How to Resolve Issues with ADB Backup

How to Resolve Issues with ADB Backup

21 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When attempting to back up your Android device using ADB (Android Debug Bridge), you may encounter issues where the backup file is created but contains only a few bytes, rendering it useless. This guide will help you troubleshoot and resolve such problems effectively.

Step-by-Step Solution

To ensure a successful backup, follow these steps:

1. Use Correct Syntax for ADB Commands

One common issue is the incorrect use of ADB command syntax. Rather than trying to find an old version of ADB, it’s easier to add quotes to the arguments. This ensures that the command parameters are correctly interpreted.

Use the following command:

adb backup "-apk -shared -all -f C:\Users\NAME\backup.ab"

2. Verify ADB Version

Ensure that your ADB version is compatible with your device. Versions of ADB 1.0.32 and above have broken backward compatibility. If your device uses an older ADB version, you might need to downgrade your ADB on the PC to version 1.0.31.

3. Check Backup Integrity

After performing the backup, it’s important to verify the integrity of the backup file. You can use tools like zlib-flate and tar to check for any corruption.

set -o pipefail
for a in *.adb;
  echo "$a";
  dd if="$a" bs=24 skip=1 | zlib-flate -uncompress | tar tf - >/dev/null;
  echo "ret=$?";

If the output shows ret=0, the backup is likely intact; otherwise, there may be issues with the backup file.

4. Additional Tips

  • Ensure USB debugging is enabled on your device.
  • Use a data cable, not just a charging cable, to connect your device to the PC.
  • Allow USB debugging permissions when prompted on your device.
  • Close all open applications on your phone before starting the backup.

Common Issues and Their Solutions

Applications Not Backing Up

Not all applications can be backed up using ADB due to the allowBackup attribute in the Android manifest file. Applications that have this attribute set to false will not be included in the backup.

Backup File is Corrupt

If you encounter errors such as “inflate: data: invalid code lengths set,” it means the backup file is corrupt. Unfortunately, this means the backup is likely unusable for restoration.

Leveraging Repeato for Efficient Testing

When dealing with frequent backups and testing, automation tools can significantly enhance your workflow. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that can help streamline your testing process. With Repeato, you can create, run, and maintain automated tests for your apps quickly and efficiently.

Repeato integrates seamlessly with ADB, allowing you to execute ADB commands via script steps. This feature ensures proper timing and sequencing of commands, facilitating more reliable and comprehensive backups and tests.

For more information on how Repeato can enhance your testing workflow, visit our documentation.

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