Nandroid-Is it safe?

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  1. tmcthree

    tmcthree Active Member

    So, forgive me for this stupid question but...

    Say I make a recovery image of my phone (which is what I think people refer to as a "nandroid"-right?) can I then mess with my phone, installing all and sundry, custom roms and the like, safe in the knowledge that, should a rom brick the phone or anything else untoward happen, I can always go back to the saved image and the phone will be bright and shiny as ever it was?

    In other words, if you have a nandroid are you completely and utterly safe to mess around with your phone?

  2. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    ALMOST perfectly safe.

    Rule one - copy your nandroid backups over to your PC in case the SD decides to fail at the same time that you decide to play with the system.

    Rule two - NEVER experiment by installing roms not intended for your phone's make, model AND generation (though this last part applies basically to RUUs (manufacturer's restoration images)).

    Follow those rules and you have a 99.99% chance of your nandroid backup being able to save from any rom, app or settings tinkering. Restoring a nandroid is like stepping thru a time machine to the moment you made the backup.
    Unforgiven and tmcthree like this.
  3. HowDoiUseAndro

    HowDoiUseAndro Well-Known Member

    tmcthree likes this.
  4. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy VIP Member

    It would also benefit you to get a copy of the RUU/Odin/SBF/FGF or whatever your phone's OEM calls their firmware flashing package. That will reflash everything back to out of box condition.
    Unforgiven likes this.
  5. aysiu

    aysiu Well-Known Member

    There are soft bricks and hard bricks. If it's a hard brick, I don't think a nandroid backup will help you.

    Flashing new roms will not hurt your phone, as long as they're made for your specific phone model (for example, if you have a Galaxy Nexus CDMA, don't flash a Galaxy Nexus GSM rom).

    Also if you want to be extra extra safe, don't install radios--just roms. I'm not saying radios will necessarily break your phone (in almost all cases, as long as they're for the correct phone model, they won't), but if you flash the wrong radio, a nandroid backup will not help you recover your phone.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  6. Italo

    Italo Well-Known Member

    I've only tried to restore from nandroid once and it bricked my phone. It gave me an error message immediately after restoring the boot loader, but didn't restore the ROM.

    Most people seem to be able to restore without issue, but it's not guaranteed.
  7. aysiu

    aysiu Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry that happened, Italo, and that's a great caveat for the OP.

    That said, I've used nandroid backup and restore for a whole bunch of roms on three separate Android phones and never had it brick anything. My guess is that can happen if the backup is stored on a MicroSD card that has somehow become corrupted.

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