It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last, but it still gets to me: a QuickBooks user with catastrophic data loss and a safety net with a big hole in it.

The story? A lady in Texas called this afternoon. Her Windows 7 machine had crashed and she had had to reinstall her operating system. Of course, that made all the files on her hard drive go away, including her QuickBooks files.

Fortunately, she had an online backup service in place. I won’t say which one, but it is one you’ve probably heard of.

Unfortunately, her QuickBooks files hadn’t been getting backed up. I think the reason was that her QuickBooks data files were located under her QuickBooks program folder, rather than under her user folder or My Documents or otherwise a folder that it would be obvious to backup. She hadn’t thought to backup up data from a program folder. (Lesson: You might want to double check to make sure your backup software is looking in the right place for your QuickBooks company files.)

It was just plain sad! Her only recourse now was to take her hard drive to a company that specializes in media recovery and see if any of her original files could be salvaged from her original hard drive.

Sometimes that works, but many times not. Files recovered under those kinds of circumstances may look OK in Windows, but QuickBooks can’t open them because they are not 100% original data. Now we can jump into the loop at that point, because if the file is, say, 98% original QuickBooks data and 2% garbage, we can repair the file with no or minimal data loss. There’s really no way to know in advance. So I told the lady to call me back if she got some files back that weren’t openable.

I hope it works out OK for her.

NOTE: This problem wasn’t a problem with the online backup service per se. Online backup services are great, and add a layer of protection to your data because the backups are automated and off site. One of the backup services we’ve heard good things about is Global Data Vault.

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6 thoughts on “A Hole in the Safety Net

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Tuesday - Tips from Around the Web - 6/14/2011 | QuickBooks for Contractors blog

  2. Pingback: I’d be Crazy To Not Have These 3 Things for My Computer | QuickBooks and Your Business

  3. I have a problem getting into QB. SAys registration has run out. I call 800 number but am required to enter a phone number and no one knows what number was used when originally registered. After making about three forays into the product, this happens. I am not happy with QB at all. And, to think, I’m doing this as a volunteer for a nonprofit.

  4. I’ve also had excellent experiences with Mozy and Carbonite for online backup services.

    I can feel for the person in this story – that’s a hard way to find out what she thought was working as planned really wasn’t.


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