Quicken Disaster!

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bertilak
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

FINAL (?) STATUS.

Bottom line, I have given up on getting back my old data. (Unless a future Quicken Update can open one of my older data files, thus the above question mark.)

I reinstalled Quicken on another computer and nothing changed: cannot open older Quicken data files.

The reinstalled Quicken version was, of course, the latest but I reverted it to an older level with an older mondo patch. That seemed to go OK but that too could not open the older Quicken files.

I really have nothing left to try! And, I am a bit confused by the results of all the things I did try.

I feel I am missing something because EVERYTHING should have been just as it was when it was all working. The computer I reinstalled to is exactly the same as the one things used to work on, as (of course) is my computer itself. A year or so ago both my wife and I bought the exact same laptops (Thinkpad X1) and it was hers I experimented on. Remember, nothing on my computer changed between the 14th (when it worked) to the 15th (when it stopped working). Also remember I have tried several older data files with the same results, so it's not that I somehow messed up my working copy.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Kenkat »

I reinstalled Quicken on another computer and nothing changed: cannot open older Quicken data files.

Did you install the full drive image you have from Acronis onto a different computer? I can’t see that not getting you back to a working state. Don’t try restoring pieces, do a full image restore.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

Kenkat wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:39 pm I reinstalled Quicken on another computer and nothing changed: cannot open older Quicken data files.

Did you install the full drive image you have from Acronis onto a different computer? I can’t see that not getting you back to a working state. Don’t try restoring pieces, do a full image restore.
No, I did not. I don't want to mess up my wife's system.

Even If I somehow messed up my Windows system to the point Quicken isn't working right, I certainly didn't mess up hers. The point of using another "fresh" system was to avoid doing an Acronis system recovery. ("Fresh" in the sense that Quicken had never been installed nor run there before.)
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by vineviz »

bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:04 pm
Kenkat wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:39 pm I reinstalled Quicken on another computer and nothing changed: cannot open older Quicken data files.

Did you install the full drive image you have from Acronis onto a different computer? I can’t see that not getting you back to a working state. Don’t try restoring pieces, do a full image restore.
No, I did not. I don't want to mess up my wife's system.

Even If I somehow messed up my Windows system to the point Quicken isn't working right, I certainly didn't mess up hers. The point of using another "fresh" system was to avoid doing an Acronis system recovery. ("Fresh" in the sense that Quicken had never been installed nor run there before.)
Do you have an external drive from which you can boot your laptop? Doing a full image restore to that external drive and then booting from it should give you a working system with no risk of corrupting the primary hard drive.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Dottie57 »

bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:07 pm FINAL (?) STATUS.

Bottom line, I have given up on getting back my old data. (Unless a future Quicken Update can open one of my older data files, thus the above question mark.)

I reinstalled Quicken on another computer and nothing changed: cannot open older Quicken data files.

The reinstalled Quicken version was, of course, the latest but I reverted it to an older level with an older mondo patch. That seemed to go OK but that too could not open the older Quicken files.

I really have nothing left to try! And, I am a bit confused by the results of all the things I did try.

I feel I am missing something because EVERYTHING should have been just as it was when it was all working. The computer I reinstalled to is exactly the same as the one things used to work on, as (of course) is my computer itself. A year or so ago both my wife and I bought the exact same laptops (Thinkpad X1) and it was hers I experimented on. Remember, nothing on my computer changed between the 14th (when it worked) to the 15th (when it stopped working). Also remember I have tried several older data files with the same results, so it's not that I somehow messed up my working copy.
Depending on If you are willing to spend money to get your data back - try Ontrack Data Recovery.

https://www.ontrack.com/en-us
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by TimeRunner »

You haven't mentioned it (or I may have missed it), so I'm curious as to what, if anything, you find in the various log files viewed through Quicken's interface (Help | Log Files) and the various Windows logs seen through Windows Event Viewer. Since you've gone way past this basic troubleshooting, you've probably looked at these, but just in case....
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

TimeRunner wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:42 pm You haven't mentioned it (or I may have missed it), so I'm curious as to what, if anything, you find in the various log files viewed through Quicken's interface (Help | Log Files) and the various Windows logs seen through Windows Event Viewer. Since you've gone way past this basic troubleshooting, you've probably looked at these, but just in case....
Good thought. I don't remember what was there when I was going through things with Quicken Support but if it was useful I think we would have acted on it.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Wrench »

bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:07 pm FINAL (?) STATUS.

