I dropped my Samsung S4mini from great height and now my display and touchscreen are completely destroyed (I can see some colors and pixels, and could probably touch something in the upper part, but have no chance to see what I am doing). USB connection works though.

When looking for display replacement, I noticed that it is probably cheaper (and more reliable since I do not know if there was any damage e.g. to the camera) to just buy a used identical phone and clone the data.

The question is: How do I do it?

I am using CyanogenMod 13 using the SD card as internal storage (so it is encrypted). I also have TWRP 3.0 and was successfully able to adb pull /sdcard the run an adb twrp backup and pull it to my Linux machine. The files look too small to contain all data though. Booting into Odin/Heimdall mode should work as well. This kind of backup looks promising too, but I cannot use the touchscreen to do it.

Is there any way to mirror the whole system including all configs and data (even those that are missing from TWRP's Nandroid backup) to the new phone? If so, how? I am particularly worried about:

  1. Can the data on the (encrypted) sd card be transferred? (Or is the encryption key based on some serial number of the hardware)
  2. Will encrypted Signal chats still be readable?
  3. Can the whole system be mirrored or do I need to find out exact builds?
  4. I assume the "real" internal storage of old and new device is likely too small to contain the data from the sd card. Will the apps/data be split correctly afterwards? What if the internal storage of the "new phone" is different?

1 Answer 1


TL;DR No, unless you have root, which you do not have, I assume.

  1. No
  2. No
  3. The whole system, no need for individual packages.
  4. No

If you have root, you can pull the whole block-device by this command

adb pull /dev/block/mmcblk0

UPDATE: Make sure you specified all the switches for your ADB backup command:

adb backup -f <filename> --twrp --compress cache system data boot

You can/should append all partitions your device have, list of partitions may vary by device.

And make sure you have the latest version of TWRP, as these switches were released in March of 2017.

  • Thank you. I have root (I thought that would always be the case when booting into TWRP), but pulling/pushing two physical devices from one Unix-device seems to risky to me. I was hoping one could do something similar for the physically internal/external storage seperately.
    – Tim
    Apr 24, 2017 at 19:11
  • If we speak about cloning, I assume pulling block-device is the only option for you, and I don't see anything risky. But why do you say the files look too small to contain all data about twrp backup? It should contain all partitions and archive with all your apps. Try to contain the command from my updated answer
    – Suncatcher
    Apr 25, 2017 at 6:34

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