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 Backup Magic won't load its own .BMS file!

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Nelson Posted - 10 May 2002 : 12:27:36
I am evaluating Backup Magic on my brand new XP system (Athalon 1800, 512MB. XP Pro). This morning, on day 8 of the 30 day eval period, I can no longer load the BMS file. When I try to load on the file nothing happens. When I double-click on the .BMS file while in Windows Explorer I get the message: "Missing groups in backup set file. Be sure that at least 1 group is enabled." While certainly not an expert in BMS file format it looks OK to me. The .BMS file is an ASCII file, which is very good as far as I am concerned. I would hope that I could at least edit the settings with Backup Magic. I can't. Something's hosed and I really didn't do it. I promise I'd not some much as even looked at the init file until this problem occured.'

- Nelson ...

13   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 09 November 2002 : 12:48:27
Please send e-mail that contains detailed instructions on how I can recreate the problem. See for instructions.
pgaryncf Posted - 09 November 2002 : 03:11:57
I am running windows xp home and BM 1.6.1. I have the same problem discussed in this thread. I create a backup file, use it one or more times, and then it will not allow me to open it any more from the BM application. I get the message that this is not a valid file for this application. If I right click on the file and select the file it says that this file is not a valid fire for this application. If right click on the file and select backup it says missing groups in backup set file, enable at least one group. The file contained one group that was enabled the last time I used it. Of course it is no longer accessible to determine if that group is still enabled. This problem is getting very frustrating. I must constantly recreate my backup file. Any idea as to what the problem might be?

Viktor Schuehle Posted - 01 July 2002 : 11:29:38
Well, then the message "missing groups in backup set file. Be sure that at least 1 group is enabled" message appears.

With right click > edit the message "The file is not valid file for this application"

With right click > backup the message "missing ....." as above appears.


Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 28 June 2002 : 15:38:35

Yes, there is a possibility to reproduce: Just click the file.

So you make a new file and add few entries, then save it to disk. Then, Windows Explorer, double-click on the file you just created. What happens?
If you right-click the new file in Windwos Explorer, its context menu has 2 new commands: Edit and Backup. If you invoke these, what happens?


Viktor Schuehle Posted - 28 June 2002 : 11:13:43
What means "after"? I backed up just once, it never worked.

Yes, there is a possibility to reproduce: Just click the file.


Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 28 June 2002 : 10:23:54

After what this problem appeared? I assume it worked before? If you tell me a way I can reproduce the problem then I can look at it. Please send your BMS file that does not load to


Viktor Schuehle Posted - 28 June 2002 : 09:47:35
I have exactly the same problem which Nelson describes, the file is NOT empty but I am unable to open it.

Win 2000 Prof, registered user

Nelson Posted - 05 June 2002 : 14:43:38

The "...load the file and listed the entries in the editor..." after the problem began was with a text editor. Specifically TextPad from Helios Software. Prior to the start of the trouble I had not even looked at or in the .BMS file. I did make a copy of it so that I could quickly revert back just before I made some additions to it which is what allowed me to discover the ItemCount=0 problem. And after the problem started I was always extremely careful not to change the .BMS file until this last go-around when I did actually change the one ItemCount value from 0 to 4.

While ItemCount was set to 0, I certainly was NOT able to use Backup Magic to view and or modify the settings. Backup Magic always loaded a blank screen. And when I double clicked the .BMS from Windows Explorer I also got the reported error. Both of those issues, the blank Backup Magic window and the error were symptoms of the same problem.

Hope that clarifies it a little better. Thank you for your patience. You probably think I'm either incompetent and/or insane. You might be right about the insanity (because I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy it!); but, I'd argue otherwise about my competency.

- Nelson ...

Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 26 May 2002 : 17:15:02
Well, the mystery is that if the ItemCount was set to 0 in the file, how then BM editor did load the file and listed the entries in the editor as you told earlier but was unable to execute the file via double-clicking? :)

Whatever, it is good the problem is now solved and it is working OK.


