If you’re reading this page, chances are that you’re entering the hacking world of Android, which includes playing with your Galaxy S3’s ROM, kernel and other components of the phone. But this world is not at all risk free and that’s where Nandroid backups play an important role. If anything goes wrong, you always have the option to restore your phone to a previous backup and it will be back to normal within a few minutes.
A Nandroid backup is a backup of everything present in your phone’s NAND flash or in simple words, the software of your phone.
Making a Nandroid backup is a very easy procedure and not at all as complex as the name sounds, provided that you follow steps properly. Here’s a detailed tutorial to create a Nandroid backup of Samsung Galaxy S3.
Steps to Create a Nandroid Backup of Samsung Galaxy S3
The first step is to flash ClockWorkMod recovery in your Galaxy S3. It is a custom recovery, which, in simple terms, is a handy tool to install OS updates, change kernels, manage backups, etc. If you’ve already installed ClockWorkMod, you may jump directly to step 6.
The ClockWorkMod version we’re going to use in this tutorial is only meant for the GSM variant of Samsung Galaxy S3. Please do not flash If you own a carrier branded phone. Leave a comment below this post and I’ll try my best to look for a carrier-specific version for your phone.
Part I: Flashing ClockWorkMod on Samsung Galaxy S3
Step 1. Turn off your phone and boot it into download mode. To do so, press the volume-down button, home button and power button simultaneously. Refer to the image below to get an idea of this button configuration.
Step 2. Next, we’ll flash ClockWorkMod. At the time of writing, version 188.8.131.52 is the most stable version currently available and so I’ll be using it in this tutorial. If you consider yourself a geek, you may head over to its discussion thread on XDA and find a more recent/stable version.
Do not extract ClockWorkMod file or you’ll end up with a .img file, which is of no use.
Step 3. Download Odin from the link above. It is a firmware flashing tool using which we’ll flash ClockWorkMod (CWM). Extract it to a folder in Windows and open it. It won’t work without extracting it.
Step 4. Now, connect your phone to Windows using the microUSB cable that came along with your phone. The first box in Odin should light up. This is an indication that you’ve followed all the steps correctly. Make sure that only Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time are checked.
Do not disconnect your phone during this process at any cost. Have patience, the whole process should not take more than a minute.
Step 5. Click on PDA and choose the ClockWorkMod file that you downloaded in step 2. Hit the Start button. Wait for it to finish, after which your phone will reboot.
Part II: Creating a Nandroid Backup of Samsung Galaxy S3
The CWM that we have just flashed supports navigation by touch and so you can use your fingers to scroll and choose options, but if you’ve flashed a non-touch version of CWM, you can navigate the options using your volume buttons and power button to select one.
Step 6. Turn off your phone and now boot into recovery mode by simultaneously pressing volume-up + home + power buttons. Scroll down and choose ‘backup and restore’.
Step 7. Next, choose ‘backup’ or ‘backup to external sdcard’. The first option will create a Nandroid backup in the internal storage of your phone while the second one will store it in the external memory card. Creation of a backup in the external card might take more time.
Step 8. And you’re done! The process will take a few minutes, depending upon the number of apps installed on your phone.
The size of backup files are generally big, ranging from 200MB to 1GB and multiple backups will take a significant portion of your phone’s storage. To save some space, you can move the backups to your PC. The backups can be found at:
I’d recommend that you always carry at-least one backup in your phone in case anything goes wrong. The restoration process is similar to the backup procedure and to do so, you can anytime reboot into recovery mode and choose backup and restore > restore. Feel free to ask any question by commenting below.
Also check out -
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- HOW TO Enable USB Mass Storage Mode in Samsung Galaxy S3
- Samsung Galaxy S III (International) Review – Awesomeness Redefined
- 11 Amazing Features of Samsung Galaxy S III That Will Blow You Away