If I replace my motherboard, do I need to make a backup?

Is the internal storage also on the motherboard? That is, will a new motherboard essentially wipe your phone? If so, is it possible to back up the data and restore it?

I’d rather buy a new phone than having to reinstall everything… Or perhaps this would be a nice moment to upgrade to 1.8, assuming it has been improved in the last months. Luckily the battery is replaceable on our phones, so I can charge it with an external charger.

Don’t think I did anything unusual with the phone. It seems a bit silly to buying a repairable phone where the connector breaks so easily. But well, only new motherboard is better (and cheaper) than an entirely new phone.

Edit: The last two paragraphs might sound out of context because this post was in the linked thread about broken USB-connectors; my reason to replace the motherboard.

I don’t know if the data will be wiped actually, but a backup is always a good idea before you do anything drastic to your phone. And like @humorkritik always says you should use an advanced backup app like TitaniumBackup and not the standard backup program wich doesn’t save everything.

The current 1.8 is still the first one but the new 1.8 is in it’s final beta testing stages, as far as I know.
But what does the OS version have to do with the motherboard, exept that a backup before an upgrade is probably a good idea too.

It is not so much a question of ‘wiping’ the storage: if the storage is physically on the motherboard, then the entire storage would be replaced (without ‘deleting’ data).

Making a good backup is essential anyway because replacing the motherboard seems risky. Perhaps it would be possible to use nandroid or so to backup and restore the internal storage so the repaired phone will be identical to the broken one (except not broken :P).

I’ll try and report my findings within a week or two, since I’ve ordered the replacement board!

(The part about the OS was that if both repairing the phone and installing 1.8 would requiring wiping the internal storage, then combining the activities could be smart.)

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Installing the storage upgrade requires wiping the internal storage.


I remember some issues with purchased apps. My F-Secure Internet Security did not remember its license key after reinstalling the app on the new motherboard. It took me some emails with their customer support to gain my license key again.

In regard of your thread: Can someone point to a How-To or to a manual to perform a complete backup for the case that the motherboard needs to be replaced? I assume the best idea would be syncing everything to a Google account.

Could Fairphone maybe include a “mirror” service when they replace the motherboard on their repair shop?

Titanium Backup is a bit overwhelming at first so if you have any questions post them back. (Maybe better in this thread)

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If you have a new motherboard, a lot of stuff changes (including your two unique IMEIs). What also changes is your Andoid ID, which I suspect to be responsible for this particular problem.

Since I expect that you haven’t got a backup which offers to restore your Andoid ID, and I also assume that you got the app via the PlayStore, you should be able to go to the play store, uninstall the app from there, and re-install it. NB, this option is also available if you paid for this app.

For the future, if you want to be on the safe site, use a backup solution which can restore your Android ID, as the one Paul pointed out. You can of course still push all your stuff to other peoples computer (aka the cloud), but having a local backup is never wrong.

[Edited to say:] BTW, I restored my Android ID with TB, and had no problem there. TB prompts you if you want to do that on opening the app for the first time after you restore a backup. In general, be careful what you do, try to read/watch some tutorials, and if you run into problems, better ask first before randomly choosing restore options in TB. You can totally mess up your phone, e.g. by restoring system apps. I had to wipe my phone twice after replacing my motherboard because I messed up the restore process, and google cloud messaging is still not delivering push messages. Will see if I can get this fixed on the weekend, when I update to 1.8.5.

As the starter of this topic, let me share my belated experiences as well even though most has already been said. Indeed the internal memory is on the motherboard, which is not really a surprise, so the reassembled phone is ‘as new’ with a clean internal memory.

My plan was to simply restore my nandroid backup, since I figured that would restore everything. However, my nandroid backup was slightly above 4 GB which turned out to be very problematic and I couldn’t get it to work. Anyone trying this route, delete enough to get under 4 GB.

So instead I just did all the OS upgrades and storage upgrades. The storage upgrade didn’t wipe anything important since the phone was just new. Then I reinstalled all relevant apps with Titanium Backup and everything worked like a charm again.

TB indeed asked to reset my Android ID. However I was not sure what it was going to do and what was the right choice. I think I didn’t let it change anything. As far as I could tell, all apps worked fine. I didn’t try F-Secure.

There is one problem though: the tilt/orientation sensors seem broken/misaligned. Browsers switch to landscape mode too early and some tilt-based games do not work. The camera shows the moving preview just fine but the image turns upside down as soon as I take a picture. So perhaps the sensors are upside down or something like that. It’s less annoying than it sounds. Perhaps I’ll create a new topic (if none exist yet) about it.

All in all it was a successful replacement. The i-fixit guides are good. Except that the full tear-down guide misses a step of removing some screws.

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@Hugo_Buddelmeijer You might have to recalibrate your orientation sensor / auto rotate sensor. Here is how to.