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Importing Your Sightings From an Older Version

Problem: I got a new computer and installed the new version of your software on it. Now how do I move all my Sightings, Custom Quizzes, Observers, Comments and Hall of Fame information from the old program into the new program?

Solution: First, make sure you are running the latest version of the software. To get free updates, open the program and click Help. Then click "Check for Updates." You will need to do this two separate times in order to get all of the updates. [If you see a warning message that says "Unable to Connect to the Remote Server" click HERE to see how to correct this.]

Then the solution is fairly straightforward:
1. In Windows, open the new program and in the top menu Bar click File. Then click "Restore from Backup" or on versions prior to version 7 "Import from Previous Version..." In Mac, click "File" and then click "Restore From Backup..."
2. Click the Browse button (it looks like a black binocular) and, on Windows computers, locate the file that looks something like this: eViewer Backup (2018-09-21).zip. If you have an older backup from previous versions you can click the arrow to the right of the search box and select from two different file types: eViewer Backup File (*.zip) or eViewer Database File(*.mdb).

On Mac computers, locate the file called Birding.db [See the instructions below if your old sightings are on a different computer. You need to copy the database.mdb or Birding.db file from your old computer to your new computer before you can "Import from Previous Version"]
3. Click Import.

Finding the database.mdb file or the Birding.db file in step two and moving it to your new computer can be a challenge.
[Hint: many folks follow the instructions in this FAQ and they still see no sightings - CLICK HERE for another FAQ that usually fixes this problem.]
You should also be aware that backups you made while using version 3.0 or 3.5 will not be able to be imported into a Vista or Windows 7 computer -- so you will need to find the original database.mdb file.

[Here is another hint from a user: try looking for things in Documents and Settings/All Users.]

Importing from v4.0 or v5.0 in Windows:
Look for the database.mdb file on your old computer in the C:\ProgramData\Thayer Birding Software\eViewer 4.0 (or 5.0)\Database folder. [This is a hidden folder so you may have to change your computer settings to show hidden folders. Scroll to the bottom of this article to see how to do that.] The file should be named "database.mdb". Copy this file onto your new computer and then follow the instructions for importing from a previous version. You will need to point the import tool to the database.mdb file that you copied from your old computer.

Importing from v3.9.x or v3.5.x in Windows:
If your operating system is XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8, then look for the database.mdb folder in the C:\ProgramData\Thayer Birding Software\eViewer 3.x\Database folder.

However, in Vista computers there appears to be a database.mdb file in TWO different locations! Since Vista does not allow data in the Program File to be altered they created something called "Virtual Store" to keep databases that had been changed (by adding sightings, for example.)

If you are trying to import a version 3.x database from an old computer running Vista, then the file you want is in the "Virtual Store" location:

C:/Users/YourNameHere/AppData/local/VirtualStore/ProgramFiles/ThayerBirdingSoftware/eViewer 3.x\Database

You might also try using the Windows Search function to find database.mdb on the hard drive of your old computer.

If you cannot find your database in the Virtual Store because you could not see a folder called AppData, then see the solution for this at the bottom of this FAQ.

If Your Old Database is on a Mac Computer:

1. Open a Finder window and go to Applications and then double-click the Thayer Birding Software folder.
2. From there, while holding down the Control key, click the eViewer icon.
3. Then click on "Show Package Contents"
4. Double-click on "Contents", then double-click on "Resources".
5. Scroll down to Birding.db.
6. Copy the contents of that file.

If Your Old Database is on an XP Computer:

On your old XP computer look in:
C:/Program Files/Thayer Birding Software/eViewer 3.5/Database/database.mdb or in
C:/Program Files/Thayer Birding Software/eViewer 3.9/Database/database.mdb or in
C:/Program Files/Thayer Birding Software/eViewer 4.0/Database/database.mdb
If it is not there, try C:/Documents and Settings/User Name/Application Data/Thayer Birding Software/eViewer x.x/Database/database.mdb
If it is not there, try C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data/Thayer Birding Software/eViewer x.x/Database/database.mdb

For version 3.0 or 3.1 this file is in C:/Program Files/Thayer Birding Software/data I Found The Correct Database...Now What?

Once you find the database.mdb file or the Birding.db file, you will need to copy it from your old computer and place it on your new computer. We suggest just placing it on the desktop so it is easy to find.

The database.mdb file is fairly large, so you may need to burn a CD-ROM or use a flash drive to copy this file. Then install this database.mdb file on the desktop of your new computer.

The new birding program installed on your new computer can then be used to import everything you need from the old database. Just click File in the Menu Bar and then click Import from Previous Version.

Plan B:
Some backup files made using version 3 or version 3.5 will not work because the file structure changed between versions. If you have a backup file with the extension tbsbu and you already got rid of your old computer, all is not lost. You will need to install the old birding program on a friend's XP computer and then use the tbsbu file to restore your sightings, etc. Then copy the database.mdb file from your friend's XP computer and move it to your new computer.

You may also see a message such as: "An error occurred importing the database: The Microsoft Jet database engine cannot find the input table or query 'MDF'. Make sure it exits and that its name is spelled correctly."

This error message indicates that the MDF table cannot be found. You are probably trying to import a backup file of your sightings that was created by an older version of our software. This file is probably named backup.mdb. Backup files from older versions of the software cannot be import into v3.9.x, v4.0.x, or v5.0.x. The backup files from older versions are mdb files, but are not the same format as the application database. We only support the import of the application database from older versions. The easiest solution would be to restore the backup into the older version and then import the application database.

Note to version 4.0 users: Since the new version 4.0 has fewer species in it than version 3.0, 3.5 or 3.9, it is possible that some of your sightings will not be imported into version 4.0. any of these birds were added back in v4.5, so be sure to upgrade to v4.5.x on your new computer before restoring your sightings. About 250 very rare and accidental birds are now found only in the Gold edition (version 5.0). If this is a big concern to you, we suggest upgrading to version 5, rather than to version 4.

Since you obviously care a great deal about your sightings, we would like to strongly suggest that you consider using our favorite Listing and Recordkeeping Program called Birder's Diary. This is a FAR more robust program than our listing program and is designed for active listers and recordkeepers - especially those that travel outside the U.S. and Canada.

Birder's Diary

Making the AppData Folder Appear
Click Start in the lower left corner of your computer screen.
Click All Programs.
Scroll down the list and click on a folder called Accessories.
Click on Windows Explorer.
At the top right, click on the word Tools (if you do not see this, click your Alt key to make it appear.)
Now click Folder options...
Click the View Tab.
Finally, click the radio button in front of the words "Show hidden files, folders, or drives" and then click OK.
You can now go back to find the database in the Virtual Store at:
C:/Users/YourNameHere/AppData/local/VirtualStore/ProgramFiles/ThayerBirdingSoftware/eViewer 3.x (or 4.x or 5.x)\Database

Properties ID: 000129   Views: 4027   Updated: 4 months ago