Automatic QuickBooks BackUps, No Guarantees!

Filed in Intuit QuickBooks, Mike Block CPA, Personal by on February 11, 2011

After many years of computer and QuickBooks Backups, I (Mike Block CPA) know that even my Automatic QuickBooks Backups have No Guarantees. In fact, the only thing you can absolutely guarantee about QuickBooks Backups and computers is that computers will fail, often at the worst possible time, destroying all your data. There are only three ways you can prevent this disaster:


  1. Backup and restore.
  2. Backup and restore.
  3. Backup and restore.

Even with these Mike Block CPA tips for Automatic QuickBooks BackUps there are still No Guarantees. On the other hand, without carefully following these Expert Tips for Automatic QuickBooks BackUps, you can absolutely guarantee that your computers will fail, often at the worst possible time, destroying all your data (yes, I said it twice, but you too would say it many times if you saw the disasters I have). Computers are now rather cheap. Data is precious. Many (40% according to one survey) small and medium sized companies go out of business after losing data. Here are the endlessly repeated saddest words of QuickBooks users:

  1. I have no current QuickBooks backup (or computer backup).
  2. My new QuickBooks backup wrote over my old backup.
  3. My QuickBooks Backup does not work.

Intuit Data Recovery does an outstanding (if slow) job with QuickBooks data files, but they rarely try to recover QuickBooks Backups. Therefore, you have No Guarantees. To paraphrase the movie Fatherhood, You need license to buy a dog or drive a car. You even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any …” own QuickBooks. Yes, to really screw things up you need a computer. Forget even one of these tips for Automatic QuickBooks Backups and you will have less than the usual No Guarantees:

  1. Run Automatic QuickBooks Backups EVERY time you exit QuickBooks.  The best QuickBooks and computer consultants forget to backup. What will you do about your work for tomorrow if you must do your work over for yesterday and today?
  2. Make 3+ date stamped versions of Automatic QuickBooks Backups.
  3. Run Automatic QuickBooks Backups to a different drive at least weekly. Extra computer drives cost almost nothing, compared to the value of your data and the time it will take to accurately recreate it, if it is even possible to do that. We make many changes to many QuickBooks client files by the time we finish tax returns. Drives are so cheap that we run a complete automatic backup of our entire data drive, to one of two extra drives each night. That’s right! All these Automatic QuickBooks Backups, which take seconds, are in addition to these complete nightly data drive backups. I know there are No Guarantees, so I insist on this. Must you wait until you too are seriously hurt or killed before you stop playing Russian Roulette?
  4. Restore occasional QuickBooks Backups! Do not trust your Automatic QuickBooks Backups unless you occasionally restore one and test the restored file. It is sad how often QuickBooks Backups do not work when you need them.
  5. Do not make QuickBooks Backups to floppies. Low cost USB jump (thumb) drives now cost far less than very slow floppies. They also are far more reliable and usually hold 100 or more times as much. QuickBooks Backups on floppies soon become very unreliable, as floppy drives get increasingly out of alignment. Never trust QuickBooks Backups on more than one floppy. Multi-floppy QuickBooks Backups are RIDICULOUSLY unreliable, especially after long storage.
  6. You can make QuickBooks Backups to a CD or DVD. Depending on your CD software and QuickBooks version, you may need to do QuickBooks Backups to your hard drive and copy them to the CD or DVD.
  7. Do not (only) make Automatic QuickBooks Backups on the same drive as your QuickBooks data file. You really have No Guarantees when you lose Automatic QuickBooks Backups at the same time you lose QuickBooks data files?
  8. Have some multi-user Automatic QuickBooks backups use a folder like C:\\zz-QBbackup. This keeps Automatic QuickBooks Backups out of the way, while each user has QuickBooks Backups on different drives. You may thank me for this some day, even if your battery backups do not beep many times a day. Lightning, power surges, fire, theft and disgruntled employees or spouses can destroy several computers at once.
  9. Run anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software. You often cannot use Automatic QuickBooks Backups infected with viruses or spyware.
  10. Use occasional Portable QuickBooks Backups and restores. A Portable QuickBooks Backup strips indexes from QuickBooks files. A QuickBooks restore creates a new index from QuickBooks data. This often Speeds Up QuickBooks, by fixing file corruption.
  11. Watch out for a big weakness in Automatic QuickBooks Backups. I once got very upset when a staff person gave me several QuickBooks files without setting Automatic QuickBooks Backups. This is the FIRST thing they must check in QuickBooks. I later found that even a provider of Expert Tips for Automatic QuickBooks Backups can set up Automatic QuickBooks Backups improperly. To do it right, go to the QuickBooks File menu (top left), Save Copy or Backup, then Backup Copy and Next. This brings you to a screen where you click Local Backup and Options. I strongly suggest No Verification (which takes too much time), but watch out! It is very important that you choose, “Save it now and schedule future backups.” It is only after this that you permanently enter a number for “Save backup copy automatically when I close my company file every 1” (or other) times. The above section is the only part bold faced and underlined, as it is the only thing you must do to save your life. 

For the ultimate in safety and convenience, do Automatic QuickBooks Backups to the web. QuickBooks does good Automatic QuickBooks Backups online. However, the fastest and easiest online backup service gives you enough FREE space for most Automatic QuickBooks Backups (or other data backups). Even if you accidentally delete files, you can quickly recover them from the web for quite a while. This FREE space can protect your priceless photo collection, personal correspondence or anything else you wish. You can even automatically share the latest version of your QuickBooks or other files on your home computer and other (perhaps 10) local or remote computers. Copy most files to a desktop folder and they will be waiting for you at home, usually before you even leave the office.

There are many different plans for extra storage, at the lowest price I know. You can even share many different folders with different clients, for less than the cost of a weekly Starbucks visit. Finally, you and those you refer get lots of extra storage even if referrals only use free accounts. You also get substantial commissions for their paid accounts.

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AccountingWeb reprinted this Mike Block CPA article at


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Fastest, easiest, accurate, low-cost QuickBooks! Intuit - QuickBooks CEO, "You're fantastic Mike! Absolutely fantastic!" Tax fighting CPA.

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