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Full wipe. What's the big deal? Steps to take (15 mins)

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  1. Hawker

    Hawker Well-Known Member

    I've lost count the number of times I've flashed different ROMS. Although no-wipe is possible on most, personally I dont like this method. I only tend to stick to a no-wipe flash only if the base firmware version is identical. Even so, I still always prefer a full wipe.

    People tend to grimace at the thought of it, but as long as you keep your contacts+calender centrally (ie. google) and have a titanium backup of your apps, then its no big deal. After a full wipe, I can usually get my phone back up to normality in around 15 minutes. And anyway, I like to use the setting up of the phone as a quick peek to see if there are any new features in the settings.

    Before doing the wipe, make sure you take the following precautionary steps:
    1. Perform a Titanium backup to ensure you have the latest versions of your apps saved. Its a good idea to save your internet bookmarks here too.
    2. Many apps have a backup/restore option so use this to back up your current settings (eg. JKay Deluxe settings, Go Launcher, Fancy Widgets, Simple Calendar etc.). Do this for such apps so that the settings can be easily restored later if required.
    3. Make a Nandroid backup through CWM Recovery.

    Be aware of any contacts with personalized ringtones etc. as these will have to be re-assigned after the wipe. There are apps on do download from the Play Store that can save these for you however.

    Full Wipe
    Boot into CWM recovery (with power off, hold VOL-UP+HOME+POWER) (in that order) Release keys as soon as the screen shows anything.
    Wipe Data/factory reset
    Wipe Cache
    Wipe Dalvik-Cache
    Wipe Battery Stats
    Format /system

    Alternatively, you can just run my GS2 ROM Nuke script

    Neither of the above wipe methods wipes your internal card (/sdcard) as far as your personal files are concerned. GS2ROMNuke will wipe old application data off the internal SD Card so that your next ROM can start afresh after restoring your apps.

    I think a factory format might wipe the /sdcard, but i'm not totally sure.
    Factory Format: dial *2767*3855# ONLY USE AS LAST RESORT. AS SOON AS YOU PRESS THE "#" KEY, THERE'S NO GOING BACK!!!!!
    (Personally I dont think wiping battery stats does anything whatsoever due to the nature of the GS2's fuel chip, but feel free to do it for completeness. I don't bother personally)

    After this, you are in a position to flash your new ROM. Once flashed, here are the steps I perform.
    Note: These steps are not a complete list of what you all should do, as everyone is different with differing applications and needs, but at least it should give you a starting point

    Initial Setup
    1. When you switch on your GS2 for the first time after a full wipe, you will be presented with the Welcome screen. Just tap the Android Man to configure
    2. Click Sign in to sign into your Google account
    3. Enter your Google account Username and Password and click Sign in Your phone will now begin to communicate with Google servers.
    4. On the Use Google location screen I tick the 2 boxes (default)
    5. On the Back up and restore screen I untick box 1 (Restore my Google account to this device) and tick box 2 (Keep this device backed up with my Google Account) I untick box 1 because I dont want the setup process to download my apps from the Market. I want to do this with Titanium Backup later. This is because: (a) Wireless has not been set up yet, and 3G will take a big hit, and (b) The automatic download from the Market is random at best. It will restore apps you downloaded (and uninstalled) ages ago, and the list is also incomplete.
    6. Syncing will now take place. This will sync your contacts/calendar etc.. Click the Finish setup button. You will later need to assign any personal ringtones to your contacts as this does not get saved google-side.

    You will now be presented with your first homescreen. Now to get everything back to normal.

    Applications Restore
    1. Set up your Wifi connection. (menu>settings>wireless+network>Wi-fi settings)
    2. Allow Unknown sources to be installed (menu>settings>applications>Unknown sources)
    3. In this screen, tap Development and ensure USB Debugging is enabled
    4. If it doesn't come pre-bundled with your ROM, download Titanium Backup from the Market. Open it up.
    5. Click the Backup/Restore tab
    6. Click the tick box in the top right
    7. Scroll down to Restore missing apps with data and click the Run button beside it.
    8. Scroll through your apps, and make sure the apps you want restored are ticked.
    9. Click the green tick at the top right of the screen. Your applications will now be restored. If you are using the free version of Titanium Backup, you will need to click the Install button one-by-one. After each, click Done Exit Titanium Backup when complete.

    NOTE: You may find certain apps struggle if you restore the app with the data, depending on what firmware the Titanium Backup was taken on in comparison to the firmware you are restoring onto. It will always be much safer and reliable to only restore the app. If you know a certain application has its own settings backup, then it is better to restore the app, then restore the data from the restore option within the application itself. Basically the only way to know if your app+data restore will work is to try it. If you get odd results or FC's, uninstall it, and reinstall with only the app.