Bottom line, I have given up on getting back my old data. (Unless a future Quicken Update can open one of my older data files, thus the above question mark.)

I reinstalled Quicken on another computer and nothing changed: cannot open older Quicken data files.

The reinstalled Quicken version was, of course, the latest but I reverted it to an older level with an older mondo patch. That seemed to go OK but that too could not open the older Quicken files.

I really have nothing left to try! And, I am a bit confused by the results of all the things I did try.

I feel I am missing something because EVERYTHING should have been just as it was when it was all working. The computer I reinstalled to is exactly the same as the one things used to work on, as (of course) is my computer itself. A year or so ago both my wife and I bought the exact same laptops (Thinkpad X1) and it was hers I experimented on. Remember, nothing on my computer changed between the 14th (when it worked) to the 15th (when it stopped working). Also remember I have tried several older data files with the same results, so it's not that I somehow messed up my working copy.
So sorry this happened to you. If you are willing to spend a few hundred dollars, buy a used laptop on ebay. Restore an image from Acronis prior to the data loss. Acronis will allow restore to different hardware so this should work. As long as the image is good there is a very high probability this will at least get your data back as of the image date. I've done this successfully (though not for quicken problem) and although not painless, it is reasonably straightforward. Since it is separate hardware you have little to lose - worst case, it doesn't work and you are out a few hundred dollars. You could probably even recover some or all of that by reselling the used laptop on ebay if you want.

Relative to the future, one has to wonder about Quicken. For at least the last 4 or 5 years, every version/upgrade with Quicken seemed worse than the prior one. Personally, I transitioned away from Quicken about 3 years ago because of their change to a subscription model, their poor support and their proprietary data storage system. I use Moneydance and was able to import over 20 years of quicken data into it, though it was NOT seamless. (I prefer to keep my data local rather than in the cloud and among the programs I looked at that ran locally, MoneyDance seemed like the best to me). I ran both Quicken and Moneydance for a few months and had to tweak the Moneydance accounts quite a bit to get it right. But now, I am MUCH happier. Plus, Moneydance support has actually been pretty good for me.

Good luck!

Wrench
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by DetroitRick »

So as you've explained, through your older mondo patch install (including a completely fresh install on another machine) and older backups, you seem to have removed everything from possibility except for qdf corruption. But the older backups not working would obviously still be puzzling - unless "older" is just the past month or so.

If you haven't already, and maybe I just didn't see it, I would post this issue in the Quicken Community. Including all these steps you've already taken.
You may have to disregard some goofy suggestions, but there are a few experts there that might give you something else to try in the coming days.

There used to be some data recovery companies that specialized in Quicken files, but I can't locate them anymore. I think the Quicken user base has gotten too small, but this might be worth further search. Perhaps you can get that recommendation in the Quicken Community as well.
Last edited by DetroitRick on Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by theta »

My best guess (and it’s only a guess) is that your quicken data file is corrupted. Here’s a quicken community discussion of someone who had this issue a year or so ago. It seems to imply that more than one super validate or file copy or combination may be required:
https://community.quicken.com/discussio ... r-validate
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by michaeljc70 »

If you do use your backup to do a full restore (and checking Quicken works), can't you then do a restore to your current state? If you can get to that Quicken file working you can do validations, copies or whatever and save the file elsewhere and go back to your current state and see if it works. At least it would narrow it down. I would do whatever I had to to get my data back. Keep in mind the alternatives to Quicken IMO aren't that great and the import of Quicken files (if it would even work with your file) are very imperfect in my experience. When I imported my Quicken file into Moneydance it became clear it would take me dozens if not hundreds of hours to fix all the issues.

