unofficial microsoft.public.money FAQ and A
[ Home ]
Q) How do I convert my data back to a previous version of Money? I upgraded and now I wish I hadn't.
A) In general, you don't. For this reason, any Money version upgrade should be done with this in mind. If you are reading the newsgroup in a panic because you just now realized that you made a mistake deciding to upgrade months ago you will be disappointed. You may want to consider maintaining your data in both your current and new version simultaneously for some period before committing to the new version. All of these issues are explained in excruciating detail in the screens that led you through this process.
When you first open your data file with a newer version of Money, it saved a copy of your old file--with a renamed file extension of the form .mnx, where x is the version number of Money that the file came from up until Money2003, or, for a Money 2002 file save by Money 2003, .M10. You can go back to this file--with the old version of the application--and enter transactions that have occurred since you converted. You can do this by manual means (print a report and re-key the stuff in) or by exporting the accounts via QIF before uninstalling the never version. Once exported, you can edit them in Notepad or similar to remove the transactions that were in the original file before importing the files into the old file.
For more information, see the MSKB article on reverting a data file to a previous version.
MSKB: Q178465 How to Revert to an Earlier Version of Money
Q) How do I do batch submittals of Epays?
[Relevant to Money2002 (v.10)]
A) You don't. Money 2002 took away this capability since Microsoft thought it caused problems for some users. Possibly based on feedback here and on the support lines, this capability returned in Money 2003 as the "new feature" called Bills Outbox.
Q) I bought Money online. Now I need to reinstall but have lost the download/key. What do I do?
A) (This question used to begin with the premise that "I made the mistake of buying the demo upgrade online". Now this is the only way to buy Money. Please keep copies of the download install/setup file and any keys or activation codes you needed to make it work. Burn both onto a CD. Test the CD to make sure you can read it. Maybe burn a second one. Save it somewhere you won't lose it. Or be prepared to buy Money again if you find yourself in this situation--at least as long as that remains an option.)
The answer depends on what you've lost. If you've lost the download, but have the key, the online activation site may be able to help. If you've lost the key, it's kinda like losing the key in a store-bought CD version. You're probably out of luck. Because of these complications, many of us recommend AGAINST upgrading from trial to full versions online: go to the store an buy a CD--you may end up wishing you had.
M05 changed the process somewhat. Detailed instructions to recover for M05 were posted by Rick MacKeigan, more or less like this after comments from other users and editing:
1) Download the trial version and install it. (How this will be possible when Microsoft removes the M05 trial edition from the Money home page is unclear--hopefully they will still make it available at Microsoft Downloads.)
2) Open the sample file and allow the update to complete.
3) Verify the update has been installed by going to Help and choosing About Microsoft Money. The version should be listed as 14.*.*.1105 (or higher) which is the minimum usable version of M05.
4) Assign a Passport to the sample data file. This must be the same passport you used to purchase the trial version. This can be done by going to the File menu, choosing Password Manager and following the steps to add/change the Passport associated with the file. (If you don't have that Passport anymore or can't remember which one you used or similar, you are probably Out Of Luck. See above re. recommendation about just buying the CD.)
6) Once you have assigned the Passport to the sample data file, close Money and reopen it.
7) Accept the prompt to install another update. This will download the full version of Money. Note: This is a silent download meaning you will not see a progress bar for the download. Approximate time is 15 minutes on a DSL connection.
8) Once the download has completed and installed you will be prompted to restart Money.
9) Once restarted you will be prompted upon sign in "Thank you for purchasing Money…"
Now you should be able to File|Open your regular data file and get on with your life. And next year just buy the CD and skip all of this nonsense.
There is also an MSKB item that treats this question. It may or may not be helpful. Note also that the online fulfillment process has been changed entirely in M07. That may be good or bad; time will tell.
Microsoft Downloads site
Microsoft Money Trial (US version)
MSKB: 889930 I lost the downloaded installation file. Now what?
Online download for licensees
Q) I don't want to disable Norton Anti Virus to install Money. What's the workaround? Why doesn't Microsoft fix this?
[Relevant to Money2004 (v.12)]
A) Money Setup says you need to disable Norton Anti-Virus to install Money because you do. In fact, Norton's copy protection scheme may even necessitate that you uninstall it to install Money (and other apps, for that matter). You can re-enable/re-install it after you get Money installed.
