Media Files


Tom Gray
 

Any advice on the following?

I have noticed that quite a few of my media files are now showing as a blank box with a diagonal X in it.

In the focus window individual media tab I can click on a record and see the media in the lower pane.

In the preview alongside their name it shows as a envelope for want of a better description

Have attached a screenshot Focus Screen.

 

In the main Media View the same media record also shows as an envelope.

Clicking on it produces the pop up box with the message “The parameter is incorrect”

I have attached a Screenshot Media List.

 

Any ideas

A) why it has happened?

B) how to resolve it?

 

Tom Gray


Robert
 

Tom, this happens to me all the time, I’m forever moving files about, and have several copies of the same file - I usually delete the wrong one by mistake, which puts me in the position you are in now.

easily resolved, by placing the file back in its folder, then drag-and-drop into the media block you are in. Then just delete the old link.

Hope this helps


Lorna Craig
 

Tom,

This indicates that Family Historian cannot find the file in the original location where it was when it was first linked.  The file has either been renamed or moved or deleted. 

The solution to fix the problem depends on which of these things has happened.   If the file has been renamed, use Tools>External File Links to open the Work with External File Links windowLocate the problem media record in the list, where it will have a cross beside it.  Click on it to select it, then click Edit. You can now change the file name (the name which FH is looking for) to match the name of the file on your computer.

If the file has been moved, you may be able to locate it using the Auto Repair Links button in the Work with External File Links window.  For further guidance click the Help button in the same window.

If the file has been deleted completely you will need to make/download a new one.

Lorna

On 10/05/2020 12:24, Tom Gray via groups.io wrote:

Any advice on the following?

I have noticed that quite a few of my media files are now showing as a blank box with a diagonal X in it.

In the focus window individual media tab I can click on a record and see the media in the lower pane.

In the preview alongside their name it shows as a envelope for want of a better description

Have attached a screenshot Focus Screen.

 

In the main Media View the same media record also shows as an envelope.

Clicking on it produces the pop up box with the message “The parameter is incorrect”

I have attached a Screenshot Media List.

 

Any ideas

A) why it has happened?

B) how to resolve it?

 




Tom Gray
 

Lorna,

 

It looks as though I may have a bigger problem.

On clicking on Tools and selecting the External Files Links I get the pop up message

“An error has occurred. Unable to display dialog”

I have never used the External Files Links before

 

Tom


Lorna Craig
 

Tom, I have never seen that message before, and hopefully it is only a temporary glitch.  Try closing FH and re-opening it.  If the problem persists then (as a last resort) try re-installing FH.  I am also puzzled that when you click on the thumbnail in the main Media window you get a message saying “The parameter is incorrect” because normally this would open the Media Record tab in the usual way but with "File not found" displayed. You would then be offered options to let FH search for the file or open the 'Work with External File Links' tool or search manually.

However you may be able to solve your problem another way.  In the Media tab of the main Records Window, locate one of the Media records for which you know the image is not displaying.  Click the 'plus' icon to the left of it to expand the record.  The File line will show the file name FH is looking for, and the file path (probably in the Media folder of your project).  Does it look like a valid file path? Try the 'search' tool on your computer (if you are using windows 10 it will probably be bottom left, magnifying glass icon) to search for a file with the name FH is looking for.  If it exists but is is the wrong place it can be moved to the location where FH expects it to be.  If you can't find the file at all it must have been renamed or deleted.

Lorna

On 10/05/2020 14:29, Tom Gray via groups.io wrote:

Lorna,

 

It looks as though I may have a bigger problem.

On clicking on Tools and selecting the External Files Links I get the pop up message

“An error has occurred. Unable to display dialog”

I have never used the External Files Links before



Mike Tate
 

Tom,

That error message has cropped up in the FHUG Forums a few times before.

It indicates that a particular Media file (or two) have corrupt meta-data, usually due to a faulty download.

Downloading the file again usually resolves the problem, but in your case identifying the file may be difficult.

 

Where do you keep your Media files?

Are they within the Project structure in its Media folder, or are they scattered elsewhere over your disk?

