Install the custom ROM

Page 4 of 5 - ZTE Blade 3 - Install a custom Jelly Bean ROM / ICS ROM from scratch


Introduction » Install USB drivers » Install ClockworkMod Recovery » Install the custom ROM » Comments


You now need to choose and install a custom ROM. 

Click "I want to install the recommended Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) ROM" if you simply want the fastest and most stable ROM, with all the ZTE and network branding removed. We will tell you which ROM to download and how to install it.

Alternatively, you can choose to download and install CyanogenMod. CyanogenMod is a community developed ROM, available for nearly every Android device on the market. It aims to bring the Google Android experience to all phones, but also adds a number of improvements and tweaks. We do NOT recommend you install any CyanogenMod ROM on your ZTE Blade 3 at this time, as they are all currently experimental with bugs and some missing. Development is still in progress, so hopefully we will see a stable version soon.

You can also find a huge range of other ROMs to download from the Modaco forums. Once you have chosen the ROM, download it and click the correct link below under "Other ROMs" for install instructions.

Note, these instructions are designed for Windows computers, however the instructions should be similar for Mac and Linux computers.

Recommended ROM

I want to install the recommended Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) ROM


  1. Download Aurora Borealis by KonstaT and save it to your computer. All ROMs come as a .zip file. Note, you should NOT extract / unzip ROM zip files. Release notes for Aurora Borealis here.
  2. Once the download has completed, download gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip (do NOT extract  / unzip it) and save it to your computer. Wait for the download to complete.
  3. By now, you should have 2 new zip files on your computer:

    1. Aurora-Borealis-RLS1.zip
    2. gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip

  4. Connect your phone to your computer.
  5. From your phone, pull down the notification menu and tap the notification with the USB icon, as shown below. Ignore any title differences you may see between the picture below and on your phone.
    Tap the USB icon
  6. Make sure Media device (MTP) is ticked.
  7. Go back to your computer and copy the gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip file you download earlier (right click -> Copy).
  8. Go to Start - > Computer.
  9. You should see ZTE Blade III under Portable Devices, as show below.
  10. Double click on ZTE Blade III.
    Double click on ZTE Blade III
  11. You should see two folders named Phone and SD Card.
  12. Right click on SD Card and click Paste. Wait for the file to transfer.
    Right click on SD Card and click Paste
  13. Now find the Aurora-Borealis-RLS1.zip file, and also follow the same method to copy and paste it to the SD Card. The ROM file will be bigger so it will take longer to transfer.
  14. Once completed, turn off your phone and remove the battery. Wait 20 seconds, and then reinsert the battery.
  15. Hold the Volume Down and Power on buttons at the same time until you see ClockworkMod Recovery, as shown below.
    ClockworkMod Recovery
  16. Quick tutorial for ClockworkMod Recovery: use the volume buttons to move up and down the list, and the power button to select an item.
  17. Select install zip from sd card
  18. Select choose zip from sdcard
  19. Select Aurora-Borealis-RLS1.zip (NOT gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip)
  20. Select Yes - Install Aurora-Borealis-RLS1.zip
  21. Wait for it to complete.
  22. Select choose zip from sdcard
  23. Select gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip
  24. Select Yes - Install gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip
  25. Wait for it to complete.
  26. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  27. Select wipe data/factory reset
  28. Select Yes -- delete all user data
  29. Wait for it to complete.
  30. Select wipe cache partition
  31. Select Yes - Wipe Cache
  32. Wait for it to complete.
  33. Select advanced
  34. Select wipe dalvik cache 
  35. Select Yes - Wipe Dalvik Cache
  36. Wait for it to complete.
  37. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  38. Select reboot system now
  39. Bravo! Your phone will reboot into your new custom ROM. It may take a few extra minutes to boot the first time.
     

CyanogenMod ROMs

I want to install CyanogenMod 10.0 Jelly Bean (JB)


  1. Download cm-10-20130224-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip (do NOT extract  / unzip it) and save it to your computer (release notes here)
  2. Once the download has completed, download gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip (do NOT extract  / unzip it) and save it to your computer. Wait for the download to complete.
  3. By now, you should have 2 new zip files on your computer:

    1. cm-10-20130224-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip
    2. gapps-jb-20121011-signed zip file.

