TWRP - The big mystery.. or "TWRP in a Nutshell" Chapter 1: Main-Screen, Wipe, Backup

TWRP .. the big mystery.... but wait! its a really nifty thing and not only there to install your ROM

It can solve alot of problems.. and also cause a lot of problems if not proper used

I try to clear a bit with that and give you the most common suggestions and ideas for TWRP

I won't cover the Installation of TWRP.. i suppose if you read this that you have it allready installed... and know what you are doing.. . i wont take any responsibility if your phone / data gets damaged =)

Lets have a look at the Main Screen

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Install => Pretty obvious.. there you can install your ZIP files like Magisk, Roms, Kernels etc
Wipe => There you can litterarly Wipe your Phone.. everything

Backup => There you can Backup your various Partitions
Restore => There you can Restore your Partitions

Mount => There you can mount different not mounted partitions
Settings => some more or less not so important features wich you normally wont touch

Advanced => interesting =)
Reboot =< Obviously you can reboot your Phone :)

I will skip the Install Screen as you obviously know how to handle that hehe

Lets take a look at the Wipe Screen

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The normal "Factory Whipe" will wipe only System, Data, Dalvik/ART and cache partition.. not internal storage.. and its more a deletion than a format.. you dont need to reboot since file system is remained untouched

Here you have 2 additional buttoms..

Format => formats your system.. that erases System, Data, Internal storage, Dalvik/Art and Cache partition.. you MUST reboot afterwards via reboot recovery to properly initialize your partitions

so thats the reason why you have not only to press the button .. you have to type "yes" in letters cause you dont want to accidently format your system

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Now to advabced wipe ....

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Now here Things get interesting....

Short explanation...
Dalvik/ART = complicated to explain.. its the Java Virtual Machine wich turns source code into executable .DEX files hehe
System = Your system files.. look as it like a OS installed on your PC
Data = speaks for it self.. Data .. files created or indirectly created by the user.. Phone Contacts, Emails etc..

Internal Storage = this is the folder where you can directly acces your files (not like data where you dont have direct access to)

Cache = optimized / cached applcations to make things faster

MicroSD = external SD Card (if installed)

USB OTG = you could put a external drive at your USB-C (S8/+).. this would be that..

you should NOT touch SYSTEM and DATA for any reason if you are not in the mood to re-install your ROM from scratch!

Dalvik/ART, Cache can be whiped with no influence (when fully booted).. cause when you whipe that it will rebuild them on startup.. thats what your Phone does when it says "Optimizing XXX ofYYY Applications" on startup

sometimes its good to clear those 2 .. if you experience problems..

Internal storage will wipe all your data in your own "pseudo-root" folder

This one here... and NO .. the data in this folder is NOT related to the DATA Mount talked a few lines above.. just coincidence

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Repair / Change Filesystem is very uncommon or for those who REALLY know what they are doing.. for e.g. changing File System to F2FS or whatever.. i dont recommend it!!

Backup... here your best Friend =)

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Short explain...

Boot = Boot Partition (Here the Kernel resides and some other code wich launches your phone)

Recovery = Second most important of this list... here resides TWRP itself.. if the recovery is lost.. twrp is lost.. and you have to reflash it via Odin

System = Your Android OS

Data = the data here is same as the data in the Wipe section.. stuff indirectly generated by user or directly by the system like phone contacts emails etc..

and there is also written "NO STORAGE" wich means the internal storage from also the whipe section.. so your own direct generated stuff is NOT included EVER in ANY backup of TWRP.. you need to backup it seperately.. like simply copy it 1:1 from internal to external SD-Card

Cache = same as from whipe section.. cached apps from the system

Baseband = Modem aka CP .. here resides the "firmware" of your modem the "CSC" also refered sometimes

EFS = the MOST IMPORTANT PARTITION IN YOUR WHOLE PHONE .. i canot urge it enough.. in here resides your IMEI .. also refered as International Mobile Equipment Identifier... This is what your Phone makes to even register in your mobile hosts network.. its like your DNA.. its unique and its the most important thing.. if it is lost and you canot restore it you can use your phone as one-way boomerang.. or to keep your car fixed on the ground or could hammer a nail in the wall... i for myself always tick the last 2 checkboxes.. no matter what i backup.. those few megabyes wont hurt anyway and better to hafe too much of CP/EFS backups than none

you normaly wont have a problem with EFS.. but sometimes.. especialy if you change ROM types (like from samsung touchwiz to Lineage OS or to something else) it is not normal but not uncommon that EFS gets cleared... and you are fu..ed up.. keep that in mind.. those few megabytes wont hurt you.. only if you dont have them =)

The really last thing you could try if you manage to kill your EFS and have no Backup, somehow get the IMEI (wich is initially written on your Serial Number Label from the Phone.. when you still have it) and put it somehow back in your phone.. since i've never done this i canot tell you anything about it...