I only back up my data (but have dozens of backups in various locations) so doing a full restore wouldn't be an option for me.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by TimeRunner »

bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:47 pm
TimeRunner wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:42 pm You haven't mentioned it (or I may have missed it), so I'm curious as to what, if anything, you find in the various log files viewed through Quicken's interface (Help | Log Files) and the various Windows logs seen through Windows Event Viewer. Since you've gone way past this basic troubleshooting, you've probably looked at these, but just in case....
Good thought. I don't remember what was there when I was going through things with Quicken Support but if it was useful I think we would have acted on it.
Right, but since you are continuing to try and restore your data file on your own subsequent to your Quicken support sessions, after you try something like a fresh install, it would be worth a look to see if Quicken or Windows has logged anything useful that might further help you understand what's happening. (tldr: Logs can sometimes be very useful.)
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

OK, NOW EVEN MORE FINAL STATUS!

It suddenly stated working! Don't know if I should just accept that and move on (whistling in the dark?) or try to figure it out. Maybe Alzheimers is catching up with me! (And the three Quicken people who tried to help?)

I did a validate (see below).

I could find no evidence of "ACCT_14f09." I could find no transaction dated 10/2/2020. Someone mentioned earlier about a scheduled reminder causing a similar problem (hang) on their Quicken. Perhaps just the change in date did the job. (Grasping at straws here!) I note that "10 days" (mentioned in the validate status) brings me to next month.

I will continue to look things over.

VALIDATE OUTPUT
================================================================================================================
QDF:
Validating your data.
Quicken found an invalid transaction and removed it. "Investment XX3777" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken found following future dated investment transaction (which has date more than 10 days in the future). This might cause some balances to display unexpected values.
"VG Taxable 1915" 10/ 2/2020 "Vanguard taxable account" "Initiate from Vanguard"
Quicken repaired damaged transaction index. No action required.
Quicken found an invalid transaction and removed it. "ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken repaired some transaction information. No action required.
"ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken found an invalid transaction and removed it. "ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken repaired some transaction information. No action required.
"ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken found an invalid transaction and removed it. "ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken repaired some transaction information. No action required.
"ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken found an invalid transaction and removed it. "ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken repaired some transaction information. No action required.
"ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken found an invalid transaction and removed it. "ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken repaired some transaction information. No action required.
"ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken found an invalid transaction and removed it. "ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken repaired some transaction information. No action required.
"ACCT_14f09" 0/ 0/1900
Quicken found a damaged scheduled reminder and removed it. Please check your scheduled reminders by going to Tools>Manage Bills and Income Reminders.

Summary:
Quicken repaired 1 accounts. No action required.
Last edited by bertilak on Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Kenkat »

Well, congrats! A recovery for the ages, regardless of how it happened. :D
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by michaeljc70 »

Great news! Did you get the update from a day or two ago? Or was it something else?
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

michaeljc70 wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:53 pm Great news! Did you get the update from the day or two?
Actually, I tried one from a month ago -- close enough that transaction download would capture anything newer. I had already tried one from about that date without any luck.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by TimeRunner »

Now would be a good time to double-check your backup set to make sure you are backing up ALL the Quicken program and data files, since your previous restores didn't work and that's a clue that something's wasn't right there. Do a manual backup before anything else. Glad it is working for you! :beer
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

TimeRunner wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:04 pm Now would be a good time to double-check your backup set to make sure you are backing up ALL the Quicken program and data files, since your previous restores didn't work and that's a clue that something's wasn't right there. Do a manual backup before anything else. Glad it is working for you! :beer
I am going to be extra careful from now on.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by RetiredAL »

bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:06 pm
TimeRunner wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:04 pm Now would be a good time to double-check your backup set to make sure you are backing up ALL the Quicken program and data files, since your previous restores didn't work and that's a clue that something's wasn't right there. Do a manual backup before anything else. Glad it is working for you! :beer
I am going to be extra careful from now on.
Now that you have access to your data, I suggest you look into keeping an extra backup copy of your data in CSV format.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

RetiredAL wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:19 pm Now that you have access to your data, I suggest you look into keeping an extra backup copy of your data in CSV format.
How do I do that?

I don't see an option for that under "file export" or "file operations."
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by JBTX »

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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

Those instructions don't seem to match what I see when I try to follow them.

