Banking

DIY: How to handle QuickBooks data file problems

Jack Wallen offers advice to a reader who is trying to resolve three frustrating QuickBooks problems.

TechRepublic member Glen Morley emailed me about a big issue that should have a simple solution but doesn't. Please post in the discussion if you would approach the reader's problems differently than what I suggest.

Q: We're running QuickBooks Premier 2010-11, (Aust. Edition) and I'm having a rather strange problem. The host machine is Win 7 64 bit, I have both Win 7 64 bit & XP 32 bit machines accessing it. Recently when one of the Win 7 64 bit machines tried to log on (a particular machine) it won't and says the data file is corrupt. This only happens when another user is logged on. It can log on fine in either single or multi-user providing no-one else is logged on. I've tried restarting the QBCF monitor service, and the QBDB19 hosting service, restarting the whole machine, all to no avail. I can't figure it out!

Also, Google desktop isn't working on the host machine, but is working fine on most of the client machines. It did work to start with, but not for long. The most frustrating thing about GDS is that Quicken don't support it at all - and it's far better than the built-in search in the Australian Edition - the USA edition has a better setup.

Also, this is an old problem, but we had it happen a few times: QuickBooks would put items under phantom headers in the item list, and if the addition of the phantom header meant there was more than five list levels, the items affected would lose all headers and place themselves alpha-numerically in the item list. QuickBooks said they'd never heard of this. It's happened to us at least twice; it's a bit of a worry that it could happen again -- and that costs a lot of time, by having to restore a backup, and re-enter all the missing transactions -- which equals money!

Any help would be much appreciated.

A: On the machine hosting the data file, first do a verify of the data and then do a rebuild of the data; this will go a long way to clean up your data file. If that doesn't work, you might have to create new users within QuickBooks (sometimes a user can become corrupt and cause all sorts of issues). I suspect the problem lies within a corrupt data file. You could also create a portable copy of the data file (that strips out a lot of cruft), and then restore from that portable copy. Or, you might even try doing a data file cleanup (File | Utilities | Clean Up Company Data). The cleanup has to be done in Single User mode and will require you to select what you want to clean up. The Cleanup utility will condense closed transactions into a summary journal and remove unused list elements.

As for the Google Desktop, that's pretty much a lost cause. Google will never integrate well with QuickBooks. I suggest upgrading to QuickBooks 2012. The search in the latest version is quite a bit better than previous incarnations. I would not count on Google Desktop ever integrating with QuickBooks.

Ask Jack: If you have a DIY question, email it to me, and I'll do my best to answer it. (Read guidelines about submitting DIY questions.)

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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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