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View Full Version : Hard lesson learned -- never assume BibleWorks will function if registry crashes



brainout
06-28-2012, 03:26 PM
I just lost seven years of BibleWorks programming in version 5. It all happened because I don't know where the BibleWorks programs and user settings files are stored; and Windows XP registry crashed, so it wouldn't matter, anyway. You just have to reinstall, else the program won't run. So now I have to install either my original copy of BW8 (from CD), and forget 5 -- or reinstall 5 from the original CD I still have. Can't install the two together. BW8 wipes out 5, if it's already there -- I learned that the hard way, and had to reinstall 5, on a different computer. (I'm the sole user for all of them.)

So all my Favorites, installed Bibles, button settings (that took FOREVER to do) -- all my notes, seven years of patches and updates.. gone. Because I don't know which programs to put back into the right places. It took me four weeks of 16-hour days to configure BW5, back when I first bought it. I never bothered to configure 8 because I don't have four weeks now; so its defaults weren't useful, and I didn't use but the modules. It's much harder to use than 5 was. More features, yes. But the downtime to configure, so fragile and easily lost. Wow. I dread those option flags, always have to guess what they mean.

It doesn't matter if you have backups, if the registry goes. Your prior registry might still contain the bug that made the problem, so you'd just be infecting your machine yet again. I have many backups. But which files, and where? Who knows.

Lesson learned: NEVER USE BWW FILES FOR NOTES, lest you check 66-100 fiolders not knowing which ones are empty. NEVER trust a configuration, as you have no way of really restoring it. If I could install the entire thing on an external hard drive, that would be easy. But no -- some of the programs have to go into Windows or System32, etc. So now, when I reinstall, any notes I make will be on another drive, and I'll just PRAY that the thing doesn't crash. So of course it will.

So the key is to install the same version at the same time on MORE than one machine. I did that with 5, on three machines, in case one or two would be in the shop. Yeah, and that's what happened here. The other two, are still working, but of course I don't know what user configuration settings and note files on my backup can be copied over, and to what directories. :) Windows is not a good platform. Why do we put up with it. In the old days you could know what files went in what directory. Not now!

Would be nice to know if in BW9, there is a catalogue of the DEFAULT FILE FOLDERS for all user-configuration settings and notes one can severally back up -- and into what WINDOWS folders files are sent, as well -- to at least minimize this problem. Have any of you figured that out? Thank you for your time!

Adelphos
06-28-2012, 05:28 PM
I suspect that most everyone reading this can sympathize with you.

Losing your notes is especially bad, but I don’t think you have to do what you’re doing wrt that.

I don’t have BW9 yet, but I have BW8, and since the earliest versions of BW I have simply been copying the main “notes” folder to an external drive and then if I ever needed to recover I’ve simply renamed the “notes” folder to another name and then copied the backup back to my main drive. This has never once failed to work on any version of Windows that I have used. Right now I’m using Win7.

In that same vein, I make a complete backup of my “Init” folder (minus sound files), as well as my “ase” folder, my “userdb”, and several others.

But I make sure that each of these backups specifies the computer I’m backing up from. IOW, I don’t mix these folders backed up from my main computer with my Netbook. I keep each backup separate. One for my main computer, one for my Netbook, although I don’t think this is at all necessary wrt your “notes” folder. Since disk space is really no problem for most of us today, this works very well for me and, as I said, has never given me a problem.

But there are some settings in your BW INI file that you need to keep for your customization stuff, but I don’t ever fool with that because I can re-customize pretty quickly, so you’ll have get that answer from somebody else as well.

I would use this system even if BW9 had a complete backup catalogue feature, just as insurance, since it has never been a problem before.

Losing your notes files is horrendous, so you might at least try to make a plain backup of your notes files in the manner I’ve specified above and see if that works for you, just for future situations.

bkMitchell
06-28-2012, 08:15 PM
..[/B]

Provided your other two installations of BibleWorks 5 have your same settings and notes, you haven't lost anything?
If that is case, why not contact BibleWorks directly for professional technical support. They may be able to help you locate the correct folders and files you should keep backed up. However, while you wait on that Adelphos' answer seems like the a great option.

And, if you don't like windows (and your like to tinker with programs) give linux a try.
If, you do not like to tinker and do not mind paying a lot more of a Computer go with a MAC.

