Monday, 3 September 2012

The wisdom of backing up files

I had a crisis last night of ancestral proportions. For some reason my much loved Family Historian 4 package crashed on my computer, not allowing me to save changes to additions made to the Gedcom file of some ten years in the making. In uninstalling the software and trying to reinstall, I realised during the reload that I no longer had the validation key that allowed me to load FH4 - I'm assuming it was on the box that I threw out last month (oops!).  I therefore decided to load Family Tree Maker 2011 onto my computer as an alternative. Nice try, but I really hate FTM 2011 with a vengeance, so off it came again very quickly. I have a few other packages, but in the end the one I settled on reverting to was Family Tree Maker 2006 (the version available before it was assimilated by the Borg).

Thankfully, I was able to play around with the various packages for the simple fact that I had about four different back-ups of the Gedcom file stored within the last few weeks to load from.

Morals of the story - back up your files regularly, and sometimes the simplest genealogy software programmes are the best! :)


Check out my Scotland's Greatest Story research service
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)


  1. Just contact FH support - you should be able to get a new validation key. This is such a common problem - my computer has crashed many times, but I backup on a very regular basis (weekly)! And to save time and anxiety, I now have validation keys listed and squirrelled away in a "safe place".