Everyone is testing a lot of ROMS and experimenting with their mobiles, it is necessary to backup your device. However, backup only isn’t the matter. Backup must be compliant and having functionality to be restored easily on any ROM is most important. Why?

NEED:

1. Basic/Raw backup method are compatible and restorable across any Custom ROM’s etc.
2. Your new ROM, may or may not support your PC Suite or highly special apps, making your backup useless.

3. Old Stock backup apps (like one in Sony Ericsson) aren’t available on new versions. (for e.g. android 2.3)
4. Relying on RAW/Basic method, will not ditch you.
5. Stick to basic methods when you want to experiment with your phone.

My Experience:

Recently, I installed 2.2.1 on my X10 Mini Pro but I was forced to rollback as “MyPhoneExplorer” wasn’t connecting to new ROM to restore my backups. May be a problem due to changed ‘chargemon’ file or something. Also, Sony Ericsson and other Stock Backup Apps are features of Eclair 2.1 and older Android, so they are not available in new and custom ROMS (except when developer puts it).

Four Backups you must be concerned of:

SMS, Phone Book, Apps (with Data) and whole ROM (for restore)

1. SMS Backup:

You may agree or not, using option in GoSMS and other SMS apps was the most successful one here. Reason is you can take backups of all your SMS on SD Card using these Apps and restore it back also. Other thing is when you install Custom ROM you can re-install GoSMS from Market and then use Recover option. It works flawless. All hassle free.

To do this: There is an option under GoSMS Settings –> GoSMS Services –> SMS Backup Recovery –> Backup SMS. To restore go to same options and select “Restore”

go_sms_backup_sd_card_geekact

2. Phone Book (Contact) Backup:

The best way here is using Stock Method. This stock method will not be affected with update or Custom ROM as all android versions have them. This method makes backup in format “.VCF”, which is all over accepted format and any restore tool can restore your data.

To do this:

Go to your Phone Book (Contacts) and Open Options. Th

ere you will see “Import / Export” option. Select it and on next screen select “Export to SD Card”. Phone may ask you the format you want. Choose “.VCF” format and save it. Done!

phonebook_backup_vcf_android

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You just saved your precious phone book which can be imported back from SD Card using same options menu.

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If you use Google, Facebook or other Contacts then make sure to turn all of them on first. This can be done from “Contacts to Show” option. It may be under your Phone book or Accounts settings.

Not to argue that this can be done via other Apps and Dialers also but make sure you can install them on new ROM’s.

3. Backup of Apps and its data:

This is another important thing to have backup of. Using Titanium Backup is the easiest way. You can also use Super Manager, Sprite Backups and other apps also. Just make sure that they backup your App (with Data) and can be installed on new ROM.

Some Cautions:

1. For a reliable Apps (with Data) backup you must be Rooted and have Root version of Titanium Backup.
2. Make sure you have USB Debugging option clicked as Yes, in Developer settings of your Phone.
3. You must have at least 150 MB of free space on SD Card.

To do this:

Go to Titanium Backup and open Backup/Restore tab. Then select Batch mode from options. Then select “All Apps + Data”, let it complete.

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You can restore all or selective apps when you flash new ROM using Titanium Backup. Remember to keep a copy of Titanium backup installer (APK file).  So you will be able to install it again and then restore apps using it.

4. Full ROM Backup:

Normal user doesn’t need this. When you want to install new ROM’s and updates, then consider it mandatory. This is taken using xRecovery or ClockWorkMod. Don’t know what it is? These are pre-boot loader environment which makes it possible to wipe the phone and install new custom ROM’s in just one touch. I personally recommend installing CWM after xRecovery.

To install xRecovery follow this guide.
To install ClockWorkMod (CWM) go here.

Some Cautions:

1. At least 500 MB space free on SD Card or backups will be incomplete (personal experience).
2. You can restore, backup taken by xRecovery using CWM with a specific option but not vice-versa.
3. Don’t try to run a file meant for CWM using xRecovery or vice-versa, only exception is Point 2 above.

To do this:

Reboot your phone and when first Sony Ericsson white logo appears, start pressing Back Button 3-4 times. It will take you into xRecovery or CWM, depending on what you have. Select option Backup/Restore and then Backup the whole system.

xRecovery-Xperia-X10-Pro_geekactclockworkmod-recovery1_geekact

Alternatively, if you have any kind of ROM Manager installed you can take backup using it. However, I find pre-boot environments backups more reliable.

rom_manager_geekact So as now you are done with backups, you can proceed ahead installing Custom ROM’s on your android.

By Mrinal Buddekar

Data Manager and a technology enthusiast! Mrinal Buddekar is Pune based blogger who loves building server, websites, technology, and affiliate blogging.

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