Cleaning up a Quicken file

Discussion in 'Quicken' started by Sally Shears, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. Sally Shears

    Sally Shears Guest

    Situation:
    - Quicken in use since 1995, the "file" is built up over many versions
    and conversions.
    - Quicken credit card bank (Citicorp) wanted me to upgrade from
    Quicken 2000 to 2003 this year; I do so. After the upgrade, I started
    having probems.
    - Although things usually work OK, I intermittantly see strange
    entries in "download transactions" lists, strange entries and errors
    sending payments to bank, Quicken sometimes quits.)
    - I have already tried rebuilding indexes.

    I am assuming this is internal, invisible corruption within the Quicken
    data file, accumulated over the years, and creating problems now with
    the new version. Does this make sense?

    I want to start fresh. Here's what I have in mind:
    - Make a list of the initial balances, say at 12/31/00, in each account
    - Export everything since 1/1/01, exporting accounts, categories,
    online payees, and transactions from all accounts
    - Create a brand new file
    - Import all the transactions
    - Enter the opening balances and reconcile

    Is this the right way to get a clean file?

    Will the export/import process eliminate any corruption in the file?

    -- Sally

    --
    Sally Shears (a.k.a. "Molly")
    -or-
    http://theWorld.com/~sshears
     
    Sally Shears, Dec 20, 2003
    #1
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  2. Sally Shears

    buczacz Guest

    I don't know about Qckn'03 as I still use Qckn'98, but perhaps it still
    has the VALIDATE DATA tool under File/File-Operations. If it does, you
    might give it a try.

    I have been using Quicken since the first version was release, I believe
    in 1995. I had one problem with contaminated data years ago, and the
    data validate tool solved the problem. Since then, I've not had any
    problems even though my Quicken file probably includes about 35,000
    transactions and requires over 6 MBytes to back up. But then, I've
    stuck with Qckn98 even though it requires some intermediate steps to
    download data from some credit card companies. I also back-up my data
    every day with separate discs for odd and even days.

    Buczacz

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Sally Shears wrote:
    > Situation:
    > - Quicken in use since 1995, the "file" is built up over many versions
    > and conversions.
    > - Quicken credit card bank (Citicorp) wanted me to upgrade from
    > Quicken 2000 to 2003 this year; I do so. After the upgrade, I started
    > having probems.
    > - Although things usually work OK, I intermittantly see strange
    > entries in "download transactions" lists, strange entries and errors
    > sending payments to bank, Quicken sometimes quits.)
    > - I have already tried rebuilding indexes.
    >
    > I am assuming this is internal, invisible corruption within the Quicken
    > data file, accumulated over the years, and creating problems now with
    > the new version. Does this make sense?
    >
    > I want to start fresh. Here's what I have in mind:
    > - Make a list of the initial balances, say at 12/31/00, in each account
    > - Export everything since 1/1/01, exporting accounts, categories,
    > online payees, and transactions from all accounts
    > - Create a brand new file
    > - Import all the transactions
    > - Enter the opening balances and reconcile
    >
    > Is this the right way to get a clean file?
    >
    > Will the export/import process eliminate any corruption in the file?
    >
    > -- Sally
    >
     
    buczacz, Dec 21, 2003
    #2
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  3. Sally Shears

    John Pollard Guest

    Sally Shears wrote:
    > Situation:
    > - Quicken in use since 1995, the "file" is built up over many
    > versions and conversions.
    > - Quicken credit card bank (Citicorp) wanted me to upgrade from
    > Quicken 2000 to 2003 this year; I do so. After the upgrade, I started
    > having probems.
    > - Although things usually work OK, I intermittantly see strange
    > entries in "download transactions" lists, strange entries and errors
    > sending payments to bank, Quicken sometimes quits.)
    > - I have already tried rebuilding indexes.
    >
    > I am assuming this is internal, invisible corruption within the
    > Quicken data file, accumulated over the years, and creating problems
    > now with the new version. Does this make sense?


    Yes; and corruption whose effect can be worsened by a conversion.

    > I want to start fresh. Here's what I have in mind:
    > - Make a list of the initial balances, say at 12/31/00, in each
    > account
    > - Export everything since 1/1/01, exporting accounts, categories,
    > online payees, and transactions from all accounts
    > - Create a brand new file
    > - Import all the transactions
    > - Enter the opening balances and reconcile
    >
    > Is this the right way to get a clean file?
    >
    > Will the export/import process eliminate any corruption in the file?


    I agree with buczacz that you should try a validate first; if that doesn't
    work a super-validate (backup before doing either).

    If validating does not help and you feel you must get a cleaner file, your
    general approach is ok, but there are a few things to look out for.

    1.) In addition to account balances (if there is the equivalent of an
    "Account List", I would use that for my balances because it also tells you
    the number of transactions in each account ... at least in Q2002).
    2.) After creating you new file, I would manually setup each account because
    the QIF file export/import is not capable of correctly creating all types of
    accounts. Be certain that you spell each account *exactly* the same as it
    was in the old file.
    3.) I would get things such as categories and securities setup in the new
    file before actually importing transactions. You can do this with the
    imported QIF data (though you will not get things like category groups via
    QIF); but I would do it *before* importing transactions. I think you could
    accomplish this one of two ways: uncheck "Transactions" from the QIF import
    dialog; or, create multiple QIF files containing the subsets of data that
    you want to import - you could, for example, create a QIF file containing
    nothing but categories.
    4.) Only check "Transactions" in the QIF import dialog for your final import
    step.
    5.) After each "step", I would do everything I could to verify the accuracy
    of the new file; then I would save a backup of it. That way, if a
    subsequent step turns out incorrectly and can not be manually repaired, you
    do not have to return to square one, but can just go back one step.

