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Support Need help with erasing phone and restoring all data after fresh install

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Kane860, May 15, 2013.

  1. Kane860

    Kane860 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I am new to android and have had my new Galaxy S4 for only 5 days now. Several key features have not been working and after taking my phone into the Samsung experience center at Best Buy, they cant figure out why these features are not working and told me that I should reset the phone back to factory settings to see if that restores these features. So far, my new phone will not let me take a screen shot by waiving my hand over the screen, will not allow me to add additional lock screens which is something it is capable of doing now, the air touch preview thing is not working right, and some of the stock apps are giving me voice feedback when my voice stuff is all turned off in accessibility. I have been an iPhone user for 6 years and I have to say that my brief experience with android is not proving to be a very good one right now.

    So with all of that said, I need to restore my phone and then I need to get ALL of my data, apps and stuff back on it. Coming from the iPhone, I am use to iTunes taking care of all of this without a glitch and restoring my phones back to EXACTLY the way it was before I erased it. Is it the same way with these android phones, if it isn't what do I need to do to make sure I do not lose any of my data, apps, etc.. I have already downloaded almost 200 apps and done a lot of customizing to my phone so I def do not want to lose these settings as it has taken me all week to get it the way I want.

    Please advise on what I should do. I have already backed up to KIES but I don't think that takes care of everything on my phone. Or does it? I just want to erase my phone, restore to factory, and then restore back from a back up and get it back to the way it is at the moment..


  2. Kane860

    Kane860 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I am currently doing a back up in KIES and the backup keeps hanging up at 99% on "Miscellaneous Content Files" ... anyone know what the issue is and how I can get this to complete a successful backup? I guess I could uncheck misc content files but what will I be losing?
  3. bigjoncoop

    bigjoncoop Well-Known Member

    hey kane860

    just be patient. there are some great people here that can help u. I'm positive there is a way to backup ur.phone and restore it after u do a factory reset. I'm not sure my self but in sure someone can help u.

    after u get the hang of Android u will be very happy. much better then iPhone. most things that people "jailbreak/hack" there iPhone's for, Android does normally.

    I hope everything works out for u. im sure u'll be very happy. u should get a answer very quickly. I usually have very fast response's here
  4. Kane860

    Kane860 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    thanks, ill be waiting patiently... I looked in KIES and I don't see an option anywhere to do a fresh install of the operating system. I think the issues with my phone is something gone wrong in the software and need to do a fresh install but I don't see any option of doing this... helpppp
  5. SkyJackpot

    SkyJackpot Android Enthusiast

    You can download the official firmware for your Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500 or i9505 by Googling for a website called "SamMobile" and going to the firmware section or alternatively copy the text from the Web link below and pasting it into your Web browser.

    Firmwares | SamMobile

    Once you've signed up to the website you will have to download the specific firmware for your device which is based on your mobile network operator whom you are with. For example if you are with AT&T in the USA there should be a firmware listed which has the AT&T appendage next to the latest firmware description for your device.

    Odin - Phone flashing software

    You will then need to download a PC program called Odin which will install the downloaded firmware to your ing device for a reset. You should watch and familiarise yourself with a few youtube videos of the process being done on your device first before doing it yourself, so that you are confident and sure. Or alternatively give it to the shop for them to flash the device for you.

    You need to verify that this flashing process will work on your phone before hand by turning your phone off and then switching it on while you have 3 buttons simultaneously holding the power button, the volume down button and the Home key button. You need to then let go of (only) the power button as soon as you see the white samsung text on the screen, so that you are left holding only the home key and volume down button.

    If a screen appears which displays a downloading mode then your device is ready for you to flash using your downloaded firmware and Odin.

    Install firmware

    You would be doing a similar procedure to this guy in this video except you would not be rooting it you would be installing the downloaded firmware package Rom for your phone from SamMobile website. After that you could then proceed to root it if you wished.

  6. Kane860

    Kane860 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    thank you so much for that explanation SkyJackpot! what about restoring all my data back to its original state prior to flashing the phone? I have backed up to KIES and it appears to have backed up all my files but I am not 100% sure I am not that familiar with this software. I just want to be able to restore all my files after flashing and I don't want to lose all my customizations, settings, apps and data. Thanks
  7. SkyJackpot

    SkyJackpot Android Enthusiast

    I don't use KIES for backup but here is a video showing the restore procedure. I there is also an option in the Google account settings on your phone to automatically backup data to your Google account so try signing in to see if any application data is present.

