How to Backup IMEI Files on Motorola Devices

Unlike iPhones, Android devices can be customized to every aspect from themes to how a function is triggered to how apps can be sideloaded and soon. I am sure that the majority of Motorola users (or any other OEMs) don’t deal with the customization part but there is a growing number of users who are constantly trying to refine their user experience.

This is achieved through various ways to flashing a custom ROM, kernel, or rooting the device and hundred million other ways. Doing all this is fun but this also comes with risk and protecting crucial data before it blows off is important. One such file that you wouldn’t want to uproot is the IMEI number and you must make it a point to take a backup of it before it goes unavailable.

IMEI is an acronym for International Mobile Equipment Identity. It is a global identification of your device and it is unique for each unit sold anywhere across the globe. In fact, if there’s no IMEI number registered on your phone, you cannot register to a network carrier without any doubt. Plus, people with authority or someone who has the skills can track their phone using the valid IMEI number as well. Thus, backing up before doing something like installing a custom ROM is pretty important. Here, we have two major methods that you can take to backup IMEI files on your Motorola Devices.

Method #1: Backing Up IMEI Files on Motorola Devices Using TWRP Recovery Mode

The prerequisite before proceeding with this method is that you need to have a TWRP or any custom recovery installed on your device. The options might change a bit depending upon which custom recovery you have installed but the mechanism is almost the same. Here, I have installed TWRP and thus, the method works best on Motorola devices with TWRP installed.

Step #1: First, you need to power your device on the recovery console mode. Use a combination of Power + Volume Up/Down which can be model-specific in order to boot into the recovery mode.

Step #2: Select “Mount” from the many options on TWRP Recovery Mode.

Step #3: Next up, tick all the boxes that aren’t ticked already such as “Firmware”, “ OEM”, “ Persist”, and so on. Tap on the home screen button to come to the main menu.

Step #4: Now, tap on the “Advanced” menu and proceed to “File Manager” and then, proceed to the “persist” folder located under the file manager. You might have to scroll down the page to find it.

Step #5: On the bottom-right of the screen, you will see a Blue Folder Icon, tap it and, select “Copy Folder” from the various menus available here.

Step #6: Back up to the root folder and paste the said files into the sdcard for internal memory or you can also paste it on External-SD Card for external memory. Tap on the Blue Folder Icon again and check if the Copying ‘from’ and ‘to’ is right nor. Finally, swipe the slider to the right where it says “Swipe to confirm”.

Step #7: Now, reboot the device and go to TWRP folder and check if the IMEI files are available or not.

If yes, you have successfully backed up the IMEI files and you can make a copy of it on Google Drive or your computer as well.

Note: User discretion is advisable.

Method #2: Backing Up IMEI On Motorola Devices Using ADB & Fastboot Tools

This is an easy method to backup IMEI Files on Motorola Devices wherein you are actually using ADB and Fastboot tools on your PC to back up the files. Here are the links to download the ADB and Fastboot tools on your PC.

Step #1: First up, go to Settings on your Motorola device, and proceed to “About Phone” located at the bottom of the page.

Step #2: Scroll and you’ll find “Build Number” listed on this page, tap it 7 times continuously that will enable developer options for you with the notification “You’re now a Developer” popping up on the screen.

Step #3: Back up to the Settings main page and scroll to find “Developer Options” that should be listed right above the “About Phone” option.

Step #4: Now, you need to scroll down the page to find “USB Debugging” and enable it. You will be prompted to “Allow USB debugging” so do tap on “OK”.

Step #5: Next up, take a USB cable, connect it to your phone and the PC and that must throw a prompt on your device asking you to “Allow USB debugging?”. You can tick the option “Always allow from this computer” if you are a regular or simply by “OK” straight away to ditch it totally and allow for a one time access.

Step #6: Extract the ADB and Fastboot Tools that you downloaded earlier and open the folder.

Step #7: Now, hover on the empty section of the folder and press “Shift + Right Click on your mouse” and select “Open Command Window Here”. This will launch the CMD on your computer.

Step #8: You need to enter these commands in the CMD. Note that the IMEI files on your Motorola device are stored in the PDS partition and by doing so, you are searching for the PDS partition that you can backup and store on your internal storage or your computer. Enter these commands →
ADB shell
dd if=/dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.1/by-name/pds of=/sdcard/pds.img

Step #8: After entering the aforementioned commands on the CMD on ADB, a file named PDS.img will be stored on your device’s internal storage. Now, I would recommend taking a backup of this file on your computer and Google Drive or any cloud storage as well.

This was one of the easiest ways to take a backup of IMEI files on Motorola Devices. You can check out Method #2 that requires TWRP or any custom ROM installed.

How To Restore IMEI Files on Motorola Devices?

Assuming that you already have a backup on the PDS.img file that we mentioned as an IMEI file for your Motorola smartphone, in the light of something going wrong, you would need to restore it. Here’s how you can do it and yes, this method requires ADB and Fastboot tools as well.

Step #1: Get a hold of the PDS.img file you have stored on your computer or Motorola smartphones.

Step #2: Cut and paste it to the root folder of your device’s internal memory where it was earlier before something happened and the file was deleted or corrupted.

Step #3: Navigate to the ADB and Fastboot Tools, open the binary folder, hover the mouse to an empty section, press “Shift + Right Click on the mouse” and select “Open Command Window Here” from the menu.
Step #4: Enter the said commands on the CMD window.
ADB shell
Dd if=pds.img of=/dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.1/by-name/pds

This will hardcode the backup IMEI files onto your phone’s internal storage and bingo, you have successfully restored the IMEI files on Motorola Devices.

Step #5: Restart the phone and check if the phone works and has IMEI files or not.

And that’s how you can backup IMEI files on your Motorola devices as well as restore in case if such an event triggers. Note that you can simply use this method on other Android smartphones as well although you should be aware that misunderstanding steps mentioned above or doing something different can trigger the phone to face ill-effects. In any case, we aren’t responsible for any impact that these methods have on your phone. These are tried and tested methods but need due diligence and user discretion and it is advisable to be cautious.

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