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What If (for Mac)
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A user called saying that her Company file was open on her Mac when the power went-out at her place of business. When the power came back, and she turned her Mac back on everything seemed normal except when she tried to open her QuickBooks Company, the little rainbow wheel just never stopped spinning and QuickBooks didn’t open.
Sometimes, even with a Mac, a QuickBooks file can be damaged to the point that it will ‘not mount’ (that is a fancy database engineer’s term for when a database will not open). There can be a number of causes for this which we won’t go into, but if the user were running QuickBooks (for Windows) the file might have been able to be repaired using Intuit’s File Doctor, but since there are no such tools for QuickBooks for Mac then the best course of action is to restore the most recent backup.
How QuickBooks for Mac Creates a Backup
Depending on your Backup preferences QuickBooks for Mac may automatically backup your company every few hours, or each time the Company file is closed. This is where you choose if you want QuickBooks to backup your Attached documents library. These preferences are where you also select the location for your company backup files.
When QuickBooks for Mac backs up your company file, it creates a disk image which is a special Mac file with a .dmg extension. The ‘image file’ is a mirror copy of your Company data and your Attached documents (if you use and back-up attachments), but it cannot be opened in the normal fashion, it must be mounted.
Restoring a QuickBooks for Mac Backup
The .dmg files QuickBooks for Mac creates when it backs up your data include a copy of your company data and your Attached documents (if you use and have selected the preference to back up attachments). So it is relatively easy to get your 'data back' if you simply follow these 10 steps to use the .dmg to restore your company file:
- Search to find the most recent .dmg file and then double-click it to mount it (open it). [figure 2] (Note: Since you select the drive and folder where you want to store your backup files, we can't begin to tell you where they might be on your Mac, but you should be able to successfully search for them using the .dmg extension.)
- Drag the company file (with the .qb20yy extension, the year will correspond to your version of QuickBooks for Mac) where you want your file to be.
- If you use attachments and you have set up your backup preferences to back up the Attached Document Library, drag the Attached Documents Library folder where you want it to be. (We recommend that you put your Attached Documents Library in the same place as your company file.)
- Now you can Open your restored Company file.
- Go to QuickBooks > Preferences.
- Select Attachments.
- Click the Attached Documents Library menu and “Select Existing”. [figure 3]
- Navigate to the Attached Documents Library folder you restored in Step 3 and select it.
- Click Open.
- Now you can close the Preferences window—your selection will be saved automatically.
You are finished, you have restored both your Company file and your Attached documents.
Protecting Your Computer and QuickBooks Files Against Power Losses
Of course this entire situation might have been prevented if the user had simply had an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) for her QuickBooks for Mac. A UPS can keep your computer running long enough for you to close open programs, and power-down normally. If you invest in a 'smart UPS' it can close your open programs and power down your computer even if you aren't there when the power goes off. Unprotected power losses are one of the major causes of database corruption, and as in this case, a file that simply won't open.
My opinion is that 'no computer' (Windows or Mac) running QuickBooks should ever be without a UPS, further all network equipment and infrastructure (router, hubs, switches, etc.) should also be protected via UPS. For the relative low cost, a UPS is one of the best insurance policies you can buy to safeguard your QuickBooks Company file(s).