Back-up (Almost) Everything Before RUU/Factory ResetTips

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  1. SpinDisc

    SpinDisc Member

    Hey Everyone!

    So I'm still fairly new to Android (Incredible's my first Android devide), and was skeptical about install the RUU (thanks for the guide, true!). But when I read that others who had used the OTA or sometimes had to do a factory reset as well, I figured using RUU wouldn't hurt. In fact I believe (IMO, which has no technical backing) that RUU may be better than OTA/, because like upgrading an OS on a computer, a fresh install is better that upgrading over a previous OS. Anyway enough of that...

    My biggest hang-up was backing-up my apps, contacts & text messages (realizing that settings couldn't be saved, no matter what I tried). Since I had never rooted/done anything with my Incredible prior to this, I was also worried about losing apps that I paid for. Now while the following may seem basic to most of you, I know I would have loved to have had this information prior to my RUU update, just to put my mind at ease. So, to anyone out there who's on the fence, check this out.

    Back-up Apps (Free)
    **NOTE: This does not save 3rd party apps. If you have those, you'll need to back those up using ASTRO or App Monster**

    Before anything else, download AppBrain App Market (it's in the Market). Open the app, and click on "Manage my apps", then sign-in using your Gmail account. Once it's set, click on the "Sync with AppBrain" button on the bottom left side. Then, you can go to, log-in with your Gmail account there, and see all of your apps (under "My Apps" at the top) accounted for on your phone (this is also a great place to find new apps, but that's for a different time). Once you've basically accounted for all your apps on AppBrain, you're good to go with free apps.

    Back-up Apps (Paid)
    Do nothing (seriously). After you update with RUU/Factory Reset after OTA/, and go through the set-up process, you'll be able to access your paid apps again (I'll go over this later).

    Back-up Contacts (Google)
    Do nothing (again). If you want, you can do the following: On the home screen - Menu > Settings > Accounts & Sync > Sync All (as long as it syncs to Backup Assistant or Google, you'll be fine, again once you go through the set-up process.

    Back-up Contacts (Phone)
    This is pretty easy (and I know, I could just as easily save all my contacts into Google..but there are some that I don't want cluttering my Gmail account, and won't be in my phone too long). Go to: Menu > People. When on the People screen, hit the Menu button again, then "Import/Export". On the pop-up, click "Export to SD card". Follow the prompts, and you'll have a .VCF file saved to your SD card with all your contacts.

    Back-up Text Messages
    It took me a little while to find a good back-up app, but it's free & works great. Download "SMS Backup & Restore" from the Market. Open the app, then click the "Backup SMS Messages" button. You can create whatever filename you want (leave the .xml extension), and click ok. It will then save your messages to your SD card.


    You are now ready to install RUU (HOW TO INSTALL - Froyo 2.2 RUU with the simplest instructions ever - WINDOWS XP ONLY! is a great resource to use) or do a factory reset. Once you've done whatever you've decided to do, time to get everything back in order.


    Set-up/Restore Contacts (Google)
    Go through the set-up as if you were using the phone for the very first time (out of box). Once you add your Google account/Backup Assistant, you'll have your Google contacts restored.

    Restore Contacts (Phone)
    Same basic steps as backing-up contacts. Go to: Menu > People. When on the People screen, hit the Menu button again, then "Import/Export". On the pop-up, click "Import from SD card". Choose the .VCF file you saved as your backup, and all your phone contacts will be restored.

    Restore Apps (Paid)
    This one is really easy. Go to the Market, then click Menu. Choose "Downloads", and it will have saved your paid apps in a list. Just re-install them (for free, of course) and you're good to go.

    Restore Apps (Free)
    Alright, first thing you need to do is go to Market and re-install the "AppBrain App Market". Once you've done that, open the app, and click on "Manage my apps", then fill out the sign-in information again, using your Gmail account. Once it's set, click on the "Sync with AppBrain" button on the bottom left side. Now go to, log-in with your Gmail account there, and you'll see two apps lists accounted for (my old list was called "Apps on phone" while my newer list was called "Apps on the HTC Droid Incredible"). The easiest way to tell which one if the "FroYo list" is to see which one has Amazon mp3 on it.

