Terry's TMG Tips

Moving Data to New Computer or Version

This page updated 12 Mar 2014

Version note: Applies to TMG 8 & 9

This article describes how to move your data recorded in TMG 5 or later to a new computer or to a new version of TMG on the same computer. The process is essentually the same for both operations. In this article the term "new installation" refers both to a new version installed on the same computer as a prior version, or to the same or a new version installed on a different computer than previously used.

Topics Included in this Article
Default File Locations
Understanding the default file locations
Custom Toolbars
Toolbars with buttons of your choosing
Adding Buttons
How to add buttons to a custom toolbar
Buttons for Reports
Adding buttons to run a specific Report
Buttons for Accents
Adding buttons to load a specific Accent condition
Button Images
Creating custom images for your buttons

Each version of TMG since TMG 5 is a totally separate program from earlier versions. That means you can have both the new version and older ones installed on your computer at the same time – there is no need to uninstall the old version before installing the new one. In fact, users should not remove there prior installation until they have successfully transferred all existing Projects and customizations to the new one.

By default, each version of TMG is installed in a separate location from earlier versions if one exists on the computer. The default is C:\Program Files\The Master Genealogist v#, or, if you have a 64-bit version of Windows, C:\Program Files (x86)\The Master Genealogist v#, where "#" is the version number being installed. If you choose a different installation location than the default, be sure to not use the same folder that was used to install an older version if there is one installed on your system.

Default File Locations

Each version TMG by default creates new folders for Project data and for configuration files created when you make various settings within the program. Wholly Genes recommends that users storing their data in custom locations also create new folders for each version.

The easiest way to transfer existing Projects and configuration data to a new installation is to create a backup of their project in the older installation, and then Restore the Project in the new installation. If you have customized features such as layouts, report definitions, toolbars, etc., they can also be transferred by using Backup and Restore. Doing so automatically places the various files in appropriate locations. The section below provides suggestions on how to best do that.

The default file locations used depends on the operating system installed on the computer. For example, all user data – Project files, backups, exhibits, report definitions, report outputs, filters, accents, etc., are stored in the following folder, or a sub-folder of it:

Default Folder Location
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
C:\Users\{user}\Documents\The Master Genealogist v#
Windows XP
Windows 2000
C:\Documents and Settings\{user}\My Documents\The Master Genealogist v#

Here and in the table below, "{user}" represents the user name you are using in Windows, such as "Terry," and "#" represents the version number of TMG, such as 8, or 9.

These defaults place these files in the "The Master Genealogist v#" subfolder of the normal "Documents" or "My Documents" folders used by most familiar applications.

For advanced users who might have reason to care about such things, certain configuration files, such as layout and toolbar files, button images, and frames, are stored in one of the two locations listed below for each operating system:

Default Folder Locations
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
C:\ProgramData\The Master Genealogist v#

C:\Users\{user}\AppData\Roaming\The Master Genealogist v#

Windows XP
Windows 2000
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\The Master Genealogist v#

C:\Documents and Settings\{user}\Application Data\The Master Genealogist v#

What to Transfer by Backup and Restore

If you have one or more Projects created in a prior installation that you want to use in a new installation, you will need to create a Backup of each one in the older version, then restore it in TMG 8. Accents and Filter definitions are considered part of Projects and can be transferred with them.

If your Project includes external Exhibits, be sure to review the comments below about transferring them. If your exhibits are internal they are automatically transferred with the Project files.

If you have customized such items as Layouts, Toolbars, Report configurations, and Backup/Restore configurations that you want to use in the new installation, you need to create a Backup of them in your older version, and Restore them in the new installation. Note that you can include both a Project and the customizations in a single Backup. If you will be transferring multiple Projects there is no need to repeat these customized items with each Project; you only need to transfer them once.

Because of conflicts in certain information between different versions or on different computers, the settings made in Preferences > Program Options cannot be transferred by the Backup/Restore process. The best way to transfer them is to open the new installation and your prior installation at the same time, open Preferences in each, and compare the setting in the two, making changes in the new installation as you like.

Preparing the Backup Files

The first step is using the Backup wizard in the prior version to create the latest backup of your files. Open the Project you want to transfer. Then use the File > Backup command to open the Backup Wizard:

Backup - Step 1

At Step 1, choose "Backup All" to transfer both a Project and your customizations, such as Layouts, etc. Choose "Backup Project" to transfer only a Project.

