An empty "_SyncLog.dat" now appears on Desktop - may be related to R25.10 timeframe

When I logged into my computer I was surprised to see a file "_SyncLog.dat" on my desktop screen. There was no preceding filename--just that truncated name. It was a zero-byte file. I didn't know what it was, since I don't save anything to the desktop, so it sort of alarmed me. But after some detective work, I discovered it is apparently a Quicken file. However, all Quicken files are in the default location in my Documents/Quicken folder. I don't know why that one particular file showed up in my desktop folder instead.

I've determined how such a truncated "_SyncLog.dat" file can be generated without a filename. I had changed the name of a Quicken test file. Later I tried to open it using File>Open from inside the program, and it produced an orphaned "_synclog.dat" file--but inside the Quicken folder. This is reproducible, and I've done it 6-8 times with various test file names. That consistently produces an orphaned "_SyncLog.dat", but it is always inside the Quicken folder with the rest of my Quicken files.

I'm curious if anyone knows why that first one showed up in my desktop folder instead of inside the Quicken folder like the others. It's perplexing.

Thanks!
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Comments

  • whcarrbill
    whcarrbill Member ✭✭
    I get this after update R25.10
  • JustMeHere
    JustMeHere Member ✭✭✭✭
    Sometimes the "configuration/log" files end up being saved to where your Quicken data file is.  Since your Quicken data file is on your Desktop, that is where these files are also going.  Example of where I store my Quicken data file.

    Using Quicken Subscription Premier (and have a copy of Starter to test things on)
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    So, use Windows to move your QDF file from the desktop to a QUICKEN folder under your DOCUMENTS folder.  Then, double-click on the moved file so that Q will open it and remember where it is now.
    Then, the next time that you open Q, it will open it from the new location.
    Do NOT put your Q data file in the same folder as the Q program ...which is seems that @JustMeHere may have done.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • JustMeHere
    JustMeHere Member ✭✭✭✭
    NotACPA said:
    Do NOT put your Q data file in the same folder as the Q program ...which is seems that @JustMeHere may have done.
    My Quicken data file isn't where the Quicken program is stored.  The Quicken program is stored at:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Quicken

    C:\Quicken is a folder I created to hold my data file.  I don't want my Quicken data file in my Documents folder.  My Documents folder is in my OneDrive folder, and it isn't a good idea to have your Quicken file in any "cloud folder".
    Using Quicken Subscription Premier (and have a copy of Starter to test things on)
  • whcarrbill
    whcarrbill Member ✭✭
    How do you get rid of the bug?
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    How do you get rid of the bug?
    I don't know. It's harmless, in any case.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • whcarrbill
    whcarrbill Member ✭✭
    The latest update has introduced this bug I do believe. R25.10
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    This just started showing up with the latest Quicken update.  Never had this file on the desktop before.
    This just started showing up for you with the latest Quicken update. I've seen it come and go for maybe 6 months.
    Of all the many bugs in Quicken, this is the most trivial. Just delete the file and move on.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • leishirsute
    leishirsute Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    Quicken shouldn't be littering the desktop with Config folders and _SyncLog.dat files.
    By the way, the .dat file is created when I start Quicken.

    Quicken Deluxe Subscription; Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    Quicken shouldn't be littering the desktop with Config folders and _SyncLog.dat files.
    And it shouldn't be irreparably corrupting its own data. Given the choice, I'd choose the desktop litter. :)
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • leishirsute
    leishirsute Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    Given the choice I would have it not corrupt its own data, nor litter the desktop. If there needs to be a choice.  I know the problem appears trivial, but do you know if something else is going on that we are not aware that manifests as this file on the desktop.  A trivial looking bug may be an indicator of a larger problem.
    Quicken Deluxe Subscription; Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
     I know the problem appears trivial, but do you know if something else is going on that we are not aware that manifests as this file on the desktop.  A trivial looking bug may be an indicator of a larger problem.
    True enough. But I don't know what the *_SyncLog.dat file even is. It is not the Cloud Sync Log visible in Help > Log Files. It's an opaque binary and I don't know whether it's ever been disclosed what it's for. It appears to update each time Quicken is opened.
    Given that the filename "should" contain the data file name, as in QDATA_SyncLog.dat, and this desktop litter does not, suggests only one thing to me, and it's just a guess.
    There is a place where dwells a file whose entire name is ".QDF", i.e., the extension without a filename. And that is inside the main QDF file, which is an archive you can view with 7-zip. Perhaps Quicken is getting confused at some point, trying to write a SyncLog based on the nameless .QDF file and landing it on the desktop as a default. It doesn't happen often enough for me to discern a pattern.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • leishirsute
    leishirsute Member ✭✭✭✭
    It's strange.  It wasn't happening to my desktop yesterday and yet it's happening everytime I start Quicken today.  Maybe a reboot will change the behavior.  I submitted it as a problem anyway.
    Quicken Deluxe Subscription; Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • JustMeHere
    JustMeHere Member ✭✭✭✭
    The real problem with something like this is repeatability vs impact.

