A to Z Nandroid

If you've read about hacking or rooting your Android phone (or tablet, or media player) you've seen the word Nandroid used. When tinkering with your device, there's always a very good chance you'll be left with firmware that won't boot, leaving you in a bit of a lurch. A Nandroid backup can mean the all the difference here.

What it is, is a full backup of partitions on your device's NAND flash (NAND stands for NOT AND, a type of electronic logic gate -- it's like the hard drive of your Android device) storage. Think of it as a snapshot of the current running system, and it can be used to restore that that point at any time. Both user data and system files are backed up, and it's a far cry from what we think of when talking about a traditional backup from other software. In fact, it's something that many folks wish was part of the stock Android recovery. Yes, to preform a Nandroid backup you'll need a custom recovery on your device so that the executable files and scripts are there. These have been left out of the stock recovery, likely over issues that would arise if users can backup proprietary files. 

Getting the custom recovery on your device is the hardest part, thankfully. Once installed backing up and restoring with Nandroid is simple, involving nothing more than choosing the option and verifying -- no wires needed. Even if you never plan to hack your phone ( I like stock ICS on my Galaxy Nexus), flashing a custom recovery and running a Nandroid backup is always a good idea. You can find more information about custom recoveries, as well as methods to install and use them, in the device-specific section for your device in the Android Central forums. Give it a look, and decide if it's something you're interested in doing.

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Android A to Z: Nandroid backup



That`s nice article Jerry and good information to know, I do visit AC daily, to see what`s new. But really do we need to root our devices? Which is what we loved and we all bragged about it!
To me who`s to the rooting he is 100% unhappy with what he bought. Second to root your device your gain is little or nothing! you`ll never change the processor speed nor the size of the core either. And one important thing Jerry, a lots of people loose their devices.

Gain is little or nothing? We are talking about the same thing right? There are many benefits from rooting. Some do it for extra visual ui changes or to get rid of carrier bloatware, do make Nandroid backups, to use terminal emulator, to be ad-free, run smoother custom roms and of course over-clock your phones processor. Yes, you actually can do that. Now that's just what I do with my rooted gnex, if you were to read the forums you would see that there are many more benefits from rooting your device.

Nice write up Jerry, but this sentence is eating away at me (lol) "When tinkering with your device, there's always a very good chance you'll be left with firmware that won't boot..".... You're going to scare people away from the joys of rooting with talk like that :) Starting as a total noob when I got my Bionic in September and Gnex in December, to date I've flashed probably hundreds of ROMs, tweaked and done all sorts of stuff to my devices, and never have issues. The ONE and only time I bootlooped anything was the Bionic when I was flashing an experimental ICS build which most people advised was almost guaranteed to bootloop (of course it didn't stop me, haha)... and even that was fixable in under 4 minutes. Just don't want people thinking the wrong thing.. nothing irks me more than people scared to root/flash stuff because they think they're going to break their phones :)

Yeah, except you should be scared. My buddy flashed some firmware to his Galaxy S II and it ended up being the firmware for one of the other Carrier's version. No where in the thread where the firmware was provided did it mention that. It was more of a given that if it didn't say anything, it was for the original Galaxy S II. Of course the only way to fix this is to build yourself one of those USB dongles I believe or to open the phone and solder some pins on the CPU (WTF!)

Sort of a noob question. What is the difference between what this does and what Titanium backup does?

Tb will backup apps and settings individually. And restore individually or batched. Nandroid takes a snapshot of everything. Almost every single thing on the whole phone/tablet. Its like a disc image in windows kinda.

Tb is great for when you root and flash a new rom. You can run a batch to re install all your apps once you have installed your new rom. And its great for saving games like angry birds progress. And it will sink your backed up data to Google drive or dropbox.

there is some overlap between this and titanium backup. But rule of thumb if your going to tinker with your system, do a nandroid backup

I'm sorry, but this question is STILL not answered completely!....

When asked about the difference between NANDROID backup & "anything else", shouldn't the answer be: "NANDROID backup will "backup/upload" everything on the smartphone....and this includes: The Hard Drives (both the INTERNAL & EXTERNAL (SDCard)), Applications, Pictures, Music, folders;etc......

Now this, Gentlemen & Ladies, would be the way to ANSWER this question of what a NANDROID backup is, if my interpretation is correct, and NOT too vaguely say: "It takes a snapshot of the phone" (that could mean just a .jpg/png of contents)---

I am still praying for the day that, experienced users will "explain" answers to Noobs, that would inspire their curiosity of computer system functions...instead of merely slapping them in their face, with "short answers" such as: "It takes images/snapshots"!

I HOPE this is what a NANDROID Backup is (MY definition!) since I myself, am still inexperienced~!

It would be nice if someone could confirm that the full answer is in fact correct! But ... ;-) ... the reference for all communication is the 'tweet'. If it bumps into the 'tweet character limitation' ... the mind goes blank, and the thought terminates. Whether or not the thought has been completed ... is immaterial.