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I am trying to create an exact copy of the filesystem on my android tablet on my PC.

The device is a rooted Nexus 7 (2013).

I opened a shell on the device through adb and attempted to create a tarball of the whole root directory, but my root access was limited to 15 minutes so there was not enough time for completion.

Can anyone help here, either by showing me how to copy the whole root directory?

*Note that I do not want a backup .ab file, only and exact copy of the filesystem

  • possible duplicate of Full Backup of devices – Lucky Jul 9 '15 at 14:43
  • Lucky, it appears a full backup as explained in your link will return a .ab file, I just want an exact copy of the full file system in its original folders and etc... – cjmaria Jul 9 '15 at 15:19
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    Sorry @Chris M. Wrong linked question. Check this post for rooted solutions How to backup your Android device? – Lucky Jul 9 '15 at 15:22
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    Thanks to the link provided by Lucky above, I was able to use the ./abd pull .* while rooted to copy nearly the whole device to my PC. however some files were omitted because root access was only granted for 15 minutes, not enough to copy all of the files. I suppose all I need to solve my problem now is a way to grant root access for an extended time period, any ideas? – cjmaria Jul 9 '15 at 15:32
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    Look at How to root my android device? post for more information on rooting your device. – Lucky Jul 9 '15 at 16:54
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It's unlikely that you need to copy the entirety of your tablet's storage in order to find a file from one application. Assuming the app you're using is this one, you should only need to check in /data/data/bn.ereader/. IIRC, you can pull that to your PC with adb pull /data/data/bn.ereader/ . (the dot may or may not be necessary).

  • @ChrisM. Oops, it's actually /data/data/bn.ereader/ (I really should sanity-check answers better...) – user43185 Jul 9 '15 at 19:56
  • Yeah, I knew which one you meant. – cjmaria Jul 9 '15 at 19:57
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    And Josh, to pull that directory the way you describe requires the adbd (ADB daemon) on the device running in root mode, which it usually does not (but OP wanted the location, and your answer gives that). – Izzy Jul 14 '15 at 20:12
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The correct reference would point to our nandroid tag-wiki, as a Nandroid backup is what covers all content. However, this is only available via custom recoveries.

An alternative to that would be the dd command ("Disk Duplicator"1).


Disclosure: the following describes an application I wrote and maintain:

My tool Adebar is able to generate you dd scripts for all partitions your device holds, which you then can cross-check before execution. While doing that, Adebar tries to figure out what each partition is used for, so you won't end up just with cryptic names on the disk-images. To get to the content, you still had to figure the file system used on each partition (to be able to mount it as a Loop Device). But for the "worst case", you should be able to use these images to restore your device to the state it was in when you've created them (though I must admit I've never tried that yet).

Adebar files
files pulled/generated by Adebar (click image for larger variant)

Adebar is mainly written in Bash version 4, and utilizes to communicate with the device. It definitely runs fine on Linux. I have not tested it on other systems, and so far got no feedback from users maybe having tried that.


1: careful: it's nick-named "Disk Destroyer", as if you use it the wrong way around (i.e. swap source and target), you can end up with a "disk without content"

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    While this solution also works, @Josh Holland provided a faster way of solving my issue, but thanks anyway for I will certainly make good use of your application in the future. – cjmaria Jul 9 '15 at 19:56
  • Always good to have alternatives! So congrats to Josh for providing a solution exactly tailored for your (and similar) issue(s) – need to upvote him for that (ding done.) Glad you see use for my application as well – it's also good to have a device documentation available to cross-check with, which Adebar creates, too (see the blue box in above graphic), and a "complete backup" (red box: partBackup for a partition-based backup) cannot hurt either ;). Btw: the Github page also holds a wiki to get you started. – Izzy Jul 10 '15 at 11:02

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