Comprehensive Guide to Android Backup for Noobs


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  1. BruceH

    BruceH Member This Topic's Starter

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    Calling all fellow noobs,

    Okay, you have spent hours, days, weeks or more configuring your android system downloading apps, populating your address book, tweaking your settings, etc. your phone is as perfect as you can make it at this point without Froyo. You get up from the sofa to go grab a cold one from the fridge. Just as you guzzle that first refreshing swig, you hear a whack and a plop. Investigating, you find that your nephew Sebastian has tested his scaled-down toy carpenter hammer on your screen and then dumped the whole affair into the toilet. Not good.

    Whether you are able to salvage the damaged phone or are forced to buy a replacement, you need to restore the system, including all of your apps, configuration settings, contacts, etc. But where is the backup? And what types of backup are appropriate for bail-out from different situations?

    So, here is the definitive scoop. Follow this and ye shall not be led astray nor shall your data crumble:

    (1) Download and execute a one-click rooting solution for your phone. This is easy, will not harm your phone, and is necessary for the backup software to acquire a level of access to be able to back up your entire system.

    (2) Now download and install ROM Manager. Execute the "Manage and Restore Backups" function of ROM Manager to create a nandroid; of your phone. The nandroid is an image file of the entire contents of your phone. It is useful for restoring your entire original phone to the exact state that the phone was in when you created the nandroid.
    This might be useful in case of OS corruption or the like. You can also restore the image to a replacement phone of the same model, in effect turning the replacement phone into your old phone, functionally speaking.

    (3) Now download and install Titanium Backup. Titanium Backup will search your phone, find all of the applications on your phone, backup all the configuration settings from all of the applications, and will back up all applications downloaded from the marketplace. Titanium does not back up applications that came preinstalled on your phone or system applications. It does however, backup configuration data associated with all of the latter applications. Titanium also provides the flexibility of disabling applications as an alternative to uninstalling the applications. This can be handy in the case of preinstalled applications that one is hesitant to remove completely but does not wish to have loaded into RAM space. Titanium will restore any backed-up applications and configuration information associated with any or all applications. So, think of Titanium as an application level backup/restore solution capable of backing up and restoring individual applications and their data/configuration files.

    (4) Now, at your PC, download SyncToy 2.0 from Microsoft (it is free). SyncToy is a tool used to synchronize folders within a system or between systems. However, it is also very useful for performing file-by-file backups. Just mount your rooted android phone to your PC so that all of the phones folders are visible in Windows Explorer. In SyncToy, you establish a synchronization pair of folders, one on the left and one on the right. For the left hand folder, choose the root directory of your android phone. This directory would be annotated in SyncToy in the Windows format as the drive letter assigned by Windows to your android's filesystem followed by a backslash. So, for example if Windows sees your phone as drive M:, then the left hand folder of sync Toy should be populated with M:\. The right hand folder entry in sync Toy should be populated with a directory chosen to contain a backup of all files from your phone, including the directory structure from the phone. There are a few options in sync Toy that are important. After populating the left hand and right hand folder windows, the following screen will present options defining which direction data is passed under certain circumstances. Always choose the option: contribute to ensure that this process is always a backup of the phone, from the phone, and that no data ever gets written to the phone. Press "run" to create the file by file backup with directory structure from the phone. You can do this periodically, and only new files that were added to your phone since the last sync Toy backup will be transferred. That is because sync Toy maintains an index of all files already transferred. After running this backup to completion, an exact copy of the phones directory structure will reside on your PC. If you mistakenly delete or corrupt a file on the phone, you can simply copy a replacement over from the PC.

    So now there you have it, fellow noobs, an image backup to restore the entire phone, via the nandroid created using ROM manager; a specialized and very useful application-oriented backup and application management solution using Titanium Backup, and a file-based backup of the entire system using SyncToy. What more could a little green creature want?

    Bruce
     

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  2. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

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    No offense, but I couldn't disagree with this more. You're advocating that someone who just got their phone and may or may not have any idea what they're doing go out and void their warranty and give themselves the ability to completely frak up the phone.

    You don't need to root your phone to get a good backup of it so rooting is a completely unnecessary step and opens the door to a ton of problems.
     
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  3. Pryomancer

    Pryomancer Well-Known Member

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    I agree, mybackup can back up your data without root, and it does all the important things like contacts and texts etc.
     
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  4. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

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    I've actually restored a non-rooted phone with MyBackup before with no issues. I'd highly recommend it to a "noob". I wouldn't recommend a "noob" rooting their phone though.
     
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  5. woop

    woop novacane (OFWGKTA) VIP Member

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    I agree with the previous 3 posts above me, as there are definitely other methods to get a good backup that don't require root.
     
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  6. faber78

    faber78 Guest

    thank you for the educational post.:)
     
  7. draginmagik

    draginmagik New Member

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    Well done. i was stuck on a smooth way to xfer the data from phone to pc. synctoy will work nicely. thank you.
     
  8. reinbeau

    reinbeau Klaatu barada nikto VIP Member

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    Thank you, BruceH, while I agree that a newbie shouldn't just arbitrarily root their phone once you are interested and learning it's good to read posts from experienced people. I've always tried to know enough to keep myself out of trouble, but learn the technical aspects as I go.
     
  9. 70mindfreak

    70mindfreak New Member

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    i know this is a little on the old side but i just had a two easy questions, 1) i have a rooted htc hero ( i know it doesnt matter whether its rooted or not ) and i was told there actually is a better way of backing up my phone "properly".....so searching on this forum i found sync toy and was hoping for a little more info on those who have used it and to help me figure out if its ok to use it for my device. 2) i havent done anything yet just wanted to make sure this will work before i do something my tech. man would hate me for, thanks guys.
     
  10. Mikestony

    Mikestony ~30% Carbon Black ± Moderator

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    Welcome 70mindfreak!
    Since you are rooted, you may want to check out Titanium Backup. Available in the play store. It will backup your apps and data/sms/mms/wifi configurations etc.
    And if you can shell out the 7 or 8 bucks for the Prokey for Titanium Backup, I highly recommend it. :)
    Sorry I am not familiar with sync toy though :(

    Edit: and a great write up by Petrah about TB here:
    http://androidforums.com/faqs/607141-guide-titaniumbackup-tutorial.html
     
  11. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!! Moderator

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    welcome to the forums!!!!!!!!!

    and to couple with what mikey said........to do a full backup (if i understand you correctly) means that you make a nandroid backup. a nandroid backup is a complete snapshot of your phone's current state. it is kind of like a save point in a video game. just remember that nandroid backups are your best friend. if you mess up somehow or you do not like a particular rom, you can always nandroid restore back to a previous point or rom.

    tb just backs up and restores apps and its data.
     
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