Ever since I noticed that TouchFlo 3D (also known as Manila) got updated on newer phones, but not on my HTC Touch HD, I have been thinking of doing it myself with one of the multiple custom ROMs available for this phone, made by enthusiasts of the Windows Mobile community. The newer versions of Manila has alot more nice functions and much better looks that I want, my phone comes with version 1.3 so it’s pretty basic. The procedure seemed a bit complicated though, and I didn’t want to risk my warranty on the phone. But after e-mailing HTC asking whether or not the HTC Touch HD (Blackstone) would ever get an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5 and newest version of Manila and they replied…

- We currently have no knowledge of any planned updates for the HD. It is unlikely to be updated to 6.5 or beyond as Microsoft have made some hardware restrictions on devices that can use 6.5 that the HD does not meet.

… I decided to go ahead with my plans, since I know that many people use Windows Mobile 6.5 and later versions of Manila on their Touch HD’s and it runs just fine. I’m gonna go for Dutty’s “Leo” ROM with Windows Mobile 6.5 and Manila 2.5, since Dutty seems to be the most popular and skilled ROM cook out there, and here’s a step-by-step guide on how I did it.

First off, let me just say that I take no responsibility in any damage done to you or your phone for following my example, just in case.

Now, you need to decide if you want to use HSPL (Hard SPL) or USPL (User SPL). USPL is a temporary upgrade in memory only, to make the change permanent (survive a reset) you should use HSPL, and so I will.

You also need to check what SPL version you have, boot the phone holding the volume down button. This will put the phone in it’s “bootloader” screen. My phone had version 1.54 and I have a 1.56+ version ROM. In order to upgrade to a custom ROM you must change your SPL to allow uncertified upgrades, such a SPL has been made by “Olinex” and you must first install/flash this to you phone.

A guide and all the files you need are found in this tutorial; http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=505377. This will explain the terms more in details if you want.

I got an error when first trying to change the SPL (connection problem), but there is a troubleshooting guide just for this scenario. The solution is to download a program file to launch on your phone instead, then flashing the new SPL worked great.

TouchFLO 3D (Manila 2.5)

TouchFLO 3D (Manila 2.5)

Once you have the new SPL in place, you can flash any ROM you like. I chosed Dutty’s Leo R2 ROM (Windows 6.5 and Manila 2.5). Just put your phone in bootloader mode again just as before, connect the USB-cable to your computer and wait until “USB” pops up on the screen. Then just launch the “BlackstoneRUUWrapper” program which usually is distributed with each ROM package, then flash your phone as you would with an official release.

After this it’s recommended to do a hard reset/factory reset twice. Do this by holding both volume up and volume down button while turning on your phone and follow the instructions on the screen.

All set, worked great for me! Just sync back all your contacts and files, install the CABs and customize your phone again. Programs you should install one by one and test them, to make your they are working correctly with the new ROM.

To sum up:

  1. Backup your phone using Activesync etc.
  2. Go for HSPL method.
  3. Flash new SPL, if it fails then use SSPL (running boot loader from phone).
  4. When SPL version is “1.56 (Olinex)”,  flash new ROM.
  5. Hard reset.
  6. Hard reset.
  7. Restore backup.
  8. Done!

Good luck! I can really recommend this if you’re getting abit tired of the same old user interface on your phone, this is close to getting a new phone, and much cheaper :).