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Use with Microsoft OneDrive

BertilakBertilak Member ✭✭✭
Some time ago I had much trouble with putting Quicken's QDF file on Microsoft OneDrive. I don't remember exactly what the problems were, probably error messages and corrupted files.

I decided to give it another try and moved my QDF file to OneDrive. So far, no problems, although it hasn't been a very long time yet.

Does anyone else have experience with the QDF file on OneDrive?

Comments

  • StudpupStudpup Windows Beta ✭✭✭
    edited August 2
    I previously had my Backup folder linked (mklink /d %userprofile%\documents\quicken\backup %onedrive%\backup). So my actual file doesn't exist there, just the backups. (automatic backup runs every time). Worked great. Obviously there's security concerns, and Quicken support seems averse to remote file replication programs like that.
  • BertilakBertilak Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2
    Studpup:

    Yes, I always had my backup on OneDrive and that was not a problem.

    In the past I was told by Quicken that it was dangerous to put the file on a cloud location.

    Until recently I had a very slow internet connection so it was a bit of an inconvenience using OneDrive anyway. Now that I have gigabit fiber I thought I'd give OneDrive a try and so far it has been OK. I won't be surprised if something goes wrong!

    EDIT: I see Greg_the_Geek has reiterated the warning about the use of cloud drives. In the past things went south pretty quickly but it seems much more stable now. I'm still curious about others' experiences.
  • Greg_the_GeekGreg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    The problem is that corruption can occur and you might not notice it until months later. All SU's keep their data files on the local hard drive and backup to the cloud. Why do you think keeping your data file in a OneDrive folder is better?
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2
    Bertilak said:
    I'm still curious about others' experiences.
    We don't tempt fate. Quicken can corrupt its own data just fine on a plain old hard disk or SSD. Add the Internet on top of that at your own risk.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • BertilakBertilak Member ✭✭✭
    jfclague said:
    I have had my Quicken file on OneDrive and Dropbox for years with no issue. The only recommendation is pause syncing while using Quicken then unpause.
    Thanks. You are the only one reporting actual experience with placing the QDF file on OneDrive. I, too, have/had no problems with this if I temporarily paused syncing while the file is open in Quicken. That is a little too fiddly for me so I was hoping I could simple pay no attention to the QDF file location.

    So I will continue to keep it off of OneDrive and place only the backup on OneDrive. This is good enough security since I do a backup every day there has been any change to the file.
  • Jay GourleyJay Gourley Member ✭✭
    edited August 19
    > @Greg_the_Geek said:
    > The problem is that corruption can occur and you might not notice it until months later. All SU's keep their data files on the local hard drive and backup to the cloud. Why do you think keeping your data file in a OneDrive folder is better?

    [removed - violation of Community Guidelines]  Is there any problem with Quicken for which that would not be true?
  • Jay GourleyJay Gourley Member ✭✭
    I have kept my active .qdf file in a OneDrive folder for years through countless Quicken updates and several versions of Windows and OneDrive. I access the .qdf file from different computers. I don't do anything special like pausing OneDrive. All I do is make sure the file is closed and synced from the last computer access before opening it on a different computer.

    I have had no problem. None. Ever. Till now. But with the update to R28.18 today (8/19/20), I can no longer open a .qdf file in a OneDrive folder. Not even if I pause OneDrive syncing. There may be some good reason for this. If so, I'd like to know it. I've searched the community for an explanation of of this cloud storage problem without finding anything more specific than "things could go wrong," which is always true of anything.

    Has Quicken suddenly blocked access to using cloud storage? Or is it just me? Is there some change to Quicken that justifies such a blockage all of a sudden? Does Quicken think it can resist the trend to cloud storage. If it does have such delusions of grandeur, I feel sorry for Quicken.

    In case it's not obvious,... And it appears not to be obvious to many people who access this forum. ..., there are significant advantages to data integrity from using cloud storage. If you access a .qdf file from different platforms without using cloud storage, you have to run through several steps of copying, network transfers, pasting, etc. each with its own set of possible user errors. It's not a simple process. None of those potential mistakes exist if these things are handled automatically by a cloud storage system like OneDrive. With OneDrive, all you have to do is make sure your file has time to upload after you close it and make sure the next computer you use to access it has completed synchronization. At least that was true until today.
  • BertilakBertilak Member ✭✭✭
    I feel your pain. I have resorted to keeping my active QDF file off of onedrive and backing  it up to onedrive. This works OK for me since I only access quicken from my one, main, computer. I would like to keep it on onedrive not so I can access it from multiple places but to rely on onedrive to maintain the integrity of the file. Now I need to remember to occasionally back up the file. That's so 90's!

