How to: Multimedia file backup and file restoration

Did You Know...  

  • Backing up and restoring is an excellent way of moving your family file to a second PC or laptop.  Just backup on the first PC and restore the family file in the Legacy program on the second.  It makes a perfect copy -- nothing lost! Click Here for information on moving multimedia files.

Backing up Multimedia Files

Backing up a family file does not include multimedia (picture, sound and AVI files).  These must be backed up by clicking File on the menu bar and selecting Backup Family File from the file menu. Click here for help backing up in Legacy Family Tree 7.0. Click here for help backing up in Legacy Family Tree 6.0 or earlier.

You can view a video demonstration of backing up and restoring family files on our training CD 'Your 12-Step Checklist to Using Legacy Family Tree' for sale in our Online Store (please Click Here). 

If you get the following message:

There are missing multimedia files. The possible causes are 1) The missing files have been deleted, moved or renamed. 2) The drive that the files are on is unavailable or has been disconnected. Please note that Legacy does not actually embed pictures, sound and video files in the family file. Rather the program only remembers the path (drive and folder) and filename of the image, sound bite or video clip. The solutions are simple: Re-attach the missing multimedia files, or in the case of pictures saved on an external drive, for example, reconnect the external drive. See "Managing Picture, Sound and Video Locations" for further information.

Restoring Multimedia Backup Files

  • Windows Vista and Windows XP both have a built Extraction Wizard. Just RIGHT click on a backup file (has a .ZIP extension) and click on Extract All on the pop-up menu.

The Legacy program does not (yet) have a utility that will restore (unzip) a multimedia backup. As a result, multimedia backup file cannot be restored in Legacy the same way that a backed family file can.  However, if you have Windows XP or Windows Vista, you only need to insert your backup disk or memory stick into the your pc and use the Extraction Wizard that comes with Windows Vista and Windows XP.

1. Browse to the backed up multimedia file and click on it with the RIGHT mouse button and then select Extract All from the popup menu.

2. The Extraction window will open.

  • Windows Vista: Type  C:\  as the folder where the pictures will be extracted to and then click Extract. Follow the prompts.
  • Windows XP: Click the Next button and in the next screen type  C:\ as the directory where the pictures will be extracted to and then click the Next button. Follow the prompts.
Windows Vista Windows XP

When restoring your multimedia files, extract them only to  C:\ , where C is the letter of the drive where your multimedia files are kept. This ensures that picture and sound and paths will be preserved so that Legacy can find your files. If you extract to another location, Legacy won't be able to find the files because the extraction location is relative to the folder you select as the starting location.

  • If you don't have Windows XP or Windows Vista, you must get a utility like WinZip. (Go to

