Does having a custom ROM affect phone unlocking?
22 Nov 2012
Bootloading handsets is something that has been growing in popularity rapidly over the past few years. One of the most popular custom ROM developers, CyanogenMod, have even recently reported that their software has been installed on over 2 million phones, ranging over 750 different handsets.
The software they offer allows customers to "freshen up" the look of an old or new handset, by making it capable of things the original software couldn't do. This means that people with an older handset can essentially make their phone more powerful and have a "new" feel to it - reducing the need to then go out and purchase a brand new handset. The benefits of this are pretty obvious, such as saving money, but it also saves on e-waste, which is a growing concern of governments worldwide and why phone recycling companies are now such big business.
We see a lot of customers who have purchased an unlock code for a phone that has a custom ROM installed (also referred to as "rooting") and completely get it. People want to use their old phones, but want a new software and want to be able to use a different network as well. However, there is something that can come up when doing things this way.
When a custom ROM is installed, the phone may not react exactly how it did in the past. This is generally for Android based handsets, but let me run through a few things that may happen when attempting to unlock your phone:
1. When you insert a non-accepted SIM card, you're not prompted for the unlock code
Now this does happen for some customers and is completely expected. Basically by changing the ROM the phone has lost the ability to recognise that it isn't locked to that SIM card and therefore just starts like normal. However, you won’t be able to connect with the SIM card or find out where the enter the unlock code.
2. You Insert a non-accepted SIM card, enter the code, it is accepted, but still not working
So in this case the phone has recognised the SIM card, acted correctly, but then not completed the command to remove the network lock (which is what you are doing by entering the unlock code)
3. All is fine, phone is unlocked, but every time you start the phone you are requested for the unlock code again
I won't dive too much into this scenario, so let's get onto the solution.
For every single problem here the solution is the same. If you have a custom ROM on the phone but the unlock isn't working correctly, you need to revert the software (or ROM) back to the original...temporarily. You only need to do this so you can then type in the unlock code and the phone accepts it. Once this is done, the lock will remain permanently inactive and you can then reinstall whichever ROM you wish.
A very simple solution, but one we've noticed a lot of people need to use after ordering their unlock code from our website.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch and our customer support team will be happy to help. Alternatively, if you want to just crack on and purchase your unlock code, please find your phone using the navigation on our homepage.
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Article by Darren Kingman