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Root What exactly is a nandroid backup?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Ventada, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Ventada

    Ventada Well-Known Member
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    I was reading up on the forums and am confused on what nandroid backups are. I followed the rooting for dummies guide and did a nandroid backup but I don't really know what it is or how to use it.
     

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  2. Drew5150

    Drew5150 Android Expert
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    it is basically a computer restore point. so if you get a bad install or you don't like the new rom you are trying out you can easily just restore your backup. also if you try to flash a mod or theme that doesn't work right you can just go back and restore your back up.

    nandroid back ups will save all your settings and apps.
     
  3. akazabam

    akazabam Android Expert
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    A nandroid backup is a complete snapshot of your phone exactly the way it is now. Your internal storage is partitioned into sections (they're just called partitions, appropriately). Those partitions include the system itself, system data and settings, user apps and data, etc. It's everything that is currently one the phone. You can make as many changes after making a nandroid backup as you want. You can install apps, change settings, wipe the phone, even flash a new ROM. If you restore a nandroid backup, everything you've done since that backup is wiped out, and you will go back to exactly what you had when you made the backup. As such, it can be used to:

    a) Save yourself in the event that you break something, and need to go back to a working configuration, and
    b) Save configurations that you like. If you flash different custom ROMs, then set them up how you like, you can nandroid backup each one, and switch between whenever you like.

    Note that a nandroid backup is not the same thing as, say, a backup made with titanium backup. Those kinds of backups are meant for transferring apps and data between ROMs, or for saving data when you wipe everything on the phone.

    EDIT: Drew beat me to it :). Just a quick note, though - it's not *really* the same as a computer restore point. Those tend to include backup data between what has changed, and the current state. Basically, it's not a full backup. Nandroid backup is a complete backup. You don't need a functioning system even flashed in order to restore a nandroid backup. Not that the distinction really matters that much, but I just thought I'd throw it out there. If you've ever used something like Norton Ghost, or any kind of cloning software, it's more like that (though a nandroid backup is specific to a phone, so it's purpose is a little different).
     
  4. darkworld260

    darkworld260 Well-Known Member
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    a Nandroid backup is an ENTIRE backup of your phone depending on which recovery you have... Which what is your recovery version?? If you have 2.6.0.1 or up of clockwork recovery then it will make an entire backup. Im not sure about RA recovery cause i have never used them. They can be used to restore your phone if you run into problems like permanently losing your 4G you can do a nandroid back up to restore them so you arnt without 4G forever. Also it helps if you have a rom just how you want it you can make a nandroid backup to always revert back to. In other words they are life savers.
     
  5. darkworld260

    darkworld260 Well-Known Member
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    lol you post right before me lol
     
  6. akazabam

    akazabam Android Expert
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    Lol, the three of us posted within just a couple minutes. Clockwork recovery and RA recovery work in the same basic way, by the way. As far as I know, they use the same commands to create the img files used in a nandroid backup. Both of them are complete backups, but RA gives you an option for what partitions to backup. As long as you use the defaults, you'll get a complete backup, but only if you don't move apps to the sdcard (which will not be restored if you wipe them out), *unless* you specify that they need to be backed up. Same goes for wimax - you have to select the option to back it up.
     
  7. Drew5150

    Drew5150 Android Expert
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    they both do the same. RA has had 4g wimax key backups for longer. and has proven itself to be more reliable. but they both work.

    edit: lol more postings at the same time :)
     
  8. Ventada

    Ventada Well-Known Member
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    I think I am using the stock rom. How do you reset your phone to that nandroid backup that you made in the event you messed something up?
     
  9. darkworld260

    darkworld260 Well-Known Member
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    boot into recovery by holding down power and the down volume your phone will boot into the boot loader scroll down and select recovery. then go to backup and restore and click restore and select the backup you want to restore once its done restoring simple reboot your phone!
     
  10. Drew5150

    Drew5150 Android Expert
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    once in recovery you should wipe data, cache and dalvik cache before restoring a backup.
     
  11. darkworld260

    darkworld260 Well-Known Member
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    to be safe i guess you can but i have never done that before restoring a backup and i have never ran into any problems by doing that so its up to you. :)
     
  12. Drew5150

    Drew5150 Android Expert
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    ^^ personally I wouldn't try with out. it only takes a few seconds and can save you tons of time IF you do run into issues.

    but to each his own
     
  13. akazabam

    akazabam Android Expert
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    Agreed. I do it to, but only because it takes a few seconds. Theoretically, it's pointless, but being paranoid never hurts (well, not in this case).
     
  14. stevcha

    stevcha Android Expert
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    Nandroid backups are your friend, lol. Anytime you start flashing different ROMs and kernels Nandroid backups can definitely save you from a lot of headaches. With so many different types of configurations out there you never know how a specific kernel or ROM will interact with your phone. Having the ability to restore your phone to the exact state it was in prior to flashing something new is a great thing.
     
  15. Ventada

    Ventada Well-Known Member
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    So if I wanted to put Mikfroyo on my evo I should make a nandroid backup?
     
