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Family Tree Maker file won't open

Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 3 Oct 2009 6:49PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am unable to open my 76 Mb Family Tree Maker file, version 7.0 from 1999. My computer is a Dell using XP and was bought June 2008. The file had worked on the computer until recently.

History of the problem:
One of the family screens had been unavailable for awhile. The wife on the screen is Eunice Goes. A researcher phoned to ask about her. When I tried to access that screen from the index, the error message said:

"The information in the specified file has been damaged and cannot be used. Please revert to a backup (*.FBK) file."

She was not in a separate file, so I didn't understand the error message. When I clicked on OK, the file I had open disappeared. The program was still open, so I could open a file. I opened the same file several times. It worked well except for that one screen.

Using the index, I tried to open the family screen that contained Eunice. Several attempts failed, each time giving me the same error message and forcing me out of the file. The file continued to work fine except on that one screen (there may be others about which I am unaware).

I decided to approach that screen from the screen of one of the children. It failed the same way, each time with the same error message, until the fourth attempt. That time, I got the error message, but instead of closing the file, it let me see the screen for Eunice. However, it was a frozen screen. None of the options worked (such as Notes, Sources, changing to the screen of a parent or child, Scrapbook, etc.). That is when I made the most serious mistake. I clicked on the X to exit the program.

The program remembers the last screen and opens the file to that last screen. In this case, it was a screen which couldn't be accessed. Therefore, the file can no longer be opened. The backup file reacts the same way, because the backup was overwritten when I last exited the program from the frozen screen of Eunice.

History of my attempts to correct the problem:
1) I renamed the file temporarily and tried to open it hoping the program would not know which was the last screen. That failed (same message).
2) It was suggested to me that the problem was a bad spot on my hard drive. I did a disk defragmentation in case that might cause the file to be moved to another location. Same message.
3) I moved the file to another computer and opened it there. Same message.

A computer-savvy friend thought the instructions for opening the file might be in a separate file on my hard drive, but moving the file to another computer didn't help. He and another person suggested that the opening instructions might be in the registry. But, the second computer's registry would not have that information, but the file gave the same error message just the same.

All of this makes me think that the instruction to open on a certain screen is within the genealogy file itself. My guess is that it would be near the beginning of the file so that it can be used as the file is being opened.

I phoned Family Tree Maker, but they no longer fix corrupted files (although they did in the past). I wrote to two service companies which fix family tree maker files, but neither answered in a month or more.

Until this problem occurred, I had been adding data to the file daily. My previous manually-made backup file was 12 months earlier.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Cliff



Re: Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 3 Oct 2009 8:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
Cliff,

Please go to any Family Page and run these two Utilities:

CTRL+ALT+C = FileCompression

CTRL+ALT+SHFT+UpArrow = FileChecker

Are there any Errors?

Russ

Re: Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 3 Oct 2009 10:02PM GMT
Classification: Query
Since I can't open the corrupted file, I opened the year-old backup. Your first instruction caused Catalyst Control Center to open. I saw nothing about any errors or file compression there. The program relates to my monitor display. Your second instruction caused Family File Checker to open. There were ten errors.

Cliff

Re: Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 4 Oct 2009 12:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
Cliff,


Please run this Utility from any Individual's Family Page:

CTRL+ALT+SHFT+LeftArrow

Please go to this website:

http://pastftm.custhelp.com/

Enter 1396 into the "Keyword Search" box and read that Knowledge Base Article. It should help you with this Error Message, and describe how to use the LOG file

Russ

Re: Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 5 Oct 2009 1:19AM GMT
Classification: Query
Russ,

I appreciate your attempt to help, but the corrupted file won't open (see my original message for details), therefore I can't view any individual's family page. That means I can't perform the actions you recommended.

If I can get the file open, then your instructions might help me gain access to the one family page that was unavailable to viewing, and to correct any other errors about which I was unaware. Right now, however, I can't see even one individual's family page.

Cliff

Re: Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 5 Oct 2009 3:02AM GMT
Classification: Query
Cliff,

If I had a way to get your 75 Mb file, I'd give it a try with a newer version of Family Tree Maker. Not what that this would work, but I would try.

My email won't handle a file that size.

This is a good reason why we all should make frequent Back ups of our Family Files, using the File, Back up command.

Russ

Re: Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 26 Apr 2013 2:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hey Cliff,

Were you able to resolve your issue? I ask because I am in the same situation. I did not backup my files as often as I should and I hadn't backed up in over a year though I thought I had set it to autobackup.

Anyhow, my most recent Family Tree Maker 2010 file is 54.1 MB and will not open. It asks to compact the file and yet when I try to open the file to compact it doesn't open and an "unable to compact" file pops up. I have updated my Windows and my FTM 2010 file is up-to-date too. I have uninstalled the program and re-installed it (I still had the disk) with no luck. My older back ups show up fine. I even made a "new" tree to see if it was the program, but the new tree did not crash so I think it is something with my file.

I am at a loss--3 years of work. I want it back and once I do, I plan on taking advantage of the mitigation utility so I can move it to a Mac since I am unimpressed with PCs and, I will back up often.

Anyhow, how did you open your large file and resolve the issue??

Re: Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 26 Apr 2013 4:01AM GMT
Classification: Query
Philly1978,

Create a new file, with no one in it, just start a new file, then do a File, Merge, with that file that "won't open".

Russ

Re: Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 26 Apr 2013 6:26PM GMT
Classification: Query
I tried the merge and I get an error code:

Failed to open file: C:\Documents and Settings.....\Labrego.ftm (this is my file that I can't open)

Error code: 173 Unsupported Locale used for index collation:
Error code: 120 Index opening error: HistoryList_ID_IDX

Miguel

Re: Family Tree Maker file won't open

Posted: 26 Apr 2013 11:47PM GMT
Classification: Query
Miguel,

Thanks for the update.

Do you have any Back Up's of that file? (the one that won't open). On that YOU created.

Russ
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