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Corrupt FTM & FTMB files / loss of names after sync

Replies: 4

Corrupt FTM & FTMB files / loss of names after sync

Posted: 28 Nov 2011 10:17AM GMT
Classification: Query
I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this. I've lost close to 750 individuals and many, many hours of manual input as a result of these problems. (I'm extremely frustrated and angry about it to be honest.)

I had large tree on Ancestry.com and in FTM 2011. My subscription to Ancestry.com lapsed so I manually entered a lot of data from old notes and scraps of paper into FTM 2011. I had just over 2600 names in the FTM file. Like many I'm sure, I had data in each of the two places that wasn't in the other.

I ordered and installed FTM 2012 with its nifty sync feature but hesitated because of the FTM disparity between Ancestry.com and my FTM 2011 tree. Ancestry tech support suggested I use the merge function and then do the sync using the FTM file as the starting point.

There were some 1000 names to reconcile. One-at-a-time. Ultimately, I tried the merge 4 times. The first time, after reconciling about 300 names, I hit the back button and it took me out of the merge entirely, leaving me to start over. The next 2 times after doing several hundred names, the merge locked up. I had to reboot to get everything running again. The 4th time, I took the option to just accept everything that was in the FTM file.

Now I think I'm ready to use FTM 2012 and do the sync. Problem now is that it tells me that the FTM and FTMB files are corrupt. I tried opening them in FTM 2011 and got the same error.

Unable to open any recent FTM or FTMB files, I finally decided to do the sync via the download from Ancestry.com and create a new FTM file option. The online tree having just under 2000 individuals (vs. the 2600+ in the FMT file that wouldn't open).

When it finished I discovered that there were lots of duplicates - anywhere between 2 and 4 of some names - in several of the surnames. I clicked on each duplicate to see what the pedigree displayed and one of them might have most of the information - children (siblings to the person I was checking), both father's and mother's lines back several generations. Another of that same name might have the parent's lines going back, but no children, yet another might have just a few of the children and only one of the parent's lines.

After picking the most complete "version" of the names in question, deleting the others, running the duplicate person tool and reconciling all of those, I had eliminated over 100 more names.

Having started with an FTM 2011 file with well over 2600 my new FTM 2012 file had just over 1900. Those 700+ names represent an awful lot of work. And facing the re-keying of all of that makes me wonder if it's worth the effort. I don't know what caused the FTM and FTMB files to become corrupt. It seems it could happen again, at any time, for whatever reason.

Rebuilding using the online hints isn't an option. For one thing I had entered a lot of details for some of those names including uploaded obits, photos, wedding and birth announcements. Mainly though, I can't afford the $300 to renew the subscription right now to even see what the hints are.

So ... has anyone else had their backup files go bad for no apparent reason? Or, after linking Ancestry.com and FTM, find they have dozens and dozens of duplicate names?
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
bruces1 28 Nov 2011 5:17PM GMT 
frostfreedet 28 Nov 2011 6:08PM GMT 
Romero1957_1 14 Oct 2013 6:54PM GMT 
frostfreedet 14 Oct 2013 10:25PM GMT 
alanmon 15 Oct 2013 11:25AM GMT 
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