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On a tablet I have a situation where I have multiple users with multiple accounts, and I am trying to have the phone's state backed up in such a way that if I upgrade the operating system, every user's data is backed up.

I would like to do this without imaging the phone, so that this backup can be applied to say, a newer version of the Android OS. I am ok with the backup being finicky, if there is some significant changes to the OS, so long as minor changes don't break it.

I have tried Titanium Backup, and while it works perfectly for a single user, it does not work when multiple users are involved. Neither the user's, nor their data, is backed up.

What application that can achieve this?

Edit: To elaborate, backing up each user individually would work but it would be slow. We may be doing this on many devices, so this is primarily a way to save us time.

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We have found a tool included in AOSP debug builds called rawbu: https://github.com/GeekRom/android_frameworks_base/tree/master/cmds/rawbu that does exactly what we need it to do if you push it the right way. It backs up the entire data partition of an Android device, though it is outdated and crashes if not executed properly since they fused the sdcard.

The default directory used by rawbu is sdcard/backup.dat but since that is fused to data/media/0 this will crash on devices ever since that change. So when running rawbu you must specify data/media/0/backup.dat as the backup and restore arguement so that it knows where to backup and restore to. Since the sdcard isnt backed up, only data is, this should work on newer devices. If you don't do this, it will restore the backup.dat file to itself corrupting itself while performing the restore.

Cons:

  • There are a lot of hoops to jump through that I haven't tried yet (I've only tried this on a debug build, so I haven't tried building and pushing it to a release build that's been rooted.)

  • Your phone has to be rooted for this to work.

Pros

  • Theoretically it works

  • It's faster than running titanium backup on each user if you have a lot of users to backup.

  • It also restores your phone to the exact same state you had if your phone crashes.

In closing it is unfortunate that there are no good methods for backing up multiple users. However with google's new push to make multi users a stronger feature, we can hope that the adb backup utility will be improved at some point in the near future.

  • Unfortunately it seems GeekRom has removed their Github account. It was part of AOSP in JB, but is no longer in the tree at least with Kitkat. On Github, you can find it with OptiPop – but again, last update 2 years ago. – Izzy Jan 4 '15 at 19:12
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Probably just a wild guess. If you have multiple users, and want to use Titanium Backup, you probably need to perform back-up on each account.

  • That's the thing, I'd like to be able to backup all users simultaneously. We could be backing up many devices shared by multiple users, so to save time it would help a lot if we could back all of them up simultaneously – Paradopolis Jun 21 '13 at 13:21
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I don't think there is a way to do this without imaging. I was going to suggest adb backup but as far as I can tell this only backups up the current user, not all users data.

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