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Most ROM install instructions look like...

  1. Boot into recovery
  2. Wipe Data
  3. Flash ROM
  4. Reboot
  5. Boot into recovery
  6. Flash any Mods
  7. Reboot
  8. Done

Mods are modifications to the ROM code. For example, replacing the Power Off menu with one that includes the option to reboot instead of just shut down.

Why are steps 4 & 5 needed? I'm having a hard time seeing the purpose. Each reboot the cache rebuilds. Why not just do it once?

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Because the "developer" doesn't have a clue about what's he doing and why so he makes you do idiotic things. That's why. –  Richard Borcsik Aug 24 '12 at 18:26
    
I always thought this had to do with the ROM being deodexed and that the apks are odexed on the first boot, but it's just an unconfirmed impression I have, that's why this is not an answer. –  onik Aug 24 '12 at 18:31
    
It definitely does something during that reboot. I think the developer knows exactly what he's doing. The first boot of a new rom always takes longer than subsequent boots. I'm not sure exactly what it's doing, but presumably it's something that is required to flash most mods. –  SaintWacko Aug 24 '12 at 19:21
    
Richard Borcsik, you seem to have the most knowledge on the matter. Can you answer why this is such an idiotic thing? Make it an answer instead of a comment would be appreciated. Thanks. –  GollyJer Aug 25 '12 at 21:38
    
On the first boot after a wipe (factory-reset/dalvik-cache-wipe), the Dalvik-Cache is rebuilt (@onik has been very close: yeah, that's the *.dex files). So if any mod is going to manipulate those, they need to be there in the first place. I'm just confused that your steps do not include a wipe of the Dalvik Cache... –  Izzy Dec 22 '12 at 14:16

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