How often to Convert old files [edited]

RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
I've been using Quicken for over 20 years. At the start of each year, I create a copy for the new year. So I have a lot of files.

I used to buy upgrades only every 3 years when it was required in order to maintain the download function. After installing an upgrade, I went through the tedious procedure of opening every file, one by one, in the new version, so that the program could convert it. That way, in the rare cases when I want to access one of the old files, it's compatible with current Quicken and can be opened.

Now that there are no "yearly" versions of the program, but constant upgrades, how should I maintain this procedure? I really don't want to do it every time the program informs me there's an upgrade. Do you think it would be sufficient to convert my files once a year, say at beginning of the year?

Thanks for any help.

Answers

  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    Note on my title to above question. I shouldn't have said How often to BACK UP old files. It should be how often to CONVERT them.
  • thecreatorthecreator SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @Robyn ,

    Quicken 2016, Quicken 2017 and Quicken Subscription are using the same Quicken Data File format. There is no conversion of the Data File, itself.

    However, you should be doing Maintenance on the Hard Drive, at least, once a week and after the system crashes. File System Errors can corrupt the Data Files.

    I use Glary Utilities from:  https://www.glarysoft.com/
  • splashersplasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    My compliments on doing the "conversion/upgrade" of your historical data files over the years, most don't think about it until it is too late and they can no longer read a file from several years ago and "desperately" need it.
    Since 2016, QWin has used the same data file format, SO, you really don't need to do it, but it still isn't a bad idea just to "check/test" the file.  If you continue to "test" the files, I would make a copy first (or have a backup copy someplace else) so that if something did go wrong, you did not damage your only copy of the file.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  QW 2015, 2016, 2017 & Subscription  -  Win10
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • UKRUKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would say that opening a yearly archive file once a year should be sufficient.
    If you hear of a major new version upgrade announcement and you find out here on the Community that the upgrade includes a data file structure change, wait a couple of months for the "upgrade dust" to settle, then open all your archive files again.
    As part of the process also do be sure that you create a fresh backup before you close each of the archive files. Store the backup on external drive media or a cloud backup location. Keep older backup copies for each of these archive files, too. One can never have enough backups!
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    > @thecreator said:
    > Hi @Robyn ,
    >
    > Quicken 2016, Quicken 2017 and Quicken Subscription are using the same Quicken Data File format. There is no conversion of the Data File, itself.
    >
    > However, you should be doing Maintenance on the Hard Drive, at least, once a week and after the system crashes. File System Errors can corrupt the Data Files.
    >
    > I use Glary Utilities from:  https://www.glarysoft.com/

    So you are saying, the data files haven't changed since 2016? But many times I've seen, on opening an older file (or even a relatively new one), that a "conversion" appears on the screen, where there is one of those graphs filling in, showing the percent of progress. Sometimes it's so quick I can barely see it. Other times it takes a few seconds and I can see it very well. I'm sure this occurs on recently used files as well as ones that may not have been opened for years.

    As for maintenance of the hard drive, I have Norton, which periodically does it on its own, although I'm not sure it does as much as your Glary program. I'll check that out. Thanks!
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    > @UKR said:
    > I would say that opening a yearly archive file once a year should be sufficient.
    > If you hear of a major new version upgrade announcement and you find out here on the Community that the upgrade includes a data file structure change, wait a couple of months for the "upgrade dust" to settle, then open all your archive files again.
    > As part of the process also do be sure that you create a fresh backup before you close each of the archive files. Store the backup on external drive media or a cloud backup location. Keep older backup copies for each of these archive files, too. One can never have enough backups!

    I do religiously back up Quicken (and everything else on this machine!). I keep Quicken backups on a USB drive, and on ***TWO*** cloud sites. (I periodically purge all these locations of older backups because they'd just be out of control otherwise, plus, going back to something so old would lose so many transactions that the file would be essentially worthless.)
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    > @splasher said:
    Since 2016, QWin has used the same data file format, SO, you really don't need to do it, but it still isn't a bad idea just to "check/test" the file.  If you continue to "test" the files, I would make a copy first (or have a backup copy someplace else) so that if something did go wrong, you did not damage your only copy of the file.

