How To Perform And Restore A NANDROID Backup

NANDROID BackupA 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. Select ‘backup’, and wait patiently for the backup process to complete.
  4. 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:

  1. Follow steps 1 and 2 of the backup process.
  2. Select ‘restore’. You will now see a list of previously taken backups.
  3. Select the backup that you want to restore, confirming any prompts that you may see.
  4. 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.

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  • Rick

    Hi – I am rooted and have rom manager installed. When i reboot into recovery and scroll down there is no option for nandroid. Any suggestions?

    Thanks.

    • http://www.hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      The term ‘nandroid’ is used to refer to the process of backing up the contents of the NAND memory of an Android device. In the recovery options, it will not necessarily say ‘nandroid’ and might say something like ‘backup and restore’ instead, depending on the version of recovery that you are using. That will be the same thing as well.
      Thanks for bringing this to my attention as I will now update the post with this information as well so that other readers don’t get confused about it like you did.

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  • sleeps

    hey when i reboot into recovery the only options I have are to reboot system, reinstall packages, deleted all user data, delete cache. What do I do (Vibrant).

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  • sleeps

    yes i have dl’ed clockwork and my vibrant is rooted

    • http://www.hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      I am not sure what the problem is then. Try installing or updating ClockworkMod Recovery through ROM Manager and see if it works.

  • sleeps

    hmm still not working…ill tinker with it later i guess

    • http://www.hqraja.com Haroon Q. Raja

      Please do let me know too if you get it working…I am curious about it now :)

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  • Willian

    HI…good job! I have a defy (in Brazil) and when reboot for backup a logo with exclamation and a mini android apears…and frozen… What can i do to make a nandroid backup? What’s wrong? Thanks

    • http://www.hqraja.com Haroon Q. Raja

      Well, you need to be able to boot into Android or recovery to make a nandroid backup. If your phone gets frozen, you have to fix that first. I am not sure what is causing your phone to get frozen…when did it start happening? Was it after you tried flashing something?

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  • Josh

    I too had the issue of the recovery not switching from stock 2e recovery into cwm…so I found that it created 2 update.zip’s. The one on the root folder of the internal SD did not work for me. So I deleted it and moved the one out of the cwm folder, named backup_update.zip to the root file on internal SD and renamed it to update.zip…then started recovery boot again and clicked reinstall packages…worked perfectly and kicked me into cwm recovery with restore and backup.

    Hope this helps

    • Josh

      However, just retried it and it always defaults to stock recovery. From there reinstalling packages kicks me back into cwm recovery…hmmm

      • Josh

        By reinstalling it multiple times through the cwm recovery, it will now consistantly boot straight into cwm recovery from the app’s “reboot into recovery” function. But, if I use advanced>reboot recovery, it kicks me back to default 2e recovery and I have to reinstall packages to get back into cwm recovery.

        BTW I am using a rooted Samsung vibrant 2.1 with OCLF v1+(faster than froyo with OCLF)

  • Jonny

    How long does a nandroid backup usually take? my dell streak has been sitting at “Backing up data…” for about 35 minutes. Normal?

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  • kino

    can i use nandroid back up and restore with amonRA’s recovery? it shows back up has been made but when i go to restore i get the same problem as johnny, im waiting for ever…………

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  • Hugh

    When booting into recovery I get
    “E:failed to verify whole file signature
    E:signature verification failed
    Installation aborted”

    Any ideas? Thanks.

    • wayne

      revert to stock 2.1, then root and rom. You must be on 2.2…

    • Grimreaper34

      Hi,

      had same problem when flashing to new rom using Rom Manager:

      Revolutionary CWM v4.0.1.4

      Finding update package…

      opening update package…

      Verifying update package…

      E:failed to seek in /cache/update.zip (Invalid argument)

      E:signature verification failed

      Installation aboreted.

      Solved it by:

      after getting above message, simply pull out battery, replace battery,
      manually go into boot recovery (vol. down/power), Rom Manager
      automatically started up and installed rom.

      Not sure why, maybe I was just lucky

  • Lee

    great info on this site :) im using a x10mini pro, ive installed a new rom (2.3.9) and was just browsing yr site came across this thread, i used xrecovery to make a backup before flashing, i hadnt heard the term ‘nandroid’ at the time, is this just the terminology for what i’ve done? backed up my nand memory? thnx in advance

  • Stuntman

    If reference to Sleep’s comments:

    I ran the back on the Vibrant, when it goes to the reboot screen it gave me the same four options it gave you. When you see those options go to “reinstall packages” and it will take you to a green screen with several more options on a green screen, on that screen you will see back up about 2/3 down the list

    • Bw54tao

      I have a rooted T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant and going to reinstall packages does not give me any more options, and actually I get more errors when I choose reinstall packages. I think the only option I have to backup my phone is to do it the long way to my computer.

  • Alan

    If someone could assist me in fixing my Telstra DEFY I would be very greatfull.
    I want to get my phone back to STOCK. I managed to download a stock Telstra ROM but cant get ANYTHING to work.

    Here is a run down of what I have done so far.
    I followed all the instructions i found and managed to root the phone using superoneclick.
    Now I installed root unistaller and yes I unistalled things I shouldn’t have. Phone became unusable.
    So I used RSD Lite to install a rom but it wasn’t a Next G rom and still my phone was borked.
    I FINALLY found a custom rom and with RSD I got it working and Next G operational.
    Now phone is starting to play up again, So I just want to go back to the stock rom.

