Corrupt GEDCOM File

Last year I found that my RM8 file was slow to load. Also, every time I loaded a male parent, the program automatically loaded the same partner.

About 3 months ago, I exported the file to GEDCOM and recreated new RM8 file. This resolved the partner creation problem. In the past few days I have noted a problem when I export to GEDCOM for use in a Third Party utility and have received the following response

Your GEDCOM file does not conform to the GEDCOM standard – which is that each line contains: Level Number (0-99) followed by tag code, optionally followed by data.

Opening the file in WordPad or Notepad shows the problem clearly. There are numerous sections of the file which are essentially gobbledegook – many sequences of very unusual characters over many lines.”

I also note the my GEDCOM file is 127k, whereas my GEDCOM from Ancestry is only 19K.

Please let me have your advices and do excuse if this matter has already been covered.


R. Hogan


The obvious inference from a corrupted export is that your database is somehow corrupted. Have you run the Database Tools on it? If doing so does not correct the export corruption, you should submit your problem and database to Tech Support.

Yes - I have run the Databse Tools and everything seems OK.
How do I submit the databse to Tech Support?

Support Requests

Navigate via the website to and click on the “Submit a request” link on the upper right of the window.

In the past, prior to RM8, I’ve advocated that users should periodically export everyone and everything to GEDCOM as a test for some kinds of database errors that are not detected by the Database Tools > Check Integrity and that can cause the application to hang and/or report an error. There had been no history that I recall of completed exports that resulted in corrupted GEDCOM. Your experience suggests that there should be an added test for RM8 - can RM8 import the GEDCOM it exported intact?

Your earlier problem of the same partner being loaded illustrates a class of errors that crops up in RM8 that did not in earlier versions having to do with how slow it is and user actions getting ahead of where the software state is or the program crashing at an intermediate stage of a process.

Thanks TomH,
I have now submitted the .rmtree file and I await a response.
The file now corrupt was infact a GEDCOM reimported about 3 months ago and I only noted the current problem when I imported it to a third party untility yesterday.
Once again thanking you.

On the issue with the partner coming up are you selecting the correct partner from their info box at the top of the sidebar under Spouses?

When I would add male parent, the system would automatically add a pouse (the same person an existing persson in the database). I deleted the person in the database, but it continued to add this person.
I exported the database to a GEDCOM and reimported to start a new tree and the problem resolved.
I have been linking to the same Ancestry tree.
Thanking you

RM8.2.7.0 + Win11
Taking these replies one step further:
The built in tools have not found issues when looking at my own .rmtree.
Go to Tom’s website, SQLite Tools for RootsMagic, and follow up on SQLite Expert Personal Edition 64bit version with the unifuzz.dll extension.
The Database menu dropdown has Refresh - Check - Vacuum - Reindex All Tables.
Backup your database, load your rmtree database and then run these Database tools.

In my case when first run about 40 row errors and since then an occasional row error.

It is normal that the Integrity Check in the outboard sqlite manager should report some errors in a RM database that has been Re-indexed by RM. And vice-versa: RM’s Check Database Integrity tool will report errors on a database that has been re-indexed by the outboard sqlite. That’s because the fake RMNOCASE collation sequence does not exactly correspond with the real one. On returning a database to RM after working on it with an outboard sqlite, one should run RM’s Rebuild Indexes tool to have the internal sqlite engine REINDEX tables sing the real RMNOCASE.


I have looked at Toms website and decided that I know enough to not venture here.

I have sent the database file to Technical Support and I understand that they are to look at the file on Monday.

Thanking you


In this case the outboard sqlite editor is only running the database tools - no other work on the RM8 database. I then take care to run RM8’s internal tools before working with the application. So far no issues and other than when 1st run, few row errors. The number of row errors when 1st run was surprising given that i had run the internal sqlite tools intermittently over several years.
Does any of this make an obvious improvement? In my case not that I can see in day to day work with RM8 but since trying this in December 2022 no crashes or other problems - coincidence or otherwise? The export ged is clean, no obvious corruption, as is data in the sqlite tables.

If you have a backup from during that time period, submitting that might be an insight into other potential bug(s)/corruption issue(s). Just a thought.

This is probably unrelated to the corrupt GEDCOM and has been experienced by others. I’ve identified the database condition that gives this result and determined that RootsMagic’s Database Tools do not detect it as a problem, let alone fix it. And I’ve hypothesised what probably causes the condition, Read on starting at

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I have a number of copies of the .rmtree at various stages over the past few years which I am prepared to donate to research - just let me have your instruction.

I am not associated with technical support, but if it were me and I had/have an issue that clearly does not seem right I would open a support request. If you restore a backup from around the time of your prior issue to a database named AlwaysLinksSameSpouse.rmtree and it still does as you stated, that is what support is for/about.


Thank you for your response.

I have now forwarded my .rmtree file to Technical Support, just to add that I am a 75 year old retired Mechanical Engineer who has been driving Roots Magic for a long number of years. At this stage of my life, I have no intention of as it were to lifting the bonnet, however if by making available any resources to gaining a better understanding of the issues involved. I would be pleased to assist.

Thanking you




“Angels fear to tread”: so to speak. :slight_smile:

Substitute “76” and “Electrical” and your sentence fits me! But I spend more time under the bonnet of this machine than behind the wheel.