File Validation Frequency

I'm curious how often folks validate their Quicken data file?

I'm currently doing it weekly and it finds problems most of the time. I also find that it takes 3 passes for validation to report no errors. First pass finds corrupted transactions, second pass finds a corrupted category and third pass is clean. I find the same pattern both for my file and for the one I keep on behalf of my father-in-law. Just curious how comes this pattern is?

Comments

  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    What is the full path to the folder that contains your Quicken data file on the hard drive? Are you using OneDrive, Dropbox or Google Backup? Are you syncing to the Quicken Cloud?
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    I validate mine rarely and generally don't have issues, but then I don't use QMobile/Q-Web which in my opinion can and does cause lots of issues.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
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  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    CharlieG said:
    I'm curious how often folks validate their Quicken data file?

    I'm currently doing it weekly and it finds problems most of the time. I also find that it takes 3 passes for validation to report no errors. First pass finds corrupted transactions, second pass finds a corrupted category and third pass is clean. I find the same pattern both for my file and for the one I keep on behalf of my father-in-law. Just curious how comes this pattern is?
    I generally validate my file once or twice a month on the theory that removing corruption early is a good idea so it doesn't damage data later on.
    It never occurred to me to run multiple back-to-back validates. But I just did so and got exactly the same results running 3 validations. First several transactions, then one category, and finally clean. Now I'm curious, too.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I never validate my data file unless problems.  And even then if showed problems if possible I would go to a backup and not use the validated file.

    To me I think people really miss what validate and repair is doing.
    It is checking for inconsistencies and trying to bring it back to a consistent state.
    Doing so might mean removing data, data that you might want.  This especially true of Super validate.

    There is a reason validate always makes a backup before it does anything.  This isn't "doesn't hurt to do it" operation.  Yes it very rare that it causes problems, but it can.

    And for what is is worth validate shows no problems in my file.
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  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 21
    Hi @CharlieG

    I typically only validate my Quicken datafile if I am having significant issues, except for performance issues (which I don't count in that).  I also don't use Mobile or Web and am meticulous with respect to backing up.  In other words - to paraphrase - an ounce of backups is worth a pound of validations...

    Frankx


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  • markus1957
    markus1957 SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited February 21
    Recalling from other posts and experiencing it sporadically, the errors described result from partially accepting downloaded  transactions, then moving to other account registers before completing accepting the rest of the downloaded transactions.  A temporary account register holds the downloaded transactions and normally gets cleared after all transactions are accepted.

    This was introduced during a recent version update.  The transactions in the temp account get deleted by the first validation, then the transfer category associated with the temp account gets deleted in the second validation.  If you use Accept All the issue does not occur.

    Technically only 2 validations are required to clean up the file. The 3rd as you note finds no errors.  So far no lasting adverse impacts on a data file have been reported.

    adding- maybe not so recent.  Quicken repaired some transaction information. No action required. "ACCT_1de" 0/ 0/1900 — Quicken
  • Roger Miller
    Roger Miller Member ✭✭
    I like to validate my data file after every Quicken program update. Not to say that program updates may cause a problem, but that makes it easy for me to remember when to do a validation. When I do a validation, though, I perform it on a COPY of my data file, and not on the original file. That way, if anything goes wrong, I can easily revert back to the original data file. BTW, when I say a COPY of the file, I mean using the Quicken File >> File Operations >> Copy function, and not the Windows copy function.
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    the errors described result from partially accepting downloaded  transactions, then moving to other account registers before completing accepting the rest of the downloaded transactions.
    Except I never do this. I always work on one account at a time and still see those validation repair reports.
    I don't believe Validate's messages are accurate. I think it's seeing a zero somewhere and erroneously interpreting it as a date. This misinterpretation may be an internal error or just a bad message, who knows?
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    I like to validate my data file after every Quicken program update. Not to say that program updates may cause a problem, but that makes it easy for me to remember when to do a validation. When I do a validation, though, I perform it on a COPY of my data file, and not on the original file. That way, if anything goes wrong, I can easily revert back to the original data file. BTW, when I say a COPY of the file, I mean using the Quicken File >> File Operations >> Copy function, and not the Windows copy function.
    The File->File Operations->Copy is not a true copy of your data file, it is a rewrite of the data at the transaction level.  That copy process can cause a change in the file's size since it removes any "blank" space in the file.  It is possible that it fixes some issues or it could cause some.
    I mention this to point out that they are not the same file that you are validating as your original file.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I don't believe Validate's messages are accurate. I think it's seeing a zero somewhere and erroneously interpreting it as a date. This misinterpretation may be an internal error or just a bad message, who knows?
    And that brings up another point.  Validate is code just like any other code.
    I think for the longest time almost all "corrupted data files" were/are blamed on something the user has done.  From what I have seen the problems are cause MUCH more frequently by bugs in the code.

