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BACKING UP FILES vs GEDCOMS

BACKING UP FILES vs GEDCOMS

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 3:02AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have Windows & and PAF 5.2

1st problem: When I do a "back-up" of my file it creates a "zip file". Aren't the "zip files" obsolete? I then can't open them.

2nd problem: When I export to make a "GEDCOM", it doubled my database. How do I delete the duplicates at once instead of one by one?

Re: BACKING UP FILES vs GEDCOMS

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 11:50AM GMT
Classification: Query
20 Aug. 2012

Starting with Windows XP you can open zip files by double clicking on them. What you find inside is a copy of your PAF database, which is a specially formatted file and essentially unreadable except in PAF itself (there are text lines in the file that are readable).

The advantage of the backup file is that it can be read directly into PAF without going through the import and conversion step necessary for a gedcom.

Unless you are sending the gedcom to someone else to import into their genealogy program (the reason that the gedcom format was developed) or are using it as the input for some other program, there's no need to export your PAF into a gedcom, except perhaps as a safety precaution.

If you are comfortable using the command line, you can go to the folder where your PAF files are stored and use the command:

erase *.zip

to delete all the backup files (they will not be put into the Recycle Bin, just deleted). But PAF will continue to prompt you to backup your file.

Dave

Re: BACKING UP FILES vs GEDCOMS

Posted: 21 Aug 2012 3:01AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank-you Dave for getting back to me. I actually have WINDOWS 7. I have gone to PAF>BACK-UP, it makes a zip file, I double click on it and I get the error box saying,

"Windows can't open this file: FILE: SHAWS 8-1012.paf
To open this file, Windows needs to know what program you want to use to open it. Windows can go online to look it up automatically, or you can manually select from a list of programs that are installed on your computer. What do you want to do? NOW WHAT DO i DO?

Re: BACKING UP FILES vs GEDCOMS

Posted: 21 Aug 2012 11:54AM GMT
Classification: Query
21 Aug. 2012

My main machine is a Windows XP box and on that one when I double click on a zip file it opens a separate window and displays the contents, which is the .paf file.

Tried the same thing on my Win 7 netbook. It doesn't open a separate window, but replaces the current directory view with the contents of the zip file, which once again is the .paf file.

When I double click on the .paf file inside the zip file, Win 7 gives me the same error message that you received.

But because the .paf file in the zip file is the last backup of your regular .paf file, there's no reason to open it; in fact, you wouldn't want to open it because PAF will then revert to the backup version of the file, and you'll lose your most recent changes. The net effect would be the same as going to the File menu within PAF and clicking on the Restore option.

The backup .paf file in the zip file is your fall-back in case you have a major problem with your main .paf file, such as a match and merge gone horribly wrong, or a gedcom import that had problems. Yes, you could start over from a gedcom file that you created, but unless you create the gedcom on a regular basis, it could well be more out of date than PAF's backup files.

I would not recommend deleting the zip file backups.

Dave

Re: BACKING UP FILES vs GEDCOMS

Posted: 21 Aug 2012 2:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank-you for the information Dave. It has been helpful.
Cindy Shaw

Re: BACKING UP FILES vs GEDCOMS

Posted: 21 Aug 2012 3:45PM GMT
Classification: Query
21 Aug. 2012

Just a final note on backups and file sizes.

My main .paf file is 3372 KB in size, the gedcom for it is 1927 KB in size, and the backup .zip file is 463 KB in size.

As you can see, the .zip file is a very efficient storage form for the backup.

Dave
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