*Cannot open my FH file

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Adjer
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Cannot open my FH file

Postby Adjer » 27 Jul 2018 14:47

I have a corrupted FH file. Have tried to do a restore for it but small medium & full backup are "greyed out". Using Restore Backup takes me round in a circle & back to the initial dialog box saying: You cannot restore a restored file.
Help!

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tatewise
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Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby tatewise » 27 Jul 2018 15:19

Sorry, I don't understand your description of 'small medium & full backup are "greyed out"'.

The File > Backup/Restore > Small, Medium & Full Backup options are for creating backups not restoring backups.
The Medium & Full options will be "greyed out" if you only have a standalone Gedcom open and not a Project.
The message on the top border of the main FH window distinguishes those two modes.
They will all be "greyed out" if nothing is open, as there is nothing chosen to Backup.

The File > Backup/Restore > Restore Backup option should display the Select File to Restore dialogue, where you choose the required backup Compressed (zipped) Folder file to restore. Assuming it is a FH Project Backup - ... - yyyy-mm-dd hhmm.zip then the Project will be recreated with the original name but with a numerical suffix.

It is not clear what circle you are going around.

See Knowledge Base > Backup and Recovery for more details.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

Adjer
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Family Historian: V5
Location: N.E. Derbyshire

Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby Adjer » 29 Jul 2018 13:24

Thanks Tatewise for your help.
I have just looked at Knowledge Base page on Backup & Recovery. I don't think I have any Backup zip files as I have never been prompted by FH V5 to do this on file closure. So when I try to recover my corrupted project I get a dialog saying my project is neither zip nor ged. File will be treated as unzipped & restored asis. Carrying on with the steps brings me back to the start with the dialog box saying, Unrecognised file format. Restore on the file menu, which is where I started.

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tatewise
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Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby tatewise » 29 Jul 2018 14:07

If you never created a Backup .zip file then you have nothing to Restore.
Presumably you have disabled Tools > Preferences > Backup > Prompt for Backup on Exit?

Do you perform Windows Backups of your files?

Please explain the nature of your "corrupted FH file" and we may be able to fix it.
But without Backups it may be difficult.

If possible, post screenshot attachments of the symptoms.
Include your Project folder structure similar to that shown in Knowledge Base > Project Structure.

BUT please do NOT try random experiments with commands you do not fully understand, as that may make matters worse.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

Adjer
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Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby Adjer » 31 Jul 2018 11:57

F H File Structure

Family Historian____
!
Craigs Family Tree
Gascoigne family tree-------------------!
Gascoigne's Medieval Ancestors !
Stokes family tree !
Tutorial Files !
____________!
!
Gascoigne family tree.fh_data
Public
Public FamilyReports
Gascoigne family tree.fh_proj
Gascoigne family tree.ged
If I double click the last two files I get the unrecognised format dialog box. See screen shot.

Inside the Gascoigne family tree.fh_ data
I have folders:
Charts
Media
Plugin Data
Settings
Gascoigne family tree.ged

All projects work except Gascoigne family tree. I do back up from time to time using File History & full backup to separate hard disc. I did not know about FH backup on project closure. I have never disabled this feature. I would have used it if I had known about it. I am reluctant to use File History for recovery because I will loose my recent entries to project.

Thank you for your patience & help in this vexing problem.
Attachments
FH Screen shot disp..JPG
FH Screen shot disp..JPG (72.45 KiB) Viewed 822 times

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tatewise
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Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby tatewise » 31 Jul 2018 12:35

OK, so we only need to focus on the Gascoigne family tree Project.

Please paste a File Explorer screenshot of its two folders in Details view, so we can see the Date and Size of each file.

One abnormality is that the Gascoigne family tree.ged is in the Gascoigne family tree folder, whereas it should only exist in the Gascoigne family tree.fh_data sub-folder. (Compare your Projects against each other to see how they differ.) But that alone would not produce the Unrecognised file format error. Maybe your Restore attempts have upset those files.

What happens if you double-click the Gascoigne family tree.ged in the Gascoigne family tree.fh_data sub-folder?

The FH Project Window seems to be happy that the Gascoigne family tree is a valid Project.
So what happens if you use Open Project with that Gascoigne family tree selected?

If all those attempts all result in the Unrecognised file format error, then try right-clicking the Gascoigne family tree.ged in the Gascoigne family tree.fh_data sub-folder and use Restore previous versions. If available, choose a version prior to the problem starting to see if that fixes the problem. Whether it fixes the problem or not, please report back.