Mark Eddy
06-29-2012, 01:08 AM
I just lost seven years of BibleWorks programming in version 5. It all happened because I don't know where the BibleWorks programs and user settings files are stored; and Windows XP registry crashed, so it wouldn't matter, anyway. You just have to reinstall, else the program won't run. So now I have to install either my original copy of BW8 (from CD), and forget 5 -- or reinstall 5 from the original CD I still have. Can't install the two together. BW8 wipes out 5, if it's already there -- I learned that the hard way, and had to reinstall 5, on a different computer. (I'm the sole user for all of them.)
The programs by default are installed in windows in the "programs" directory. I don't know how a windows registry could crash, so I can't help you there.
BW8 should not "wipe out" BW5, because they are installed in separate folders. Yes, BW8 overrides some shared files, and that might mean that BW5 has glitches when it runs (I long ago got rid of BW5, but I have BW8 and BW9 on this computer, and I can get both to run correctly. The only speed bump is that Windows 7 asks to make some changes in some files before I can use the other version of BW. I click "yes" then the other version of BW runs with the changes it made. When I switch to the other version, it changes them back. But BW9 works so well, I haven't gone back to use BW8 for many months.) But all the BW files are still there in their original folders, available to be copied. Even after you uninstall, BW leaves all files which you changed (i.e. those which differ from what came on the installation disk) in their respective folders, so if you install a new version of BW, you can copy the files from the old version into the new one into the file of the same name. Windows should prompt you to see if you want to replace files in the new installation with your "old" files. When in dooubt, skip that file (perhaps make a note of its name for future consideration). But since BW by default has nothing in any of the "Notes" folders, anything you copy over you will want to keep.
On my other computer I still keep the folders for BW6,7, and 8, even though I use only BW9. That way I can check through the files I changed back then, in case there is something I forgot to copy into BW9 and really need it.


So all my Favorites, installed Bibles, button settings (that took FOREVER to do) -- all my notes, seven years of patches and updates.. gone. Because I don't know which programs to put back into the right places. It took me four weeks of 16-hour days to configure BW5, back when I first bought it. I never bothered to configure 8 because I don't have four weeks now; so its defaults weren't useful, and I didn't use but the modules. It's much harder to use than 5 was. More features, yes. But the downtime to configure, so fragile and easily lost. Wow. I dread those option flags, always have to guess what they mean.
If by your "installed Bibles" you mean user database versions, they are all your "databases" folder, so you can copy those versions from one computer to another or from BW5 to BW8 on the same computer. Or you may still have the uncompiled .txt and .ddf and perhaps .bww and .vmf files for user database versions in your "userdb" folder. Again, you can copy those from BW5 to BW8 or between computers, then recompile them on the second computer or in the second program.
Most of your configurations are in the BW500.ini file or BW800.ini file in the respective BW5 or 8 folders. More on this below. I know how long it took to reconfigure in BW5-8. So since BW6 I have saved some lines from the .ini file in a separate MS Word document, so I could copy and paste these lines back in after every updated executable file BW sent out. The critical lines of the .ini file for me are "FavoriteNames" "Favorites" and "VersionOrder". After you have restored all your user databases, you can close BW, using "My Computer" open the BW500.ini file, and copy the appropriate lines from that same file on your other computer, save the changes, and re-open BW. As long as you have exactly the same versions installed, the order and favorites will be restored the way you set it up. If you don't have exactly the same versions, the "VersionOrder" will revert to the default alphabetical order, which is a pain. But, if it is any consolation, the way BW9 deals with this is to add new versions to the end of the version order, rather than to wipe out the entire order. So it is easier to keep your settings in BW9.


It doesn't matter if you have backups, if the registry goes. Your prior registry might still contain the bug that made the problem, so you'd just be infecting your machine yet again.
I guess I don't understand what you mean here. If you have a stable BW5 installation on one of your computers, you should be able to copy it to the other computer, and it will be stable. You might even have an older saved configuration on the same computer which you could use in place of the most recent one which crashed.

I have many backups. But which files, and where? Who knows.
I hope I already gave you some leads to answering this question.


