How to: Root your Vodafone Magic


Rooting the Vodafone Magic

Rooting your Android mobile phone brings a number of advantages and is a popular question asked after my guide on How to Root the G1 mobile phone. The Vodafone Magic is of a similar specification but with more internal RAM and the lack of a hardware keyboard.

In this guide though I will take you through the steps on how to root the Vodafone Magic and to make the process as easy and as painless as possible. Please take your time to read through the guide first to get comfortable with the process whilst downloading the required files to do the job. If you are starting this from scratch and have not set up ADB, then be sure to give yourself time to digest and to follow the guides.

Also note this guide was written with Windows in mind. If you have ADB setup on your Linux or Mac already then you can still follow the guide to root your Vodafone Magic.

Credit goes to the Android Community as a whole! Far too many names to name but without the community, we wouldn’t be where we are now! All I, maddog and Timbo did was to collate the information together and then I re-wrote it to be as easy as possible to follow. Enjoy!


These are the steps we need to go through to root the Vodafone Magic.

  • Setup the Android Device Bridge (ADB)
  • Check your current Android version number
  • Check the Secondary Program Loader (SPL) version
  • Create a Goldcard (if on Android 1.6)
  • Download required files
  • Flash your Vodafone Magic to root
  • Install Cyanogen


First install the Android SDK and make sure ADB works. If you already have a functioning ADB then proceed to the next step. If not then follow this Guide to Setup ADB.

Check what firmware version of Android you are currently running. If you are on Android 1.5 then you can skip on Creating a Goldcard and proceed on to the Checklist and download the required files. If you are on Android 1.6 then it is recommended to Create a Goldcard.

Check the SPL version of your Magic by turning the phone off. Hold the Volume Down + Menu buttons then press Power. We want to look at the HBoot version number as this corresponds to the SPL version on your Magic.

HBOOT-1.33.0006, HBOOT-1.33.0010 and HBOOT-1.33.0014 are the known ‘Perfect SPL‘ revisions on the Sapphire handsets that we know of. If you have a Perfect SPL then please follow this guide to Create a Goldcard (coming soon).


  • Vodafone Magic (32B)
  • Mini USB Cable
  • MicroSD Card, formatted to FAT32

Download these files into a folder called “Vodafone Magic Root” or something similar to keep things organised.

Copy all these files to the root of your SD Card. If you have previously created a Goldcard, then delete the sappimg.nbh file.

If you have a Perfect SPL (HBOOT-1.33.0006, HBOOT-1.33.0010 and HBOOT-1.33.0014) then follow the guide in question. If you have a Non-Perfected SPL then scroll down and follow that guide.

How to Format your SD Card to FAT32

  • Backup your MicroSD to your computer first
  • Connect the MicroSD card to your computer either using a Card Reader or via your Mobile Phone (Mount USB first via the notifications tray).
  • Right click on the SD Card then Format. Make sure FAT32 is selected and tick the Quick Format box. Click OK

Rooting Process for Perfect SPLs

  • Create a Goldcard
  • Plug the Vodafone Magic to your computer using a mini USB Cable
  • Copy the sappimg.nbh and FlashRec files to the SD Card either via Card Reader or via your Mobile Phone (Mount USB first via the notifications tray).
  • Boot into Fastboot by turning your phone off.  Hold Volume Down and press Power (you should see three Androids on skateboards)
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to flash the image. On some handsets it may require pressing the action button (trackball), while on others it may require pressing the power button.

