How To: Take Nandroid backups without rebooting

Most Android-based smartphone users today would definitely know the terms ‘Rooting’, ‘ROM flashing’ and ‘Nandroid’. Those who constantly keep flashing their phones with new ROMS, tweaks and updates would know the importance and criticality of taking backups before flashing their phones. Backing up the presently installed and working operating system before flashing a new ROM or tweak involves performing Nandroid. This means one would have to turn off the phone and reboot it into the recovery mode, then select the backup function and perform the Nandroid. The entire procedure wastes a lot of time rebooting the phone and most importantly, you spend a lot of time keeping your phone offline and might even miss important calls and messages.

Nandroids are usually taken from recovery modes

Nandroids are usually taken from recovery modes

 

 

There is a very fast and easy method by using a simple app to take a complete ROM backup or Nandroid without switching off your phone. No doubt, installing a ROM or flashing a tweak would still require you to switch off the phone and do the needful in the recovery mode. However, using this method you can at least save on 60 percent of your time. This method can also benefit those who keep installing various apps and like to play with different scripts and kernel tweaks. They would prefer to take repeated backups of their ROMS before and after the tweaking.

 

The app we are about to show you is available for free on the Google Play Store and is developed by Ameer Dawood. He developed this app because he constantly does Nandroid backups and does not want to waste time rebooting and entering the recovery mode. We shall show you how you can do the same. Before we get down to it, you would need to download and install two apps on your phone. The first is Online Nandroid and the second one is BusyBox installer.

Update BusyBox on your phone using the updater app

Update BusyBox on your phone using the updater app

 

 

Online Nandroid is the tool that takes Nandroid backups while your OS is online, and you do not need to reboot into the recovery mode for backups anymore. The app backs up the partitions such as boot, recovery, system, data, cache, cache data, dalvik cache, .android_secure, sd-ext, Appslog and any other partitions you have on your phone. The date format used for folder name is the same used by CWM itself and Nandroid backups created with Online Nandroid can safely be restored using CWM recovery.

Get the script installed for Online Nandroid to work

Get the script installed for Online Nandroid to work

 

 

Let’s get started. Before you begin, you need to make sure you have the latest version of BusyBox or at least version 1.20 and above. For this, start the BusyBox app and update the version over the Internet. If you run the Online Nandroid app, the utility will also detect the BusyBox version and exit if the requirements are not met. Now start the Online Nandroid app. Online Nandroid is actually a script with a graphical user interface that runs in the background and takes the backups. You need to install this script initially and Online Nandroid will automatically do it for you. Once you click on the app, you will be greeted with a large dialog box stating that you don’t have the script and prompting you to download it—click ‘Yes’. The new version of the script will be automatically downloaded and installed at the required location. Later, the display will give you details of the script version on screen. You are now ready for a Nandroid without rebooting.

Start backing up using the Online Nandroid backup utility

Start backing up using the Online Nandroid backup utility

 

 

On the Online Nandroid screen, select the name format you would like for your backups. You have a choice between custom name, UTC time zone name and phone time zone name. Preferred option would be a custom name as you can add the ROM name, date and time as per your choice. Select the custom name and hit the ‘Start Backup’ button. The next screen will ask for a confirmation and the screen after that will prompt you to enter the custom name for your backup. Feed in the requirements and click on the ‘OK’ button. The backup will start immediately and you can see the entire process in verbose mode on your screen. Depending on your phone’s speed and ROM type, the entire process can take anywhere between 5-10 minutes.

Backups are made and can be restored using CWM easily

Backups are made and can be restored using CWM easily

 

 

The backups are finally stored in the folder ‘/SDCARD/ClockWorkMod/Backup/<your custom backup name>/’. You can safely restore this backup anytime using the recovery mode.