  4. Connect your phone to your computer.
  5. From your phone, pull down the notification menu and tap the notification with the USB icon, as shown below. Ignore any title differences you may see between the picture below and on your phone.
    Tap the USB icon
  6. Make sure Media device (MTP) is ticked.
  7. Go back to your computer and copy the gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip file you download earlier (right click -> Copy).
  8. Go to Start - > Computer.
  9. You should see ZTE Blade III under Portable Devices, as show below.
  10. Double click on ZTE Blade III.
    Double click on ZTE Blade III
  11. You should see two folders named Phone and SD Card.
  12. Right click on SD Card and click Paste. Wait for the file to transfer.
    Right click on SD Card and click Paste
  13. Now find cm-10-20130224-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip and also follow the same method to copy and paste it to the SD Card. The ROM file will be bigger so it will take longer to transfer.
  14. Once completed, turn off your phone and remove the battery. Wait 20 seconds, and then reinsert the battery.
  15. Hold the Volume Down and Power on buttons at the same time until you see ClockworkMod Recovery, as shown below.
    ClockworkMod Recovery
  16. Quick tutorial for ClockworkMod Recovery: use the volume buttons to move up and down the list, and the power button to select an item.
  17. Select install zip from sd card
  18. Select choose zip from sdcard
  19. Select the cm-10-20130224-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip (NOT gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip)
  20. Select Yes - Install cm-10-20130224-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip
  21. Wait for it to complete.
  22. Select choose zip from sdcard
  23. Select gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip
  24. Select Yes - Install gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip
  25. Wait for it to complete.
  26. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  27. Select wipe data/factory reset
  28. Select Yes -- delete all user data
  29. Wait for it to complete.
  30. Select wipe cache partition
  31. Select Yes - Wipe Cache
  32. Wait for it to complete.
  33. Select advanced
  34. Select wipe dalvik cache 
  35. Select Yes - Wipe Dalvik Cache
  36. Wait for it to complete.
  37. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  38. Select reboot system now
  39. Bravo! Your phone will reboot into your new custom ROM. It may take a few extra minutes to boot the first time.
     

I want to install CyanogenMod 10.1 Jelly Bean (JB)


  1. Download cm-10.1-20130317-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip (do NOT extract  / unzip it) and save it to your computer (release notes here)
  2. Once the download has completed, download gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip (do NOT extract  / unzip it) and save it to your computer. Wait for the download to complete.
  3. By now, you should have 2 new zip files on your computer:

    1. cm-10.1-20130317-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip
    2. gapps-jb-20121212-signed zip file.

  4. Connect your phone to your computer.
  5. From your phone, pull down the notification menu and tap the notification with the USB icon, as shown below. Ignore any title differences you may see between the picture below and on your phone.
    Tap the USB icon
  6. Make sure Media device (MTP) is ticked.
  7. Go back to your computer and copy the gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip file you download earlier (right click -> Copy).
  8. Go to Start - > Computer.
  9. You should see ZTE Blade III under Portable Devices, as show below.
  10. Double click on ZTE Blade III.
    Double click on ZTE Blade III
  11. You should see two folders named Phone and SD Card.
  12. Right click on SD Card and click Paste. Wait for the file to transfer.
    Right click on SD Card and click Paste
  13. Now find cm-10.1-20130317-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip, and also follow the same method to copy and paste it to the SD Card. The ROM file will be bigger so it will take longer to transfer.
  14. Once completed, turn off your phone and remove the battery. Wait 20 seconds, and then reinsert the battery.
  15. Hold the Volume Down and Power on buttons at the same time until you see ClockworkMod Recovery, as shown below.
    ClockworkMod Recovery
  16. Quick tutorial for ClockworkMod Recovery: use the volume buttons to move up and down the list, and the power button to select an item.
  17. Select install zip from sd card
  18. Select choose zip from sdcard
  19. Select cm-10.1-20130317-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip. (NOT gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip)
  20. Select Yes - Install cm-10.1-20130317-KonstaKANG-atlas40.zip
  21. Wait for it to complete.
  22. Select choose zip from sdcard
  23. Select gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip
  24. Select Yes - Install gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip
  25. Wait for it to complete.
  26. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  27. Select wipe data/factory reset
  28. Select Yes -- delete all user data
  29. Wait for it to complete.
  30. Select wipe cache partition
  31. Select Yes - Wipe Cache
  32. Wait for it to complete.
  33. Select advanced
  34. Select wipe dalvik cache 
  35. Select Yes - Wipe Dalvik Cache
  36. Wait for it to complete.
  37. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  38. Select reboot system now
  39. Bravo! Your phone will reboot into your new custom ROM. It may take a few extra minutes to boot the first time.
     

