Repairing corrupted data files in QuickBooks 1


If  you expect that your data file may be corrupt, the best first choice is to contact QB Services who will perform a data analysis on your company file.  However, if you are a “do-it-yourselfer”, than you can try the following steps:

  1. Resort all of your sortable QuickBooks lists.
    Run the Rebuild Data File utility.  (File/Utilities/Rebuild Data)

    1. Go to the list menu and open a list.
    2. Click on the “View” menu and select “Resort List”.
    3. A pop up will come up verifying that this is what you want to do.  Click “Yes” and proceed.
    4. Create a Portable Company File
      From the File menu in QuickBooks, select, “Save As” and a dialog box will come up.
    5. Select the “Portable Company File” option.
    6. Click, “Okay”.
    7. Browse to the location you would like to store your portable company file and note where you put it.
  2. Restore the Portable Company File and Run the Verify Data utility again.
    1. From the File menu in QuickBooks, Select “Restore Company File”.
    2. Select, “Portable Company File.”
    3. Browse to where you just saved it to when you were doing step 3.
    4. Select and import the file.
  3. If there are still problems with the file, repeat the steps above once more to attempt to remove additional problems.
  4. If you still see the Verify Data utility come up after performing the steps above twice, then proceed to the section below.

Steps to take if the Verification Utility is still showing a company file problem: 
Note: The process below does not always locate every type of corruption.

  1. Select the file menu, select utilities and then select Verify Data. If you get a message saying “A Problem Prevents QuickBooks from Continuing” with a suggestion to run the data repair utility to fix the problem, then go to the next step.
  2. You need to view the details of the problems located during the verification so press F2 to open the Product Information window.
  3. With the product information window displayed, press CTRL+2 to open the Tech Help window.
  4. On the Tech Help window, select the “Open File” Tab.
  5. On the Open File tab highlight the file called, “QBWIN.LOG” and then click the “Open File” button.
  6. Scroll down on the report until you see a long, double line that shows the beginning of the data verification process. Look through the verification information until you see an error or issue noted in the log and then note the information around the error like the document number, the transaction type and any amount or linked transaction that is part of the problem.
    • Note: Keep in mind that the list of issues can be very long, but a very long list of issues may have a handful of common factors. For example, if there is a problem with the calculation of average cost for an inventory item, the issue may impact hundreds of transactions but repairing the problem with that single item will eliminate all of the issues. It is therefore critical for you to search for commonalities in the list of issues.
  7. If the corruption is related to one or more transactions you can often repair the problem by deleting and re-entering the transaction. Search on the document number or other identifying information in the report to find the transaction with the problem. Then, delete and re-enter the transaction. Almost every time, the problem will go away along with the deleted transaction.
  8. If the verification problem is related to a list entry, it is often a duplicate list entry and if so the QBWIN.LOG will note the duplication. You can solve this problem by renaming one of the two duplicate list entries and then if you prefer merging the two lists together.
    • Note: Merging the list entries may or may not be allowed by QuickBooks depending on the list and/or the specific list entries involved.
    • Tip: If the QBWIN.LOG displays a duplicate list entry error for a list that is very long, export the report to Excel and use the “Subtotal/ Count” function in Excel to count the number of unique list names. Excel will render computer a “2” for each list entry that is duplicated.

Using the QBWIN.LOG to obtain details of any data file verification issues. Perform the following steps to locate many file corruption issues and to get the details of those issues.  Note that the process below does not always locate every type of corruption:

  1. Select the file menu, select utilities and then select Verify Data. Proceed to “B” if you get a message saying “A Problem Prevents QuickBooks from Continuing” with a suggestion to run the data repair utility to fix the problem.
  2. To see the details of the problems located during the verification, press F2 to open the Product Information window.
  3. With the product information window displayed, press CTRL+2 to open the Tech Help window.
  4. On the Tech Help window, press the Open File Tab.
  5. On the Open File tab highlight the file called QBWIN.LOG and then click the “Open File” button.
  6. Scroll down on the report until you see a long, double-line that shows the beginning of the data verification process. Scan through the verification information until you see an error or issue noted in the log and then note the information around the error like the document number, the transaction type and any amount or linked transaction that is part of the problem.
    • Note: The list of issues can be very long, but a very long list of issues may have a handful of common factors. For example, if there is a problem with the calculation of average cost for an inventory item, the issue may impact hundreds of transactions but repairing the problem with that single item will eliminate all of the issues. It is therefore critical for you to search for commonalities in the list of issues.
  7. If the corruption is related to one or more transactions you can often repair the problem by deleting and re-entering the transaction. Search on the document number or other identifying information in the report to find the transaction with the problem. Then, delete and reenter the transaction. Almost every time, the problem will go away along with the deleted transaction.
  8. If the verification problem is related to a list entry, it is often a duplicate list entry and if so the QBWIN.LOG will note the duplication. You can solve this problem by renaming one of the two duplicate list entries and then if you prefer merging the two lists together.
    1. Note: Merging the list entries may or may not be allowed by QuickBooks depending on the list and/or the specific list entries involved.
    2. Tip: If the QBWIN.LOG displays a duplicate list entry error for a list that is very long, export the report to Excel and use the “Subtotal/ Count” function in Excel to count the number of unique list names. Excel will render computer a “2” for each list entry that is duplicated.
  9. When all the damaged transactions have been deleted, run the Verify Data utility again and confirm that the data is no longer corrupted.  Once you have done this, then re-create the deleted transactions.
    • Note: Make sure that you write down all the information about the entries with the error in them since you will need to reenter those transactions.  If you simply print the transaction, you may miss some of the relevant information (i.e. the split transaction lines) and be unable to re-create the transaction as it was.
  10. Run the Verify Data utility again to ensure that you have indeed taken care of the problem.

Please call QB Services at (952) 232-6388 if you need assistance in repairing your QuickBooks company file.  We would be happy to help you with this.


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One thought on “Repairing corrupted data files in QuickBooks

  • Justin @ Quickbooks Data Repair

    I see a lot of pearls of wisdom here, I would stress the importance of making a copy of the current Company file (.QBW), the corresponding Transaction log (.TLG) and if you have one available the last known good backup. Make copies of these files and move them off the host machine for safe keeping.

    Then you can always get back to square one if your self rescue attempts fail. Most professional services will request those 3 files if you end up having to seek advanced help for your problem.