Click Next to advance to Step 2:

Backup - Step 2

Note the location where the Backup file will be placed in the "Select backup file" field, so you can locate it later. You will need to know that in order to Restore from the installation of on the same computer, or to copy it to the new computer if needed. If you prefer to place it in some other location, uncheck "Generate archive name automatically" and either type in the desired location, or click the [ ... ] button to navigate to the desired location.

Click Next to advance to Step 3:

Backup - Step 3

To transfer the Project, use the items in the "Project items" box:

To transfer configuration settings you have made in your prior version, check the appropriate items in the "Program items" and "Advanced items" boxes. Be sure to include all custom items you have created and want to transfer, but observe the following cautions:

After all the items you want to transfer are selected, continue through the Wizard and complete the backup.

Using Restore to Complete the Transfer

Next, if your are transferring to a new computer, copy the backup to the new computer unless you can access it over a network. Then, open the new installation and use the File > Restore command to open the Restore Wizard, observing the following points:

If your backup includes external Exhibits, the exhibits restore path will be set to the default exhibits folder for the new installation. See the next section for more on this.

Finish the Restore, wait as TMG makes the necessary updates to the files, and your Project is ready for use.

If your Restore included custom Layouts, they will not be available for use until the next time you start TMG.

If you have additional Projects you want to transfer to your new installation, repeat the Backup and Restore process for each of them, omitting the Program items after they have been moved once.

Updating Paths

TMG stores paths for various files in two separate locations, which need to be reviewed and updated if necessary:

Project File Paths – are stored as part of each Project. These paths define the default locations for Backups, configuration files, external Exhibits, Report output, and more. If the program defaults were used in the prior installation, they need to be changed to the corresponding paths for the new installation. If the new installation is on a new computer, they may need to be updated even if the previous installation was the same TMG version, since the path structures on different computers may be different for several reasons.

These paths are defined in Preferences > Current Project Options > Advanced. For each path in that section review and update if needed. The easiest way generally is to click the [ ... ] button to the right of each path and navigate to the new location.

Report-Specific Paths – are saved as part of each report definition when a output to file is specified. By default it will be path specified as the default path, as described above. However updating the defaults does not update the paths saved in any report definitions that are transferred from a prior installation. If you have transferred report definitions and want to direct the reports to new locations you must open each report definition which has been used to send reports to file and update the path stored there. This is particularly important if you have moved to a new computer as the saved path may not be valid on the new computer.

External Exhibits

If your Project includes external Exhibits, the method of transfer depends on where the Exhibit files or stored, as follows:

Default Location – If you have external Exhibits that are located in a single folder in the default location for the prior version, you probably want to copy them to the default location for the new installation. The easiest way to do that is probably to check "External exhibits" at step 3 of the Backup, and include them in the Restore in the new installation.

You will then have to update the Exhibit paths as described below so they can be found in the new installation.

Another Location – If your Exhibits are located elsewhere and your new installation is on the same computer, you need do nothing. The restored Project will access them where they are. If you are transferring to a new computer, copy them separately to the desired location on the new computer, and update the Exhibit paths as described below.

Tree of Folders – If your Exhibits are located in a tree or in multiple folders do not include them in a Backup. The Restore process would place them all in a single folder, in the process overwriting any files with duplicate names. If the folder tree is under the default location, or if you are transferring to a new computer, copy them manually to the new location, and update the Exhibit paths as described below. If they are not under the default location but are on the same computer, you need do nothing.

As seen above, transferring to a new version is simpler if external Exhibits are located outside the version-specific default locations. For that reason a transfer to a new installation may be a good time to locate the Exhibits outside the default location.

If you have moved your external Exhibits to a new location you must update the paths to them stored with each Exhibit in your Project(s). There are several ways to do this. The simplest is to use File > Maintenance > Verify File Integrity command. After the "Are you sure?" prompt you will see the External Exhibits screen if there are external Exhibits in the Project. To use this feature check the box for "Search for missing external exhibits," then click the "Specify the folders to search..." button. In the screen that opens use the Add button to identify folders to be searched. If the exhibits are in sub-folders under a common folder, specify the common folder and click the "Search in subfolders" button to specify that subfolders of that folder are to be included.

To use this feature two conditions must be present:

Advanced Users

Advanced users can open Help, click on the Index tab, and find the topic "Data File Storage." That article and the linked pages provide information about some advanced options, including changing the system default locations.

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