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I have a ZTE Blade A1 with pre-installed malware. I'm only able to identify and remove some of it. So, I want to delete everything on the phone and install a custom ROM. Unfortunately, I cannot find any ROMs which explicitly support the ZTE Blade A1.

I've decided to try putting CyanogenMod on the device (or possibly something else), as it does support older versions of the ZTE Blade. My plan is as follows:

  1. Create a backup of the existing ROM using ROM Manager
  2. Run the device in recovery mode (using the default Android system recovery - CWM or TWRP do not explicitly support the Blade A1, so I won't risk using them)
  3. Use the fastboot commands fastboot -w and fastboot update rom.zip to install the custom ROM
  4. Restart the phone, and if it has stopped working, repeat steps 2 - 3 using the backed-up ROM from step 1

I've read up on using custom ROMs, but have found a lot of conflicting information. So, my question is: Will this replace the pre-installed OS with a custom ROM? Is there a risk the phone won't be restored to its original state?

Update: I haven't been able to confirm whether the phone can be irreversibly bricked by installing a custom ROM. However, if anyone comes across this question wanting to remove malware from the ZTE Blade A1, I have posted a solution here.

  • Also, in case anyone asks: The device is rooted (using KingoRoot), OEM unlocking and USB debugging will be enabled, and I realise my user data (eg, photos) will be deleted. – BenLambell Sep 26 '16 at 4:12
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    Just stop right here. They're all called Blade but the similarity ends there - the hardware is vastly different. Don't even bother trying. – Andy Yan Sep 26 '16 at 5:38
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    I did a quick search on ZTE Blade A1 cyanogenmod and came up with nothing. DO NOT flash a rom unless it's specifically meant for that particular device. Needless to say, you'll end up bricking it. See what XDA can do for you. Curious to know, what malware are you referring to? – blueren Sep 26 '16 at 6:09
  • Isn't the ROM entirely separate from the recovery partition, so you can always use recovery mode to replace an incompatible ROM? – BenLambell Sep 27 '16 at 4:23
  • Malware included LiuLiangBao Traffic, plus adware downloaded by the OS (I couldn't pin down the adware, but I could see the ads). ZTE Cares was also identified as Trojan.Dropper. I thought I disabled all preloaded malware, but I've since had other adware crop up, so obviously not. – BenLambell Sep 27 '16 at 4:31
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To answer your question installing a new custom rom will erase the phone and yes their is a custom rom available and working here is the link Downloaded this rom http://forum.flymeos.com/thread-6638-1-1.html to root of sd card.I installed and works great any question on installing just ask

  • Thanks, Jim. Sorry for the slow reply. Since the phone's in use (and working for now), I don't really want to try installing FlymeOS myself, but I would suggest anyone reading this question give your link a try. – BenLambell May 4 '17 at 8:09
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I had exactly the same problem with my ZTE blade A1. Although I was able to find a stock ROM that suited the phone and contained no adware(or at least less aggresive). I'd say you give it a try. This is the link(I downloaded the first option): http://chinagadgetsreviews.blogspot.it/2016/05/download-latest-android-lollipop-51_77.html

I must say that I wasn't sure about installing it since I didn't know the source, although i had no other option. My phone was already bricked :S.

  • By the way. I didn't find any Custom ROM. – user1970421 Nov 21 '16 at 8:17
  • Thanks for the link. I actually ended up trying an older Blade A1 stock ROM, but it had the same problems and couldn't run Google Play Services. I'd probably avoid using anything from ZTE if at all possible. – BenLambell May 4 '17 at 8:11

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