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Data Loss and Corruption - How can I stop/prevent it?

Author: Reference Number: AA-00718 Views: 14926 Created: 2013-12-13 09:58 AM Last Updated: 2016-06-06 11:42 AM 0 Rating/ Voters

How can I prevent problems, like data loss and corruption, from happening in my family file?

• Always backup, especially before doing any file operation that makes global changes to a family file. This includes updating/upgrading the Legacy program; importing one file into another; merging duplicate persons, renumbering RINs and MRINs, global Search and Replace, and even Check/Repair. Backups are the number one defense against data loss and family file corruption. We do not keep copies of user's backup files here.
• Also it's recommended to run Check/Repair (after backing up) now and then as preventative maintenance. It is also a good idea to run Check/Repair before and after any function that makes global changes to a family file. This includes updating/upgrading the Legacy program; importing one file into another; merging duplicate persons, renumbering RINs and MRINs; global Search and Replace, etc.

It is a really bad idea to cancel a merge in the middle of the process.  As a merge progresses, any links are duplicated temporarily.  An individual may have double or triple sets of parents, duplicated siblings and children.  When the merge process is run to its completion, all these multiple links are reconciled.  If you stop in the middle of a merge, and don't ever intent to complete it, you should restore from the automatic backup that was made when you started.
• Restoring a family file from a backup can be a problem if it is not backed up frequently. If a user needs to restore after a hard drive crash, they will get an old version of a file with fewer people.
• Too many backups can be confusing. When restoring from a backup copy, select the one with the most recent date.  Most users only need to keep the last two or three backups. Delete the old ones and free up some hard drive space in the process.

• Make sure to always work in the same family file. Some users have more than one family file with the exact same name, but saved in different locations. For example, if they have been adding new people to their family file called MyGenealogy.fdb saved in Documents for several weeks, and then inadvertently open an old version MyGenealogy.fdb saved in a different directory they might conclude that Legacy has lost data. See How do I set Legacy to always start with my preferred family file?
• Don’t push the 2 GB size limitation (about one million, plus or minus a few hundred thousand individuals) for a family file. When the 2 GB limit is reached a family file can no longer be opened.
• Use an uninterruptable power supply or APC to protect your computer from sudden power loss and to filter out power surges/fluctuations.
• Don’t leave Legacy open and unattended for prolonged periods. Shut it down when going to bed or going away for more than a few minutes. A family file can be corrupted if Legacy is open when an automatic Windows update with reboot happens. This is rare but has happened.
• Run ScanDisk / Disk Defragmenter regularly on the computer's hard drive and replace bad drives.
• Just a reminder: Back up your family file on a regular basis. For additional information:

Backing Up/Restoring a Family File in Legacy Family Tree - How to Backup a Family File and/or Media Files in Legacy
Backing Up/Restoring a Family File in Legacy Family Tree 7.5 - Backing Up a Family File in Legacy Family Tree 7.5
Multimedia File Backup and File Restoration - Restoring Media from Backup Files