RootsMagic 9 crashing - unable to access database

After upgrading my software to the latest version of RM9 I get an ‘Unexpected error’ - ‘Instance of “Tabulmage” not created’ and the program crashes. I’m running it on a 2017 iMac. Anyone else experiencing the same problem?

Forum search on “Tabulmage” yields this post. The solution was to remove special characters from image filenames. It seems to have worked for others.

==> Unexpected Error: "Instance of "Tabulmage" not created" - RM9 - #14 by rich_holden_1

Thanks. That’s very helpful, if a little difficult to implement, even for someone who’s fairly computer savvy. I can’t quite get my head round the fact that we’re being expected to return to the stone age in terms of file naming. What’s being suggested is how I used to name files in the 1970s.

The mac OS is very flexible on file name characters and lengths but rootsmagic is clearly not. I had backups fail with more than one period in a file name. Windows users like _ in names not being able to use spaces.

Windows users have been able to use spaces in filenames since Windows95.


Still can’t believe that the solution to the problem created by RootsMagic and which has meant that I have completely lost access to my RM data is quite a technical one that I am supposed to implement. Apart from the anodyne assurance that ‘we’re working on it’, the RootsMagic team has made no further contact and, as far as I know, issued no follow up reports.

If you “completely lost access” then that is all on you. Common sense would dictate that one backup their data prior to taking any steps that might impact that data. In this case, upgrading to a new version would clearly be such a step. If you had backed up your data, you could revert to your previous version of the program and continue working until such time as the problem is fixed.

Thanks. That’s very helpful. The data is backed up but I didn’t think to back up the program

If you used an earlier version of Rootsmagic, you can either reinstall it using your previous license key, or if you did not remove the program from your computer, it is still there and accessible. Previous versions can be downloaded from RootsMagic Downloads.

  1. RM8/9 mac are versions done by Windows experts without professional mac help which explains a lot.
  2. You may have the previous RM7/8 program still on your mac unless you uninstalled it yourself. Backup database files would be readable by it and Finder would let you modify your file names. Short and simple is best.
  3. Assuming you used RM7 before trying 9 that can still be downloaded from Rootsmagic if you ask them.

Thanks very much indeed for your advice. I wasn’t actually sure where my media files were stored and which folder(s) RM9 was using but, acting on your suggestion, I loaded a previous backup into RM8 to identify the appropriate folders and then did a batch search and replace for ‘unusual’ characters including ,’ and &, as well as spaces. I was also surprised to find some ^ as well. Once I’d done that, I was able to load RM9 without the dreaded error message and crash and repair the media links, which took well over 12 hours. It hasn’t fixed more than about a quarter of them but, after a very quick look, most of my actual photos appeared to be linked. I’m very relieved to be able to see my up to date data, all of which was backed up via RootsMagic but not necessarily synched to my Ancestry tree. I’m still struggling to understand why RootsMagic hasn’t adapted to modern file naming conventions.

Glad you were able to sort it out. I did some testing (basically renaming media folders and media files with every special character I could see on my keyboard) and it’s a puzzling problem. I suspected the error might have something to do with the relative path symbols that RM uses and was planning to look at the Media tables but was unable to recreate the error. In terms of RM processing file names, here’s the results I found with my limited test:

  • " :" - mac OS does not allow “:” to be used in file path or filename
  • “/” - Media can be added and are correctly processed with “/” in file path. “/” in file path displays in RM as “:/”
  • “/” - Media can be added with “/” in file name and displays in RM as “:”
  • “back slash” (Forum does not display this character) - Back slash in file path or file name displays in rm as “/” (forward slash) and causes the media link to be broken.

For all other special character sequences I tested, RM displayed the image and file path correctly.

RM’s fix media tool is excellent and fast if you have all your media in one nested folder and point RM at it. Check where your media really is and perhaps fix filenames in Finder with Find…Replace.

Yes. This happened to me last night. I got an error when trying to save a backup and the whole thing crashed. Today it won’t read my files, original or backup. I am waiting to hear back from support, and I’ll post the answer here. I am also using a Mac Monterey 12.6.5; I mac is the 2020 version. I really don’t want to lose that data.