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DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1326212885000
Classification: Query
A friend got Family Tree Maker 2012 as a Christmas gift and was nice enough to bring in her laptop to show me the software. As a user of for more than 7 years, I could see how similar the new front of FTM2012 was to the website. The layout of information and the amount of data presented on the Person’s screen was much better than the Legacy software I have used for 8 years.

So I went online to download it and for reasons quite unclear Canadians are not allowed to download it. But I did order it from GlobalGenealogy and as always it was here in just a couple of days. Let me precursor this with the note that I am an IT Manager working in the computer industry for 30 years and have worked on thousands of computer using every version of Windows ever made.

I currently use a Dell laptop with Windows XP and without question, the Family Tree Maker 2012 is the worst installation software I have seen since the beginning of Windows. I do not know who the programmers were, but clearly they never tested the software on the other versions of Windows.

I put the CD into the computer and no auto-install started. So I then opened the CD and found the SETUP program. I don’t how they designed this but I thought I had not started the program because it took so long to show anything on the screen. It went through the installation process and after 10-15 minutes, it hung on some English dictionary. After an hour I finally killed the hung job. I went to uninstall the program and discovered that there was no Uninstall program on the Programs Menu, and nothing listed in the list of software under the Control Panel> Add or Remove Programs utility. So I could not uninstall the program. As an IT Manager I have a number of special utilities for this type of problem but none of them worked against FTM 2012, so I could not uninstall it.

So I decided to try to re-install overtop of the failed install which often resolves similar problems. This time the Setup completed, and it opened FTM 2012 but it opened a second window saying there was an update but blocking out the option to not let it install. So I had no choice but to run the update, which then closed the pop up windows and showed nothing. I confirmed that the program was running in the background but nothing was shown on the screen. I left it for an hour and as far as I could see nothing happened.

I work behind what is called a proxy server, and some software has problems with it, but most let you into the program to tell it you are using the proxy server and to tell the software how to deal with it.

So I decided that I would wait until I got home to let the update run so it would not have to deal with the proxy server. Later last night I started my computer and once running, double clicked on the FTM 2012 icon and the pop up window gave me no choice but to run the Update, so I let it go and this time the program did show the installation progressing, but after about 10 minutes it was hung again trying to deal with this English dictionary file. I left it alone for 30 minutes and the program was still hung.

Since I already knew that there was no ability to uninstall FTM2012 I went online and search for notes on how to uninstall FTM2012. I did find some notes on their website on how to manually uninstall the program. They have no uninstall utility built into the software! Who sells a piece of software that cannot be uninstalled?

It is fortunate that I am an experience computer person as the steps necessary to remove FTM 2012 would intimidate most of the regular computer users I know. Again I used some of my utilities to do a proper clean up as there are a number of files left behind by their process.

So I rebooted and before I re-installed FTM2012 I noticed that on the page about the uninstall there was a note about needing to “Perform a Clean Boot of Windows”. So I followed the link to the Microsoft website and got reminded how to do a “Clean Boot”. I say reminded as I have not had to do a clean boot since Windows 98, over a decade ago. I have to believe that the programmers who designed the installation program have never written any software for any version of Windows before as I have never had a single piece of software in the hundreds I have worked on over the year that required me to shut down every other program running in Windows before I could install it. I cannot believe that anyone put out a piece of software that badly designed. I cannot believe that in 2012 any professional in our industry would put this untested a program out on the market.

So I did as they suggested and rebooted my computer into the “Clean boot” and when I put the CD in, the auto-install did actual start. Amazing. The installation completed at an expected pace, and when I started FTM2012 it went straight to the Update screen, again not allowing me to bypass it. I let the update run and for once it did complete. I rebooted still in a “Clean boot” and ran FTM2012 and it went straight into the update program again.

I decided to go to their website and see if there was some way to turn off the prompt or run the updates manually. I did find this page, that shows some of the updates (but not all), but the web page requires you to know which version of FTM 2012 you are currently running. But I cannot tell which version I am running as the program will still not get past the automatic update utility. So how am I suppose to know what update to run?? At this point I have no option but to run them all. So I run all three of the updates over top of each other and reboot my computer. Still in “Clean boot”, I start FTM2012 and wonders never cease, the program actually opens.