 

This missing file broken link problem has recently arisen again in the FHUG Forums.

I have written a Plugin to list all the missing files rather than having to search the Media Window or the External File Links dialogue.

 

As Lorna says, the problem is caused by Media files being renamed, moved or deleted so FH cannot find them.

 

Regards, Mike Tate

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Gray via groups.io
Sent: 10 May 2020 14:30
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Media Files

 

Lorna,

 

It looks as though I may have a bigger problem.

On clicking on Tools and selecting the External Files Links I get the pop up message

“An error has occurred. Unable to display dialog”

I have never used the External Files Links before

 

Tom

 


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Tom Gray
 

Sorry for taking so long in replying but I have been working on the issue.

 

Mike,

 

My media files are all within the Project.

Family Historian Projects>name tree>name Tree.fh_data>Media

I have trawled through this folder and there are no files (all 6,458) showing the blank envelope.

In the Media List there are 46 media files with this issue.

I have also checked and there are no unlinked media files.

 

Lorna,

 

Tried closing FH and re-opening but made no difference. Can open Tools but cannot access external file links

Tried re-booting computer but made no difference cannot access external file links

 

I clicked on one of the problem files in Media list and get the “Parameter incorrect”. It will let me expand using the plus icon on the left and filenames are exactly the same as the one in both the media list and the Family Historian Projects>name tree>name Tree.fh_data>Media folder.

If I go to the Focus Folder and the Media tab of the individual the “Parameter Incorrect” file is relevant to and click on it, as it has the same filename, I can see it displayed in the window below. Go to that filename in the Media list and it is shown as the envelope type icon and clicking on it gives the Parameter incorrect message.

 

I have now managed to fix all of the 46 media files showing the Parameter message.

I tried various options which I can detail for you if you think it would be useful to others or in finding what has caused this issue, however what has worked for me follows.

 

I made a copy of the problem file from the Family Historian Projects>name tree>name Tree.fh_data>Media folder and saved it in a separate folder out with FH. I used the Downloads folder.

Most of the problem files I had are in TIFF format. I then deleted the problem file from the Family Historian Projects>name tree>name Tree.fh_data>Media folder and the Media list. So deleted from FH entirely.

I then opened the saved file in a photo editing software and saved it as a JPEG instead of TIFF with the same filename. I now had a JPEG and a TIFF file in the Download folder.

With the appropriate record that the file belonged to open in the Media tab I dragged the JPEG version on to the FH icon in the taskbar and added to the record. This creates a new media number file and it displays correctly.

I then deleted the JPEG and TIFF files from the Download folder.

 

There were 5 or 6 JPEG files out of the 46 giving the Parameter message and as they were already JPEG format I did not go through the photo editing part but instead dragged them on to the FH icon and added them to the relevant record. This did not work.

When I checked, despite it being a new file added to the Media list, it was still showing the envelope icon and giving the Parameter message. I then repeated the process but included the photo editing part. In effect saving a JPEG file as a JPEG file with the same name. When dragged on to the FH icon and added to the relevant record it displayed perfectly and no longer showed the Parameter message.

 

A word of caution. If the problem file is one with links to several individuals such as a census record, all the links need to be re-established as the original has been deleted so have all the links.

 

I would stress that I am not very technically minded and there may well be a much easier way to resolve the problem. I was simply trying out various options and those described are what worked for me.

I do not know if the External Links would help as a) I cannot access it and b) I have never used it.

 

Mike.

You mentioned a Plugin you created. Would it pick up these files showing the Parameter Incorrect error?

 

Tom Gray


Mike Tate
 

Thank you for the explanation of how you cured the problem, which seems to confirm that those Media Files inside your Media folder were faulty.

 

The envelope icons will only be shown inside FH wherever Media Records are involved.

Those icons will NOT be shown against any Media Files shown in Windows File Explorer.

 

The envelope icons are saying that the Media Record cannot open the Media File it is linked to in the Media folder.

e.g.

In the Media Record Property Box there is a File item such as Media\photo-abc.jpg

That is referring to the Media File located at Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data\Media\photo-abc.jpg

But if that Media File does not exist or is faulty then the Media Record cannot open it, so it shows the envelope icon instead.

