Showing posts with label BackUp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BackUp. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Consistency Check Reminders

One of the Blogs that I follow is that created by Tamura Jones, Modern Software Experience. Today his blog was on Consistency Check Reminders. I hadn't thought about that as a topic of this blog, but I agree with Tamura on what he wrote. Our genealogy software should provide us with options on this topic, as well as the Back Up mention at the end of the article.

Back Ups:

Family Tree Maker has always provided us with Back Up features. But Tamura went further then having a feature available, but reminders or user options to have the Back Up's performed.  FTM2012 does have options for us, plus offers us a Back Up reminder when preparing to perform some tasks within the program.

For example: the Tools, Compact File utility does offer a Back Up window / reminder before the compacting of the file is performed. Going to the Tools menu and selecting Compact File, this window will open.

Placing the cursor in that box will start the back up process. WE, the user, should take advantage of that.

We also have options on WHERE to put that back up. The Default is in the SAME folder where the Family File is located. Usually in My Documents, under Family Tree Maker. I do NOT put my Back Ups on the SAME Hard Drive where my Family File is located.

I put my Back Up's in a Custom Directory, on an External Drive. (my "J" drive)

We also have options in what we want to include in the Back Up. I always Back Up every thing. I am NOT concerned about disk space. I want to ensure that I can recover any problem with the file quickly and easily.

OH, I also run a Restore from Back Up, once a month, to make sure that the Back Up works.

If you look at the filename of the Back Up (FTMB), you will see that it included the DATE of the Back Up. It makes it very easy to see the most recent file to restore.

There are other operations, that may impact the entire file, where the Back Option is offered. I take advantage of that when offered.

Taking Tamura's statements to heart, FTM2012 also provides us with the Option to Back Up the file automatically, when we close the file, without actually having to do any mouse clicks. That option is in the Tools, Options menu, General Tab.

Putting a check mark in that box, which is the default setting, will cause the program to create a back up of the family file. Using the Automatic Back Up feature, will put a Back Up in the SAME folder as the family file and it will NOT include images. So, the size of this back up will be smaller the the Back Up mentioned earlier.


The major thrust of Tamura's article, by my reading, was our ability to make our data consistent.

FTM2012 provide two versions or help in this area. 1) during Data Entry, and 2) a report, in this case the Data Error Report.

The Tools, Options menu has a Warnings Tab.

We have options on what data we want to have a Warning Screen appear, or not appear.
  • Double Dates
  • Title in Name fact
  • One or two digit years
  • Text in quotes (nickname) in the name fact
  • Copy media files to media folder
  • Auto populate Smart Stories
I keep all by the One or two digit years in the PROMPT ME mode. So, during data entry, if I were to put the nick name of a person, in quotes, into the Name Fact, I'll receive a warning, and cause me to confirm this is what I intended to do. I put a nick name into the AKA (Also Known As) Fact, so I want to be reminded that I have done something that would not be consistent with my data entry for the nick name.

IF I enter a 2 digit year, I will be warned to enter a 4 digit year.

For example: I entered 06/06/12 into the Date field. There is a Warning ICON on the Right of the Date field. It took my 12 to mean 12 AD, instead of 2012.

The warning says "Error: The data you entered has an ambiguous year" message.

Below the previous Waring screen are three more options:
  • Show alerts for unlikely birth, death and marriage dates
  • Show unrecognized place name indicators
  • Show informational alerts (i.e., changed name, changed home person...)
I find these very helpful. There are proactive warnings on data entry. They will appear as pop-up windows, or an ICON for the Place Name indicators. (will show shortly)

There is a Data Entry Report in the Publish Workspace.

The Person Reports and select the Data Error Report. Once the report is generating the Items to Include where the below window will open.

We have plenty of options of what we want in the report. I use this report frequently, but normally focus on certain bits of information at a time. For example, the Children being out of order.

So, in my mind, we have the proactive Warning messages during data entry, then a report to work from.

Place Name Consistency

This has always been a concern of mine. However, until FTM2012 (704), the struggle has been around Historical Place Names. That update has resolved that for me. I can visually see my "current" Place Names and the Historical Place Names at a glance.

For example: All Hallows Parish, is a historical place name, while the All Hallows Church Cemetery is in the town of Birdsville. The Cemeteries and the Plantation are in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

The ICON with the Check Mark, is the visual indication that these place names have yet to be resolved. In each of these cases, I am researching what the place name should be. Upper Burlington County, New Jersey, doesn't currently exist. So, I need to view the DATES of the events that took place in Upper Burlington County, New Jersey to see if it is a historical name based on that time frame.

 If I understand the trust of Tamura's article, for me, FTM2012 offers me the features we described in his article.


Copyright © 2012 by H R Worthington

Friday, September 21, 2012

FTM2012 - Restore from BackUp, Including Restored Links to AMT

Family Tree Maker released a new patch (704) that includes the ability to Restore a file, where the original file had been linked to an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT). Until this patch, a new tree would have to be created on Ancestry, and all invitations would have to be re-issued and the New Tree would be created. This update, allows us to Restore the File, WITH the Option to re-link the restored file to the Existing AMT that was included with the file that was backed up.

