* I lost media files from my FH project

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fsaad
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I lost media files from my FH project

Post by fsaad » 11 Nov 2019 20:10

Dear friends, to day I opened my FH file and found that many of stored images were lost and replaced by (X).
My question is: is there any way to retrieve those images?

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tatewise
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by tatewise » 11 Nov 2019 22:31

Welcome to your first posting on FHUG.

Those symptoms arise under a variety of circumstances and your images are not necessarily lost but just misplaced.
But don't try to recover them except as we advise, otherwise you might make matters worse.
What the X means is that FH cannot find the Media files where they should be, but they might have just moved.

The first question is have you been taking regular FH Project Backups?
i.e. When you close FH, it should ask to create a Backup.
Alternatively, you can use File > Backup/Restore > Full Backup.
Do you use either of those methods?

Alternatively, do you perform any general Windows backups of all your important files?

At the very top of the main FH window does it say - Family Historian Project - or - Family Historian Gedcom - ?

Do you save your image files within the default Media subfolder within the Project folder, or are those image files held elsewhere in other folders?

It is rare for Media files to move or delete themselves without some human intervention.
So have you been tidying up files or deleting files recently?
It is most likely something that you have done in Windows that has caused the problem.
So tell us what changes you have been making recently.

Finally, how often to you add new Media files?
When was the last time?
Knowing that, they may be recoverable from automatic Windows backups.

I know that is a lot of questions, but please answer them all as best you can.
Depending on what you tell us, then there may be a number of ways to get the Media files back.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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fsaad
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by fsaad » 12 Nov 2019 19:45

Dear Sir,
Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I will do my best to answer all your questions.
The first question is have you been taking regular FH Project Backups? Sometimes but I do save my work regularly by pressing on the "save" icon.
i.e. When you close FH, it should ask to create a Backup.I do not use it but I I select import/export choice.
Alternatively, you can use File > Backup/Restore > Full Backup.
Do you use either of those methods? No

Alternatively, do you perform any general Windows backups of all your important files?No

At the very top of the main FH window does it say - Family Historian Project - or - Family Historian Gedcom - ? Family Historian Gedcom

Do you save your image files within the default Media subfolder within the Project folder, or are those image files held elsewhere in other folders?They are automatically saved in the Media subfolder.

It is rare for Media files to move or delete themselves without some human intervention.
So have you been tidying up files or deleting files recently? No
It is most likely something that you have done in Windows that has caused the problem.
So tell us what changes you have been making recently. None

Finally, how often to you add new Media files? Every day
When was the last time? just before yesterday
Knowing that, they may be recoverable from automatic Windows backups. May be
Best regards

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tatewise
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by tatewise » 12 Nov 2019 20:20

OK, my first advice is that you really must start using the Backup features of both FH and Windows.
Otherwise, any failure of your PC or disk drive will lose EVERYTHING. You have been warned.

Just using the Save icon is only updating the live database and not creating any form of backup.

I am surprised the main FH window says - Family Historian Gedcom -.
From your other comments it sounds as if you expect to be using a Project.
So do you normally open your data by using File > Project Window ?
If you use File > Project Window now what is listed under Family Historian Projects ?
What is listed against Location: ?

My guess is that somehow you are not opening your Project but a stand-alone GEDCOM file.
That is probably why your Media appear to have vanished.

From your answers above regarding File > Project Window we can try and fix things.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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fsaad
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by fsaad » 12 Nov 2019 21:01

Thanks again for your reply.

Yes, you are right. I am using a Gedcom file, not the project file.

If this is the reason the file vanished, is there a way to retrieve them back?

Do you recommend using FH project always? and when are we supposed to use the Gedcom file only?

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tatewise
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by tatewise » 12 Nov 2019 22:39

I am a bit confused by your answer, especially as you did not answer any of my questions.
If you don't answer specific questions it could a long time to retrieve your media.

Earlier you said your image files are saved in the Media subfolder.
Only Projects have a Media subfolder as part of the Project folder structure.
So presumably you were usually opening the Project and would have - Family Historian Project - shown at the top of the main FH window.
The GEDCOM file should be just one component for the Project structure.
Even if you try to open that GEDCOM file directly, FH will actually open the Project.

The fact that you can open the GEDCOM file in isolation, as indicated by - Family Historian Gedcom - shown at the top of the main FH window, probably explains the apparently 'missing' media.
Somehow that GEDCOM file has been moved out of the Project structure, or that structure has been upset.

My task is to try and discover what has happened and advise how to fix it.
Please answer the questions I asked earlier and comment on whether my assumptions above make sense.
Do you think you are meant to be working with a Project?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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davidf
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by davidf » 13 Nov 2019 01:02

Mike,

Has the OP originally created a project (complete with file structure) but then reopened the GEDcom file by clicking on the file icon (rather than on the fh_proj icon)? If so will updates have potentially got things tangled?

Are they using the "project window" (the safer way to start FH)?
David
Running FH 6.2.7. Under Wine on Linux (Lubuntu 18.04 LTS)

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tatewise
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by tatewise » 13 Nov 2019 10:11

David, that is exactly what I am trying to establish. The evidence suggests it was a Project, but has somehow been upset.
I am treading slowly because the OP has no backups!
BTW: Opening a GEDCOM file that is embedded within a valid Project structure will always open the Project and NOT the GEDCOM on its own. Go and try it.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by davidf » 13 Nov 2019 13:43

tatewise wrote:
13 Nov 2019 10:11
BTW: Opening a GEDCOM file that is embedded within a valid Project structure will always open the Project and NOT the GEDCOM on its own. Go and try it.
So it does!