Does that make sense?

 

To answer your question, YES, my Plugin will list all such ‘missing file names’ that cause the envelope icon.

 

Is your Tools > External File Links command still not working?

If so, then there is still some other Media File in your Media folder that is the cause.

However, finding that problem file may be difficult.

 

Regards, Mike Tate

 


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Tom Gray
 

Mike,

 

That explains things re the missing/corrupt files and gives me a better understanding of it.

 

Could you tell me how to get hold of and install your Plugin. It would certainly be much easier working from a list than trawling through the folder looking for the envelope items as I did.

 

The External File Links still does not open and I get the “An error has occurred. Unable to display dialog” pop up.

 

My Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data\Media folder tells me there are 6458 items.

In FH on the File>File Statistics it tells me there are 6463 Media Records.

If I can identify the 5 extras in FH with your Plugin would that possibly solve the issue with External File Link?

 

Tom


peter hannaway
 

I couldn't work out  what precisely the problem was.

Thanks Lorna and Mike for second-guessing and helping us all when we get stuck.

Peter


Mike Tate
 

Tom,

 

You can download the Check for Broken Media Links Plugin from the FHUG Forum posting for Linked media files below:

https://www.fhug.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=17719#p100273

That also has a screenshot of how the Tools > External File Links dialogue should look.

 

I am still not sure you have grasped the broken file links characteristics.

You won’t find envelope icons by looking through a Windows folder of 6458 media files.

That is because broken links relate to MISSING files that are NOT there, so there is nothing to put an envelope icon against.

 

It is probably one of those 6458 files that is preventing the Tools > External File Links dialogue from working.

To prove that is the case, please try the following tactic.

In the \Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data\ folder temporarily rename the Media folder to just M.

Now in FH the Tools > External File Links dialogue should work and proves there is a ‘faulty’ file causing it to fail.

However, there will be an X against every entry because it cannot find the Media folder, and the envelope symbol will appear everywhere.

Don’t forget to rename folder M back to Media.

If that test succeeds, then I can help you discover the ‘faulty’ file.

 

Mike

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Gray via groups.io
Sent: 12 May 2020 16:10
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Media Files

 

Mike,

 

That explains things re the missing/corrupt files and gives me a better understanding of it.

 

Could you tell me how to get hold of and install your Plugin. It would certainly be much easier working from a list than trawling through the folder looking for the envelope items as I did.

 

The External File Links still does not open and I get the “An error has occurred. Unable to display dialog” pop up.

 

My Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data\Media folder tells me there are 6458 items.

In FH on the File>File Statistics it tells me there are 6463 Media Records.

If I can identify the 5 extras in FH with your Plugin would that possibly solve the issue with External File Link?

 

Tom


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Tom Gray
 

Mike,

 

You’re probably right about not grasping the issue.

I was meaning that maybe the Plugin would produce a list of the files with the envelope icon from the Media File not the Windows folder. I had trawled through the Media File picking them out so I could fix them using the method I gave earlier

Ran the plugin and it found 1 file that I had missed in the Media File. Sorted the problem and ran it again and no missing files.

 

I followed the instructions for renaming the Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data\ Media to M and the Tools> External File Links worked, with as you said an X against all entries. Have now renamed the folder back to Media.

 

Tom.


Mike Tate
 

I think the confusion is that you insist on describing the Media Records that exist inside FH as the Media Files that exist inside Windows folders.

Inside FH there is the Records Window and that lists Individual Records, Source Records, etc, etc, and Media Records. Do you see the pattern?

Windows has File Explorer for exploring Files such as in the Media folder.

 

 

So the renaming of the Media folder proves it has a ‘dodgy’ file that upsets Tools > External File Links.

Hopefully, your Media folder has several sub-folders, so repeat the process of renaming them one by one until you discover the one that lets Tools > External File Links work.

Thus that sub-folder holds the ‘dodgy’ file. If that sub-folder has its own sub-folders, then repeat the process again for them.

 

Eventually, you will have narrowed down the number of candidate files for the ‘dodgy’ file to a manageable number.