  16. akazabam

    akazabam Android Expert
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    Yes, make a nandroid backup, first, just in case something goes wrong, or if you want to go back to the way your phone is right now.
     
  17. stevcha

    stevcha Android Expert
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    Anytime you're flashing a new kernel or ROM its always a good idea to make a nandroid of your current setup.
     
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  18. Ventada

    Ventada Well-Known Member
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    So if I used the Rooting guide for dummies and created a nandroid backup manually...If I restore to that backup will I lose my root?
     
  19. akazabam

    akazabam Android Expert
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    No, you will not lose root. There are basically two things we refer two when we say "root". The first is unlocked nand, or S-OFF. It's all you need to make changes to your phone, by giving you the ability to write to any part of internal storage. Restoring a nandroid backup will not and cannot change that. The second thing we refer to is a rooted ROM, meaning you can run things in your ROM as the root user, such as wifi tether, etc. Restoring a nandroid backup will restore the ROM from that backup in whatever state it was in. If the ROM you backed up was rooted, it will be rooted when you restore it. If it wasn't rooted, it won't be when you restore it. Of course, with S-OFF, it doesn't matter if you ever lose root in your ROM. It's easy to get back. So, the short answer is, no, you won't lose root when you restore a nandroid backup. That would defeat the purpose :).
     
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  20. djfoo000

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    I understand that a nandroid backup backs up everything. But AFAIK, there's a few things that aren't backed up, like the recovery.img.

    Are there anything else that aren't backed up? Radio? HBOOT?
     
  21. akazabam

    akazabam Android Expert
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    No, radio and hboot images are not backed up. Both of those need to be flashed manually. As a general rule, there is no good reason to change hboot. If you lost hboot, you'd have a brick, so backing it up with recovery (if even possible) would be pointless. As for radios, you wouldn't want to flash those every time you restored a nandroid backup, anyway. It's one of the few things that can lead to a brick if you're not careful, so why have that risk every time you need to restore a backup. That being said, if you make a nandroid backup, update radios, then try to restore that previous backup, depending on the setup, it might not be bootable until you reflash the previous radios that that backup used.
     
  22. djfoo000

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    hrmm... I think i'm getting it now. A nandroid backs up the ROM portion of the phone, which includes /data and the dalvik cache, right?

    What about the kernel? Is it part of a ROM?

    A bit of OOT question: how do one undo the flashing of a radio? Do I flash a previous version over the one I want to undo? Are there tools for me to back up my current radio in the event I cannot locate my current radio image in the wild?

    I assume the same question would apply to the HBOOT?
     
  23. akazabam

    akazabam Android Expert
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    Right, a nandroid backup basically includes the ROM and everything it needs to boot, along with all user data. Essentially, it's a complete snapshot of the OS. The radios are lower than that, and are not backed up. Since the kernel is part of the boot image, and is required to boot, it is backed up/restored as part of the nandroid process, as well.

    So, you are correct. If you need to go to the previous radio version, you need to flash it separately. You can get whatever version you need from here. Hboot is a little more difficult. The reason we say not to update hboot is not only because you won't be able to restore nandroid backups made when you had another version. It's also because once you have hboot 2.02 or up, you can no longer downgrade your hboot easily. You can't just put the flashable zip of an older version on your phone and flash it. It won't work. That being said, if your phone originally came with an hboot older than 2.02, and you now have 2.10, you *can* downgrade to the eng bootloader, then back up to whatever hboot version you want. It's quite a process, though, and is not worth the effort when you could have just avoided updating hboot in the first place. So, the moral of the story is, never mess with your hboot version.
     
  24. Ventada

    Ventada Well-Known Member
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    What are the differences between roms? I haven't flashed anything yet but I want to further take advantage of my phone. I don't really know what is the best rom or kernel for me and still am a little fuzzy on how to flash them. The guides are a little confusing for me.
     
  25. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!
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    there are two main type of roms:
    aosp (non-htc sense) roms. these roms for the most part do not have 4g or hdmi working. cyanogen mod 7 has a beta with 4g working.
    sense roms. these roms are based on htc sense basically what the evo is currently running. most of the roms out there have different theming and optimizations that are all preferences. for me i like sense based roms because i'm more familiar with it and they are all very stable.

    which is the best rom for you? that is something you will have to do some research on. here is a thread HTC Supersonic/ROMs - XDA-Developers that has most of the roms out there. it is a little out of date as there many more roms that have recently been released that is not on there. just head on over to xda and under android development and checkout some of the roms out there. i'm a flashaholic. i must have flashed over a dozen or so roms in the past month. the only way you will know is to flash away and give the rom a go. stevcha has put together a list of zip files of current roms and kernels http://androidforums.com/evo-4g-all-things-root/284413-roms-kernels-download-page.html.

    i am currently using king's ultra froyo unleashed. i love his theming and it is really fast. recently i have tried some roms (gonna try the warm z tomorrow) but i keep coming back to this one.
     
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