Nandroid Backup & Restore for Android 4.2

I am using CWM 6 recovery, lets jump to the points:

  1. To do Nandroid backup, simply restart into recovery mode (CMW recovery should be installed first). Go to backup & restore and then press backup, wait for about 15 minutes to finish the backup
  2. Backup location is not /sdcard/clockworkmod/backup. In Android 4.2 it is /mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod
  3. To copy your backups to your computer you can copy /mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod into /sdcard/ location first, connect your phone to your computer and transfer those files into you computer. Or we can do it using ADB Pull (if you familiar with ADB), so no need to copy /mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod into /sdcard/ location. Here is ADB Pull command: C:\Android> adb pull “/mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod” “C:\NANDROIDBAK”
  4. Both blobs and backup folders are needed. Do not rename/delete folders/files within these two folders. So you have to transfer both folders to your computer if you want to backup. I also upload both folders into my dropbox account just to be save.
  5. To delete unwanted nandroid backup, use root file manager and delete the unwanted backup under /mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod/backup/, for example delete /mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod/backup/2013-01- Don’t touch blobs files folders using file manager. After you delete unwanted backup above, restart into recovery, go into backup & restore, choose “free unused backup data” and you are done.
  6. Blobs contains the real backup that is why blobs folder has huge size. Backup folder contains references to blobs files and it has smaller size. Related with point 5, when you delete backup using root file manager, you just delete the unwanted backup references files and its boot image. But backup blobs still present in blobs folder. Then when you do “free unused backup data” from CWM recovery, you are cleaning up unused blobs referenced by your deleted backup.blobs vs backup


  1. HacketyMC · March 23, 2013

    Thank you! This helped me a ton. Successfully running a backup now.

    Question, how would you go about restoring a backup? ADB push the files back? Any tips?

  2. sigitp · April 18, 2013

    Hi, good, restoring a backup just copy it from your PC to your original phone location, from the recovery choose restore instead of backup

  3. HacketyMC · April 19, 2013

    Thank you! So the command is simply:
    C:\Android> adb push “C:\NANDROIDBAK” “/mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod”

  4. sigitp · May 1, 2013

    Correct 😉

  5. Robert · May 18, 2013

    Can you also restore the files using ADB? I’ve seen manuals using “ restore” but I’ve only got boot.img, cache.img, data.img, nandroid.md5 and system.img in the backup folder.

  6. Robert · May 18, 2013

    Sorry, forgot one file from the backup folder; .android_secure.img

    Thank you,

  7. kapil · June 24, 2013

    Hi my S3 gt i9300 has started the infinite booting loop i went into cwm based recovery and made a backup of it i want that data im now using a xxellc i dont want to wipe the data before copying that file i downloaded the sdk but im not sure how to use the adb when i tried
    D:\android sdk\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20130522\sdk\platform-tools>
    /mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod” “C:\NANDROIDBAK”
    remote object ‘ô/mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmodö’ does not exist

    D:\android sdk\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20130522\sdk\platform-tools>adb logcat
    /sbin/sh: exec: line 1: logcat: not found

    i m not having much success i have some contacts images and content ,many files which i need i can see the backup in the cwm backup and restore before i think of going ahead to flash another rom i need to get this sorted please help me

  8. sigitp · July 13, 2013

    yes you can, I believe those data are enough

  9. sigitp · July 13, 2013

    thanks Robert

  10. strobo · August 5, 2013

    helpful indeed. Thx.

  11. sigitp · September 4, 2013

    sure, no problem

  12. siddharth · January 1, 2014

    have a problem while backing up, it is getting a message could not back up boot.img

  13. sigitp · January 1, 2014

    are you rooted? do you have enough space on the phone?

  14. Michael · July 16, 2014

    what is the method to make this work for Android 4.4.2?

  15. sigitp · July 30, 2014

    Too bad I haven’t tried it yet on 4.4.2, been long time since I left Android

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