Other ROMs

I want to install a custom Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) ROM


  1. Choose an Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich ROM to download from the Modaco forums. All ROMs come as a .zip file. Note, you should NOT extract / unzip ROM files.
  2. Once the download has completed, download gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip (do NOT extract  / unzip it) and save it to your computer. Wait for the download to complete.
  3. By now, you should have 2 new zip files on your computer:

    1. The custom ROM zip file.
    2. The gapps-ics-20120429-signed zip file.

  4. Connect your phone to your computer.
  5. From your phone, pull down the notification menu and tap the notification with the USB icon, as shown below. Ignore any title differences you may see between the picture below and on your phone.
    Tap the USB icon
  6. Make sure Media device (MTP) is ticked.
  7. Go back to your computer and copy the gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip file you download earlier (right click -> Copy).
  8. Go to Start - > Computer.
  9. You should see ZTE Blade III under Portable Devices, as show below.
  10. Double click on ZTE Blade III.
    Double click on ZTE Blade III
  11. You should see two folders named Phone and SD Card.
  12. Right click on SD Card and click Paste. Wait for the file to transfer.
    Right click on SD Card and click Paste
  13. Now find the other zip file you downloaded earlier (the custom ROM zip file), and also follow the same method to copy and paste it to the SD Card. The ROM file will be bigger so it will take longer to transfer.
  14. Once completed, turn off your phone and remove the battery. Wait 20 seconds, and then reinsert the battery.
  15. Hold the Volume Down and Power on buttons at the same time until you see ClockworkMod Recovery, as shown below.
    ClockworkMod Recovery
  16. Quick tutorial for ClockworkMod Recovery: use the volume buttons to move up and down the list, and the power button to select an item.
  17. Select install zip from sd card
  18. Select choose zip from sdcard
  19. Select the custom ROM zip file you downloaded earlier. (NOT gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip)
  20. Select Yes - Install <custom ROM zip file you downloaded earlier>.zip
  21. Wait for it to complete.
  22. Select choose zip from sdcard
  23. Select gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip
  24. Select Yes - Install gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip
  25. Wait for it to complete.
  26. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  27. Select wipe data/factory reset
  28. Select Yes -- delete all user data
  29. Wait for it to complete.
  30. Select wipe cache partition
  31. Select Yes - Wipe Cache
  32. Wait for it to complete.
  33. Select advanced
  34. Select wipe dalvik cache 
  35. Select Yes - Wipe Dalvik Cache
  36. Wait for it to complete.
  37. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  38. Select reboot system now
  39. Bravo! Your phone will reboot into your new custom ROM. It may take a few extra minutes to boot the first time.
     

I want to install a custom Android 4.1.x Jelly Bean (JB) ROM


  1. Choose an Android 4.1.x Jelly Bean ROM to download from the Modaco forums. All ROMs come as a .zip file. Note, you should NOT extract / unzip ROM files.
  2. Once the download has completed, download gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip (do NOT extract  / unzip it) and save it to your computer. Wait for the download to complete.
  3. By now, you should have 2 new zip files on your computer:

