Nandroids and other backup tips

Hey folks another reminder please backup your digital data. I know most people don’t think about this till it’s too late. Don’t be one of those. Not a week goes by that I don’t hear from someone who’s ‘lost it all’ and had no backup. Or worse thought they had a backup but never verified it and found it wasn’t usable.

I’ve written many times before on the why’s, and how to’s; here is a great write up

And for backing up your iDevice read here. My go to tool for all things iDevice is still DiskAid . If you don’t want to use that and iTunes, at least use Time Machine and iCloud!

To backup Android devices I use two tools. One is Titanium Backup Pro. [It requires Root access if you don’t know what that is and why you should have it, check here. You can learn how to root your particular device and add a custom recovery on XDA (more at bottom). Titanium benefits and functions are also explained in my other post above.

The other method I use regularly with my Android devices is to create Nandroid backups.

What just 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. Again I will mention my love of disk images in disaster recovery – done right it is by far the best solution to complete recoverability of data AND system(s) to a point in time.

To create a nandroid you will need a Rooted device, of course, and a ‘custom recovery’ such as ClockWorkMod (CWM) or other recovery such as Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP). So make sure prior to this you have a rooted device and custom recovery on your device.

Here is a Great walkthrough of how to use Android recovery (there TWRP) to backup/create nandroid on the Samsung Galaxy S4. This recovery is very similar to CWM (Clockwork Mod) in functionality but has a few more options and is, of course, touch based; which can save wear on your hardware buttons. The method is virtually the same across android devices.

The king of Android how-to’s is Tim Schofield (QbKing77) check out his various vids here.

This guys also has loads of good vids for various Android devices you may wish to check out here.

Little hack for G4 Sprint that will give you the ability to use your phone as a HotSpot (note that this may be against the Terms Of Service and you could be cancelled for abusing this! So use at your own discretion)

If you’d like to get to learn more about your Android device you should really check out XDA Developers Forum and site. Here is their introductory video. If you spend just a little time there you will surely learn a whole lot about your device and how to really unleash it’s full potential.

Oh, and if you do go there and check out the site keep in mind the pointers from this video!


Cleanup or Refresh an iDevice and Properly Restore it.

I’ve recently had a few people who had some problems with their iPhones and asked for some help. They were all of a sudden unable to receive calls and texts reliably or at all and or were notified they were running out of space. All were instructed by Apple and/or their carrier (in all three cases it was AT&T but could easily have been others) that they needed to reset their phone to factory settings. Problem is that without properly backing up the device(s), settings, applications and files everything is wiped!

Fortunately it’s pretty easy to back up iDevices and reset them to factory settings then restore the user files and settings such as contacts, call logs and messages. However as I’ve mentioned before Media such as images/videos and other media can sometimes be wiped and lost.

iPhones also have this problem of ‘filling up’ with pictures and videos. The only way to get them off is to manually delete them individually from the phone – a real pain in the anus.

So back to my favorite iDevice backup tool – DiskAid. It has it’s own backup tool that can ‘override’ iTunes backup and works real well. I use it often but some people would rather just use DiskAid to ‘remove’ data from their phone and do their backups in iTunes. So I’ll show that here to show the steps I took.

Get DiskAid and install it on your PC or Mac. And please read my previous post in iDevice backups.

First I used DiskAid to copy all photos and data – Diskaid has the ability to actually ‘SEE’ your data and remove pictures, movies and other items taking up space on your phone.



This copied off the images and movies to the PC.

Then I deleted a whole bunch of images and movies that were still on the phone to free up loads of space.



Cleared up to


The ran the iTunes Backup too.

1. Connect your iOS device to a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed

2. Select your iOS device in iTunes under Devices

3. Right-click (or Control-click) the device and select Back Up

The full iTunes backup can take a while be patient!


Also make sure you ‘Transfer you purchased items to iTunes:

right-click (Windows or Mac) or Control-click (Mac only) your device in the iTunes Source list, then choose Transfer Purchases from the shortcut menu that appears.


Then right-click after that is finished and run the ‘Sync “iPhone” one last time for good measure.

Now to ‘clear and restore’ the device.

Click on the ‘Restore’ radio button and choose the last backup you just created. You will be prompted:


If you have completely backed up, transferred files and synced all should be OK.






When the restore process has completed, the device restarts and displays the Apple logo while starting up:

After a restore, the iOS device displays the “Connect to iTunes” screen. Keep your device connected until the “Connect to iTunes” screen goes away or you see “iPhone is activated.”

Then to restore information from a backup connect your iOS device to the computer with which you normally sync then in iTunes:

Right-click (or Control-click) the device and choose Restore from Backup

Remember some of these steps can take some time – be patient!!

Your device should run much more smoothly after this.

Well hope this helps some. Peace out.