Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing: Week 80

I'm watching American Idol while I do my FamilySearch Indexing tonight. I listen more to TV than I actually spend time watching it. I didn't work on indexing Sunday because I was busy cleaning up my laptop. I'm not really sure if fixing a computer problem is a good Sunday activity but that's what I was up to.

My desktop computer for a while now has been giving me issues with freezing up. It just kept getting worse and worse. It was more like it was pausing and thinking instead of doing anything. I noticed it happened more so when I was on the internet vs just running a program by itself. Then Mozilla Firefox started to crash on me and Mozy wouldn't back up anymore. I decided it was time to figure out what was wrong with it.

I tried various freeware anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. It was hard finding ones that wouldn't cause some type of issue. I liked Avira Antivirus but it didn't like PC Tools Spyware Doctor and I didn't want to loose Spyware Doctor. I had tested and compared it with other anti-spyware programs over time and discovered that it did a great job keeping my computer clean. If I ran Spyware Doctor and then ran Spybot Search and Destroy or Ad-ware these other programs wouldn't find anything that Spyware Doctor didn't. I also liked how Spyware Doctor would run at various time in the background and just tell me when I needed to delete things it found.

Then I found on Kim Komando's site a link to the free version of PC Tools Antivirus program. I downloaded it and now my anti-virus and anti-spyware programs were getting along. No more false positives messages showing up. While I was at it I download PC Tools Firewall Plus Free Edition since I had read how bad Windows XP edition was. Even though that was taken care of I still had issues with the computer freezing, pausing, Mozilla crashing. I dug around on the internet and spent two days, the week before last, trying to resolve the problem. I just didn't want to have to reformat my hard drive and install everything all over again.

I removed old programs or those I thought suspect, no difference. I ran CCleaner and Disk Defrag, no difference. I went to PCPitStop and ran various tests on my computer. I had a lot of issues. I worked through them. Some issues were with my registry. I found RegSeeker a freeware program that helped clean all of that up. Still I had issues. I tested for the Conflicter virus - nothing. Then I found out that Java doesn't uninstall it's previous version when you download an update version. The various versions can fight with each other and cause computer issues like I had. I was shocked to see so many Java versions on my computer. I removed all of them and reinstalled the latest. Nope that didn't help either

This past weekend I was already to nuke the hard drive and start all over. Then I had this one though, why not remove Mozilla Firefox since it's the only program that crashes? I could then clean up things again and reinstall it. It was my last hope. I removed Mozilla and started over again. I only downloaded the Add-ons that I really, really used and knew they worked with verison 3. I hadn't check those since I upgraded from version 2.

What do you know but that solved my problem. I am back in the business of computing. For all the time I spent trying to avoid nuking the hard drive I could have nuked it and reinstalled everything again in the same amount of time. Oh well, I learned a lot. My husband told me the laptop was sorta doing the same thing, so Saturday and part of Sunday I worked on cleaning it up too. Now both computers are running just fine.

Computers can be a wonderful tool at times or a major pain in the butt. Now that I have a fresh clean computer I can once again get into the business of indexing. First I have to check for messages from Headquarters. Yup, we have one.
From: Headquarters
Subject:Project Instruction and Field Helps
Date: 16 Apr 2009

A Quick Reminder

Because projects may vary widely in appearance and in how they are to be indexed, please remember to do the following:
Read the project instructions for each new project before beginning to index.
  • To go to the project instructions for the indexing screen, click the Project Information tab on the right side of the screen just below the image. Then click the Indexing Project Homepage link.
As you index, refer to the field helps found in the bottom right portion of the indexing screen.
  • The field helps give specific instructions for each field as you click on that field to index it. Click on the example links at the end of the field helps to see how that field is to be indexed.
We are always amazed at the amount of work you, our volunteers, put into indexing and accuracy you are able to achieve. Following the tips above should help make your indexing experience more enjoyable and even more accurate.

I am really anxious to see if the New York 1892 State Census project is still available. WAHOO!! It still is. I only download one batch to work on. I am still nursing my sore arm. The rotator cuff is doing great now after resting it. At least I can see one good thing out of working on my computer issues, it helped me rest my arm while I waited for tests, etc. to finish as I troubleshot things. My tennis elbow is still there but better. I am not going to over do so one batch of indexing is enough for now.

The batch was very easy going. Sometimes I had issues with letters but I could find similar letters in other names to figure out his writing style. It really doesn't take to long to do a batch, even though it has 160 names on it. You only type the first and last name, sex, age, country born, and citizenship - if I remember that right. It really goes fast. I have now indexed 11,670 names to date. Now it's time to go to bed.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!


Russ said...


Thank you for this post. It was a reminder that I need to clean up Firefox's Add-On and check updates. I had the same experience as you. Removing some of the plug-ins that I don't use, helped resolve most of the freezing up or crashing.

Thanks for the reminder.


Shawn said...


I would strongly suggest you give consideration to buying a Mac. You have none of the problems with viruses or spyware and you don't have to worry about defragging or clean-ups.

Plus you can still index just as easily and you can experience those wonderful Mac programs such as Reunion and MacFamilyTree!