Legacy in Massachusetts - April 22, 2006
The Basics of Archival Document Storage

Using Legacy on a PC and a laptop

This question was recently posted to the Legacy User Group mailing list:

I recently got a 3rd-hand laptop (college daughter's cast-off when she upgraded) in addition to my desktop computer.  I put Legacy on the laptop (it's also on my desktop at home) so that I can take it along when I'm doing research.  Transferred copies of my files, etc, everything went ok.  My plan was that every time I made an addition/change to one copy of a Legacy family file, I'd back it up and transfer it to the other machine.

OK, you can guess, I didn't......I made different changes to my favorite family file on each machine, without first updating/backing up.  Musta been brain-dead when I did that!  How do I get this file to be identical on both machines again, each having the changes I made in the other copy?

I know, what a stupid thing to do......I feel like I should be assigned penance, lol!  Hope someone can straighten it out for me, and I promise not to do it again!

Don't worry, you're not alone. If you're using Legacy on a PC and a laptop, sometimes that happens. Fortunately, we have designed Legacy to accomodate for these situations. But first, we recommend reading the article, "Backup and File Restoration" at http://legacyfamilytree.com/tipsBackups.asp. This article explains how to easily transfer information back and forth between a PC and a laptop.

If you've accidentally added information to both family files (one on the laptop and one on the PC), Legacy's IntelliShare will help you get back on the right track. Each individual in your Legacy Family File automatically has a hidden serial number called a "unique identification number." The number is not visible.

When you backup your Family File and restore it to your laptop, these numbers are included. So the individuals in the laptop's Family File and the individuals in the PC's Family File all share the same numbers. Now, if you accidentally update both family files with different information, all you need to do is follow the instructions for using IntelliShare. These are found either in the manual or the help file. Once you've completed the process, both databases will be up-to-date.


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I have Legacy on both my desktop and laptop. I have all Legacy DATA on a USB drive that I transfer between the computers, so I never have a problem of getting them out of sync. If I forget to move the drive, Legacy can't find my last file and comes up with the "Open Family File" dialog, so I know I forgot to attach the USB drive. Works great for me.

The USB drive is a good solution. Just don't forget to back it up in case you lose it.

Another method is to use Second Copy http://www.centered.com/ if you have networked your PC & Laptop.

This can be set to synchronise any files or folders on both.

As soon as you connect your Laptop back to your network it starts synchronising........fully automatic.

Yours Roy

THANK YOU!!! I recently realized I did the same thing and have been anguishing over how to correct the problem. Sure feels good to know I have company!!!

I also have used a removable hard drive linked through a USB cable to store my data. It works great and my files are always up to date no matter which computer I use. And yes, be sure to back up your files frequently.

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