How to Backup ROM on Rooted T-Mobile Galaxy S2! [SGH-T989]

For those of you who rooted your T-Mobile Galaxy S2 SGH-T989, I HIGHLY advise you to make a backup of your rooted stock ROM just in case something goes wrong.

Here’s how to backup ROM on your T-Mobile Galaxy S2:

Make sure you have an external microSD card inserted on your T-Mobile Galaxy S2 before beginning as backups are only saved to your external microSD.

Step 1. Download ROM Manager off the Market and install.

Step 2. Open up ROM Manager and choose “Flash ClockworkMod Recovery”.  This will install the latest version.

Step 3. Choose “Reboot into Recovery” and your T-Mobile Galaxy S2 will reboot into ClockworkMod Recovery.

Step 4. Choose “backup and restore”.

Step 5. Choose “backup” to start the backup process.

Step 6. Once backup is complete you can choose “reboot system now” to reboot.

Step 7. Optionally, you can rename your backup folders to something more memorable using ES File Explorer app (free on the Market).  Install the app and open.

Step 8. Hit Menu then Settings.  Check Root Explorer and Mount File System ON.

Step 9. Browse to your backup folders in external micro SD card, it’s in /sdcard/external_sd/clockworkmod/backup.  You can also copy the contents of this folder to your hard disk so it doesn’t take up space and copy it back when you need it to the same directory.

Step 10. Do a long-press on the backup folder you just made a backup of and choose “Rename”.

Step 11. Rename it to something more memorable, I added the word “stock” after the timestamp to note that this is my stock rooted ROM.

Step 12. You can use this backup/restore feature on the ClockworkMod Recovery to backup several different ROMs and change them on the fly by using the restoration function.

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40 Responses

  1. jeff says:

    thank u so much. definitely suscribing to u for helping me root my phone and starting to take my fear of bricking my phone away. now i have no trouble understanding diving into the recovery and flashing roms and backing up my current one and what not

  2. Nick says:

    Hey i am subscribing to your site right now. you have alot of good stuff on here man.

    One request though, i didn’t do a back up of my stock rom and guess what i’m gonna say next.
    My phone isn’t bricked but i would like to know if you could pull a stock rom off a SGS2 Tmobile version and upload it to your website. I would greatly apreciate it.

  3. Shaf says:

    Thanx for all the videos and info. I successfully rooted and backed up my TMO’s SGS2 stock ROM. Unlike the video ROM manager worked without a glitch. I guess you’ve fixed the script.
    However, the backed up folder and content was saved on the internal SD instead of the external SD. No biggie, I used the es file explorer to copy and paste the backup folder to the external SD.
    Appreciate all your work. Thanx.

  4. pranjay says:

    what size of memory card is required to backup 1 rom…..plz tell…..if i just want to backup the original rom and not the others ..what size should i get?

  5. Sean says:

    just curious what happens if you install rom manager without rooting the phone… is it impossible to make a back up of yr phone without rooting?


  6. Han says:

    Can I backup my whole ROM if I didn’t rooted?

  7. richard says:

    i was doing the back up folowing you step by step untill we renamed and pressed ok that’s when the screen goes out and reboot except yours did but mine still dead . can’t reboot can’t turn the phone on .. nothing dead
    can you please help

    • GeOgre says:

      Any luck with your phone. I was thinking about rooting and changing ROMs, but not if it is gonna wind up bricking my phone.

  8. Jay Nelapudi says:

    I am stuck after step 4. It is not letting me choose backup and restore?

  9. Shoeman says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge… I’ve learned alot and had success evertime. Thanks for doing what you do!

  10. Ge0gre says:

    Hey max, I followed your instructions, and for some reason the back up was actually made onto the internal storage and not the external.
    I wound up copying it over, but can you tell me where i might have made an error.

  11. john says:

    Good info but you need to be corrected it doesn’t save to sd card but instead it goes to phone’s memory. You need to move it from there if your going to archive it. External_sd folder is the micro sd card and sd card is the GS2s internal memory.