    1. If you use a different Launcher to the stock TouchWiz, it should now be selectable by pressing the Home key as it should have got restored in the above Titanium Backu restore operation. Select your required Launcher and tick Set as default
    2. If your launcher supports saving, restore its settings (if not already done by the Titanium restore)
    3. Set your wallpaper and lockscreen setup etc. if required.
    4. Any widgets may need setting up again. These will appear as "Problem loading widget" on your homescreens. Just delete and add them again. If these have the facility to save their individual settings, then restore them
    5. If you use JKay v13+, then restore your setting in the Deluxe app. On subsequent JKay versions you will have to reinstall your theme, and restore your settings through the app.

    As far as overall look+feel goes, that's pretty much it.
    Now all you need to do is go into your settings (menu>settings) and go through each in turn to suit your requirements:


    1. Wifi settings. I make sure sleep policy is set to Never when plugged in. Everything else I leave to default.

    1. Call alert. I tick Outgoing call vibration. Call status tones I tick Call connect tone in Alerts on call I tick Vibration

    I set my Phone ringtone and Notification ringtone to suit.

    1. Screen Display. Font Style If you have installed a font pack, this will not get lost in the full wipe. Select your font as normal. I also set my Homescreen Wallpaper and Lockscreen wallpaper, and set my Clock position to Top.

    Location and security
    1. Under My Location tick the first 3 boxes. Normally the last box, Use sensor aiding, is not ticked by default.
    Set up your lock screen if required (I never bother)
    2. I tick Remote controls. This will allow remote packages such as Samsung Dive, Android Lost etc to work on your handset. You will need to set up your Samsung account login details when ticked.

    Accounts and sync
    I untick Auto-sync

    Un-tick Motion activation

    Language and keyboard
    1. Select input method to Swype
    2. Speed vs. accuracy. Set the slider to the far right

    Set up your applications as required
    Camera Options>Storage set to Memory card
    Email Set up your login details to GMail
    Calendar menu>settings>calendars untick My calendar, only showing my Google-side calendars. I also tick Lock time zone

    Note: Your google calendar will only sync events 30 days prior to the current date. If you want to bring in events from further in the past from your google account onto your phone, then follow these steps

    and any others relevant to you

    That's about it. I know it looks quite a lot, but it can be all done and dusted in around 15 minutes. This I feel is a small price to pay for peace of mind and stability further down the line

    incsmiro, Aids10, dayak1988 and 19 others like this.
  2. mrao

    mrao Well-Known Member

    Nice guide....will be really helpful to people who don't flash as often as some of us...appreciate the effort.
    Hawker likes this.
  3. Sword Fish

    Sword Fish Well-Known Member

    Hawker, how long does it take you to do a complete wipe and reload? I have been doing a TI backup everyweek by default just in case but have never actually performed a restore. I also have been doing a CWM backup each week. I have been tempted to do a wipe and reload as something is wierd with my battery even though I am using the same setup's as others here. Maybe if NEAR comes out this weekend, it will be time to do a complete wipe! It's supposed to be cold anyways...
  4. Hawker

    Hawker Well-Known Member

    The clue is in the thread title butty!
  5. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Excellent guide hawker!

    I've learnt from long and bitter experience, going right back to my days with the Nokia N80, that the best way is to always do a full wipe and fresh install to eliminate any possibility of detritus from a previous installation causing havoc, now or in the future.

    I wish I had a pound for every time I read someone boasting that they did not do a clean install and everything was fine, only to have them posting that, days or weeks later, they were having a problem with an installed app or even one they've just installed and all because a conflict had arisen because they hadn't done a full wipe.

    Laughing my bits off! :D:D:D

    When's the braille version out old boy?
    Twinn and Hawker like this.
  6. Sword Fish

    Sword Fish Well-Known Member

    Thanks, have to learn how to read all the words on a page!!
  7. Logan47

    Logan47 Disabled

    I agree, it's not that big a deal to full wipe. I haven't been flasing custom roms for long and have done a dozen already and after the initial couple, I now always do full wipe to avoid errors. After fifteen to twenty mins, all back up and restored. I did three in an evening a few weeks ago so not that time consuming really. I now keep three cwm backups of different roms I'm looking at to always keep that safety net.
    Learned a lot from these forums on being careful and follwing the right steps....I don't want to be making one of those "oh noes I've bricked it" threads. :D
  8. Kie

    Kie Well-Known Member

    Full wipe is great for changing roms. The only annoyance is changing all the settings, but it doesn't take long really.

