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Best way to install a new rom/firmware?

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I'm trying to figure out the best way to install a new rom/firmware. Here is the process I have been using to date but I'm sure there must be easier way then doing all this.

1. Reinstall firmware/rom.

2. Check recovery to see if it still works. If it doesn't reinstall it.

3. Install su through recovery if necessary.

4. Install a file manager if necessary.

5. Install titanium backup.

6. Install Apps2SD

7. Install 10 apps at a time (so memory doesn't fill up) then use apps2sd to link to SD card.

8. Check to see if everything is running smoothly. If it's not do a wipe at this point and go back to step 4.

This is a time consuming process and I'm looking for ways to improve the process. Especially at step 8. It takes forever to load the apps then link2sd. Is there another way to do this part so memory doesn't fill up? Even when I check the option to auto link it doesn't auto link when installing apps from titanium.

I don't use nandroid. I've tried it in the past and the restoration usually ends up being pretty buggy. I've spoken to a few friends and they don't do it either. i'm not sure if it's possible that I will brick my phone without doing a nandroid backup but I haven't yet.

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