Lesson learned: NEVER USE BWW FILES FOR NOTES, lest you check 66-100 fiolders not knowing which ones are empty. NEVER trust a configuration, as you have no way of really restoring it. If I could install the entire thing on an external hard drive, that would be easy. But no -- some of the programs have to go into Windows or System32, etc. So now, when I reinstall, any notes I make will be on another drive, and I'll just PRAY that the thing doesn't crash. So of course it will.
I use .bww files all the time and have never had a problem with them in any version of BW. All of them should be stored in your "userdb" folder.
If you have made chapter notes and do not know which notes folders you have put notes in, in "My Computer" in the BW5 (I think) or BW8 (for sure) "Notes" folder you can sort the various folders (one for each "book" named in BW) by date from newest at the top to oldest on the botton, and copy over the newest notes from one computer to another using a thumb drive. Eventually you get to the point where all the notes folders have the same date, usually meaning that they are empty. I do this sort of copying all the time between computers (usually dealing with files I have created in the BW Editor, these are all kept in your "userdb" folder as .bww files). You just put the changed notes into the same folder on the other computer. You can copy the same way between BW5 and BW8, I think. Though perhaps BW5 had only chapter notes, but BW8 has verse notes and chapter notes. I know I still have some of my notes from BW 5 or 6, which were just chapter notes, though since BW made the switch to having both kinds of notes I have not used the really old (created in BW6) notes.


So the key is to install the same version at the same time on MORE than one machine. I did that with 5, on three machines, in case one or two would be in the shop. Yeah, and that's what happened here. The other two, are still working, but of course I don't know what user configuration settings and note files on my backup can be copied over, and to what directories. :) Windows is not a good platform. Why do we put up with it. In the old days you could know what files went in what directory. Not now!
Many of the user configurations are in the BW500.ini or BW800.ini files in the main BW5 or BW8 folder. If you have the exact same books loaded on your machines, you can simply copy the .ini file from one computer to a thumb drive and then paste it into the BW5 or 8 folder on the other computer, and your configurations will be restored.
All the notes are in your "Notes" file in your BibleWorks 5 file or your BibleWorks 8 file. They can be easily found in "My Computer." Even if the program does not work, the files may still be there.


Would be nice to know if in BW9, there is a catalogue of the DEFAULT FILE FOLDERS for all user-configuration settings and notes one can severally back up -- and into what WINDOWS folders files are sent, as well -- to at least minimize this problem. Have any of you figured that out? Thank you for your time!
BW9 is better than that. You can migrate your settings from BW8 into BW9 when you install it. You have choices about how much you want to migrate. So, you do not have to look for which files you want to copy over, BW9 looks for them for you. Migrating some of the settings in the BW800.ini file into the BW900.ini can be tricky, e.g. if you don't have the same books in both, then the book order will not automatically be migrated, but the upgrade from BW8 to BW9 took so much less time reconfiguring than the upgrade from BW7 to BW8 did! Minutes instead of hours. So, I suggest that you copy as many of your BW5 notes, editor files, and settings into BW8 as you can. Then upgrade to BW9. Future headaches will be greatly minimized.

I know that there are threads in this forum which tell you all the files/folders/directories which you may wish to copy over from an older version to a newer version. Perhaps someone who added to one of those threads can point you to it.

Mark Eddy

bkMitchell
06-29-2012, 08:17 AM
....I know that there are threads in this forum which tell you all the files/folders/directories which you may wish to copy over from an older version to a newer version. Perhaps someone who added to one of those threads can point you to it.

I am not one who added to any of those threads, but I think a few can be found easily enough. Here are few quotes that might be interesting and some treads as well:



Timeline Files (*.era and .tl)
GSE Searches (*.qf)
Verse List Files (*.vls)
Word List Files (*.iel)
Note Files (*.bww and *.rtf)
Book Name Alias Files (*.bna and books.dat for 4.0 installations)
Synopsis Files (*.sdf)
Database Definition Files (*.ddf)
Custom Verse Mapping Files (*.vmf, *.vmc)
Font Mapping Files (*.map)
Color Files (*.clr)
Diagrammer File (*.dgm)


From the Help File:

Backing Up Files
It is always a good idea to do full system backup before installing major programs. If you choose not to do this you should at least be careful to backup all files from previous installations of BibleWorks that you might want to keep. These include:

