Getting ready to install a newer version of QuickBooks? Take a few minutes to prepare and you might save yourself some grief.
* Pick a good time. The installation will take a little bit of time, as well the data conversion when you first open your company file under the new version. Don’t do this right before your employees will be expecting their payroll to be run, etc. Pick a “down time” so that if there are any complications, it won’t result in an immediate crisis.
* If you are “downgrading as you upgrade” (moving from Enterprise 10 to Premier 2012, for example), coordinate the file conversion in advance to minimize or eliminate downtime.
* Set a Restore Point in Windows. It’s just good practice to do this before installing or uninstalling software. If for some reason you need to revert your Windows settings to their pre-install condition, you’ll have that option.
* Check your disk space, and defrag your hard drive. Computers have monstrously big hard drives on them these days, but even so, you can fill them up after a while. If your computer is a bit old, make sure you have several GBs of free space on your computer before installing a new version of QuickBooks. Simply click Start / My Computer, and then right click on your C: local drive to see the properties of your drive. If it has been a long time since you defragmented your hard drive, you can click the Tools tab and see an option to defragment your drive. That can speed everything up, including your install time.
* Test your company data. Successfully upgrading your QuickBooks company file to a higher version will require that the file’s data integrity is good. Upgrading sometimes brings data integrity problems to the surface — problems that are not evident in your day to day use of QuickBooks. The upgrade process will probably verify your company, but you don’t want surprises. So verify and rebuild your company in QuickBooks before upgrading to make sure that the data is in ready condition. If there are problems, your file can be repaired and converted for you.
* Backup your company data. QuickBooks will force you to do this when you first try to open your company under the new version, but it’s important that you do it correctly.
You can back up your data to your local drive or to an online resource like IDrive or Global DataVault where your files are not subject to localized problems on your system or office.
I’ve always found it helpful to name your backup something like “pre-upgrade backup” with today’s date as part of the backup name. If something goes awry with the upgrade data process, it’s much better to have a pre-converted backup available than otherwise. It’s also great in those circumstances to know exactly which backup is the last pre-converted one. This backup should be kept around for awhile, even after a successful upgrade.
* Have your install codes ready. Hopefully you will not have any issues registering your product, but if you do, have your software install codes at your fingertips so your time on the phone with support will be as short and painless as possible.
Anyone have any other suggestions for prepping an upgrade?