    Thanks for your info. Creator said the same that you did about the data files being the same since 2016. I asked (him/her?) this question, which I'm asking you also: then why have I seen a "conversion" process taking place on the screen? Am I misinterpreting that? Anyway, when replying to Creator, I forgot about the spreadsheet I made, recording my conversion of files. Seems like I last did it after Intuit sold the program. I thought this new owner (whoever they are!!??) probably changed it, but now it seems, maybe they didn't. Anyway, I guess it's not too much trouble to "check/test" the file as you say, so I will do it once a year as a bit of pro-active maintenance. Thank you again.
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Robyn said:
    many times I've seen, on opening an older file (or even a relatively new one), that a "conversion" appears on the screen, where there is one of those graphs filling in, showing the percent of progress. Sometimes it's so quick I can barely see it. Other times it takes a few seconds and I can see it very well.
    I see this too on occasion. I have no idea what is actually happening. I routinely copy my production data file to my test machine, both running the identical subscription version when I'm not actively testing. And yet that "Performing final conversion steps" pops up from time to time after I copy from one machine to another.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win7 Pro & Win10 Pro.
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    > @Rocket J Squirrel said:
    > (Quote)
    > I see this too on occasion. I have no idea what is actually happening. I routinely copy my production data file to my test machine, both running the identical subscription version when I'm not actively testing. And yet that "Performing final conversion steps" pops up from time to time after I copy from one machine to another.

    Hmmm. So the plot thickens even more. I only have one machine so have never seen the particular case you're describing, but it just seems proof that there's more CONFUSION to this program than first meets the eye!
  • splashersplasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've seen the "conversion" popup also when a file is opened, but the real proof that the file formats are the same is that I can still take a "2020" file and open it with QW2016 which is something that QW2015 can not do.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  QW 2015, 2016, 2017 & Subscription  -  Win10
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Robyn said:
    I've been using Quicken for over 20 years. At the start of each year, I create a copy for the new year. So I have a lot of files.
    I know you didn't ask, but no one here recommends doing this. Most of us keep all our data in one file forever. Splitting your file into years makes it hard to generate historical reports and comparisons. It doesn't make Quicken run any faster because there's an underlying fast database. Copying into a new file does not typically leave existing corruption behind; that gets copied along with the data.
    So unless you simply like organizing your data into years, you're actually making extra work for yourself.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win7 Pro & Win10 Pro.
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    splasher said:
    I've seen the "conversion" popup also when a file is opened, but the real proof that the file formats are the same is that I can still take a "2020" file and open it with QW2016 which is something that QW2015 can not do.
    You can also find evidence of this "conversion" in DATA_LOG.txt. Sometimes twice in a row for the same file.
    [Sat Nov 23 14:13:23 2019]
    Opening file:
    C:\Users\rsqui\Documents\Quicken\QW2018Data\ARJAY19.QDF

    [Sat Nov 23 14:13:27 2019]
    Additional data conversion in QWMain started

    [Sat Nov 23 14:14:02 2019]
    Additional data conversion in QWMain started
    I suspect the "conversion" may be happening in a file or files other than the main QDF file.
    For example, when I copy a QDF from machine 1 to machine 2 and open it there, it shows not the most recent OSU times from machine 1, but those from machine 2. So those time stamps are not in the QDF itself. And who knows what else.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win7 Pro & Win10 Pro.
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    > @splasher said:
    > I've seen the "conversion" popup also when a file is opened, but the real proof that the file formats are the same is that I can still take a "2020" file and open it with QW2016 which is something that QW2015 can not do.

    Very interesting. I think I understand what's happening. The periodic updates, still using the same data files, are tweaks (maybe minute tweaks) to the way the program operates. The so-called "conversions" may be nothing more than compatibility with these minor tweaks.
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    >Most of us keep all our data in one file forever.

