Return to Level1Techs.com

Using titanium backup to restore calendar data but to a different google account

helpdesk
#1

Hello!
First post here, let me know if I’m doing everything correct. I’ve googled how to do this to no avail and its so specific I thought it warranted a new topic.

What I’d like help doing is using titanium backup to restore my calendar data from a phone that died to a new phone which is the same model and operating system (should be simple right?). The only catch is that the google account on the new phone is different than on the old one (which is why I think it isn’t working). As the old phone is dead, I do not remember which google account I used (I usually generate a new one whenever I get a new phone just so google doesn’t accumulate TOO much data about me, although I’m open to better ways to do this… in a new topic I guess?)

Both phone specs (broken one might have slightly different software but not vastly different):
LG G4 (model LG-H811)
lineage OS 14.1-20171128-NIGHTLY-h811 (android 7.1.2)
Flashed (a while ago) with open gapps arm64 7.1-pico-20180130 and su 14.1 arm64
Stock calendar app, Build version 7.1.2
Latest (Aug 12, 2019) version of Titanium Backup Pro (TBP) from google play

What I’ve done so far:
-Factory reset
-signed into google play store
-in TBP, Checked “menu>preferences>migrate system data” as well as “menu>preferences>restore app external data” and “menu>preferences>restoration settings>always associate to chose account”
-successfully restored contacts list and a few other things with titanium backup
-attempted to restore green TBP entry for “calendar storage 7.1.2” (data only, not app+data), get notification “data restore complete”
-shutdown and power up once, reboot once (just to be thorough, I think once would do it)
-Calendar data does not appear in app even after multiple TBP restores and reboots. Sometimes the calendar app asks me to sign into my google account.

Any help greatly appreciated, I have no idea what is supposed to happen next week haha. I need to solve this soon but also open to any other methods of automated, backup that don’t involve google (preferably also with encryption and auto upload to cloud but not required). Maybe a new topic for that also?

Also how do I tag this topic with helpdesk ? Did that do it? haha

UPDATE:
-Just for everyone’s information - the tag “helpdesk” is disabled for (very) new users

-I found the username/password to the google account I used on the broken phone, clicked settings>add account (top right) in the calendar app, signed into old account, restored calendar data from TBP (yet again), rebooted and behold! Calendar data!
-In the future I will probably be moving over to the Simple Calendar. It has import/export feature, doesn’t look like it requires a google account, allows importing of birthdays/anniversaries from contacts (but doesn’t look like this is automatic) AND can show holidays from one of many countries of your choice.

Some questions that would still be nice to have answered if anyone knows:
-How is calendar data stored in android? Is it tied to a specific app or is there a system wide database? If a system wide database, does that data have to be associated with a specific google account?
-How can you tell which google account a TBP backup is associated with?
-Can that google account be changed before a restore?

2 Likes

#2

Added helpdesk tag. Best of luck! I think you are still to new to use tags. Although I thought we changed that rule.

0 Likes

#3

This makes no difference, they’ll link the accounts on the back end. You’re just inconveniencing yourself and making yourself stand out.

You might need to open the calendar backup and check the meta data, maybe its tied to the account and youll need to edit some values. How have you backed it up.

0 Likes

#4

Oh maybe that’s why I couldn’t figure out how to do it, thanks. I was just granted “basic” level (as opposed to “new”) after I made the post and I see where you can add tags now.

1 Like

#5

How do they link them, what do they use as a UID? Phone number? I figured that was probably too simple a trick to outsmart google lol.

0 Likes

#6

That you’re using Google when you want privacy (i assume) from google seems like a lot of hoops to jump through for that to make sense.

As for accounts, i guess it will depend on how you use them. Email? then they will link via the correlation between the emails you receive. Typing patterns, browser usage, location, information held on your devices, google search patterns, maps usage. It doesn’t take a whole lot of information to be confident in an identification of someone.

0 Likes

#7

Oh and to answer your other question, The calendar data was backed up and encrypted automatically with TBP and stored locally on an SD card. I’m not exactly sure of the format. It shows up as a green entry which means “System service with useful data” according the the help section in the app. What kind of formatting am I looking for?

0 Likes

#8

If its encrypted maybe you cant open it.

I was going on the assumption that maybe its an xml format or similar, in which case the first few lines would have information about the data its self, like accounts its linked to etc.

0 Likes

#9

Well, I’ve weighed the cost/benefit of using google, tried vanilla android without gapps and decided (unfortunately) that personally, its just too inconvenient to not have gapps (Lyft and Uber being good examples of things that were too difficult for me to personally get working without gapps). I guess to summarize, I care about privacy and like learning about it but I don’t care -that- much haha. I assumed they might “soft link” the accounts but I wasn’t sure if anyone knew of a way they could say 100% this is the same person. Could be two people using same computer/phone/internet connection. I’ll concede that google can probably say with 90% confidence that it is same person but not 100%.

