Switching Between ROMs

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by zimm, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. zimm
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    zimm New Member

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    Hello All,

    I have just starting getting the different ROMs. I'm looking for an app or some way to make it easy to switch between ROMs. I'm sure there is a thread for that but have been unable to find it. Could someone give me some ideas for easily switching between ROMs are post a link to a thread with this info.

    Thanks
  2. Abe21599
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    Abe21599 DF Super Moderator

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    titanium backup: back up all apps AND settings. a must have for those testing out different roms.
  3. Corinacakes
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    Corinacakes DF Super Moderator Theme Developer

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    Just make a backup of each rom you flash then you can easily restore them at will. :D
  4. EbE404
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    EbE404 New Member

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    There is a widely used app called ROM Manager that (in theory, anyway) makes managing and switching between ROMs very quick and easy. It works really well-at least until it doesn't.

    ROM Manager needs to use Clockwork Recovery (frequently referred to as CW Recovery), and SP Recovery does not work with it. Fortunately, you can use ROM Manager to flash either recovery as needed (although not always reliably).

    Now, there are a lot of people who claim to never have had a problem with RM, but there are also a lot of people who have. I'm bringing this up because somebody is going to suggest it in this thread. My advice would be before downloading or using it, search around this forum to get some more information about what it does and what problems you might encounter and how to deal with them.

    As I say, in theory it works very well and is easy, but ironically, if something goes wrong, you should be comfortable with some more advanced troubleshooting techniques and utilities to fix it.
  5. EbE404
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    EbE404 New Member

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    Oh, yes, and never EVER do anything without backing up properly.
  6. Corinacakes
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    Corinacakes DF Super Moderator Theme Developer

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    Very nice post! I personally will not use rom manager anymore just so I dont have to spend hours of hell fixing the problems it causes.
  7. doiderg
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    doiderg New Member

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    what is the best back app your using?
    how does it work when something goes work? where does the backup file gets saved? what does it save? phone numbers? etc..

    thanks for the help
  8. EbE404
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    EbE404 New Member

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    I'll answer which questions I can actually understand there ;)

    First off, one needs to understand backup up ROMs, data and caches. This is a function in either recovery (CW or SP). When creating a nandroid backup, it will be stored to your SD card (although the directories are different for SP and CW).

    Never flash a ROM without creating a nandroid backup

    Now, as far as other backup utilities, specifically for apps and settings, the best option I've found is Titanium, there are both free and paid versions. The paid version is worth it, helps the dev, is inexpensive and definitely a good thing to have. Alternately, there is also some backup functionality in Astro, although Titanium will back up apps and settings, while Astro will only back up apps.

    Now, as to what to do when something goes wrong, that really depends on what happened. It may be as simple as restoring a backup from recovery, or it may involve re-flashing the recovery using RSDLite and .sbf files. There are a lot of variables there, and this is why I say that people need to be aware of the various utilities (such as RSD), be prepared to- and know how to- use them. These advanced utilities used to be the only way to root your phone, so people had to get familiar with them up front.

    Unfortunately, now that people have access to Easy Root and ROM Manager, it is too easy for somebody to get in over their head without fully understanding what they are actually doing to their phone and how to fix it if something goes wrong.

    That's just one man's opinion, and is not a criticism of people who have used either utility. However, the number of posts asking for help as they have screwed up their phone with this stuff has definitely ticked up over the past week or so. I blame that on innocent lack of preparation and research.

    Heck, the Easy Root website has lot of PayPal links, but nowhere does it mention that rooting will void your warranty or even explain what rooting actually does-or the potential risks. That's just irresponsible in my mind.
  9. jtennis
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    jtennis New Member

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    titanium backup

    can someone go over in a little more detail how to back up everything in titanium backup, for a newbie and never doing a rom before its a bit scary and hard to understand. i've read the help on their website, but still not sure exactly what i should check off in there manually or if i should just do "back up all system apps and user data"?? thank you!
    ohhh and with all this switching of roms do u need to delete the old update.zip file on your sd card before you throw a new one on there?
  10. Abe21599
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    Abe21599 DF Super Moderator

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    go into the app(TI backup)>backup restore>menu>batch

    then id choose backup all your apps or all user apps+system data
  11. EbE404
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    EbE404 New Member

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    Abe21599 got the first bit, and is spot on. For the record, I would highly recommend the paid version, as it offers more options, including automatic back up, and it helps to support the dev.

    The payment method is admittedly a bit odd, but the dev is very responsive and does deliver what is promised and paid for.

    To the second part of your question, Android uses a file structure just like any other computer, and there can only be one file present at a time with a specific name, in this case "update.zip". So you have three options:

    1. Rename the old update.zip file to something else, probably the name of the ROM
    2. Create folders for your ROM files and move the old update.zip files there for future use if needed.
    3. Delete the old update.zip file before downloading or renaming the new file.