    So basically your asking one set of code that can have bugs in it, to verify and fix what another set of code messed up.
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  • Roger Miller
    Roger Miller Member ✭✭
    > @splasher said:
    > The File->File Operations->Copy is not a true copy of your data file, it is a rewrite of the data at the transaction level.  That copy process can cause a change in the file's size since it removes any "blank" space in the file.  It is possible that it fixes some issues or it could cause some.
    > I mention this to point out that they are not the same file that you are validating as your original file.

    Understood. I like to do the Copy operation, because in the past, I have had instances where the file failed the copy operation, which is indicative of file corruption. This has been discussed before. So, I like to perform that check. I have never noticed any difference in the copied file.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Understood. I like to do the Copy operation, because in the past, I have had instances where the file failed the copy operation, which is indicative of file corruption. This has been discussed before. So, I like to perform that check. I have never noticed any difference in the copied file.
    Another good point.  It certainly been the recommendation for trying to clear problems from a data file to do both the copy and then the validate repair.

    Why?

    The copy is doing a record by record copy, this in itself sometimes either "leaves the problem behind" or when it can't copy proves that there is some bad corruption.

    Note that record by record might be a bit of a misnomer.  As in it isn't like a file copy where it is read record one, copy record one.  Instead it is going to be going through the structure of the accounts, lists and such and copying those records out.  So by its very nature it is actually sort of doing a verification of the different structures/references that tie everything together.
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  • markus1957
    markus1957 SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    the errors described result from partially accepting downloaded  transactions, then moving to other account registers before completing accepting the rest of the downloaded transactions.
    Except I never do this. I always work on one account at a time and still see those validation repair reports.
    I don't believe Validate's messages are accurate. I think it's seeing a zero somewhere and erroneously interpreting it as a date. This misinterpretation may be an internal error or just a bad message, who knows?
    Just a theory, but the source of the issue described is the failure to delete the temporary download transactions register, whether by the reproducible process of switching between accounts while accepting transactions or some other event that circumvents the clearing process.

    Your guess regarding the date is probably accurate, I'd note in the download register table that the date is replaced by "Accepted" which could exhibit the misinterpretation you describe.

    The potential reason it might take 2 validations is because that temp table needs to remain resident in the event the user closes Quicken to come back and work on it later.  Validation likely removes the accepted entries with misinterpreted dates but won't delete the temp account unless it encounters a completely empty temp account register.  The second pass sees an empty temp table.

    Now it is obviously more complicated because there are times that "accepted" is reversible.  It is sometimes possible after accepting downloaded transactions to unaccept them either individually or in bulk.  I'm not clear on the exact conditions under which unaccept can occur other than at some point it expires and is no longer an option.

    The issue described in this thread seems closely related to the thread I referenced earlier. It may be that the behavior is not limited to switching between accounts and may be caused by other actions as yet unidentified.  At the root though, interruption of the process of destroying the temporary account register created for downloaded transactions is implicated as the cause.
  • mrzookie
    mrzookie Member ✭✭✭✭
    I validate every few weeks, unless I suspect a problem. I wish there was a way to instruct the process to ignore things it finds. It always flags the same 3 stock splits as potential problems (they are not, I just adjusted them to show the data more accurately) even though they are several years old.

    I also do a "copy" a couple of times a year, or if I've deleted a lot of transactions or accounts. Deletes don't reduce file size, but copy doesn't bring over the "blank" data, so the new file is usually smaller, sometimes significantly so.
  • Roger Miller
    Roger Miller Member ✭✭
    > @mrzookie said:
    > I validate every few weeks, unless I suspect a problem. I wish there was a way to instruct the process to ignore things it finds. It always flags the same 3 stock splits as potential problems (they are not, I just adjusted them to show the data more accurately) even though they are several years old.
    >
    > I also do a "copy" a couple of times a year, or if I've deleted a lot of transactions or accounts. Deletes don't reduce file size, but copy doesn't bring over the "blank" data, so the new file is usually smaller, sometimes significantly so.