BTW:
I notice you are using a non-standard Location folder to hold your Project folders.
That has a potential risk of having long path & filenames that exceed the Windows limit.
Why have you changed from the default C:\Users\user\Documents\Family Historian Projects?
However, wait until the Unrecognised file format error is resolved before answering.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

Adjer
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Location: N.E. Derbyshire

Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby Adjer » 02 Aug 2018 10:41

Tatewise: Problem solved thanks to you. The key to the file recovery was when you wrote:
" try right-clicking the Gascoigne family tree.ged in the Gascoigne family tree.fh_data sub-folder and use Restore previous versions. If available, choose a version prior to the problem starting to see if that fixes the problem. " I did not know about using the RESTORE POINTS in this way. Better still I have lost non of the latest data I was entering as far as I can tell.
fh_data size was 1.10 GB, 388 families, 1439 individuals.
There were two Gedcom files. 1. in the fh_data subfolder & the other seems to have been generated by my attempts to restore the situation. I have now deleted it.
The non standard F.H. location came about when I moved F.H. to a new laptop some years ago & I had been doing local area research to add to my understanding of how my ancestors lived before & during the industrial revolution. I wanted to keep these files close to F.H. so my decendants can follow what I have found.
Hope I have answered all your questions. Again many, many thanks from a happy 85 year old. I must remember to set FH to prompt me on file closure to use Backup zip files.

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Jane
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Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby Jane » 02 Aug 2018 11:18

As an aside if Adjer had been using V6, the automatic Snapshot option for Projects is often the easiest place to recover an earlier version. It's found on More Tasks button in the Project Window.
Jane
My Family History : My Photography "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

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tatewise
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Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby tatewise » 02 Aug 2018 11:25

Yes, that Windows feature to Restore previous versions can be extremely useful in all scenarios not just with FH, and it draws upon Restore Points and File History backups if the external hard disk is connected.

FYI: FH V6 has a fully automatic Snapshots backup feature for the GEDCOM file, which would have also repaired your corrupt file. That is mentioned in Knowledge Base > Backup and Recovery > Version 6+.

Regarding your Project Location folder, it is unconventional to put your Project folders within the subfolder Family History inside the Family Historian Projects. So I would recommend the following.

Move all the Project folders held within:
C:\Users\user\Documents\FAMILY + LOCAL HISTORY\Family Historian Projects\Family History\
and relocate them to the FH installation default folder:
C:\Users\user\Documents\Family Historian Projects\
Adjust the File > Project Window > Location by clicking it and choosing Reset Location to Installation Default.

That Family Historian Projects folder will sit alongside the FAMILY + LOCAL HISTORY folder within Documents.
So that folder will be close to the FH Projects for your descendants to follow what you have found.
Also, it is much easier for others to understand what goes where if installation defaults are used.

What, if anything, is in your C:\Users\user\Documents\FAMILY + LOCAL HISTORY\Family Historian Projects\ folder other than the Family History folder?
That Family History folder could be moved up to sit within the FAMILY + LOCAL HISTORY folder.
Or it could be moved within the C:\Users\user\Documents\Family Historian Projects\ folder.
It is perfectly valid to have non-Project folders within that Family Historian Projects folder.
I have a Backups folder in that position to hold FH Backup ZIP files.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

Adjer
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Family Historian: V5
Location: N.E. Derbyshire

Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby Adjer » 04 Aug 2018 16:35

Tatewise: I have looked at Knowledge Base for info how to activate the Backup zip files in FH V5 but I am in a bit of a fog over this.
1.Does one zip file save info from all of my projects or do I have to have a file for each project?
2.On the preferences dialog there is a reference to; File name preferences for Backup types, & three options. What does this mean?
3. There is an installation settings button. What does this do?
Perhaps a blow by blow setup procedure is what I need???
Adjer.

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tatewise
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Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby tatewise » 04 Aug 2018 19:35

In Tools > Preferences > Backup click Help and check the Preferences Dialog: Backup help and its link to the Backups help.

To answer your questions:
  1. Each Backup just applies to the currently open Project.
  2. Those options choose filename styles for the 3 Backup types of Small, Medium & Full.
    Those 3 Backup types are explained in the Backups help page mentioned above
  3. You will find an Installation Settings button in many dialogues.
    It resets the options on view back to the FH default installation settings that are recommended by Calico Pie.
For Backups use the Installation Settings and choose your preferred Default Backup Folder at the top. That's it!
Heed the Tips on Backups in the Backups help page.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

Adjer
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Posts: 29
Joined: 12 Jan 2011 15:32
Family Historian: V5
Location: N.E. Derbyshire

Re: Cannot open my FH file

Postby Adjer » 07 Aug 2018 12:41

Backup zip file in place. Will see if it works when I next do family history in the winter time.
I am still pondering your file structure suggestions. At my age innovation & change is not what I need. Steady state is much easier. For that reason I will stick to F.H. V5 until I am stuck for something to do. That's not likely.1

Many thanks for your quick help & suggestions Tatewise.


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