    I managed to find a stock Telstra Rom but it is a zip file with .img files in it.
    Researching I found that I needed clockworkmod etc.
    Installing clockworkmod seemed easy enough however when I try to flash cwm recovery, I select the DEFY and it tells me its not supported and have I installed base recovery or something manually. i click NO… nothing happens.. I click yes, it asked me to select either 2.xxx or 3.xxxx.
    Now I tried both and when I boot into recovery It only goes into ANDROID SYSTEM RECOVERY
    I dont get any of the options that everyone here has been talking about.
    What the hell is going on?????
    If someone has some spare time and can find it within themselves to help me out, that would be great.. either on here.. or by email. I’m desperate here.. Phone is becoming increasingly unstable. I cant even download some games and apps on market anymore cause it says its INCOMPATIBLE WITH MY DEVICE.. Even though I’ve used it before..
    PLEASE PLEASE HELP.
    I need someone to work through this with me.. step by step, inch by inch. The more patient you are.. the better.. I’m still learning all this and i’ll admit.. so far I SUCK!
    Email is aldo82@internode.on.net if anyone cares to assist me.
    Thanks

    • Coolarun1980

      Hi Please help me. I loaded Cyanogen7 but it seems it did not loaded well as my network was not working and the phone was rebooting itself. I try to restore back to 2.2 from the backup I took under recovery mode but it was giving error. Then I try to load update.zip in the root folder for SD card. After that phone rebooted and then its not passing ATT symbol and stick there. It is not going into recover mode. Nothing is happening. It seems the phone is bricked now. Please help. I want to go back to my 2.2. I don;t have any backup phone currently

  • Anuj Zope

    i have lg optimus one and after clicking ‘reboot into recovery’ my phone shows “fastboot mode started  udc_start()”  please tell me what should i do???????

  • yws_winson

    If i backup from cwm recovery and flash a new rom..
    after can i restore back my official rom on my sgs ??

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  • Vishalmane07

    Questions on “To take a NANDROID backup”     When i start the actual process of Nandroid backup, some scripts/backup paths were running on screen frequently for 5 minutes..No issue…But the second last step posted in the script was as “no sd-ext found” and the last step was “Backup complete”….Here i have not created any partition on sd card….Even the backup folder was created with details on Sd card..I have rooted device and flashed CWM4…
          Just confirm me that the backup is done perfectly (especially to the second last step)so that i can come back successfully from Custom ROM (whenever installed) to the inbuilt ROM with inbuilt data…
          Your inputs shall be very important for me..

          Also specify few more details [while going back from Custom ROM (whenever installed) to the inbuilt ROM with inbuilt data through Recovery]..I mean which type of list of previously taken backups is needed to select from Nandroid Advanced restore?? Whether to select “Restore boot or system or cache or sd-ext”???? or whether we have to first wipe factory reset or wipe cache partition or wipe dalvik cache from Advanced before performing Restore boot or system or cache or sd-ext????

  • Vishalmane07

    Questions on “To take a NANDROID backup”     When i start the actual process of Nandroid backup, some scripts/backup paths were running on screen frequently for 5 minutes..No issue…But the second last step posted in the script was as “no sd-ext found” and the last step was “Backup complete”….Here i have not created any partition on sd card….Even the backup folder was created with details on Sd card..I have rooted device and flashed CWM4…
          Just confirm me that the backup is done perfectly (especially to the second last step)so that i can come back successfully from Custom ROM (whenever installed) to the inbuilt ROM with inbuilt data…
          Your inputs shall be very important for me..

          Also specify few more details [while going back from Custom ROM (whenever installed) to the inbuilt ROM with inbuilt data through Recovery]..I mean which type of list of previously taken backups is needed to select from Nandroid Advanced restore?? Whether to select “Restore boot or system or cache or sd-ext”???? or whether we have to first wipe factory reset or wipe cache partition or wipe dalvik cache from Advanced before performing Restore boot or system or cache or sd-ext????

  • Akolev

    You say that “Reboot your phone, and you’re done. You now have a complete backup of EVERYTHING on your phone memory taken on your SD card.”

    However my question is, can this backup be considered in a safe place in the internal /sdcard, as long as the device can be bricked in some way, and /sdcard will become inaccessible?

    In my case I’m asking about Samsung Galaxy S II

  • Sheila Omland

    Hello! I had installed the beta version of miui in my desire and it didn’t go well. My phone lagged big time and it just wasn’t good. I tried to flash another rom but i kept running into obsticals. I just wanted to thank you so much for making it so easy for me to restore it back to the way it was. :)

    Very much appriciated

  • http://twitter.com/dr_raghuramsk Raghu Ram S K

    can you tell me how i can backup my data and apps so that everytime i flash my device i dont have to reinstall everything again?

  • ms. dymps

    How can I revert back to 2.2.2? I have a Huawei Ascend & it was doing awesome on 2.3.7 but I decided to download Cyanogen Mod 7 (worse mistake EVER) now I cant restore back to fctory state. Someone pleeease help!

    • Nart Barileva

      search around xda for a rom you can download and there will probably be instructions as well

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