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How to use old gnucash files with new-gnucash?

Gnucash has been managing my money for many months.  Last week, I had
to do a bare-metal reinstall, including gnucash.  The latest version
refuses to recognize the files I had earlier saved; it claims they are
from a _later_ version, and recommends I update gnucash (which of
course I have just done).  I tried setting up an _older_ version of
gnucash from snapshot, but it asked for old tools during make: too
complicated for me.

My question: is there some useful way of tricking the current gnucash
into accepting my older files?

Digression: How this sorry situation came about is a long story; at
bottom, blame Windy XP Pro -- or me for using it; my sarge ThinkPad is
dual-boot.  I did learn a useful trick for those who run that setup.
If you need to use the IBM Product Recovery Disk to reinstall XP Pro,
be sure to have the first two primary partitions formatted as FAT32.
(Use the other two for Debian, of course.)  That way, the
reinstallation will be restricted to the first two partitions, and not
stomp on anything else.  End Digression

TIA, and maybe afterwards too. (AMAT?)

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