I had done a File, Back Up to my existing FTM2012 file, which was linked to my AMT.

This is very helpful, if the computer crashes or some reason where the file has to be restored.

Go to File, then Restore.

 A new window is the opened requesting the file to be restored. I keep my back up files on an External Drive (J), I navigate to that drive and select the file (FTMB)

 Once selected, it will ask for the new filename to be used. That is entered. I save my Family Files in the 'default' My Documents / Family Tree Maker folder on my computer.

 The new file will be created AND the Media Folder associated with that file will also be created and all of the media files will be included.

The Restore Options provide "Restore sync files". Entering a check mark is the action to take.

 The Sync Process works as it normally does, using the TreeSync™ process. This action would be transparent to anyone you had shared that AMT with.

In my example, the filename is:


the AMT name is



Copyright © 2012 by H R Worthington

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Data Back Up Day - March 2009

Are you backing up your Family Tree Maker File?
Are you backing up your important files that are on your computer?

Many Genealogy Bloggers have a monthly "Event" to do a Back Up of their important information.

The Family Tree Maker program, no matter which version, have a Back Up utility / command. Most recent versions have the capability to Back Up your Family File to a CD, local Hard Drive, and to the Internet.

A couple of things to consider:

1) How Often?

2) Where to Back Up to?

3) What to do with the Media Used?

Each of these, WE, the users need to address. The first question is answered, for me, with a Question, "How Much time do I have to Re-enter what I have entered since the Last Time I backed up this file?" The answer to this question is important. The Once a Month Reminder for the Genealogy Bloggers is Monthly. But, what if I spend a weekend updating my Family File. I might back up that file at the end of each day. What if a Storm is coming? I usually back up my file IF I suspect that there might be a power outage. I'll just back Up that file then. Don't wait.

The second question is similar, but has the added question of "What if my Hard Drive were to crash?" This would indicate that I probably do not want to back up to the Hard Drive on my Computer. My choice is a CD.

Continuing in the What If question, what IF something happens to my home or room where my computer is? I will take my most recent back up and put it into my safe deposit box. I have also taken a copy of my Back Up CD to my daughter's house. The important thing is to send it somewhere else.

There are Online Back Up Services available as well.

One Important note about the Family Tree Maker program, specifically. Version 16 and earlier has an "Automatic Back Up" feature. Please, Please, Please, do NOT consider that feature a Back Up. The file that is automatically generated is a COPY of your Family File. If there is a problem with the Family File, it will be in this "copy".

For those of you who know the Three Character File Extensions that Version 16 and earlier use, the FTW file, it the Working Family File, the FBK file is the Copy of the FTW file and the FBC file is a Compressed Back Up of the FTW file. This last one (FBC) is a Back Up. The process of creating the FBC file contains some file maintenance in it.

As a rule, I run these two Famliy Tree Maker Utilities BEFORE I do the File, Back Up command:

Go to any Family Page and run these two Utilities:

CTRL+ALT+C = FileCompression

CTRL+ALT+SHFT+UpArrow = FileChecker

Are there any Errors? If the answer is no, continue with the File, Back Up.

If there are errors: Run this Utility from any Individual's Family Page:


Please go to this website:

Enter 1396 into the "Keyword Search" box and read that Knowledge Base Article. It should help you with this Error Message, and describe how to use the LOG file.

With Family Tree Maker version 2008 and 2009, there continues to be a Back Up command, and it does generate a complete back up. However, there is an option to include or exclude Media files. There will be a Blog Article on how to do this in the future.

There are several normal commands, where the program will ask IF you want to Back Up your file BEFORE continuing. I recommend that you take advantage of that Back Up.

As with the older versions, there is an automatic back up feature within 2009. That file (ftmb) is a back up, but it does NOT contain the Media folders.

As this posting is a more generic message, you might consider backing up more then just your Genealogy Program files (Family Tree Maker Family Files).

I back up my Desktop computer Weekly with Cobian Back Up 8 from

I also back up my Laptop, two different ways: 1) Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare, and 2) a Back Up utility that came on an External USB Hard Drive. Over cautious on the Laptop? You bet. I know that this PC needs to be replaced AND its "on the road" a lot. The OneCare Back Up is do an External Hard Drive off of my Desktop (via a network connection) and the other Back Up is to the portable USB Hard Drive.

What I back Up are ALL Files and Folders in my My Documents and My Photograph Folders.

One final recommendation. Check your Back Up's.

I test my Family Tree Maker Back Up files at least monthly. Again, there will be a specific Blog entry on how to do this in the near future. Briefly, its File, Restore from Back Up.

Coping files to a USB Drive are also helpful. BUT, I have had two fail on me, over time. So, I don't rely on these drives as my Back up.

Back Up Now !!!

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