  8. DonB

    DonB ♡ Truth, Justice and the American Way !! ♡ ™

    Moved your post to it's proper place, cheers ;)
  9. lotus49

    lotus49 Android Expert

    The number 1 backup utility amongst the modding community that people use to restore data after flashing a new ROM is Titanium Backup Pro. It does require root but it is very popular for doing pretty much exactly what you want.
  10. bobby2478

    bobby2478 Android Enthusiast

    I'm also looking for a backup option so I can backup my app data (including s-health step counter history, etc). I am not rooted, and am not planning on rooting my phone.

    Are there options to backup all this data so I can get it all back either after a fresh install, or being able to restore it on a different S4 device (in the event of a warranty replacement), without having to do root?
  11. Kane860

    Kane860 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for all the feedback guys. So since my phone was still so new, I decided just to go back to AT&T and see if they can help me. They decided just to swap out my phone for a new one. Now some of the functions that were not working DO seem to work now.

    Before I went to ATT to get my new phone, I backed up all my data in KIES and it showed that it backed up everything, including all my applications, or so I thought it did since it actually shows that it did. Yet when I got home with my new phone and tried to restore from my backup files via KIES, it WOULD NOT restore any of my applications. The check box to restore applications simply would not check and was greyed out. Then I thought to myself, its okay because I can just log into my google account on my phone and my apps and data should simply download back to my phone, like one of my friends told me happened with his phone. Of course, that ALSO DIDNT WORK. I managed to get basic data back on my phone such as my contacts, but ALL MY APPS and APP DATA were gone. I had to download 100 apps all one by one and then redo the settings of each one again to get back my customizations. What a pain in the butt. I have had an iPhone for years and this would never happen with iTunes. iTunes backs up EVERYTHING on the iPhone and when you restore from a backup, you can rest assured that your phone will be completely back to the way it was before you restored the phone. Every setting, every app, every piece of data is restored back on the iPhone.

    Now, is there anything I can do to make sure next time I have to restore my phone, that I don't run into all this trouble? I don't want to root my phone, what options do I have? I simply cannot depend on KIES anymore, that software is absolutely pathetic. Is there any "iTunes equivalent" for this situation? Thanks guys
  12. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member


    Almost everything for the non-root user (works great for root as well) with Helium -


    Not sure about system apps (like your S-apps). I've used it, used to know, just can't remember right now, sorry.

    Check the video at the Store.
    bobby2478 likes this.
  13. bobby2478

    bobby2478 Android Enthusiast

    Thanks. I couldn't tell from the video, it shows app data but not specifically "system" apps (which thanks for clarifying that, I didn't realize all the pre-installed Samsung S-Apps were considered "system" apps and are separate from the "downloaded" apps you get from Play).

    So I installed on my phone and the piece for my PC, and when I open Helium on my phone it only shows my downloaded apps (from Play store) available for backup. My system apps (any Samsung or S-apps) don't appear.

    So it would appear another option would be required.

    I also installed Kies and it looks like this only shows basic items like contacts, pictures, videos etc and doesn't show anything specific to apps or app data. So I'm assuming this won't work either.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  14. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Bummer, sorry.

    This is why us rooters are raving fanatics. Root is the name for admin access, exactly the same as admin access on your PC. Without it, you can get locked out of areas you need to be in.

    Apps go to two places - pre-installed to /system/app that only admin (root) can touch and downloaded to /data/app where you can. (Fun fact - ever notice that some of your apps, YouTube for example, let you uninstall updates from settings/app management? It came preloaded to /system/app and updates go to /data/app, just like everything else from the Play Store. Didn't know that we were carrying duplicates around of some stuff, did you? I know right.)

    But everything writes out to /data/data. In theory, that could be be just spooled out as an image...

    I'm sick of this complaint. :mad: I'll dig into that and see what I can do under the hood on my non-rooted test phone and get back to you.

    No promises, I can't be the first person to try what's in my head right now. :/ But never say never, right?
  15. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member


    Try http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=36499906

    It's beta, no guarantees.

    It uses a different mechanism than what I had in mind but my solution or his have the same issues with accessing /data/data and he already has something.

    Try it PLUS Helium. If it won't restore, do an immediate factory data reset and restore what you can from Helium.

    Back up your user stuff for sure - pictures, videos, anything important and make sure that your contacts are all safe via your Gmail on the web.
    bobby2478 likes this.
  16. bobby2478

    bobby2478 Android Enthusiast

    Yeah I noticed that, looking at preinstalled apps, you can't uninstall, but there is an option to uninstall updates. Where downloaded apps you can just uninstall. Now I understand why that is.

