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Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 6:22AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 24 Dec 2012 6:22AM GMT
I am ready my throw my copy of Family Tree Maker in the bin! I have now tried to merge my two trees (1600 people into 4000 people) three times and got about half way through the merge process and it shut down. Three times!!! An hour or more each time!!!! It seems the program can only run for an hour or so before it gets tired and had to be restarted to get its oomph back. I wouldn't recommend this program to anyone.
Ancestry.com you need to pick up your act!!

Re: Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 9:54AM GMT
Classification: Query
jc33b

I just love posts like this!

You provide absolutely no information about what version of FTM you are using, more critically absolutely no information about your computer specs and in particular how much RAM and hard drive capacity, processor speed you have.

Further, you do not advise whether you have compacted and optimised both files before you started the merge. This is important.

Additionally you do not advise if you have media linked to the files and how much.

Nor do you have appeared to have considered merging part of the file at a time in order to not exceed your computer's apparent limitations. I am guessing here about your computer specs, as you don't bother to provide this key information.

But your problem appears to be that you are exceeding your computer's ability to handle large files.

It is always great when people in this situation then blame the program.

Perhaps you should use another program?

But if you really want to merge the files and want some assistance from this list, perhaps you could put away your frustration which does nothing to solve the problem, and instead formulate a complete query giving the list the essential information in order to advise you on how to carry out a successful merge.


Over to you



John D

Re: Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 3:08PM GMT
Classification: Query
This has long been a problem with FTM (starting with version 2008). Typically this means that the program has run out of memory during the merge and crashes. It does not matter that CPU (and speed) or amount of memory your computer has for this problem to occur. FTM can only use (address) the first 4GB of ram and typically 60 - 75% of that RAM is use by the OS, other programs, etc..

Regards,

Re: Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 25 Dec 2012 12:54PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for the reply. I had read a similar posting about the 4GB limitation after I posted my message, and my FTM files were sitting on 3.91GB which might explain it. Of course 1.3Gb of that were the two backup files that FTM recommended I create before I commenced the merge. I have since copied the backup files to an external disk to create space, compacted my files and will try the merge again.

It is a bit frustrating that I followed the program's instructions to the letter, including the backup files, and was never warned it might crash. Indeed, why can't the program warn about that at the beginning of the merge rather than an hour into the operation?

Re: Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 25 Dec 2012 1:03PM GMT
Classification: Query
My version is family Tree Maker 2012.

My computer is a HP Pavillion dv6 Notebook PC with 4.00 GB of Installed Memory (RAM).

Re: Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 25 Dec 2012 4:21PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 25 Dec 2012 4:22PM GMT
The 4 GB limit is a RAM limit, not file size limit. I had to split my family files back when I was using FTM 2006 because the 2GB file size limit was reached. When I try to merge the files again in 2012, the program crashes. Both files, including media, is about 69GB now.

FTM will use available RAM memory until it crashes. This occurs somewhere between 1.3 and 1.5GB of FTM RAM usage. At this point, the OS, other programs, have used up all of the 4 GB of RAM. it does not matter what amount of RAM your system has (mine has 12GB), FTM will still crash under its current programming.

Please make sure you send a bug report to FTM (I have since version 2008 to solve this problem.) I'd think too that the program could warn the user of the coming crash before the merge actually happens. I used to have to wait overnight for the program to crash during a merge. So for now, the two files remain separate (my ancestry and my wife's ancestry.) You could say that FTM has caused my children's family to split :(.

Regards,

Re: Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 25 Dec 2012 11:11PM GMT
Classification: Query
As you appear to be runing out of memory, I assume that you have closed down any other running programs when trying the merge

I would suggest that you spilt your donor file into [say] 4 sections see

http://ftm.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3669/kw/spli...

Now compact your main file and the 4 donor files (call them D1 through to D4)

Now merge D1 with your main file

Set the merge threshold to around 500

Save and compact the file

Now merge D2 with the main file + D1

Repeat the backups and compact

Repeat until you have all the parts merged

Now run the usual find duplicates etc, and generally clean the file up

Depending on the source of the donor file you will also probably have to clean up, the places and sources etc

John D

Re: Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 12:03AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have split the file and merged it successfully after deleting the two backup files. A curious effect is that the program had converted all female spouses and mothers to 'not preferred' effectively breaking up the families. I will now need to go through all 5700 files to check them.

Still not happy.

Re: Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 5:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
Software, good software and not this FTM junk is designed so that ERRORS are TRAPPED and an automated recovery process is provided. An amateur genealogist wants to expend time on his HOBBY and not have to spend hours becoming proficient with recovery mechanisms for poorly designed software. And FTM is poorly designed. John did you bother to read that “Solution” you so smugly provided? I develop software for a living and I can tell you from experience that well-designed software contains AUTOMATED ERROR RECOVERY processes. You see John, A few years back PCs weren’t being sold because they were difficult to use. people simply avoided them. The PC world faced a dilemma: how could they make computers accessible to everyone? The industry underwent a revolution we called “PLUG and PLAY”. The idea was simple: when a person buys software they can either download or insert a disk/cdrom/dvd into their computer and by magic, the software is loaded and operational. When something breaks, the software senses the problem and should provide an automated recovery mechanism… like when the FTM sync fails. Only FTM doesn’t fix the problem they merely tell the user “You go fix it” and eventually,this requires MERGING two trees. You see John, the software world realized you couldn’t sell software that wasn’t “Bulletproof” and now, software developers have huge libraries of code available to monitor everything in the computer and something as trifling as file sizes and merge operations are automated. Competent software developers design these kinds of mechanisms into their programs every day. FTM decided that rather than fix the sync process, they would force users to perform a tedious and complicated manual process culminating ina MERGE requiring their users to expend hours on what should be an automated process. A sync error should be “REPAIRED” with a simple utility but then FTM doesn’t care to provide this to their customers. So now some poor guy who just wants to trace his family roots spends two days trying to merge two trees while ancestry.com charges $25 a month for access the guy can’t use. I now have TWO of the same family tree in Ancestry.com; two files on my computer with different names and not sure which one is actually the "correct" one. I have no idea which tree, if any, is sync'd as I HAVE TWO TREES WITH THE SAME NAME on ancestry.com. And all I wanted to do was trace the family roots. Tomorrow, I will cancel the ancestry.com membership and move on to something else or maybe not. I do software for a living and I don't want to come home and have to debug bad code. BTW John, the sync feature is what FTM states is their big advantage over the competition. So what is the advantage when sync is no longer useable? I am dead in the water and have no desire to expend anymore time fixing issues that I had no control over and FTM offers no support at all.

Re: Can't merge two trees in Family Tree Maker

Posted: 17 Mar 2013 12:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi John, I noticed your reply and the advice is all well and good if you have a good knowledge of computers, I do not and FTM 12 was supposed to make my life easier and it does..and it does not,

If we all knew about the things you were writing about we probably would not have to post on here in the first place. We are not all ignorant people and maybe you could think about that before you start insulting peoples intelligence! rude much!
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