New user, locked and exit icon

Win 8,1 Pro, GrampsAIO64-5.1.3-2
Thanks for the add. I have two questions. I get confused reading the Wiki on how to unlock the database. I have uploaded a gedcom and the data is there but I cannot get to the general screen. Secondly how do I exit from the program? Right now I have to use ctrl-alt-del to get to the task manager and close it there.
Thank you very much.
Michael Dietz
charmike238@gmail.com

Start with easy ones first.

Ctrl-Alt-Del is a ‘last resort’. Do not use it to exit any program unless there is no other choice or the program is running amok.

There is a Close/Quit gadget in the upper right corner of the main Gramps window. The Quit Gramps hotkey keybinding is Ctrl-Q or Alt-F4. Closing this way will cause Gramps to cleanly exit. That will close the database & unlock it before shutting down. Plus, if your Preferences have been set to backup upon exit, it will do so, creating the equivalent of a Restore Point.

Unlocking is also easy. Using the Family Trees → Manage Family Trees… Menu command brings a selection window with all your existing Tree database files. If any row has a Lock icon, double-clicking opens a dialog asking if you want to break the lock.

But… more importantly, using a three-fingered-salute (Ctrl-Alt-Del) to ‘force a quit’ does not do the proper housekeeping needed when closing a database.

You COULD run a bunch of tests & repairs. You will be a lot more confident that your Tree database is undamaged if you make a backup, create a new blank Tree & import (restore) the backup. This rebuilds all the underlying structure. (It is good to do this process everyone months anyway. It tests your backups & optimizes that database.)

The last question is harder just because I am unsure what you mean by ‘general screen’. It is a matter of terminology. (The different parts of the Gramps interface are label in the Visual Guide to the interface)

My immediate assumption is that you have the Main Window but it is showing the Dashboard category view instead of the Tree in the People, Relationship or Chart category views.

In that case, you choose a different View category via the Navigator bar.

If, on the other hand, you have not reloaded a Tree (because they are all locked after a series of abnormal Ctrl-Alt-Del exits) then break the lock & load a Tree. Both are done is dialog opened from the Family Trees → Manage Family Trees menu command.

Regarding killing the program:
I always have to kill Gramps if I forget to close it before my computer goes to sleep. (Probably because my database is on a mapped network drive.)
It tells me that there is a problem and that I should restart, but when I try to exit normally the program does not exit. Instead it tells me again that there is a problem and I should restart…

That network mapped drive does sound like it might be an issue. I had a problem with Gramps being unresponsive upon wake.

Paul has done a few patches that are available on GitHub. (Some are bug fixes and will be in the next patch version. Some are enhancements and will have to wait for the 5.2 ​release.)

Among the changes is a delay touching off a timer-based Gramps backup after waking.
This delay lets Windows do some housekeeping before Gramps grabs resources.

That was the biggest offender. Windows tends to trigger a virus scan upon wake and that REALLY battles with the backup. I strongly recommend turning off the timed Backup Preferences feature in Gramps 5.1.3 or earlier. The maximum interval is 1hour. That’s … overzealous… and a waste of resources. There’s a daily interval on the 5.2 roadmap.

Definitely make a backup & restore it to a blank Tree. (After disabling Autobackup in the Family Tree tab of Preferences.) This will rebuild any database structure damage.

According to the wiki, Gramps uses an ACI not ACID database. Basically, this means the last transaction is at risk of being lost if Gramps exits abnormally.