Family Historian Installation Details

Installation Process

The flowchart below summarises the steps needed to install or re-install Family Historian, and should be performed using a Windows Administrator account, while ensuring Family Historian is NOT running. It is more reliable to use Installation CD or Software Downloads than internal fh Help > Check for Updates or similar auto-update options.

Each Bought product whether a Full Version or a Version Upgrade should have an Installation CD or Software Download. From Version 3 onwards, it may have a Licence Name, but always has a Registration Key. Without these you may not be able to re-install the software without having to buy a new licence.

Unlike previously, the Upgrade V4 to V5 and Upgrade V4/5 to V6 products do NOT need the preceding Versions to be installed. They only need the latest Upgrade Licence details, and the previous Full/Upgrade Licence details.

The Licence Name is often your name, and the Registration Key is several groups of 6 alpha-numeric characters such as 0001H2-VKQ2AZ-TP4MC5-V0B59C-PYF6EN-7BUZ0Y. Take great care not to confuse similar characters such as 0 and O, 1 and I, 2 and Z, etc. Create an Installation Archive electronic copy so you can Copy & Paste in future.

How To (Re-)install Family Historian

Full details of the CD-backed installers are given in Family Historian on 64-bit Windows Variants.

The free version downloads are identified in the Family Historian > Upgrade Notes.

Techniques to recreate your data & settings are in the Move Family Historian Settings and Projects section.

For other installation options see Can Users of Earlier Versions Install the 30-Day Trial of Version 6?

If you only have an Installation CD, but your new PC is a Netbook/Laptop with no CD drive, then on any PC with a CD/DVD drive, copy the entire contents of the Installation CD onto a USB pen drive memory stick and install from that instead by running the Setup file.

To install any Upgrade, you must use the Installation CD or Software Download provided. You cannot enter the Upgrade Licence details into the Family Historian Version 6 Free Trial. If you have the Free Trial installed, then install the Upgrade over the top. You are likely to be asked for both your current Upgrade Licence details and the previous Full/Upgrade Licence details.

If you have customised Standard Text Schemes or your default Diagram formats (for example by adding Icons), it is advisable to save the Core Standard Diagrams as Custom Diagram Types and clone any edited Text Schemes to Custom ones, before doing an upgrade, as the installation process may overwrite the standard items with replacements. See how to Move Family Historian Settings and Projects for full details.

If you have customised Standard Reports or Standard Facts Sets it would be wise to create Custom versions.

Core Standard Diagrams are Ancestor, Descendant, Ancestor & Descendant, All Relatives, Everyone, and Blank Diagram, the first four of which are opened by icons on the toolbar.

Installation Archive

To allow the above installation process to be repeated at any time, it is important to maintain an archive of the necessary details.

So create an archive folder such as …\Family Historian Archive\ in which to save all the Software Downloads and Licence Details.

For each Bought product Full Version or Version Upgrade, save its installation Software Download file. The delivery Email from Calico Pie says: "(5) After the upgrade has completed, you no longer need the file you downloaded. You may keep a single backup copy of it, however, and you are recommended to do so, in case you need to reinstall Family Historian, and re-apply the upgrade, in the future." Ignore the first sentence, and make an archive backup copy.

Also export each associated Licence Details E-mail as a text file, or type in the Licence Details from a CD boxed set, and save them too. This makes it easy to Copy & Paste the details during the installation process and avoid typing mistakes.

Since fh V5 you only need to keep a few details and can delete earlier versions:

  1. Latest purchased installation Software Download file such as:
    • Full Version install_fh6.0.0_dl.exe with only one fh version number
    • Version Upgrade upgrade_fh_v5_to_v6.0.0-dl.exe with two different leading version digits
  2. Its associated Licence Name & Registration Key in the E-mail
  3. If it was a Version Upgrade then the previous version Licence Name & Registration Key in the E-mail

You could also save the Latest Free Upgrade Download to avoid the need to download it again. They have filename format upgrade_fh6_to_6.2.6_dl.exe i.e. free upgrade fh6 to 6.2.6 with same leading version digit.

Include this archive folder in your regular backups, or save it to an external drive, CD, DVD, or cloud storage, in case of disk failure.

If you do lose your Software Download or Licence Details then the Family Historian Licence Problems section may provide a solution.