Backed up and slightly buggered!

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Backed up and slightly buggered!

Postby Allarielle » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:28 pm

Been using the prog on my desk PC for a week or so and everything works as sweet as a nut. Love it!

Was getting a bit concerned about the amount of work I had done making a start putting my cards into the collection, so decided a spot of back up might be wise!

Step 1. Put the folders onto a bus and everything looks fine. msgstudio. collection looked good at 220kbs. went to sleep.
Step2. Woke up worried that if my Desk Pooter went belly-up would this hard work open on a new PC.
Step 3. Had Brain wave! :idea: Download prog on work laptop. Decks opened fine from the Greyhound. Paranoia got massive hike when Collection would not open!

here's the hap......... msgstudio.collection looks odd on laptop. it is not the blank looking page with a dog-eared corner, as it appears inside vista.......... but is same sheet with a finger missing logo. I get the following msg when I open MSG Studio on the laptop.....>

File E ;/mtgstudio is not recognised as a valid Deck File?? Who said it was? Stupid laptop!

Is this Karma for using the work laptop? Or. can you help fix it please.

Am Really loath to put anymore cards into my collection unless I can be sure that I can get them back in the future if my PC gives up the ghost.

Any instruction, in the sort of english that a country bumkin might understand, would be desperately appreciated. thanks, Kiwi
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Postby gaddlord » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:43 pm

From what I understood from your post (sorry English is not my native language) you have installed and used MTG Studio on a USB drive and then moved the file to a laptop.

Have you downloaded the MTG Studio portable version or the regular one?

MTG Studio Portable is inteded to be used when you plan to move the program and data (such as collection file) around different PCs.
The portable version is named mtgstudio_portable.exe and creates the collection file (named mtgstudio.collection) inside the mtgstudio_portable.exe folder.

1. Please install the latest MTG Studio Portable version from (www.mtgstudio.com/download.aspx)
2. Run MTGStudio_portable.exe which will create an empty mtgstudio.collection file within the installation folder
3. Close MTG Studio
4. Copy your collection file over the new empty mtgstudio.collection file and when being ask to Overwrite choose Yes.
5. Run the MTGStudio_portable.exe again and your collection should appear.

Let me know if you need further explanation.
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Postby Allarielle » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:58 am

Thank you for your reply.

Not quite sure that I understand but I will follow your directions.

My aim in moving mycollection from the Desk PC to the Laptop was only because I have concerns about backing up all the work of inputting thousands of cards.

This portable version is the one I should have on my Laptop or[i] on the original Desk PC that has the collection already in it?

Thank you for your patience.
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Postby Schwanke » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:06 pm

Not sure if this helps but I have some experience with the portable from the I didnt write it and I made some mistakes using it perspective. :D

If this just starts to confuse you ignore my post and let gaddlord help you, I can get long winded and sometimes that helps people and sometimes it doesnt.

The portable is 'stand alone' in the sense that everything it needs to run is located in the folder you install it to and the entire folder can be taken from computer to computer and work without having to be installed again on each new computer.

'Installing' the portable is really just extracting it if I remember correctly to one directory.

You could actually have multiple portables on the same computer like if your managing multiple collections though only one will run at a time if I remember correctly.

The regular 'non-portable' installation acts like a normal windows program and installs itself to the program files directory on your computer, creates registry entries, etc. (if I am not mistaken again).

The conveneience of the portable is best if you for example put it on a memory stick or an sd card and you had multiple computers or a library computer for example. You could take the stick or card to the library and run it right off the card, then take it home and run it right off one or more computers, etc. Take it to work. Etc.

The other option for you and checking your collection is to simply only work with the collections file. If I am not mistaken you can take the collections file from the non-portable and copy it to the portable collections file and then when you open the portable version your collection should be there.

Gaddlord's mention of running the program first I think is because the first collection file doesnt get created until you run the program once.

Now if I remember correctly (and I just checked but it might have changed?) the portable collections file is mtgstudio_portable.collection where as the non portable is mtgstudio.collection. So you might have to get a little more tricky like deleting the old-original-generic portable one in the portable directory and then copying your personal collection file to that directory and renaming it to the full name mtgstudio_portable.collection. (as always if im not mistaken and there may be a faster way. Been using computers for 20 years and still learn new simple tricks lol.)

Also if this is confusing you then chances are you have hide known extensions turned on which means your file names are going to be slightly different. I just checked and a collection file is not registered as a mtgstudio file so you should still see the file mtgstudio_portable.collection in the portable folder. Thats the one you want to replace with your original collection file with all your current cards in it.

