I thought that my copy of Quicken might be broken, so I started the program while holding down the control key to prevent Quicken from opening my old, corrupt file.
I then created a new Quicken file, put some transactions in it, and tried to validate it using the program’s built-in file-recovery tools. No problems there. So then I tried to validate my primary file. Bad news: it wouldn’t validate. It also wouldn’t “super validate,” a secret validation command that Quicken can run if you run the “validate” command while holding down the shift and control keys.
Never one to panic about such a thing, I set up a new computer running Windows 2000 with the Parallels virtual machine system running on a Macintosh. I then downloaded a pristine copy of Quicken 2007 for Home and Business, copied over my primary file, and tried to open it. Nope, that didn’t work. Strangely enough, the new install wouldn’t read any of my backups either. I kept getting that pesky internal error. A Web search for the error code was not useful: a few other users had run into this error code, it wasn’t documented, and when they called up Intuit, they didn’t get any help.
A bit more searching through Intuit’s website revealed that the company sells a “data recovery service” to recover information from corrupt Quicken files. Intuit does offer support on Quicken, so I blocked out three hours this morning for an extended call with its tech-support center located in New Deli. I got a very polite service representative who was clearly hamstrung by the tools that Intuit had given him: his documentation didn’t explain what Error Code 7097 was, either.
All he could tell me to do was uninstall Quicken from my computer, download a new copy, install it in a new directory, and try to open the file. It was clear that he was following a script. I didn’t think that this would work, but I decided to give it a try just the same. As it turns out, I was using Quicken 2007 R2, and when I tried to do the reinstall, the program told me that R3 was now available. I installed R3 and opened my old file, and it all worked!