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Old version of Quicken won't open its own files

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by Riverglen, Jul 13, 2018.

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  1. Riverglen

    Riverglen Thread Starter

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    I have an acquaintance that had been running Quicken 2002 on an old machine that somewhere along the line apparently was upgraded to Windows 10. She wasn't having any problems with this combination of old and new, and did know enough to realize that she should be backing up her data files. She was creating the backups by using the Quicken "Export" function, under the assumption that she could recover them if need be, using the "Import" function.

    The machine she had been using died, and she replaced it with a new laptop, which is also running Windows 10. I helped her to reinstall Quicken 2002 on the new machine, and immediately ran into some problems. First, Windows 10 doesn't support the old .hlp format, and complained about it before the installation was even complete. I understand that, and it is a low priority problem for another day.

    But when we tried to run Quicken, without any reference to any particular data files, all that came up was a bare window with a menu bar, overlain with a warning that the old version of Quicken would not be able to read files created with newer versions. Just upgrade for $29.95.

    I did some messing around. I found one of the file sets that she had exported to a memory stick, and reset the file date attributes (all three flavors) of all of the files in the set to 2002, hoping that it would trick the program into believing they were old enough to be compatible. After all, the files were originally created with the same version of Quicken that we reinstalled on her new machine. No joy. But, having done this, restarting Quicken resulted is the display of a splash screen, followed by all of the typical rigamarole that you would have to go through to set up a new installation of the program.

    I also looked around and found a freeware application that she might be able to use as an alternative to Quicken (GnuCash, available from PortableApps). That program apparently can import Quicken data files. But it expects to be handed a .QIF file, which I don't find among the files that she exported. Perhaps .QIF format was invented sometime after Quicken 2002 was released?

    I really don't know what to make of all this. She isn't wedded to Quicken, but she would really like to get her data back. Was there something she should have done when she exported her data that she failed to do? Can anyone suggest an approach to recovering her data in a reasonably human readable format? Can anyone explain why files that were created by the program in an older installation can't be read by a reinstallation of the same program (from the same install disk) now?
     
  2. dmccoy

    dmccoy

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    Please provide a screenshot or picture of the files that she exported to be more helpful.
     
  3. Riverglen

    Riverglen Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your interest.

    Not sure what you're looking for. I don't have anything that seems worthy of a screenshot. All I have access to are the file names of the files that were transferred to the memory stick as a result of the export. I don't have immediate access to the machine or files until I can catch up with the owner again. But as far as I can remember, each group that I believe represents the result of one export has only 4 or 5 files in all, all of which have file extensions that begin with Q. I will try to get the exact file names this evening.
     
  4. dmccoy

    dmccoy

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    The file names of the files is what would be helpful to determine if you have the required files from the export. It sounds like you should but it would be helpful to see a listing to confirm and help determine the best options available to you.

    I recommend updating to the newer version of Quicken but see the note below about updating the older files.

    There is a problem with any Quicken versions above 2016 that it can not convert/migrate data from versions prior to 2009. The best option is to to contact Quicken Support and tell them your issue. They will fix you up with a copy of Quicken 2014 to convert the data file so that Quicken can read it.
     
  5. dmccoy

    dmccoy

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  6. Riverglen

    Riverglen Thread Starter

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    I took a quick look at the info you referred me to in your last post. It reinforces my impression that Quicken has elevated the idea of planned obsolescence to a fine art. Looks like you would have to download and install at least one and maybe more than one intermediate version of the program to accomplish the conversion. I assume that to do so you would need to still be a registered holder of a license for the program. Seems unlikely that my user would be able to come up with the license key after all this time, although she bought and still has the original install CD.

    It seems like the assumption is that someone with a recent version of the program needs to read data files from an older version. My user still has the original old version that created the old files that she wants to at least read. It remains unclear why the program that created the files won't read the files now. There must be some sort of non-obvious time dependency?

    I will talk to her tomorrow and at least get the file type info you asked about. Although she would like to recover the data, I don't think it would be a disaster if she can't get it back. I believe it was some sort of personal expenditure tracking, and she would have to start over from scratch instead of continuing from the old bottom line. She was more or less ready to punt on the problem. I'm the stubborn one that doesn't want to give up without at least trying to determine what the root of the problem is.
     
  7. dmccoy

    dmccoy

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    According to the link the older programs have direct links to download and install to allow you to use the programs in order to convert the files to the newer versions of quicken. It is important To keep software updated to make sure it is compatible with the never operating systems, fix issues and vulnerabilities and perform better.

    However if she prefers to use different software for her finances they are multiple options and several free ones as well. See the following link or search for more information on some alternatives.

    https://clubthrifty.com/best-quicken-alternatives/
     
  8. Riverglen

    Riverglen Thread Starter

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    I finally caught up with my friend, and found the set of files that show up in her backup:

    Q3.DIR
    QDATA.IDX
    QDATA.QDF
    QDATA.QEL
    QDATA.QPH
    QDATA.QSD

    When I invoke the import function in the reinstalled Quicken 2002, it asks for a .QIF file type, which doesn't show up anywhere in her backup data. The GnuCash freeware program that I suggested she might be able to use as an alternative to Quicken has an import function, and it too expects a .QIF file type. So, I think we're probably at an impasse.

    I very much appreciate your help.
     
  9. dmccoy

    dmccoy

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    Yes, unfortunately the .Qif file is the main file that holds all the information and without there is not much else you can do. Hopefully she will find a better alternative or whichever route she goes make sure she regularly performs backups.
     
  10. Riverglen

    Riverglen Thread Starter

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    I wish I could reconstruct the history of exactly what she did to create her backups. Seems like if you export something, the same program should be able to import it later. But I'm beginning to suspect that what I'm looking at may be the result of her attempt to save everything by copying one file at a time. Anybody's guess whether she was copying from the set of files created by an export, if that, in fact, is what she did.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  11. DaveA

    DaveA Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Sounds like she had open the file(s) with a newer version and then can not go back.

    The wife uses Quicken and has since the DOS days, and the last upgrade can NOT open any of the earlier versions.
    Quicken has been taken over by a big finance group that wants everything their way.
    She even lost all of the past banking info as the new version will not go back and find the banking records. It is a complete new start over project, and she has not been an happy camper.
    She and many others on the internet are looking for a good RELACEMENT.
     
  12. dmccoy

    dmccoy

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    The best way to backup in quicken is to use the backup feature under the file menu. This assures all the correct files are backed up if she decides to continue using a newer version of Quicken.
     
  13. Riverglen

    Riverglen Thread Starter

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    Well, regarding the theory that the files were opened with a newer version of the program, I can rule that out entirely. The only copy she has is the original 2002 version, which she used to reinstall thee program on her new computer after the old one died. It remains a mystery why she is unable to use the old files with the old version of the program she used to create them.

    Her use of the program hardly justifies using any sort of financial management software. As I understand it, her application was analogous to a bunch of shoe boxes, labeled with category names, like "grandson's birthday". She was just keeping track of how much money she had put in or withdrawn form each categorical shoebox. All she really wants now is to recover the current balance in each of the categories.

    I don't think she has any interest in continuing to use Quicken. I think it is more likely that she will start keeping her accounts in REAL shoe boxes, and from what little I know of Quiken, I think that would be a wise decision.
     
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