QuickBooks Performance Issues
One of the biggest complaints that I receive about QuickBooks is regarding performance issues, also one of the hardest to track down, in my opinion.
One job in particular I had been to this job site multiple, multiple times, we tried different things…went over the entire system with QuickBooks ProAdvisor Tech support. This was an intermittent problem it seemed, I could only blame it on the network – the network guys said everything was good. Yadda yadda yadda…we went around around for 4-6 months at different times. It was horrible! I’ll come back to this story at the end of this post.
There are so many variables that affect the speed and performance of your QuickBooks data file as well as any other software on your computer. These are what we’re going to cover, and please, if you have a specific comment or question, ask.
I want to start at the Product Information screen. This screen is invaluable…if you’re not familiar with it get to know it. If you have QuickBooks open right now go ahead and look at it – Press your F2 key. Here is a screen shot…
There are several helpful items on this screen, specifically related to performance I want to look at. The first thing I want to look at is File Size – this is on the left hand side under the location window. This particular file is 11052K which is equal to 1.34MB (I did this conversion at http://www.matisse.net/bitcalc/ this link will open in new window if you want to give it a shot.)
The magic number here is 80-100MB on your file size. Ideally we don’t want to go to far over that range. I know there are some of you out there that are running probably 150-200MB and have never had a problem, but with a financial data file how much risk are you willing to take?
Moving on down about 5 rows, you’ll see DB File Fragments. Now, this little monster here is what caused my problems from above. It’s bad that something as simple as this can wreak this much havoc in someone’s life or business. The magic number is here is 50-70, you see here it is 3, that’s great!
The best way I can explain DB File Fragments is basically your data file is in little pieces, this is caused by a fragmented hard drive.
Here’s an example, you have a file cabinet drawer and you put documents into it over a period of time. As the hard drive gets full you start running out of place to put your documents. During the course of your days you pull a page here and a page there, well your drawer is getting full so you stick the pages back maybe into a new drawer, not with the documents that it is supposed to go with…consequently you have to hunt for the files that you need. That’s what the computer is forced to do when your hard drive is fragmented…which leads to DB File Fragments which is basically Data Base Fragment (QB is ultimately a database for your financials…starting in 2006 the backbone of QB is an SQL database.)