Backup and Restore ICS to Computer [Walkthrough]

Posted: May 17, 2012 in Android, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S 4G
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

With the 4.0.4 leak out a lot of people were wondering what happens if this is not made available to the general public.  I did some digging around have been working with the built in backup of ICS using ADB.  Read on for instructions to backup your phone.

The goal is to allow anyone that went to 4.0.4 IMM30B to be able to take a backup, go back to 4.0.2 and then install IMM76K.  I also hope it will help anyone that waited to unlock their bootloader and doesn’t want to lose a lot of data.

There are some reports that this does not copy the media are properly.  I recommend copying the sdcard area again after this backup to a separate location just in case a few pictures and things are not recovered properly.  It goes without saying this may not be a perfect method and it may not backup everything.  There is very limited documentation that I can find about the backup and restore process.

First you will need the Android SDK available here.  You will also need to make sure your phone is in USB Debugging mode of course.

Then make sure you have the platform-tools package installed.

I have not rounded up all of the drivers for all of the phones but you will need the adb drivers for your device.

Plug in the phone.

Open a command prompt at the platform-tools location and enter.

adb backup -apk -shared -all -f C:\BackupName.ab

You can change the backup name if you so choose.  This will backup the APKs, the shared “sdcard” area and app data.

You can also set a password, you also have to enter the encryption password if your device is encrypted.

Tap “Back up my data” on the screen that pops up on the phone and wait.  My back up was over 5GB and took a little while to complete, please be patient.  You will know it is finished when your phone retuns the the home screen or the screen you were on when you started the back up.   (I am talking like in hours not minutes of patience.)

To restore you will use the command.

adb restore C:\BackupName.ab

I decided to try this with my NS4G that is running CM9 at the moment and the process works there as well (chosen because I knew I had a good backup from CWM to compare with).  I did not have any issues with the restore after doing a data and cache wipe in CWM.  When I did the restore I skipped the initial login process and proceeded directly to make sure USB Debugging was turned on.  Once that was verified I restored the back up and everything was available.

For those of you who feel you may be stuck on IMM30B you should be able to backup IMM30B unlock, flash factory images for ICL53F and then update to IMM76K and restore.  YMMV.

I have not tested a restore from IMM30B into IMM76K personally at this time please let me know if there are problems with a restore to a different version.

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