Many QuickBooks users encounter a problem when they have to re-install their old QuickBooks software on a new computer and then it will not read the data they last read using the same version of QuickBooks on the old computer.

Assuming that there is nothing wrong with the data, and that they are attempting a File|Open if it’s a *.QBW file that is on your hard drive or a File|Restore if it’s a *.QBB file, what could be the problem ?

If you are getting a message you cannot read the data in your version of QuickBooks (but you are using the very same installation disk), then you have updated your QuickBooks program to a new release at some point or other.

So what do you do if your installation CD gives you QuickBooks version 200X release 1 but your data demands version 200x release 9 or it won’t open ? How do you get your hands on those release update programs ?

Firstly, while hindsight is 20/20, foresight makes it unnecessary to look back. I recommend manually downloading any release updates from the Intuit Product Updates site and saving them first on your hard drive, and then onto a rewritable CD which is stored with your install disk. You can find release updates going back as far as version 6.0C here.

If you have a Canadian version that pre-dates 6.0C and cannot find your release update on the Intuit site, newer install disks of QuickBooks (if you can get hold of one) have all previous release updates on them. You just have to find a subfolder on the disk (do not choose to install QuickBooks; just explore the disk or choose the Search utility) called “Update.” Within that folder you will find subfolders by version number. You will find the update utility you need within the appropriate folder; copy it to your hard drive and execute it (not while QuickBooks is running), and also copy it to that rewritable CD to be stored with the installation disk.

Then when you start QuickBooks, you can hit CNTL+1 to get product info and it will say at the top of that window which release and version you are running.

You should then be able to open (if it’s a *.QBW file) or restore (if it’s a *.QBB file) your data.