Timeline Files (*.era and .tl)
GSE Searches (*.qf)
Verse List Files (*.vls)
Word List Files (*.iel)
Note Files (*.bww and *.rtf)
Book Name Alias Files (*.bna, *.bnb, and books.dat for 4.0 installations)
Book sort order files (*.bso)
Cross-reference files (*.xrd)
Synopsis Files (*.sdf)
Database Definition Files (*.ddf)
Custom Verse Mapping Files (*.vmf, *.vmc)
Font Mapping Files (*.fmp, *.map)
Color Files (*.clr)
Diagrammer File (*.dgm)
Context files (*.swc)
Ermie files (*erd)
Flashcard files (*.vrc, *.vrt)

As a safety precaution, if you attempt to install BibleWorks in a directory containing a previous installation of BibleWorks you will be warned that some user-defined files may be overwritten or deleted. You will be offered the option of having the files backed up by the installation program. You can also exit the Setup Program and check yourself for files that you may want to keep, or you can proceed with the installation.


Here are a few threads you might like to take a look at Mr. Brainout:

http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?2181-Backing-up-BW-settings&highlight=backing+files

http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?3545-saving-user-files&highlight=backing+files

http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?3533-How-to-backup-favorites&highlight=backing+files

http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?3505-Migrating-BW7-customizations-to-BW8

brainout
07-01-2012, 10:57 AM
Provided your other two installations of BibleWorks 5 have your same settings and notes, you haven't lost anything?
If that is case, why not contact BibleWorks directly for professional technical support. They may be able to help you locate the correct folders and files you should keep backed up. However, while you wait on that Adelphos' answer seems like the a great option.

And, if you don't like windows (and your like to tinker with programs) give linux a try.
If, you do not like to tinker and do not mind paying a lot more of a Computer go with a MAC.

I know I haven't lost anything. But Windows won't recognize the files absent total re-installation, so it's just as if lost. I've now done a clean re-install of each version (I have two whole copies separately purchased). Rest assured from now on I'll make notes in files unrelated to BW, so if the registry tanks again, I don't have to worry. But setting up Favorites was a pain, because you have to keep on moving down a version for version order, one at a time (constant moving to bottom or top only helps a little). Took me from 10pm until 2 am just to finish setting up the basics and Favorites, but then I have something like 11 locked modules.

Key is to set up BW8 first. Then, re-install 5. And 5 is far better and easier to use. 8 jettisoned five very useful features which 5 possesses: a) the context arrows, b) the TSK database being a vertical ribbon in the AIW, which c) allowed you to shift-rightclick to get a new browser window on that verse with all the versions in the same favorites, as in the main browser window; d) 5 also allows floating windows and button bars, and e) lacks the clutter of 8. 5 is much faster, too. But 8 is good for the extra modules and lexicons. So I use 5, and occasionally 8. The latter's new ability to store up to 12 tabs of 'searches' is nice, but the more searches you have and keep, the slower the machine. Also, 8 annoyingly turns the text white in the X-ref window when you click on one of the verses. So you have to change your Selected items in Windows Display Properties Appearance Advanced, to dark highlight; so you can read the text.

I want 9 for the codices. But the new interface is very cumbersome compared to 5, so I won't use it much. So 5 remains the daily workhorse.

Hey: but a really cute story came out of it. I made two videos about it, called Logic 101. The second of the two tells a true story about how God tweaked me for not re-installing BW8 and 5 yesterday, sooner. :) Here are the links: Logic101 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPc92tB1-d4); and the sequel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDMXBKbVYR4&feature=watch_response) (which is about BW).

brainout
07-01-2012, 11:01 AM
I am not one who added to any of those threads, but I think a few can be found easily enough. Here are few quotes that might be interesting and some treads as well:




From the Help File:


Here are a few threads you might like to take a look at Mr. Brainout:

http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?2181-Backing-up-BW-settings&highlight=backing+files

http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?3545-saving-user-files&highlight=backing+files

http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?3533-How-to-backup-favorites&highlight=backing+files

http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?3505-Migrating-BW7-customizations-to-BW8

Thank you, but I have the backups and already did copy them. It didn't matter, because Windows didn't recognize the files as the registry had become corrupted. When I reinstalled BW 5, it too just ignored what I'd put there, and overwrote the files. So now I can't copy back yet again, because that will wreck the installation. Fortunately I didn't make too many notes, and the ones I have, are still accessible on the backup. I just can't access them from within BW. And after this experience, I never want to make notes in BW again.

It's not BW's fault; it's a WINDOWS flaw which can't be fixed. For many other situations, copying a corrupted file is solved as you describe above. But not when the registry itself is corrupted.