Do you do updates regularly when they come out?

When a new update comes out do you usually do it, or do you wait a little until the bugs are worked out?
The second part of the question is do you make a special back every time you do even a minor update and if so, do you keep the back up in the quicken file or do you save it somewhere special like the desktop?

Comments

  • Snowman
    Snowman Member ✭✭✭✭
    I make a backup to an NAS drive (that is backed up to another NAS drive every evening) after every use of Quicken and BEFORE I do any updates.  You can use 3 USB drives to do this as well.  Why 3?  You should alternate between 2 of them, and the 3rd you should save somewhere offsite.

    I could give it a different name but I do not.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I run a 2nd copy on my laptop with a copy of my data file. The working copy is on the home desktop. I update the laptop first and make sure that's good for a while before updating the desktop. I usually wait until the 6.X.1 version comes out before updating the desktop, but not always.

    Whenever you update, Quicken automatically makes a special backup which will be named "BACKUP (Pre-Update) - YourFileName 2021-MM-DD" and placed in your backup folder. You can view the backup folder by clicking menu File > Show Backups in Finder. These are separate from any automatic backups you may have set up. When Quicken updates the app, the old app is moved to the trash. By recovering the app from the trash and the special pre-update backup, you can revert to before you did the update if needed.

    For general backup, yes, I have Quicken set to backup every time the program is closed. You can set the backup folder location to Dropbox, iCloud Drive or another cloud storage. That provides you with an offsite backup. (Don't store your working Quicken file in the cloud -- that's not supported.) If you are going to store backups in the cloud, I recommend you set a file password (menu File > Set File Password) so that the file in encrypted locally and you are not reliant on the cloud service's security. Personally, I have automation set up that locally encrypts my backup file before uploading to Dropbox, but that gets a bit technical.

    More generally, if you are not already, I STRONGLY recommend that you get an inexpensive external hard drive of at least double the capacity of your internal HD/SSD and run macOS Time Machine. This will not only protect Quicken, but also all your other important data on your Mac.


    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @Pamela77  I usually do accept the updates as they come out, but there's no reason you can't wait a little if it makes you feel more comfortable.

    I participate in beta testing, so in most cases the more major updates (6.0, 6.1, 6.2, etc.) are ones I've already been able to preview and try out. That doesn't guarantee everything works perfectly the first time out of the gate. Quite often, the developers are making changes right up until a release, so there are often differences between a beta release and the public release -- hopefully for the better, but sometimes a late change causes a problem.

    There are two good things about the way the developers do releases for Quicken Mac. First, when they have a new release, they do it in stages. What that means is they release it as a software update but turn the update feature off after the first group of 1,000 or 2,000 users have downloaded it. They they monitor this forum, Quicken Support calls, and logs files they get from any crashes, to see if there are issues with the new release which weren't caught in their internal testing or in beta testing. If no major issues emerge after a few days, they release the update to a larger batch of users, pause again, and then release it to everyone.

    If a problem turns up, they are usually quick to get on it to create a fix and roll out a new release. So most recently, they started a release of 6.0 on a Tuesday evening, and paused after a small number of people installed it. It turned out that those early users surfaced an issue with the new re-reconcile feature that the developers felt ought to be changed. Often these fixes take only a day or two; in this case, it took 4 workdays before they began releasing 6.1.1. Again, they did it in stages, so it was a few more days before it was pushed out to everyone.

    So the point is: they're good about getting out quick fixes if a new release turns out to have some problem. That's why I'm generally okay with installing new releases whenever they come out; I know there will likely be a .1 and .2 release to clean up any issues found when the software is used by thousands of people rather than a small group of testers.

    But if encountering a problem with a new release can frustrate you, it's fine to ignore the offer to update when the .0 releases come out, and wait until the inevitable .1 release.

    ------

    That all said, I wanted to address the backup question, too. Any time you install a new version of Quicken Mac, the first thing the installer does is make a copy of your data file. You can find this in your backups folder, in an Automatic Backups folder, called "Backup (Pre-Update)" followed by your file name and the date. So you really don't need to make a manual backup before updating unless you want to.

