Starting in 2010 Intuit began implementing Auto Data Recovery (ADR), a feature designed to allow for recovery of damaged QuickBooks files. It was first offered in Pro/Premier and then added to Enterprise in 2012. The feature makes use of two distinct Sybase technologies, ‘auto replication’ which creates a duplicate of your QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file and the QuickBooks Transaction Log (.QBW.tlg) file, and ‘auto recovery’. Intuit designed their Auto Data Recovery feature to help recover your QuickBooks data in one of two ways:
- Recreate lost transactions using the current QuickBooks Transaction Log (.QBW.tlg) file and a previous copy of the QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file, or
- Recreate all but the last few hours of transactions with a copy of both the QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file, and of the QuickBooks Transaction Log (.QBW.tlg) file.
In Part 1 of this series we looked at “the Theory” behind Auto Data Recovery. In this article (Part 2) we will look at the step by step procedures for recreating lost transactions using the current QuickBooks Transaction Log with a previous copy of the QuickBooks Company file created by the Auto Data Recovery auto replicate function. In Part 3 of the series we will look at the step by step procedures to recreate all but the last few hours of transactions with a copy of both the QuickBooks Company file, and the QuickBooks Transaction Log file created by the Auto Data Recovery auto replicate function.
Using the current QuickBooks Transaction Log (.QBW.tlg) file and a previous copy of your QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file to recreate lost transactions
The Auto Data Recovery feature uses an auto replication function to produce copies of the QuickBooks Company file and QuickBooks Transaction log files at regular intervals. These copies are stored in a special directory within the same Windows folder where your Company (.QBW) file is stored.
While the steps contained herein may seem simple, they should be performed only by qualified personnel. Intuit intended that these steps be performed by QuickBooks ProAdvisors and/or Intuit support staff; instructions are not given for these procedures except in the form of technical support documentation available to such qualified individuals. This article is intended to insure that such personnel are aware of this important QuickBooks feature for data recovery and restoration.
Before attempting the procedures set-forth in this article, you should make a back-up of your QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file; in the event you are unable to make such a back-up, you should make and preserve a Windows copy of both your current QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file and QuickBooks Transaction Log (.QBW.tlg) file in a safe folder stored in a location other than with your current data.
1) Using Windows Explorer open the folder where your QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file is stored.
2) If file extensions are not visible, make them visible (see the Windows operating instructions for your version of the Windows-OS if you are not familiar with this step.)
3) Note the size and date modified for both your QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file and the QuickBooks Transaction Log (.QBW.tlg) file.
4) Within your Company Files folder, create a new folder named Old Files
5) Cut your QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file from your Company Files folder, and
6) Paste your QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file into the newly created Old Files folder
7) Locate and open the QuickBooksAutoDataRecovery folder within your Company Files folder
8) Identify all files within the QuickBooksAutoDataRecovery folder – the number of files may vary depending on several factors. (Files are typically produced every 12 hours. Newer files will have file extensions of .adr appended to their normal file extensions. Older files will have file extensions of .adr.old appended to their normal file extensions Note the date, time and size of each file.)
9) Copy the file ending in .QBW.adr and return to your QuickBooks Company Files folder
10) Paste the file you just copied into your QuickBooks Company Files folder
11) Rename the .QBW.adr file so as to remove the .adr extension from the name; the renamed file should only have an extension of .QBW (this file has now replaced your prior QuickBooks Company file) within the Company Files folder.
12) Open QuickBooks
13) Open your Company file – as you do this the QuickBooks Database Server will scan all transactions within your current QuickBooks Transaction Log (.QBW.tlg) file (which remained in the Company Files folder) that have been added since the data/time the ADR file was created. Those files should be automatically appended to your QuickBooks Company file as it is opened restoring the file.
14) Run the Verify Data utility, Review the QBWin.log if Verify Does not complete normally.
15) Use reports and/or account registers to manually verify all restored transactions.
In many cases these steps will successfully restore missing or corrupted data to a copy of the file created prior to the data loss or corruption. Obviously the fact that the ADR process is continually updating the ADR files implies the importance of responding in a timely manner to cases of data corruption or loss that might otherwise be resolved using these methods. If through delays, or other data recovery attempts, ADR files are subsequently replaced by copies of data files with missing or corrupted data, this methodology of restoration is lost. As such ‘time is of the essence’ in using this repair technique.
Source and acknowledgement:
Intuit, Technical Support - KB ID# HOW13772 - "Recover lost data with QuickBooks Auto Data Recovery" (Graphics reproduced and adapted from the same article).