Quick answer: A lot.
A power blackout can take down QuickBooks. So can a brownout. Or a power spike. Or a nearby lightning strike. A thrown breaker can take down QuickBooks. A user unplugging their power strip can take down QuickBooks.
When QuickBooks closes abnormally because of a power outage, then oftentimes you won’t be able to get back into QuickBooks, or your company, afterwards. That’s because various kinds of files on your computer get corrupted.
If you can get back into QuickBooks, but you get errors in your company file, then your company file probably got corrupted. You can try rebuilding the company and see if that fixes it. If rebuild doesn’t work, then you can either restore your last good backup, or get your damaged QuickBooks company repaired.
If you cannot get back into QuickBooks — you can’t even get to the QuickBooks log in screen — then you can do this trick to try to open QuickBooks anyway. If that doesn’t work, you can try this other trick to reconnect your QuickBooks program to the Windows registry. If that doesn’t work either, you probably will have to uninstall QuickBooks, then reinstall it.
Of course, if your hard drive or motherboard gets fried during the power surge, then you’re going to need to get a new drive (or new computer) and work forward from your QuickBooks backups. (You do make backups, don’t you?)
PREVENTING POWER PROBLEMS IN THE FIRST PLACE
If you can prevent your computer and/or network from going down during electricity incidents, then QuickBooks will be unaffected by those incidents and you don’t have to worry about recovery.
The easiest and least expensive thing to do to protect yourself from electricity-based catastrophes is to put a uninterruptable power supply (aka battery backup) on every piece of your network equipment: your server, every workstation, every router, switch, hub, monitor…anything connected to any of your computers.
Battery backups not only protect your equipment from power surges, but they also automatically engage and give power to your equipment until you can do a controlled exit from QuickBooks and power down your equipment. In other words, they allow you to exit QuickBooks and power down your computer(s) in a normal way.
The problem a lot of people have is that they put a battery backup on their server, and…that’s it. The rest of their network is unprotected. That vulnerability has resulted in the corruption of many a QuickBooks file.
How about you? Have you ever had power problems affect QuickBooks?