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Maurice
Maurice, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 74
Experience:  Microsoft Certified Professional, HP Certified Hardware Engineer, 20 years of hands-on experience
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I'm looking way to access Family Tree Maker Family Archives

Customer Question

I'm looking for a way to access Family Tree Maker Family Archives CDs. I have tried all of the FT Viewer versions and they don't work on either Windows 8 or 10. I don't have access to a Win XP machine and FTW from 1998. ;-) I was hoping to find some information on file format and maybe access the files directly. I found this answer from you searching (google) and it sounds like you're recommending installing the viewer. Unfortunately, I've tried it dozens of times and it doesn't work for me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Hi there and welcome

Do you have a windows XP disk with you? Not a computer with it but an actual disk?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Richard, If you look at my question, you'll see that I indicate that I don't have a computer with XP...and them a smilieface emoticon. I was (probably inappropriately) indicating frustration at trying to deal with programs from 2000 in 2015.
So...no I do not have an actual disk for XP, Win Millennium, Vista, WIndows 7 (which I understand would work), or Windows 8.
I have a computer running Windows 10 that was a direct upgrade from Windows 8.
If you have some information on a third-party solution that can read the files on these !X###XXXX! disks, that would be more along the lines of the answer I'm seeking.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

I saw you did not have a computer with XP Jonahthan but I was not asking if you did, I was asking if you had a windows xp disk.

Do you wish to work with a different expert? As it seems you may be misunderstanding my messages.

Let me know and Ill opt out of working on this further.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you were leaning toward a solution involving mounting an XP disk/ISO as a virtual machine/drive/etc then I would ask you to opt out. I am not interested in going down that road.
If on the other hand, you are somehow familiar with Family Tree Maker's Family Tree CDs and their format (files have extensions TOC, VIM, INX, TRT and several others) and how to access them outside of installing a program that only works on obsolute OSs, then we might pursue a solution. Most of the data appears to be in the TRT and VIM files.
If you aren't familiar with these somewhat obscure disks/files, I understand if you want to opt out, no hard feelings.
Let me know either way.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

I will opt out of working with you on this as I feel you may be suited to a different expert

All the best

Expert:  hongkongpom replied 1 year ago.

Please state which viewers that you have tried?

Expert:  hongkongpom replied 1 year ago.

Can you see the files when viewed in your CD drive please

Expert:  hongkongpom replied 1 year ago.

Have you got the latest Family Tree Maker installed on your Windows 10 computer please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HongKongPom,
1) I have tried all versions of the family tree file viewer. None of them work. If they worked, I would not be here looking for answers.
2) I can see the files directory of the CD. They are not in a format readily viewable by any means I've tried (.vim, .toc, .inx, .trt).
3) I do not have Family Tree Maker installed on my computer because it will not read these CDs (according to Family Tree's current incarnation, Ancestry.com). This is confirmed by the numerous postings on Ancestry's discussion boards from people who can't read their Family Tree disks from about 2008 to date.Having answered all of your questions, is there anything productive that you have to add or suggest?
My experience here is that instead of getting 'just answers' I have gotten plenty of questions. I understand that the path to knowledge is paved with questions, but I am the one asking this question:DO YOU ACTUALLY KNOW HOW TO READ THE DATA CONTAINED ON FAMILY TREE MAKER CD DISKS???If not, we've probably reached the end of this discussion.Looking forward to your answer, one way or the other.
Expert:  hongkongpom replied 1 year ago.

Hello there we ask you these questions to avoid a back & forth "already tried this" which is a waste of both of our time

​Are you 100% positive please that this is a CD made using FTM?

Can you copy the files to your computer without getting any read errors?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Avoiding the 'already tried this' tactic isn't working. That's all I've said to 2 specialists so far...with that said,These CDs/disks were produced by Family Tree Maker CORPORATION for use in their Family Tree Maker PROGRAM.
They were not produced by Family Tree Maker program itself. They are data files accessible by earlier versions of Family Tree Maker. Current versions of the program CANNOT access the data because they changed the format of the data when they went to an online model.I can copy the files to a hard drive without any data read/write errors. I cannot access the data with any program I've tried. They are in an unknown format and Family Tree Maker (now Ancestry.com) does not support them any longer.Let me ask you a question.Are you familiar with Family Tree Maker, and Family Tree Maker 'Family Archives' CDs?? Have you worked with either the program or the data files before?If you have not, I don't see any point in continuing. It will be a waste of time and frustrating for both of us.If you HAVE, then ask away.
Expert:  hongkongpom replied 1 year ago.

Hello sorry I am not trying to be facetious. If you go here you will see that none of the extensions that you have listed are shown belonging to this programme. There is a glimmer of hope though as the .toc is usually a "Table Of Contents" file. Please try right clicking this file and open it in notepad and tell me what it says.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here's a sample of one of the .toc files. They are ASCII text files, presumably a 'table of contents':#2017, MacCord, Edmonds, Taylor of MD, MO 1097-1997 2017 3 2016
#2018, Macdonald, Maclean, Macgillivary of Scotland, MA 1016-1991 2018 3 2017
#2019, MacDonald, MacPherson, Lamey of Canada, MA 1740-1997 2019 3 2018
#2020, MacIsaac, McIsaac, Donovan of Canada, MI 1661-1997 2020 3 2019
#2021, Macy, Luke, Lindsay of MA, England 1018-1997 2021 3 2020
#2022, Madden, Horton, Arriza of MA, Canada 1834-1995 2022 3 2021
#2023, Maddocks, Bachand, Houston of MA, England 1841-1997 2023 3 2022
Expert:  hongkongpom replied 1 year ago.

