A backup taken at the right time can save you a LOT of hassle. A NANROID backup is basically a backup of your Android operating system from the phone’s NAND memory, saved to the storage card. It is always advisable to take a NAND backup of your phone before you attempt to flash a new ROM to it so that in case anything goes wrong, you can revert your phone back to its previously working state. In the following guide, we will tell you how you can take a NANDROID backup and restore your phone from one you’ve already taken.
Update: You might also want to check our guide on creating NANDroid backups without booting into recovery.
Before you can proceed with the backup or restore process, your phone must be rooted and have Clockwork Recovery installed. You can use our guide on how to install Clockwork Recovery to your Android phone. Note that this process takes the backup on the SD card so it must have enough free space to hold the entire contents of your phone memory. Also, it does NOT take the backup of the contents of the SD card itself, so you will need to manually backup those in case you need them later.
The easiest way to perform, restore or manage nandroid backups is to use ROM Manager. It is a free Android app that you download from the Android Market and use while running Android to schedule operations to be performed in recovery. It provides you with a GUI for installing ROMs as well as performing, restoring and managing backups. It does not perform the actions themselves but rather reboots the device into recovery after you have scheduled these actions, and then automatically performs them via recovery. For further information, check out our coverage of Android ROM Manager. Its interface makes using it a breeze as all the options are laid out very conveniently.
There are situations when you need to perform, restore or manage backups while you are not booted into android, or can not boot into it because of some errors. In such situations, you can use the following direct method.
To take a NANDROID backup:
- Boot your phone into recovery. In case you don’t know how to do that, you can do it by simply launching ‘ROM Manager’ if you have it installed, and tapping ‘Reboot into Recovery’. In case you don’t have ‘ROM Manager’ installed, you can follow our guide on how to reboot your Android phone into recovery.
- Scroll down to ‘nandroid’ or ‘backup and restore’ and enter it (by pressing the trackball or optical track pad button on most phones; could be the power button on some phones that lack a trackball or an optical track pad.)
- Select ‘backup’, and wait patiently for the backup process to complete.
- Reboot your phone, and you’re done. You now have a complete backup of EVERYTHING on your phone memory taken on your SD card.
To recover a previously taken NANDROID backup:
- Follow steps 1 and 2 of the backup process.
- Select ‘restore’. You will now see a list of previously taken backups.
- Select the backup that you want to restore, confirming any prompts that you may see.
- Wait patiently while the restore process finishes, and reboot your phone once its done. You have now restored EVERYTHING on your phone’s memory to the way it was when that backup was taken.