24 Aug Quickbooks Weekly Challenge: When a Version Upgrade Causes Data Corruption
As most Quickbooks users know you need to upgrade your software approximately every three years at a minimum. When you do this you will open your existing accounting data file and upgrade it into the newer software. Normally this is a smooth and somewhat effortless process. Here and there though you can run into an unexpected glitch. These glitches can sometimes be severe. It is most common to run into a more serious issue with your version upgrade when you are skipping over years. For example, if I upgrade a client file directly from 2012 to 2014 I would be more likely to have an issue than if I was upgrading from a 2012 version of the software to a 2013 version. So why is this, how do you prevent it and how do you cope when you have a data corruption that is a result of the upgrade?
QuickBooks Desktop Edition sets a sunset date on their software. While the software doesn’t magically disappear from your computer as the software sunsets, no further updates will be available, and you will begin to see the degradation of the software viability. Errors will begin to arise along with various other software glitches. Your integrated tools may no longer integrate with the software. Each year’s software changes may address known issues within the technology from prior versions as well as add new features. Those patches and fixes may be unique to that year’s software. Over the last 12 years I have found that SOMETIMES when you skip a year there are critical errors that occur either due to patches you may have missed or errors caused by software that was rolled out with some glitches of its own.
Ideally you would upgrade annually or run the file trough the intermediary years on your way to the newest version of the software. e.g. upgrade from 2012 to 2013 to 2014 to 2015 software. However, often this isn’t possible or affordable since you would need to buy each year’s software release as they came out.
Last year when upgrading several client files from 2012 versions of QuickBooks to 2014 versions of QuickBooks we discovered just such a file corruption issue. Many of our client files failed to relaunch after the upgrade. Others launched and worked fine for a day or two then collapsed. They became very slow and would crash during use. We began our work as QuickBooks detectives by verifying and attempting to rebuild the files. During the verification process, the verification failed to complete any rebuild was not possible due to the data corruption issues within the file. We were able to create a backup file. However, because the backup file was not able to verify or rebuild the data the backup file itself was also corrupt. Upon trying to open the file, the file began to freeze and close on itself any time we tried to verify or rebuild the file. This caused a situation where the QuickBooks file was completely unusable. When we called Intuit Pro advisor support we were met with a lot of “ummm” and “I can escalate this for you”, but not with results. Our next step was to pull the winlog and review for errors. We also then asked our cloud host, right networks, to restore our files to how they were the day before so we could have a file that at least opened. Had we restored the backup of the file prior to upgrade we would have lost days worth of work and still had a file we couldn’t use in the current Version of the software. In doing this, we had a file set with minimal data loss that allowed us to open and work within it. Finding the errors was quickly done by opening the win log in a text document and using the find function to locate the word “error”. This review revealed several errors related to estimates that were more than five years old and we’re still open within the file. We then printed the error log and set about within the file to change the dates on the affected estimates to the current fiscal year. This is not a problem within the accounting because estimates do not affect the trial balance. Once we completed all of the date changes we then verified and rebuilt the file. This time the verify completed and the rebuild was successful. We then were able to Deactivate the estimates, or change their dates back to the original date without causing any further issues in the file. With future upgrades, we utilized a desktop version of QuickBooks 2013 to upgrade the files to first. We then upgraded them to QuickBooks 2014 and so on. This step prevented the critical file corruption issues that caused the files to crash previously.