WARNING : Following this guide may lead to ORD, or worsen your condition of ORD.
When you flash a custom ROM, a full wipe is always recommended. And it definitely is a stressful process, especially if you like to try out a lot of different ROMs. I now follow a method which I find is quite reliable, not as stressful and is fast, so I thought i should share it. I must warn you though, that this is quite an organized approach, so it will require patience from your part to set it up. But I assure you, once you've done it, your ROM wiping and flashing process becomes much easier
I'm going to detail this out in both offline and online methods. With the "Offline(OFF)" method, you will not require an Internet connection to restore all your data. Everything is backed up using Titanium Backup. With the "Online(ON)" method, part of your data will be restored from the amazing "Cloud" :P
Most of this guide is common to both methods, so I've highlighted the specific methods accordingly. If you're following the offline(OFF) steps, then you dont need to follow the online(ON) steps, and vice versa
APPS YOU'LL NEED
1) Titanium Backup - The free version will serve the purposes of this guide, but its just easier and faster to restore using the Pro version. The Pro version doesnt ask you to tap "Install" every time you restore an app. And if you forget to backup something, you can retrieve it from your Nandroid Backup(provided you remembered to do that ).
2) ES File Explorer - This app allows you to backup an app to the sdcard. Any other file manager/app that can do the same thing will work too..
(ON) 3) SMS Backup+ - This app allows you to backup all your call logs and sms/mms to your Gmail account.
1) Open Titanium Backup
2) Choose Menu->Filters
3) Tap the "Create Label" button, name your label, and then tap the "Add/Remove elements" button to pick which apps this label will be assigned to.
I have an "Important" label - for apps that I absolutely need on every flash, an "Extras" label - for more occasionally used apps, and a "Games" label. Make sure you dont add any system settings like Accounts, Application widgets, Bluetooth Pairings etc. to any of these labels. We will be handling them separately.
4) Choose Menu->Preferences and enable Auto-sync TB settings
(ON) 5) Now open SMS Backup+
(ON) 6) Set it up to backup your call logs, sms and mms to your Gmail account. You can assign labels to each of them so that they are neatly categorized in your GMail. You can also setup auto-backup for convenience.
1) Open Titanium Backup
2) Choose Menu->Filters, scroll down, select all your labels and tap Apply.
3) Choose Menu->Batch->Backup all user apps + system data.
You'll need to backup system settings separately -
4) Choose Menu->Filters, and in Filter by type, choose System
5) Scroll down and make sure none of your custom labels are selected and then tap Apply.
6) Backup the following, these are the ones important to me, you may want to add more to this -
ii) Application Widgets - Widgets placed on the homescreen of your favorite launcher.
(OFF) iii) Calendar Storage
(OFF) iv) Contacts Storage - Your contacts and call logs.
(OFF) v) Phone/Messaging Storage - Your sms/mms
vi) Settings Storage - Be careful when you restore this. For eg: its not a good idea to restore CM9 settings to an AOKP ROM or vice versa. This is best used when you know exactly what you are doing. Also, a lot of differences between ROMs will probably be the fact that it provides some new customization options in the settings. So restoring this doesnt make sense unless you know for sure that they are the same. Handle with care.
vii) User Dictionary
viii) Wi Fi Access Points
(OFF) Now you need to backup Titanium Backup itself, since thats the first app you will want to install, after a ROM flash.
(OFF) 8) Open ES File Explorer,
(OFF) 9) Choose Menu->Manager->App Manager.
(OFF) 10) Press and hold Titanium Backup and then choose Backup(the apk will be saved in /sdcard/backups/apps)
(ON) 11) Now open SMS Backup+ and tap Backup
Thats it !! You're all set now !
See post #2 for info on how to easily backup and restore your data.
Hope this helps in making ROM flashing an easier task
If you thought this was helpful, hit "Thanks" !
If you have any suggestion that might make this an even easier process for everyone, please do share !
And Happy Flashing !