The very first step is:
  • Click on Banking in the left sidebar. This create a register of all your banking (cash, checking, savings, credit card) accounts.
This does not create anything that I can see when I do that.

If I skip to the crucial step ...
  • Select File > Export > Register Transactions to CSV File
There is no such option.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by TimeRunner »

See: https://www.quicken.com/support/how-exp ... such-excel

Appears current Quicken no longer supports direct CSV file export from "All Transactions" view. I wonder why? :twisted:
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by JBTX »

bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:20 pm
Those instructions don't seem to match what I see when I try to follow them.

The very first step is:
  • Click on Banking in the left sidebar. This THEN create a register of all your banking (cash, checking, savings, credit card) accounts.
This does not create anything that I can see when I do that.

If I skip to the crucial step ...
  • Select File > Export > Register Transactions to CSV File
There is no such option.
Substitute "Then" for "This"

on the left hand bar with all the accounts, right above banking you should see "All Transactions". Click on that, then it gives you a register, and you can select the various options for time and other settings. Once created, you can export it to Excel, using the Utilities button on the right.

Edit: this would actually be a cool functionality. Unfortunately I can't get it to work. It either bombs, or says unable to export to .xlsx
Last edited by JBTX on Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by random_walker_77 »

Yes, definitely backup and also export your data. You might also try exporting everything in QIF format as per
https://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/Quicken_Migration
and
https://www.quicken.com/support/how-do- ... ta-quicken
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Eagle33 »

You may want to split your file into 2 files - 1st with oldest data and the second one with maybe the last few years. Extremely large files tend to be prone to corruption issues.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by kevinf »

bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:04 pm
Kenkat wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:39 pm I reinstalled Quicken on another computer and nothing changed: cannot open older Quicken data files.

Did you install the full drive image you have from Acronis onto a different computer? I can’t see that not getting you back to a working state. Don’t try restoring pieces, do a full image restore.
No, I did not. I don't want to mess up my wife's system.

Even If I somehow messed up my Windows system to the point Quicken isn't working right, I certainly didn't mess up hers. The point of using another "fresh" system was to avoid doing an Acronis system recovery. ("Fresh" in the sense that Quicken had never been installed nor run there before.)
It's great that you got access to your data back, but your disaster recovery plan is a disaster itself. If you are concerned about the restore process failing with your current drive and nuking everything (a completely valid concern), you should have an identical secondary drive in your fire-safe. Clone your drive to the secondary one, and put it away into safe storage. If you need to restore from backups, remove the primary drive and plug in the spare and work from that secondary image to restore a newer backup to the spare drive. You should run through this process once to verify everything works and to be familiar with the process when the time comes to use it.

If everything works as it should, your old primary drive is your new secondary drive and you don't have to do anything else. If the restore fails, your primary drive is still intact and you can contact data recovery / tech specialists for help if the need to restore is dire.

As it stands, you functionally have NO BACKUPS (as you've just discovered). If you're going to bother running the backup process, you need to have a recovery plan in place and to validate that the plan works. Do note that your backups must NOT be stored on the primary drive, an external drive or remote backup service works great for this purpose.

You should take this experience as the warning it is!
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

JBTX wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:01 pm
on the left hand bar with all the accounts, right above banking you should see "All Transactions". Click on that, then it gives you a register, and you can select the various options for time and other settings. Once created, you can export it to Excel, using the Utilities button on the right.

Edit: this would actually be a cool functionality. Unfortunately I can't get it to work. It either bombs, or says unable to export to .xlsx
Did you get a pop-up saying "BUGSPLAT?" That's what I got with a button to "Send Error Report," which I did.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

JBTX wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:01 pm
on the left hand bar with all the accounts, right above banking you should see "All Transactions". Click on that, then it gives you a register, and you can select the various options for time and other settings. Once created, you can export it to Excel, using the Utilities button on the right.

Edit: this would actually be a cool functionality. Unfortunately I can't get it to work. It either bombs, or says unable to export to .xlsx
Well, it worked for a single account, my checking account.

Unfortunately it doesn't work for investment accounts. The "Export to Excel Workbook" option is not there.

