A QuickBooks user contacted the Data Detective saying that she had worked in her Company file the entire day prior, and QuickBooks had shut down normally that evening, but when she came in the following day QuickBooks didn’t open like normal. Instead of displaying her Company file login and User name, the No Company Open window was displayed. Then when she opened what she thought was her Company file she couldn’t find any of the prior day’s transactions. After a few additional minutes of discussion, our Sleuth sets out for the client’s location in order to track down the culprit. Could it be the Company file, or perhaps the QuickBooks application?
The Data Detective has seen this before, and its cause is almost always the same. He knows that if the QuickBooks application was working properly QuickBooks should not have displayed the No Company File Open window, but rather have displayed the log-in for the last Company file that had been opened. A common cause of the irregularity will be corruption of one of the QuickBooks application’s text files that stores information about the start-up configuration and preferences. This text file is the Qbw.ini file found in the QuickBooks (version) directory within the Intuit directory located in the ‘hidden’ Program Data directory of the Windows hard drive where QuickBooks was installed. So the typical path for Windows 7 or Windows 8 will look something like this:
C:\ProgramData\Intuit\QuickBooks2014 (for QuickBooks 2014 Pro or Premier files)
Obviously the path will change slightly for other versions of QuickBooks.
When the QBW.ini file is corrupted, it may display an older Company file within the No Company File Open window, or even the Open Prior Files option under the File menu within QuickBooks. There are a lot of other potential irregularities that might be (or not be) displayed with corruption of this critical “details keeper” file; for example, you might normally have your working desktop saved upon close of QuickBooks, but when you open your file the desktop is completely different, or doesn’t display any of the windows you know you had left open the last time you used the file.
In order to resolve these kinds of issues, you can close QuickBooks and then locate the Qbw.ini file, once you have found the file then add an additional exponent to rename the file to Qbw.ini.old. When you take this step QuickBooks will then generate a replacement Qbw.ini file the next time it goes through the process of opening. There is only one problem though; this new file will have the normal ‘first installed’ default preference settings QuickBooks had before you configured your typical preferences. This means that you now have to teach QuickBooks and the new Qbw.ini file the various preferences you routinely use. But before we do that, we need to think about this User’s other problem; her file didn’t have her prior day’s transactions.
Well in this case, the Data Detective realizes that he must sleuth out the actual file the User had been working with yesterday, and that is not the same file that the User opened this morning. After a few minutes of searching Windows for files ending in .QBW, our hero finds the correct file which he identifies from a combination of its ‘file size’ and ‘last modified date’. Sure enough when that file is opened it contains all of the User’s transactions from the prior day. Before closing the correct file, our Sleuth jots down the correct file path as found within the F2 Product Information window. When QuickBooks is closed and then re-opened, the correct file is opened this time, and this is confirmed by comparing the file path in the F2 Product Information with the one written down during the previous session. Even when the Company file is closed from the File menu, and the No Company File Open window appears, the correct Company file is now being displayed at the top of the list of available companies.
After opening the Company file again, the Data Detective demonstrates and instructs the User in how to go through the various Preferences to confirm and/or re-set the preferences to those the User actually prefers, in this way the new Qbw.ini file is being ‘taught all of the User’s preferences’. After one final test closure and re-open, not only does the correct Company file open, but all the preferences have been saved and QuickBooks looks just as it had previously, with all of the Users’ data there.
With a corrupted Qbw.ini file, you might think your QuickBooks is haunted because of the way it acts or appears, but it typically is an easy fix so you can get back to doing the real work you expect QuickBooks to do. Our User gives the old Sleuth a big ‘thank you hug’, and sends him on his way with a couple of warm orange glazed scones she had baked earlier that morning; as he traveled back to his flat our Data Detective is not only pleased with such a simple resolution, but joyed over having become the recipient of one his favorite morning treats; now if he only had a great cup of Café au lait.