patch.

Open up your terminal emulator. I’ll be making the assumption here that you’ve placed the file in the root of the internal sd card.

You first have to make your /system partition read/writable. The steps to do this are as follow:

  1. Type “su” without the quotes and press enter/submit command/whatever your terminal emulator calls it. This requests superuser access. You should get a popup asking if that’s ok. It is.
  2. Type “mount -0 rw,remount /system” – this remounts the system partition from read only to read/write.
  3. Type “cd /system/customize/ACC/” – you have to capitalize the ACC or it won’t find the directory. This command changes the directory you’re in to be the same as the buggy config file is in. Relax, you haven’t done anything yet. Now we’re going to make a backup of the buggy config file on the off chance the one you just downloaded was corrupt or you do something wrong.
  4. Type “cp default.xml default.goodone” – this simply makes a copy in the same directory of the config file in case something goes horribly wrong we can recover it in recovery without having to restore the backup from earlier.
  5. Type “cp /sdcard/default.txt default.xml” – this copies the file in your sdcard and renames it to default.xml overwriting the previously bad config file.

Step 5: Cross fingers, reboot, roam.

Reboot the device, and you should now have roaming abilities again.

If you want, you can un-root the phone, lock the bootloader, and proceed as a non-rooted user for the rest of your EVO 4G LTE days.

Wrap-up

It’s a shame that HTC doesn’t bother to test these things with the root crowd before public release. It was known and posted about in the forums that it didn’t work with roaming and had significant other bugs, but they pushed for their deadline and released another buggy product, backpedaled and said they had not released it, and in the end just made a total mess that requires you to spend hours fixing their screw ups.

A patch could be issued for their buggy ROM that would fix this, but my guess is they’ll spend another month or two and re-release the RUU which will once again wipe your phone. We’ll just wait and see