Quicken can be a rocky road!
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by RetiredAL »

bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:44 pm
RetiredAL wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:19 pm Now that you have access to your data, I suggest you look into keeping an extra backup copy of your data in CSV format.
How do I do that?

I don't see an option for that under "file export" or "file operations."
The computer problems are spreading - Shortly after I sent my note, my main desktop computer died. Looks like Power Supply. So I'm blind on my old laptop for the duration.

Doing a Google Search for Quicken Export, you'll find:
https://www.quicken.com/support/how-do- ... ta-quicken
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by acegolfer »

bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:36 pm
JBTX wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:01 pm
on the left hand bar with all the accounts, right above banking you should see "All Transactions". Click on that, then it gives you a register, and you can select the various options for time and other settings. Once created, you can export it to Excel, using the Utilities button on the right.

Edit: this would actually be a cool functionality. Unfortunately I can't get it to work. It either bombs, or says unable to export to .xlsx
Well, it worked for a single account, my checking account.

Unfortunately it doesn't work for investment accounts. The "Export to Excel Workbook" option is not there.

Quicken can be a rocky road!
2 options (not mutually exclusive)
1. Export to QIF (not in a table format but at least you have a backup data that can be read in any text editor)
2. Create a transaction "report" and export it to Excel. (This option is not easy to find but it's there at least in 2016 version)
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

acegolfer wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:06 am 2. Create a transaction "report" and export it to Excel. (This option is not easy to find but it's there at least in 2016 version)
Thanks. I did not know that reports could be exported to excel.

I get a "bugsplat" if I try to expert a transaction report for all accounts, all dates.

More selective reports worked fine: All Banking, All Property, All investments. Those account categories were offered when creating the report. I think that probably covers everything.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by acegolfer »

bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:36 am
acegolfer wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:06 am 2. Create a transaction "report" and export it to Excel. (This option is not easy to find but it's there at least in 2016 version)
Thanks. I did not know that reports could be exported to excel.

I get a "bugsplat" if I try to expert a transaction report for all accounts, all dates.

More selective reports worked fine: All Banking, All Property, All investments. Those account categories were offered when creating the report. I think that probably covers everything.
Yes, it's sorta hidden option. Wish I had known it when I converted my data last year. It took several days for me to clean the QIF files. I can now do it in 2-3 hrs.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by MarkerFM »

I concur that Quicken does not like large data files. There is a way to export all your transactions to a .txt file that you then can open and convert to xls.

As mentioned above, click on All Transactions, Select All Dates (or a range if you prefer).

Then on the right top Actions (little cog wheel looking thing), instead of selecting Export to Excel Workbook, use Print Transactions. Then, confirm your date range and click Print. On the following screen, select Export to and choose tab-delimited (Excel compatible) disk file. Hit Export and save the file wherever you want. Then, open it in Excel (you have to select All Files in the Excel open file dialog) and select Finish to convert it.
Wrench
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Wrench »

michaeljc70 wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:26 pm <Snip>

When I imported my Quicken file into Moneydance it became clear it would take me dozens if not hundreds of hours to fix all the issues.

I only back up my data (but have dozens of backups in various locations) so doing a full restore wouldn't be an option for me.
The import into MoneyDance has improved I am told from when I did it ~3 years ago. But I did have to spend hours getting the accounts to have the correct balances. As I remember it, most of the errors arose from old transfers between accounts, some of which were no longer active. It DID take some time, but I did it slowly over 2-3 months, which was OK 'cause it allowed me to learn the new program at the same time.

Wrench
azanon
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Re: Quicken Disaster

Post by azanon »

I’ve been using quicken since 1996 and have complete data dating back to then. I also know my exact portfolio return since i started work because of Quickens ability to calculate IRR. (No I don’t want to post it)

For backup, i have the regular hdd save itself (not cloud storage) and also a thumb-drive save. So I’d like to think that at least in theory, the only way I couldn’t load my file is if they update it to a version that’s Incompatible with any of my historical saves. So far, I’m not having any issues.
Wrench
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Wrench »

kevinf wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:22 pm
bertilak wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:04 pm
Kenkat wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:39 pm I reinstalled Quicken on another computer and nothing changed: cannot open older Quicken data files.

