HELP FILE: Protecting your data during an Android update; mixing anti-spyware and anti-virus utilities

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By By Rob Pegoraro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 30, 2010

Q: I've got a software update for my Android phone, but it says it will wipe out all of my data. How do I keep my text messages and call log?

A: Google's smartphone operating system doesn't always allow an in-place upgrade, as users of some older Android phones have recently discovered after carriers released software upgrades for their devices. To avoid losing all your phone's information, you'll need to use a third-party backup tool.

I tried RerWare's MyBackup. It can save contacts, call logs, bookmarks, text and picture messages, and such system settings as the keyboard auto-correct dictionary, but only preserves application-specific settings for 19 programs.

After installing my phone's Android update, I downloaded the trial version again, then had it reload my applications and those settings. Although I still had to redo some preferences, it still saved a lot of time.

The new version of Android that Google introduced May 20 will finally provide built-in backup services. But you'll need to get through another backup-and-restore cycle on your own first.

I have WebRoot's SpySweeper. Is it safe to add Microsoft's Security Essentials?

Microsoft's free anti-virus program won't insist that you remove other anti-virus or anti-spyware programs, but it's a good idea to do so -- at best, you'll have two programs warning you about the same download, and at worst you'll have system conflicts. Of those two, I would keep the Microsoft program and boot WebRoot's.

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or robp@washpost.com. Visit http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward for his Faster Forward blog.


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