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Can I backup my current ROM (Samsung modifications plus a few telco specific applications installed) before installing a custom ROM?

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Theoretically yes. Practically, it's much better just to reflash the ROM and then restore backed-up data. –  Matthew Read Jul 19 '11 at 18:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The best backup you can do is a Nandroid backup. I didn't know what it was for a long time, but it works like magic. I'll include instructions, but note that i have an EVO, so they might vary a little.

  1. Reboot into Recovery
  2. This is different for most phones, for example, the EVO you reset while holding the `Volume Down` button. Or, since you have a rooted phone, you might be able to get to it by holding down the `Power` button, then selecting `Reboot/Recovery`.
  3. Once in this menu, select `Backup/Restore`
  4. Choose `Backup`, or a similarly named option

Flash your new rom or whatever, and if you are not pleased, simply follow the steps back to recovery and do a Restore. This will reset your phone to it's exact settings from before, down to which widgets you had on your homescreen and what settings you had enabled and disabled.

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this is if you're looking for a full backup and restore, of course. If you're looking to backup data only, best use some app like Titanium Backup –  jlehenbauer Jul 19 '11 at 18:57
1  
I always do both. I do the titanium backup, then I backup with nandroid. If something fails in just the app data, I dont have to revert to the nandroid backup, i just restore from titanium, or I can even Wipe the app data when I do the ROM install, and use titanium to restore the apps. –  Ryan Conrad Jul 19 '11 at 19:20
    
for some reason i've never had titanium work for me, but Nandroid is foolproof. –  jlehenbauer Jul 19 '11 at 19:24

There's an easier way than this even. I use ROM Manager, and it automatically asks you if you want to back up your current rom before installing a new one. ROM Manager also let's you install directly from your SD card, so you can do your backup, data and Davlik cache wipe, and flashing the new rom all from this app. It comes in most custom roms too.

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ROM Manager may be great, but when you're new to all this, it might be "too easy". I recommend doing it "manually" once or twice, just to make sure you have a basic understanding of what happens on your phone when you flash recovery/roms or do backups. –  Jemus42 Aug 17 '11 at 23:37

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