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#21 TomH

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 01:41 PM

I wonder about syncing the Toolbar, the custom spelling dictionary and the user data between computers... That would be RMSpell.adu, RMSpell.ini, RMToolbar.ini, and RootsMagicUser.xml. But that might be more trouble than it's worth...

Turns out that this is not so hard.

On the desktop:
1. I copied the folder C:\Users\Tom\AppData\Roaming\RootsMagic to Google Drive and renamed it "RootsMagic AppData".
2. I renamed the original folder "RootsMagic-original" so I could replace it with a symbolic link named the same as original.
3. Then, from the command prompt:
C:\Users\Tom>mklink /J "C:\Users\Tom\AppData\Roaming\RootsMagic" "C:\SD\Google Drive\RootsMagic AppData"

Make sure that the "RootsMagic AppData" folder is included in Google Drive's sync scope on both the desktop and the portable computer. The portable should soon have that folder.

Then repeat the steps above on the second computer except skip step 1 (or you will end up sending your portable settings to the desktop), assuming you have the same directory structure on both the desktop and the portable. If not, then you will have to change the mklink command parameters to suit.

I got this idea from http://www.dropboxwi...c-other-folders so it works with any of the synchronising utilities.

I don't know what the downsides may be - the upside is that my user toolbar and custom dictionary and other user things are now synced between my desktop and my portable, along with the database files. Just have to remember to Pause sync when working in RootsMagic and Resume sync when finished.

Edited by TomH, 06 April 2014 - 09:30 PM.

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#22 TomH

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:33 PM

What I'm wondering is: is it possible to write a DOS-level batch file that will pause DropBox and/or Google Drive before running RootsMagic, and then resuming sync operations automatically when RM shuts down?

I have not had success finding anything in the way of a Windows command line interface to DropBox or Google Drive - there appear to be two or three third party shells for Linux.

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#23 TomH

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:39 PM

1. I forgot to pause Google Drive and discovered it was syncing three files, not one - two syncs of the database file and one of a journal file. ... Anyway, that reinforced the lesson that working on the RootsMagic database in an active sync folder is folly - the sync utility (whether Google Drive, DropBox...) will chase itself silly trying to keep up.

Recently, I have gotten deeper into this issue of sharing a common database among multiple computers, in my case, single user which makes life a lot easier than among different users with varying technical skills. In my case, I have a laptop acting as my desktop, an iPad with the read only app syncing through Dropbox and an 8" Dell Windows 8 tablet which really got me going more deeply into this subject.

As of a few days ago, I have established the same folder structure for the RootsMagic database, media files and backups on both the laptop and tablet, most within a Google Drive folder, backups in a OneDrive folder.... Thus the media files are linked correctly in both computers and any changes I make to the database or media on one computer are synchronised on the other. See http://forums.rootsm...ets/#entry63209

The one caveat with the above arrangement is the need to Pause Sync while working on the database to not waste bandwidth and avoid file contention between the synchroniser and RootsMagic. And I have forgotten, which has led to an enhanced solution which could be of interest to collaborators on a common database. The idea is to check (move) out the database file from the sync folder to a purely local folder, work on it there and check (move) it back into the sync folder when finished. That has the virtues of not having to remember to pause/resume sync, of removing the database from the cloud and the other computers so it cannot be worked on concurrently, and, in the case of my tablet, moving the file from the slow microSD card to the fast SSD for speedier working in RM.

I have developed a Windows command (batch file) that checks the file out, opens it with RootsMagic and on closing, checks the file back in. It's not fancy but seems to work as intended. The command window has to be left open while RM is open - I think that closing the command window should close RM but it might not be a graceful ending.. have to test.

Now I realize that the natural home base for the database could be the DropBox folder to which the mobile app synchronises. That would keep all three devices synchronised...

with minimum effort while avoiding contention over the database among multiple users (or, at least, the same user on different devices).

Here is a command file I wrote as a start. Paths have to be changed to suit each computer's configuration. I call the command file using a shortcut with the database filename as a parameter and the Start in folder is where the command file should be and is where the database file will be moved while it is being worked on. In my case, C:\checkedout.

