* Running FH on two computers

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janefrances
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Running FH on two computers

Post by janefrances » 06 Oct 2019 12:02

I've got FH running on my Windows 10 laptop upstairs but I would really like to be able to have the same data on my other laptop as well (running Windows 7) I have installed FH on both laptops but not sure about how to go about copying new data from one to the other, esp. as I have media, custom facts etc. I have backups on my external and Window's One drive but I though using a flash pen might be the best option? I would appreciate some advice on how to go about doing this. Many thanks

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 06 Oct 2019 12:20

If you have OneDrive (depending on how big your project(s) is/are) that might be the solution. Is it installed on your W7 PC?

(As always) I'm going to continue with some questions.

How big are your projects?

How familiar are you with OneDrive? Do you know how much OneDrive storage you have? How much is already used?

Knowledge Base > Utility ~ Microsoft OneDrive (SkyDrive) is a useful starting point to understand what's possible although it's a little old.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by janefrances » 06 Oct 2019 12:37

Hi, no, I don't have one-drive installed on my Windows 7 pc. Only on Windows 10

I have stacks of room on my one-drive, my project is 467 MB and have used it before to upload files and photo's

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by janefrances » 06 Oct 2019 12:45

I've done a seach in the Family Historian knowledge base help and come across "Sharing Data using a USB stick" and thought about following this?

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 06 Oct 2019 13:04

More questions: are all your media files stored within your project? Or are they elsewhere on your hard disk?

How much customization have you done within fH on your Win10 PC -- diagrams, queries, property box tabs...? And how much of that customization do you want to appear on you Win7 PC?

Please ask if you don't understand.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 06 Oct 2019 13:07

Sharing data via a USB stick is one way to go, but you do need to think about customizations. If they don't matter, and you're happy to transfer the data manually via the USB stick, and you're not confident about using OneDrive, then it's a very simple way to work, but you do run the risk of ending up with inconsistent data files if you're not scrupulous about transferring your data back and forth.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by janefrances » 06 Oct 2019 13:34

All my media files are stored within my project and the only customizations I've done are Custom Facts and a plug-in for the back up and restore. I'm a bit concerned about the fact of inconsistant data files though.

I did wonder about using Google Drive instead as both laptops are linked up with email's and bookmarks and I have enough storage on this as well.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by mjashby » 06 Oct 2019 14:02

When using 'Cloud' services such as Google, the main things to watch out for are that:

- the computer you last worked on completed synching any Family Historian (and any other) Data before it was shut down;
- the computer you move to completes synching all changed files before you open Family Historian (or any other application) and add any data; and
- you may need to disable the live synching of data while you are working in Family Historian as not doing so can result in conflicts if you try to enter new data while a 'cloud synch' (which can lock user files) is in progress.

Not always as seamless as people tend to think, especially if there are any interruptions in internet access.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 06 Oct 2019 14:32

Both Google Drive and OneDrive will do the job seamlessly, except for custom Facts (and the Backup and Restore Plugin will help with that.)

I'm a little cautious about using a Windows 7 PC for browsing and email as security updates will end for it next year (2020) at which point it will be safest not to connect it to a network, and instead transfer data via a USB stick. ('A little cautious' means I wouldn't do use it to browse or handle email but GoogleDrive etc. for your own files should be OK -- but that depends on your being very disciplined).

The instructions that follow assume OneDrive (but GoogleDrive will work in much the same way). Personally I use DropBox (for reasons unconnected with fH), but there's no need to you to do so.

High level steps -- as always ask if you're not sure!

1. On your Win10 PC, move your projects into a folder under OneDrive/GoogleDrive (use Windows File Explorer and copy them rather than move them for safety's sake).
2. Within fH on your Win10 PC, from the menu bar, select File > Project Window> More tasks > Browse for Project. Find the location within Onedrive/GoogleDrive where you've copied the files and check that your project is as you expect it.
3. Still within fH on your Win10 PC, File > Project Window> More tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects and choose the location within Onedrive/GoogleDrive where you've copied the files.
4, Open fH on your Win10 PC and check that your project is as you expect it (I'm very keen on belt and braces -- as they say in woodworking and dressmaking, measure thrice, cut once).

On your Win10 PC, fH will now use the project files within OneDrive/GoogleDrive. (Once you're happy that everything is as yo wish, you can delete the files in the 'old' location to avoid future confusions (or, if like me, you're obsessively tidy). DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING UNTIL YOU'RE HAPPY THE MOVE HAS WORKED.

Now we go to your Win7 PC.

1. https://support.office.com/en-gb/articl ... 2e4da227cf explains how to install OneDrive for Windows 7. And I *think* https://www.google.com/drive/download/index4.html should get you GoogleDrive.
2. Within fH on your Win7 PCFile > Project Window> More tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects and choose the location within Onedrive/GoogleDrive where you've copied the files.
3. Allow some time for stuff to synchronise. Have a coffee, do the shopping, paint youf nails, brush the poodle, mow the lawn, remeasure the components for your latest woodworking project, ... Wash rinse repeat if necessary. (Applies every time you switch between PCs).
4. Examine your project on your Win7 PC -- does it look as you expect?

We will still need to address how to backup your customisations, but one step at a time!

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by Valkrider » 06 Oct 2019 14:33

Do you only intend to used both computers in your house?

