Practical Tips for Keeping QuickBooks Data Files Healthy

In a previous article, I mentioned that if the DB File Fragments get high, your QuickBooks® data file it is at a greater risk for having corruption issues. So, in this article, I’d like to give you the steps to resolve that situation.

1. Run a Verified Backup. I recommend that this backup be done locally (i.e., don’t backup from one computer to a drive elsewhere). If this is on a network, either do this on the server or get a copy of the file so you can work with it locally on a workstation. A verified backup actually will look through the data file for any possible data damage.

  • If errors are found, the next steps is to Rebuild the data file – this often works. In cases where that does not work, then the Qbwin.log file will identify the error(s). The steps to resolve the errors vary depending on the specific error. This knowledgebase article will get you started when the data file does not verify, including rebuilding the data file and finding the error as described in the Qbwin.log. Once you know the error(s), there are knowledgebase articles to help you fix the issue.
  • Just as a side note, if you are going to upgrade your data file, you must have a file that will verify. If it does not, you will have to fix those issues before you can continue with the upgrade.

2. Resort all of your lists that can be resorted. So here’s a list of the ones to sort from the List menu:

  • Chart Of Accounts
  • Items List
  • Fixed Assets
  • Unit Of Measure (if those are turned on)
  • Inventory Site (if you are using Advanced Inventory)
  • Price Levels
  • Billing Rates
  • Classes
  • Customer Types
  • Vendor Types
  • Job Types
  • Vehicle List
  • Memorized Transactions

Down at the bottom of each list is a button with the name of the list. Click Re-sort List

  • Names – The Names list is handled differently. Ever wonder why you get the error statement if a Vendor and Customer have the same name? It’s because the Customers, Vendors, Other Names and Employees are all part of one big table. So, the way to resort this list then is to:
    • Go to Write Check
    • In the Pay to the Order of field press Ctrl-L and you’ll get the Names table
    • Click on Name (down at the bottom), then Re-sort list

3. Create a portable company file (File>Create Copy>Portable company file

  • Save it to the desktop

4. Restore the Portable Company File (File>Open or Restore Company) and let it overwrite the old QuickBooks data file.

5. Press the F2 button and see how much the DB File Fragments have been reduced. This frequently will drop and down dramatically to an acceptable level.

6. If the DB File Fragments are still high (over 100), then there’s a good chance that the actual hard drive for the computer needs to be defragged. If you are in a network environment, I recommend you let your IT staff handle that. So far, I’ve been fortunate and have not had to do this last step.

You will most likely find, after resorting the lists and restore the portable company file, that not only are the file fragments lower, but the data file is faster!