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Old November 11th, 2012, 02:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What's the difference between NAND backup, the back up in ROM Manager, and Titanium back up?

Are they all for different purposes? Should I only backup using the ROM manager back up when flashing new ROMs? And should I only be using Titanium Backup as an all purpose back up? And what exactly is NAND backup, I've only heard about it.

Sorry if these are newbie questions, I just got around to my rooting my Nexus 7.

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Old November 11th, 2012, 03:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A NAND backup is the same as a ROM Manager backup, it's a snapshot/exact copy of your phone exactly how it is when you take the backup. It's generally taken before you flash a new ROM so that if the phone/tab doesn't load, you can boot back into recovery and restore to your devices last working state.

Titanium backup backs up all your apps & the associated data (game saves, settings etc) so that after you've flashed a new ROM, you've not lost anything app/data wise.

The procedure should be:

Backup using Titanium -> Boot into recovery -> Take a NAND Backup -> Flash New ROM then Boot -> Restore Titanium Backup.

Make sense?




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Old November 11th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the detailed explanation. There are some things I'd like to get clarified though.

First off I went ahead and flashed a nightly build of Cyanogen mod after making a nand backup and a titanium back up. Once I was flashed I was able to restore via Titanium Backup and all my apps reappeared. But I was wondering is there anyway to save the homescreen setup too?


Also something I'm confused about is that I restored back to the stock ROM using the nand backup I had made and it seemed to have restored EVERYTHING! Apps and all. I was surprised as I was only expecting to have my stock ROM back meaning I would have to restore from Titanium Backup again.
How is it that the smaller nand backup file contains everything (ROM, system settings (homescreen setup, wifi settings, etc.), and apps) while the titanium backup file is much bigger and only contains the apps and system settings?
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, you should be able to save your home screen setup with Titanium if you're using a 3rd Party launcher like Apex or Nova (the paid versions even offer their own backup options), not sure about the stock launcher on the N7.

You might want to take a look at MyBackupPro, I'm under the impression that will save the homescreen setups of any launcher.

Not sure why the Nandroid backup is smaller? Mine are usually between 1.4 and 1.7GB and my Titanium folder is 817MB.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've never worried about the relative sizes, because I keep a history in Titanium (4 backups maximum per app) and also have backups of apps I've uninstalled, so I have multiple copies of things in my Titanium Backup folder. As my ROM is small, it's not surprising that my Ti Backup folder is much bigger than one of my nandroids.

However, as El Pres said a NAND backup is "a snapshot/exact copy of your phone exactly how it is when you take the backup", and that means a copy of everything. So what you saw is exactly what I'd expect.

As for homescreen layouts, in my experience nothing really backs these up well. Whether you use Titanium, or ask the Launcher app to back up it's setup (because the homescreen layout is just part of the settings of your launcher) and then restore it in a different ROM, what generally happens is you can see where the widgets were but most of them haven't loaded. Of course that assumes you are using the same launcher on the original ROM and CM. Hopefully it only takes a few minutes to put things back though (when I was flashing weekly I got pretty quick at doing this!).

(Disclosure: I've not tried this with one of the ICS launchers, so things may have improved in the last year or so).
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GamerKingFaiz View Post
Also something I'm confused about is that I restored back to the stock ROM using the nand backup I had made and it seemed to have restored EVERYTHING! Apps and all. I was surprised as I was only expecting to have my stock ROM back meaning I would have to restore from Titanium Backup again.
How is it that the smaller nand backup file contains everything (ROM, system settings (homescreen setup, wifi settings, etc.), and apps) while the titanium backup file is much bigger and only contains the apps and system settings?
The answer lies in just how much you put on your phone's internal storage. The NAND backup grabs the entirety of the phone's internal memory (the "NAND Flash"), so if you've installed all your apps, games, and their save data to that, the NAND backup will save all that as part of it.

It gets a little less convienent if you've got some apps/data/savegames moved to your external SD card. The NAND backup will NOT cover anything on the SD, and that is where Titanium backup comes in. It doesn't care where the apps are, it'll make sure to grab both them and their save data.