Did you install the full drive image you have from Acronis onto a different computer? I can’t see that not getting you back to a working state. Don’t try restoring pieces, do a full image restore.
No, I did not. I don't want to mess up my wife's system.

Even If I somehow messed up my Windows system to the point Quicken isn't working right, I certainly didn't mess up hers. The point of using another "fresh" system was to avoid doing an Acronis system recovery. ("Fresh" in the sense that Quicken had never been installed nor run there before.)
It's great that you got access to your data back, but your disaster recovery plan is a disaster itself. If you are concerned about the restore process failing with your current drive and nuking everything (a completely valid concern), you should have an identical secondary drive in your fire-safe. Clone your drive to the secondary one, and put it away into safe storage. If you need to restore from backups, remove the primary drive and plug in the spare and work from that secondary image to restore a newer backup to the spare drive. You should run through this process once to verify everything works and to be familiar with the process when the time comes to use it.

If everything works as it should, your old primary drive is your new secondary drive and you don't have to do anything else. If the restore fails, your primary drive is still intact and you can contact data recovery / tech specialists for help if the need to restore is dire.

As it stands, you functionally have NO BACKUPS (as you've just discovered). If you're going to bother running the backup process, you need to have a recovery plan in place and to validate that the plan works. Do note that your backups must NOT be stored on the primary drive, an external drive or remote backup service works great for this purpose.

You should take this experience as the warning it is!
Very good advice from KenKat to make sure you have a fool-proof way to recover data, and you know how to use it. But, a word of caution. KenKat's approach may not allow you to recover your system from a disaster like a fire or flood, or if your computer is stolen (as happened to a client of mine). If your system is gone then a clone of the hard drive in it won't help you very much. Also, a fireproof safe may protect your paper documents but the heat from a fire may make your digital data unreadable. (My minister lost her digital data stored in a safe deposit box in a bank vault when there was a fire in the bank). I prefer an Acronis image file on a drive stored off site. You can restore your system to alternate hardware and your backup drive in a different location minimizes disaster risk. Cloud storage of your image is an alternative as well. If the data is REALLY important to you, do both. A local copy stored off-site, and a copy in the cloud. It really comes down to how important the data is to you, and what level of risk you can live with in the case of a failure and/or disaster.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Congrats on your success after such an arduous process. I also have data going back decades, and this saga made me wonder how much of it I should keep. 8 years? Keep a complete file and a smaller more recent file?

I thought I was safe because I have cloud backups that support versioning. Now I’m not so sure.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:12 pm Congrats on your success after such an arduous process. I also have data going back decades, and this saga made me wonder how much of it I should keep. 8 years? Keep a complete file and a smaller more recent file?

I thought I was safe because I have cloud backups that support versioning. Now I’m not so sure.
I feel your pain (obviously)!

I had dozens of backups across five places and from multiple dates, all automated:
  1. Crashplan on router's SSD drive
  2. Crashplan cloud
  3. Acronis on local thumb drive
  4. Acronis cloud
  5. System's SSD drive (Quicken's own backup directory)
So I had backup overkill, remote and local, multiple backup programs. Something besides lack of (or corrupted) backups went wrong.

I did restores to two different systems (my production system, my wife's duplicate system) and multiple re-installations of Quicken itself. Nothing worked, even with Quicken support -- until suddenly (mysteriously) it worked. I'll take it!

I hesitate to pin it on anything as I seem to have conflicting data points.

I DO APPRECIATE EVERYONE'S HELP HERE. Lots of thought and energy went into supplying it.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Not that you did anything wrong, but is there anything you will do differently going forward?
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Kenkat »

bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:22 pm So I had backup overkill, remote and local, multiple backup programs.
It’s not the backup process that failed you, it is the restore process. You had a full system image, but not a good way to use it without nuking your working system (working except for Quicken of course). Totally get the hesitation there, you don’t want to go from bad to worse doing the restore.

