How to Get System Dump From Android

by Azrael von Kohler ; Updated September 28, 2017

A system dump provides you with an image of the currently installed ROM, allowing you to restore your phone if something goes awry. Getting a backup of the system ROM should be your first step before making any Android operating system upgrades or installing custom ROM images. You can get a system dump from Android using the official Android software development kit tools provided by Google.

Prepare Your PC

Ensure that your computer has the most recent version of the Java Development Kit installed. If it doesn't, download and install the most recent JDK from Oracle's Java SE Downloads page.

Navigate to the Download the Android SDK page on the Android Developers website in a Web browser and download the installer package to your computer. Double-click the downloaded file and follow the installation prompts.

Navigate in Windows Explorer to the location where you installed the SDK. By default, this is C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk.

Double-click the SDK Manager to launch it. In the left pane file tree, check the box next to "Android SDK Platform-tools." Click "Install Packages." A confirmation window appears. Click the radio button next to "Accept All." Click "Install." A progress bar appears.

Prepare Your Phone

Press your phone's menu button from the Home screen. Tap "Settings." The Settings menu appears.

Tap "Applications." In the Application Settings menu, tap "Development."

Check the box next to "USB Debugging" in the Development menu.

Get a System Dump

Press "R" and the Windows key simultaneously on your PC keyboard to bring up the Run box. Type "cmd."

Type the following into the command window:

cd C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools

Type "adb.exe shell."

Type "su dd if=/dev/block/stl6 of=/sdcard/factoryfs.rfs" at the ABD shell prompt. Replace "/sdcard/factoryfs.rfs" with the location to copy the file to if you don't want it on the phone's SD Card.

Tip

  • If your phone doesn't show up in the ADB, you may need to install USB Drivers for it on your PC for the ADB to recognize it. This process varies depending depending on the make and model of your phone. If you have a stock Android phone, such as a Nexus One, install the USB Driver for Windows from the SDK Manager. If you have another phone, follow the link for your phone manufacturer on the Android Developers OEM USB Drivers page.

About the Author

Based in New England, Azrael von Kohler has been writing and editing since 2000. Von Kohler has worked on technical and educational projects, including a guide to Linux system administration, and was the technical editor on leading role-playing game franchises, including Dungeon Crawl Classics. He specializes in technology with an emphasis on its application to free and open culture.