0 Likes

#10

Well, I have the decryption key and have used the key successfully to restore other green entries (aka System service with useful data). Perhaps it can’t be opened outside of the app though.

Let me look at the actual files in the backup folder…

0 Likes

#11

I think the relevant file name on the SD card is
com.android.providers.calendar-20190703-060433.tar.bz2
So probably put into a tarball and then encrypted/compressed with BZ2? I don’t know anything about the inner workings of TBP or how android stores calendar data but I hope someone here might =)

0 Likes

#12

Use Apple… I’m serious. worth considering. I know what you mean about finding that balance of privacy and usability, its one of the reasons i switched from Google to Apple.

Googles entire business model is around profiling people and using that information to make money. Everything they do is basically based around that core business model. People and the devices they use are quite unique, it really doesnt take much work. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could accurately ID people based on writing behaviour alone, never mind all the other information they have at their hands.

They can basically for the same reason as above, take typing, two people using a computer are going to type differently, use different wording, and sentence structure. that alone will let you know they aren’t the same person, add in a few other pieces of information and you can ID each individual.

Is it worth syncing the calendar with a 3rd party app, and then exporting the calendar data info a clean format?

Im not failure enough with TBP so im not sure what they’re doing with encryption.

0 Likes

#13

PM me and we can discuss more about privacy, I don’t want anyone else having the same problem to have to wade through all of that lol.

I would do that but I was under the assumption that the android framework has a “system calendar database” (just like it has a system “text message database”) and different apps could access it once set to default for that function. Therefore since I think I am restoring the “system calendar database” and not a specific app, that unfortunately wouldn’t work. Do you have a 3rd party calendar app to suggest? I’ve always used the stock one since its been sufficient for my needs and is open source with lineage OS. I’d love to find one that doesn’t sync to the cloud (aka I can remove network perms entirely) and is disconnected entirely from any google account (aka I don’t have to turn “sync” off; I’ll handle my own backups thankyouverymuch Google).

0 Likes

#14

Ah so its just calendar data on the phone, not linked to any account?

interestingly, this just reminded me of the iPhones native offline data transfer via cable or iTunes without the need of a cloud backup. does your phone offer anything like this, maybe you can just plug it into your old phone and transfer it all across natively (unless its broken to the point of un-usable, in which case are you trusting TBP with your backups? does it not have native offline backup?

0 Likes

#15

Yes, I turned the sync function off. From what I remember, I still needed to sign in and/or select a google account in order to use the calendar app though. That’s why I think the new account switch is causing the problem. If I remembered which account I used (or if anyone knows how to read TBP data to find the account), I would just try to sign into that one and see if it works lol.

Unfortunately, the phone is not usable. It won’t do anything when I hold the power button (and I think ADB requires the phone to be on?). Its in a dehumidifier bag so I have a little hope but I want my calendar data sooner than it takes to dry a phone lol.

I am trusting TBP for my backups, I don’t use anything else (not google’s services, not ADB, not a button in the app that says export, although I don’t think the calendar has this anyway). Its never failed me before and its certainly saved me a few times. Its just little quirks like this one that pop up once in awhile.

0 Likes

#16

That’s very nice, but you need both phones functioning and connected for that to work right? You can’t back up to the computer every week (for example) in case of total phone destruction/theft? Sounds like what Palm had back in the 1990s and 2000s. I’m so pissed they are gone. I’m waiting for a system that I can just press one button and everything is back exactly the way it was (and I mean exactly because that’s what the world had with palm so I know its possible). Anyway, [rant over].

0 Likes

#17

Pretty sure with iTunes you can backup every time you plug it in automatically in the background.

0 Likes

#18

Hmm interesting. Everything or just the calendar? I’m still looking for something like palm. I want my data either on MY hardware or in the cloud encrypted with MY key using the algorithm I specify. Preferably both automatically, for free. Is that too much to ask lol?

0 Likes

#19

That’s going to be difficult to find because it’s so hard to manage. You’ll basically end up for the most part having to spend maintenance time keeping it all working.

There’s some info on the iTunes backup https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204136

Almost everything is backed up except iCloud specific things. Some things require encrypted backups to be turned on first.

0 Likes

#20

Well, I guess what I should say is that I’d like the cloud backup to be from a different company/person than the one encrypting the backup. That way I know the cloud backup isn’t storing my key since they don’t even know what they are storing for me is even a backup. That’s essentially what TBP is when you link it to Dropbox, Box or Google Drive and I don’t need to do any maintenance. What its missing is the free and the automatic restore function which is still somewhat manual (as you can tell from this thread). Palm had the automatic “it just works” local hardware backup/restore option but lacked cloud backup and encryption (but the latter didn’t much matter since it was local copy only). I suspect if they had lived they would have eventually created an encrypted cloud option, RIP palm.

I will look into that iTunes backup thing though, thanks. If you look at my post here (which I think you also commented on) you’ll see my current opinion on apple but I have an open mind.

0 Likes