  • Reboot when phone is done updating. You now have the one-click vulnerable version of the firmware!
  • Load the Android Market then find and install “Apps Installer“.
  • Mount your SD Card by pulling down the Notifications Tray, click on USB Connection and then Mount.
  • Delete sappimg.nbh from your SD card, and copy over these files which we downloaded earlier: FlashRec.apk,, recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img and

  • Unmount the SD card, then run Apps Installer. Install FlashRec from its APK.
  • Launch FlashRec. Use it to back up your recovery image
  • Click on Flash Cyanogen Recovery 1.4 to flash the new recovery image
  • Reboot into recovery mode from FlashRec, or turn the phone off then hold the Home button and press Power. You should see the new Cyanogen recovery screen.
  • Scroll down to Apply any zip from SD and press the trackball
  • Scroll to recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img and press the trackball to apply the update
  • Once flashed, scroll to reboot system now. Press the trackball to reboot then hold down the Home button instantly. It should now load up the new Amon_RA Recovery image

Rooting Process for Non-Perfected SPLs

  • Plug  the Vodafone Magic to your computer using a mini USB Cable
  • Turn the phone off. Hold the Back button and press Power; This will boot you into Fastboot mode (you should see three Androids on skateboards and the words ‘fastboot USB’ in red)
  • On your computer go to the folder where you have saved the files to in the Checklist step earlier
  • Move your cursor in a blank space inside that folder; on your keyboard Hold down SHIFT then Right-Click to bring up the sub-menu. Click on Open Command Window Here. Keep this Window Open

  • Type in:

fastboot boot recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img

  • You should see the following message on the computer:

downloading ‘boot.img’… OKAY

booting… OKAY

  • The phone should reboot into Amon_RA’s recovery. Scroll to Backup/Restore and push the trackball down to select it.
  • Press on Nand Backup to create a Nandroid backup of your Magic (you can use this if you ever wanted to go back to an unrooted state). Press the Home button to confirm.

  • Go back to the DOS window where earlier we typed in the fastboot command. Type in:

ADB Devices

  • A device name and ‘recovery’ should be returned. If not go back to the Setting up ADB Guide to troubleshoot.
  • Now type in this command:

adb shell flash_image recovery /sdcard/ recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img

This permanently flashes the recovery.img to your phone. You can boot into Recovery by holding Home while powering on the device at anytime from here on in.

Follow the Flashing a custom ROM to your Mobile Guide to install the Cyanogen build!

  • Ciaran

    I spent ages struggling with this before, but your guide made it simple. Ta very much ^_^

    • soulfood187

      I can't seem to get adb working properly. I have copied the files and enabled debugging, however I cannot get the anything to list when i run adb devices. The phone and adb will not show up in device manager either. THoughts anyone?

  • jdawes83

    i have a problem with opening the CMD inside the file. Im using XP and dont have an option to open command window here. Running a non perfect spl HBOOT-1.33.0007

    Help Please?1?! really want to upgrade to a custom ROM

    • eMagi

      Hi, sorry I forgot to check my email. If you have a perfected spl then you
      need a gold card. You online now?

      This email was sent via my Vodafone Magic mobile

      • jdawes83

        Thanks for getting back to me.

        Not online right now no. According to the site I don't have a perfect spl.
        Have managed to install the adk and get that working but as I don't have
        vista I don't get an option to open command prompt when inside a folder. I
        notice all of your pics seem to be vista. Do I still need to use the gold
        card method?

        • eMagi

          Ah right, if you don't have a Perfect SPL then you'll be fine without a
          goldcard. The issue here it seems is ADB. Have you copied the two files over
          to c:/windows/system32?

          What version of Vista are you running? Remember to put the mouse cursor in
          an empty space in that folder, then hold the SHIFT key on your keyboard and
          right click. If that fails to work then I will give you an advanced step to
          make it easier ^_^

          If you were online I'd be happy to help you via a chat room but let me know
          how you get on.

          This email was sent via my Vodafone Magic mobile

          • jdawes83

            I doubt ill be back online now until tomorrow unfortunately.

            I copied the files to system32 ok. Had no issues with that.

            I'm not using vista, I'm using windows XP still so whenever I shift and
            right click I don't get the option to open a command prompt. Do you know of
            a work around for XP it will my efforts be easier if I find a vista machine?

          • eMagi

            Odd, I have a Windows XP Professional version on my testbed and it works as
            well… Might not on XP Home however. Yes don't worry there is an easier

            First though I just need you to check something for me.

