I ve been trying to find way to do a image backup then restore it back to a re-set device.

I dont think adb backup / adb restore can do this.

  1. I installed all Apps and configured all settings for system and apps.
  2. I did a [adb backup -all -f c:\xxx.ab] also tried other parameters. basically i backed up everything.
  3. I reset my andriod back to factory state.
  4. I did a [adb restore]
  5. I dont see any app show up on my android and no system settings has been configured.

How can I do a whole system image backup with all apps installed? The whole point is i need to used this back to restore into other same devices, so i dont have to go through the whole app install process again and again.

Some more info, The reason that I am trying to do this is that we have 60+ android devices (MK902 Android box)need to be pushed out in our building, on each device, I have to root it, install all Apps, configure system and apps. it is painful to go through this process on all devices. So I am thinking if there is any way to make a whole system image just like what we do on windows, then I can put that image into rest of devices, and change the device name later.

I used RK batch Tool to load a rooted img file into device for rooting. this img file contains boot.img, kernal.img and so on. I was trying to install all Apps and configure everything then make a img pack. but looks like it is too hard for me....i dont find any easy way or software to make this .img file.....

  • Did you try adb backup -all -apk -system -f c:\xxx.ab ???
    – HasH_BrowN
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 3:30
  • Yes, I did and adb restore wont bring anything back...even the process was success
    – Root Loop
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 11:51
  • Make a batch .zip package with all the apps, instead of .img. Install (flash) ROM first on devices, then install batch zip. That way adb restore wont be involved.......Another way would be to customize your ROM by removing all unnecessary apps, insert all all apps needed for company deployment,ZIP and sign package, then incorporate an OTA update with all app data.
    – HasH_BrowN
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 16:01
  • This is what i do now, load rooted rom and install all apps from adb by batch. but i still have to configure each app and system...that is what i m trying to avoid...
    – Root Loop
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 16:35
  • Set the apps you want in the device as system apps, then locate the settings and preferences files for the system and user end apps (you only have to do it once), place them in the customized ROM you make. You'll be running in a networked environment I'm presuming, so you can send updates. Set up a server, then config device for automated updates.
    – HasH_BrowN
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


So from what I understand, you managed to back up and restore the ROM itself (system partition) but not the apps. Basically I'd recommend:

  1. Backing up the ROM with the backup option on recovery. I don't remember if it means your apps will be backed up as well but I think it does.

  2. You can use Titanium backup or Hellium to back up your apps. The backups will be saved on your phone so after your backup, transfer the backup files from your phone to your computer and once you're done restoring, transfer those same files from your computer to your phone and use one of these apps (whichever you chose) to restore your apps. Notice that you can backup system apps as well but it is not recommended as it might give you FC's (force close).

  • @Izzy, since I can't reply on your answer (not enough reputation), I will reply here. Please note that he can use Helium, which is just like Titanium backup but does not require root access so that can work for him.
    – nettek
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 6:47
  • It is still not what i m after. I need a solution that I can have everything (sysetm, apps and configurtions) in one .img file, so i can use it for other same devices. I dont see any app or software can do this on the market. so sad....how come no one even think about doing this
    – Root Loop
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 16:40

A whole system image backup is not possible without root access. If you have root access, this can be achieved via . However, if you create a full image, reset the device, and restore the image – you've just spent a lot of time for nothing, as Nandroid makes full file system images. So this makes more sense when creating a backup while the device is in "perfect order", and do the reset/restore to return to that state.

If you're after apps and their settings alone, backup should be the right approach (root or not). As you've tried that and failed: This might be a bug in your ROM. I have some devices acting the same: while I can make an adb backup, an adb restore always fails. On all other devices, however, it works fine.

Third option was already pointed out by Eran: Use Titanium Backup. This is a powerful tool not only for backups (actually one of the first paid apps I obtained, and use until today) – but again, it requires root access.

For additional hints, you might wish to visit our backup tag-wiki. There you should find a lot of relevant information, and links to other posts here on this site dealing with this and similar issues.

  • Thanks for reply. I tried nandroid by using cwm, backup was success, but the backup can't be restored showing errors saying Operation failed. the backup contains several .img files, how can i combine them as one .img file? By using adb way, i guess i need to have setup desktop password configured under developer option , the bad thing is i dont have this option on my system. (Android 4.4.2). It must be blocked by ppl who made this rooted img. TITANIUM Backup, I thought about this, but i have to install it on all devices, it is pointless....
    – Root Loop
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 12:18
  • maybe my question was not right, i should ask how to make customized img file for mass deployment with all apps installed and configured.......
    – Root Loop
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 12:20
  • As long as you're talking about identical devices, in most cases Nandroid should work. There might be some exceptions, though: I'm e.g. not sure about Samsung devices (which have their IMEI stored in some EFS partition as I've read – and all devices with the same IMEI wouldn't do). Still: Talking about user-space apps, it might even do to just restore the "data" partition (where they and their data are installed/stored). You should be able to sideload the partition image e.g. via fastboot – but I've no experience with that, so I cannot say for sure.
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 20:09

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