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Old August 24th, 2013, 07:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default S4 Backup restore exact duplicate

Hi,

The S4 i purchased and had been using for 2 days had a fault with it. I have spoken to the shop i purchased it from and they haev agreed to do a replacement with this-

However, i have spent time customising my phone, eg. the layout, apps etc - is there a way, even by using Samsung Kies - that i can "back up the phone" - and "restore" the complete exact same image of the phone when i get my phone back??

Kind regards

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Old August 24th, 2013, 07:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Google syncing and JS Backup should get you most of the way there. However, I don't think either will capture your home screen(s) configuration. It's a trivial task to backup homescreen to sd in many alternate launchers (like Apex, which is what I use), but not stock Touchwiz.
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Old August 24th, 2013, 10:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't think of much either that will capture configurations without being rooted. Then you have to be rooted to restore it back. The store may have the ability to do it for you.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 04:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sadly, I don't think such a thing exists.

There are two areas where I think Android is really (really) weak compared to IOS and that is desktop syncing and backup. On an iPhone both are a simple click in iTunes. I had to do what you are trying to do on an iPhone once and it was an absolute doddle.

I have spent a lot of time looking for a solution to these issues but it just doesn't exist.

As far as backups are concerned, your best best is a nandroid backup performed using something like ClockworkMod and an app backup using Titanium Backup Pro. However, both of these require fairly extensive modifications to your phone. If you are not rooted with a custom recovery, I don't think what you want to do is possible.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 05:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Helium can do a pretty comprehensive app backup without root. Don't know about Touchwiz screen layouts because I don't have a Samsung. You can also back up using adb without root - if you look in the FAQs section of the Introductions forum you'll find threads about this.

Surely backing up iPhone screen layouts is trivial because it's just what icons are on what screen, with no other customisation existing?
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Old August 25th, 2013, 08:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Surely backing up iPhone screen layouts is trivial because it's just what icons are on what screen, with no other customisation existing?
While that's true, I wasn't specifically talking about that. An iPhone backup (which takes one click) can be restored (with only about 2 or 3 clicks) onto another phone leaving it identical to the original. There isn't anything on Android that can do this.

I have an S4 and an iPhone 5 and i much prefer the S4 but there is nothing even 1/10 as good as iTunes when it comes to desktop interaction with the phone and I think that is a major drawback. My piano teacher (who is a technically capable lady in her 60s) recently asked me about an Android phone vs an iPhone and I didn't hesitate to recommend an iPhone solely for this reason. She has no desire to faff about with backups and syncing and doing both of those on Android is a giant faff and a huge pig's ear.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 10:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes it is annoying quirk that you can't back up your home screen settings, settings etc. It should be possible to sync any and all settings to a PC and restore all or any to another phone of the same model. It's the one thing that Apple have got right.

While a Nandroid back up with a rooted phone will take a "snap shot" of it at that time I would be rather wary of restoring a Nandriod to a different phone to the one it was made on (That one would have to be rooted as well). Nandroids can be pretty temperamental things; for instance never change their folder title it borks the Md5 checksum rendering them useless.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 11:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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When I got my replacement S4, I cloned it to the first one I had personalized to my liking, in two long steps. The first step was with Kies, having previously done a back-up of the original S4. The second step was manually. I had diagramed what apps. I had and where they were located on their page. no question, it took me a number of hours to totally get the new one to be a clone of the first one.

Your right though, there's nothing like the ease and effectiveness of iTunes to clone a new or restored iPhone to its back-up phone.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 06:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I haven't had the ability to completely clone a replacement phone since the old Palm days. But when I needed to do it, it always worked. I remember one time four years ago I lost my Palm Centro at an amusement park (probably fell out of my pocket on one of those upside down rides!). I searched Craigslist for the same model used, bought it, plugged it into my computer (which already has previous backups/syncs on it) and did a sync. Everything was restored. Screen layout, contacts, applications, network setup, emails, SMS, photos, EVERYTHING. When will Android be able to do what Palm could do 10 years ago?
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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I just asked a similar question. I am rooted. Is it still a lengthy process? The reason I want to do back everything up is I just got this phone rooted and setup the way I like it and then realized I was running MDC! That's not even close the the latest version. SOAB!
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Old August 27th, 2013, 03:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynomot View Post
While a Nandroid back up with a rooted phone will take a "snap shot" of it at that time I would be rather wary of restoring a Nandriod to a different phone to the one it was made on (That one would have to be rooted as well). Nandroids can be pretty temperamental things; for instance never change their folder title it borks the Md5 checksum rendering them useless.
I've heard people say that, but I always rename them and never have that problem. Maybe it depends on what recovery you have, machine you use, or how you rename them (as an long time Unix and Linux user I never put spaces in file names, for example)?
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Old August 27th, 2013, 12:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadron View Post
I've heard people say that, but I always rename them and never have that problem. Maybe it depends on what recovery you have, machine you use, or how you rename them (as an long time Unix and Linux user I never put spaces in file names, for example)?
Right, you can rename nand backups, you just have to be VERY careful about what characters you use in the name. No 'special' characters, and in this instance that includes a space.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadron View Post
I've heard people say that, but I always rename them and never have that problem. Maybe it depends on what recovery you have, machine you use, or how you rename them (as an long time Unix and Linux user I never put spaces in file names, for example)?
Thats curious, but I would suspect your right. I've renamed them on the phone and the PC (aging Vista - spit laptop) before realising it borked them (for me anyway). It borked on my SGS2 and I've just done an experiment on my SGSIII - All on the internal SD, took a Nandroid, copied it, renamed it and tried to restore the renamed one - borked. The original restored.

EDIT Me being a longtime Windows user used spaces I'll know in future not to.
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