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but now move on to the Backup Screen... on Top you can edit your Filename .. either you leave it auto-Generated wich will then will be constructed of the Firmware Revision and Date you back up or you can manually enter a file-name by clicking on the field.... to mention is that the Filename you can enter is under circumstances way longer than you could normally name a File in your Samsung Touchwiz system.. thus it is possible if you use a VERY long Name you canot Move/Copy the Backup Folder away from the location you store it.. if you fall in such a case.. you can just come back to TWRP and rename the Folder (will be explained in the further article wich includes "ADVANCED")

you also can choose where to save your Backup.. you have basically 3 possibilities ..

1. Internal Storage (is default) .. this puts your backup in the internal memory next to downloads, android, ringtones folder ..

2. MicroSD .. is as you can guess the external MicroSD card.. same here a Folder named TWRP in the Root

3. USB .. if you have a usb-c drive you can also store it there

to say is that you dont have to worry if you have something like a common MicroSD Card for backup wich you put in the phones to get a backup of the respective phone on it..

TWRP is smart enough to make a subfolder in the TWRP based on your Serial Number (wich you canot change normally) and down below the Serial Number is the Name you gave the Backup

In the Folder there are alot of Files.. dont bother with em.. just copy the folder as one item and youre good to go..

The Options Tab holds only 3 choices you can make...

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Enable Compression => Enables Compression during Backup thus making your backed up Files smaller but logically the backup will be a bit slower..

Skip Digest generation during Backuip => this ticked on the MD5 generation of a file (wich takes a bit) .. the digest is a verification of the file since it is unspeakably important that your backup files have no errors since its a backup.. i hardly recommend not to tick this.. you are a bit faster in the backup but when a write-error occurs it will write that error back when you restore the backup thus writing crap to your phone wich could lead to a softbrick

Disable free space check before Backup=> this is interesting... it lies in the nature of compression that you canot predict how big a backup would be before it is processed :smile: so what TWRP does.. it counts all files together and checks the respective storage device (internal sd, external sd) if it has enough space to store all files UNCOMPRESSED .. if the storage has not enough free space the backup will abort and tell you that... EVEN IF YOU ENABLED COMPRESSION. .. so.. scenario ... you have a backup lets say wich is 10GB big.. you have 9.5GB free.. the backup will fail.. even if you enabled compression and the file will be definately smaller than 9.5 GB.. if you are absolutely sure you dont need as much you can go here and tick it.. run backup and set it back off... if not.. it will fill your phone.. break the backup and your time is lost...

so now that you are ready to go... lets backup... <swipe>

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that is a screen of a finished full backup with compression

as you can see when it backs up DATA it tells you again in splashing colors "Backup of Data do not include any files on internal storage such as pictures or downloads" ... as i explained earlier... dont ask where your ringtones or camera files (DCIM folder) is.. it is gone when you dont backup it

the "digest created" between points out that the files are splited after 1GB (1024MB) and get each a separated MD5 for verification.. makes it for one easier to transfer.. second better security and third even the ability to transfer those files.. after a certain amount (dont hang this up on me) the files are way to big to get handled by an operatiing system.. thus splitting is just the perfect way

my Backup here was the backup of my Oreo Batman 2.0.0 and took 5 minutes and 1 seconds at a file size of 5.97GB .. compressed... where uncompressed its about 10GB .. so you see its a good ratio.. the compression's definately worth it when you have several backups around..

Now you can store the backup either on the Internal storage.. but i recommend it to store it on 2 places... first i would place it on the external card (since you obviously canot restore the internal storage from the internal storage).. when somethings wrong with the system the external sd card is unaffected.. and you can directly restore from external SD back to your device... and second at least the initial backup i would store on your PC.. just in worst case your phone bricked and the sd-card is also defective you have a fallback..

Now you're good to go with backup your phone ..

Next chapter i will cover Restore (not as long as backup) and the Settings you can set.. it will not be as big as this article but i'll keep the most interesting ones for last... :smile:


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