Quicken file not opening in Quicken 2002

I have been using Quicken 2002 Deluxe for many years. The main file is only 20mb in size. I had done my normal transactional entries. After I was done, I closed down normally and received an error message.
An error occurred during the last task. Please restart Quicken.

Upon pressing Ok, Quicken shut down. I tried opening Quicken again and it failed with the same error. I found that backup files in the backup directory could be opened and other Quicken files in other directories could also be opened, but not the one with my current transactions. I copied a backup file to be the primary file. I started entering transactions to bring the backup current. I was able to open and close Quicken with the replaced file a couple of times before that file encountered the same issue. I've been able to continue to move forward with transactions by using backup files and continually re-entering transactions, but it's been very frustrating to have to keep track of my transactions in order to re-enter them. It tells me that the transactions themselves don't seem to be the problem. I looked for any logs I could find in the Windows system and application logs, but found nothing. I looked for a log in the Quicken program folder and data folder, but could not find anything there either.

I have done a lot of research and found recommendations to perform a validate on the file. I have done validates, super validates, attempted to copy the bad file to a new file name, attempted to rename the file all resulting with the error "An error occurred during the last task. Please restart Quicken." The results of the validate and super validate are "No error." in the log every time. I can never really make much progress in the register without making copies every Quicken session and then when the error occurs, restore from the backup yet again. Something is happening on the write of the file. The file does not appear to be corrupt. I though there might be a potential hard drive failure so I even tried to copy a good backup to another computer. However, once I entered the transactions, after a couple of open/close of Quicken, I ended up with the same problem on the other computer as I entered the data. That ruled out the hardware issue and it ruled out corruption of the program files. So it appears to be an issue inside the Quicken data files, but validation indicates no issue.

After trying all of these things, I did some research on the error and the only thing that seemed to mirror what I experienced was https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7885184/transactions-not-entering-and-file-not-opening-in-quicken-2002-uk-version. I tried to add onto the thread, but being a year old, I figured I should create a new thread to see if I can get some response.

I thought about trying to export data from the good backup version so that I could create a new quicken file and import. However, I went through the process as a test and found that I could never reliably get the same balances in the new file. Transactions were missing from random places in the registers. And when I did the export/import again, I found different results in registers and different missing transactions. This tells me the export/import process (either the export or import) is unreliable and unusable.

The only thing I can think of is to create a new file and attempt to completely build the data again. However, that would take me a very long time when I have close to 20 years of data. And I really don't know whether I might have the problem again once I rebuilt it. I do have family members with larger Quicken files than me that do not have the problem with their data. I really don't want to stop using the product but I'm at a loss for what to do.

Does anyone have any solutions to fix my file? I've been having to deal with this for the past 3 months. I'm getting to wits end with the constant re-entry of transactions and follow-up with verification that I got it right.

I know Quicken 2002 is pretty old by now, but it was running fine and later releases didn't really bring a lot of benefit so I decided not to upgrade. There was a move by Quicken to have my data on the internet. I had no interest in an online Quicken experience.


  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are you using the UK version?   If not......
    I don't know about opening your data but maybe you can open it in a newer version?

    You should at least try to convert to the 2013 version since you don’t use any online services or download transactions now.  Then it should run on newer versions of Windows.  Starting in 2014 they instituted an ID password to get into your own data. I’m staying on 2013.

    2013 should run on Newer Windows.  You can download 2013 Deluxe for free using this how to convert article.  It’s under Converting from Quicken 2004-2009.


    If your version is 2003 or earlier you will need to first convert to 2004.  Then convert to 2013.  Read that whole article on converting.

    And FYI - If your Quicken was before 2010 you should have several files making up the data.  The main data file ends in .QDF.  All Quicken versions prior to QW2010 store your data in a series of files all sharing the same filename but with different extensions like  - .QDF .IDX, .QEL, .QPH  and all 4 of those files were rolled into a single-file .QDF starting in 2010. 