    I FAR prefer to have the yearly record, not the "forever" record. There are extremely rare cases where I want to see all the historical data is one place. Actually, I almost never want ALL the data, but just some kind of a summary. I can easily create a spreadsheet for such purpose. I have a few and have recourse to them once in a blue moon.
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you ask 100 people how they use Quicken, you'll get, um, many different answers.
    I find myself constantly running searches/reports like "how much money and how often did I spend/pay/give on/for/to category/business/charity/person over the last n years". Even better, "charity X wants me to renew for the coming year; I thought I renewed already, didn't I?" Cutting off prior years prevents me from running such queries.
    To each his own.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win7 Pro & Win10 Pro.
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    I have fairly frequent access to my prior year's file, far less to ones before that. I'm curious how big your file is. Mine (2019 file) is about 35 MB.
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    By the way, (speaking to Rocket Squirrel - and I like that name), you mentioned above that when copying a file, any corruption in the file gets copied along with the data. That I would assume, but I also assume that my files don't HAVE any corruption. Am I being naive? The program is functioning perfectly.

    I started a recent post here about what I thought was a bug, but the suggestion from one of the responders led to the solution. The "bug" was a mis-entry of mine (date error). There has been a very rare apparent corruption somehow caused by the procedure of archiving a file and creating a new one for the new year. It was immediately apparent and fixed by restoring the backup created just before the procedure and doing it again. I don't remember the details of it now. It's been some years since it happened.
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Robyn said:
    I'm curious how big your file is. Mine (2019 file) is about 35 MB.
    My QDF occupies 336 MB on disk. This includes about 217 MB of attachments.
    The internal QDF occupies 109 MB.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win7 Pro & Win10 Pro.
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Robyn said:
    By the way, (speaking to Rocket Squirrel - and I like that name), you mentioned above that when copying a file, any corruption in the file gets copied along with the data. That I would assume, but I also assume that my files don't HAVE any corruption. Am I being naive? The program is functioning perfectly.
    If you have no corruption after 20 years of using Quicken, you are lucky indeed. Or perhaps your corruption is invisible and you have not provoked it into appearing Or perhaps your habit of dropping old items from your current file has actually helped by leaving behind corrupted transactions. It's a mystery.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win7 Pro & Win10 Pro.
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    > @Rocket J Squirrel said:
    > (Quote)
    >
    > My QDF occupies 336 MB on disk. This includes about 217 MB of attachments.
    > The internal QDF occupies 109 MB.

    That kind of huge file is one of the reasons I want to start from scratch each year. Also, I don't keep attachments. I tested it out when the feature first became available, saw how much the file size increased, and rejected it. I throw away most paper receipts as soon as items like credit card transactions hit the bank and I verify they're correct. (They always are, except for the very rare error in the past of never hitting my bank at all, one time for a transaction over $400!! Of course I didn't inform them!!) I keep a paper file of receipts for 3 years on items that might need a refund in the future. I keep paper receipts related to taxes in paper tax files, along with hard copies of income taxes. I keep paper receipts of items with long-term or lifetime warranties with other info about the items. All this gives me the info I need, if I need it, and keeps those Quicken files pretty lean, at least individually. If I added up the sizes of all of them together, it would of course be pretty huge!
  • RobynRobyn Member ✭✭
    > @Rocket J Squirrel said:
    > (Quote)
    > If you have no corruption after 20 years of using Quicken, you are lucky indeed. Or perhaps your corruption is invisible and you have not provoked it into appearing Or perhaps your habit of dropping old items from your current file has actually helped by leaving behind corrupted transactions. It's a mystery.

    I never thought anything about it before. I'm an extremely avid user of Excel (advanced), and a frequent user of Word, at sort of a moderate level, and never notice any kind of corruption in those either. I've just taken for granted that these programs do what they're supposed to do. Whenever they seemed not to - and it has happened with all of them - I assumed it was an Operator Error, and eventually figured out that it was (on my own or with help of a forum like this).

    In comparison, I do not trust Quicken's prior owner, Intuit's, Turbo Tax. I've used that for years too, and always run it side by side with my own spreadsheet, created just for the lines applicable to myself. Some years ago Intuit rewarded me with free state taxes for FINDING A BUG IN TURBO TAX. Not that it was a CORRUPTION. It was a miscalculation of some kind. I don't remember the details. A friend who lived in Maryland (DC area) and worked FOR THE IRS, in a job coordinating the creation of tax software by different companies, told me those programs were FULL OF ERRORS!
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