I reset set my computer to get out of the “Clean boot”, which they do not tell you how to do on the site. Yes, it’s following the steps backwards, but how many people know that? I reboot under normal Windows XP and run FTM2012 and it opens properly. I will mention here that I had my account open at every step of this process as I know FTM2012 allows a direct link to your account.

I had built a new GED file from my current copy of Legacy and imported it into a new tree in FTM2012, which was quite quick and from first glance captured all of my data. I pulled up my maternal grandfather and saw everything I had in Legacy was there. So I decided to let it go to to get the immigration records I know are there and the program said I have to register my software. I clicked the Register Now button and it came back in seconds saying that “Error Processing Subscription Activation We were unable to process your subscription at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again at a later time. “, and a Close button. No error message to tell you what happened. No note on what to do next or a link to help page. And of course, even with getting the install to finally work, I have just checked and there is no Uninstall program for FTM2012 anywhere on my computer.

So I am now sitting here with a piece of software that will not do the specific task I purchased it for.

Now I will be clear that my friend who is not a computer person but reasonable comfortable with them got the software installed on her Windows Vista laptop with no problem at all. This is specifically a warning about installing this software on Windows XP. I have not tried installing it on Windows 7 but if it is working on Vista it probably does work on Windows 7. This is a warning to any user of Windows XP to not install Family Tree Maker 2012 until you hear that they have done some major changes to the installation program or you have a friend with lots of computer experience to help you get around these problems. There is quite a bit of software that only works on Vista or Windows 7 and I have no problem if they decide to announce it is only made for those operating systems, but they need to stop saying it is made to work with Windows XP.

Re: DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1326214226000
Classification: Query
I have been using FTM since the DOS days and I have yet to place a CD in any machine, that the "Auto Load" did NOT work. I have also hve a "Uninstall" entry within the Control Panel to uninstall my versions of FTM. Yes I have at this time 3 versions of FTM on this machine.

I would say that your machine has been or was set to NOT to read the autoload file. I have not needed to do a "Clean Boot" on any of my nachines. I have 2012 installed on 3 Windows 7 and 1 Windows XP machines.

I know of NO place that FTM can be downloaded, so it is NOT just in Canada.

In the Plan view, does it show that you are logged in through FTM?

Being logged in through a "Browser" may be blocking FTM at this time.

Re: DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1326216021000
Classification: Query

The failure to Auto-run is one of the problems that some people do experience. If you were to do a search you would come up with the standard work around which is to copy the files to your hard drive and run from there. It is in fact the only installation problem that I personally have had, but others report problems which generally related to virus protection.

FTM2012 is available as a download as an option via the shop, but not elsewhere. I believe Canadians are barred for customs reasons.


Re: DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1326216561000
Classification: Query
Before I moved over to Legacy software because of the source tracking capability, I was a user of Family Tree Maker as well and was very happy with it at that time, but the 2012 is a very different animal.

I can tell you that my computer had three other pieces of software installed on it in the last two months, all which autoloaded from the CD and installed with no problem.

FTM 2012 can be download via the web directly from FTM's website if you have a USA address. I have downloaded original software from numerous websites and countries over the years without problems. FTM is not the first company to not allow other countries to download from their site.

And I did try your suggestion to not be logged into my account when I tried running the Registration process but I still got the same error message. Thanks for the suggestion.

Re: DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1326216822000
Classification: Query
One of the recent updates to Windows XP deliberately set Auto Load from CD/DVDs to off as a security measure (If memory serves me aright).

I have used "Safe Boot" from time to time so I can undo things but "Clean Boot" is more of a pain than useful (IMO as they say).

With FTM2011 I did load it to hard disc so that I could avoid that Avonquest nonsense. With Nero Imagedrive I can even simulate the DVD image without the annoying Avonquest screen.

It loads with no problems on Windows XP. But then I have 40 years of working with computers of all types...

I think the software can be downloaded (possibly USA only because of taxes) from the shop.

which diverts you to another site.

Re: DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1326223470000
Classification: Query
I have FTM 2012 installed on Window XP SP3 on an HP laptop, duo core processor, with 1gb ram.

I placed the CD in the drive and it started as it was suppose to. I did have some trouble during the install but while it appeared not to install, when I tried to run it, it worked fine. There are if I remember 2 updates to FTM 2012. Some of my trouble was it was looking for online access to Ancestry tree which I don't have.

The basic program works fairly quickly moving about the programs and adding data. I find it is easily navigated.