  • Pentree689
    Pentree689 Member ✭✭
    Thank you for the response. And a very quick response at that. I really appreciate the idea of moving forward. If I can get it and use it, then I will certainly give it a try. I'm willing to try anything at this point. Right now I'm spending way more time than I would like keeping the transactions moving forward and being extremely careful to not lose a viable Quicken data file to start from each time since the failure is pretty random.

    I am aware of the multiple files and restored all of the data files each time, but just for brevity indicated the singular file.

    I am not using the UK version. This is the American version.

    Yes, as with you, I have no interest in being required to have an online presence or a special ID to open the data. I'm with you, I would not upgrade any further. It's actually the reason I had not moved from 2002. Originally, I had started with numbered version of Quicken back in the DOS days and continued to move forward into Windows until 2002, but finally realized that there were no new reports, no new options, no new functionality except for more online data items, so stopped upgrading with 2002.
  • Pentree689
    Pentree689 Member ✭✭
    @volvogirl I think your recommendation may have helped me move forward. Just on the 2004 version, I've opened and closed several times. I have not had it hang or cause me to revert to a backup within 2 or 3 restarts that caused the need for many re-entered transactions. I've been validating for several days to see that it's stable. Obviously, it has made me a little gun shy with the all the work it has taken. Thankfully I had the backups. I can't imagine what might have been had I not had those.

    Anyway, wanted to thank you for the path to get back to some stability. I was not looking forward to rebuilding my whole quicken file that included many bank accounts, stocks, assets, liabilities. It would have been a mess and took me months to get back to where I was.

    I haven't moved to 2013 so far, but when I do, I won't be moving any further either. Have no interest in
    there being any forced online presence. Financial data is a private thing. While I really like the software in general, if I were to have to go online with this data, I would go back to paper before I did the online data
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Just so you know.  If I remember correctly the copy of Quicken 2004, they give for the conversion is a "trial period" version that will expire (I think in 30 days).  The copy of Quicken 2013 on the other hand doesn't expire.

    Also, newer versions of Quicken don't have to have your data online, it depends on the features used.

    For Quicken 2014 to 2017 they require a Quicken Id to install (which is free), and their online services have long been turned off.

    For Quicken Subscription which does have online services, one can choose not to use them.  But if they don't keep up the subscription about 20% of the Windows taken up by ads to renew it.  Given that most of the recent changes are in the online services one can see why one wouldn't want to keep paying for new versions or see those ads.

    But the best reason for staying on Quicken 2013 for people that are doing only manual update is the complete separation from Quicken Inc.  If Quicken Inc went out of business and there wasn't a server to contact for the Quicken Id, you couldn't reinstall or install on a new machine.

    I also wanted to point out that updated patches for these old versions can be found on my website:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Pentree689
    Pentree689 Member ✭✭
    @Chris_QPW, I really appreciate that answer with all the info about version features. I appreciate the alert about the 2004 version. If that is the case, I will be moving to the 2013 version. I was plenty happy with the 2002 version and the features I was using. I would not have even attempted to move if there wasn't this failure I was having that came up randomly with no explanation for only one of my 2 quicken repositories.

    Through the years I knew there were a few new features here or there, but ultimately what I needed were the ledgers where I can work with multiple accounts and manage stocks. Something I could actually do on paper, but definitely prefer the speed of managing on my computer and the benefit of reports. I've been using Quicken since the DOS days and multiple DOS versions at that. I still have conversion files in a backup location from QW5 and nearly every version up through 2002.

    About a year or two ago, I had considered getting a more recent copy up until I found out about the subscription, the ad penalty of not renewing, and so much online push. I decided I would not do that. I looked into alternatives, most of which were online. When the data is online, you don't own it anymore and others know more aggregated info about you than they should. I know there is GnuCash and almost went there, but decided I would stay with Quicken until it broke.

    With your guidance and @volvogirl, I'll hopefully stay on 2013 if there are no issues. Hoping I don't have another instance of what I experienced the past couple of months.

    Thanks for pointing out your website. I have been on your website in the past. It's great to have an archive like that to help out those of us who may not have gotten those patches when they were originally available. And I noticed you had some other things there too that also support the community. Thanks for that.
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