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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Tablet Backups - is it really this difficult?

    I'm a n00b to Android but a veteran systems programmer with over 46 years experience - and I yet I find I am unable to do the simplest things with an Android Tablet. What I want to do is to make a baseline backup of the system now that I have it configured and loaded with apps.I find useful. In the Linux or UNIX world I would make a tar file, gzip it, and put it on a USBstick or burn it to a CD. But apparently it's not that easy in the Android World. Somewhere, someone decided that there was money to be made or theft to be prevented, by making something like a simple baseline backup impossible. When you search the literature (web) you find lots of free or low price apps claiming that they can simplify this basic task for you without having to resort to rootkits or whatever - but in a month of part time research I have not yet been able to find one that actually does that job. I've even tried setting up the Eclipse IDE with the Android tools on my Win 7-64 box - but can't get DDMS to see my tablet despite the fact that Windows sees it as a USB device. And I've tried PTP, MTP, and plain old disk drive. And every Android app I've tried (ROM Manager, Titanium, Appmaster, etc. etc.) gets installed and then says I need something else which isn't yet installed and when I try to install these missing pieces, to-date, none claim they'll work yet with my particular tablet.
    So how do I get to be root in the Android world so I can do something simple like tar cvf <a folder on my extsd1 or some such>/mysystem.tar *; gzip <a folder on my extsd1 or some such>/mysystem.tar. Is such a simple operation impossible in this alleged LINUX-derivative system? Is the fact this is made so convoluted part of the security design of Android? If it is then I'm sure we owe a debt of gratitude to American cellphone providers whose deep-seated paranoia and obsessive focus on locking users to their service as part of a desperate stand against consumer choice, is at the 'root' of all this.
    Frankly - I don't want to be a privileged user installing rootkits or other workarounds - I just want to be able to make a baseline like I can on any PC today. There are simple programs like dd that can clone a hard drive. The resulting image can be restored to the machine it was run on on a different-sized harddrive but won't run on another PC - what is it about Android boxes that make this so difficult to accomplish? I know some of my problem is ignorance about Android - but really - is it this hard?
    Incidentally - my hardware is a Kocaso M1050S, but I also have an iView 760TPC and a Tivax MiTraveler, and have the same issue with each of them. All are running ICS. So while an answer specific to my Kocaso M1050S would be useful, the larger question of why this is so difficult to do, requiring all these dead ends of app installs that don't do what they claim, is really what I'm askling about. Can anyone provide a simple answer as to what is really required to do a baseline backup?
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Tablet Backups - is it really this difficult?

    Hi ahahlberg, your credentials are impressive.
    Android has no apparent security.
    I'm using my first tablet and know less than nothing about computers.
    I just learned that there is an application (app) by
    "Clockwork mod" titled: recovery which will transfer the entire
    Android OS to a disc or micro SD.
    I haven't tried it, and don't know if drivers are required to
    get Android into a Windows PC; but apparently
    drivers are needed to reinstall android.
    Last edited by Luke Callaghan; 09-29-2013 at 02:51 AM. Reason: New information
  3. #3  
    Rukbat's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tablet Backups - is it really this difficult?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahahlberg View Post
    So how do I get to be root in the Android world
    That's what rooting (not "rootkit") is all about - getting root. You find a root package (usually a zip file) for your particular hardware and follow the docs that come in the zip. Install a terminal app (there are many free ones) and you're set.

    As far as a base backup, boot into recovery if you can (search for instructions for your device) and see if you have a nandroid (Android NAND RAM) backup item. That'll back everything up. (If you don't, find a recovery ROM [in Androidese, ROM means a file you install ("flash" in Androidese) to the part of the device's writable memory considered to be "ROM") that has a nandroid backup - again, for your device. There are a couple of public domain ones.)

    Is such a simple operation impossible in this alleged LINUX-derivative system?
    Remember, in the phone as delivered you're a user - you don't have root access.

    Frankly - I don't want to be a privileged user installing rootkits or other workarounds
    It's not really a workaround - you install su (which is missing). You just do it with a package. (Most people rooting an Android phone don't know a command line from a SLL.)

    - I just want to be able to make a baseline like I can on any PC today. There are simple programs like dd that can clone a hard drive. The resulting image can be restored to the machine it was run on on a different-sized harddrive but won't run on another PC - what is it about Android boxes that make this so difficult to accomplish?
    Nothing really - it's called a nandroid backup. (It just doesn't come in most recovery ROMs.)

    Hey, at least we don't have to disassemble machine code on a legal pad any more, right? (In split octal?)

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