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Onandroid Allows Live Full Nandroid Backups Without Rebooting Into Recovery

Timely backups can save one a lot of hassle.This applies not only to your computers but also (and increasingly so) to your mobile devices. As more and more of us install custom ROMs, mods or hacks to our Android phones and tablets, the need to perform backups before making any advanced or system level modification to your device increases.

If you're going to be messing around with custom ROMs at all, it's a good idea to have a nandroid backup at the ready. A recent backup can save you a lot of time and heartache if things end up going sideways. However, backing up your system used to mean rebooting into recovery and waiting for 5-10 minutes while everything progressed. That's not the end of the world, but every barrier to backing up makes people less likely to do it. With Online Nandroid Backup (or Onandroid for short), you can get a full backup done within Android itself.


Installation (Recovery Method):

If you already have a custom recovery installed, you can install Online Nandroid Backup just like you install any other zip file from recovery – simply downloading its zip file from the link given above, copy it to your sdcard, reboot your phone into recovery, install the zip file and reboot back into Android. You now have onandroid installed.

Installation (Manual Method):

If you don’t have a custom recovery installed yet and want to take a complete backup first before installing a recovery, or want to keep your stuck recovery for any reason, you can install Online Nandroid Backup manually by following these simple steps.
Important: Make sure to allow any SuperUser permission requests that you may get during these steps..
You basically have to extract the ‘onandroid’ file from system/bin folder of the zip file that you downloaded, copy it to /system/bin directory of your Android device and set its permissions to 755 (rwxr-xr-x) with any tool of your choice (Root Explorer, Super Manager, ES File Explorer, ADB, Terminal Emulator). We will be using Terminal Emulator since we need it later anyway.
  1. Download the zip file for the tool from the link given above, and extract its contents.
  2. In the folder where you extracted it, go to ‘system’, followed by ‘bin’.
  3. Copy the ‘onandroid’ file and transfer it to your Android device’s sd card.
  4. Install Mount /system (rw / ro) on your device and launch it.
  5. Tap ‘Mount r/w’ to mount your /system partition as writable.
  6. Now launch Android Terminal Emulator and enter the following commands:
    cp /sdcard/onandroid /system/bin/onandroid
    chmod 0755 /system/bin/onandroid
  7. You may now exit Terminal Emulator; ondroid is now installed.

Using Onandroid Online Android Backup:

Ondroid is basically an executable script that performs backups from within Android. It can be run directly as a script from the command line using Android Terminal Emulator, or from third-party GUI apps that have been written to utilize this script to perform backups. The most straight-forward method that is supported by the developer of the tool as well is the direct command line method. To perform a backup:
  1. Launch Android Terminal Emulator on your device.
  2. Enter these commands:
By default, the backup is automatically named based on the current UTC/GMT time and date, the way ClockworkMod recovery does it by default. You can specify command line parameters after the ‘onandroid’ command to change a few naming options. Here is a list of currently available parameters, and their functions:
  • Specifying any name after the onandroid command gives that backup that name. Example:
    onandroid latest_backup
    Note: Please make sure only to use characters that are allowed in file names.
  • Specifying the -h switch uses your home time zone for the backup’s name, like this:
    onandroid -h
There are also a few graphical user interfaces for the app that you can use instead.

    Sid Goswami is a tech enthusiast, besides being an avid Android fan and blogger, Sid wants to be a photographer and a designer. He can usually be found reading through blogs, taking photos. He's a student and a PHP web developer.