Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Family Tree Maker 2012 Resolved

I received my Family Tree Maker 2012 disk shortly after the program was made available. I tried unsuccessfully to load the program into my computer and after sending an email to Family Tree Maker was summarily told that they didn't support the program on my computer. Here are the details:

I run Windows 7 on my iMac using Parallels Desktop. I received the disk from Family Tree Maker and got a series of error messages when I tried to load the program about its inability to connect to the network. I have run Parallels for years and have never been unable to load a program. After trying just about everything I could think of, including updating my Parallels Desktop program and other programs, I was about ready to give up. I notified Family Tree Maker that I wanted a refund because the program would not work on my computer. Before requesting the refund I consulted with one of my family members as a last ditch effort to see if I could get the program to work.

At this point, let's just say I am not unacquainted with software on both PCs and Macs. After our discussion, I realized I could try one more thing. After another hour of so of working on the software problem, I got the program to load and run properly on both my iMac and my MacBook Pro. Problem solved. Now the moral dilemma, do I donate my time and effort to and Family Tree Maker and tell them how to solve the problem? They profess to have no interest in supporting programs running in Parallels Desktop and apparently could care less if I solved the problem or not. Should I tell the world how to solve the problem and thereby directly benefit and once again donate my time and effort to them for free?

Do I have some moral obligation to tell the genealogical community how to solve the problem? I got only a very limited response to my previous posts about the problem, so I can't believe that the problem is very widespread. I guess what I decided was to offer to share the solution with individual users who find the same problem. If you have the problem, just leave me a comment with your email address. I will not publish your address, but I will respond and see if my work around will solve your problem. I guess if someone who works for Family Tree Maker writes to me and I give them the solution, so be it. That's their problem not mine. I hope the attitude expressed by Family Tree Maker support does not mean they do not support the Apple OS, because the problem was a Windows 7 problem, not an Apple OS X problem.


  1. I do not have a Mac, but I admire your persistence and ability to make the program work.

  2. I have FTM 2012 ordered and am waiting for my copy. I will be running it on a virtualized Windows 7 machine under VMWare Fusion 4. I was wondering about your fix; what was the initial problem that you had running FTM 2012 under Parallels?

  3. Hi James, I am having the same problems on my Macbook Pro running Win 7 and Parallels 7 on Snow Leopard. The screens that I get are the same as you posted. Very grateful for any solutions you might have.

  4. I am interested in your solution - I have an unopened FTM 2012 and was going to order Parallels 7 JUST for this software. I'm confused how it would not work. I'd appreciate an email w/ your solution.

  5. What's the moral issue? You need not share it the solution with FTM, but you should share it with the user community. FTM still won't support Parallels, as they won't invest the effort to understand your solution.

    Part of the success of user communities is outsmarting the vendors, who usually hire the cheapest labor (read untrained) possible. User communities are chock full of interested users who just want to get a job done, and seldom hesitate to share experience and/or expertise.

    I have your same problem and have the same result from them. Their solution is to move to the Mac version (which I was already doing, as I do with most applications that I can from the Windows environment). I'll continue to run FTM 2012/Windows on my sole remaining Windows laptop.

    Consider solving a problem that they can't solve as a way to show their short-sightedness to the community - that's got to be worth more than keeping it to yourself and making the rest of the community with the problem repeat your work!

  6. I was really searching for a solution. I've tried the FTM for Mac version 2 - my advice to Mac users is to avoid like the plague. So I resorted to FTM 2012. Got it running beautifully on my Bootcamp partition - really quick too. But when I tried it on my Parallels 6/WIndows 7 setup - the danged thing will NOT run - just hangs there at the Application Initializing. Has anyone an answer they'd be happy to share please?

  7. I have just spent the last several hours trying to load FTM 2012 with this configuration: iMac, Mountain Lion, Parallels 8, Windows XP. I have the FTM 2012 CD so not sure why it is trying to connect to the network. Just spent a frustrating 15 minutes with Ancestry support who told me they do not even support this. If someone can help it would be great. I am wary of publishing my email address here, though.

  8. I found the answer on another forum. I created a new folder on the C drive of my virtual machine and copied the contents of the FTM 2012 CD to it. Then I clicked Setup and off it went - smooth as silk. I am finding the ancestry help desk irksome.


  9. Strangely enough a recent update of FTM seemed to fix the issues I had with running it on Parallels 8. It runs beautifully now. I'd be interested to know if the Mac version updates have fixed anything - or even made it half as good as the Windows version.