Unable to connect to TM!

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Wfp unable to connect to TM.jpg

This error message means that your TM is corrupt. Your TM is still in the same location where Wordfast Pro is looking for it but when it tries to establish connection to it, Wordfast Pro detects a problem with the TM. Usually, these problems result from missing and/or damaged TM files.

A Wordfast Pro TM is a database. If you open it, e.g. by right-clicking its name in the Project TM tab, then choosing Open Location, you will see a folder that has the same name as your TM. Inside this folder will be two other folders (data and files) and one file (core.properties). The files folder contains only one file: schema.1.json, but the data folder usually contains two subfolders: index and snapshot_metadata. Sometimes it contains one more folder titled tlog – if it does, this means there was a problem with the TM.

The snapshot_metadata folder will typically be empty, but the index folder should contain multiple files – anywhere between 16 and several hundred. These files are the database indexes. If even one of these files is missing or damaged, your TM will stop working and you will see the “Unable to connect to TM!” error message.

Excluding the case where somebody manually deletes one or more files contained in the index folder, the most common cause for a missing file is a program that creates automatic backups by syncing the folders on your computer with an external location, usually the cloud. These programs include OneDrive (Windows), iCloud (Mac), Google Drive, and Dropbox. Wordfast Pro TMs, glossaries, blocklist, and projects should never be stored in folders that are backed up by any such program because it can – and it eventually will – damage the TMs, glossaries, blocklists, or projects. In the case of TMs and glossaries, the most common occurrence is one or more of the files inside the index folder going missing. In the case of projects, it is the project.wf4 file (contained directly inside the project folder) that is either damaged or destroyed by the cloud backup program.

What can you do if you see the “Unable to connect to TM!” error message? The first thing is close Wordfast Pro. Then immediately exit (shut down) the cloud backup program. After that you should copy the entire folder that the TM or glossary is to the Wordfast Pro default location: C:\Users\[your-username]\WordfastPro\memories or C:\Users\[your-username]\WordfastPro\glossaries (if you have a PC) and /Users/[your-username]/WordfastPro/memories and /Users/[your-username]/WordfastPro/glossaries (if you have a Mac).

You then need to carry out some investigative work. Open the index folder of the TM or glossary and look at the files inside it. You will notice a pattern: there will be groups of files all starting with the same two or three symbols: underscore, followed by one number, or by two numbers, or by one number and one letter, or by two letters. Each such group should be comprised of 14 files, each having a different extension (see screenshot).

Wfp tm data index files.png

Try to detect which file is missing. It is usually the .tip file, e.g. _48_Lucene84_0.tip file in the screenshot but your case might be different. After you have established the missing files – often, the same file type will be missing from multiple groups of 14 files – open the cloud storage space of the automatic backup/cloud sync program you were using. Do not open the program itself! Open the storage space using your browser, e.g. if you were using OneDrive, type OneDrive in your browser, then open the OneDrive Personal Cloud Storage link, sign in to your account, and access the My Files folder. Inside this folder, you should see various files and folders that have been backed up. Look for the folder that is your TM. When you find it, open it, and open the data folder, then the index folder. Inside, you should see all the files that were backed up. Look for the file you identified as missing above. If it is there, download it to your computer. Repeat this for all missing files, then paste all these files in the index folder on your computer. When ready, start Wordfast Pro, open the project the TM was attached to, click on it to highlight it, then click the Remove button. After that click Add Local and browse to the new location of the TM (the Wordfast Pro default folder). If it adds without displaying an error message, then you have successfully recovered it.

If the above doesn’t work, the TM cannot be rescued. But it can be recreated. To do this, you will need the projects you completed using the damaged TM. Follow the steps below:

  1. Open the first project.
  2. Go to the Project TM tab in the opened project.
  3. Create a new TM. Make sure you save the new TM in the default location for TMs.
  4. If there is only one file the project:
    1. Open it in the TXLF Editor.
    2. Click in the first segment.
    3. On the Translation tab, click the Commit All button. This will populate the newly created TM with the translated segments from the file.
  5. If the project contains multiple files:
    1. Click the Cleanup button on the Project Files tab.
    2. In the window that opens, choose any settings you need and select the TM you want to populate.
    3. Click the Clean Up button. This will populate the newly created TM with the translated segments from the files.
  6. Repeat the steps above for all projects whose translations you want to add to the newly created TM.