How To Guides:
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Sooner or later everyone gets a new computer, or a second computer, and needs to migrate Family Historian on to it. Most of the information for your family history will be stored in your GEDCOM file and attached multimedia files, or in your Project Folder in V4/V5, but some items such as Text Schemes, Queries, Fact Sets, etc., are stored elsewhere.
Also your current computer may break down. In any case it is important that you have back-ups of all the necessary data. The following sections explain where Family Historian keeps its data items and customisations that need to be backed-up or transferred in order to retain everything you use.
The simplest way to move these is to copy the entire folder to the new computer using a normal Windows Explorer copy via some intermediate storage such as a USB memory stick. This will move the GEDCOM file itself, all your linked Multimedia in the Media sub-folder, and any other project files, to the new computer. However, if you keep your Multimedia outside the Project folder, then they will need to be copied separately.
If Family Historian Version 5 is installed on both PC, then on the old PC you can use File > Backup/Restore > Full Backup (Entire Project Folder), copy the FH Project Backup - … .zip file to the new PC, and use File > Backup/Restore > Restore Backup on this file.
If you have not created customised Text Schemes, Queries, Reports, Diagrams, Fact Sets, etc, then you can simply move your Project folder and not worry about the items below.
As of V3 there are options on the File menu of FH to allow single items, such as a Query or Text Scheme to be exported to a folder of your choice and to import new items in. This works well when sharing single items with other users, but can be time consuming as a method of backing-up or moving things where you have many custom items.
Nowadays your new PC will probably use Windows 7, which includes the free Windows Easy Transfer utility in Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools, or type Windows Easy Transfer into the Start > Search box.
This utility copies all My Documents folders and files, and program settings and data from your old PC to the new PC (but it does not install the programs themselves). See the Windows Easy Transfer web pages for full details, including the operating systems supported, and the various transfer communication methods.
If you have a broadband router with multiple LAN ports or WiFi support, then simply connect both PC to the router at the same time and Windows Easy Transfer will copy your data from the old PC to the new PC via the router network connection. Other communication methods include an Easy Transfer USB cable, or USB flash drive, or external hard disk.
The utility should transfer your GEDCOM file, FH Project Folder, and FH Application Settings, along with the other documents and settings of each user account. If any data is not transferred successfully, then use the techniques below to complete the transfer.
If transferring from Windows XP, then check that the folders and files in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Calico Pie\Family Historian\ are copied to C:\ProgramData\Calico Pie\Family Historian\ as explained in Transferring the Folders below.
One limitation of Windows Easy Transfer that has been reported is that it does not cope well if the disk drive letters and usage are not organised the same way on both PC.
Family Historian Version 5 introduced a new Plugin feature that allows virtually all of the techniques described below to be automated.
Use Tools > Plugins and visit the Plugin Store to check what is available, search for “Backup” to find the plugins you need.
The Plugin specifically designed to migrate Family Historian Version 5 settings from one PC to another is Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings. See its Help & Advice pages for details, and in particular the Moving from PC to PC advice.
The follow items are stored in a set of folders on the PC, in a different place to the Family Historian application:
The Family Historian Program Data Folder location of these folders depends on the operating system on your computer. This location is NOT in the Program Files folder.
The quickest way to move these folders is to copy the Calico Pie folder over to the new machine once Family Historian has been installed. You will need to be logged on to your PC as an Administrator (for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7) as the folder may not be visible otherwise. If you still can not see the folder via Windows Explorer, using the Start button followed by Run and typing in the whole folder name will normally show the folder. Remember that if you are moving from 2000 or XP to Vista or Windows 7 you will copy the Calico Pie folder from C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data into C:\ProgramData. Do NOT use C:\Program Files.
It is also important to include this Calico Pie folder in your regular file back-up regime.
When moving from PC to PC, if Family Historian is also being upgraded from Version 3 or Version 4 to Version 5, then special care must be taken with Diagram Type (.fhd) files. Three methods are suggested:
Some preferences are stored in the Windows Registry, but for most users, it is easier to simply manually change these on the new computer rather than trying to extract and apply the changes using regedit.
It is worth making a note of your important Tools > Preferences and Record Window Options prior to moving to a new computer. One way of achieving this is to take a screen-shot of each settings window using the PrintScreen button, or the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder, or something similar, and save them in your Project Folder. If more than one user account uses Family Historian, then this should be repeated for each account in case they use different settings.
The Ancestors, Descendants, Ancestors & Descendants, All Relatives, Everyone, and V5 Blank Diagram settings need special attention.
The settings for these Diagrams (displayed via the View > Standard Diagram Types menu or via buttons on the FH toolbar) are stored in the Windows Registry, rather than in the Family Historian Program Data Folder described above for all other Diagrams. The settings can be copied to a new machine as follows:
Only one Custom Diagram Type settings file is needed because all Default Settings apply to all five Standard Diagrams, with the exception of the Generations Up/Down options, which can easily be adjusted per Diagram Type.
If more than one user account uses Family Historian, then this should be repeated for each account in case they use different Diagram defaults, taking care to use a different Custom Diagram Type name for each account.
If you have used your own Custom Icons in Diagrams, then they could be located anywhere on your PC.
View the Diagram and use Diagram > Options > Boxes, select the Condition and Edit Features button. In the Icon section, click the <<Select button, and the Select Icon window will identify the folder and Icon filename. Repeat this for each Condition that has an Icon. Now you know what Icon files to move to the new PC.
It might be advisable to move these Icon files either into your Project folder in a folder called Icons, or into the \Calico Pie\Family Historian\Icons folder mentioned above. The Diagram Icons will then need to be reselected.
If you have Custom Record Window Columns save these as Custom Queries from the Configure Columns editing dialogue so you can restore them from the Custom Query on the new PC.
If more than one user account uses Family Historian, then this should be repeated for each account in case they use different Custom Columns, taking care to use a different Custom Query name for each account.