Android LogoSaving nandroid backups is something which just about every Android rooter does. You’d have to be crazy not to save nandroids. That backup can be the difference between a bricked phone and a working device. We’ve written about nandroids before and how to save them. As a general rule of thumb, make a backup before doing any sort of serious system-wide modifications.

However, saving backups can be a chore. It requires rebooting into recovery and puts your phone out of commission for a period of time. You can’t use it while it’s saving a nandroid. That’s why we’re excited about Online Nandroid Backup. No, it does not upload your backups to the cloud or internet. Online means it saves a backup without rebooting into recovery. This is immensely useful. Everyone interested, here’s how to do it.

Requirements:

Root access (Mandatory for all hacks like this. See our guide)

Terminal Emulator (such as this one)

Busybox, latest version

ClockworkMod Recovery or some variant thereof

Download onandroid.zip

Step One: Setup and Installation

As with all Android hacks, the first step is to reboot into recovery and save a nandroid backup of the phone. Yes, the irony doing a backup in recovery before installing software to avoid exactly this is not lost on us.

airdroid-file-download-transfer-zip

Next, make sure your copy of Busybox is up to date. Download Busybox Installer and install the latest version. Grant the app root access and let it install. It should work.

Copy the onandroid.zip file you downloaded from your PC to the phone’s storage. It doesn’t matter where, just somewhere you can find it later.

Now reboot into recovery again and flash onandroid.zip. It should install quickly. Reboot.

Step Two: Using onandroid

Open the Terminal Emulator app and type in this command:

Su

If you get a popup asking whether to grant Terminal Emulator root access, choose yes. This will allow you to run onandroid from the command line.

terminal-emulator-super-user-root-request

After that, enter:

onandroid

And press enter. The onandroid service will run some initial setup services and save a nandroid backup. The app is remarkably quick, saving backups in under 2.5 minutes. It’s much faster than saving backups in recovery.

Onandroid also allows you to press the home key and use other apps while the terminal runs in the background. This is the most useful part of onandroid. The phone isn’t monopolized by the backup process.

To see a list of commands, type:

onandroid -h

There is a wide array of commands which include options for naming backups by timezone, UTC, and custom strings. Backups can also be selective.

Troubleshooting

In case of mkyaffs2image, dedupe not found in path or cannot find boot/recovery partitions errors, go to the specific link and follow the instructions.  We ran into the boot/recovery error on our Epic 4G Touch but were able to solve it easily by downloading a patch file and flashing it in recovery.

terminal-emulator-command-root-backup

Final Thoughts

Online Android Backup is a simple but useful app. It takes a critically important process (saving nandroid backups) and makes it more convenient. Also, you can use Tasker to schedule periodic backup commands. That’s cool.

For more details or any issues, see the Original thread. You may even buy the developer something from his eBay wish list.

  • Jimi Mikusi says:

    this works fantastically!

    while not for techno-phobes, once setup this greatly simplifies the process of taking nandroid backups. the need to reboot formerly deterred me from more regular nandroid backups… not any more!

    • Kyle_Nazario says:

      Be sure to test it first. A while after I wrote this, one of the backups I saved with this method didn’t work. Not sure what happened, but double-check yours.