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 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Quicken Data File Conversion

Farm Business Management Update, April 2002

By Damona Doye Oklahoma State University

When we are asked whether you should buy a new version of Quicken, our response in recent years has been no, unless you are forced to because of computer hardware/software compatibility issues or a new feature you simply must have.

If you are converting to a newer version of Quicken, you may run into some unexpected results or snags. For instance, we have noticed that when you convert your existing file to Quicken 2002, a series of 13 investment income categories are automatically added to your file (whether you want them or not). These categories may be identified by an underscore ( 1/2) preceding the label, for example 1/2DivInc and DivIncTaxFree. If you don't want them in your category list, you must delete each individually. Likewise, if you are starting a new file in Quicken 2002, you don't have an option to exclude all of the pre-set categories to allow you to design your own custom list. You also get six mileage related categories that can't be deleted. If you then import a farm category list provided through Extension educators or from a QIF file exported from your personal file, you can end up with some category duplication. Again, the solution is to delete the unwanted categories one-by-one.

The following troubleshooting advice from support will help with snags you may experience. Make a backup copy of your data before attempting to do anything else. This safety measure can prove to be valuable. Do not delete or destroy the original file until the conversion is successful.

If the file conversion is being done on the same computer, the next step is to install the new version of Quicken. The new version will look for the last file used and start the conversion process.

Note: Other files to be converted must be opened manually in Quicken File, Open. Click on the File Name box and select the file to be converted. Click on OK. A message will indicate that you are about to convert a file. Click Yes to convert.

Converting files on separate computers is handled differently. Make a file backup copy on diskettes (or a CD-ROM) using the original computer. On the other computer, install the new version of Quicken. On the computer with the new version, restore the backup file. To restore the backup file, select

Restore Backup File

Open the backup data file from the diskette or CD-ROM. Note that once converted, this file will no longer work in the old version of Quicken. As safeguard, Quicken creates an automatic backup of the original file version prior to converting. A Backup subdirectory is created within your current Quicken directory.

If the conversion is stopped in process and your backup file is large and on one disk, the problem may be insufficient space on the disk to make a copy of the file being converted. In this situation, copy the files from the disk onto the hard drive and restore the backup from the file on the hard drive.

If the backup of the file is on more than one disk, copy the file to the hard drive before attempting to restore the backup. If a problem is still noted, make a new set of backup diskettes since the problem could be a bad disk or corrupted files.

If the file is still not converting, it may be due to problems with corruption on the original file from which the backup copy was made. During the conversion, the corrupted files were not recognized or copied, which can result in missing categories, transactions, or memorized reports.

Minor corruption may dictate that the missing information simply be manually entered. Severe damage will require you to return to the original file to make corrections. For more troubleshooting information go to

Note: If MS Money comes pre-installed on your new computer, you may have additional snags. I had problems downloading my credit card statement because it wanted to send it to Money rather than use Quicken, even though I was selecting a QIF file to download. The problem disappeared after I uninstalled Money.

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