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This guide describes how to make full backup of whole memory block.

My N5 is encrypted with Android 5.0. As far as I understand new mechanism, it envolves dependency on some external data taken from separate hardware component (part of encryption key). Is it guaranteed that it will not altered after I factory reset and flash Android 4.4 ? And even if it's ok, is it possible finally to restore such backup ? (May be /dev/mmcblck0 is read-only or otherwise restricted due to way hardware-accelerated encryption/decryption works.)

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3 Answers 3

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The best option I found is making unencrypted backups with WugFresh NRT:

  • Turn on airplane mode (not related to encryption, just recommendation in order to prevent sudden changes in data during backup)
  • Make nandroid full backup (select all partitions available, for 'recovery' partion ROOT required)
  • Make data/media backup
  • Turn off airplane mode

These backups will be unencrypted. Restoring process is symmetric and also doesn't depend on whether device encrypted or not.

If you want to keep backup data encrypted, just use encrypted virtual drive (BitLocker, TrueCrypt, etc.).

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  • How does turning on airplane mode make the partitions unencrypted? Can you link to something that documents this? Also, in order to perform a nandroid backup you have to be in recovery, how do you turn on airplane mode in recovery? The radio would not be on in that state, so the device would already be "in airplane mode". Jan 2, 2015 at 5:56
  • @RyanConrad, airplane mode isn't related to encryption, it's just general recommendation for overall process, because it consists of several steps and reboots in different modes (data/media part is done in normal operating mode when radio is on). Jan 2, 2015 at 10:50
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You can install TWRP for your nexus 5 (just Google it...). It will ask you for your password when you enter the recovery. Then you can do a full backup.

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  • I'm familiar with TWRP a little. It can not do full backup simply because it uses internal storage to save backup data. (At least for Nexus 5.) Dec 31, 2014 at 18:44
  • Why you can't copy that backup data to your computer? Jan 1, 2015 at 0:29
  • Why? I can. I said it's just not full backup, because it doesn't backup part of memory (userdata partition) used for storing backup being done. That's why I referred to the guide at very start of my question, which describes how to perform block-level copying of whole(!) memory directly to PC. Jan 1, 2015 at 7:26
  • @ArtemPisarenko The link you posted shows how to do a backup of the whole memory block (in section "Back up of the whole memory block (via adb)"). That includes the userdata partition. You don't need to do it over wifi either. The problem is that userdata is encrypted. So you could instead copy just the decrypted block device, if you enter in the right password for TWRP to decrypt it. And yes, you can do the reverse and write the backed up userdata partition back to the android device.
    – crass
    Jun 7, 2022 at 4:13
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Just install CWM Recovery on your device. You will get some options under backup and restore.

cwm recovery

You can effectively backup your current data/ROM and later restore at any stage.

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  • Does it allow to import/export data directly(!) to external storage ? (Otherwise I don't see any difference with TWRP.) Feb 16, 2016 at 13:09
  • Yes, it allows backup to external storage.
    – Rahul Bali
    Feb 19, 2016 at 11:07

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