    As you say, cloud storage is better and too bad Quicken is allergic to it.
  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I have kept my active .qdf file in a OneDrive folder for years through countless Quicken updates and several versions of Windows and OneDrive. I access the .qdf file from different computers. I don't do anything special like pausing OneDrive. All I do is make sure the file is closed and synced from the last computer access before opening it on a different computer.

    I have had no problem. None. Ever. Till now. But with the update to R28.18 today (8/19/20), I can no longer open a .qdf file in a OneDrive folder. Not even if I pause OneDrive syncing. There may be some good reason for this. If so, I'd like to know it. I've searched the community for an explanation of of this cloud storage problem without finding anything more specific than "things could go wrong," which is always true of anything.

    Has Quicken suddenly blocked access to using cloud storage? Or is it just me? Is there some change to Quicken that justifies such a blockage all of a sudden? Does Quicken think it can resist the trend to cloud storage. If it does have such delusions of grandeur, I feel sorry for Quicken.

    In case it's not obvious,... And it appears not to be obvious to many people who access this forum. ..., there are significant advantages to data integrity from using cloud storage. If you access a .qdf file from different platforms without using cloud storage, you have to run through several steps of copying, network transfers, pasting, etc. each with its own set of possible user errors. It's not a simple process. None of those potential mistakes exist if these things are handled automatically by a cloud storage system like OneDrive. With OneDrive, all you have to do is make sure your file has time to upload after you close it and make sure the next computer you use to access it has completed synchronization. At least that was true until today.
    Quicken has no clue if you are using OneDrive for storing your data file, and they certainly didn't change anything to "block it".

    If you are having problems that would just add to the justification of why Quicken Inc and the SuperUser recommend against it.

    The recommendation is based on a simple fact. Quicken was designed a long time ago with the idea that the "drive it 100% reliable".  There is no attempt to try to error correct.  And at this point they would have to probably totally rewrite the whole program to put such error correcting, and that isn't going to happen.  It matters little what the world is doing because they don't have the resources to change, so they will continue down this path as long as the "world lets" them.

    To get a more complete understanding of network drives and cloud services and such read my comments in this thread:
    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/comment/20111715/#Comment_20111715

    And as a test I copied my data file to OneDrive (my Documents folder) and opened it (I'm running Quicken R28.16)

    At first it "partly opened", where I saw the account balances just fine, but the Home tab/widgets were all blank.  This was caused by me having Windows "Ransomware protection" on and it blocking Quicken from writing to it.  So I put in an exception for Quicken and reopened the data file with no problem.
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • BertilakBertilak Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 20
    "Chris_QPW said:
    Quicken has no clue if you are using OneDrive for storing your data file, and they certainly didn't change anything to "block it".
    I believe that's true, but suspect Quicken is not behaving responsibly here. There are lots of ways to open, close, read and write files. Is Quicken making assumptions that do not hold for remote, shared, storage?

    [Removed-Speculation/Disruptive]
  • Jay GourleyJay Gourley Member ✭✭
    Correction to my earlier posting (Jay Gourley 8/19/20): The problem I encountered with R28.18 was not related to OneDrive as I posted. Right after the update, Quicken was producing an error message saying it could not open the file because it was synced with a cloud folder (OneDrive in my case). The Quicken error message was wrong. The problem resulted from a corrupted Quicken .qdf copy. I discovered after posting that the file would not open regardless of where it was stored.

    My other comments about the reliability of keeping the .qdf file on OneDrive are still correct as far as I know. I have never had a problem over the years through numerous versions of Quicken, Windows, OneDrive, etc. I use Quicken on Windows and keep my local .qdf file synced to OneDrive in the cloud, and I edit the .qdf file from two different Windows computers. The only opportunity for confusion is that the user must make sure the .qdf file has been synced from one computer before he opens on another. Even in that case, it will not cause data corruption. OneDrive will just create a second copy of the .qdf file with the new computer's name attached and it won't include changes made in the .qdf file modified by the first computer.