    I really wish that the validation messages would provide detail on which memorized transactions were corrected. This is the message I receive the most.
  • mrzookie
    mrzookie Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 22
    Roger Miller,
    Yeah, more detailed info on the Validation report would be very useful.
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    I really wish that the validation messages would provide detail on which memorized transactions were corrected.

    mrzookie said:
    Yeah, more detailed info on the Validation report would be very useful.
    Go to this Idea and vote:


    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Roger Miller
    Roger Miller Member ✭✭
    edited February 22
  • CharlieG
    CharlieG Member
    Thanks for all the feedback - I learned a lot. There must be another path that is causing the temporary accounts to not get deleted because I never (well very very rarely) leave an account before I've accepted all of the downloaded transactions.

    Whatever this alternate path is - I take it often. When I do my weekly validation, 9 times of 10 if find that temporary account issue.

    I may starting doing a weekly "copy" (Quicken copy) to see if that's enough to clean up the issue in a perhaps less invasive way than a validate.
  • wrnoof
    wrnoof Member ✭✭
    I get the same sequence as the original poster: three passes to clean. It only happens after I do a one-step update. So, it is definitely a transaction download related issue. And, it happens with every one-step update that downloads anything. If I don't validate for a while, nothing bad seems to happen in using Quicken. So, I will validate less frequently. The validation report seems to be about the same whether I validate daily, weekly or monthly.
  • wrnoof
    wrnoof Member ✭✭
    edited March 5
    OK, I tried a little experiment today.
    Turned off scheduled one-step update before validating yesterday.
    Opened Quicken and validated - no errors.
    Manual One-step update - no errors.
    Accepted downloads for one account, clicked "Done " and validated - no errors
    Accepted downloads for two more accounts, clicked "Done" each time and validated once when done - invalid transaction errors
    Accepted for remaining accounts, clicked "Done" each time and then validated once when done- "Repaired your data file by removing a damaged category. Please check your category list for missing categories by going to Tools>Category List."
    This generally means no more errors in the file as a successive validation always returns no errors at this point.

    So, I am wondering if the problem is with data downloaded for a certain account. I will accept and validate one account at a time tomorrow.
  • wrnoof
    wrnoof Member ✭✭
    edited March 6
    I continued my sleuthing this a.m. With scheduled one-step update already turned off, I opened Quicken.
    Ran validate - clean.
    Ran one-step update, transactions for only two accounts - AMEX and an investment account - were downloaded. I did not accept any of the downloaded transactins and ran validate - clean.
    Accepted AMEX transactions, ran validate - got error messages for invalid transactions in an account I don't have and has a coded or digital name.
    Ran validate until results were clean.
    Accepted transactions in the second, i.e., investment, account and ran validate - clean.
    In the previous comment/post, when I accepted transactions in two accounts and generated validation errors, AMEX was one of those two accounts.

    So, I am suspecting the problem is not with Quicken or with us, but with transactions downloaded from AMEX. Perhaps Quicken can correct the problem from their end. I am curious as to how many other folks with this problem are downloading AMEX transactions and how many with no problem are not downloading from AMEX.
    Best, Bob
  • wrnoof
    wrnoof Member ✭✭
    edited March 9
    OK. It's definitely the AMEX transaction download. I get the errors when I accept only downloaded AMEX transactions and do not get errors when I download and/or accept transactions in any of my other accounts.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    wrnoof said:
    OK. It's definitely the AMEX transaction download. I get the errors when I accept only downloaded AMEX transactions and do not get errors when I download and/or accept transactions in any of my other accounts.
    I would try it in a new data file.  It might not be the download exactly.  It might be that downloading into that exact account is the problem.  If it doesn't have the problem in a new data file I would deactivate the old account, create a new account and activate it and copy the missing transactions using this method, and then delete the old account:
    FAQ: How Do I Move Transactions Between Quicken Accounts? — Quicken

    This might "repair" a corrupted account (which does happen from time to time).
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  • wrnoof
    wrnoof Member ✭✭
    @Chris_QPW, thanks for this. I didn't need all of the steps outlined in your reply. Since I had narrowed it down to AMEX, I went directly to deactivating the account and then reactivating it without creating a new account and moving transactions from old to new. Problem solved.
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