Norton created this problem, Microsoft didn't. Remember this the next time Symantec wants some of your money. Oh, and go to their message board, support line, and/or web site and complain.
Several poster, wiredup and StevenFromTexas, report that M05 and NAV (05?) work and play well together.
Q) I just got a new PC with Money Essentials. It won't open my Mxx Deluxe data file. Why not?
A) Money Essentials (MEss for short) is a toy Microsoft hopes to use to wean lots of new users from a complex and expensive-to-support product toward something much more like a bank web site that delivers ads from Microsoft rather than the bank. They are, apparently, filling the OEM channels chock full of this thing. The probably license it to the OEMs for a $5 discount on the Vista operating system license or something.
For some people MEss probably does all they want or need. If all you are interested in is a consolidated view of balances and transactions--as viewed by the FIs--and don't much care about analysis, reporting, investment performance, serious budgeting, income and expense categorization, etc., MEss may be for you. Cal Learner--MVP posted a handy link to Microsoft's features comparison. But there are a number of things you can't determine from this table. Examples: MEss can't even do a Transfer that shows in two accounts at once. It also won't/can't upgrade your pre-existing Money data file since it's a fundamentally more "Essential" (less capable?) approach to the problem. For previous Money users, that's the disqualifier for MEss.
So, if you have been using a previous version of Money, you may just want to uninstall Mess to get the waste disk space back, then install your previous version and get on with life. If you haven't used a previous version of Money, you might want to fiddle around with the thing, but remember this: it isn't representative of the rest of the Money product line. If you like it and think it's all you need, that's great. But if it seems like it's missing something, that's because it is.
Microsoft Money version feature comparison
Q) I just moved my Money file to a new computer. All of a sudden Money wants a password. Why?
A) You need to make sure that the version of Money on the new machine is the same or higher version. If not, this is the bizarre way Money elects to tell you that Money files are not backward compatible to older versions.
Q) I tried the (M03) trial version and didn't like it. Now (M2K) wants a password to open my file. What gives?
A) Didn't you read the screens that popped up when it upgraded your file to M03 telling you that you could not reopen an upgraded file back in your original version? That's what they put them there for, it turns out. The password message you are getting from M2K when trying to open your M03 data file really has nothing to do with you setting a password on it--it's just a lousy message meaning Money data files are not backward compatible.
You will need to go find your old file that the upgrade procedure left behind. The screens told you all about this, too.
It'll be in the same directory as your [whatever].MNY file--which you can rename [whatever].M11 or just delete--and will be named [whatever].MN8 (if I remember my version numbers correctly). Rename it to [whatever].MNY and double-click on it (assuming you've uninstalled M03 and reinstalled M2K) and you should be right back where you were before you started messing with M03.
See also the answer to the question "How do I convert my data back to a previous version of Money? I upgraded and now I wish I hadn't."
Q) I want to transfer my copy of Money from my old computer to my new one--why can't I just copy the files?
A) You haven't been able to do this with most applications for a long time. The reasons are many, but all come back to the same thing: the setup and installation tools do many things to install the application that don't involve the obvious files you want to copy. They scatter different files all around the computer. They assure that pre-requisite files and settings are configured. Finally, they register many settings with the operating system that are not files but are essential for the application to function. Without executing the setup/installation package, you just can't get there from here.
Sometimes people ask this because they upgraded a trial version to a full license online and now they can't find the CD they never had. If this is your case, you might also want to read "I bought Money online. Now I need to reinstall but have lost the download/key. What do I do?"
Q) I'm having one of an infinite number of possible problems with downloaded transaction data. Why doesn't Money work better?
A) Some weeks it seems that a quarter or more of the posts to the newsgroup are from people who are having some problem involving downloaded transaction data. Many of these people swear that they download transaction data "to save time and trouble." Others apparently don't know that you can enter transactions by hand. Some people occasionally even say they have no problems with downloaded transaction data. For the rest, it seems that there are an infinite number of possible problems that can stem from downloading transaction data. It is obvious to some of us that downloading transaction data is more trouble than it can possibly be worth for many or even most users. I never download transaction data and have no such problems. Go figure why.