As someone mentioned above, a spare external drive might have been a place to restore the image to and boot from. They run around $50 for a 1TB drive. Might be worth it to have as an option.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

Kenkat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:16 pm
bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:22 pm So I had backup overkill, remote and local, multiple backup programs.
It’s not the backup process that failed you, it is the restore process. You had a full system image, but not a good way to use it without nuking your working system (working except for Quicken of course). Totally get the hesitation there, you don’t want to go from bad to worse doing the restore.

As someone mentioned above, a spare external drive might have been a place to restore the image to and boot from. They run around $50 for a 1TB drive. Might be worth it to have as an option.
But I already had a "restored" image -- my wife's system.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:09 pm Not that you did anything wrong, but is there anything you will do differently going forward?
Since, as I mentioned above, I don't know what to "pin it on" I don't know what to fix.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by TomatoTomahto »

bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:17 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:09 pm Not that you did anything wrong, but is there anything you will do differently going forward?
Since, as I mentioned above, I don't know what to "pin it on" I don't know what to fix.
Not that there’s anything wrong in a large history file, I think I will examine cutting my file off as of some date. 8 years back should be enough for any sensible query, and I probably will keep the original.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Kenkat »

bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:14 pm
Kenkat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:16 pm
bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:22 pm So I had backup overkill, remote and local, multiple backup programs.
It’s not the backup process that failed you, it is the restore process. You had a full system image, but not a good way to use it without nuking your working system (working except for Quicken of course). Totally get the hesitation there, you don’t want to go from bad to worse doing the restore.

As someone mentioned above, a spare external drive might have been a place to restore the image to and boot from. They run around $50 for a 1TB drive. Might be worth it to have as an option.
But I already had a "restored" image -- my wife's system.
Unless I am missing something here, your wife’s system was not an exact match to your drive image - you just tried to install Quicken and your Quicken backup onto it. You would have had to completely wipe your wife’s system, replacing it with your cloned drive image to have a valid, pre-problem restore point that matched the state of your system at that point in time.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

Kenkat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:25 pm
bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:14 pm
Kenkat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:16 pm
bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:22 pm So I had backup overkill, remote and local, multiple backup programs.
It’s not the backup process that failed you, it is the restore process. You had a full system image, but not a good way to use it without nuking your working system (working except for Quicken of course). Totally get the hesitation there, you don’t want to go from bad to worse doing the restore.

As someone mentioned above, a spare external drive might have been a place to restore the image to and boot from. They run around $50 for a 1TB drive. Might be worth it to have as an option.
But I already had a "restored" image -- my wife's system.
Unless I am missing something here, your wife’s system was not an exact match to your drive image - you just tried to install Quicken and your Quicken backup onto it. You would have had to completely wipe your wife’s system, replacing it with your cloned drive image to have a valid, pre-problem restore point that matched the state of your system at that point in time.
I don't see the point in that. Her system can not have been "infected" by anything that happened on my system.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by Kenkat »

bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:36 pm
Kenkat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:25 pm
bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:14 pm
Kenkat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:16 pm
bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:22 pm So I had backup overkill, remote and local, multiple backup programs.
It’s not the backup process that failed you, it is the restore process. You had a full system image, but not a good way to use it without nuking your working system (working except for Quicken of course). Totally get the hesitation there, you don’t want to go from bad to worse doing the restore.

As someone mentioned above, a spare external drive might have been a place to restore the image to and boot from. They run around $50 for a 1TB drive. Might be worth it to have as an option.
But I already had a "restored" image -- my wife's system.
Unless I am missing something here, your wife’s system was not an exact match to your drive image - you just tried to install Quicken and your Quicken backup onto it. You would have had to completely wipe your wife’s system, replacing it with your cloned drive image to have a valid, pre-problem restore point that matched the state of your system at that point in time.
I don't see the point in that. Her system can not have been "infected" by anything that happened on my system.
The point of making a drive image is that you have an exact, bit by bit working copy of your system at a particular point in time. All other variables are eliminated. That is not true with your wife’s system; it was different and so that is a possible point of failure. I guess you should continue to make drive images because you’d probably still be able to (and more importantly be willing to) use them if you had a hard drive crash. But it seems to me you’ve found a gap in your restore strategy (and therefore your backup strategy) because it failed to save you in this particular situation of a partial system failure.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by bertilak »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:22 pm
bertilak wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:17 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:09 pm Not that you did anything wrong, but is there anything you will do differently going forward?
Since, as I mentioned above, I don't know what to "pin it on" I don't know what to fix.
Not that there’s anything wrong in a large history file, I think I will examine cutting my file off as of some date. 8 years back should be enough for any sensible query, and I probably will keep the original.
Well yes, there is something I will do differently. All the advice and hints here on how to export to an Excel file are enlightening. I will periodically run those reports and export them to Excel files. This will at least give me a history I can search through for things Quicken might have lost. As a matter of fact I have already squirreled away my first version! I am using the three basic reports of Banking, Investing, and
Property & Debt.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by DetroitRick »

