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[TUT] What Is Nandroid And How To Use It [Complete Guide] [VeNuM]

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By VECTUS, Recognized Developer / Retired Forum Moderator on 18th June 2012, 07:47 AM
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If you are new to Android, you probably have seen the term Nandroid used. If you are rooting your phone for the first time, or even an old crusty flashaholic, a Nandroid backup could be the difference between saving your phone or have having a $500 paper weight.

What IS a Nandroid? It is a full backup of the partitions on your device’s NAND flash (NAND actually stands for NOT AND,which in simple terms means an electronic gate). Basically a backup of your phones hard drive if you will... The Nandroid backup is a snapshot of your device (it means everything on your phone – your apps, data, your current ROM and even the kernel is backed up) at the time you do the back up. If you restore the back up, it changes your phone BACK to that state. You will need clockworkmod (CWM). So make sure prior to this you have CWM on your device.

Your SD Card data is not backed up in the process. Although the Nandroid backup itself is created on your SD card. Make sure you have enough space on your SD card to make a COMPLETE copy of your phone. It is highly recommended that once you have done a backup, you manually copy it to your computer in case your sd card is wiped or corrupted..

1. Rooted Device:
You need a rooted android device.

2. Custom Recovery
While the OS is running you cannot do a backup. The boot loader in the recovery enables you to take a backup of the OS while it’s not running.

ClockworkMod (CWM) recovery is the example used in this tutorial.

Steps to Make a Nandroid Backup via CWM:
Backup and Restore via CWM:
1.Boot into Recovery.

2. Select ‘Backup and Restore’ from the recovery screen.

Once you are in recovery, scroll down to the option ‘Backup and Recovery’ and select it. You can scroll up/down through the menu using the volume buttons and select options using the power button.

3. Start the backup.

Once you are on the Nandroid screen, select ‘Backup’ to start the backup process. You have the option to restore backup on the same screen.

The backup process may take a while. Be PATIENT.

4. Transfer the backup to your computer (optional but recommended).

Once you reboot, you can see the backup in the ‘clockworkmod/backup/timestamp’ (or similar file) directory on your SD card.

Move, copy, or paste this folder on your PC safely.

It’s THAT simple…

Restore from a Nandroid Backup via CWM:
1. Boot your device into CWM and navigate to the Nandroid screen.

2. Choose ‘Restore’ and begin the process.

If you select ‘Advanced Restore’option, you may select which part of the backup to restore – i. e. the boot,system, data or cache. Or choose the whole backup.

3. Reboot your device. Your system is now restored and is exactly the same as the time when the backup was taken.

Final Thoughts:

If you are planning on rooting your phone or even a hard core flashaholic it is essential you use this painless and easy tool to save you when you need it. As noted above you can even revert back to just the kernel, data or whatever that could become corrupt or just plain messed up in the future. I hope this helps you and happy flashing!! - VeNuM
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18th June 2012, 07:57 AM |#2  
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Once again another well written tutorial VeNuM. Going to add this to my list of articles to point people to. Just hope the ones who really need it will actually look here first. Thanks again.
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18th June 2012, 08:29 AM |#3  
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Nice guide VeNuM, will definetly help with the noobs
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18th June 2012, 10:18 AM |#4  
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This is an awesome Tutorial - thanks for taking the time to write it.
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14th July 2012, 05:27 PM |#5  
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Hi, thanks for a nice simple guide.

After flashing speedmod k3-7 on Criskelo v8 I have lost root.
I would like to restore to before I flashed speedmod to regain root.

Is it possible to restore a nandroid if I don't have full root?
What part should I restore to regain root?

Or do you know a Better way to regain root?

I'm still a noob, so I really appreciate all info I get. Don't want to mess this up. :)

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14th July 2012, 06:05 PM |#6  
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Is CWM required?

Or can we do this in stock recovery?

FF18 SFHub Rooted
14th July 2012, 06:27 PM |#7  
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Originally Posted by mcadamry

Is CWM required?

Or can we do this in stock recovery?
FF18 SFHub Rooted

Venum used CWM as an example, but no, stock recovery wont work. Youll need a custom.
The op prerequisites are pretty clear. ^^^^ Look up at the op..

Sent from my SPH-D710
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14th July 2012, 07:02 PM |#8  
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Good detail in this. Thanks!

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14th July 2012, 07:07 PM |#9  
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So what if I have expensive taste on paper weights? You got a problem?

Great tutorial, I know how to use it already but this should defiantely encourage more people to use nandroid making you the saviour of a lot of money.

14th July 2012, 09:00 PM |#10  
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As always, great tutorial. I've used it to make a backup, but thankfully never had to use it to restore. This does lead me to 2 follow up questions/scenarios:

1. The backup is provided you can get into CWM. What if the phone can't get into CWM and is "hard bricked"? Then I assume in this case you can't do anything, correct? What if you have the backup file on your PC as you suggested. Could you somehow through ODIN restore the backup file without access to CWM (provided the phone is recognized in ODIN)? Or would you have to use ODIN to restore, get it up an running, then install CWM, then use your backup to revert back? I guess it all comes down to if it's recognized or not in ODIN, if it is, then you're not really hard bricked; but if it isn't, your SOL?

2. If the phone can boot up, and let's say is stuck in a boot loop where it doesn't get into the rom, but can get into CWM, but the backup is corrupted. How would you transfer from your PC the backup without being able to "mount" the SD card to transfer it. Obviously with an external SD it's no problem, but what if you only use the internal?

Thankfully, I've never experienced any of the issues above, I'm just curious on the answers. Thanks guys.
14th July 2012, 09:28 PM |#11  
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Possible Sticky? Great guide, thanks!
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