QB for Mac QuickBooks.logThe QuickBooks for Mac QuickBooks.log file.
In my last article on the QuickBooks for Mac Verify Utility and QuickBooks.log file (July 25, 2013) we discussed how to use the utility to identify potential data damage, in this edition we are going to look a little closer at the concepts behind data corruption.
Data corruption is any damage to data that upsets its regularity or impairs its functionality. Database corruption can occur when the formatting of one or more data pages become damaged, rendering the information on that page, and perhaps many pages, inaccessible. In terms of a database, data corruption does not just limit itself to specific fields, rows, columns or even individual tables within the database, the corruption may exist across a broad expense of the actual data structure.
While many people consider the Apple Mac environment a more stable operating system, it is still corruptible, and the data contained therein is subject to that corruption. Whether QuickBooks for Windows, or QuickBooks for Mac, data corruption is probably the most common cause of QuickBooks data loss, and despite Intuit’s efforts to improve the stability and redundancy functionality of QuickBooks, some forms of data corruption are becoming more prevalent than in the past.
There are many symptoms of data damage, including:
- Error messages displayed by QuickBooks
- Error messages reported by the Verify utility
- A Company file that will not open
- A Company file that cannot be Converted, Restored, Verified or Rebuilt
- A Company file that runs extremely slow, when no other applications are open
- Amounts on the Balance Sheet do not equal the amount of their corresponding registers or specialty reports (A/R, A/P, Inventory, etc.).
- Reports that are incomplete or contain missing or unreadable (meaningless characters) information
- Memorized reports shown on the Memorized Report list but which will not run, or are known to have been previously deleted
- Inability to edit or save a transaction
- Names that are missing from lists, or which contain meaningless characters
- Lists that display empty lines or where you experience the inability to scroll past a certain name (element) within the list.
Common causes of data damage include:
- Improper shut-down of QuickBooks, including turning off your Mac before QuickBooks is closed.
- Power-loss or brown-outs resulting in an improper shut-down of QuickBooks
- Networking issues resulting in a loss of connection between a QB-Mac Client and the QB-Mac Server
- Computer hardware problems such as a failing hard drive
- Operating system errors resulting in I/O failures causing data loss
- QuickBooks application errors resulting in data corruption or loss
- Virus or malware contamination of your computer, or software storage devices
QuickBooks for Mac differs significantly from QuickBooks for Windows versions. While much of the underlying database structure remains reasonably consistent between Mac and Windows, variations in the interface make for additional complexities when attempting to identify and potentially repair data corruption issues.
Product Information for QB-Mac
The Product Information screen provides valuable clues about your QuickBooks file. .To access the product information in QuickBooks for Mac, press the Command + 1 keys. Here you will find information such as file size, transactions, targets, and links as well as other data that identifies the various components of the database and QuickBooks application. The QuickBooks database, whether ‘for Windows or Mac’ has limitations as to the overall size of these List tables.
Data Utilities for QB-Mac
Both the Verify and Rebuild utilities are found under the File>>Utilities menu. The Verify utility performs a complete validation and verification of the database, but messaging differs from the typical messages displayed by QuickBooks for Windows. For example, the Verify utility may return a message indicating that b-check failed. This represents structural damage to the database and requires, at a minimum, that the file be rebuilt. (For more on the Verify Utility read our article of July 25, 2013, The QuickBooks for Mac Verify Utility and QuickBooks.log file.
The Rebuild utility performs the same basic functions on the database of QuickBooks for Mac that it performs in the QuickBooks for Windows versions. Rebuild is designed to remove damaged data from the file, where possible, and to also rebuild the indexes used in tracking the data within the file. In some cases data is rewritten to the file, but some structural changes maybe associated with those rewrites. Whenever the number of file transactions, targets or links after a rebuild, are reduced from their numbers prior to a rebuild, some actual data has been deleted during the rebuild process. In such cases pre-rebuild and post-rebuild accounting balances may be different. Because of this you should always prepare certain reports before running the Rebuild Utility.
Prior to rebuilding always prepare the following reports:
- All Transaction (all dates) Balance Sheet
- All Transaction (all dates) Profit & Loss
- Year-to-date Balance Sheet
- Year-to-date Profit & Loss
- Prior Month’s Trial Balance
- Prior year’s Year-end Payroll Summary*
- Year-to-date Payroll Summary*
- Year-to-date Sales-tax Liability Report*
*-these reports are necessary only if you are using Payroll and Sales tax. In QuickBooks for Mac these reports are produced from ‘accounts’ rather than their respective items (as in QuickBooks for Windows).
In a future article we will begin looking at various QuickBooks.log error messages, and possible resolution of those errors, including the use of the Rebuild Data utility when appropriate.