I have recently had several failures of synchronisation and that has been picked up by the Ancestry.com team who are addressing the issue.
This had led me to the realisation that failure is eventually inevitable, even in the most well constructed systems, and to consider what good practice might be in order to preserve the many hours of work represented by synchronised family trees.
It seems that when synchronisation fails there is currently no information as to why that occurrs or any way to address the problem of relinking other than to either upload the Family Tree Maker version to Ancestry.com or to download the Ancestry.com version and relink. As the versions are different that leads to information loss. For instance, if the FTM version is used the links to other trees are lost or, if the web version is downloaded tasks are lost as is any organisation of media into sub folders. There are many other implications.
If I have any of the foregoing wrong, then I'd like to understand what is the actual situation.
I have currently opted for downloading the web version (partly because it is faster given that my download speed is much higher than my upload speed) but this had led to many problems. The most urgent one is that the behaviour of downloading seems to differ each time. The last but one download automatically included all the Ancestry source material (copies of census forms etc) whereas the last one only included my own media (photos, etc). Given that I consider it important that I have copies of all source material available locally and properly linked to FTM, the last download is less than satisfactory.
The purpose of this message is not necessarily to address any particular issue but to point out that there are problems and to find out if others see similar problems and are wishing to discuss them with a view to them being addressed by Ancestry.com and to determine what are the considerations relative to good practice in the real world of occasional system failure. I appreciate that I am new here and that the matters may have been addressed elsewhere. If so then can somebody point me in the right direction?
Thanks for the reply Russ. I'll have a look at the other thread
I'll try the compact process but it seems that that would be inconvenient if doing frequent updates and synchronizing often. As I download rather than upload after a synch failure I have decided to use the web version as my master and make most changes there - would compacting the FTM file help in those circumstances?
Re: `When you do the sync are you seeing the Media download Complete? I presume you mean do I see the progress bar which monitors delayed media download. Yes that appears to be working fine - it is just that when the process was completed last time the Ancestry media (such as census forms) was missing. The time before that all the media was in place. I don't remember seeing a Media Download Complete message.
I don't understand your last sentence but I know it is possible to get the census media individually as required. It is just very inconvenient and if a full download can happen sometimes then I wonder why that doesn't happen every time. One of the technical people said that I could download the lot using CTRL-F5 but that doesn't seem to work for me.
By the way I'm very impressed with the FTM2012 process - it's a great research tool and I'm sure Ancestry will get it working well. But failure is inevitable and my interest is to minimise it's effects and to recover gracefully.
Once you started by downloading or uploading, going forward doesn't matter where you do the work. All I am suggesting is that you compact your file from time to time. There isn't a "Master file".
Further, I suggest that you do a File, Back Up from time to time.
I have taken up your suggestion of frequent back up and compaction and have been surprised at the percentage compaction achieved after only a small number of changes. I may well be that this idea will result in a reduction or even elimination of synchronisation failures. I'll let you know.
My idea of using a `Master' was a figure of speech. What I mean is that, since I will always download after a failure, I'll do most of the work on the web, treating the web version as the `Master'. Since the FTM file will frequently be replaced, any data on that that doesn't get to the web version because of the way data is handled or because of failure, will be lost.
Following the practice I have shared, I haven't had any failures and I work on my file daily.
Hi again Russ,
Thought that I'd let you know that I've been compacting frequently and all is well so far with respect to synch failures. Thanks for the suggestion.
I still don't have the Ancestry media files (census forms etc) with this download. In FTM under the Plan tab in the Online Access via Ancestry section I am being invited to Synch Now but I'm already in synch and, if I take up that invitation I get a message `Trees are in synch'. Thats not a problem in itself but in the same section I get an underlined message in red "Media: 327 not complete - process erro". If I click on that message I get another process error message. On OK there is a lot of disk activity for a while but the media doesn't get downloaded and the original media message goes away. Eventually that messsage reappears.
I can live with that for now but eventually I will need to address the issue of downloading the missing media.
You said "I still don't have the Ancestry media files (census forms etc) with this download."
Please go to the Media Workspace and hit the CTRL+F5 keys together. If there are any Media files missing, on your PC they should be downloaded with that command.
Look at the Sync ICON. You can tell what needs to be synced by the direction of the Arrow. If there is a Check Mark, you don't need to sync. I have seen a couple of times, where I did some work in my file in FTM2012 and the Up Arrow turned white, did the SyncNow, then the Down Arrow turned white, SyncNow again and I have a Check Mark.
Did you Check for an Update?
I started FTM after reading your message and was offered and accepted the update. I'm looking forward to seeing if my synch problems have been solved.
Re the missing media, some time ago the Ancestry.com Tech Representative suggested that I try the CTRL-F5 method - I did and it didn't work. I've tried it again just now (after updating) and the situation is the same. I get the option to download missing files and the message in response is `Warning - no images to download'.
The media tab work area contains a representation of the census media files that is an icon with a magnifying glass and book with some text for each file. Left clicking on the icon gives me a dialog box with an invitation to look for missing media. I decided I'd let it look for the media and, after a while it indicated that found some (but by no means all) of the media. Taking one of those found as an example I found the item under the Media/Collection tab but it was still indicating File not found. I went to the actual jpg file that it purported to find, looked at that, checked what facts the jpg was supposed to be linked to and found that the linked to facts and the jpeg were unrelated. So it seems that the system found a file from an earlier download that just happened to have the same file name but didn't actually link to it.
So, I'm not sure where to go from here except to attempt a completely new download.
Please remind me where did this file start? As an AMT downloaded into FTM2012 or did it start in Family Tree Make and uploaded and linked that way?
Just to confirm, you ARE talking about Windows and FTM2012.
If the tree was on Ancestry, what types of images are they?
When you downloaded initially, did you see the Media Download Complete?
The file started as an AMT downloaded into FTM2012.
The images are the standard Ancestry census images. (No problem with downloading my own images).
After the download there was a message to the effect that images were being downloaded in the background. If I recall correctly there was a progress bar that eventually disappeared. I don't remember getting notice of completion. (The previous time I did a download much the same thing happened but all images were downloaded correctly).
You need to wait for those images to download AND there will be a Media completion message. You can work on the file, but those image still need to be downloadpe.
What happens if you do a SyncNow?
I think I should try another download - there should be nothing lost this time as I have been working as if I will need to.
I am having no problems with doing Syncs - have done several today.