1. kao69's Avatar
    My S6 Active (14 months old - 2 past warranty) just flaked out.
    I'm not going to go into details about that, but after a few visits to the ATT store, they suggested I should do a master reset to see if it helped. It didn't. But now I don't have my contacts, texts, or app data and I'd like to get some or all of it back.

    Before resetting:
    1. I made sure backups was enabled to my google account.
    2. I plugged my phone into a computer and copied the entirety of it's contents to a folder on my hard drive (about 9GB of data), with no errors.
    3. I used an app (App Backup and Restore) that advertised backup and restore functions with all data being saved to my google drive.

    After the reset, I associated the phone with my google account. All my apps were restored, but no data for the apps. Also no contacts or texts were restored.
    I tried using the app that backed up my data to my google drive. It just created new, empty folders on my google drive with the same names as the original folders. I still have the data from the first backup, but the support for the company says it doesn't work that way and that I can't restore anything.

    So.... my question is: Can I restore any of my app data, contacts, photos, or texts with the information I originally copied to my hard drive? If so, can someone help with telling me which folders to restore? (or should I try just restoring all 9GB of data?)
    08-31-2016 10:19 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! I'm afraid you may be out of luck. Text messages don't get backed up to your Google account, nor are they saved in a user directory that you're able to back up manually. They're saved in an SQLite database file in a protected system directory. The best way to backup your text messages is to use an app like SMS Backup & Restore, but unfortunately, it's too late now.

    Similarly, if your contacts were only saved locally to your Phone account, they're also gone. Contacts in the Phone account don't sync to your Google account--you have to save them to your Google account instead when you're entering them in order for them to automatically sync to Google. And Phone account contacts are also saved in a database file in a protected system directory, so the file is not accessible to the user. I always recommend that people save their contacts to their Google account and not the local Phone account, to avoid this kind of situation.

    Which app backup app did you use? There are quite a few with similar names. If it's not a well-established one, it's hard to comment on how reliable it is. Most people agree that Helium is one of the best for backing up and restoring app data.
    08-31-2016 11:48 PM
  3. kao69's Avatar
    Jesus Christ - this is the main reason I switched from Apple to Android. Made two iTunes backups on two different computers before upgrading to IOS7 when it first came out. Of course I lost everything and somehow both backups were "corrupted". So I dropped Apple like a hot turd and went to Android thinking all these troubles would be avoided. But I digress...
    Thank you for taking the time to answer and explain that.
    I could have swore that I had contacts set to sync, but they're clearly not there, and when people text me, the phone number is not recognized.
    The backup app I used is literally called App Backup Restore (https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...life.appbackup) and is rated fairly well.
    Their support seems to be on a once every 24 hours timeline (China?).
    I was able to restore data for 3 out of 4 apps, but I'm not able to restore contacts, sms, and phone logs. The app tries, but it just sticks on "scanning phone". I have another email to their support about that.

    Thanks again. I'm an IT guy, so I'm proficient with moving files around and making backups, but I've never been a "phone guy" and just use it as a tool. I think I'm just going to ditch this phone, pick up an s7 active, and figure out how to avoid this in the future.
    If I root the phone, will I have access to these internal system databases to backup to a pc?
    09-01-2016 03:55 PM
  4. kao69's Avatar
    Quick update - I was able to juggle some things around on my google drive and re-connect the app (it actually took a few tries) to download and restore my contacts and texts. It's kind of weird because even though the app restored a lot of texts and contacts, going back as far as June of 2015 when I got the phone, it did not restore all of them. There are many random dates in august that have missing text conversations and some random contacts that are missing as well. But I got the majority back, so I can live with that. When I get a new phone I'll check out Helium.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    09-02-2016 08:47 AM
  5. B. Diddy's Avatar
    That backup app seems pretty legit. I even saw a review from one of our Ambassadors there. Did you buy the Premium version, or are you still using the free one? I wonder the free version might be more limited in terms of what it backs up and restores.

    Entering contacts into the phone can be a little tricky, because on some phones, it defaults to "Phone account," and not your Google account. A good rule of thumb whenever entering any contact or calendar event is to make sure it's associated with the right account before you save it. This is important because you can't easily switch an entered contact from the Phone account to your Google account--you typically have to export the contact to a CSV or VCF file, then import that into your Google Contacts.

    Rooting should give you access to those files, but I'm not sure how easy it is to physically transfer them from one phone to another. (I don't have any rooting experience myself.)
    09-02-2016 04:54 PM

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