-edit-
Ouch. Ninja'd by TWO people.....gotta learn to type faster.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadron View Post
(Disclosure: I've not tried this with one of the ICS launchers, so things may have improved in the last year or so).
Yep, Nova does a pretty good job of restoring widgets. I'm sure Apex was ok too, but I've not used it in a while.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Presidente View Post
Not sure why the Nandroid backup is smaller? Mine are usually between 1.4 and 1.7GB and my Titanium folder is 817MB.
Hmm, that's really weird. Unless of course I'm not looking in the right place.

I'm assuming this folder directory:
Computer\Nexus 7\Internal storage\clockworkmod\backup\2012-11-11-01.22.27
is the correct one? If so that backup folder is only 20 MB.

And my Titanium Backup folder located at the root of the internal storage is at 277 MB.




As for the home screen, I'm using the default launcher. Would I have to download a different launcher to save the setup? If so do you guys recommend any launchers? Are there any launchers that stay true to the stock launcher?






EDIT:
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Originally Posted by Joelgp83 View Post
The answer lies in just how much you put on your phone's internal storage. The NAND backup grabs the entirety of the phone's internal memory (the "NAND Flash"), so if you've installed all your apps, games, and their save data to that, the NAND backup will save all that as part of it.
Well the Nexus 7 only has internal memory, haha.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 01:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelgp83 View Post
It gets a little less convienent if you've got some apps/data/savegames moved to your external SD card. The NAND backup will NOT cover anything on the SD, and that is where Titanium backup comes in. It doesn't care where the apps are, it'll make sure to grab both them and their save data.
Interesting. My old phone doesn't have an "internal sd", but apps moved to sd are included in the nandroid - the android_secure.img is actually the largest part of my nand backups.

Are you sure this isn't an option in your recovery?
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Old November 12th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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How does that new TB backup zip work? I tried it, finally got the zip - but also got all the files backed up in the normal fashion. I saw this when I saved the backup to the computer. Does it do both, or either or?
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Old November 12th, 2012, 08:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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How does that new TB backup zip work? I tried it, finally got the zip - but also got all the files backed up in the normal fashion. I saw this when I saved the backup to the computer. Does it do both, or either or?
The zip is done in a way so that you can flash it in recovery before booting a ROM for the first time. I've not actually tried it yet so can't confirm how well it works. I think there are 2 options, one to backup your apps manually, the other to create the zip file.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Good Grief, I forgot I had participated in this thread. Anyway, for the sake of not letting questions go unanswered....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadron View Post
Interesting. My old phone doesn't have an "internal sd", but apps moved to sd are included in the nandroid - the android_secure.img is actually the largest part of my nand backups.

Are you sure this isn't an option in your recovery?
Actually, I think it is an option, I probably didn't look close enough. But I think whatever data it grabs from the SD is more the exception than the rule.

What is probably happening, (in my not so expert opinion, as I'm still a newbie to the inner workings of linux systems), is that every time you "move an app to the SD", the OS is actually moving it to android_secure, and then placing a symlink to android_secure inside whatever folder that app uses on the internal storage.

At that point, during the nandroid backup, it probably hits the symlink, jumps over to the SD card, backs up the data, moves on to the next portion of the NAND to process, all while thinking it is only backing up NAND data the entire time.

Which in turn, means its only indirectly backing up SD data, but not going out of its way for it. If it were truely attempting to grab all parts of an app regardless of where it was, then it would attempt to back up all the assets that app has on the SD card, which -in the case of gameloft games like NOVA 2 that have like 2gb of files on the SD- it's clearly NOT doing.

Nor is it going out of its way to back up all your music and picture files that are on the SD, though I bet if there were any on the NAND it would process them without a second thought.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 01:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Ah, that explains it. It will explicitly back up .android_secure, but if apps have data stored elsewhere on sd I'd not expect it to back those up (ie it won't analyse the app to work out what files the app was using). So .android_secure is what I was thinking of when I spoke of backing up apps on sd.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 12:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think it is also why, if you do a factory reset while apps are still on the SD card, the system thinks they're no longer installed despite the fact they're still in android_secure on the SD -- without the symlink, the system has no idea to look there.

Anyway, I for all I know we could both be totally off about the inner workings of this. I wonder, could we get a dev in here to confirm/deny this stuff?
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