    Once you figure out which is the new list and which is the old one, you can easily copy apps from one list to the next. On your "older" list, select all apps, then in the pull down "Add to List" button, choose the name of the "newer list". Then click on your "newer" list, to make sure all the apps copied over. Once that's done, click on the "Sync with AppBrain" button on your phone. Once it syncs, you can click the "Perform installs" button to begin the installing process of your free apps (you'll still need to click install on each app, but it's a lot easier than searching for them in the Market, one at a time). You'll probably have to use "Perform Installs" a few times, as it can only download & install only so many apps at once.

    And FINALLY, Restore Text Messages
    Open "SMS Backup & Restore" (which should have downloaded when you restored your free apps). Click on the "Restore SMS Messages" button, and choose the back-up file to restore (the one you saved earlier). It'll then ask if you want to check for duplicates - since you're restoring for the first time, you can just click "No". Give it a minute, and you'll have all your text convos saved!


    Alright, so that was a pretty lengthy tutorial, on stuff that most of you might already know. But I figured I'd help other noobs who are looking to use RUU or a factory reset, instead of having to completely start from scratch. Hope this helps and thanks to all on this forum! This forum has given me more information than I thought possible! I appreciate all the support here, and hope to learn more along the way.


  2. zemerick

    zemerick Well-Known Member

    Now that's an epic 19th post!

    I'm long past that point, but I think lots of people will love this tutorial. Very well organized, and something that will surely help lots of people through a painful process. Major props!
    t35rk likes this.
  3. pdykstra

    pdykstra Well-Known Member

    What about backing up pictures? thats the biggest thing im afraid of losing.
  4. zemerick

    zemerick Well-Known Member

    Plug the phone into your computer, and just move the files over. You really should do this anyways to prevent a single point of failure ( IE: If you lose your phone, you don't lose the pics. )
  5. BadMedicine

    BadMedicine Active Member

    I wish I read this post 6 hours ago. Then I would have backed up my texts before I installed the RUU. Now I now for the next time. Great post.
  6. alison03

    alison03 Well-Known Member

    holey moley. this is fantastic. I literally *just* got the update on my phone but didn't do it just from reading these boards. I'm torn and need to do A LOT more research because I'm just worried about my phone since it works absolutely perfect right now with 2.1, ugh. :(
  7. xmonkey

    xmonkey Well-Known Member

    Very good post.
  8. srqdroid

    srqdroid New Member

    Great instructions. Glad I read this before updating. Thanks for the info!
  9. msuna

    msuna Active Member

    anyone know of a backup and restore app that does NOT prevent your phone from sleeping?
  10. vjetti

    vjetti Active Member

    Spindisc, thank you for this!! I had the OTA update, and just feel that the phone will be a lot better with a factory reset due to all the apps I've downloaded since April. Doing all these backups now..this thread is VERY useful!

    Also, I was having trouble finding all my photos/videos on the phone to I downloaded another app called m:IQ that is supposed to back up all texts, media, etc to their website. It's owned by Best Buy, free, and seems like a pretty legit useful backup tool..
  11. Gew

    Gew Active Member

    Nice going on the neat tips and tricks, SpinDisc! However, I'm curious on the text messaging backup app you mention. The XML output is a nice feature indeed, but will my Galaxy phone be able to bring the messages back into the built-in(?) messaging central, i.e. parse the XML input? Or will I be stuck to have my back-up as a plain XML, which perhaps will be readable through the mentioned app (and others), yet not actually get messages back into the "messaging system" of the phone. If this is the case, is there any known way to achieve this? Say I have hundreds of precious SMS that I would like to keep, even after a factory reset. How to proceed in this matter?

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