    There may be some more caveats which I have forgotten at the moment; if you
    get that far and run into a problem, post back.

    Also, note this kb article from Intuit to see what you will lose when you
    attempt to recreate a Quicken data file by exporting/importing via QIF.

    http://makeashorterlink.com/?C69B12DD6
     
    John Pollard, Dec 21, 2003
    #3
  4. Sally Shears

    John Pollard Guest

    John Pollard wrote:
    > 1.) In addition to account balances (if there is the equivalent of an
    > "Account List", I would use that for my balances because it also
    > tells you the number of transactions in each account ... at least in
    > Q2002).


    Hmmm, I seem to have started this sentence, but failed to finish it.

    It should have said, "In addition to account balances ..."; I would print a
    list of transactions.
     
    John Pollard, Dec 21, 2003
    #4
  5. Sally Shears

    buczacz Guest

    John... you mentioned "corruption worsened by conversion" in prior
    posting. As indicated previously, I'm still running Qckn98. I expect
    to transition soon to a newer version of quicken as part of an upgrade
    to a WinXP operating system. Should I be anticipating data errors being
    introduced by the conversion process?

    Buczacz

    John Pollard wrote:
    > John Pollard wrote:
    >
    >>1.) In addition to account balances (if there is the equivalent of an
    >>"Account List", I would use that for my balances because it also
    >>tells you the number of transactions in each account ... at least in
    >>Q2002).

    >
    >
    > Hmmm, I seem to have started this sentence, but failed to finish it.
    >
    > It should have said, "In addition to account balances ..."; I would print a
    > list of transactions.
    >
    >
     
    buczacz, Dec 21, 2003
    #5
  6. Sally Shears

    John Pollard Guest

    buczacz wrote:
    > John... you mentioned "corruption worsened by conversion" in prior
    > posting. As indicated previously, I'm still running Qckn98. I expect
    > to transition soon to a newer version of quicken as part of an upgrade
    > to a WinXP operating system. Should I be anticipating data errors
    > being introduced by the conversion process?
    >
    > Buczacz


    I can't really give you a good answer to that; it depends on factors that
    frequently can not be determined ahead of time. If you are already
    experiencing some flakey situations in Quicken, I suspect you would be a
    likely - but not certain - candidate for conversion aggravated problems; if
    not, you may well be fine. I have converted from Q2000 to Q2001, then to
    Q2002 and I have not yet experienced any problem ... but I never experienced
    any problem before either of the conversions either.

    I would definitely validate my file before converting, trying to insure that
    it is as clean as possible. I would also save a backup of the older version
    data (Quicken will make one for you when it converts) and I would do my best
    to reserve a way to be able to open a copy of that final Q98 backup with Q98
    sometime in the future; some problems you experience after a conversion can
    best be (or only be) repaired by the older version of the program.

    One other thing you might do as a backstop is to export everything ("All
    Accounts" and check every box on the QIF export dialog) from your final Q98
    data file to QIF and save that QIF file as another fall back possibility.
    If you ever had to use it, it would likely mean you had a serious problem
    and you might well lose some data; but it could be better than the
    alternative.
     
    John Pollard, Dec 21, 2003
    #6
  7. Sally Shears

    buczacz Guest

    Thanks for the hints... After reading this series of posts, I too
    realized that it is probably good idea to validate data before upgrading.

    Buczacz

    John Pollard wrote:
    > buczacz wrote:
    >
    >>John... you mentioned "corruption worsened by conversion" in prior
    >>posting. As indicated previously, I'm still running Qckn98. I expect
    >>to transition soon to a newer version of quicken as part of an upgrade
    >>to a WinXP operating system. Should I be anticipating data errors
    >>being introduced by the conversion process?
    >>
    >>Buczacz

    >
    >
    > I can't really give you a good answer to that; it depends on factors that
    > frequently can not be determined ahead of time. If you are already
    > experiencing some flakey situations in Quicken, I suspect you would be a
    > likely - but not certain - candidate for conversion aggravated problems; if
    > not, you may well be fine. I have converted from Q2000 to Q2001, then to
    > Q2002 and I have not yet experienced any problem ... but I never experienced
    > any problem before either of the conversions either.
    >
    > I would definitely validate my file before converting, trying to insure that
    > it is as clean as possible. I would also save a backup of the older version
    > data (Quicken will make one for you when it converts) and I would do my best
    > to reserve a way to be able to open a copy of that final Q98 backup with Q98
    > sometime in the future; some problems you experience after a conversion can
    > best be (or only be) repaired by the older version of the program.
    >
    > One other thing you might do as a backstop is to export everything ("All
    > Accounts" and check every box on the QIF export dialog) from your final Q98
    > data file to QIF and save that QIF file as another fall back possibility.
    > If you ever had to use it, it would likely mean you had a serious problem
    > and you might well lose some data; but it could be better than the
    > alternative.
    >
    >
     
    buczacz, Dec 22, 2003
    #7
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