Cleaning up a Quicken file


S

Sally Shears

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
 
Ad

Advertisements

B

buczacz

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
J

John Pollard

Sally said:
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
 
J

John Pollard

John said:
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.
 
B

buczacz

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
 
J

John Pollard

buczacz said:
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.
 
Ad

Advertisements

B

buczacz

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
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top