We have repaired many sets of damaged QuickBooks accounting data over the years and we are often asked “How did this happen?”

Good question! Here are some of the most common causes of QuickBooks data damage:

  • Network glitches. You are using QuickBooks across a network in multiuser mode. One of the workstations loses connection with the server for a moment and then reestablishes connection. During the disconnecting and reconnecting, the data stream gets changed a bit, and the database gets corrupted.
  • Performance bottlenecks. If your QuickBooks data file is huge and you have a lot of people in QuickBooks at the same time and your computers are old, QuickBooks is not going to be able to keep up with all the read and write requests to the database. The file will get damaged at some point.
  • Power blips. If the power momentarily goes out in your office, it can change data and corrupt the QuickBooks database. Most users have their server protected with battery backups, but many don’t protect their desk computers or network routers with battery backups. Uninterruptable Power Supplies (battery backups) are cheap insurance.
  • Disk crashes. Hard drives have moving parts, and like any mechanical device, they will fail at some point. If the only copies of your data are on your hard drive, that’s a recipe for disaster.
  • Bad software. Malware, spyware, viruses, worms, trojans…if your computer gets sick, it can affect QuickBooks and other applications you depend on.
  • User error. Just kidding! Users can’t really trash or crash their database unless they do something silly like unplugging the power or a network cable while QuickBooks is running. You can’t mess up the database by doing normal processes within QuickBooks itself.

To prevent data corruption in QuickBooks, you basically want to do whatever you can so that QuickBooks can read and write to its database quickly and without any interruptions. You also want to regularly backup your data to a location OFF your hard drive.

If you somehow find yourself with data errors in QuickBooks and no current backup, AccountingUsers Inc. provides fast, guaranteed data repair services.

What did I miss? Any other known causes of QuickBooks data damage you know of?

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9 thoughts on “What Damages QuickBooks Data?

  1. I would suggest making sure to use the verify data feature – some folks do entire hard drive back ups and don’t use QB to create their company file back ups; so their company file data does not get verified on any kind of regular basis.

    Doing regular data verifications will often find data corruption problems before they get out of hand and allow one to fix them by rebuilding the file.

    Reply
    • Janet, that’s a good idea. Verify will detect most of the kinds of problems that people encounter, and early detection is better than letting it get to the point where the company can’t be opened anymore. This latter situation, though, is the most common we hear of from people contacting us for data repair.

      Reply
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  3. My QB bank register does not have all transactions that have taken place but other reports such as church contributions does show those transactions. I have two entries only in 2004 and that is two voided checks and then the next chronological entry is in 2012. Since this data is obviously there somewhere, why is it not showing on the bank register? I do regular verified backups.

    Reply
    • Hi Tony,

      Maybe your data got condensed as of 2012? That would remove prior years’ transactions, but it would affect all reports in QuickBooks. I don’t know what a church contribution report is. Are other kinds of transactions present in the file before 2012…invoices, bills, bill payments?

      Reply
      • OK, thanks, more detail. I can run reports (P&L, Balance statement, Check detail, deposit detail, budget vs actual and most all others and the information is there on the reports. The data just does not show up in the check register. We are a small church and the contribution report is just individuals who have made contributions to the church.

        I don’t know if the data file was ever condensed since I started my job as finance chair in 2013.

        Really appreciate your looking into this for me. Any other info you need or questions?

        Reply
  4. How can QuickBooks and Intuit believe that it’s a good idea to trust your company’s data to a single inexpensive hard disk that may cost between 50 and $100 and that is only one capacitor away from failing . if the computer that is hosting the Quickbooks data fails, goes offline or has some other issue that has caused it to crash guess what your dad is cry data is corrupt . here in this newsletter the admit that their networking capabilities are that good and B become corrupted by a single computer that has a network glitch of some kind . it is my belief that the Quickbooks data should always be run on a server with a raid disk array . QuickBooks should really spend more time making sure that their product will work With an enterprise-grade server running Linux or (gasp) Windows, how much is your data worth . Mine is worth a lot more than a $500 budget computer if I picked up at Fry Electronics . I speak from experience I have had computer failures and all corrupted my Quickbooks data and it takes hours or days to straighten it out . a desktop computer is not equivalent to a server . if you keep your Quickbooks data on a desktop server, someone will use that computer for their email or word processing as well . something will cause that computer to crash at some point and there goes your data . so let’s get with it QuickBooks let’s get your data and code working on a real server ensure that this is really serious software after all it does come with a serious price
    It is just unimaginable that QuickBooks networking is not fault tolerant enough to deal with simple Network glitches . it would be worth sacrificing a little speed to prevent data corruption!

    Reply
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