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Family Tree Maker 2017 - Upgrade to Build 540 -an endurance test

Discussion in 'General Genealogical Queries' started by Bob Spiers, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I have over the last year grown to like FTM but use it mainly to sync with Ancestry - when the Ancestry 'Sync' climate permits (which users of FTM will understand), and for its exceedingly useful 'Places' feature. Earlier today I received an email offering a 'FREE' upgrade of my 2017 edition (Build 343) to Build 540.

    To be fair to Mackiev they set out in great detail that it is by no means an essential upgrade , but is likely to be so for those who use the Ancestry sync feature (and who doesn't) and the FamilySearch features in FTM 2017. I read through all its advisory articles and decided to proceed and followed mackiev advice to backup and compact before moving on to the next step - which is when the fun began.

    Step-by-step instructions abound in the email for the faint hearted, but I merely headed for the 'Update Center' (sic) to be confronted with an 'Are you authorised notice' that required details to be entered to check on my bonafide. That passed, the next step was an interrogation of my device to ensure FTM 2017 was present. Having passed that hurdle I was taken to the 'Goodies' counter and there followed endless (I kid you not) entreaties to buy this or that item to enhance use of FTM (and Mackiev the more richer as each had a price tag). There were 4 or 5 items in each row of Goodies on offer, and the same number of pages and each had to be endured and rejected before passing on. This done one finally reached the Order page (yes 'Order' page) informing I had purchased £0.00 worth of goods. I was then informed that download instructions and links would be sent to my email inbox. (Are you with me so far?)

    The email eventually arrived with the Windows (& Mac) Download links so long awaited. I answered prompts asking if I had performed a backup and chose the option to allow it to close my existing FTM (rather than perform a restart later) and then the download completed with an 'exe' file for manual installation. It took a few minutes to install without a problem I might add, and when finished I was required to open FTM which, as far as I can tell, appears much as before and will have to wait to see what new features present themselves.

    I post merely to warn others that although it is truly a 'free' update (providing you have FTM 2017 of course) , be prepared either to resist the 'Not-so-Free' goodies you will be offered before - repeat before - you can get to the Download. Or of course you can invest in the some 20 or more 'add on features' to make your life (and MacKiev' s) the richer.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  2. DavidL

    DavidL LostCousins Member

    I suppose I should be condemned as a Luddite but I have never moved beyond FTM 2006. I bought a copy of FTM 2012 but never found it as easy to handle. I have the same problem with Windows, sticking to 2000, then XP, until they were too insecure because support was withdrawn. Forced into 64-bit Win 10 on my new laptop, I am still running 32-bit Win 7 in a virtual partition.
  3. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Although I tend to embrace upgrades for my own 'inquisitive' reasons -providing it entails no major expense - I too can fall into the Luddite bracket, and did so for many years with FTL (Family Tree Legends) until finally having to discard same when it failed to respond as it should beyond XP and Vista at a pinch. I still use Microsoft's original 'Money' programme -which first saw light of day under W95/8/2000 - even though after almost every major upgrade it has to be dragged screaming to work within W10 Compatibility confines. (Perhaps a virtual partition may be a final option it all depends on how I feel when I can no longer get it to work).

    It is, I am afraid, human nature to resist change for changes sake, as with Microsoft (who else) insisting everyone must accept new Skype updates which seem to have been universally disliked. My two sisters (one in Australia), a cousin and I regularly Skype one another and it has been their constant gripe for ages asking me how they could get the 'Classic' version back. Although Microsoft - responding to criticisms - have now publicly said they will allow people to revert to the 'Classic' version (for a time at any rate), once they do so they are faced with persistent 'nag' screens telling them they need to upgrade. Now I am being asked how they can stop the daily 'nags'; which is work in progress.:(
  4. PhilGee

    PhilGee LostCousins Member

    I don't remember seeing that; I just clicked on the download link after rejecting the offers and installed using the ".exe". I have just checked and the e-mail had arrived (at around 9:40 )

    At least it is still using the same file format from the last update :)

  5. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    They run through the pages of add ons every time, I ignore because I have a Mac as my main computer and (surprise surprise) the packages only work on PC.
  6. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I thought I would just post to commend MacKiev for the way it handled my queries after losing my copy of FTM 2017 on the computer that crashed after the October feature update. The computer in question was set back to Windows 7 and it left me with a problem, because [a] I did not want it back on that device, but on a Win10 laptop and I did not have details of when I purchased the MacKiev 2017, although I knew of the Ancestry 2014 version upgraded which I thought had been upgraded to 2017 as MacKiev. That is complicated enough so I will not bore you with the 'to and fro' activities that took place to get a working copy on the laptop and failing because I ended up with the Ancestry 2014 version which would not sync - as users will understand.

    In the end I opted for a Virtual chat (strange calling it Virtual as it clearly was a real person as I found out). To cut to the chase, that person took me through a process requiring many -did I say many - security checks to establish I was who I said I was (complicated because if had forgotten my password and had to create a new one: yes mind blowing). Finally, with bona fide established, I received a download link via email. This then had to be further updated to the new version - more security checks - until I had the version I had lost. That is now up and working and syncing correctly.

    "What a palaver" as the old saying goes but, the person took it all in his or her stride (no way of knowing from the Virtual name) and I thanked them for their extended help - perhaps an hour I lost count - and gave them full marks for trying (me mainly). Anyone in a similar boat, beware - they do not part with copies of FTM 2017 lightly.
  7. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I finally got around to downloading (uploading?) the update today. And I missed the e-mail as well; just did it from the links provided. Saw the e-mail much later. Data that I had entered earlier this morning is still there so I assume all is well. :)
  8. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Agreed one of the most tortuous upgrade process out there of any software. It is trivial to have the software utilise the existing licence key to know if you are entitled to download an upgrade or not there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for them to make users endure this process. What with this and the hideously flaky sync process that seems recently to have undergone a big downturn in reliability they are in grave danger of scaring away all their customers.
    • Agree Agree x 1

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