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[Q] Basic questions about flashing ROM's new build and TWRP

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Tutorial [Q] Basic questions about flashing ROM's new build and TWRP

I have a rooted KFHD 7” (gen 1) with TWRP. I have a few questions about rooting in general. I’ve rooted several devices in the past but with extensive hand-holding so I still don’t completely understand the process. I’ve tried looking for general explanations but my search has come up empty so far.

1. The KFHD is running an early CM11 build with some functions missing (cannot install ANY Amazon apps, Netflix via HDMI glitches, etc). I want to flash a more recent CM11 build that supposedly has those issues ironed out.
- Do I have to wipe all data before I flash to the new CM11 build? Do I have to flash new GAPPS? Will TWRP backups from the earlier build still work after I flash a new build? When do I wipe cache and delvik cache, and what are they exactly?

2. These questions are related to TWRP. I made a backup back in April 2014 when I first rooted the KFHD, and then created another one yesterday. Why do I see only the backup I made yesterday when I boot into TWRP? I am asking because the TWRP folder is about 5gb, which is a lot of space on a 16gb KFHD. I want to delete the older backup and perhaps minimize the size of future backups. Please see picture attached for a screen cap. Only the first file "" is cut off (it is a 8mb that I assume to be important). Which files can I delete? Like I said, I don't see the April 2014 backup when I booted into TWRP.

3. Also for TWRP: what is the difference if I made a backup with or without “data” checked? I experimented yesterday and made 2 backups – one with “data” and one without “data”. I first recovered with the “with data” backup to check if it works fine, then boot into TWRP and recovered with the “without data” backup. Everything seems to be the same and nothing’s lost – is it because I didn’t wipe the KFHD before I restore with the "without data" backup? If I wiped the KFHD and then restore with the “without data” backup, what kind of difference would I see?

Sorry for the essay. Really want to learn the basic principles of rooting.
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1. Go into settings>about tablet>cyanogenmod updates>check for updates. M7 should be on the list, press the button to the right and it should update, as long as you are on cm 11 already this procedure is fine and no gapps update is needed.

2. The backups from earlier don't show because twrp was fixed a while back and now reads our serial number, notice the backups are probably in a folder that random alpha numeric characters and another that is a ton of zero's, when ESN was able to be read it stored our backups in the folder with our correct ESN rather than a fake ESN made of zeros. Either move that backup from the 0's folder or delete it, it will be then old one.

3.with data backs up the userdata partition, basically all of your user installed apps and their appdata.

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