Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28

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Handling problems

One prescription fits all?   A complex system is inevitably subject to a variety of problems, from a range of causes.  The appropriate fix depends on the cause of the problem.  A complete course in troubleshooting QuickBooks would be too large for this book, even if business people would read it.  Some procedures are spelled out here, and these will deal with a surprisingly large portion of problems. 

Dont make it worse!   Hopefully, you are reading this before you panicked and compounded the problem. The sequence of steps to consider trying is designed to minimize the risk of further damage.

What happened?   The visible and printed results from a computer program are the end product of a complex chain of facilities.  The computer is a cluster of interacting elements.  On top of (or running in) the computer is the operating system, either DOS and Windows, or Mac OS.  These all support QuickBooks, which is handling information in the company data file. A problem means that one of these is out of order, perhaps causing problems in another.

Survey the problem.   The first thing is to determine the level of the problem:

External to QuickBooks:  Does the problem exist outside of QuickBooks?  Have you actually exited QuickBooks and checked other applications?  Perhaps the problem is external, and you noticed it first while running QuickBooks.

QuickBooks has a problem:  Opening the QuickBooks sample company can tell you that if problem is local within your company data files.

Company data files have problems:  If the sample company runs fine, but your company does not, there is a clue (but not a verdict.)

Procedures available:   here are the things you can do, the first two being mandatory, and the others in a suggested order, designed to minimize risk of further damage.  They are tabulated here, and detailed below. Below the tabulation of procedures will be found descriptions of the circumstances in which they should be used.

Transactions should not be recorded, if operations are erratic.  Recording could make things worse.  Viewing and reporting are better.  If the situation is uncertain, use reports, or start edits, but cancel without recording. After a backup, recording is much less risky.

Take its temperature.   A diagnostic display tells important information about QuickBooks and the space it has in the operating system.

Back up to floppy disks.   Efforts to fix a file have a small risk of further damage.  If the file can be loaded, a floppy disk backup direct to a newly formatted floppy (or floppies) minimizes the risk of further damage to the file. 

File system condition should be checked, before making a hard drive copy.

Hard drive copy is a good idea, if there is space, and once the file system is in assured good condition.

Interfering programs are a possibility.  Cases occur where two programs do not get along with each other

Operating system re-installation may be necessary.  It could be damaged.

QuickBooks may need to be re-installed. This is actually faster than some other procedures.

Company file may have repairable problems, but the repair procedures may take hours.

Restoring a recent backup is necessary in a few cases.  This implies that some data entries must be done again.

Calling Tech Support may be necessary, particularly if you have some problem that does not meet any of the descriptions here.


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Last modified: May 21, 2004