    I don't know anything about how Dropbox works.
  • Jay GourleyJay Gourley Member ✭✭
    Chris_QPW posting is a little confusing. His explanation at https://community.quicken.com/discussion/comment/20111715/#Comment_20111715 of cloud storage and how Quicken works is clear, it explains the issue well, and is consistent with my experience. (Notice, that on 8/20/20, I corrected part of my post of 8/19/20.)

    But Chris_QPW's good explanation seems inconsistent with his posting in this thread that seems to support the view that people should not use cloud storage.

    There are good reasons to ignore the cautions posted by others, especially if you access the .qdf file from multiple computers. I don't know about other cloud storage schemes, but OneDrive keeps copies of your files for a few weeks after they are deleted. So your .qdf file is protected in the event of a local drive failure or ransomware attack without your having to make backups after every modification. And if you are using the .qdf file from multiple computers the potential for careless user error are great if you manually manage the .qdf file by copying it from one computer to another.
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The problem resulted from a corrupted Quicken .qdf copy. I discovered after posting that the file would not open regardless of where it was stored.

    My other comments about the reliability of keeping the .qdf file on OneDrive are still correct as far as I know. I have never had a problem over the years through numerous versions of Quicken, Windows, OneDrive, etc.
    You have a corrupted file but you say you've never had a problem. I'd say you had a problem.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    There are good reasons to ignore the cautions posted by others, especially if you access the .qdf file from multiple computers. I don't know about other cloud storage schemes, but OneDrive keeps copies of your files for a few weeks after they are deleted. So your .qdf file is protected in the event of a local drive failure or ransomware attack without your having to make backups after every modification. And if you are using the .qdf file from multiple computers the potential for careless user error are great if you manually manage the .qdf file by copying it from one computer to another.
    There aren't any good reasons to ignore the cautions.  If you want to access Quicken from multiple computers, I suggest using a remote desktop client.  
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW posting is a little confusing. His explanation at https://community.quicken.com/discussion/comment/20111715/#Comment_20111715 of cloud storage and how Quicken works is clear, it explains the issue well, and is consistent with my experience. (Notice, that on 8/20/20, I corrected part of my post of 8/19/20.)

    But Chris_QPW's good explanation seems inconsistent with his posting in this thread that seems to support the view that people should not use cloud storage.

    There are good reasons to ignore the cautions posted by others, especially if you access the .qdf file from multiple computers. I don't know about other cloud storage schemes, but OneDrive keeps copies of your files for a few weeks after they are deleted. So your .qdf file is protected in the event of a local drive failure or ransomware attack without your having to make backups after every modification. And if you are using the .qdf file from multiple computers the potential for careless user error are great if you manually manage the .qdf file by copying it from one computer to another.
    It seems that everyone in the world wants it to be black and white.  I have never found this to be the case.  My world is "complicated".

    I would never say that one size fits all.  I can't control how Quicken was designed/works.  I can't control how people setup their networks, or use "cloud services", or even know how all the cloud services work.

    The recommendations given in this thread and by Quicken Inc are "the most conservative", which is exactly what you want for the general public.

    That isn't to say that there isn't any other possible way of doing it, but since no one can make sure that if you are using a network drive it is almost 100% reliable. Or if you are using one of the cloud services that it will respect the lock Quicken puts on the data file (and understand the limitations of it because at times it releases it when it probably shouldn't, but you have no control over that.)  Or to understand that lock is on the current machine and doesn't go to the other machines and as such someone could start Quicken on the other machine and make a mess out of the data file as the cloud service tries to "merge" the copies.

    And as you pointed even with the approach recommended if the user doesn't understand/follow the full recommendation they can run themselves into just as many problems.

    The safest recommendation I have seen is that you backup to OneDrive/Dropbox as you leave Quicken, and when starting Quicken you restore from that backup.  But you will notice it is also one of the more time consuming and generally more of a pain to do.

    Note I "do my own thing" when sharing with my wife.  She doesn't want to do any transaction entry, just have an up to date copy.

    I run a command script that fetches the latest copy out of my source control system (SVN/SubVersion), and then checks it back in after I exit.  And as the last step it copies it to a folder on OneDrive, which is where my wife's machine running Quicken gets it.
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'll add, from a database orientation, that Q lacks the "Lock", "Commit" and "Rollback" commands that are necessary to safely operate in a networked environment.
    SO, Network at your own risk.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
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