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Old November 14th, 2012, 09:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question What's your data backup/restore process when switching ROM's?

I've used a few different backup programs, Titanium Backup, SMS Backup, and MyBackup Root to name a couple, and they work fine with apps and app data, but I can't seem to get any one program to back up ALL USER DATA. Things like SMS messages, call log, etc. Is there such a program? And one that can back up data in such a way that it is compatible across most ROM's?

Also, not only can you use different programs, but you can do the various steps in different ways. Restoring between ROMs is a bit tricky, because it seems to require multiple steps to get all data back as it was, let alone 100% restored.

What's your full procedure that you follow and software you utilize to do a backup and restore when switching ROM's?

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Old November 15th, 2012, 01:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Titanium Backup should be able to back up SMS messages. The problem is that various text messaging apps store them differently. So, for example, if you back up SMS messages in HTC Sense, and try to restore them in an AOSP ROM, you will likely run into trouble. Most likely, it will just not work.

For me, I just back up apps and data I know I want to keep between ROMs. You CAN back up user data, but like I said above, it can be hit or miss on whether or not it will be compatible between ROMs. Especially skinned versus non-skinned ROMs, you may run into issues.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The latest version of Titanium lets you make an update.zip with all apps and user data including Titanium itself so you don't even have to boot into your rom to install it before you can restore. However as was previously posted sometimes replacing data across different roms just doesn't work.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 06:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I LOVE that new feature. It is quite a bit faster than manually restoring each app and its data one by one.

Titanium Backup is a great app. Everyone who has a rooted device should have it installed.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 05:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot for that info. I have Titanium Backup, version 5.5. I had seen this "Create update.zip" menu option, but hadn't gotten around to looking into it. If it backs up all user data, that's great.

About compatibility... isn't Android founded on certain core programs that should obviate most incompatibilities? For instance, SMS messages, call logs, and contacts should all be stored the same way. Or, do some programs add additional data elements that make the data incompatible? If so, I wonder if there's a way to find out about that ahead of time.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bummer... I just tried "update.zip" with Titanium Backup. It didn't work. Failed to load. Maybe there's some ROM compatibility issues.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xevious View Post
Thanks a lot for that info. I have Titanium Backup, version 5.5. I had seen this "Create update.zip" menu option, but hadn't gotten around to looking into it. If it backs up all user data, that's great.

About compatibility... isn't Android founded on certain core programs that should obviate most incompatibilities? For instance, SMS messages, call logs, and contacts should all be stored the same way. Or, do some programs add additional data elements that make the data incompatible? If so, I wonder if there's a way to find out about that ahead of time.
They SHOULD be stored the same way, but OEMs tend to ignore that and go their own way on some things. Maybe that has improved though.

I do not tend to back up my text messages. I have never really had any that important that they merited backing up.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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SMS Backup works fine for that, actually. The main problem I have is call logs and calendar.

You know what I find so annoying about calendar backups? I've discovered that most of the time, government holidays are stored and then loaded as if they were your calendar entries. The result? DUPLICATES. How crazy is that. Calendar backups should ignore government holidays.

Anyway, I've gradually discovered that it's important to make note of which backups come from which ROMs. Because "system data" isn't compatible. If you switch between ROMs and want to restore your application icons and other system settings, knowing which backup applies will help save you significant time. Spending 30+ minutes getting all of my settings corrected and application icons restored is a pain.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Bummer... I just tried "update.zip" with Titanium Backup. It didn't work. Failed to load. Maybe there's some ROM compatibility issues.
You're running an extremely ancient version, the current version is 7.1. Definitely time for an update.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 12:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, but I paid for 5.5 Pro... I don't think I get free updates to a major version.

Are you aware of some issues like this with the update.zip that were fixed in version 7?

In any case, I had an epiphany and feel a bit dumb I didn't think of it before.

Regular backup programs work great within a given ROM. They aren't anticipating you switching between ROM's. When you do, that's when things get dicey. Well, in this case... NANDROID. Use either ClockWorkMod or TWRP, and make a full system backup as a base-line. Then when you want to do a complete ROM switch, use one of those and then augment with individual data updates (e.g. SMS texts, call log, calendar, etc). Of course, name the backups accordingly so you don't get mixed up.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Why make a backup of your calendar? Your Google account already backs that up automatically, right?

I think you can turn government holidays off if you go into your calendar in GMail. Just an idea.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Titanium Backup Pro also has the option to back up SMS and call logs in XML format, which should let you port between ROMs.

Not changed ROM since this was added, so can't confirm how well it works, but as that's what many SMS backup apps do there's no reason it shouldn't.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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When using Google and synchronizing the calendar, it imports all of the US holidays by default apparently, and they're stored in the phone as your own calendar events. I think this is why they end up appearing as duplicates. A bit of a pain to have to turn off government holidays every time you synchronize.

Anyway, I'll have to look into an updated Titanium Backup. I tried restoring an SMS backup I made with it and it failed.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 12:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Like I said, I think you can go into your Google calendar within your GMail account on your computer and disable the holidays. I might be wrong though.

I remember someone else asking about that and that was the solution. Maybe it has changed though.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 02:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Actually, you can show/hide government holidays, depending on what you click on, but I didn't see any specification on inclusion/exclusion when synchronizing.

Of course, if this was a core problem there would be many people complaining and there aren't... So, I suspect that at some point I must have made a backup that caused the government holidays to be treated as mine... which ended up as duplicates in the Google Calendar. I went in and deleted them all through the Google interface (took a while), then synchronized and they were gone. Google should put in a duplicates check on calendar event names, if they match with government and user (just in case).
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