            Click on Start > Run then type in “*cmd*” (without the quotes)
            Connect your mobile phone if you haven't already then type in:

            *adb devices*

            Does the device and model number appear?

          • jdawes83

            It says list of devices attached but doesnt give me and names?

          • eMagi

            Then it sounds like ADB wasn't installed correctly. Did you follow through
            on the ADB Guide? USB Drivers ticked when installing? Also, have you
            previously installed the Android SDK or HTC Sync?

            If oyu could unplug your mobile then plug it back in Windows should
            recognise the device. Now go to Control Panel > Device Manager.

            You should see a list of all your attached devices, one of which should be
            your mobile phone as an ADB Device. Could you confirm that its there?

          • jdawes83

            My phone doesn't show, only mass storage device?

            I.followed the guide step by step?

          • eMagi

            Did you enable USB Debugging on your Magic? I might have to expand on that
            step to make it clearer.

            On your Magic press Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging

            Enable that then plug it into your computer again.

            If you're free and by a computer, join me here and I'll help you –

          • jdawes83

            something I have to sign up to?

            In the process now of reinstalling the ADK as messed up a little!

          • jdawes83

            Hey, my kids awakened now the Sod so I'm stuck with him right now. Thanks
            for all your help tonight, but i think im gonna have to pick this up again
            tomorrow. Hopefully it should be straight forward now.


          • eMagi

            No problems Jon, if you need any help then just send me a tweet but it
            should be plain sailing from here on in ^_^ Good Luck!

  • stevejefferies

    Cheers for the clear and concise guide. I will be rooting my phone shortly, a quick question before I do, my voda magic is running HBOOT-1.33.0004 spl so I can definitely follow the non-perfected guide without having to worry about going through the goldcard method correct?

    • eMagi

      Yes, I have the exact same SPL as you and it worked like a charm! However if
      for whatever reason it doesn't then you need to make a Goldcard. I don't
      have a guide right now (will soon) so please use this –

      I will have a Goldcard guide soon, just been rather busy! If you need
      assistance then feel free to ask or Tweet me ^_^

      * <>* – Anime, Videogames and Technology.
      [image:] <>

      • stevejefferies

        cheers for the help, and the quick reply!

        • stevejefferies

          Sorry another question as I've been reading up as much as possible on the process before doing it myself. So I've confirmed I have a non-perfected SPL however I am running 1.6 and some guides say you have to revert to 1.5 first whereas in your guide you say it is only recommended. Are there additional risks by not reverting to 1.5 first? Presumably there are also additional risks by performing the goldcard method as you are effectively flashing the phone twice?

          • eMagi

            Hi ^_^

            I might have to re-word that then. You must downgrade to Android 1.5 as it
            has an exploit to gain “root”. Once we've downgraded, we then upgrade back
            to Android 1.6 via Cyanogen. The goldcard is only required if you have a
            perfected SPL although for some it makes the process easier.

            I hope that helps ^_^

  • dougal121

    Thanks for the guides.
    I've done it all on a Mac.
    Managed to download ADB, worked fine.
    Got to the final flash recovery.img stage of this page but the I get this:

    List of devices attached
    HT95CKF02850 recovery

    dougalmbp:tools dougalmclellan$ ./adb shell flash_image recovery /sdcard/ recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img
    usage: flash_image partition file.img

    Nothing happens thereafter. I can boot the phone fine, but when I try to boot into recovery (Home and Power), it hangs on an odd screen then loads the Android Recovery Screen. There are optiosn to wipe/upload zip etc there but the AMON RA recovery image does not seem to have been flashed.
    Afterwards I noticed the advice about downgrading 1.6 to 1.5 (I've got non perfect 1.6) so maybe thats the cause. Steep learning curve for me and I'm probably out of my depth but if anyone needs more info on how to get this far on a mac post here.

    • gdwhitehouse

      I have the same problem – any help??