You will also see a file mtgstudio_portable with either no extension or .exe if hide known file types is turned off. It has a hand icon next to it. Thats the executable you run to run the portable. You DONT want to replace that. Just being clear since both are named mtgstudio_portable.

I hope this helps some more or helps someone else later. If not, my bad lol. :D

Last note feel free to ask questions. I dont believe there is such a thing as a stupid question. Everyone started somewhere and everyone learns at different speeds in different ways. Don't be embarrased. Like I said I'm still learning things after 20 years. Learned a few weeks ago that Ctrl+Print screen on windows only copy's the current window lol. Been using windows since 3.0 lol on 5.25 floppies lol.
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Postby Allarielle » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:10 pm

Thank you very much Schwanke....that is most helpfiul.

I am off traveling with just my laptop(plus some cards) until the weekend.

I will study the posts carefully when I get back on Sunday and try out the suggestions. For the moment I will rest assured that there is a safeguard to putting all the work into Studio and get to grips with it on my return.

I am able for the moment, to catalogue some cards onto the Laptop by putting them into a fictional "deck" bercause the "deck" transfers back to my PC. I can then add them to my collection on the PC and delete the deck. This off course does not address my concerns about backing-up the collection, but that can wait until I try out the portable ideas when I return

Many thanks for your kind help.
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Postby Allarielle » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:37 pm

Just run through your comprehensive info Shwanke. I understand what you are saying about the "portable"........ but it doesn't really seem to address my concerns about backing up my main studio collection.

If I cannot take my main studio collection and open it on my laptop....which I cannot......for the reasons that you explained. What happens if my main PC crashes... how is the studio collection files that I backed up on a stick ever going to open on a new PC if they don't open on my laptop?

Did that make sense?
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Postby Schwanke » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:45 am

Hmm. They should open on your laptop though. If you make them under a portable copy then they should open under any portable copy of the same version. (Or be imported into newer versions)

I believe you said you were trying to get this to work before you put too many cards into it. My recommendation is you install a version of the portable copy on all the computers you want to transfer between and create a test collection.

If you open any of the portables and create a collection and then exit the program it will create a mtgstudio_portable.collection file in the portable directory. Then you can copy this file from portable installation to portable installation and should be able to read it just fine so long as you copy it into the portable directory before you open the program.

Now I REALLY could have sworn that if you went and found your .collection file from your first machine and copied it into the directory of a portable installation and renamed it to mtgstudio_portable.collection. (Over writing the one that was there if there was one) that SHOULD have worked.

My reocommendation is basically since your doing multiple machines dont worry about installing it normally. Just install the portable on everything and copy the file manually. Thats what I do. I upload my collection files to a ftp site I own and download them to each computer before I work on them then upload the updated files when I am done. That way I always have a backed up copy on my server in case any of my machines die and I am always working with the latest versions no matter which machine I happen to sit down to next to work on them.

I even take this a step further and every time I upload a file I upload a copy with the date in the name so I know which date I worked on it last. That way I have different versions from different days in case I have to go back a few for some reason. Space is cheap enough now adays doesnt matter how much you use anymore and I have had situations where I have forgotten to rename something and erased my latest version of my collection and lost 100 cards worth of work (which is a lot for me cuz my computer is slow lol). :|

Hope that helps some more. Hope my babbling isnt getting in the way.
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Postby Allarielle » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:24 am

Thank you Schwanke. It sounds like you are saying that for a collection to be saved in case of PC crash it has to be saved as a "portable collection"?

That's all well and good but what about the 1200 odd cards that I have already put into studio.collection? I could try overwriting them as you suggest.but....really?

It would be a non-starter to do all that work again. Oh man! I can't believe that a prog as popular as this.......nobodies thought about backing up against a dying PC??

Can you comment on that for me Gad please?

Still not going back to studio.collection until I can get this sorted.
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Postby Schwanke » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:29 pm

Ok. I think I might have a better way of explaining this.

In the installed version of mtgstudio. Not the portable. In the menu's in the tools drop down menu there are two menu items for opening system related folders. One is open installation and the other is open configuration.

In the folder ABOVE one of these two folders I am pretty sure you will find the mtgstudio.collection file.

Now make sure your in the installed version and not the portable version if you have both on the same system. HAS to be the installed version. HAS to be the version that has your 1200 cards.

If you can find the mtgstudio.collection file that has the 1200 cards then you can copy that file to someplace where you can find it like your desktop temporarily and then you can go to your PORTABLE version and choose the menu item File -> Import and import all 1200 cards into your portables directory.

