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I would like to backup the ROM on my phone before I attempt to install Cyanogenmod on it. It is a Samsung Galaxy SIII on Sprint in the United States. My phone is not currently rooted and I'm running a standard ROM.

Can someone point me to free and/or open source software that will allow me to backup the ROM completely and be able to restore it later?

13

Titanium Backup (Root) is one of the most feature-packed Android backup apps available. It has a long list of features. The most important core features include...

  • Back up all system settings.
  • Back up all apps, and app data/settings.
  • Back up contacts, SMS history, Email, etc.
  • Back up call history
  • Restore all of the above from backups.

And some other powerful features

  • Restore apps/data from Nandroid backups.
  • Repair improper Google Play Store data for apps.
  • Cloud storage integration.

It's important to note that this won't be a full backup of your entire system, only apps, data, and settings. The best way to make a full backup is either a Nandroid or ADB backup. You can find out about those over at Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange. Since they aren't really "Backup software" to recommend, but methods of using the tools Android supports and uses, I don't think it'd be pertinent to go into depth with them here.

  • Dont use TI, reformedmusings.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/… – MᴀʀɪᴜsᴢS Feb 4 '14 at 20:09
  • @MariuszS that's why I mentioned Nandroid and ADB backups. But those aren't on-topic on this site. – dotVezz Feb 4 '14 at 20:11
  • Just to add - this app has a lite version which has limited features, while the full paid (pro) version includes all the above features. – Taz Feb 5 '14 at 0:13
  • There is no reason recommending a built in method is any less topical than a separate package. In fact in this case I think this answer should be revisited. The OP states that their phone is not yet rooted so TI-root won't help. Rooting on some devices wipes a bunch of things right out of the gate so you need a backup earlier, so ADB backup probably needs to be more prominently recommended here. – Caleb Feb 21 '14 at 21:14
6

Intro

As you have not yet rooted your device, and Caleb pointed out in his comment the rooting process might delete (some) data (it never did for me, but the danger admittedly exists), I'll divide my answer into two sections:

Solutions not requiring root

ADB backup comes for free, and requires at least parts of the SDK tools to be installed on your computer. Details can be found e.g. on our Android Enthusiasts sister-site with Full Backup of non-rooted devices (which also mentions additional helpers). Also worth a look: the backup tag-wiki at Android.SE.

Solutions requiring root

While I second the recommendation of Titanium Backup made by dotVezz (I'm a happy TiBu-user myself), this might not substitute for a complete ROM backup. If you already have installed a custom recovery, you should for sure make a Nandroid backup (basically, cloning all your partitions into image files, so you can later restore the device to the exact state of when this backup was made). Comes for free with most custom recoveries, as e.g. ClockworkMod or TWRP.

And before I forget: ROM Manager usually does this task as well, including backup and install of your custom ROM. Didn't try it myself, but reading the comments seems people are fond of it.

Conclusion

The most complete backup is provided via Nandroid. If anything goes wrong: as long as you can boot into recovery mode, this brings you back to exactly where you started. Titanium Backup is a solution you most likely will keep "forever", as it provides a scheduler, and you thus always have an up-to-date backup of all your apps and data on your SDCard (and optionally on Dropbox, or with the help of some sync tool like FolderSync even on your computer, or with any other Cloud). If you prefer a non-root solution, ADB backup is the only choice – but requires you either to work with the command-line, or have some additional helpers ready.

  • The OP stated here that they have not yet rooted their phone. Since rooting often wipes a lot of stuff and most of these solutions require root, I suggest you move any that don't (ADB for one) to front and center, then touch on the other options. – Caleb Feb 21 '14 at 21:16
  • @Caleb good point. Though that never happened to me (for sure nothing was "wiped"), I've updated my answer accordingly, and enriched it with additional details. Thanks for the heads-up! – Izzy Feb 21 '14 at 21:55
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    Depends on the root method and how hacky it is -- or if it's built in such as on Nexus phones that auto-wipe when rooting them (catches some people off guard) and I've seen a few other hack methods that did this too. Depends on the original ROM and method used, but it's at least worth warning people about and having a backup BEFORE the mess around with rooting in case they botch that stage. – Caleb Feb 21 '14 at 21:58
  • Sure thing! I might have just been "always lucky". That's why I took your hint serious (+1 from me to your last comment!) – Izzy Feb 21 '14 at 22:00
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If your Android device is non-rooted (or even already rooted), then Helium is a good option.

Play Store: Helium - App Sync and Backup.

The following guide entitled "How to Backup Apps and Data without Root using Helium Android App" may also prove useful.

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With Wondershare MobileGo for Android, you can back up everything, namely, contacts, SMS, apps, call logs, music, videos, photos, and calendar. Additionally, you can restore all or selected backed-up files to your Android phone with a click.

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