Hmm that is interesting but not much of a clue about the programme used to create it. I assume there's nothing in this file that shows any information other than these results. Can you humour me please and do the same with the other files and see if anything shows and report back

​Please don't rate me unless we can get to the bottom of this

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll take a look and see what I can find in the other files. I won't rate you unless we are successful.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, I looked at every file visible on the disk. The only ones with readable info are the ones I mentioned above (.TOC).Based on the questions I'm getting from you, I am assuming that you have no working knowledge of this specific program and its data. Further, we are unable to identify the type or format of the data files. Trust me, I tried all these things prior to posting my question here.Unless you have something substantive to contribute I'm going to ask you to opt out and I will pursue a refund from justanswer.com since no one has come forward with a solution of any type.
Expert:  hongkongpom replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** by

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
STANDING BY FOR WHAT???!!!Read my most recent message and either answer the question or opt out.There is no other choice.
Expert:  hongkongpom replied 12 months ago.

Hello I'm sorry but I am confused. Your most recent message states that you see what you "can find in the other files". I am standing by for you to tell me whether you have found anything in the other files?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I don't know what you can see on your side, but I can see very clearly my message dated December 5 above yours.
For the purposes of either continuing or terminating, I'll quote it here.
PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE LAST SENTENCE:"Okay, I looked at every file visible on the disk. The only ones with readable info are the ones I mentioned above (.TOC).Based on the questions I'm getting from you, I am assuming that you have no working knowledge of this specific program and its data. Further, we are unable to identify the type or format of the data files. Trust me, I tried all these things prior to posting my question here.Unless you have something substantive to contribute I'm going to ask you to opt out and I will pursue a refund from justanswer.com since no one has come forward with a solution of any type."
Expert:  Maurice replied 12 months ago.

hello jonathan, i have read through all the correspondence you had with the other two experts and i feel not much else can be done. unfortunately, even in the IT, something things are not possible. I have some older versions on FT Maker (version 6) I can see many .toc files on the CD. If I try to open/read them with wordpad, they appear as plain text, so you should be able to read them directly in that way, if you really need to. i'll look into the way of importing them into the current version, if at all possible. all the best, maurice

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Maurice, If you can figure out a way to get data off of the disks let me know. If not, could you direct me to how I get a refund from JustAnswer.com? Thanks!
Expert:  Maurice replied 12 months ago.

Hello Jonathan, thank you for coming back to me finally, I was a bit worried that you have gave up on it. Are you able to confirm if you could open one of those .toc files with notepad/wordpad and that you can actually see the 'raw' content, please? If so, then we can make a plan how to use them. Do you by any chance have new version of the FTM? Thanks, Maurice

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Maurice,
I have taken a look at the 'raw' TOC files (there is an example of one of them higher in this thread if you can see previous entries) but they look like exactly what they are - Table Of Contents (see below for sample/copy). That is, the index to some data elements in the actual data files which would seem to be the .VIM files (due to the size of the file...it's the largest file on the CD).
I do not have the most recent version of the software because Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker all indicate that they DO NOT SUPPORT the CDs. Probably a stupid move to alienate thousands of loyal customers who paid $$$ over the years, but that wasn't my decision. Let me know if you have any ideas. At this point, I'm looking for an old computer with Windows XP or Vista that I can install an older version of the software on and see if I can access the data. Not very elegant, but I don't see an alternative to a 'time machine'...
Just so you can see it:
"Here's a sample of one of the .toc files. They are ASCII text files, presumably a 'table of contents':
#2017, MacCord, Edmonds, Taylor of MD, MO 1097-1997 2017 3 2016
#2018, Macdonald, Maclean, Macgillivary of Scotland, MA 1016-1991 2018 3 2017
#2019, MacDonald, MacPherson, Lamey of Canada, MA 1740-1997 2019 3 2018
#2020, MacIsaac, McIsaac, Donovan of Canada, MI 1661-1997 2020 3 2019
#2021, Macy, Luke, Lindsay of MA, England 1018-1997 2021 3 2020
#2022, Madden, Horton, Arriza of MA, Canada 1834-1995 2022 3 2021
#2023, Maddocks, Bachand, Houston of MA, England 1841-1997 2023 3 2022 "
Expert:  Maurice replied 12 months ago.

i know, nightmare. i would suggest to install hyper-v and then xp as a virtual instance on your current computer. that way you should be able to run the old, legacy product the way it was designed. let me know if you need any help doing this. regards, maurice

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hi Maurice, thanks for your suggestion. I'd already ruled that out because I don't want to mess with either my home or office computers, and I was being a little flip about the 'find an XP computer' thing.
Since my main question wasn't answered (how to access the data on the disks using current tech), do you have to opt out for me to get a refund? No harm, no foul for you of course - not your fault that I'm trying to resurrect Frankenstein with 2 Eveready batteries.
Expert:  Maurice replied 12 months ago.

I do feel that running hyper-v and windows xp is really very straight forward, doesn't mess up with any settings, it is just additional program which runs of the computer in the similar way as word, excel, etc... Sorry I can't do more foryou on this occasion, but do let me know how it goes. If you still rate me (hopefully not negatively), I would much appreciate it. All the best, Maurice

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