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Help, I am new to RM


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#1 Cheri

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 05:12 PM

I am brand new to Roots Magic and cannot seem to figure it out. I purchased the book when I got the program, too. I can't import data correctly, I can't merge duplicate individuals correctly, I can't save the file to a cd, let's just cut to the chase I can't do anything correctly. I am so frustrated I am ready to give up and bring out the sledge hammer to the computer and RM cd. Is there anyone out there who is willing to help me????? Please, please, please. RM comes highly recommended, but apparently not for my pea brain. I have been using a free one downloaded from myfamily.com and I really wanted a nice program to work with and I thought RM was the one. Thanks, Cheri.

#2 Alfred

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 06:08 PM

When the program opens, there is a nearly blank gray screen.

in the toolbar, only a few tool are active, OPTIONS is one, multi colored geometric shapes, Click on that and then "FOLDERS"
There you set the folders to be the defaults.
I put RootsMagic in My Documents and then a backup, GEDCOM, reports and Printoust folder within that. (I already had a folder for my photos, so I just entered the root of those photo files.

Now, Go to the Files menu and select NEW and create a new database, give it a name ans select the options you wish to use. ( don't like surnames in all uppercase, for instance.) The database will be created in the folder you set as the top choice, "RootsMagic Files."

Press the I key to add the first individual, you could use the Add Menu item and choose individual.
Fill in as many of the available fields as you know and click OK or [Alt]-[o], and you get another window where you can add more facts by choosing the add a fact button and choosing the one you want to fill in. You can add notes and or sources to each individual and or to each fact.


---
To import an existing database, you first have to have it in a GEDCOM file, then create a new database, then choose File menu and "Import GEDCOM file," navigate to that file and choose it and you should soon see the data on one of the RootsMagic main screens.

You cannot save a database to a CD unless you have "drive letter access" or Direct write capabilities to the CD, which takes some preperation. You cannot work with a database on a CD though. The easiest way to use the CD is for backups and GEDCOM files which you create on the hard drive, then copy to the CD.

Merge duplicate individuals?
Right click on one of them, choose merge then "SELECT" the other as the duplicate individual and click on merge, or swap them and merge the other way.


Alfred

#3 Cheri

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 02:07 PM

Alfred, thanks so much for your help in setting up my roots magic. I set up my folders as you suggested and started on my data base and even imported one from a family member, I tried to save my data on a CD for backup but then later I could not restore it, I got a message that said backup files are not fully restored. Do you know what that is all about??? I backed up several different RM files on different CDs and none of them were fully restored. So I have no way of accessing them should I need them in the event of a computer crash. How do I go about backing them up on CD ? Should I change them out of the RM format into another format or what???? Do you back yours up on floppys or cds? I have a file with thousands of people on it and it will take too many floppys, won't it???

Thanks,
Cheri

#4 Alfred

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 02:26 PM

There are too many CD burning programs for me to have any idea what is going on with the CD.

You can backup the database to your hard drive and then copy that backup file to a CD for safekeeping, but backing up, directly to a CD is more complicated, some of the time, depending on the program used.

I do not think that I have ever seen or even heard of the "The backup files are not fully restored" error.

My advice:
Backup to a folder on your hard drive
Copy those backup files, DatabaseName.ZIP, by default, to a CD.
To Restore, you should be able to restore directly from the CD, but be sure that you restore in a different folder than the default, or you will overwrite your original database.

If restoring from the CD doesn't work, copy the ZIP file to the hard drive, right click on it, select Properties, click on the "Read Only" attribute to remove the checkmark. Then, try restoring the backup, but still in a different folder than the original file is in.


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#5 Cheri

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 02:34 PM

Alfred, Thanks so much for your super quick reply and advice. I was reviewing all the other posts on the message board. I wonder if I will ever get the hang of this. You are such a pro. I think I need a tutorial program, which is what this forum seems to be. It is great to have people like you helping beginners like me. Thanks again.

#6 aplucinik

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 03:17 PM

QUOTE (Cheri @ Mar 25 2005, 01:07 PM)
I tried to save my data on a CD for backup but then later I could not restore it, I got a message that said backup files are not fully restored. Do you know what that is all about???

Cheri,

Make sure that in the "Restore Backup" dialog window, the "Folder to Restore Backup In" field includes the Drive Letter, i.e. C:\FAMHIST\DATA\. I've noticed that if the "Folder to Restore Backup In" field does not include the Drive letter, i.e. it is entered as only \FAMHIST\DATA\ , then you get an error message saying the backup was not fully restored. In other words, the restore backup fails. But if I include the drive letter then the backup is restored without problem.




#7 Alfred

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 04:46 PM

Well! cool.gif

I just learned something. blink.gif

And, I thought I knew it all! mad.gif
Alfred

#8 Cheri

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 07:42 PM

Allen and Alfred, I put in the letter drive and my restore worked like a charm.....(I had been fretting over this for almost a week) I finally think I like this program... Thank you both for all your help. I know where to go for expert advice now.
Cheri smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif

#9 JohnAZ

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 11:18 PM

I never, ever want to lose all the 7,000 plus folks I have entered already into my Roots Magic file. (I couldn't do this work all over again- once is a huge job). I write it to my SanDisk USB-port flash drive (about $50 for 256MB at Costco, etc.) as a backup each day, and I burn it to a CD or DVD disc more or less weekly, too. Backing up only on the regular "C" drive will get you nowhere if the hard drive crashes. To write the backup, I can find the Roots Magic file by going to programs-accessories-windows explorer- programs-roots magic, then select the working file to be saved. If I ever need to restore, I just put it back from where it came from, not in "My Documents", but in the program file as explained. Hope this will save someone a disaster.

#10 JohnAZ

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 11:25 PM

Further, with the USB Flash Drive I not only use it for backup but also to move the Roots Magic files between my two desktops and my laptop, as needed. Of course, you need to first install the Roots Magic program on all the machines. So, now I can work anywhere with my laptop on genealogy, like in the library, and then transfer the enhanced file to my desktops when I get back to the office or home. In some ways, like cost, it beats burning a lot of CD's or DVD's, and flash drives are much easier to carry around.

#11 Cheri

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 02:50 PM

John, I don't know why I did not think of using a flash drive.... My son uses one all the time to transfer data from our home computer to the ones at school. Thanks so much for your excellent idea. Do you know what the life is of a flash drive?????
Thanks again, Cheri

#12 JohnAZ

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:09 PM

I don't know what is the life of a flash drive, but I think there is no practical limit. I view my flash drive as a handy temporary "external drive" to more files around and store files temporarily. I backup with a 300 gegabite external hard drive on my desktop PC. I also write data to DVD's, which hold about 6 times what a CD will hold, and then store them in a fireproof lock box. I never want to re-enter all this genealogy data. I'm a big fan of flash drives, they are easy to use. You can password protect the flash drive, so if you lose it then no one else can get to the files, and this feature comes with the flash drive. I work as President/CEO of Liquidmetal Technologies who are making a special metal case for the new SanDisk flash drive that will hit the market in another month or two-- the case will withstand 4,000 lbs. load, i.e., you could drive your car over the flash drive if you mistakenly drop it in the street or garage and all that valuable data will be intact. Much better than a plastic case. Be sure to consider the new 2 gegabite SanDisk USB port flash drive with the Liquidmetal case as soon as it hits the market.
JohnArizona