How to Create a Nandroid Backup

What is a Nandroid backup?

Nandroid is a set of tools that will enable anyone who has root on their Android device to make FULL system backups, in case something goes wrong or you want to try out that new experimental ROM/theme.

1. Boot into Recovery Mode* by turning off your device then powering it on while holding Power+Home.
2. If you should get a triangle icon with an exclamation point, hit ALT + L to get to the menu.
3. Once in Recovery Mode, select "Create Nandroid backup." This will create a folder on your sdcard named "nandroid."
4. Wait for it to complete.
*Recovery Mode
1. Turn your phone off.
2. Hold the Home and Power buttons simultaneously until the phone powers on.
3. The phone will boot (continue holding the Home button until you have booted up)
Congratulations, you now have a Nandroid backup!

Restoring to an Earlier Backup
1. Boot into Recovery Mode by turning off your device then powering it on while holding Power+Home.
2. If you should get an triangle icon with an exclamation point, hit ALT + L to get to the menu.
3. Once in Recovery Mode, select "restore from latest backup" This will take some time, but eventually, it will finish (have patience young grasshopper).
Congratulations, you are now restored to your old Nandroid backup!

Note: some versions have nandroid in alt+b.

Restoring Specific Backups

Nandroid is designed to restore the most recent backup it finds on your MicroSD card, which means that when it comes to restoring specific backups, the process can be a little more complex.
1. Connect your device to the computer, and select "Transfer files to/from computer" from the drop down, and then select mount on the dialog that follows.
2. Open My Computer (or Computer for Windows Vista and Windows 7) and select the drive that corresponds with your memory card, usually this is titled Removable Disk
3. Navigate to the folder Nandroid and follow below
The Nandroid folder on the MicroSD card is ordered by software you are using, most of this is very cryptic as it relates to the SPL and Kernel version; however, if you made a backup prior to flashing cyanogenmod from an unrooted device, then there should be two folders in the nandroid folder. If you have made multiple backups on cyanogenmod, then the folder that contains more additional folders (titled by the date of the backup performed) and this will be the folder you are looking for. Nandroid backups take up a lot of space on the memory card over time, so I recommend keeping the backup of the original firmware safe on your computer at home (make sure to keep folder names as they are or restoring in the future will become very difficult), and then deleting any backups that are old and you do not need any more. The backups stored within each folder are in folders themselves, and these folders are labeled by the date and time that you made the backup, thus it is easy to see which backup is which. Simply by removing either by deleting, or moving a backup temporarily to another location, the backups that are newer than the one you want nandroid to restore will allow you to restore the "latest" backup, which would be the one that is newest found on your MicroSD card.

Example: I have /sdcard/nandroid/SH96SP306000/ <<<-- This is my Cyanogen backup folder

Inside of this folder I have other folders that within the text say "20091017" and another one I made that has "20091019" in the name, this means these backups were made on 10/17/2009 or 10/19/2009 respectively.& Also included in the name is the time the backup was made; however, in most cases this won't be used unless you have had many backups in one day.

I want to restore the backup made on 10/17/2009; however, because I have a newer backup, I know for a fact that nandroid will restore the backup from 10/19/2009, but that software was bad, so I need the backup from 10/17/2009. All I do in order to do this, is move or delete the folder that has "20091019" in the name, and then unmount my phone, restart it using the Home + Power key, and then select restore latest backup. This will restore the newest backup on the MicroSD card, which is the 10/17/2009 backup, which will get my phone up and running again, just how it was the night I performed that backup.
With respect to restoring specific backups. If you are running CM recovery 1.4 or higher the new options built into the allow for a lot of flexibility to manage backups. You can restore a specific backup by specifying it on the command line without having to manually delete or move the unwanted backup and then rebooting. Run --help to see all options.

Subscribe for Latest News