Back in the olden days of floppy diskettes, backing up your QuickBooks data was pretty straight-forward. You would click on the Backup icon or click on File|Backup and you would back up to your “A” drive. A compressed form of your QuickBooks Working file (e.g. yourcompany.qbw; the extension stands for QuickBooks Working file) would be either created or overwritten on your floppy diskette (e.g. yourcompany.qbb; the extension stands for QuickBooks Backup file). You would be instructed when to switch diskettes and your backup set would contain several floppies, depending on the size of the QBW file.

But that was then; this is now. We have many alternatives to the 1.44 MB floppy; many computers don’t even have a floppy drive anymore. Floppies deteriorate over time and are subject to data corruption from magnetic and heat sources. File sizes, especially with later versions of QuickBooks with all their bells and whistles, have grown dramatically in size, making the floppy option appear truly antiquated.

When you engage in a backup from QuickBooks, you can choose your backup drive. Some users choose their CD burner drive, figuring that the resulting QBB file on one formatted CD is more secure than a floppy set which consists of many disks of questionable durability. Sure enough, a QBB file appears on your CD-R or CD-RW and they think their data is secure. WRONG ! If they ever try to restore that data file, it will prove to be useless. That is because the backup utility in QuickBooks does not jibe well with the technology required to write data to a CD.

What can you do ?

You can copy the entire QBW data file to a rewritable CD or similar medium (after all, CD’s have 700 MB of capacity so a compressed backup file is not necessary). Or, if you still want to use the backup utility to create a QBB file, use QuickBooks Backup to create a QBB file on your desktop or other easily accessible place on your hard drive. Then drag a copy of that QBB file to your rewritable CD. That backup will be fine, assuming there is nothing wrong with the CD itself.

And don’t forget to have a different backup CD for each day of the week, just the same way you would have had Monday through Friday diskette backups. Click on Goodies for your free downloadable backup log.