Do any of those files have unusual characteristics, unusual size, unusual file type, etc?

Try temporarily renaming each such file to see if that one lets Tools > External File Links work.

 

Otherwise, you could temporarily move half the files somewhere else to see if that fixes things, and if not then move them back.

Continue temporarily moving half the remaining suspect files as a binary chop method of finding the ‘dodgy’ file.

 

 

Mike

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Gray via groups.io
Sent: 12 May 2020 21:41
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Media Files

 

Mike,

 

You’re probably right about not grasping the issue.

I was meaning that maybe the Plugin would produce a list of the files with the envelope icon from the Media File not the Windows folder. I had trawled through the Media File picking them out so I could fix them using the method I gave earlier

Ran the plugin and it found 1 file that I had missed in the Media File. Sorted the problem and ran it again and no missing files.

 

I followed the instructions for renaming the Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data\ Media to M and the Tools> External File Links worked, with as you said an X against all entries. Have now renamed the folder back to Media.

 

Tom.

 


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Lorna Craig
 

Tom,

In an earlier post you said:

"My Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data\Media folder tells me there are 6458 items.

In FH on the File>File Statistics it tells me there are 6463 Media Records."

This means there were five media records in FH for which there was no corresponding file in your media folder. 


Yet after running Mike's plugin you said "it found 1 file that I had missed.... Sorted the problem and ran it again and no missing files."


There is still something not quite right. What is the latest count of media files (in the media folder) and Media records (in FH)?


Lorna





Tom Gray
 

Sorry if my terminology is confusing the issue.

 

Lorna,

 

Count in the Media Files is 6458 as it was before. Count in Media Records is now 6462 was 6463.

The file in question had been renamed and the original was not deleted and showed up in the Media Records as the “envelope” type and I deleted it.

I would still like to identify the extra 4 files in the Media Files but will go through Mike’s procedure first.

 

Mike,

 

I have no sub folders in the Media Files so will need to use the binary chop method as described so the procedure may take a while.

I think I will make a full copy of the Media File folder under another name first just in case I screw things up.

Just to clarify for me.

1. When returning the temporarily removed files to Media Files will they link back to the Individual Records they were previously linked to?
2. Would it work if I removed all the files from Media Files to a temp folder, delete the contents of Media Files and return them 25% or 50% at a time from the temp folder?

Sorry to be a pain but I'm as green as the grass with this. 
 

Tom.


Mike Tate
 

Tom, you are still confusing the issue my saying Media Files when you meant Media Records in the last sentence to Lorna.

You may have more than one Media Record that links to the same Media File.

So try running the Check for Possible Duplicate Media Plugin which will list such Media Records in pairs that can be merged.

 

I am guessing, but it may be that large number of files all in the one Media folder that is causing the problem.

Let us hope that is not the case, as it would involve a reorganisation of your files into sub-folders to fix the problem.

 

To clarify:

1. When returning files to the Media folder they will automatically link back to the Media Records (it is the Media Records that are linked to the Individual Records).

You can check when running the Tools > External File Links command because correctly linked files will NOT have an X icon.

2. Yes, perhaps return them 10% at a time, then when the command fails you will know the ‘dodgy’ file is in that last 10% (about 646 files).

So then you can remove that last 10% and start returning those files 1% at a time (about 64 files), and so on with smaller numbers until you find the ‘dodgy’ file.

 

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Gray via groups.io
Sent: 13 May 2020 12:11
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Media Files

 

Sorry if my terminology is confusing the issue.

 

Lorna,

 

Count in the Media Files is 6458 as it was before. Count in Media Records is now 6462 was 6463.

The file in question had been renamed and the original was not deleted and showed up in the Media Records as the “envelope” type and I deleted it.

I would still like to identify the extra 4 files in the Media Files but will go through Mike’s procedure first.

 

Mike,

 

I have no sub folders in the Media Files so will need to use the binary chop method as described so the procedure may take a while.

I think I will make a full copy of the Media File folder under another name first just in case I screw things up.

Just to clarify for me.