That blows my theory as to how I screwed up a project a few years ago when I first started using projects! The OP's issue seem to be uncomfortably familiar!
David
Running FH 6.2.7. Under Wine on Linux (Lubuntu 18.04 LTS)

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LornaCraig
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by LornaCraig » 13 Nov 2019 16:11

In answer to one of Mike's earlier questons about creating a backup when closing FH, the OP said
I do not use it but I I select import/export choice.
This might explain why there is a free-standing (exported) gedcom.
Lorna

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debbie35
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by debbie35 » 22 Nov 2020 14:20

I have had the same problem. Please can someone help. I transferred from a PC to a laptop by memory stick and lost all media attached to the Family Historian Project. I have now bought Version 6.2 and used the backup on closing. Just thought I would check the backup file and found that too has crosses where the media should be. I am re-entering all my Family History and don't want to have to redo it again every time I change laptops! How do I keep the media attached to the data?

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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by tatewise » 22 Nov 2020 15:05

Debbie, looking back at your earlier postings it seems you have lost media before:
Lost photos (9726) and Losing census images (6667)

It is important to know where the media files are saved on your old PC and whether you copied them onto the memory stick.

We need to back-track and review what version of FH you have on the old PC and whether the media files are within the Project folder or external.

On the old PC, I think used to be FH V4.
I would be a good idea to install FH V6.2.7 on both PC and laptop to keep them in step.

Use the Tools > (Work with) External File Links command to list where FH thinks the media files should be.
Are all the Media File Links listed under Project Data Folder - Media?
OR are disk drives such as C: or D: listed?
Do any of them have an X icon against them, which indicates they are missing?

This posting Re: Linked media files has a screenshot of all the possibilities. Which ones do you get?

If you can attach a screenshot of what you see that would really help.
See Knowledge Base > Posting Topics for advice on adding ATTACHMENTS of screenshots.

With that information, it will be possible to explain what to copy onto the memory stick.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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debbie35
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by debbie35 » 26 Nov 2020 15:14

I have already set up Version 6.2 on my new laptop and the old PC has been destroyed. I am manually inputting all the information in again. I want to know how to avoid the same mistake next time. I am using the backup on shutting down but am not sure whether to do whole project folder or just data. When I look at the backup on the laptop this also has crosses in the boxes so I presume if I committed it to memory stick the same thing would happen. I do not understand working with external file links.

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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by tatewise » 26 Nov 2020 15:50

If the old PC has already been destroyed then maybe all the missing media images have gone with it.

There are three choices for Backup:
  1. Small Backup (Gedcom File Only) which is self-explanatory
  2. Medium Backup (Project File & Project Data Subfolder Only)
    This subset essentially includes everything except the Public subfolder and therefore includes the Media subfolder.
  3. Full Backup (Entire Project Folder)
    This includes the entire Project folder including the Public subfolder and the Media subfolder.
To learn more, open the Tools > Preferences > Backup tab and click the Help button, then halfway down that page follow the advice: "To learn more about the 3 backup types, see Backups."

However, those commands will only backup media images saved within the Project folder Media subfolder.
That is probably where you have gone wrong before and why the memory stick lacks some media images.
Have you tried looking on the memory stick with Windows File Explorer to see what it holds?
Can you find any of the missing media image files?

If I could see your PC it would be easy to look at where you keep your Media but I can't, so you will have to help me.

Please use the Tools menu command and select External File Links... to produce a display like that below.
Scroll down to see further advice below the screenshot.

ExternalFileLinks.png
ExternalFileLinks.png (30.95 KiB) Viewed 225 times
If you get File Links involving C: - Users like those at the top then your image files are outside the Project folder and so will NOT be included in any Project Backups.

If you get File Links under Project Data Folder - Media as above then your image files are in the Project Media folder and will be included in Medium and Full Backups.

If any File Links have an X over the icon as shown above then those media image files cannot be found by FH in that location on your PC. They may be elsewhere but are not found in that path.

Either describe what you see in your display or even better attach a screenshot here as explained in my earlier posting.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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debbie35
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by debbie35 » 26 Nov 2020 17:51

They are the second one under Project Folder data as your screenshot. Hopefully that should be ok but I don't have a large enough memory stick to check.

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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by tatewise » 26 Nov 2020 19:08

OK, so all the media were within the Project folder Media subfolder on the old PC, which was good. :D

BUT, if you relied on the FH V4 Backup then it only created a Small Backup (Gedcom File Only) without Media.
So if that Backup is all you copied to the memory stick then it won't include any Media, which is bad. :(
Is that case, or did you copy more than that?
Please check using Windows File Explorer on the memory stick drive. Do you need advice on how to do that?

Presumably, in your Work with External File Links display, every entry has an X on the icon showing it is missing?
Please confirm.

I don't understand what you mean by "I don't have a large enough memory stick to check".
Large enough to check what?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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debbie35
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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by debbie35 » 28 Nov 2020 15:45

Thank you for your reply. I put the old version 4 on my computer in a folder named temporary as I read in your FAQs and have checked the external files and all the media have crosses by them. I am not using this file now but have created a new one and all the media is fine with no crosses. All I would like now is for you to confirm that if I use the medium backup and save to memory stick from there that the media will still be there if I ever need to change laptops.
Many thanks.

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Re: I lost media files from my FH project

Post by tatewise » 28 Nov 2020 16:47

Yes, a Medium Backup will include all your Media as long as they are under Project Data Folder - Media.

A mistake some people make is they try and open the GEDCOM file within the Backup .zip file and see no Media.
Instead, it is important to use the FH File > Backup/Restore > Restore Backup command to restore the Media.

BTW:
Do you ever customise any Diagram, Report, Query, Preference or other settings?
Those are NOT included in any FH Project Backups.
See Knowledge Base > Backup and Recovery for full details.
The Knowledge Base > Family Historian V5 & V6 Migration Guide explains how to migrate form PC to PC.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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