Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My RootsMagic 5 Problem was Solved Quickly

In Comments to Exploring RootsMagic 5 - Post 1: The View Screens, reader Gerry asked:

"Do you know why the database did not load the first time? (Really what I want to know is whether it was an individual glitch or a RootsMagic glitch that I can prepare for!)"

Good question, and I have some recommendations for users who are upgradng to RootsMagic 5.

My experience yesterday was:

*  Go to www.RootsMagic.com and download the RootsMagic 5 program.  The download and installation were fast, and I chose to "delete my RootsMagic 4" installed program.  That was a mistake, but it was recoverable.

*  After paying online, I received an email with my registration key.

*  When RootsMagic 5 asked me which database to open, I chose my Master RootsMagic 4 database in my computer files, and the program started to convert the database to RootsMagic 5 format. 

*  Within seconds, I got an error message that: 

"SQLite Error 1: duplicate column name: Caption "

*  The file opening stopped, and now I was stuck...I had deleted RootsMagic 4 and probably had corrupted my Master Database file.  I tweeted and streamed about it, and soon received an email from RootsMagic Technical Support asking about the error message, which I responded to.  Now I had a support ticket number.  Their email suggested that I submit the RootsMagic file that failed to them via a SendThisFile site.  I tried to send it, but it stopped after being 74% done.  Nothing was going right.

*  What to do?  First, I went to www.RootsMagic.com and downloaded RootsMagic 4 again.  Their system already knew my registration key! 

*  Fortunately, I had put a copy of my Master Database in my Dropbox account on Sunday night.  This was Monday morning, and so I copied the Dropbox file into my computer files, changed the name, and was able to work using RootsMagic 4 all day while I tried to get a database that worked in RootsMagic 5.  If I hadn't done this, I would have lost all of my changes over the past few days.  I was lucky (note, I copy my file into Dropbox, I don't save my file to Dropbox).

*  I tried to send the database file again to the SendThisFile site later, and it loaded.  However, the file I sent was the corrupted file, and I received another email from RootsMagic asking for a Backup file.

*  Since I had been working in RootsMagic 4 all day, and had made many additions and changes, I made a Backup of that file and closed my RootsMagic 4 file so that I wouldn't send an out-of-date file to RootsMagic.  I sent the Backup file to RootsMagic using the SendThisFile site.

*  This morning, I received an email from RootsMagic saying that the Backup file had been converted and providing a SendThisFile link for me to retrieve the file converted to RootsMagic 5, and saved it in my Backup file folder. 

*  I opened RootsMagic 5, used the File > Restore to open the converted Backup file from my computer files.  It worked, and I was off and running in RootsMagic 5.

My advice for anyone wanting to upgrade from RootsMagic 4 to RootsMagic 5 is to:

1.  DO NOT delete your RootsMagic 4 program installation when asked during the RootsMagic 5 setup and installation. 

2.  DO NOT use the only copy of your working file to load into RootsMagic 5.  Make a copy of the file and use the copy to open in RootsMagic 5.

This afternoon, I wanted to add RootsMagic 5 to my laptop computer, so I downloaded it from the RootsMagic site (yes, I still have RootsMagic 4 on it!), used the registration key, and loaded an older copy of my database, and then installation and file opening worked just fine.  I don't add or edit my database on the laptop, and will copy the current Master database to it later today with a USB drive.

To answer Gerry's question - I think that it was a glitch with my database.  If you follow my suggestions above (don't delete RootsMagic 4, and load a copy of your database), then you will still be able to work in RootsMagic 4 if you have a problem.  If you have a problem, contact Technical Support (support@rootsmagic.com) with a description of your problem and any error messages.

I really appreciate the Technical Support provided by RootsMagic to fix my problem.  They were efficient and fast, and I am a happy customer.


Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Randy. I need to make the change, but have been hesitant because I want to make sure my client files transfer smoothly as well.

I appreciate that RootsMagic was quick to help you with your problem. That's one of the reasons I use their software.

Jennifer Sepulvado said...

I also had problems when I tried to convert my RM4 file to an RM5 file. The first time I tried to open the file, the screen froze before even starting the conversion. I tried again, and this time the file made it partially through the conversion before it froze again. It froze while cleaning up duplicate media. Bruce did warn in the webinar that this particular part of the conversion would take awhile, but mine was frozen for about 20 minutes, and even the progress bar was at a standstill. I restarted my computer and tried again using the same file. This time I got the same error message as Randy. I was able to go past the error message, but this time it froze on upgrading media support. Luckily, I had a backup file on Mozy.com. I then restored this file and the third time worked like a charm. However, it was taking awhile again on the duplicate media cleanup, so I went to bed. In the morning, it was a miracle! I had my RM database back in RM5 format with no apparent problems. Just make sure you have a backup!!!