While flashing a custom ROM, the risk of an improper install always looms which can cause the phone to go into bootloops. There are several other things that can go wrong while flashing a custom ROM; like flashing an incompatible kernel, corrupt zip package of ROM, etc. It is important to make a backup of your current ROM before flashing a new one.

It is advisable to make a backup using recovery. A Backup make in recovery is often referred to by developers as a Nandroid backup. A Nandroid backup can Restore the phone to its working condition including all the Apps, SMSes, Call logs and other Personal Data.

This tutorial to show a step-by-step process of making a Nandroid Backup and also Restoring from the same. For backup/restore of un rooted devices, you may see the Desktop PC backup method.

Requirements for using Nandroid Backup

  • Rooted phone (If you’re thinking of flashing a custom ROM, this tutorial assumes that you’ve already Rooted your phone)
  • ClockworkMod recovery or any CWM-based Recovery.
  • At least 1GB of free storage on your SDcard (the size of the Nandroid backup varies device to device so it’s safer to keep 1.5 GB free space on your device)
  • Android SDK (if you haven’t installed the same, read the Modding requirements)
  • At least 50% charge of battery.
  • Lots of patience!

Nandroid Backup Process

  1. Connect your Phone to the PC.
  2. On your PC, go to the folder where you’ve installed the Android SDK (…\android-sdks\platform-tools)
  3. Press Shift key + Right click and select “Open Command window here”
  4. Type “adb reboot recovery” in the command prompt window. This will restart your phone into recovery mode. This might not work for some devices.
    CWM main screen
  5. Once in Recovery mode, select Backup and Restore.
    CWM Backup and Restore screen
  6. Select BACKUP and the Backup process will begin.
    CWM Backup process
  7. It will take about 15 mins to complete this process so if possible keep the phone connect to the power supply.
  8. Once the backup is complete you’ll be returned to the recovery screen.
  9. Then Reboot the phone and transfer the backup folder to your PC for safe keeping. It can be found on your SDcard at clockworkmod/backup/

Restoring Process from Nandroid backup

  1. Connect the phone to the PC and transfer the earlier backup folder into your SDcard into this path “clockworkmod/backup/
  2. Follow steps 1 to 5 from the backup proces.
    CWM Restore screen
  3. Select RESTORE, then select the appropriate Backup folder and the backup process will begin.
    CWM Restore screen
  4. It will take about 15 mins to complete the Restore process, so if possible keep the phone connect to the power supply.
  5. Reboot your phone to boot into the Recovered state.

This is a generic tutorial and steps may vary a little, depending on your device. If you’re stuck anywhere, feel free to ask your doubts in the Comments section below!

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