I had forgotten about these two options until a few moments ago. Much easier to find it this way then what I was saying. Sorry. Hope this helps better.

Again your looking for the parent folder of one of the configuration or installation folders and the file in that folder you are looking for is mtgstudio.collection. You need to copy that file to somewhere where you can find it and then go to your portable version and chose file import and import it.

Hope that helps.
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Postby Schwanke » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:47 pm

Ok I'm still working on options to help you with this.

Question though. I reread your initial post and it said something thought something was a deck and not a collection. Are you sure your trying to import a collection and not a deck? When you were editing your collection on the original installation on the original machine did you have the box in the upper right hand corner of studio set to 'collection from pool'?

Just checking.

Also. I installed the latest version to test my previous post and if you go to the tools menu of the installed version (not the portable version) and you click on open configuration folder and then go one folder higher (the parent folder) you will see your mtgstudio.collection file. This is the file you need to copy to the new machine and import from inside studio.

The portion of going into the parent folder is different on xp and vista so if you need specific help on either one let me know as I have both.

To recap the overall process is to:

1. In INSTALLED version (not portable) go to Tools -> Open Configuration Folder.
2. Go up one folder to the parent folder.
3. Copy the mtgstudio.collection file to some place you can find it. (USB Stick for example since your taking it to another machine.)
4. Open the PORTABLE version wherever you want to see if it imports. (Assume on new machine but you could do it on the same machine under a different portable copy.)
5. Go to File -> Import on the PORTABLE version and follow the process and select the mtgstudio.collection file.

This will take the mtgstudio.collection file from your OLD INSTALLED system and import it into your NEW PORTABLE system.

I know I am repeating myself several times in several ways but I think part of our problem is communication confusion so I am hoping if I say it in different formats the combinations of them might make more sense.

Let me know if any of that helps.
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Postby Allarielle » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:06 am

Hello again Schwanke!

Just to say thank you very much. Have finally got my collection backed up! Presumably now it will overide when I add cards to my main and then import onto the Laptop portable again?

Many thanks for your patience.
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Postby Schwanke » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:21 am

Import adds the cards from the source file to your current file so if you want an exact duplicate of your original file from your other computer you will want to first delete all the cards in the backup and then import the cards from the other computer. (Otherwise you will have two of every card).

Now that you know how to get it to the portable installation if you look into the folder you are running that from you will see a file "mtgstudio_portable.collection".

That is your collection file. This file is updated whenever you exit the portable version or when you choose save from the file menu.

My recommendation is once you import your cards into the portable version and confirm they are all there (by number or key cards or whatever) you then make sure you save and/or exit the program and copy that file.

To copy the file you should be able to right click the file and choose copy and then right click somewhere in the same window and choose paste.

This should create a file "Copy of mtgstudio_portable.collection" which you can now rename to something much more rememberable.

What I do is I have a naming system where I make the date 2010-09-15 for example and then pick a file naming scheme to go with it "MyMainCollection"

Then I rename these files depending on the day:
MyMainCollection-2010-09-15.collection
MyMainCollection-2010-09-16.collection

etc...

That way I have a copy of each day's changes and if one of my versions gets screwed up I can go back a version and not loose as much work.

Remember on the portable if you start with a blank collection you can import any collection into it.

So if you copy the mtgstudio_portable.collection file to a file like I said with todays date then a few days from now you can come back and import the copied file into the portable if you wanted to.

This may all seem a little messy to go through but its a good practice to learn cuz what you dont want to have happen is you import the other computer into the portable then the other computer dies and you go to read the portable and find out something was wrong and it was missing 1000 cards or whatever. Sometimes we push the wrong button and dont realize what it did until the next time we use the program.

This way if you messed up todays copy you might still be able to use yesterdays copy and only loose one day of work and not all of it.

The other problem is because to import the other collection you have to delete the current collection if you dont have a backed up copy of the curent collection before you delete it and you delete it and then the import doesnt work you could wind up in a situation with no collection. This way atleast again you'll atleast have yesterdays collection. No good erasing a backup to make a backup if making the backup can fail.

Hope that all helps or atleast doesnt hurt. Glad you atleast have the backup for now.
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Postby Allarielle » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:29 am

G'day Schwanke...........

All up and running now. Backed up and renamed as per your suggestions.

Once again, thank you. If you hadn't taken the trouble to explain it so well.I would have binned the project!

Maybe see you someday at Magic Online! :D
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Postby Schwanke » Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Not a problem. Glad I could help. :)
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