    Awesome guide hawker! My only disagreement with it is that I prefer Swiftkey over Swype (so fast!).
    Hawker likes this.
  9. turbohobbit

    turbohobbit Well-Known Member

    Great guide, and full of little tips even experienced flashers (oo er) might not know anout / automatically undertake. Any chance this can be sticky'd?
    Hawker likes this.
  10. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    Well ahead of you there. I put it in the all things root sticky yesterday.
  11. shenga

    shenga Active Member

    Silly question (s) coming up but :

    You do each of these procedures twice or what ?

    I don't have wipe cache but wipe cache partition < is this what you mean ? >

    The remaining two I find under advanced ..... Is this correct ?
  12. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    Spot on.
    Yep you do them twice.
    Yes it means cache partition.
    Yes the two in advanced are correct.
    shenga likes this.
  13. F Dizzle

    F Dizzle Member

    Great guide. 2 questions:

    1) Does it matter if you do a wipe AFTER installing a new ROM, or must it always be done before installing a new ROM?

    2) "My Backup Pro Root" lets you backup and restore all settings and home screens. Is it ok to use that to restore those settings after wiping, or does that defeat the whole purpose of performing the wipe in the first place?
  14. Kuragari

    Kuragari Active Member

    1) If you do a full wipe after you install a new ROM, then you'll have basically wiped off what you just put on.

    2) I'd only restore apps, not system settings as this has the potential to cause errors and other problems.
  15. Riche101

    Riche101 VIP Member VIP Member

    Use Titanium Backup and just restored user apps and data
  16. semus

    semus Well-Known Member

    I have a couple of questions about changing between roms, if you don't mind.
    i've been on checkrom v4 for a bit now, its the first rom i tried, and im using red pill kernel,
    if i want to switch to a different rom, say lite'ning, should i flash an official firmware, then do a full wipe, and then lite'ning?
    also, if i flash back to an official firmware, should i flash an official kernel, or will it flash one on its own?

  17. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    There's no need to go back to stock. Just do a full wipe and then flash the new ROM.

    Edit: If you were to go back to a stock firmware you wouldn't have to flash a stock kernel, this would get flashed at the same time as the firmware.
  18. semus

    semus Well-Known Member

    thanks, i'll be flashing away now :)
  19. etotheo

    etotheo Member

    Nice guide!
  20. RoRo1990

    RoRo1990 Well-Known Member

    Ya i like swiftkey also
  21. chrost

    chrost New Member

    Hey guys, I've got a question: I flashed a custom rom for some purpose but now I want to sell my galaxy s2 and I want to flash an original rom again and aditionally delete all the data. After the full wipe, you say that I have to flash another rom. But how do I get an original rom on there, where do I get it from?

    Anyway, thank you for the guide and thank you for the answer in advance!
  22. renzo75

    renzo75 New Member

    Thanks for an awesome article - will be attempting when I get home :)

    Quick question.. I'm in Aus and last night came up OTA update available - ICS!!! YAY...
    I have a Non-stock kernel (unfortunately) and the OTA update keeps crashing.. still on android 2.3.5 but rooted and yeh...
    Will this get the kernel back to normal so my OTA update will work? Kies says no updates available (which I've read is because it's rooted)... or would a simple unrooting help?

  23. Kie

    Kie Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately not...well not entirely. This will get you halfway, but then you have to manually flash the stock firmware and kernel to get fully back to stock and be able to update.

    My personal recommendation is to use Odin to update to stock ICS rather than Kies (since people have been having trouble with the way Kies updates). You can get official carrier branded firmware here. Only flash the firmware though, not the stock kernel (you'll be unrooted if you install the stock kernel) and you'll be on stock ICS before you know it!
  24. renzo75

    renzo75 New Member

    Thanks :) will try the odin way as you suggested... can't seem to log into to samfirmwares though - just locks up but I'll keep trying..

    3/Vodafone (Aus)
  25. 1981

    1981 Well-Known Member

    hey guys,
    this is a first timer here. FLASHED to 'LPG' via Odin and ROOTED my S2 yesterday after months of using the default things.
    i have done nandroid backup(through recovery mode). is this procedure exactly the same as doing backup from within the CWM app? I understand this a 'system restore' thingy. wat is the scenario that this backup should have to be restored again? if I FLASH different ROMS and then do this nandroid restore while using someother ROM, would it delete all that and take me back to right where I am now?
    I have bought the Titanium backup Pro version. just updated all apps and data using that.

    FULL WIPE need to be done before FLASHING a ROM for the first ever time.
    thank you

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