    Personally, I use method #2, however, if I know I am never going to flash a particular ROM again, then I delete it entirely.
  12. Eddog4DROID
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    Eddog4DROID New Member

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    So the answer to the original question?

    Lets say I just backed up with Titanium, I assume that makes a zip file that is easily restored in Clockwork (what I use).

    So basically start over and download a new ROM and restore backup if you want to go back? There really is no "dual boot" method it seems?

    Also, what is more recommended, Nandroid Backup or Titanium? Or does it make a difference? I have restored with Nandroid and it was pretty easy--I am doing a backup with Titanium as we speak (Apps/Settings). Does that do the same thing that Nandroid does if you need to restore?
  13. jtennis
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    jtennis New Member

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    thanks for the help, think i'm getting it and almost ready to jump in!
    so i read that some people copy their nandroid back ups to the lap top, you guys recomend that?
    and just to be clear on what to do and expect:
    - i do tibackup on everything,
    - i do nandroid backup,
    - i follow the steps for flashing the rom(i think i get) but some say clear
    and wipe all caches.. some people don't?)
    - may have to re activate phone when boots back up?
    - i do tibackup to restore everything somehow? same way i backed up?
    and i'm good to go?

    do you guys tend to try and run the rom that way for awhile or do most of you then get a kernel so you can overclock it right away?
    thanks again!
  14. EbE404
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    EbE404 New Member

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    No. Titanium creates a backup of apps, app settings and some system settings that is created and stored on the SD card. This really has nothing to do with ROM Manager, SP Recovery or CW Recovery. Where this comes in handy is when switching ROMs entirely-instead of waiting for the Market to (hopefully an eventually) restore your apps then having to reconfigure them, just download Titanium from the Market and use that to reinstall and configure your apps.

    Well, sort of. What you could certainly do is flash a ROM, configure it, add and configure the apps, then create a nandroid. Repeat this process for a different ROM and create a nandroid of that. At this point, you could boot into recovery, restore either of those nandroids and use it. I suppose on could consider this a method for dual-booting, but it really isn't-this is not a situation where each time you boot the phone it will ask you which ROM you want to run.


    They are related, but quite different.

    Titanium-This will backup and restore apps and settings across different ROMs. As I mention, this is helpful for restoring previous versions or, more commonly, when flashing a new ROM, bringing back your settings and apps.

    nandroid This will allow you create a full backup of the entire "image" of your device, potentially including apps, accounts, settings, data and cache (there are slightly different options in CW and SP recoveries). This will allow you to completely restore the entire phone to a know working point, with all data, apps and settings intact. However, you cannot use this data across different ROMs.
  15. Eddog4DROID
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    Eddog4DROID New Member

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    oooh, that totally makes sense now.

    Titanium to make things convenient when things go right.
    Nandroid- In case they go wrong.

    So it seems a good idea to do both.
  16. EbE404
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    EbE404 New Member

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    Some of these questions were (hopefully) answered in my last post, but to the others:

    Your general steps and process are correct.

    Regarding wiping data and cache-always, always, always read and follow the dev's instructions on how to install the ROM. This will typically be mentioned somewhere in their release post. However, a general rule of thumb is, yes, wipe data and cache before installing the ROM. The possible exception to this rule would be if you are moving within certain versions of the same ROM (perhaps for an update or a different theme version). However, always ask if it is not mentioned explicitly, and when in doubt-wipe.

    After doing this, you will not need to completely reactivate your phone, but you will need to re-add your accounts, including your primary Google account. You will be prompted to do this as soon as the phone reboots. If you did not need to wipe data, then you will not need to do this.

    As far as additional backups, I keep critical backups in Dropbox as well as my computers.
  17. EbE404
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    EbE404 New Member

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    I guess I had never really thought of it that way, but that is a good way to put it.

    Yes, definitely a good idea to do both, but if a gun was put to my head and I only had one to choose, nandroid is more important, as this provides a completely functional restore point for everything in the phone.

    For the record, nandroids created in SP Recovery are not compatible with CW Recovery and vice versa. So, if you ever switch back and forth between the two, make sure you keep straight what you did in what version and it might be a good idea to create a nandroid in both.
  18. jtennis
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    jtennis New Member

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    ok, so i made the jump and so far pretty good. i installed a rom, and after reboot i got a lot of apps came back and i did my tibackup restore all apps and settins... but, my launcher pro settings and icons i made and homescreen set up seems to be gone, is that normal? also my app organizer folders i've made and settings are all gone too? also normal? way to get them back, or do i need to reset them up as well as my widgets? thanks again!
  19. EbE404
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    EbE404 New Member

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    Glad most things seem to be working. Regarding those two issues you mention, I am afraid I do not use either of them, so I cannot directly comment on expected behavior.

    I can say that something similar happens to me with my homescreen replacement (Sweeterhome) that requires me to reset some elements, such as added widgets. This (and your issue) is likely due to the cleared cache and the files that are queued for the app in there, although I cannot directly confirm that.
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