HTC Desire Z owners, must be feeling jealous, since a bunch of Android handsets (Galaxy S2, Galaxy S, Nexus S) got an early alpha build of the Ice Cream Sandwich port since the OS code went public, except for their handset.
Thankfully, a new pre-Alpha Ice Cream Sandwich ROM just popped up for the Desire Z over at XDA forums. Better late than never, eh?
Since this is an (pre) alpha build, quite a few things are not working with this ROM including sensors, Camera, FM Radio, and most importantly Hardware acceleration. The basic phone functionalities like Radio, Touch screen, Bluetooth, Physical keyboard, Audio and Wi-Fi do somewhat work though. Interested Desire Z owners can find the download link here, along with the accompanying Google Apps zip file from here.
The installation steps of this ROM is same as any other custom ROM. Keep in mind that you must have a rooted handset to install a custom ROM on your handset. First transfer both the files you downloaded above to your phone. Now, Reboot into recovery, and select the ‘format data/factory reset’ option, and after that format the system partition from under the ‘Mounts & Storage’ menu.
Now, select the ‘install zip from SD card’ and then select the Ice Cream Sandwich zip file which you downloaded earlier. Reboot your phone after this to enjoy an early build of Ice Cream Sandwich on your phone.
To install all the Google related apps on your phone, once again reboot your phone into recovery mode, and then simply select the ‘install zip from SD card’ option and then select the Google Apps zip file. Reboot your handset once done!
P.S. – I have intentionally not linked to the original XDA thread here, since its a development related thread and I don’t want newbies to post on that thread complainging about what works and what does not work on this ROM.