Earlier this year I talked about how to fix QuickBooks problems with the free QuickBooks repair tools from Intuit, including the QuickBooks File Doctor. These are some basic utility programs that can be used to diagnose and possibly repair a number of problems with a QuickBooks desktop installation. These are a good starting point when you are dealing with a QuickBooks file that you can’t open, problems with PDF drivers, or installation problems. There have been some updates to some of these tools, lets take a look at the new and improved features, as well as some tips about features I didn’t know about before. For a complete list of the tools, see my prior article.
QuickBooks File Doctor
This tool can be used to fix certain types of data corruption, Windows setup problems, and network setup problems. When would you use this? Any time that you cannot open your QuickBooks file. The intent here isn’t to fix all kinds of data corruption, the tool is targeted to just those problems that prevent you from opening a QuickBooks file (with one exception I’ll note later). If you can’t open your file, the QuickBooks File Doctor is your first step at figuring out what is going on.
Download this tool from the Intuit support site. Note that there are specific versions for the US, Canadian and UK versions of QuickBooks, so you want to be sure that you have the correct version.
Four changes to note in the new release:
- A help button added on the main screen.
- Improved results screen.
- A detailed log file is available.
- A fix for database manager – only installations.
When the diagnostic is complete you get a “results” screen. In earlier versions you would see a screen like this:
Sometimes the information you would see here might have been a bit misleading, as a lot of information listed here is NOT an indication of a problem. With the current release the unnecessary information is left out and you have a cleaner screen:
When this results screen is showing, you can press Ctrl-L to see a detailed log of the checks that the program went through, which might be of interest to those of you who like the technical details:
Another change to the QuickBooks File Doctor relates to how it diagnoses network problems. Note that the program does all of the diagnostics that the older Network Repair utility used to do, you just don’t see all the options that you had before (but they are all handled). In some multi-user installations you won’t install the QuickBooks user client on the server. It isn’t required (some people think that it is a good idea to do so, however) – all the server needs is the database manager. In prior releases of this tool, if the user client program wasn’t installed on a system, the QuickBooks File Doctor wouldn’t do the full network diagnostic on this system, as it didn’t recognized that QuickBooks was installed there. This version takes care of this and the full network diagnostics will be run even if there is no client program installed.
Info on Existing Features
These aren’t new features, just some further explanations of how the QuickBooks File Doctor works:
- There is a problem that has been floating around for awhile where you would find name, item or account records missing from centers, reports or transactions (see KB article SLN40974). The QuickBooks File Doctor can repair this problem (the one example of a problem it addresses that doesn’t involve “can’t open the file”).
- If your file has damage that the QuickBooks File Doctor can’t repair, it may suggest that you send the file to Intuit Data Services. It checks your registration information, and if you have a support agreement on file then it will give you an option to automatically upload the file. “Support Agreement”, as far as I can tell, would be an Enterprise full service plan, a subscription to Pro or Premier Plus, or enrollment in the ProAdvisor program (for your own file, not for a client’s file).
QuickBooks PDF Repair Tool
This is the tool that you would try if you can’t save a report or transaction to PDF (or email it as a PDF attachment). You can get the tool from the Intuit Support Site.
The main change from before is that now there are two tools, one for QuickBooks 2011 and newer, another for QuickBooks 2010 and older. You don’t have to select your version of QB in the program now. The newer version is a smaller file to download, as it doesn’t have to do all of the things that the older versions of QB require.
Another change has to do with how the utility works with the XPS printer driver. In the past, the tool would just try to add the XPS driver. This didn’t always work, because if the driver already existed in the computer then this would be skipped, and that wouldn’t fix problems that people would create if they changed their settings in the driver. Now the tool will delete the existing driver if it exists, and then add it back, which works better.
QuickBooks Install Diagnostic Tool
This tool fixes problems that prevent you from installing the QuickBooks program. You can get this tool from the Intuit Support Site. The latest edition fixes “1904” install errors now.
In addition, if you had previous versions of QuickBooks installed on this system, the new version of the tool will clean up all the leftover junk that is left behind by an uninstall. Sometimes that leftover junk interferes with a new installation. Note that this does NOT touch anything related to an older version that you STILL have installed.
For details on these tools (and others that are available), see my article on how to fix QuickBooks problems with some free tools.