A user with this problem could not open their RM7 database file, contacted Tech Support which could not help and was referred by the agent to me. I warned them that there was probably nothing I could do because any version of SQLite I had would report the same error as RM7’s SQLite database engine and be unable to open it. Sure enough, here’s what SQLiteSpy reported:
As I could not open the .rmgc file with SQLiteSpy, I had a look at it with a text editor (PSPad in this case; NotePad++ is a good alternative), thinking that maybe the header got corrupted. Here’s what I saw:
Two things (highlighted) jumped out at me: “PK” and a filename ending in “.rmgc”. Was this actually a RootsMagic 7 backup file whose extension had been changed from “.rmgb” to “.rmgc”? The RM backup file, probably even from the era of Family Origins, is a data compressed ZIP file and I had used, as early as the ’80’s, the original PKZIP utility for MS-DOS – there’s that “PK”. Sure enough, changing the extension to “.zip” allowed Windows File Manager, which integrates the Zip functions, to look inside and see that there was a single file in the archive whose uncompressed size was 3 times the size of the compressed backup file. Its name was actually “T.Thornley.rmgc”, a pre-RM8 RM database filename.
Then, having changed the extension from “.zip” to “.rmgb”, RM7 happily extracted “T.Thornley.rmgc” from the Zip/Backup file using File>Restore and successfully opened it. Here’s what the header looks like for the resulting “.rmgc” file, or any unencrypted SQLite 3 file, including any RM8 “.rmtree” database file:
Apparently, the user had been changing backup filenames to the “.rmgc” extension for some time as they reported that they could not “open” a backup dated later than 2020. I can see how this might be possible due to a misunderstanding of the RM Backup/Restore procedures and a trap in the RM User Interface: the backup dialog allows the user to change the extension when naming the backup file. It probably should append “.rmgb” (or “.rmbackup” for RM8) regardless; after all, that extension is required for RM to find its backups, distinct from “.zip” files and in the clutter of other file types.
RM8 reports a misleading error
If one uses File > Open to the mislabelled “.rmgc” file, there is no immediate error as in the case of RM7 but a series of dialogs having to do with conversion to RM8 until the Import starts and hangs with this “Send error report” dialog:
One would infer that it was an unencrypted database file missing a required table but that is not the case. The correct error message is provided by RM7 and it does not freeze up as is the case with RM8.