The story to this is that one day I booted up my phone (Samsung Galaxy S5) and all my system apps crashed right after I booted my phone, so for example a box would appear saying something like 'Unfortunately, Touchwiz has stopped'. The phone was already rooted, so I installed CWM for my phone and I backed up the phone to my external SD card.

The whole reason why I backed up the phone is to tray and get my documents and photos back, but I don't know what exactly has been backed up, I know the system files has been backed up and the ROM. Has my media been backed up?

I also need to factory reset my phone to use ODIN, but does a factory reset in CWM delete my internal sdcard? I researched this, and some people say yes and some say no.

  • Check the backup directory. Usually there's one "archive" per partition there, with their names indicating the source: system and data are usually part of the deal, which should cover your internal card. The external card IMHO is not backed up, at least not per default. Also see our nandroid tag-wiki, as that's what's usually performed by custom recoveries ("NANDroid backup"). – Izzy Jul 1 '16 at 21:24
  • Thanks for the reply, I have a couple of questions, is my media in the data folder or the system folder? Is there a way of putting the media from the backup to my computer and after fixing my phone, I can then transfer my media back on to my phone? I backed up the phone to an external sd card – T.BRX Jul 1 '16 at 21:42
  • Have you checked with the wiki link above? It a.o. tells you how to extract/restore parts of a Nandroid, so you can check what's in there ;) It's too long ago that I've dismantled one. Depends also on the device structure (i.e. whether the internal card is a separate partition with its own file system, in which case it's usually not covered by "data" – or just a directory inside /data that's then served via FUSE; just checked with some of my Nandroid, and there it's the former case). – Izzy Jul 1 '16 at 21:48
  • Oh and if I was to factory reset using CWM, I won't lose my internal sdcard data right? – T.BRX Jul 1 '16 at 21:48
  • Depends. I'm using TWRP meanwhile where you can select what to wipe (and e.g. exclude the card). IMHO in most cases, internal and external cards are left untouched unless explicitly told otherwise. No guarantees however, better check the one for your device (might help to edit your question and include details on that). – Izzy Jul 1 '16 at 21:51

Usually, s do not touch the SD cards (neither internal and explicitly not external) unless there's an option to explicitly do so and one has checked that. In my experience (as far as I can remember from CWM) my cards were never touched. I'm currently using where one has to explicitly check the corresponding boxes if one wishes to wipe them as well.

However, some vendors have configured that differently on some devices, including the internal SD card with the wipe by default. I don't think CWM adapted that on those devices then, but it cannot hurt to check.

If you backed up your phone to the external card, that backup should be safe there. However, you didn't tell what kind of backup you did. Talking about CWM, I assume you meant a backup1. As long as you additionally copied all content from the internal card to the external, you again should be safe. If not, it then depends on the "disk layout" of the ROM used whether it was covered with the "default Nandroid": if the card is just emulated from a directory located inside /data using FUSE, it should be included with the data.* backup. If it uses its own partition, it might not be covered (not sure if CWM gives an option to include it).

As it turned out in your case, the cards have been left untouched by the CWM-triggered factory reset as I had expected. But I'm not entirely sure if that's always guaranteed (though being the usual case). So it never hurts to "have a safety-net and a double bottom" ;)

1 Check our nandroid tag-wiki for details on that

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