ECHO OFF
ECHO ' RMcheckout.cmd
ECHO '
ECHO ' 2014-04-07 Tom Holden ve3meo
ECHO '
ECHO ' Objective is to move a RootsMagic database out of a DropBox, Google Drive
ECHO ' or other actively synchronising folder to a temporary local only folder,
ECHO ' launch RootsMagic on the database, and then on closing RootsMagic,
ECHO ' move the revised database file back to the synchronising folder.
ECHO ' Requires the cmd file to be in the database's non-synchronising folder.
ECHO '
REM Usage RMcheckout.cmd databasefilename
REM (can be a shortcut anywhere as long as the starting folder is the non-sync folder)
ECHO '
ECHO ' Move the database file %1 from the sync folder to the local only folder (checked-out).
Pause
MOVE "C:\Users\Tom\Dropbox\Apps\RootsMagic\"%1
ECHO '
ECHO ' Open database %1 with RootsMagic
ECHO ' N.B. Database file will remain checked out of the sync folder until you close RootsMagic
Pause
"C:\Program Files (x86)\RootsMagic 6\RootsMagic.exe" "C:\checkedout\"%1
ECHO ' Move the database file %1 back to the synchronising folder
Pause
MOVE %1 "C:\Users\Tom\Dropbox\Apps\RootsMagic\"
ECHO '
ECHO ' Database %1 should now be back in the sync folder (checked-in).
ECHO ' Exit cmd.exe
Pause
END
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#24 zhangrau

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 05:05 AM

Nicely done.

#25 TomH

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:06 PM


...
So now I have DropBox, GoogleDrive and OneDrive/SkyDrive resident on my microSD card and all appearing to work normally.

This hasn't freed up much on the C drive because I did not have a lot of user files in it, still around 6GB plus 11GB on the microSD. I'll have to worry about how to replace the 16GB microSD with a 64GB one down the road ...

So Best Buy/Future Shop had a 50% off sale on a SanDisk Extreme Plus UHS-1 64GB microSDXC card that I could not resist, i.e., it cost $100. This card claims up to 80MB/s read and 50MB/s write speeds, well above my Lexar Class 10 16GB microSDHC card and higher than the 25MB/s speed limit on the computer port. The migration proved to be tricky but the outcome on speed tests beneficial.

 

Read speed results improved by a modest 16% up to 116%, not overly dramatic, given the manufacturer's claim of up to 80MB/s read rate. But the Venue 8 Pro bus is 25 MB/s so the closer the slow card was to that limit, the less improvement one can expect. Sequential writing is also improved by 130-165%, significant in its own right, but the whopping changes are with random writes where they range from 1400% to 274x better! Writing speed for this card is claimed to be up to 50MB/s. The tests are reported at http://en.community....0.aspx#20621870 . I have not used it enough to get a sense of the real impact.

 

To migrate from one card to the other, I did most operations on my Win7 notebook, because I could only have one card in at a time on the tablet. Moreover, I have folders for programs, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive on the card and I was wary of what might happen if these were missing while the tablet was running.

  1. Shutdown the tablet; removed 16GB card and installed it in USB adapter.
  2. Plugged the 64GB card into a SD adapter and into notebook it mounted as H:
  3. Formatted (Quick Format) the 64GB card as NTFS (as I had done originally with the 16GB card).
  4. Plugged the 16GB/USB into the notebook; it mounted as E:
  5. Here's where it first got tricky. Tried the command line XCOPY but encountered problems with hidden files in OneDrive that XCOPY could not open or could not create. I think they may be symbolic links. After much googling (or was it binging?), I downloaded and installed Win32 Disk Imager and read drive E: to an image file in a temp folder in C:. Then using the same software, I wrote the image file to the 64GB card drive H:
  6. Second trickiness. Windows Disk Management showed the H partition with its nominal 16GB capacity, the 48GB balance unallocated. However, its Extend Volume was inoperable so I was stuck with 75% wasted. After more searching and a failed attempt with Acronis Disk Director (the trial version shows promise but the feature is locked out), I succeeded with MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition (free) to combine the unallocated space with the H: volume.
  7. Now the new card, formatted NTFS with, hopefully, all the files (visible or not) from the smaller card was plugged into the tablet and booted up. Third trickiness! Dropbox reported that it could not find its folder. No protests seen from Google Drive or OneDrive. Dropbox was looking for C:\SD\Dropbox. Remember, I had mapped the original card (drive D: in the tablet) to C:\SD so I tried to do that again with the new card (same drive letter) but no go - folder must be empty. Suspecting that the folder had some hidden file that had some property of the old card in it which it could not find in the new card, I deleted and recreated C:\SD and this time mapped D: to it successfully. Dropbox has not complained since.

I think the migration is now 100% complete although something may yet turn up that will prove me wrong. I now have a substantially faster and larger second drive with 55GB of free space but my system drive is now down to a mere 3GB. More drastic measures are called for than I have taken so far. Need one worry about fragmentation on a SSD? 


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SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> Rmtrix_tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#26 TomH

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:44 PM

 Need one worry about fragmentation on a SSD? 