Backup Tips and Pointers

  • When backing up to a CD-RW, in some instances you will need to first backup to the hard drive and then use the software that came with the CD-RW drive to burn a copy to the CD. You can tell because you will get a message saying the you do not have permission.
  • Backup your family file regularly. Create a routine and stick with it. Backup every time you make changes to your family file, no matter how small the changes may be.
  • When making backups, never save them to the same drive where your primary family files are kept. If the drive fails, you would lose both your primary and backup family file at the same time.
  • Use a high quality backup media. Although floppy disks are cheap, they have a high failure rate. Seriously consider a different removable media, such as Zip disk, tape drive or CD-RW.
  • Make numerous backups of the same data. Backup your data and then back it up again to a different set of media. Rotate between two or three sets of backups for added safety.
  • Most of us keep our backup disks handy -- in a plastic case right next to our computer. Should your home be destroyed by a fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane or tornado, etc., you stand the risk of loosing everything. Keep your backup in another location like your workplace. (Even though the chance of such disasters is rare, you wouldn't cancel your home owners insurance would you?)
  • Most fire-retardant safes are rated for 1750 degrees for one hour. Paper can withstand heat far longer then magnetic media, which is made of plastic or other materials that warp or melt. Invest in a safe deposit box at your local bank and use it to store your backups.
  • Do periodic restores to ensure that the backups are working properly. Don't wait for an emergency to discover your backup has a fatal flaw.
  • Use anti-virus software and keep it updated (major anti-virus software companies publish updates frequently). Do regular virus scans to keep your system clean. Also scan your backup media. Remember, viruses and worms can copy themselves to backup disks, tapes and etc. and then infect a clean hard disk during the restore process, causing repeat disasters.
  • Although it is a peripheral issue, make certain that you write your Customer ID number in the front of your Legacy manual or on the envelope that holds the program CD.  That way if you have to reinstall your program, you will have the number ready to go and can avoid delays and the expense of a long distance phone call to us. In addition, have an emergency boot disk ready if you need to restore your system. 
  • When naming your backup file consider using the family file name and the date of of back up, for example "" or "" That way you will always know what the back up file contains and the date it was created.
  • Regularly share your files with other family members. If you ever have problems and can’t restore your backup, you can get your information back from your relatives.
  • When naming a backup file it is not necessary to add the .zip extension. The program will add it automatically.
  • Zip drives and zipped files (*.zip) are not to be confused. It is merely a coincidence that they have similar sounding names. You can, of course, save a zipped (backed up) file on a Zip drive just like you would any other drive. 
  • When backing up a family file, don’t remove your diskette from the drive until after you exit the Legacy program. This will avoid fatal “Read past end of file" errors. You must exit Legacy with each file you backup.
  • If Legacy has any difficulty creating or opening a backup file, try WinZip. (Go to
  • Run a Potential Problems Report and correct record problems, then run File Maintenance - Check/Repair on your family file before you backup. File Maintenance will reduce the size of your family file by deleting abandoned information and compacting your family file. The result will be an even smaller backup file devoid of serious information problems.
  • Operations like merging and deleting records and file maintenance will reduce the size of your family file. This is why it may take three diskettes to backup a file one day, but only two diskettes the next. Not deleting existing files on diskettes will also affect the number of diskettes needed to backup.
    • Error Messages and Backup Problems

      • The most common reason for backup failures is that people forget to change the destination drive (if backing up on a diskette, zip drive, etc.). If this change is not made, the backup file will be saved to the hard drive and not to the diskette or other medium.  The result will be that when you look at you backup disk or tape, there will be no backup there.

      You can search for a Legacy backup file on your hard drive by clicking the Start button on your computer Desktop and selecting Search / Files or Folders on the start menu. The Search window will open.  Please type *.zip in the Named: box, then change the Look in: box to My Computer and click the Search button.  The computer will search itself for any files ending with .zip and create a list.  Make note of where any backed up Legacy files exist and restore your backed up family file from the indicated location.

      • Error 3026 - Error Saving xxxx. Not enough space on disk. Some people open a backup file from a diskette (A: drive) and then try to restore the family file to the same drive. The A: drive quickly fills up as they do the restore. Make sure the restored family file is being saved to the hard disk.
      • A:\ is not accessible. The device is not ready. There is no disk in the drive. Please insert a disk and click the Retry button.  This error can also cause the computer to hang up (freeze) as it tries to find the missing disk.
      • Backup Error - Out of disk space. Delete the contents of the C:\Windows\Temp folder and try again.
      • CD issues and problems. You should use the software that came with the CD-RW drive to burn the backup from the hard drive.  Click here for more information on issues and problems unique to CDs. 
      • Legacy cannot see the backup file. Check your drive path. Use My Computer or Windows Explorer to see the files on the backup disk or tape. Legacy backup files end with a .zip extension. If no file with the .zip extension can be found, then there is no backup file on that tape or disk.
      • Read past end of file error.  This error may happen when backup disks are removed before Legacy shuts down.  The solution is to make a new backup file and leave the disk in its drive until Legacy shuts down. You must exit Legacy with each file you backup.
      • You do not have permission to open this file. Click here for more information on issues and problems unique to CDs.
      • Other errors. In rare instances the Legacy program may be damaged so that it cannot backup or restore family files. Please run the Legacy installation again, which will repair the program. Also delete the contents of the C:\Windows\Temp folder and delete all files ending with the .usr extension from the Legacy folder on your hard drive. Then restart your computer and try again.