    1. The custom ROM zip file.
    2. The gapps-jb-20121011-signed zip file.

  4. Connect your phone to your computer.
  5. From your phone, pull down the notification menu and tap the notification with the USB icon, as shown below. Ignore any title differences you may see between the picture below and on your phone.
    Tap the USB icon
  6. Make sure Media device (MTP) is ticked.
  7. Go back to your computer and copy the gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip file you download earlier (right click -> Copy).
  8. Go to Start - > Computer.
  9. You should see ZTE Blade III under Portable Devices, as show below.
  10. Double click on ZTE Blade III.
    Double click on ZTE Blade III
  11. You should see two folders named Phone and SD Card.
  12. Right click on SD Card and click Paste. Wait for the file to transfer.
    Right click on SD Card and click Paste
  13. Now find the other zip file you downloaded earlier (the custom ROM zip file), and also follow the same method to copy and paste it to the SD Card. The ROM file will be bigger so it will take longer to transfer.
  14. Once completed, turn off your phone and remove the battery. Wait 20 seconds, and then reinsert the battery.
  15. Hold the Volume Down and Power on buttons at the same time until you see ClockworkMod Recovery, as shown below.
    ClockworkMod Recovery
  16. Quick tutorial for ClockworkMod Recovery: use the volume buttons to move up and down the list, and the power button to select an item.
  17. Select install zip from sd card
  18. Select choose zip from sdcard
  19. Select the custom ROM zip file you downloaded earlier. (NOT gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip)
  20. Select Yes - Install <custom ROM zip file you downloaded earlier>.zip
  21. Wait for it to complete.
  22. Select choose zip from sdcard
  23. Select gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip
  24. Select Yes - Install gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip
  25. Wait for it to complete.
  26. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  27. Select wipe data/factory reset
  28. Select Yes -- delete all user data
  29. Wait for it to complete.
  30. Select wipe cache partition
  31. Select Yes - Wipe Cache
  32. Wait for it to complete.
  33. Select advanced
  34. Select wipe dalvik cache 
  35. Select Yes - Wipe Dalvik Cache
  36. Wait for it to complete.
  37. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  38. Select reboot system now
  39. Bravo! Your phone will reboot into your new custom ROM. It may take a few extra minutes to boot the first time.
     

I want to install a custom Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean (JB) ROM


  1. Choose an Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean ROM to download from the Modaco forums. All ROMs come as a .zip file. Note, you should NOT extract / unzip ROM files.
  2. Once the download has completed, download gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip (do NOT extract  / unzip it) and save it to your computer. Wait for the download to complete.
  3. By now, you should have 2 new zip files on your computer:

    1. The custom ROM zip file.
    2. The gapps-jb-20121212-signed zip file.

  4. Connect your phone to your computer.
  5. From your phone, pull down the notification menu and tap the notification with the USB icon, as shown below. Ignore any title differences you may see between the picture below and on your phone.
    Tap the USB icon
  6. Make sure Media device (MTP) is ticked.
  7. Go back to your computer and copy the gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip file you download earlier (right click -> Copy).
  8. Go to Start - > Computer.
  9. You should see ZTE Blade III under Portable Devices, as show below.
  10. Double click on ZTE Blade III.
    Double click on ZTE Blade III
  11. You should see two folders named Phone and SD Card.
  12. Right click on SD Card and click Paste. Wait for the file to transfer.
    Right click on SD Card and click Paste
  13. Now find the other zip file you downloaded earlier (the custom ROM zip file), and also follow the same method to copy and paste it to the SD Card. The ROM file will be bigger so it will take longer to transfer.
  14. Once completed, turn off your phone and remove the battery. Wait 20 seconds, and then reinsert the battery.
  15. Hold the Volume Down and Power on buttons at the same time until you see ClockworkMod Recovery, as shown below.
    ClockworkMod Recovery
  16. Quick tutorial for ClockworkMod Recovery: use the volume buttons to move up and down the list, and the power button to select an item.
  17. Select install zip from sd card
  18. Select choose zip from sdcard
  19. Select the custom ROM zip file you downloaded earlier. (NOT gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip)
  20. Select Yes - Install <custom ROM zip file you downloaded earlier>.zip
  21. Wait for it to complete.
  22. Select choose zip from sdcard
  23. Select gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip
  24. Select Yes - Install gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip
  25. Wait for it to complete.
  26. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  27. Select wipe data/factory reset
  28. Select Yes -- delete all user data
  29. Wait for it to complete.
  30. Select wipe cache partition
  31. Select Yes - Wipe Cache
  32. Wait for it to complete.
  33. Select advanced
  34. Select wipe dalvik cache 
  35. Select Yes - Wipe Dalvik Cache
  36. Wait for it to complete.
  37. Select +++++Go Back+++++
  38. Select reboot system now
  39. Bravo! Your phone will reboot into your new custom ROM. It may take a few extra minutes to boot the first time.