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QuickBooks File Repair Procedure

If your balance sheet is out of balance or QB ends with an error message "you have a damaged QB file" then you can easily repair some damage as following:

PLEASE FIRST MAKE A COPY (OR TWO) OF YOUR QB FILE. Now Enter Windows, Closeall, File, Utilities and Rebuild. That usually solves problems. If you discover problems right after upgrading, STOP. Go back and rebuild and repair the file in the earlier version as much as you can. Later versions may fix problems that earlier versions cannot fix, but they also may make them worse. Upgrades rarely work if there are any errors and you may soon be unable to open a file with errors if you keep using a damaged file.

If the problem is not fixed then delete QBWIN.LOG in the QB program folder. If the backup required by Rebuild causes a fatal error copy the data with Explorer after closing QB. Then run Rebuild while holding down the control key. This does the Rebuild without backup. After the Rebuild, check the new QBWIN.LOG with WordPad to see if there are errors like these:

=====================* BEGIN REBUILD LOG *====================
Rebuilding data, file name: J:My DocumentsQuickbooksBoat.QBW
Tue Mar 06 12:46:41 2001

Error: Verify Account list. Duplicate name encountered. Name: Accounts
Payable Records 70 (4) and 136 (5).
To fix, edit this element in the list and change its name.
Error: Verify Account list. Duplicate name encountered. Name: Accounts
Receivable Records 74 (7) and 137 (8).
To fix, edit this element in the list and change its name.
Error: Verify Account list. Duplicate name encountered. Name: Payroll
Expenses Records 68 (86) and 1 (87).
To fix, edit this element in the list and change its name.
Verify TARGET: Major not followed by minor. Rcrd = 105917.
Type: paycheck txn#: 08905 date: 01/26/2001 doc#: 102982
Distrib accnt: Uncategorized Expenses $: -197.68

=======================* END REBUILD LOG *====================

The above messages indicates chart of accounts duplicates. Go to the chart. Make sure Show All is checked if you have inactive accounts. Then edit one of the affected accounts and change its name.

The next error line is in accounts receivable. Change a duplicate to something like 1 and save it. Then edit it again, giving it the same name as the other accounts receivable. When it asks you if you want to merge them, say yes. Do the same with the others. If you don't mind having two A/R, A/P and Payroll Expenses, just name them something slightly different and do not bother to merge.

If any entries are bad use the Audit Trail or Find to find THE FIRST bad entry. Write down its details before you delete it, so you can enter it later. Deleting one entry may let QB Rebuild fix many entries, so only delete the first bad entry. Deleting several entries at once may make things worse by deleting later undamaged entries (even though QBWIN.LOG says they are bad). Repeat this procedure until there are no errors.

If you have a payroll error in a recent version of QB chose Run Payroll Checkup in the Employees menu. On the Payroll Data Review page of the Payroll Setup, click Continue. QB first summarizes actual and possible problems with your employee setup & your payroll item setup. When it does wage and tax verification, QB displays a progress bar, indicating it is scanning your payroll data. When scanning is complete results appear on the Wage and Tax Verification Results page.

If you are having problems you should almost never delete list items, as opposed to transactions. They very rarely contain errors & you may need them for hidden QB audit trail and other transactions. Yes, I know QB should not let you delete a list item used or referenced elsewhere in QB, but I know many cases where QB let itself to get corrupted this way.

In some cases errors do not show up in QBWIN.LOG until you rebuild, so do this. If none of this works either start a new file or pay Intuit to see if they can repair it. Once the Intuit Developer version (QB2002) helps create many more QB Add-ons we should be able to do more about repairing and condensing QB files.

You can only upgrade an error free file. Many errors that occur on conversion relate to hidden damage in files that only appears when you upgrade. If your cannot read your partly converted data file you can usually use your old QB to restore the backup QB forces you to make before upgrading. Rebuilding this file, with the old version, fixes many problems that show up on upgrading.

You also can import from Quicken, but not export to it. You must give later versions or releases that are not file format compatible permission to upgrade the format (say YES or OK). They make you make a backup in the old format. The QB2001 R2 format had to be changed to fix a bug, as Intuit knows such changes cause problems when clients and accountants cannot read each other's files. This made QB2001 R1P unable to read R2P and later files. You also can Restore a Backup copy of the file, like the one you had to make when you upgraded, provided it is not damaged.


If you are getting problem in repair then it is the time to recharge your QB file.

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- We delete old unused customers, vendors, items, accnts, classes etc.
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- Messes cleaned up, quickbooks rebalanced, rebuilt
- Audit Trail Removal, Corrupt Files Fixed, Item List Reduction, Customer List Reduction
- Credit Card Numbers Extracted / Inputted, Convert Inventory Items to Non-Inventory Items, Rebalancing archived /condensed files
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