    What's especially dumb is that Samsung doesn't have an option or way in their Kies software to do this. Their developers would have to know that people might want to backup the data from their new Samsung S-applications. And since they are prinstalled that means it's impossible unless you are rooted, which they frown upon. They could have solved the whole thing by having some option within the apps to backup their data, or manually enter historical data for example. Or don't install the apps at all, just have a shortcut basically to the app on the Samsung store and download and install it, which would allow you to backup without root.

    Rooting voids your warranty right? If you were to return a device because it had a problem to a place like Best Buy, would they reject it because it is rooted? Honestly I'd think they'd never even know in the first place. Or would you want to unroot your phone and bring it back to stock before doing a warranty replacement or return/exchange?
    EarlyMon likes this.
  17. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    I'm on Sprint, they don't care about root, if it's a hardware problem, it's a hardware problem.

    So I'm the wrong guy to ask about the warranty stuff.

    Probably best to check in to our root forum for your US carrier or international model and get advice from someone who knows, unless someone here answers of course.
  18. bobby2478

    bobby2478 Android Enthusiast

    I'm on Sprint too, bought my device from Best Buy, and the Best Buy insurance. So if I ever needed to, it sounds like it wouldn't be an issue. To your point, would be interesting if anyone posts feedback around whether they've had problems with getting a rooted device replaced by Best Buy insurance.

    I guess in the grand scheme of things if I were to lose my S Health data it wouldn't be the end of the world, as it's certainly not worth a ton of hassle to finagle a way to backup that specific data. I'd just lose my history over a few days is all. My device has been acting weird, and since I'm still within my 14 day return window I might go in and have them swap for another one. Plus Amazon dropped the price to $199.99, so I need to get another price-match (already got them to do $219.99).
    EarlyMon likes this.
  19. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    LoL it's official. I'm an idiot!

    I forgot that I bought my last phone from Best Buy and have their insurance. I never even thought about it.

    If I ever have a problem, I'll do a factory data reset first, then take my rom back to stock to see if that fixes it. After that, I'd just take it in. My bootloader is already marked as tampered (strictly an HTC thing) and I don't care. I've heard of tricks to hide it, but I'm not a "hide it" kind of guy. :D

    But yeah, always ask all those questions before rooting, get the answers that work for you, and then make your decision.

    Rooting isn't for everyone, but once you try it, you won't have it any other way.
  20. bobby2478

    bobby2478 Android Enthusiast

    I took a closer look at Kies today and it WILL backup all your S Applications, in addition to call logs, messages, and a whole host of other things.

    In Kies Normal Mode (not Lite), there is the left hand panel (which is where I was looking) and this only lists your library items (music, photos, etc). On the right hand panel, there are 3 tabs at the top of the screen. The tab farthest to the right is "Backup/Restore". On this tab, you have options to select what you want to backup including Contacts, S Memo, S Planner, Call Log, S Health, Messages, media on internal memory (such as screen shots that get saved internally), Miscellaneos files from internal memory, Story Album, Ringtone, you can select individual applications, alarm, email account, preferences (including wallpaper, lock screen wallpaper, wifi settings, other device settings).

    So it appears Samsung Kies might be all most people need to be able to backup their device prior to a factory reset, or device exchange. Only thing I'm not sure is if when you backup settings and preferences if it will keep your homescreen layouts or not.


    One word of warning: I'd either selectively backup certain apps, or as part of the restore process don't select apps to be restored. The restore process has been running for like 3 hours now and I'm only a hair over 80%. Everything else went fast, but restoring apps is taking forever. Would have been better off just reinstalling everything. Once it starts you don't have the option to cancel or stop it, you have to wait for it to finish. It also doesn't appear that your homescreen layout is backed up or restored as part of the process, so you will need to redo your homescreens.
  21. Kane860

    Kane860 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I thought Kies WAS backing up my apps too as I saw that it was included in the options when I did the back up... however, when I tried to restore from the kies backup, it didn't allow any apps to restore. Basically the check box for restoring applications just simply would not allow me to check it to include them in the restoration. So its useless.... it shows that it back ups my apps but whats the point if it doesn't let me restore them.. There has got to be a better way to restore all my data, just like my iphone days with iTunes..
  22. Atma

    Atma Extreme Android User

    Go to settings > accounts, tap on your Google account. You will notice Google now syncs app data. :)
  23. Kane860

    Kane860 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I did that but when I tried to restore all of my apps on my new phone, nothing synced back to it..
  24. Atma

    Atma Extreme Android User

    I was looking for some more info on that yesterday. I think is for syncing game data across different devices. I wish it was for all apps.

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