There is something getting missed in these discussions about backup protocols. Yes, keep doing backups, as you have done. However, finding out later that an older backup won't work due to data file corruption is A CLASSIC QUICKEN ISSUE. And it's a very well-known Quicken issue - for years. Ton's of stuff in the Quicken Community has been posted on this, which you've probably seen. Exactly how odd your experience was depends on how old those backups were. But some data file corruption is progressive and it does happen. I've had it happen to me.

There are requests posted in that community to get Quicken to do a better file repair utility (seriously, validate, super-validate?, maybe a double-secret validate???). And many of us would like to get a warning when doing a backup of a corrupted Quicken file. Because there is often just no quick way to tell that there is corruption, unless you add a step, or unless it's so bad that Quicken isn't working right.

You should continue your Quicken backups. And do whatever system backup work meets your needs. But, I recommend simply adding one more step. Validate your file before data file backup, at some interval - you can judge how often. That step serves to check for file corruption immediately PRIOR to running your Quicken backups. Since Quicken recommends against just doing frequent file validations (because of the underlying file rebuilding process), I first make a copy and then validate that copy. If results are very bad, I then typically decide to fix the original file.

Here is what I do, at least monthly. Not my idea, got it from the Quicken Community, learned it the hard way:
1)Immediately before backup, in Quicken: File > Operations > Copy (for a seriously corrupted file, this step won't work either). This is NOT a Windows file copy routine, it must be done within Quicken
2)Next, open your Quicken data file copy (it will give you that menu choice when copy complete)
3)Run a data file validation on that copy and see if you are comfortable with the data integrity
4)Revert to your original Quicken data file
5)Then do a Quicken backup, at this point, you can have greater confidence in any future restoration of that backup.

Beyond that, just keep doing your regular backups. And dumping your registers to Excel (because it is so fast to do) is a great idea as a backstop too, as you are now doing. I do this once per year (and skip old and unchanging registers, because they never change). Did it yesterday, 25+ registers, took around 15 minutes (your issue reminded me it was time). Then I copy investment transactions from my broker (since Quicken doesn't offer Excel downloads of investment registers). Not every day, but once in a while. There are other good alternatives, but I've settled on this as the best and fastest, based on my own needs.

As I said, this is the one issue that still ticks me off about Quicken. It has, over the years, cost them customers. But since the workaround is just a few minutes, I'll live with it now that I know it. Fortunately, file corruption doesn't happen every day. But you already know the stakes when it does.
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Re: Quicken Disaster!

Post by michaeljc70 »

So, we don't know entirely what happened to the OP, but most people don't keep backups of their data AND point in time backups of applications/the whole system. The same is true in most corporate environments. It is possible in this case that could have fixed the problem (at least temporarily). It is good/best practice to keep your data separate whether it be a separate physical drive, logical drive or folder group and back that up. I disagree, even though in this rare case it might have helped, of the practice of backing up everything. In general, it is a waste of time, disk space and money. Windows alone is huge. Start adding in applications like Office, Quicken, etc. and you are talking a lot of storage space. Occasionally I do take an image in case things were to blow up (hard drive failure or something) so I don't have to figure out every app I installed and where the install image/disks are, etc. I rarely do that though and have gotten good at being organized if I need to do a total reinstall. I can always reinstall something like Office......it is my data I worry about.
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