      • gdwhitehouse

        OK, don;t know if will help you, but I ended up writing the files to the SD card again, and then going adb shell, changing to sdcard and running the command from there – all working now I think

      • dougal121

        That's weird…. I literally just did it. Rooted/updated ROM , the works, typed in my gmail details and my first email seconds later was re gdwhitehouse post. I think I can help you (given I had never used Terminal before last night , this is not a situation I was expecting).
        I will post a full guide to doing it on the Mac here. It may well have unnecessary steps or lack full explanation as I don't fully understand Terminal/command line.
        Neoblade.. feel free to add/delete/move/edit this. I've no wish to offend etc.

        I used a modified version of this guide to reflect what to do on the Mac.
        This is very similar although not identical to Neoblade's

        Scroll to “Non-TMobile 32B Magics”
        Follow initial instructions Prep 1-6 but use Neoblade's “How to set up ADB” tutorial for the Android SDK in step 1 instead

        Notes for Neoblade's ADB tutorial:
        Once you have done this bit
        “Click on Install Selected, Accept All then Install”
        you can skip most of the rest.
        The Mac version does not need .exe and .dll files moved, nor does it need extra drivers to be installed.
        Instead open the Terminal application, type “cd(then a space)” then drag-and-drop the Tools folder from the android-sdk-mac_86 folder into the Terminal window after the “cd ” you have just typed.Then press Enter.
        You are then down at the “Type in ADB Devices” line of the Tutorial.
        Instead Type in “./adb devices” (dot forwards slash adb devices) and Enter and your device should be listed as per the Tutorial.

        For Prep step 2 you will need to download “fastboot-mac” from the linked site.( I placed it inside my android-sdk-mac_86/tools folder, which is on my desktop)

        You then follow the Installation section of the wiki article, but the command line instructions have to be changed for Terminal as follows.

        For “cd C:android-sdktools”
        Type “cd /Users/xxx/Desktop/android-sdk-mac_86/tools” (Where xxx is your Username, and the android-sdk-mac_86 folder is on the desktop. Note the space after the cd)
        (or just type “cd(space)” and drag and drop the tools folder as per previously.

        For “fastboot boot C:recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.5.2G.img”
        Type “./fastboot-mac boot recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img”

        For “adb devices”
        Type “./adb devices”

        For “adb push C:recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.5.2G.img /sdcard/RA152G.img”
        Type “./adb push recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img /sd-card/recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img”

        For “adb shell flash_image recovery /sdcard/RA152G.img”
        Type “./adb shell flash_image recovery /sd-card/recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img”

        … and that should be that. It worked for me!

        I must stress I have not worked this out through prior knowledge of command line etc so it would be at your own risk. However I have a rooted Magic now. Thanks to Neoblade for simplifying the process. I couldn't find a start-to-finish Mac tutorial so hopefully this will be helpful.


        • gdwhitehouse

          Thanks for all that – I'm loving the new ROM. I had some issues going through the process, however, it was all easier than I expected.

          Thanks loads for the guide – I will add some comments here about the issues in case you want to update the guide at all.

          Thanks again

          • gdwhitehouse

            OK, so now I have managed to get organised, these comments might help others if they have issues. I was doing this on a PC with Win7 installed.

            – Had a couple of issues getting the ADB working – had to install the USB driver manually – not a huge issue, but I'm sure your Troubleshooting guide will sort that.

            – Following the instructions to right click and create a command prompt in the window where the checklist files were didn't work for me. The command prompt was fine, but it would not recognise 'fastboot' as a command. I ended up putting the five files in the checklist in the tools folder of the SDK and running from there.

            – I couldn't get the 'fastboot boot' command to work at all, it was complaining about the “usage: flash_image partition file.img”. I then tried running the commands one by one, so adb, then shell, then changing directory to SD card and running from there – no joy. I was wondering if it was to do with spaces in the command, as it is fairly hard to tell if they should or shouldn't be there.

            – I happened to have another 2Gb SD card, so wrote the files to that and tried, I was already in the shell, so just issued the” flash_image recovery recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img” command and all went well – maybe a card thing?

            – Rest of the install went fine and I'm well happy with the cyanagen ROM – seems far nicer.