  12. BartHD2 says:

    In the process of being brave and learning lots. Success in following these awesome instructions. Also found that after I specified the name and my tmo SGS2 reboots it fails the script just like described. I went to Backup and Restore. And then I believe it was called, ‘Advanced’ Backup. where it gives U the Option to save to /SDcard (internal) storage vs /SDcard/externalSD/ (MicroSD). This is working right now for me!!!! Also I only had a 1GB microSD in the phone so I believe ClockworkMOD detected I didn’t have enough space. (get a bigger card!!) haha!

    Working so far…. on Backing up data…curently!
    we’ll see!……Great success! — Thanks MAX!

    B-to the HD!

  13. joe says:

    whats up man, i have been on your page a lot and have rooted my phone per your instructions, everything went good and i am ready to install the ROM you recommended. problem i ran into is that when i did the backup and got to the part where im supposed to rename the file “Stock” i open the folder and nothings there, the stock file thats supposed to be there is not, did i do something wrong???

    • andy says:

      Check to see which folder you’re in. Make sure it’s the external sd, as that was where it was probably installed. Or vice versa.

  14. Alex E. says:

    Can you please make a tutorial on how to do what you did on this tutorial, but using “ROM Toolbox”?! Please ? Help is much appreciated! =D

  15. Alex E. says:

    I’ve just rooted last night and I know of some apps I should pay for to get the full versions just so I don’t have any
    limitations. What do you guys think about getting these: Titanium Backup Pro, Rom Manager Premium, and Rom Toolbox Pro!?
    Thanks in advance!

  16. Max says:

    How come it says that ALL ROMS on this site is verizons samsung galaxy s2 when if you go down it lists a few ROMs particularly for T-Mobiles T-989 SG2 phone? could you shed some light on this? Thanks.

  17. Robin Puri says:

    Great info Max; as usual! Thank you for this. Nice write up but I sure miss your videos. I hope we will see your videos again soon. I would be glad to help if there is anything let me know.

  18. Kyle says:

    I did a backup of my stock ICS using Clockwork, but when I attempted to restore it I get a message saying there is an MD5 checksum mismatch. Then, the restore fails. Does anyone have any advise and what went wrong, and how to fix this?

    • Max says:

      Did you rename the backup folder? Make sure there’s no spaces.

      • Mike says:

        So I followed these instructions to the letter and get a MD5 mismatch when I attempted to restore the ROM. Backup file is named 2014-01-…no spaces.

        I didn’t think about this until after I’d already re-named the folder, but I don’t think you can rename the folder without it changing the MD5 hash.

  19. artie says:

    Hey man. Thx for making our life easier. installed ROM manager and while flashing it app crushes and never finishes what it supposed to do. Can i bypass this step? im looking to back up my rom. Also what is the purpose of flashing your rom? Im a bit new to android and your answer would clarify things. Thx

  20. Vincent says:

    Can we use “Kies” if we dont have an SD card?

  21. Zain Charaniya says:

    I recently unrooted my phone and rooted it again and was trying to back up my rom but when i click “flash clockworkmod recovery” it downloads it but when it actually starts flashing it never goes away from that box. I have left it for up to 30 minutes and absolutely nothing happened. i tried factory restoring it and rerooting again but the same problem occured. It was working perfectly when i did it before about a month ago. Please Help!

  22. J says:

    I have a rooted phone and everything, but my SGH T989 does not recognize my external SD card.

    Actually, I’ve never been able to access my external SD card. I used this on my previous phone, but when I transferred it over, I can’t even mount the card/access files.

    • Nau says:

      Does it mount at all?
      I would try to backup all the files from the SD card to the pc, format it. Then plug it to the phone, make sure it mounts, reformat it for good measure, take back to PC, put back the files.
      If this does not help, i’d try another card, and if not, i’d say your SD slot is toast

  23. libertad says:

    I have an issue with ROM Manager…
    Seems as if the Flash of clockwork doesn’t really work
    Also when I try to backup after I change the name and click “OK” it doesn’t do anything.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

  24. libertad says:

    Never mind I was able to get it fixed by installing the CWM Recovery file

    Now to tackle installing ROMS! 🙂

  25. togapiggy says:

    Ok, I have done all this. Played around with different ROMs but not really liking any. So I would like to restore my backup. I have wiped/factory reset, cleaned cache and did my restore. Now I’m stuck in a boot loop.

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