I'm a software developer and systems administrator, so my technological knowledge is moderately high. I'll just leave that here as a preface.

I've ran custom Android mods since my very first Android phone, the Nexus One. From the beginning, it seemed like the idea of changing/upgrading ROMs involves the following process:

  1. Backup. Backup. Backup.
    1. Titanium Backup the phone from inside the operating system.
    2. Nandroid the phone from the bootloader.
  2. If it's a significant difference between the source ROM and the destination ROM, a factory reset is necessary.
  3. Flash the ROM.
  4. Wipe the cache and Dalvik Cache.
  5. Boot and restore from Titanium Backup.

However, when changing between ROMs, things take me a ridiculously long time to do. I generally have to put aside at least 3 hours to a day when changing my phone's ROM.

Here's what my actual process looks like:

  1. Backup.
  2. Factory reset.
  3. Sometimes wipe the system partition too. (Should I be doing this? I only do it from paranoia.)
  4. Flash the ROM and the Gapps.
  5. Clear the cache and Dalvik cache.
  6. Boot into the OS.
  7. Get through the setup as quickly as possible.
  8. Titanium Backup: Your phone ID has changed, want to restore it?
    Me: Yes. *reboot*
  9. Titanium Backup: Restore all the apps.
  10. Setup my Google Account.
  11. Shoot, Dropbox isn't working, manually have to login again.
  12. Shoot, Evernote isn't working, manually have to login again.
  13. ...etc.
  14. (15 hours later) Cool, done.

Am I doing this wrong? I really feel that it shouldn't take this much time to switch ROMs. What can I do to speed up this process? Am I restoring from TB improperly? I'd love to be able to restore all apps, their settings, my Dropbox and Evernote accounts, my home screen, etc. without having to go through this painstaking process.

  • 2
    Restoring with TB between different ROMs might get a bit risky when it comes to system apps. Also, have you checked TBs "migration" option (specifically for that, restoring between different ROMs)? As your question does not indicate any related probs, this seems not to be an issue to you (but just in case ;) I don't see anything wrong with your procedure; maybe I'd set up the GoogleAccount before doing the TB restore, in case some apps require it.
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 6:28
  • 1
    If your phone supports it (ICS 4.0+ based ROM, non-Motorola device,) I would try Carbon as the preferred backup/restore solution instead of TB. Carbon uses Android's built-in backup mechanisms, so it avoids issues from file system level permissions. It has limitations, such as not backing up any system apps, and currently supports very few system settings (messaging store, Wi-Fi, and user dictionary,) but is much safer to use when switching between incompatible ROMs.
    – Chahk
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


You should be careful when restoring apps from titanium. That software not only backups the apk itself. It backups the data of the app too. That's all it does. If the app you backup is programmed to run different accordingly to Android version and you change it with another rom and then in your new version you restore the app initialized to work with previous version, wel... errors will popup. For the rest, I do exactly the same as you except for the titanium backup. I only backup the Wi-Fi saved networks and their passwords. Not even Whatsapp databases because they're saved into SD card and the factory reset (and the dalvik cache and data format) doesn't erase it, so when I reinstall Whatsapp then the app finds magically those databases. I also backup saved words of Swype and messages (but not the messages app and its data like titanium does! ) But those things are for commodity. The rest I just delete all! New rom means new air. I ever loose little things, but saving contacts and notes in the cloud its far enough.

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