            Couple of other things you might want to put in the guide (on the assumtion it is for noobs like me)
            – information about where the Nand Backup file is stored (it wasn't clear to me)
            – A guide (cos I know you're bored) about how to get back to stock nice and easily
            – Advice on CM Updater – is it a good idea etc?

            Overall, I have to say another huge “thank you” for such a good guide and for all the effort you have put in.


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  • dannymot

    I can get all the way down to
    adb shell flash_image recovery /sdcard/recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img
    but it cannot load the image.

    When I “ls” the sdcard it doesn't see any files. Any idea?

  • dannymot

    Ah I needed to push the file onto the device to see it.

    adb devices
    adb push recovery.img /sdcard/recovery.img
    adb shell flash_image recovery /sdcard/recovery.img

  • dannymot

    Great guide. It really helped me get cyanogen on my Magic. Apart from needing to push the image to see it and that you cannot format the sd card through your computer to the phone (clicking on format dismounts the phone from the computer) everything worked as you have pictured.

  • philgeorge

    I love the simple to use guide but I am trying to root my 1.6 Android Magic (Vodafone) with non-perfected SPL and have read that I need to go back to 1.5 before trying to flash a new rom. When I try to go back to 1.5 with exploit I get the error Model ID incorrect. Any ideas?

    • Dooker

      I am getting the same error. has anyone managed to find a way around this?

  • Rob Humphris

    I tried this, but the first link for Android 1.5 with Exploit doesn't have the file available any more, and the other download site wouldn't let me access the download regardless of the on-line survey answers I gave.
    I want to get Cyanogen on my phone but don't really want a shed-load of junk mail for the privilege.
    The good news was that the back-up worked!

  • Wibbsy


    Thanks for the guide very helpful. Two questions:

    I have android 1.6 but it has HBOOT-1.33.0006 (i.e. Non-Perfected SPL). I wasn't sure if that means I do or don't have to make a goldcard?

    Also from looking at the tutorials on teh cyanogen web, they discuss about backing up gapps due to latest releases not having gapps included, does you root guide (and subsequent rom flash guide) already deal with this?


  • Wibbsy

    Just flashed with success. Some pointers of things where I went wrong using win XP, (this is just my experience, I can't guarantee it will work, but it worked for me)!

    1. Android sdk didn't install usb driver properly and kept giving me 'device cannot start' issues. I've attached a post at the bottom which sorted it all out.

    2. You need to add the 'c:/android-sdk-windows/tools' path to your environmental path setting in XP to be able to run adb and fastboot from any directory.

    3. You don't need a goldcard if you have non perfect spl.

    4. Once you have adb bridge working alright, when you first boot the android device into htc fastboot (3 skateboarding androids) whilst connected to your pc, winxp will suddenly start installing a load of new drivers (android 1.0 etc..), don't worry this is normal just let winxp do its thing then continue with the guide.

    5. I had a 16gb sandisk SD card in my magic which caused some problems with writing the spl to the recovery partition. “adb shell flash_image recovery /sdcard/ recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img” didn't work, instead I had to push the image to the SD card and then update directly as follows (Taken from the cyanogen wiki from the “Non-TMobile 32B Magics” guide, which is useful to follow in parallel.):

    >> adb devices
    >> adb push recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.5.2G.img /sdcard/RA152G.img
    >> adb shell flash_image recovery /sdcard/RA152G.img

    I had the same problem that adb could not find my HTC Magic Android Phone on Win XP
    SP3 with SDK 1.5 installed.

    It turned out that my Windows XP had installed a wrong USB driver (USBSTOR.SYS)
    instead of the Android driver as I had allowed the device manager to search a driver
    on the Windows update/driver site, which was wrong. Instead, I should have chosen the
    driver contained in the SDK (at android-sdk-windows-1.5_r2usb_driverx86).

