QuickBooks Data Corruption
A few days ago, Microsoft surprisingly issued an update for both WindowsXP and Windows Server 2003, despite the fact that they formally ended 'support' of these products last month. I don't know about you, but in my own QuickBooks practice I had a rash of Clients calling me with problems of 'getting into their files'. They kept getting messages about the file being in-use, or the user being already signed-in. In one case they got a message that QuickBooks was updating. Fortunately I was 'out of state' on business; unfortunately, for my brother, he was destined to deal with these issues.
The solution remains almost always the same....and this applies for many 'such issues'. You must find a way to break the connection between your QuickBooks file and the QuickBooks Database Server (a windows process that runs in two different configurations.) The Sybase Database Server that Intuit uses for QuickBooks has both a 'personal' (single-user) version and a 'network' (multi-user version). The personal version runs under the same 'user account' as the user logged-in to the computer and using QuickBooks, this windows service/process will appear as "QBDBMgr.exe*32". The network version runs under it's own 'user account' which corresponds to the version of QuickBooks it supports; for example, for any version of QuickBooks 2014 including Enterprise-14, the user account will be QBDataServiceUser24. The database server will be running as service/process "QBDBMgrN.exe*32" (note the 'N' in this version tells you that it is the network version.)
Typically you can shut-down these services and the connection between these two components of the QuickBooks 'trilogy' (File, Database server, and QB-application), and the connection that is 'tying up' the ability of the QB-application to gain access to the file will be broken. In this way the QB-application can then re-start the database server and connect with the file.
There is however one additional (almost hidden) component to this equation and that is the 'transaction log'. If the transaction log (*.QBW.tlg) file is frozen for some reason, it maybe impossible to actually 'reach' the QuickBooks file itself because of the relationship that exists (normally) between the QBW file, the QBW.tlg file and the Database server. It may however be possible to break this connection by making a copy of the QBW.tlg file and saving it to a different location, then 'deleting the QBW.tlg file in the working directory, and then finally making a copy of the QBW file to move to yet another alternate location (such as the desktop of a different computer where it can be opened in single-user mode.
When following these instructions, you can typically open the file in a free-standing method as though it had never been on the file-server. Once that is accomplished, you can then perform verify and/or rebuild as maybe necessary, making all appropriate back-ups along the way. When you are confident that the file is able to switch from single to multi-user and multi-user to single (repeating the switching several times) and that all 'user log-ins' work, you can copy the QBW file and new QBW.tlg file (that will be created where you have been experimenting) back to the original location overwriting your prior data.
Let me point out one other thing; there can be many 'windows processes' that access your QuickBooks file. You need to insure that all of the QB related services/processes have been stopped or closed prior to accomplishing these procedures. The same applies for any 3rd party-products that attach (at any time) to QB, especially those that have permissions to access 'even when QuickBooks is not open', as they can create locks upon the file that may prevent access (or even windows copies from being made.) In many cases it maybe necessary to 'stop' all of these processes/services (change their start-up settings to 'manual') and then re-boot your computer in order to accomplish the file procedures outlined above.