    For repeatability it isn't happening to me, and I suspect, that goes for 99% of the users.  On the other hand I have seen this kind of thing from time to time.

    For impact other than users "getting nervous or a bit upset" it hasn't proven to do any damage at all.

    For a developer to fix something the first thing is that it has to be assigned to a developer.  That means it first has to be reported and on some list.  Then in a meeting they look at the list (most likely a very long list), they try to decide the impact vs time it will take.  The impact is low the time to fix is high because it will be hard to reproduce.

    And then if they do assign it to a developer they aren't going to give him/her a month to fix it, they have more important things to fix.  So maybe he/she gets a few hours at the most to fix it, and if it can't be reproduced, ...
    Using Quicken Subscription Premier (and have a copy of Starter to test things on)
  • JustMeHere
    JustMeHere Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    P.S. In fact it is the Cloud Sync Log.


    At least the one stored where your data file is.
    I know this because I first brought up the log file from the above menu

    and then deleted the *_SyncLog.dat file, and then brought up the log again, and it was empty.


    This follows the same pattern as the OFX log.  The *.dat file is the "scrambled" form of that log file.  There is sensitive information in these logs that they are making sure no one, but the user of the Quicken data file can see.

    As for the zero length one on the Desktop.  Given that the real one is in fact stored with your data file I would expect what is happening is that in one part of the program they go to open the data file, but the directory it should be in hasn't yet been set right and that ends up on the Desktop.  But before the real data gets written to the data file, the file is openned in the correct place.
    Using Quicken Subscription Premier (and have a copy of Starter to test things on)
  • JustMeHere
    JustMeHere Member ✭✭✭✭
    P.S. One other factor that I thought (and sort of remember from old discussions on this)  Where do you launch Quicken from?  By any chance is it the Quicken Desktop shortcut?

    If you launch from there that would most likely be the "current directory", which is why it might be the default for this file until the correct path is set.

    I in fact never launch Quicken from a shortcut on my Desktop.  I have a special tool bar I use for the programs I use the most, and I also use the Windows system bar and rarely the WIndows 10 start "pane".
    Using Quicken Subscription Premier (and have a copy of Starter to test things on)
  • leishirsute
    leishirsute Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    P.S. One other factor that I thought (and sort of remember from old discussions on this)  Where do you launch Quicken from?  By any chance is it the Quicken Desktop shortcut?

    If you launch from there that would most likely be the "current directory", which is why it might be the default for this file until the correct path is set.

    I in fact never launch Quicken from a shortcut on my Desktop.  I have a special tool bar I use for the programs I use the most, and I also use the Windows system bar and rarely the WIndows 10 start "pane".
    This, hopefully, was a big helpful clue.  I changed the "Start In" field under my Quicken desktop shortcut Properties to be the directory of my Quicken datafile.  I've started Quicken multiple times and the file is not reappearing on the desktop.  The _SyncLog.dat file got created in the Quicken datafile directory and doesn't show up on the desktop.  So, I'm pleased.

    It will be interesting if this change also resolves the empty Config folder being created on the desktop, which doesn't happen as often.
    Quicken Deluxe Subscription; Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Ducksoup_SD
    Ducksoup_SD Member ✭✭
    This just started happening on my system, too. Haven't changed the names or locations for quite a while, so one of Quicken's latest updates, in concert with Microsoft's latest updates, is doing this.
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    P.S. In fact it is the Cloud Sync Log.
    Good sleuthing! I was assuming it was not because its timestamp updates each time Quicken opens regardless of cloud synching. In fact, I never sync to the cloud, so I don't know why I even have one of these files.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • JustMeHere
    JustMeHere Member ✭✭✭✭


    It will be interesting if this change also resolves the empty Config folder being created on the desktop, which doesn't happen as often.
    Let me first say that I don't believe this "resolves" the problem.  It merrily hides it.
    The code is still buggy.  As for the empty folder, that shows up from time to time, yes believe it is the same kind of thing happening.  I don't think I have seen that on my Desktop in years, but sort remember seeing it where my Quicken data file is.
    Using Quicken Subscription Premier (and have a copy of Starter to test things on)
  • JustMeHere
    JustMeHere Member ✭✭✭✭
    P.S. In fact it is the Cloud Sync Log.
    Good sleuthing! I was assuming it was not because its timestamp updates each time Quicken opens regardless of cloud synching. In fact, I never sync to the cloud, so I don't know why I even have one of these files.

