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I lost my Legacy family file! What should I do?

If you've ever migrated to a newer computer you've probably experienced a few unexpected problems. If you don't transfer the information just right, the various software programs that you use might not know how to find the information that you used to have on your older computer. If you've ever "lost" your Legacy family file, here are a few pointers:

Legacy files that contain family data come in two types:

  • Legacy family files with the extension .FDB (as in family database).  These files are the primary data file for your genealogical information.
  • Legacy family file backups with the extension .ZIP (a “zipped” or compressed archive file).

When you “lose” a family file on your computer, there are three possibilities:

  • Legacy has lost track of where the .FDB file is located, but it is still in its original location on your hard drive.
  • Your .FDB file was moved to another location and Legacy no longer knows where it is.
  • Your .FDB file was inadvertently deleted and may be in your system Recycle Bin.

Here are the things to try when searching for your lost family file:

  1. Click on File and look at the bottom of the pull-down menu below Exit.  Legacy will show the last four family files opened.  Clicking on a family file listed here will open it  (so long has it has not been moved or deleted).
  2. Click on File and select Open Family File from the pull-down menu.  By default this opens the C:\Legacy\Data folder where your family file may be located.  If it is there, click on it and open it.
  3. Use the Import Wizard to locate your family file.  Click on File and select Import From > Use Import Wizard to help with any import.  In the Import Wizard screen select Another Legacy Family File and click the Next button.  Legacy will search all available drives for any files with the .FDB extension.  Examine the results in the list and if your family file is listed, make note of its location (path) and close the Import Wizard.  Next click on File > Open Family File and browse to the folder where the family file resides.  Highlight the file and open it.
  4. Use the Window’s Search feature to find your family file with a wildcard search.  First close Legacy.  Next, click on the Start button in the lower left corner of your system’s desktop screen.  Select Search (in older versions of Windows this may be Find) and choose All files and folders.  In the All or part of file name field type *.FDB; leave the A word of phrase in the file field blank; the Look in field should be your Local Hard Drives.  Click on Search (or Find).  If Windows finds your lost family file, double click on it in the results screen and it will open in your Legacy program.
  5. If none of the above steps finds your family file, open your system Recycle Bin and manually scan the list of deleted files.  If you find your family file, highlight it and restore it to its original location. (Make a note of the path since you will have to find it again using step 2 above)

If you cannot locate your family file using the five methods listed above, restore your family file from your most recent backup copy.

  • If you have lost your backup family file, use the Window’s Search feature to find your family file with a wildcard search.  Click on the Start button in the lower left corner of your system’s desktop screen.  Select Search (in older versions of Windows this will be Find) and choose All files and folders.  In the All or part of file name field type *.ZIP; leave the A word of phrase in the file field blank; The Look in field should be your Local Hard Drive(s).  Click on Search (or Find).  If Windows finds your lost backup file, make note of its location; then open in your Legacy program and click on File > Restore Family File, browse to the file and follow the prompts.  Please visit http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/tipsBackups.asp for additional help.

You can select a preferred family file to open whenever Legacy is started.  Here are the steps:

  1. Click on Options and select Customize.
  2. In the Customize screen select the General tab.
  3. Go to Starting Family File and select Always Open This File
  4. To select or change the filename, click the Down button, find the preferred family file and select it.
  5. Click Save in the lower left corner of the Customize screen to make the setting permanent.

Comments

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I like to print out your articles. When I highlight the article and then go to print selection, it prints just like on the screen - a long narror column. It would be nice to have a button for Printer friendly. Thank you.
Sally

Just a comment to let you know how much I enjoy checking Legacy's news every day. I have learned much from the different articles and I like the wide variety of information. Keep up the good work!

Frank

I am using your wonderful program to keep track of my ever growing family. Many thanks. As my family originated from Ceylon (Sri Lanka), is there anyway to trace back the arrival of Arabs to this Island? i understand it is around 800 AD. I will appreciate your help
AGA

Hi,
This topic is very familiar to me as I lost my files when moving to a new computer. My back up disc was not the one I thought it was so I was 300 names missing. Fortuneately I had an up to date tree on my web site. I had to manually enter 300 names from my website back into my Legacy programme. That was a task I do not want to repeat. A lesson well learnt!!
Janet

A couple of suggestions for back-up:

1) I back up the ENTIRE Legacy folder - not just the file, but the entire folder - onto CD. This also saves my Legacy settings (reports, data input settings, and all other options I had changed from the default). I then re-install Legacy on the new computer, then copy my backed-up Legacy folder over the new folder. By doing this, I have all my data, pictures, and settings.

2) I back up my family file frequently by uploading to Rootsweb. http://www.rootsweb.com/ It's free, and if you lose your .FDB file for whatever reason, you can download your file from Rootsweb.

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