If the answer is yes then consider using a NAS (Network Attached Storage) disk attached directly to your router. This is likely to be a lot faster than any 'cloud' service and keeps the data on your own devices. The advantage of this method is that you don't have to wait for data to sync to your laptop before you can use FH. You just map the NAS drive to a drive letter and tell FH that is where the project files are.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 06 Oct 2019 14:37

Colin, agreed (and it's what I do) but may be (1) unnecessary expenditure and (2) a technology step too far.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by janefrances » 06 Oct 2019 15:08

I think it's time to reach for the wine bottle! Lol :lol:

Yes, I'm only intending to use both computers in the house (although not at the same time of course!) after thinking about the pros and cons of using the USB stick or cloud based options I decided to stick with the USB method as Windows 7 support will be ending come Jan 20

If I follow the instructions for the OneDrive/Google but use a flash pen instead, would this work? Many thanks to all.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by davidf » 06 Oct 2019 15:39

janefrances wrote:
06 Oct 2019 15:08
I think it's time to reach for the wine bottle! Lol :lol:
Well if you're opening a bottle consider putting a flavour of Linux on your Windows 7 machine (sharing a data partition between the two OSs) and run fh under Wine!*

Linking Linux to OneDrive is probably documented somewhere on the net!

Alternatively since Linux has saved an "old" laptop, you could use the "saving" to buy a NAS!

* If that is too scary install VirtualBox (from Oracle - free download) on WIndows 7 and use that to run Linux within Windows. There is a small performance hit (you are running 2 OSs) but you can safely play with varieties of Linux, gaining confidence, so that by the time Windows 7 support ends you can choose a Linux Distribution (like "the mechanicals" in a car) with your choice of desktop (like "the body work" in a car) that suits you. Don't let the range of choice put you off - it's what computing was meant to be like - you can still run Firefox Browser, Thunderbird Email, Libre Office and numerous other robust applications free of charge irrespective of Distribution/Desktop.
Suggest;
Distribution: Ubuntu or Mint
Desktop: LXDE, Lxqt or Mate are probably the most windows like.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 06 Oct 2019 16:47

If I follow the instructions for the OneDrive/Google but use a flash pen instead, would this work?
Well, yes, in principle but please consider... what happens if you drop your flash pen down the toilet (genealogical inspiration can strike anywhere)/little Johnnie buries it in the garden and can't remember where /insert the nightmare of your choice here! By moving to keeping your data on a flash pen ONLY (which is less robust/long lived than a PC disk) you will be storing up trouble.

Reach for that wine bottle now.

I strongly recommend NOT moving completely to just using a 'flash pen' which is what my instructions would result in -- it can be useful for copying stuff back and forth but you really ought to keep a 'definitive' copy on one PC or other. It will need more manual activity and be more error prone -- more prone to inconsistent copies -- but you must do what suits you -- some people are disciplined, and others need a set-up-and-forget solution.

High level steps for keeping your main copy on your Win10 main PC and copying to and from your Win7 PC when necessary:

1. On your Win10 PC, leave everything exactly as it is. (This ensures that if the worst comes to the worst, you have a copy of your project on your Win10 PC, although it might be out of date). Make sure you know where your fH Projects are stored!

2. When you know you want to work on your Win7 PC: Within fH on your Win10 PC, from the menu bar, select File > Project Window> More tasks > Copy Project and choose your Flash pen as the destination.

DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES TO THE PROJECT ON YOUR WIN10 PC UNTIL YOU'VE COPIED IT BACK FROM YOUR FLASH PEN!!!!

Now go to your Win7 PC.

1. Within fH on your Win7 PC, select File > Project Window> More tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects and choose your Flash pen. (This ensures that on your Win7 PC you use the Flash Pen for your projects by default).
2. Do whatever you want to do with fH within the project on your Flash Pen.

Ready to move back to your Win10 PC?

1. Using Windows File Explorer, copy the contents of your project from the Flash Pen into the corresponding project on your Win10 PC (within fH, File > Project Window> More Tasks> Browse for Projects will show you the destination).

Windows File Explorer will be easiest to do the copy... (Me? Until I was happy with then end-to-end process, I'd use File > Project Window> More tasks > Copy Project first to make a copy of the 'old' project.; as I've already said belt, braces and rubber bands where appropriate).

2. Carry on merrily in your Win10 PC -- but don't forget to to start at the beginning if you want to move between PCs.

We still need to address your custom facts! How often do you customise facts? I suggest using the Backup and Restore Plugin to transfer settings but do read the associated Help and Advice and remember to save on Win10 PC/restoreon Win7 OC when necessary. (Note: using OneDrive/|GoogleDrive doesn't help with this).

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by janefrances » 06 Oct 2019 19:52

Thank you all so much for all the detailed help, it's very much appreciated. I'm going to start by doing a complete back-up first just in case before continuing any further, then over the next week or so I'll give it a go. :roll:

At present I have my Custom Facts installed on both laptops, using the Back up and Restore plug-in to transfer facts. I can't see myself adding any more for a while yet.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by David2416 » 06 Oct 2019 19:55

I run FH on my desktop and on my laptop. I have mapped the c drives on each. I use Microsoft SyncToy 2.1 to keep a number of folders in step. I run it whenever I finished working on one computer. Then I matching sets of files.

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by janefrances » 10 Oct 2019 19:33

Well I've managed to copy from my Window's 10 laptop onto the flash pen and followed the instructions until I got to the following:
1. Within fH on your Win7 PC, select File > Project Window> More tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects and choose your Flash pen. (This ensures that on your Win7 PC you use the Flash Pen for your projects by default).
2. Do whatever you want to do with fH within the project on your Flash Pen.]
When I looked at my project window it's still showing the location as "My Documents, family historian Projects" instead of the Flash Drive

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Re: Running FH on two computers

Post by janefrances » 10 Oct 2019 19:41

Ignore that last post, as I've found the location and it's fine. :D

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