There are things I dis-like about FTM 2012.
One: It takes 90 seconds to load. This means you can not pop in check a couple of facts and pop out. If you are in the field, cemetery, etc. it makes it extremely difficult.

Two: When you do FTM Books or genealogy reports, it takes 10 times longer the FTM Version 16. This means when you are working on FTM Books you need to have several cups of coffee to drink as you wait.

Three: It appears the program is interwoven on the obsolete version of Internet Explorer, as when accessed Ancestry from within FTM you do not have the Tabs functions.

I wonder if you could base it on current browsers like FireFox if it would be faster.

Re: DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1326301210000
Classification: Query
Thanks for the link, this is the first version I have seen that was able to be downloaded.

As for the others, I have installed all updates on my XP, Vista and Windows 7 machines and have never had the "Auto Run" turned off. The "OP" stated that he was behind a proxy server, which most likely was and is blocking his access to during install. I have also seen third part firewalls and AV programs block the running of the install, but that is NOT a FTM issue.

FTM 2012 requires the install of ".Net 4" and if it has not been installed it will be before the install of FTM 2012 will install. During the install of .net and it appears to be hung, but it really is NOT. On some machines it just takes a lot of time to do.

The 90 seconds to load FTM 2012, is based on the fact the FTM is trying to login to Ancestry and some browsers do take time to allow this action. Also again the AV and Firewall programs have a hand in this.

As for the tabs missing, in the "Web Search" I know of no other program accessing the web that allows the use of any full browser.

Re: DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1326307199000
Classification: Query

The update turning off the Autoplay is a vague memory.

(A bit of research shows this which turned off USB memory)

I already have .Net 4 loaded so I'm okay there for when I eventually load FT2012 Platinum that I bought before Christmas. I'm waiting for SP4.

The web interface is actually built into FTM (at least it is for FTM2011); I was able to watch it using procmon. It downloads the images as Jpeg2000 format then converts them to jpeg. Hence its slowness.....

Re: DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1326630863000
Classification: Query
Just thought I'd add my own experience. I purchased the download version from the Ancestry site (I'm in Asia; just gave it a US address and had no problem downloading), so I can't speak to the autorun issue.

My own setup: all my machines run Linux. Because the FTM 2012 installer dies under Wine (winetricks may be able to resolve that, but I haven't tried) I run FTM in a Windows XP Virtualbox VM. Before installing FTM, I created a new VM, did a clean install of WinXP SP3, including all MS updates through 2008. The FTM installation ran flawlessly, including .NET 4 installation. The only issue I had was with the registration dialog seeming to hang for three minutes or, but that appears to have just been a network timeout issue. Eventually it popped to life and everything went merrily along. I didn't attempt to register because I already have an subscription, and I want to save the three free months for later.

The forced update is for a critical patch that fixes a rather serious synchronization issue (you can see threads elsewhere in this message board). That, too, went down without issue for me.

The uninstall option is in Control Panel > Add-Remove Software, though if your installation blew up, it may not have created that.

As a former IT person myself, from what I read in your message, your trouble-shooting strikes me as a bit hasty. Start with an F5 clean boot (F5/F8 for safe-booting / single-stepping has been ingrained in me since the days of DOS 6); if that works, safe-mode with networking; if *that* works, do an F8 single-step boot to see if you can isolate the conflicting app or driver.

If even safe mode doesn't work work, try installing on a different system. If you don't have one, download VirtualBox and try it in a freshly installed VM as I did. If *that* fails, you may be ready to blame FTM.

The installation, as I said, ran flawlessly for me under XP, and I have yet to encounter any issues whatsoever. I strongly suspect there's something in your XP installation that is inhospitable to FTM, but there's not enough information to tell.


Re: DO NOT INSTALL FTM 2012 on Windows XP

Posted: 1327334502000
Classification: Query
Now I get this from customer service. Please !! This program acts like Shareware.

1. Uninstall all versions of .Net Framework and WSE 3.0 via Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel in the following order: 4.0, 3.5 SP1, 3.0, 2.0, then 1.1.

2. Run the .Net cleanup tool that you can download from the following web site:

3. Once this is done you will need to reinstall all .Net Framework versions on your computer. Here are the website addresses to download these versions:
Microsoft .net framework 1.1:
Microsoft .net framework 2.0:
Microsoft .net framework 3.0:
Microsoft .net framework 3.5:
Microsoft WSE 3.0 runtime:

4. Uninstall / re-install Family Tree Maker
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