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Contents of /system folder??

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  1. Pimpone

    Pimpone New Member


    I'm new to android and I have a doubt. I've been searching for an answer but can't seem to get clear info about it from the web, so I'm asking here in hopes someone can help me out.

    I want to copy my /system folder to my PC so I can hand it out to someone else who needs it to "unbrick" it's phone. I know I can do it with an ADB command and it sounds pretty simple. However, I'm afraid that some of my user info (accounts, contacts, wi-fi passwords, messages, etc) may also be passed along, and that's something I don't want.

    So, is there any personal info stored in the /system folder or can I safely make a copy to help someone out? And if there is personal info, how to avoid copying it while copying the /system folder? My android version is 4.0.4.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member Contributor

    Just to say, if you don't have exactly the same phone that's not going to work.

    Otherwise, no there should be no user data in there - that should all be on the /data partition. /system is the ROM.

    If the other phone has adb running do you even need to copy the whole partition? If you know what was deleted you could just replace those files (I'm guessing that someone messed up removing bloatware and doesn't have a nandroid backup, or something similar).
    Pimpone likes this.
  3. Pimpone

    Pimpone New Member

    It's exactly the same phone.

    I'm helping someone who asked for help on a forum about our phone. I don't know that person, and I don't know what went wrong.
    I'm willing to help a stranger who asks for it, but since I'm not very Android savvy, I just wanted to make sure that no personal info gets sent, just the stock stuff.

    But I see, the /system folder is read-only then and it's impossible for my personal info to be there since my phone is stock (no root, no bootloader unlocked), right?

    And so, if I do "adb pull /system /somefolderinmypc" I should be ok?

    Thanks for your reply.
  4. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member Contributor

    Never tried it, but your personal data shouldn't be there.

    You are rooted I assume, as it won't work otherwise.

    "ROM" in this context is what we call the system software (OS, system apps and theme). It's not truly read-only on a rooted device.
    Pimpone likes this.
  5. Pimpone

    Pimpone New Member

    Yes, I understand that on a rooted/unlocked phone, the "ROM" can be writen.

    No, I'm not rooted or anything else. My phone is in stock condition, apart from my apps and info.
    I just did de adb command, it pulled about 1200 files, said it skipped none, and its a 480Mb folder. Think it will work on the other phone?

    Still, I see files and folders there about "permissions", "wi-fi" and "app" and I fear some user data might be in there.

    Anyway, thanks a bunch for your help.
  6. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member Contributor

    If app is /system/app those are just the pre-installed system apps (part of the ROM). Any user settings are still in /data, even for system apps.
    Pimpone likes this.

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