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Validate vs. Super Validate

I've been using Quicken long enough to have learned to run the Validate a couple times/month to keep my data intact, for lack of better words. My question is what is the difference between Validate & Super Validate? I tend to opt for the Super Validate for no other reason than in my head I believe it to do more or do a better job. But truthfully, I don't know the difference. Furthermore, if the validate results in no errors is there any reason to keep the copy of your data file in the Validate folder?


  • SnowmanSnowman Member ✭✭✭✭
    Regular validation will attempt to fix items when it detects errors.  Super validation will attempt to fix items even when it does not detect errors.  In BOTH cases you should make a manual backup of you data file BEFORE you use either validation method. 

    My data file has 20 years of data in it.  I backup the data file on a daily basis and on Monday mornings I backup the file and do a validation.  I think you are taking an unnecessary risk by super validating as I believe it was meant as a type of "last resort" method to recover a file.  I would just backup your data file and do a regular validate.  I also validate my file BEFORE I let Quicken install an update.  This may be overkill but I'd rather be safe than sorry if something happens to the data file during the backup process.

    I can't think of a reason for the backup of the data file in the validate folder except is may be the first step in the validation process to copy the backup file.  I always make my own backup first that way I know it has been done.
  • markus1957markus1957 SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not sure the explanation given is supported by any Quicken source document. The log messages provided after running the validations don't seem to support the explanation.

    Below comes directly from the Help file in-product. It's the only reference remaining in the Quicken knowledge sphere. It's been removed from the KB articles.

    Here are some things to try that may fix a damaged data file:

    • Try restoring a backup of your Quicken data file that was made before the data file was damaged.
    • Try making a copy of your Quicken data file in Windows Explorer, and then check the copy of the data file to see if the original issue still exists.
    • Try copying your Quicken data file from within Quicken.
    • Try using Quicken's Validate and Repair utility. To do so, choose File menu > File Operations > Validate and Repair. If necessary, click Browse to select one of the copies of your file that you just made, and then choose one or more of the following options:
      •   Validate file

        Important: We recommend that you validate your Quicken data file only if you're experiencing problems with your data and not as a regular practice.

        If Quicken detects data damage, you will be asked to take a look at the Validate & Repair Log in Notepad. The log records which parts of your data were repaired.

        If the issue is still present after you validate your file, you may be able to fix it with a more advanced procedure called Super Validate. To Super Validate your file, first hold down the CTRL+SHIFT keys, and then choose File menu > File Operations > Validate and Repair.

    One difference I notice between validate and Super Validate is the internal qdf file header is replaced as evidenced by the file password prompt.  I'm also curious about the difference and would welcome an official Quicken explanation. I've always been skeptical about a repair process that should not be run as a "regular practice".
  • SnowmanSnowman Member ✭✭✭✭
    Someone once explained what the difference was but it was years ago.  I do validate once a week (after I do a manual backup of the file) because how else will you know if something is wrong?  One time 5 years ago before I validated regularly I had an issue with my file.  I tried to validate my file but it did not fix the issue.  Thankfully I am a backup fanatic and I backtracked the issue to a file 9 months prior.  I was able to validate that file and the issue was fixed.  For some reason none of the later backup files would validate.  There have been maybe 6 or 7 instances where my weekly validation caught errors mostly stocks that were dated way in the future.  Because of that I was able to fix it right away instead of letting them fester into bigger problems.

    I also saw the recommendation that "you validate your Quicken data file only if you're experiencing problems with your data and not as a regular practice".  That may be but I found from real world experience it is not practical with Quicken.  It also begs the question what kind of procedure is it if you do not have a whole lot of confidence in it, which the warning in the Help file seems to suggest.  Quickbooks (I know different program) validates the data file as part of the backup process and is much more through than the Quicken validate process.  Someone from Quicken was going to respond but I never heard anything else.

    If there was a mechanism in Quicken that would work similar to Quickbooks that would be a step in the right direction.  All I know is that for the last 5 years I have not had any major data issues except for the ones mentioned above so I will keep up doing what had worked so far.
  • GeoffGGeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    You might want to incorporate the File Copy into to your proactive file maintenance routine. I discovered a bug introduced several versions ago that corrupted this process and aborted the file copy. Quicken Inc. did resolve the issue in a subsequent release, but was disconcerting that a critical function could get hosed.  I have been performing copy and validate weekly to ensure no bug was introduced to this process.
    user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 10 Pro version 20H2
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Snowman said:
    Regular validation will attempt to fix items when it detects errors.  Super validation will attempt to fix items even when it does not detect errors.  
    There is no evidence that this is the case. Exact details have not been revealed, but what we do know is that Super Validate handles one rare error condition that Validate does not.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • PilotbumPilotbum Member ✭✭✭
    I too have a large data file (27 years worth of data, ~4GB) and once had a corrupt file that took several restores and super validations to fix and that's when support had me using validate and super validate. Ever since then I'd regularly super validate my file and have kept the problems at bay. I only use the Super Validate because that's what the support tech had me doing and it cleared my problem where the Validate could not but was never explained the difference.

    Over the years however I have found that you cannot totally trust what the techs on the phone at quicken tell you. Some clearly know more than others. I've had some support techs tell me it does not matter how large you let your file get and I've had other tell me you should start a new file each year (which then what's the point of quicken reporting and planning features?). Aside from slightly slower performance of the software I've never noticed any problems with a large data file. But despite the size I have learned that regular validation is essential to keep your data intact and error free.

    I've had other friends more familiar with data bases and data base technology tell me that Quicken's database is OLD technology and if they'd update it, it size would not matter to performance maintenance and also that newer technologies are self correcting when it comes to errors. It sounds like QuickBooks may be like that. Either way it seems that under the hood Quicken is still old technology. I've just been trying to figure out what the difference is. I honestly have just been using Super Validate because it fixed a problem once that regular Validate could not and it has never caused any problems.

    thanks all for your input.
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