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Need Help Restoring Lost Data after a Places Merge


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#1 deckie49

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 02:57 PM

Today I noticed that I had a duplicate entry for a place in which a cemetery was located. I merged the two places without any issues.

I then noticed in the Place Details list that there were two duplicate entries for the cemetery. I also noticed there was a Place Detail called "n/a".

I wasn't able to merge the two duplicate cemetery names. Apparently, that is not withing RM's ability. But I did delete the "n/a". Doing that completely erased all data accociated with the cemetery place and place details.

Is it possible to recove my lost data?

I know there is no "undo" function in RM. 

Does RM do periodic backups in the background that might be restored?

Is there an SQLite function?

Or, barring any of the above possibilities, would it be possible to edit the GEDCOM to bring back the information?

 

Thank you all in advance!



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:56 PM

There is no undo to solve this problem, no periodic backups in the background to solve this problem, and no SQLite function to solve this problem. You will need to restore from the most recent backup that you yourself took. You could have taken a backup via File>Backup or you could have taken a backup via an automatic backup you took when exiting RM if you have that option enabled. An automatic backup during exit (which does exist if you turn it on)  is not the same thing as a periodic backup in the background while you are working (which does not exist).

 

I'm guessing here, but I suspect you have been bitten by a poor design in the user interface for Place and Place Details. Namely, when you are in the Place screen and highlight a Place, you see all the Place Details associated with that Place. You can then highlight a Place Detail. But if you do so and immediately click on Delete or Merge, you are really deleting or merging the Place you are on, not the Place Detail you clicked. If you want to Delete or Merge a Place Detail, you have to click the Place Detail button in addition to highlighting a Place Detail. Simply highlighting the Place Detail is not enough. The software is working as designed in this screen, but it's really broken as designed because the design is broken. It will be interesting to see if the handling of Place and Place Details in this regard is improved in RM8.

 

In your particular case, you almost certainly highlighted the Place Detail of "n/a", didn't click the Place Details Button, and did click the Delete button. Without realizing it, you were still on the Place and not on the Place Details so you deleted the whole Place. If you don't have any backups, you will have to find all the events in your database that were using the Place you deleted and type it back in. This could be a significant challenge.

 

Back to your original comments. It actually is within RM's ability to merge two identical cemeteries without merging the whole place or to delete a single cemetery or other Place Detail without deleting the whole Place. The key is remembering to click the Place Details button, and you have no incentive to do so since it feels like you have already selected Place Details to delete or merge.

 

Jerry



#3 Vyger

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 09:44 AM

Back to your original comments. It actually is within RM's ability to merge two identical cemeteries without merging the whole place or to delete a single cemetery or other Place Detail without merging the whole Place. The key is remembering to click the Place Details button, and you have no incentive to do so since it feels like you have already selected Place Details to delete or merge.

 

Jerry

 

Agreed, I do this often and it is common to end up with two same Place Details after a Place Merge but as Jerry said you need to click and enter the Place Details window to do so.

 

As regards retrieving your data,

 

One idea would be to restore the most recent backup (before the loss) to a new and empty database,

Export everyone from the restored backup file who are using the PLACE you lost to a Gedcom file

Import the Gedcom file into your existing Master database

Click and run all Automatic Merges which will remove the mass of the duplication now existing

Your lost Place and and Place Details will be back with the events they are associated with

Mark anyone using that Place or Print the Place (previously lost) as you will want to check your file for residual duplication.

 

If you have a recent backup where not much has changed until your recent file you may wish to just restore it and work from there.


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

It's now time for discretion, trust, patience and support

 

User of Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Historian 6.2.7, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#4 deckie49

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 12:40 PM

Thank you both for your help and ideas. Fortunately, it hasn't been too long since my last update, so this is fixable. I guess I should consider myself lucky for that :) .

 

I think the most upsetting and confusing part about all this is that I just cannot understand why Rootsmagic has such "minefields" as this that clearly put our data in jepordy. As you mention, Jerry, this issue has already been brought to the attention of management, probably more than a few times, They are perfectly aware of the issue. Yet, they choose to ignore fixing the issues and instead focus on "features" designed to make the program look better than it is, and lure in more users. I don't begrudge anyone from doing well in business, but I have a difficult time trusting or respecting anyone who would knowingly ignore issues that pose dangers to their customers data.

Where's the integrity in that?