How To Extract Nandroid Backup Files ( .ext4.tar.a)

Nandroid backup, sometimes written as NANDroid is a portmanteau for the NAND flash memory. This memory is a permanent storage memory that your device and Android OS uses.

By making a Nandroid backup you have created a standard directory structure for backing up a mirror image of your Android device. Nandroid backup is a full backup of your device. It will not save only your personal files but also even system files. It will save every piece of you Android including also games and their progress.

Once you have created a Nandroid backup you can save yourself from a lot of work. By performing a Nandroid backup everything will be safe and you can restore the files anytime. Nandroid backup also allows you to restore your device in an early exact state, so it’s really important to make a Nandroid backup regularly.

There are several ways to make a Nandroid backup, but the most popular and without too much work is using a Recovery and a good one for this purpose is CWM Custom Recovery. Once you do a Nandroid backup from CWM Recovery the file is stored in the following location: SDcard/clockworkmod/backup/date&time of the backup/*All backup files*.

Nandroid-Backup extract ext4.tar.a files

If you copy the backup folder on your computer and browse the files inside the folder you will find two tar files and few files with 0 byte size’s. The only files you need are:

  • system.ext4.tar.a – Contains all system files
  • data.ext4.tar.a – Contains all data files

Before proceeding with the next steps make sure to create another copy of these Nandroid backup files.

To open this files you will need a File Archiver which will open tar files. A good one is 7-zip open-source file archiver. You can download it from Play Store. Search it by name and install.

After installing 7-zip, the next step is to rename both files system.ext4.tar.a and data.ext4.tar.a to system.ext4.tar and data.ext4.tar

When you do that a confirmation message will appear, go ahead and click yes. Since there is a blank file with the same name just replace it or rename to another name.

After have renamed the files, right click on one of them and the click open archive or extract files using 7-zip file archive. Follow the steps and then you will have the Nandroid backup files extracted.

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One comment

  1. With current CWM / Nandroid things get confusing.

    I want to restore only the user data. Now in CWM I select to just restore /data.
    But now CWM shows me *several* data files:
    data.ext4.tar
    data.ext4.tar.a
    data.ext4.tar.b
    data.ext4.tar.c
    data.ext4.tar.d

    Now, do I have to restore all data.ext4.tar.* files? Or does CWM restore all files automatically, when I chose just one data.ext4.tar.* file?

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