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.
Over the last couple of weeks, the question has been posed by some readers as to why they can not find the Auto Data Recovery folder among their other QuickBooks files. The most likely (appropriate) reason for this is associated with the Accountant Versions of QuickBooks software including Enterprise Accountant. Intuit made the decision not to include ADR auto-replicate functionality in the Accountant versions so as to preclude the multiplication of all of the potential Company files an accountant might have. Personally I disagree with this decision, I could at least see that Accountant users might be given the option for ADR as a setting, perhaps either in the Accountant Center, or in the QuickBooks File Manager that installs with Accountants versions.
With respect to Auto Data Recovery, Part 1 of this series examined 'the theory' behind ADR. In our last article (Part 2) we looked 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 this edition, Part 3, we will examine 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 an Auto Data Recovery file-set to recover all but the last few hours of 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 Transaction Log (.QBW.tlg) file from your Company Files folder, and
6) Paste your QuickBooks Transaction Log (.QBW.tlg) file into the newly created Old Files folder
7) Cut your QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file from your Company Files folder, and
8) Paste your QuickBooks Company (.QBW) file into the newly created Old Files folder.
9) Locate and open the QuickBooksAutoDataRecovery folder within your Company Files folder
10) 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.)
11) Copy the file ending in .QBW.tlg.adr and return to your QuickBooks Company Files folder
12) Paste the file you just copied into your QuickBooks Company Files folder
13) Rename the .QBW.tlg.adr ffile so as to delete the .adr file extension from the end of the file you just pasted into the file folder. The renamed file should now only have an extension of .QBW.tlg (this file has now replaced your prior QuickBooks Transaction Log file).
13) Return to the QuickBooksAutoDataRecovery folder
14) Copy the file ending in .QBW.adr and return to your QuickBooks Company Files folder
15) Paste the file you just copied into your QuickBooks Company Files folder
16) Rename the QBW.adr file so as to delete the .adr file extension from the end of the file you just pasted into the file folder. The renamed file should now only have an extension of .QBW (this file has now replaced your prior QuickBooks Company file).
17) Open QuickBooks
18) Open your Company file – as you do this the QuickBooks Database Server will scan both the .QBW and .QBW.tlg files you just restored from the ADR folder and will confirm that both files have matching data. You file should open normally and you will be back in business as of the date and time of the files when they were replicated.
19) Run the Verify Data utility, Review the QBWin.log if Verify Does not complete normally.
20) Use reports and/or account registers to manually verify all restored transactions. Remember this data will be as many as 12-hours earlier than your prior corrupted data file; as such it will NOT contain all information which had been incorporated into that file. It will be necessary to re-construct data previously added to your older file.
(Note: If you find that this restored set of data also contains the same corruptions, you may need to repeat these steps using the 'older' set of data withing the Auto Data Recovery file folder. While the file names will also include .old in the exponent of each file, the procedure for restoration is identical with the exception that you will need to change file extensions to also remove the .old portion of the extension from the file names, in addition to removing the .adr portion of the extension from the file names.)
In many cases these steps may restore missing or corrupted data to a copy of the file created prior to the data loss or corruption. Timely use of the ADR restoration processes is essential since the ADR file replication process is continually updating. ProAdvisors and other QuickBooks consultants making use of these techniques must recognize the importance of prompt restorations in order to prevent a loss of potential ADR files which may benefit the situation. When in doubt about the process or necessity, a sound practice is to simply make a windows copy of the entire ADR file as soon as a file loss situation is recognized, thus preserving file copies for use in the event of a subsequent ADR replication created file loss.