The answer is "No". http://www.pcworld.c...g-your-ssd.html


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#27 TomH

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 03:13 PM

Dick Eastman sent out a now-deleted test message from his blog showing RootsMagic running on the Nextbook 8 Tablet. Looking up this product a little more, I find on C|NET that Walmart USA is going to sell this Windows 8.1 tablet for $99 on Black Friday! That's half what I paid for my Dell Venue Pro 8 on which I have reported throughout this thread! 

 

Before getting too excited, beware that RootsMagic is not designed for small touch-screens and needs a keyboard which takes up much of the screen if you don't have an external one. I find it hard to work with most full Windows applications on such a small screen; the Modern Apps or whatever they are called are fine. So I would suggest a larger screen and a real keyboard/touchpad. Remarkably, there are now some very capable Windows 8.1 portable products at the $200 price point. For example:

  • HP's 11" Streambook
  • Nextbook's own 10.1" tablet with attachable keyboard

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#28 TomH

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 09:48 PM

I took the plunge to Windows  10 on my Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet and broke a couple of things. Recall that it has a small 32GB system drive and  a 64GB microSD card working as drive D. I went through machinations to move or place program and data files on the SD card while struggling to synchronise data with my Windows 7 laptop. The trick was to place synchronizing folders in the same path on both computers: C:\SD. On the tablet, that is where drive D is mounted so a file on D can also be accessed via C:\SD. For diversity and respecting my quotas, my RootsMagic databases are stored in Dropbox, media files on Google Drive and RM backups on OneDrive. Even my RootsMagic user application data files (settings and custom dictionary) are shared via Google Drive. 

 

What broke? Iirc, all the sync systems couldn't find their folders. The SD card was no longer mounted to C:\SD but remounting it restored only Google Drive. Dropbox was resurrected by relinking it but OneDrive now refuses to link directly to the SD drive and perhaps to any removable media. It would link via the C:\SD mount point but another problem surfaced: OneDrive erroneously limits downloads to the free space on C, not D; the mounted drive can have oodles of free space that OneDrive won't use if C is full. According to other forums, Microsoft is aware of these problems but no schedule of fixes has been announced.

 

I worked around this difficulty by creating a 36GB virtual hard drive on the SD card, assigning letter V (for virtual). Moved the sync folders from D (same card) to V (the VHDX file on D) and the transferred the C:\SD mount point from D to V. That broke GD and Db again but their folders were readily relinked via V and OneDrive is likewise now happy. However, the virtual drive has to be remounted with each reboot; I automated that with a script executed by Task Scheduler on start-up. These were solutions I copied from others.  


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#29 Renee Zamora

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 10:01 AM

Thanks for the update on this. I just bought a HP Stream Notebook with similar 32GB system Drive and a 64GB microSD card and need to try to point Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive to it. Creating a virtual drive is a new learning curve. Just have to Google how to do it. 


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#30 TomH

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 11:18 AM

I followed these pages, written for Windows 8 but W10 is pretty much the same:
http://www.eightforu...indows-8-a.html
http://www.eightforu...indows-8-a.html

My biggest problem was with the auto-mount script. Task Scheduler could not find it because Notepad added a second .txt suffix to the filename... It took a while to figure that out

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#31 Renee Zamora

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:50 AM

TomH I thought you might be interested in what I found last night. I was attempting to finally make my microSD card a virtual drive and just couldn't seem to follow the directions good enough. Then I stumbled onto this YouTube video that demonstrates how to have the microSD card recognized as a folder off your C drive. Then you can install programs into that folder making it appear right off the C drive. I had no problem getting my Dropbox to install onto it. The link and steps are below.

 

 

Install any program or apps on SD card
Make sure the MicroSD card had been reformatted to NTFS
Go to C drive and create a new folder "SDMount" (or any name you want)
Go to Manage > Disk Management
Select the MicroSD primary partition
Right click on it and select "Change Drive letter and Paths
Click Add
Select "Mount in the following empty NTFS folder"
Click on browse
Go to the C drive and select the "SDMount" folder
Click OK, OK
The SDMount folder is now linked to your SD Card
It will appear as if it is a folder on your C drive and programs can install to it.
 


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#32 TomH

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 12:08 PM

My C:\SD folder is the mount point for the microSD card appearing as drive D using the method outlined by the video. The catch is that of your OneDrive folder is on the removable medium, OneDrive will not link to it directly and, while it will link through the folder mount point, OneDrive will only save to the removable medium an amount up to the free space on drive C, even though there may be lots more space on D. That's why I had to resort to the virtual drive workaround for OneDrive. Hopefully, it will not be much longer until Microsoft corrects the problem with linking OneDrive to a removable medium and with OneDrive ignoring the free space on a drive mounted via a folder.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> Rmtrix_tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.