    It isn't just for the web/moblie any more  (replace "cloud" with "server").  Just starting Quicken and closing will get an "entry" in it.  I believe those are it checking the license, remember everyone has a Quicken account now.

    Also I just checked and just going to the Bills & Income tab (when you have online bills) will get you several entries, which includes sending some encrypted passwords.

    And just going to One Step Update (pin vault) gets lots of entries, again with encrypted passwords.

    To test I changed my settings to only update quotes/news for One Step Update.  Then closed and deleted the sync file.  Started again and watched the size of the sync file.  1K for starting, 111K for bring up One Step Update and canceling.  Check the log and many entries with the encrypted passwords.  I don't know what they are sending here.

    I know at one point they did want to go to the model that the Mac side is using.  Before all the exchanging of information was going to Intuit and as such Quicken Inc was left out of the loop and couldn't detect when people were having problems with their financial institutions.  In the "Mac model" quite a long time ago they put in place where the information flow throw Quicken Inc servers on the way to Intuit servers.

    I don't know if they ever put that in place on the Windows side, but clearly they are sending quite a bit of information to their servers now.

    BTW the entries are really readable and don't make a lot of sense to me because "password" is on every single entry.

    The information sent is to small to be something like "transactions", but to big to just be "license, connection, ... OK".
    Using Quicken Subscription Premier (and have a copy of Starter to test things on)
  • JustMeHere
    JustMeHere Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    @Ducksoup_SD See this thread:
    (Removed-Self-Referencing Link) 

    It seems I messed up. I was trying to refer @Ducksoup_SD in a different thread to this thread.
    Using Quicken Subscription Premier (and have a copy of Starter to test things on)
  • leishirsute
    leishirsute Member ✭✭✭✭
    An observation:
    It appears that Quicken is opening this file at startup before a datafile is selected to open.  Hence, the missing datafile name in the _SyncLog.dat file which is usually prefixed with a datafile name i.e. datafile_SyncLog.dat.  Some bad logic in Quicken should not be opening this file prior to a datafile being selected.  I do not sync Quicken to the cloud.
    Quicken Deluxe Subscription; Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Guest3
    Guest3 Member ✭✭
    Quicken recently began creating a file called _SyncLog.dat on my desktop when I use the program. I delete the file but it comes back the next time I start Quicken. My quicken files are located under my documents and I don't use the cloud. The only way Quicken would even know about the desktop path is one time in the past I saved a quicken backup file there. I can't help but think that this file is some kind of fall out from that. How do I resolve this issue please ?
  • JustMeHere
    JustMeHere Member ✭✭✭✭
    Guest3 said:
    Quicken recently began creating a file called _SyncLog.dat on my desktop when I use the program. I delete the file but it comes back the next time I start Quicken. My quicken files are located under my documents and I don't use the cloud. The only way Quicken would even know about the desktop path is one time in the past I saved a quicken backup file there. I can't help but think that this file is some kind of fall out from that. How do I resolve this issue please ?
    You can't "fix the problem" only the developers can, but you should be able to "hide" the problem, as in have the file created somewhere else besides your Desktop.

    The file is being created on your Desktop because that is where you are starting Quicken from (the Quicken Desktop shortcut).  If you right click on the Quicken Desktop shortcut and select Properties you can change the "Start in:" to a different folder (where you are storing your Quicken data file would be a good location).
    Using Quicken Subscription Premier (and have a copy of Starter to test things on)
  • I have had the same thing since last update (to 25.01). Changed my desktop shortcut "start in" path (which was blank) to my Quicken data folder, and that has fixed it. Thanks for the tip! That folder contained a slightly older version of _Synclog.dat. It was not replaced by subsequent startups of Quicken until after I deleted it.
  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    With the latest release - R25.10 - I now also get the "Synclog.dat" file on my desktop.
    It appears on the desktop at the same time as the new "logon screen" bug appears in the background.  Maybe they are related -
    Running R25.10 - and all the Q files are in their normal locations...

    Quicken Subscription - Windows 10
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