Nelson Posted - 25 May 2002 : 15:28:48

First, I must apologize. Apologize because I had not completely troubleshot the problem. I missed an older config file which works. In the config file's header is an entry named "ItemCount". I had created a new config file which was the old file with additions. Before I'd made the changes I have made a copy of the config file. All additions in the "new" config file were made using Backup Magic. I did NOT edit the file with any editor. All changes were made by Backup Magic until this morning.

When I was preparing to send you an email containing the config file I saw the older config file. The older config file worked by the way. Backup Magic was able to open it and display it without any errors or warnings. Duh! I don't know how I'd missed it before.

I started comparing them line by line. I noted one very interesting difference in the header. The "ItemCount" value in the newer config file was set to 0 (zero). Please understand, I did not change this value to 0. Backup Magic did. Nevertheless, I noted that it was set to 2 in the older config file. I counted the number of "[Item'n']" lines in the new config file and changed "ItemCount" to 4. And now suddenly Backup Magic works. I see all 4 "groups" and when I change "ItemCount" back to 0 the problem occurs again.

I won't bother, unless you really want it, to send my config file. I suggest that you take a simple "working" config file with several "Groups" and manually change the header's "ItemCount" value to 0 and see how Backup Magic behaves.

My sincerest apology for not figuring this out first. The only issues I see here are (1) how did ItemCount get set to 0 and (2) the double-click error is perhaps not very robust as it did not lead either you or I into a correct understanding of the problem. I swear I did not manually modify the config file.

With sincerest apologies,

- Nelson ...

Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 24 May 2002 : 16:25:58
Please send me the BMS file in question, I'll check it out.

If the problem only appears when double-clicking and the file works fine when executed from BM GUI then there may be a problem with file association in the registry, so that bad command line is passed to BM when a BMS file is double-clicked.

If that were a common application problem then I should have got more reports about this.

P.S. You can e-mail me for faster replies.


Nelson Posted - 24 May 2002 : 13:05:49
Hi Ahto,

Actually the .BMS file is NOT empty. It has information in it. It appears to be good, appropriate information too. The problem is that Backup Magic, which I would have probably licensed by now without this problem, will not load and display its own init file. I cannot double-click on it either. Double clicking in Windows Explorer gets the aforementioned "enable at least one group" error and BM never starts. No error reports are displayed when the .BMS init file is loaded from Backup Magic's OPEN menu. None. Nada. Nicht. Ekkert. Zilch. Nothing. Furthermore, as best I can tell the BMS data file has an enabled group. At least that's what an "=1" equation usually means to me.

NOTE: Backup Magic will NOT LOAD AND DISPLAY THE INIT FILE! I cannot therefore enable a group from within BM. BM will not load and display it's contents. I did NOT EDIT the .BMS init file manually. Whatever happened to the init file, happened as a result of Backup Magic touching the init file... not me.

My bona fides:
(So that you might understand I am not a grocery store
clerk with that quality of computer/software ability.)

20+ years of software programming experience on VMS, UNIX, Amiga, DOS, Linux, and a tiny amount of Visual Basic in Windows. I have written more than a couple of hundred lines of code in each of the FORTRAN, COBOL, Macro, C, Pascal, RPL, DCL, Perl, sh, Forth, SQL, and VBScript languages. Indeed, those are just the immediate few I can think of. Most of my current work is done in Perl, C, and that tiny little bit of Visual Basic. In VMS and UNIX I have written programs which lied to the kernel without crashing the system. In my line of work we define such folks as "system programmers".

In other words I might be a fool, or I might really have stumbled upon a non-obvious app killer problem and am looking for a way to rescue my opinion of the product before I decide to blow it off. Your call.

- Nelson ...



Looks you basically just have an empty file. You need to add groups where you specify source and destination folders, then you can start backup by double-clicking the BMS file in Windows Explorer.
But if you have groups defined, then they all seem to be disabled, enable at least one of them to make backup, otherwise nothing to copy.


Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 10 May 2002 : 14:31:07

Looks you basically just have an empty file. You need to add groups where you specify source and destination folders, then you can start backup by double-clicking the BMS file in Windows Explorer.
But if you have groups defined, then they all seem to be disabled, enable at least one of them to make backup, otherwise nothing to copy.


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