    Solution to install the correct driver (cited from
    1- Remove existing drivers:
    1a- Plug your phone
    1b- Open the Device Manager
    1c- Remove any driver for [ADB Interface > HTC Composite ADB
    Interface] and [Disk Drives > HTC Android Phone USB Device] if you see
    1d- Unplug phone

    2- Edit the registry
    2a- Disclaimer: be careful what you do in regedit. If you're not sure,
    don't use it 🙂
    2b- Open the Registry Editor (Start > search/run > regedit)
    2c- You _may_ need to be administrator to do that
    2d- Search for “vid_0bb4&pid_0c02” in keys or values. It makes take a
    while. If you find in a value, delete the whole key folder.
    2e- Some keys might be “locked”: right-click them and add “everyone:
    full control” to the permissions. Then delete the key folder.
    2f- Repeat the search till no more instances are found.
    2g- Close regedit.

    Now restart your computer with the phone unplugged.

    3- Before your plug in your phone:
    3a- Make sure to enable Home > Settings > Applications > Development >
    USB debugging on your G1 or HTC Magic
    3b- Plug the phone in. Windows should now ask you for a driver
    3c- Do NOT selected to search the Windows Update. Instead select “I
    will choose a driver” or the equivalent.
    3d- Make sure to give the *full* path to the x86 or x86_64 driver, e.g:
    or SDK/usb_driver/x86_64/
    If you just select “SDK/usb_driver”, Windows might take the wrong
    architecture and complain the driver can't be installed.

  • dannymot

    Another pointer for people who tried this. Check the microphone volume afterward. I use a guitar tuner app and noticed that the sound level it was recording had dropped significantly. I needed to follow the advice here
    My microphone is now back to normal volumes.

  • stevejefferies

    Cheers mate, finally found time to follow your guide (and the next one) and it worked perfectly. Thanks, for such an easy set of steps to follow, now seeing it was that easy I wish I had done it a long time ago!

  • Jamie Smart


    I'm on Android 1.6 so I need to create a Goldcard have you got a link where I can get instructions to do this, I cant see it on this page.


  • Jamie


    Okay so ive got to the part where i right click on go on “open commmand window here” and i type in “fastboot boot recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img” and all i get it “Fastboot is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file”. I am on windows 7 if thats the reason i dont know im stuck please help

    Thanks Jamie

    • @potxnoodle

      Im getting the same response, did you get it sorted? If so can you post the solution?


  • jamiesmart


    right disregard previous 2 messages from me. I downgraded from 1.6 to 1.5 and i now have a perfect spl.

    I got to the very end of the perfect spl part but when i start in the recovery mode and scroll to “apply any zip from sd” the “recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2G.img” is not there.

    That file above is not a zip is this the reason why its not there?

    • Mre15

      I am having the same problem, did you solve this.

  • eMagi

    Hi Jamie! Well done for getting that far. Looking back at my guide there are some holes that I've filled in the forums.

    To flash a Recovery Image, have a look here –

    That should help as I had to remove certain files as they kept on getting deleted. That should help.

    Also to anyone who is having issues, feel free to contact me on Twitter @emagi

  • Amazingbadger

    I have HBOOT-1.33.0004 Android 1.6… should I be able to follow this guide without creating the goldcard? thanks.

    • See if you can run FASTBOOT and push the Recovery file. If you can then you’ll be fine. If not then you’ll need to make a Goldcard.

      • AmazingBadger

        Thanks… I get “cannot load ‘recovery-RA-sapphire-v.16.2G.img’ guess I need the gold card.

        Do you know if there is a decent guide kicking around?

  • @potxnoodle

    I had alot of trouble getting flashboot to work, but i found a solution: (although I dont know which one helped)
    I updated all my windows drivers and ‘windows updates’ and uninstalled ‘mass usb device’ (as it seemed to be dominating the phones connection) after that it worked fine!

    Thanks to NeoBlade for the help and the method!

  • Meganoodleman

    Hi i Realy need help i did everything right but when i reboot after updating i try to log into my google mail account and i get an error message what do i do :S :O

  • Meganoodleman

    Hi i Realy need help i did everything right but when i reboot after updating i try to log into my google mail account and i get an error message what do i do :S :O