1. When returning the temporarily removed files to Media Files will they link back to the Individual Records they were previously linked to?
2. Would it work if I removed all the files from Media Files to a temp folder, delete the contents of Media Files and return them 25% or 50% at a time from the temp folder?


Sorry to be a pain but I'm as green as the grass with this. 
 

Tom.


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Peter Evans
 

Mike,

In your last reply to Tom you hinted that an excess of media files all in one folder may cause trouble.

I have 5400 media files all in the single standard media folder but as so far I have no problems. Should I consider splitting the media files into sub folders so to avoid any possible future problems?

thanks -- Peter


Mike Tate
 

Peter,

There are few absolute limits because both NTFS and FAT32 allow millions of files per folder.

However, depending on the speed of your disk and PC, performance starts to degrade once there are thousands of files in one folder.

Windows File Explorer gets slower just to list files, and reading & writing files (such as FH does) gets even slower.

Whether it would cause Tools > External File Links to fail is less clear, and we may find out after Tom’s analysis.

 

So check that Tools > External File Links works correctly in your Project.

With more than 5,000 files in one folder, I would advise splitting into logical sub-folders with short names.

After you have used Windows File Explorer to move a batch of files, use Tools > External File Links.

It will list the moved files with an X but if you click Auto Repair Links it should mend those broken links.

 

Regards, Mike Tate

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of p.evans1@... via groups.io
Sent: 13 May 2020 19:02
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Media Files

 

Mike,

In your last reply to Tom you hinted that an excess of media files all in one folder may cause trouble.

I have 5400 media files all in the single standard media folder but as so far I have no problems. Should I consider splitting the media files into sub folders so to avoid any possible future problems?

thanks -- Peter


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Graham Kent
 

Hi Peter,

When I first started with Family Historian, I kept all media files in a single folder. But, as time flew by, I found more and more family members asking for a particular photo or file and it would take me some time to find using normal windows facilities. For that reason, I now separate my files into folders and sub folders such as - Census > 1841, 1851 etc or Family Photos > Weddings, Christmas, Birthdays or BMD > Birth & Baptism, Marriage, Death & Burial, Probate.

I have also found that Ancestral Sources will remember the most recent options chosen for these and will copy an image to the correct folder when required.

Hope this helps
Graham


Tom Gray
 

Mike, Lorna and Peter,

 

Peter for your benefit, this all started when I found in the Media Records a quantity of what I now know to be missing or broken Media.

Despite the fact that my terminology sometimes confused things (77 year old brain still working just takes a wee bit longer to absorb things) and with a great deal of assistance (and patience) from Mike and Lorna I have manage to resolve things.

 

Following the advice and after running the Check for broken Media Links plugin the missing file issue was resolved, however part of the advice was to run the Tools>External File Links which I found would not open.

 

You can follow the advice given to resolve that problem which you will see from earlier posts. As I had no folders in the Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data\ folder I was going to use the binary chop method. I had 6458 files in that folder so it was going to be quite a task.

 

First tried the Tools> Externals Link which again did not open.

I ran the Check for Possible Duplicate Media plugin and got about 20.

It took two runs to resolve them all which included renaming and deleting some and the third run indicated no duplicate files.

I then ran the Check for broken Media Links plugin and it too came up with No broken links.
Before beginning the binary chop I made a complete copy of Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data to a separate folder and ran a full backup.

 

 

I then checked to see if the Tools> Externals Link was working and this time it DID open. I can see Project Data Folder>Media and a full list of media none of which has a cross against them.

So to my great relief there is no need to do the binary chop. Was that just pure luck! Problem Solved I hope.

 

Something that is still puzzling me is that in the Family Historian Projects\Name Tree\Name Tree.fh_data folder I now have a count of 6452 files, whilst in FH File>File Statistics it says Media Records 6415. Should they be the same? Trying to see if there is a way to compare both sets of data to find the additional files.

 

I have read Mike’s advice on the sub folders within the data folder and at the moment I do not have an issue with computer speed or slow searching, however I may need to consider going that route and how to go about it. The binary chop (for me) would be quite a task to undertake.

 

Tom