    The lesser-known thing is that Quicken moves the old copy of your Quicken application to your Trash folder. If you're someone who empties your Trash all the time, you might want to fish it out of the Trash after installing the update, to keep around for aa little while; if you're like me and don't empty the Trash often, know that the old version is still safe and secure on your Mac. So in the event of a really bad problem with an update, it's easy to replace the current copy of the Quicken application with the one pulled from the Trash, and your current data file with the backup from before the update -- and be back up and running with your old version and data.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Thank you SO much for all of your comments. I am in the process of improving my back up systems so this is very helpful. I do use time machine of course. I am considering adding backblaze as an online automatic backup for offsite. Has anyone used backblaze and does it play well with quicken?

    I am also considering a bootable clone like carbon copy but maybe that is getting to be too much - time machine and backblaze and carbon copy?

    Thank you
    Pamela
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @pamela77  It is said that you can never have too many backups! That said, each of the tools you mention do somewhat different things, and a combination of at least two is definitely advisable. Whether you need all three is open to question.

    I use iDrive, which is a competitor to Backblaze, for regular backups to the cloud. The benefit is that, like Time Machine (which I also use), the backup is in the cloud; in the event of an emergency in which my computer is destroyed or inaccessible, my data remains safe in the cloud. But if my Mac were unusable and I have a new Mac, restoring all my data online can take as long as several days. Also, services like Backblaze and iDrive don't necessarily back up everything on your Mac; you need to check the instructions and configuration to see if you can back up your Applications in addition to your data. And you need to make sure if you use Quicken's default file location in your Library's Application Support folder, that your cloud backup actually backs up that folder. 

    For those reasons, the idea of having a full disk backup to an external, bootable hard drive can be appealing. I use SuperDuper!, which is similar to Carbon Copy Cloner. It creates a full backup of your hard drive to the external drive, so you can access any file, or use it as a complete restore of your entire Mac if you need to. I actually have two portable hard drives, and I periodically (ever few months) copy both my Macs to one of the drives; I then store that somewhere else (work, safe deposit box, friend/family) and swap it with the other drive. So I always have a backup hard drive in a different location than my home. It may be a little out of date, but my Time Machine (if it is accessible) or iDrive cloud backup should be able to restore files newer than the full drive backup.

    Here's the cautionary tale which explains why I find it worth having all these levels of backup… Several years ago, my MacBook Pro's hard drive failed. I was able to replace the drive, and then set about trying to restore my crucial data (which included my music and hundreds of megabytes of photos). I fired up one of my SuperDuper! backup drives and began the restoration. Somewhere along the way, the restore failed due to some corruption on the drive. Okay, I thought, that's why I have two generations of backup drives. So I fetched my other backup hard drive from work, fired up SuperDuper! and began the restoration to the new MacBook Pro hard drive. And after several hours, it too failed, also with some disk error. Yes, as unlikely as it seemed, both of my two backup hard drives had some small area where the data was corrupted, and the software couldn't complete a restore. (Since software like SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner don't work file by file, but disk block by disk block, a small area of corrupted data means there is simply nodes restore.) I was completely panicked! My third, and at that time final, option was my Time Machine backup. Fortunately, it restored correctly, and I got back up and running with all my data. I immediately replaced the two hard drives which had failed me with two new ones, and I added iDrive cloud backup for an additional layer of protection.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Thank you! It is exactly situations like yours that make me want to have a few more backups! My friend lost his hard drive and whatever corrupted the drive also corrupted his time machine, so he had a really hard time!

    Thank you for that detailed response!

    One small question - you mentioned that you periodically copy your Macs to one of your hard drives..doesnt super duper do that automatically? If I have 2 hard drives and connect one to super duper and rotate that every month or so, is that what you are saying?

    Since super duper failed twice for you, do you still trust it?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Yes, SuperDuper can be set to run automatically, but I don't leave my external drives connected to a Mac. When I decide to create a copy, I have an iMac and a MacBook Pro, so I connect the hard drive to one, launch SuperDuper and run the backup, then connect the hard drive to the other computer, launch Super Duper un the backup, and then take the drive to work the next day and bring home the other drive. 

    Yes, I trust SuperDuper. I don't believe the problem I experienced was due to the software; it was due to bad blocks on the hard drives. When I had the problem, I reached out to support, and had a good conversation with the guy who develops the program.

