Sunday, October 10, 2010

Windows 7 and Saving Images from Ancestry on Your New Computer – Aargh!

I’ve been limping along for quite some time now, using the same laptop for work and play. And boy, do I play – a lot. Seriously.

It’s easy to separate your work life from your play life, but not so easy to justify a second laptop, especially when it is dedicated solely to personal use. Since my work laptop was run on XP windows, and I’d heard all the horror stories from users of Vista, I’d decided that limping along using the one machine for both functions might not be such a bad idea. So I headed to my own mental bomb shelter and patiently waited out the scourge that was Vista before revisiting the idea of a second computer.

And then the sun came out. Microsoft put out its new Windows 7. I started seeing all those happy people in the commercials. You know the ones, those people all over the world who invented Windows 7 thereby making the world a better place, Kumbaya. Yeah, okay, I’ll admit it. Madison Avenue got me. Suck-ah!

The first piece of bad news - My Family Treemaker version 16 was not compatible. Then my Arc software that I’ve used forever, the software that I love, the software that came with my old Sony camera, and I’ve become an expert at using – also not compatible. Grrrrrrr!!!!

Today, however, Windows 7 dealt its harshest blow of all. It would not let me save images from Ancestry. Wait. Was that a collective gasp I heard coming from the genealogy gallery? (Chuckles from the folks still using Windows XP?)

Now you would think that in my umpteen years of having an Ancestry subscription, I’ve probably saved every darn census I would ever need, and you’d be right. The size of my census folder is a whopping big 2.74 GB, with 817 folders and 5,275 files. (Some of those files are duplicates – remember those old .SID image files? I still have them. I can still read them with a Brava Reader and they are really beautiful to behold compared to the jpeg files.)

Well, today, owing to the fact that I could not use my wonderful free Arc software to crop an image of the 1840 census, I looked online to see if there was something I could use on Windows 7 to do a simple job like crop a photo. There is – it’s called Paint. You know that application that’s been on every Windows based computer since the beginning of time, that application.

So, I followed the instructions, did a credible job of cropping, and then saved the image. But wait, I shouldn’t have clicked “Save.” By clicking “Save” instead of “Save As,” I overwrote the original file. Rats!

No problem, I said to myself, I’ll just log into Ancestry, find the very same census image and save it to my computer. When I went to “Save” the image, I was told the Administrator did not grant permission to save the file to my folder entitled “Census.” Wait a minute, aren’t I the administrator? I most certainly did grant permission, but Windows apparently couldn’t take verbal permission. Fine.

It did however have another recommendation. Windows 7 recommended that I save it to “My Pictures” folder. Inconvenient, but what the heck, I clicked “yes.”

Problem was I couldn’t find the image when I went looking for it. I tried saving it again, going through the same process, except this time I was told the file already existed. I could see the file in my little save box but when I went into the “My Pictures” folder, the file wasn’t there.

Then I did a search for the folder. It found the file, but when I clicked on the link, it told me the file wasn’t there, and to make sure I had typed the file and path correctly. Of course, I didn’t type the file and path. Windows did. But hey, who am I to argue with a snippety computer system.

Okay, now I’m ticked. I start googling for answers, finally, coming across a Microsoft forum where, hello, someone else had the very same problem. “Kaye” said to go to the home page of Ancestry, click on the help button, type in the term “Can’t save Images.” Number five in the search reads, “Why can’t I print or save record images from any more on Windows Vista or Windows 7.”

There on the page are the step-by-step instructions. I couldn’t print them out, as my printer hasn’t been hooked up yet to my new laptop, and I don’t think my heart could take the news that my printer isn’t compatible. So I read the instructions carefully first, copied the “*” phrase I would need to add, tiled the Internet Options box with the help page for Ancestry and proceeded to fix my problem.

Voila! It worked. See screen shot below with blue arrow pointing to the naughty little file, sitting as bold as can be in my 1840 Ohio Census folder.

Thanks Kaye. Thanks Ancestry expert. No thanks, Windows 7, you heartless cad.