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After taking a full Nandroid backup of my previous os and apps using CWM recovery, clearing cache and performing a factory wipe, I went ahead and flashed Lollipop. This is the ROM I used: https://s.basketbuild.com/filedl/devs?dev=F4k&dl=F4k/cm12/serranoltexx/cm-12-20150111-UNOFFICIAL-serranoltexx.zip

Upon first boot of Lollipop, I wasn't presented with any 'transfer existing apps/data' screen, but rather was just sent to the launcher screen. While lollipop runs fine however, I can't seem to be able to restore app data through either the custom recovery (just says "please wait" forever and phone gets stuck in a boot loop afterwards) or using apps on the actual phone. It is rooted (through both going into settings -> developer -> enable root access & also a flashable zip that I used) and both Titanium Backup(hangs at 0% and 1%) as well as Nandroid Manager(says 'error' when attempting to restore apps) both fail to restore.

Nandroid manager gave this output at the end: /system/bin/pm[6]: app_process: Permission denied

Is there any other way I can restore the app data?

  • If you did a full wipe then there is no "transfer existing apps/data" because there is nothing to transfer. Restoring data from another ROM is never going to end well (look at it like installing an iPhone app on Android). I did attempt to do something like you, too, but I made it work. Just restore all user apps+data and then manually use a file explorer like Root Explorer and set the according permissions to all the folders in /data/data (application data). – GiantTree Jan 17 '15 at 23:50
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I did find a solution, eventually by using ADB.

I restored the nandroid user data backup from the stock ROM to the new ROM, then tried to boot it. After leaving it for a while, it got stuck in a boot loop, so I connected the phone to the computer and used adb shell to rename the app data folder (located at /data/data), so Android wouldn't recognise it.

I then booted the phone again and it went straight to the desktop like it normally would. All my apps were here, but not the app data, because I had renamed that folder previously.

I then used adb pull to get the new user data on my computer, then pulled the old user data also, so I could overwrite it.

After overwriting the new user data folders, I used adb push to get them back onto the phone, into the correct /data/data directory. I then went to boot the phone again.

The phone booted this time, but apps were crashing, because the permissions had been messed up. Whatsapp, to name one, couldn't access the message history, and refused to open. It had also planted a persistent notification warning that it wasn't functioning properly. To solve this, I downloaded an app from Google Play called "fix permissions" which did the trick.

All of my data was now successfully ported to Lollipop.

  • I did however switch back to the old ROM, and experience the same app crashing problem, but that was fixed instantaneously by clearing the /cache partition. Even though Lollipop is nice and 'just works', but I missed the familiar Samsung app interface. – TheJamaicanGuy Jan 18 '15 at 20:49

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