    Be aware that both SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner work well on operating systems up through Catalina, which introduced major changes to the internals of macOS. If you're running Big Sur, particularly on a new M1 Mac, be aware that neither program can yet do what they've always done: back up and create a fully-bootable external drive. Both have partial work-arounds for Big Sur right now, while waiting for Apple to fix problems with one of its own disk tools which is needed to copy the System volume portion of your hard drive. If you're running Big Sur, make sure you read the notes from the developers of these programs. If you're running Mojave or Catalina, full speed ahead. ;)   (By the way, I'm not advocating for one of these products over the other; they've both been around for many years and worked well for people.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Thank you Jacob, I am currently runing big sur on a pretty old mac. I would like to update to Catalina but was advised that I should wait until i upgrade my mac. I am planning on doing that when the new Macs with the new M1 processes come out, hopefully later this year. My current mac is late 2013 and uses a 2.7 ghz intel core 15 processor with 16 GB memory. My local tech guy said that he thought an upgrade to Catalina on this Mac might be too much for it.

    Do you think I could use carbon copy cloner or super duper on my current system and then switch when I do the upgrade?

    And thank you again Jacob, I have been doing a lot of reading on various back up systems and I really appreciate your advice.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Catalina (macOS 10.15) is one version older than Big Sur (macOS 11). Those specs sound like you have an iMac; if so, a late 2013 iMac cannot run Big Sur. Or is it a 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro, which can run Big Sur? So: are you really running Big Sur on the old Mac? If so, you can't upgrade to Catalina, because you've already passed it. Or perhaps you mis-typed what version you're currently using? Maybe Mojave (10.14) or High Sierra (10.13)?

    Any late 2013 MacBook Pro or iMac can run Catalina, and you have plenty of RAM, so it should be okay. But if you're planning to replace your Mac later this year, there may not be a compelling reason to upgrade your old Mac to Catalina.

    If you're not running Big Sur currently, then either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner should work fine for making full disk copies to an external drive. Hopefully by later this year, Apple will have worked out the bug with Big Sur which is preventing the developers of those utilities from updating their programs for full Big Sur compatibility. (Currently, it seems the developer of Carbon Copy Cloner is a little closer to a full Big Sur solution, but both have written about it on their blogs. I'm not using Big Sur yet, so I haven't had to deal with the current limitations.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Oh Jacob, you are right! I mistyped. I meant to say I want to upgrade to big sur and I am running high sierra. So I was advised to wait until I upgrade the mac to upgrade to big sur. Does that make sense?

    Why are you staying with catalina? Would it make sense to at least go to catalina now, and then big sur when I get a new mac? Or just do it all at once. I know I have to check my apps before upgrading.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I'm actually still on Mojave because I have some older 32-bit programs which won't work under Catalina and Big Sur. I have old versions of Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, and Microsoft Office, and those won't work on Catalina or beyond; the subscriptions to the current versions of those products is more than I wish to pay. I'm working part-time now and will fully retire later this year, so I'll have more time to decide how to handle my software needs down the road a bit. (For instance, I downloaded but haven't yet had much time exploring the free Libre Office as an alternative to Microsoft Office.)

    But here's the other half of the equation: I'm not aware of any new functionality in Catalina and now Big Sur that I really need or feel eager to upgrade to get. that's not saying there aren't improvements Apple makes, but many of them have little impact on my use of Macs. At work, I've had computers on Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave, and I moved seamlessly among them because for day to day use, the experience was very much the same. (Which is a good thing in my mind, even if it's not what the developers at Apple want me to feel. ;) )

    Is there a compelling reason for you to upgrade from High Sierra to Mojave or Catalina right now? In my case, I needed to move from High Sierra to Mojave in order to run this year's TurboTax to do my taxes; that program only supports the current and two past operating systems, so I needed to be on Mojave for this year. Do you have software which is pushing you to advance beyond High Sierra? Are there features you're aware of in the new operating systems which you'd like to take advantage of? Are you hitting roadblocks with an older version of Safari not working with some websites? If you can't identify a clear-cut reason to upgrade your macOS, then there's probably not an important reason to do so. I'd say you might consider taking one step forward to Mojave at least; it's not likely to disrupt your normal work, and isn't as big a step forward as Catalina. If you're certain you don't use any older 32-bit applications*, then you can take the additional step forward to Catalina if you wish.

    *If you're not sure if you use any 32-bit software, download the free utility Go64 and run it. It will likely flag some utilities and helper applications which won't be relevant if you upgrade to Catalina, but scrolling through what it finds on your Mac might remind you of something you currently use which needs to be upgraded or replaced on an operating system which requires 64-bit applications. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993