How to Backup & Restore Android Phone before Installing Custom ROM

Backup Android PhonesQuestion by Rajiv Bhatia: With the Samsung Galaxy S Plus is ruled out of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update officially by Samsung, I find that there are lots of custom ROM available which are more often same as that of the official ROM. Unofficially there are dozens of Android 4.0.3 ROM’s available for various Samsung handsets and particularly I see few like Cyanogen Mod 9 ICS, Dark Knight custom ROM ICS, SLIM ICS, Stable and Stunning Android 4.0.4 Beta 10 update and lot more at Android Advices itself. I am thinking to install the Dark Knight custom ROM on my phone to make it look new but I am worried whether my phone willn’t be bricked away with those custom ROM. It’s OK for me to try out those updates and I understand that warranty will get void with those updates but I am actually worried what if I am strucked in the middle of upgrade and what is the case if the latest installed ROM doesn’t work on my phone perfectly i.e., is there way by which we can potentially backup the existing firmware on my phone and restore it whenever required with what I had earlier? I am looking forward for step by step procedure to get the canonical answer for this rather than a one word or one sentence answer for this from the team Android Advices.

Android Advices Team Answer : Officially there is nothing like backing up your current ROM, etc., because the stock firmware upgrades always goes with the higher versions always and there is no look back. However if you are looking to move towards custom ROMs and firmware’s then you need to head to ClockworkMod recovery famously known as the CWM which is a custom recovery on the Android phones and tablets provides users to perform several advanced options like backup the existing ROM, installations, test out various ROMs and others.

Backup via ClockWorkMod Recovery

The ClockWorkMod recovery is the right tool for your to perform backup of existing ROM and there are various methods by which you can install ClockWorkMod recovery on your phone depending on the devices that you use. We have recently spotted one touch clock recovery for Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Droid Bionic, Droid X, Google Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy S II and lot more devices with procedure on Android advices itself.

By installing ClockWorkMod Recovery on your phone you can get back the original stock ROMs on your phone whenever you want it. This not only allows you to backup Stock ROMs but also the custom ROMs as well. To install ClockWorkMod Recovery on your phone it’s quite essential that your phone should be rooted first and it involves further more procedure. Here is the general procedure on how you can backup your phone existing ROM.

  • The first and the most important thing you should consider is to take root your phone and this gives you various advantages. Understand which smartphone you have and follow procedure mentioned at our blog with respective tutorial.
  • Once you are ready with rooting on your phone, now you are ready to start the process of backing up the ROM. So further we need to proceed and install the ROM Manager Android Application, which can be easily downloaded from Android Apps Labs for free. Reminding you that ROM Manager will be installed on the rooted phones only.
  • Open the ROM Manager Android application on your phone.
  • You need to flash the ClockworkMod Recovery option present in the ROM Manager.Flash ROM Manager
  • Now among the options you need to select Backup Current ROM and this will ask you to provide the name for the new backup name.Backup Your Phone
  • This will further ask for SuperUser permissions on your phone and you need to grant that.
  • Once that is done, the backup of your existing ROM will be done after your phone restarts.
  • So now if something goes wrong in any of the custom ROMs which you are running you can easily restore then ROM backup which you have taken it earlier.ROM Manager
  • To do this, you need to open ROM Manager again, then select “Manage and Restore Backup” and then click on “Restore”.
  • Pick up the backup that you want to restore among the listed backup that you have performed earlier.
  • The phone boots up and you will get the backup of your original stock ROM.
  • That’s it.

Supported Handsets : ClockworkMod is supported only to limited devices. To checkout the supported devices. Please look through whether your device is supported or not. If you apply it to the wrong handset or the handset not mentioned in the list, your will end up bricking your phone.

Manual Backup in Stock ROM

When you are looking for the manual backup on your phone and you don’t want to go with custom firmware’s and stay safe, then full backup of your phone is not possible and you need to take backup of individual functions. The good things is contacts can be backed up using the Google Account and can be restored easily but for the SMS, call logs, APNs you need to find the suitable applications for that. You can find many free applications intended for each purpose in the Android Play Store.

About Amit Bhawani

Amit Bhawani is a Professional Blogger & Founder of Android Advices. He has received various awards like the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award & Samsung Mobilers Award. He covers more on the subject of value of mobile phones to consumers and gives insights to mobile buyers helping them to buy the right device. Add +Amit Bhawani on Google Plus for more Updates.