Analyzing and Repairing Data Damage in QuickBooks Point-of-sale - Part 2: Repairing Data Damage
The primary resource for repairing data corruption in the QuickBooks Point-of-sale data file is the Clean-Up Company Data utility. This utility examines the data file for any data irregularities or corruptions including list data as well as transactions, while at the same time checking the integrity of the database. It then undertakes repairs but it is limited to damage it is programmed to fix.
When to use the Clean-up data utility:
- There appears to be data (list entries or transactions) missing
- The QB-POS Verify Data utility ends with a data damage message
- Lists in the program are taking an extended period of time to open
- Forms or reports display incorrectly
- QuickBooks Support recommends that you run it
What the Clean-up utility does - Data validation
Validation causes the rows of each table to be read and all columns to be evaluated; indexes are scanned and checks are performed to verify that the rows referenced in the index exist within the tables. Checks on the validity of individual index pages are also performed and the number of rows in the table must conform to the number of entries in the index. For each entry that is in an index, this process checks the database page that the entry starts on and checks that an entry for the row exists in the proper index, it also verifies all pages used by each entry. Each of the actual data elements are verified by individual lookups and the data file is scanned so that each record in every index, and key defined within any table, is verified. Throughout this process a series of checkpoints occur, these are the various verification points that compare the current value with the expected value for specified properties of each of the data objects. If the current and expected value match a PASS status is generated, if not a FAIL status will generate an Error Message, and trigger an attempted repair.
What the Clean-up utility does - Data repair
As the checkpoint passes or fails, the Clean-up Company Data utility responds accordingly by attempting to repair any damaged data, the Clean-up utility makes use of a variety of data repair methodologies. If the utility cannot completely repair the damage to the file, it will do it’s best to repair and re-index what it can. Depending on the nature of the repair, you might lose data, and logical inconsistencies can be introduced. In each case you may need to determine whether the repair approach provided by this utility is the appropriate approach or if you should restore a recent, undamaged, back-up of your data file, and re-enter lost data. While the option of compressing the data does take significantly longer than doing a clean-up without data compression the compression routine can often repair some forms of damage that might otherwise not be repaired.
What the Clean-up utility does – Data compression and history removal
You have options to ‘compress’ data, and ‘remove’ older data, as part of running the Clean-up Data utility. Compressing your data can often make your data file smaller which will allow your data file to run more quickly. In some cases compressing your data can also repair certain types of damage that the Clean-up utility would otherwise not repair. The option of removing older history and non-history documents can also make your data file much smaller, thus allowing the data file to run more efficiently.
What to Do Prior to running the Clean-up Data utility
Make a Back-up or Windows Copy of your Data-file. Even though the Clean-up Data utility creates a backup, creating a separate backup or file copy protects you against permanent loss of your data.
Never run the QuickBooks Point-of-sale Clean-up Data Utility on a data file that is located on a remote drive by accessing it over your network. If the data file is on a network drive, copy the file to a local computer before running this utility. Attempting to run the utility across a network can result in irreparable corruption.
Shut-down all unnecessary programs on your computer that are consuming memory use, including email and other minor programs that run in the background of your computer. The Clean-up Data Utility is a memory and processor intensive application, any programs that reduce available system resources risk the possibility of crashing the processes being performed while the utility is running.
Be Patient while running the Clean-up Data utility
The time required to run the Clean-up Data utility on your QuickBooks Point-of-sale data file can vary depending on the size of your data file, and the system resources of the computer performing the task. The process of validating and repairing the data-file is intensive, taking from anywhere from a few minutes to several hours before it finishes. Please note that the option of compressing your data will take significantly longer than doing a clean-up without data compression
When using the Clean-up Data utility it is extremely important to permit the utility to finish completely. Frequently Windows may show QuickBooks Point-of-sale is Not Responding; however, the program is usually working, even if it does not respond to Windows. You can monitor the QuickBooks Point-of-sale process (qbpos.exe) under Windows Task Manager. Never reboot your computer or cancel the Clean-up Data utility during the process as this can result in unrecoverable data damage.
Steps to run the Clean-up Data utility:
1) From the menu bar, choose File, then select Utilities
2) Choose the option to Clean Up Company Data.
3) When the Clean Up Company Data window appears, check the Check-box for Compress Data
4) QB-POS will display a message window about compressing the database, when it appears click OK
5) The QB-POS Message window will close, and the original Clean-up Company Data window will be shown again, select Next
6) When the Select non-history documents to be removed window appears, choose any Non-history documents you would like to remove from the data file. (Note: If you are running this utility solely for the purpose of repair, you may wish to skip step 6 which is optional.)
7) Select Next
8) QB-POS will display the Select history documents and other data to be removed window, choose any history documents (and other data) you would like removed from the data file. Make certain to also select an “on or before date” that you would like these items removed. (Note: If you are running this utility solely for the purpose of repair, you may wish to skip step 8 which is optional.)
9) Select Next, QB-POS will display the Proceed with Cleanup window
10) Select Clean-up, QB-POS will display the Data cleanup in progress window. (Note this window will progress through several stages, the status bar is not truly reflective of the actual progress of the utility. (Review the section above titled "Be Patient while running the Clean-up Data utility for more information.)
When the Clean-up Data Utility finishes:
QuickBooks Point-of-sale will display a message similar to the one shown here if the utility finishes normally.
If the Clean-up Data Utility does not resolve your Data Problems:
- Run the Clean-up Data Utility a 2nd time
- Consider selecting the ‘Compress Data’ option if you did not select it previously
- Consider other options (restoring a back-up, Intuit Technical support, etc.)