When I used to own the T-Mobile G1, I remember the process of gaining root access being extremely tedious and risky.
Thanks to the group over at DroidMod you can install an application directly onto the device to do it all for you! You don't actually have to install DroidMod to root the device, but it does include some nice features like WiFi tethering, live wallpapers, and 5 home screens.
Note: I claim no responsibility if you brick/ruin your device.
Step 1: Install DMUpdater
Download and install the DMUpdater v0.1.1 application, the .apk file can be downloaded here.
Step 2: Open DMUpdater and Root
Open DMUpdater and it will automatically ask to Root your phone (if it isn't already rooted):
Choose "Root my phone" and DMUpdater will download the necessary files automatically:
After the files are done downloading, DMUpdater will instruct you on how to apply the update:
Manually shut off your phone, then while turning it back on hold down the X key on your keyboard. This will load the device into recovery mode and you will see this picture:
You can release the X key when this picture appears on your Droid. To enter the recovery menu from here press the Volume Up button and Camera button at the same time (holding down the volume up button and pressing the camera button works too) and you will be presented with this menu:
You can navigate this menu with your Droid's D-Pad and select with the gold D-Pad center button. Scroll down to "apply sdcard:update.zip" and press select. This will apply the recovery image you downloaded earlier, giving you root access to your Droid:
Once the image has been applied, you will be presented with the recovery menu again. Choose the first option to "reboot system now".
Now you have root access!
To verify this, open your app drawer and look for the "Superuser Permissions" application.
Step 3: Install DroidMod
On your rooted Droid, open the DMUpdater application again. It will request Super User permissions, check "Remember" and click "Allow" to allow DMUpdater root access:
DMUpdater will automatically download the appropriate SPrecovery image:
Once this download has completed, you will be asked to update your recovery image, click "I understand the risk" to continue.
Another confirmation screen will appear confirming that you want to update your recovery image, click "Flash recovery image" to continue.
DMUpdater will flash your recovery image and present you with your current ROM info, select "ROM Menu":
From the ROM menu select DroidMod 1.0:
Then click the "Flash ROM" button on the confirmation dialog:
Your Droid will reboot into SPrecovery, automatically create a nandroid backup, unpack the ROM and install it:
The ROM installer will ask you a few questions about features you would like to install, the first selection will ask you if you want to wipe /data.
You can navigate through these menus using the volume up and down buttons and select using the camera button.
Select "No, keep /data" unless you're currently using Android v2.1 (unlikely)
The next question is which bashrc (adb shell) you would like to use, if you are unsure then choose "Windows Non-Colored bashrc":
The next question asks if you're having any trouble with Google Maps force-closing. Answer according to your experience with your Droid so far:
Now you begin selecting packages to install, these work like check boxes. I recommend 2.1 Keyboard, 2.1 Desk Clock, Milestone Browser, News and Weather Widget, Youtube HQ, and WiFi Tether:
You will be presented with another similar list of packages to install. I recommend HQ Video and Milestone Widgets:
The next 2 options are 1 at a time, I recommend choosing 2.1 Music App and 2.1 Gallery. Then you are presented with another list of features to remove. I recommend deselecting all of these in case you need one in the future:
Now the DroidMod image will be installed with the selected features and the device will reboot itself, loading into DroidMod:
Now you're officially rooted with DroidMod installed, enjoy!
For more info and help visit www.DroidMod.org, and thanks to the DroidMod forums for the images used for this walk-through.