i'd also like to note that I don't think there is a way to manually change the version of the file.
so in the scenario above, if my file version got up to 20 before step 13, and I got a new PC, and followed the steps above, and when I realized it got reset to 1 I went into text.xml and manually updated the version number to 21, the
next time I add a site to the list with site manager (on the new PC), the version number will go back down to 2, because that's what version *that* instance of site manager thinks it should be on. it apparently ignores the version number already existing
By examining with ProcMon on my pc, I found;
The EM Site List Manager (EMSLM) stores its "database" on a per-user basis, at: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\EMIESiteListManager\SiteList.xml
This is the "persistent" (auto-loaded when EMSLM is launched) list. This list does not contain a version number.
You should be using the "Export" feature of EMSLM:
After you create your Enterprise Mode site list in the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager, you can export the contents to an Enterprise Mode (.EMIE) file.
This file includes all of your URLs, including your compatibility mode selections and should be stored somewhere safe.
If your list gets deleted by mistake you can easily import this file and return everything back to when this file was last saved.
This file is not intended for distribution to your managed devices.
Instead, it is only for transferring data and comments from one manager to another.
For example, if one administrator leaves and passes the existing data to another administrator. Internet Explorer doesnt read this file.
The exported <filename>.EMIE file, *does* contain a version number. (Also, note that the EMIE file is simply an XML file)
You can also "Save to XML", this also contains a version number.
The XML file for controlling IE EM behaviour, is a standard XML syntax, and so it can easily be edited by hand if needed, to edit the version number as needed. (Notepad or NotePad++, etc is fine for this)
In your scenario, where you have multiple persons with multiple pc's all sharing the ongoing management of the EMIE XML file via EMSLM, it seems to me that this particular scenario was not considered by the EMSLM design/development team.
So, you you consider applying some process/procedural control for managing the site list for your organisation, to minimise the issues you've highlighted.
Use a "central" master file.
Always back up that file up before anybody changes anything.
Always back up the production sitelist XML file (where users computers retrieve the file for IE)
Always examine the current production version number, so that you can verify the new production file will have a later version number.
You can edit the production file by hand if needed to ensure the version number of the updated file is a larger number than the previous production file.
IE itself doesn't care what the version number value actually is - it only compares "current/last version number vs. version number of the retrieved XML file. If larger, load that file"