Why doesn't downloading transaction data work better? In most cases, Money isn't even the problem. The problem is that all of the back office systems in the financial industry were never designed with this interface in mind. All of the support for this has been grafted on, on the cheap, so that the banks can sound hip and Internet Aware. They can advertise supporting it. Money can advertise supporting it. "It makes your life easier!," they can say to attract new buyers who want their lives to be easier. People buy it. Then they come whining to the newsgroup when they discover the bitter reality of it all.
The worst case is users brand new to Money who have never entered a range of types of transactions by hand. They are utterly unequipped to understand what's going wrong and how to fix it because they don't understand how Money really functions and how it approaches personal financial accounting. Hence this single most important recommendation to new users: don't even think of setting up all of the electronic banking stuff and downloaded transaction data in particular until you've gone three or four months entering your own transaction data. By then, you'll understand how Money works and how to enter transactions. Then come and read the newsgroup postings for a week. Then ask yourself how all of these problems with setting up transaction downloads, keeping them working, fixing all of the weaknesses in the data they download, and unscrewing all of the problems they can create can possibly "save time and trouble" compared to just entering transactions by hand.
M05's integration of Yodlee further complicates solution of these problems. The previous interfaces depended on your bank's cooperation. Yodlee specifically goes around your bank. Now your bank is even less likely to care if you have problems with the data you are downloading to Money. For more information on Yodlee, see "Who/what is Yodlee that M05 keeps talking about?".
Q) I'm having problems with Money. Should I reinstall the application?
A) You can certainly try that. In most cases it does nothing to fix your problem though it may make you feel better. Before you spend the time, you might want to try opening the sample data file that installed with the application. If it opens and works fine, then your problem probably has origins in your data file, not the application's program files.
Q) Money is using 100% CPU/reported 'not responding.' Isn't this a crisis? So I killed it…
A) I don't know who started the rumor that 100% CPU utilization was, ipso facto, a bad thing. It's the height of efficiency. Less than 100% utilization means that the CPU is sitting idle with nothing useful to do. You didn't pay good money for a computer just to have it sit around idle sucking electrons through your electric meter and providing no useful return, did you? What's wrong is using 100% of the CPU while refusing to service the user. I think we'd all prefer Money to be snappy to the user and average using 95% of the CPU than ignore the user at 100% CPU usage some of the time and average only, say, 20% CPU usage over time.
By the way, killing Money from Task Manager when it is working is a profoundly bad idea as it can lead to corrupted data files. If you think this isn't much to worry about, you have not read "I think my file has been corrupted. How do I tell? What do I do then?" or you have great faith in your backup practices.
Why does Money do this? Well, that's harder to say. There are lots of things it does in the background like searching for recurring patterns of bills, checking all of the alert and advisor stuff, updating the spending thermometer stuff, checking if the transaction you just entered is a match for any upcoming scheduled transaction and so on. (See "Why is Money so slow?" for how to turn some of this off.)
I'll be the first to agree that it should use mechanisms like threading and so on to make this more transparent to the users--a well behaved CPU hog still allows the Windows message queue to be serviced--but the notion that 100% CPU usage is, by definition, bad is silly.
Q) What happened to 'Updated'/~/multiple recurrences/multi-select balance and enter on my scheduled transactions?
[Relevant to Money2002 (v.10) and up]
A) M02 completely redesigned the scheduled transactions implementation and interface. Before M02, there was the estimated tilde (~), the "updated" status message for a changed next occurrence, the ability to see all bills in a series for time X not just the next occurrence of each series, and the ability to multi-select transactions and see a projected balance after these transactions or enter them all into the register. M02 brought us the ability to change any of the next twelve future instances of a repeated scheduled transaction series.
M03 came along and added back the estimated tilde and multi-select projected balance but did nothing to show more than one future instance of any recurring transaction for some window of time, the updated status of individual scheduled items, or allow multi-select enter. M06 deleted the multi-select projected balance again. Microsoft must really dislike that feature.
You can see multiple occurrences of scheduled items over time using "Forecast cash flow."
Q) Why don't budgeting, cash flow projection and debt reduction planner produce sane results?
A) There could be a number of factors here:
1) Budget picks up some value from DRP and declares it in your budget. The value from DRP is calculated who knows how, but it can be off-the-wall sometimes.
2) Budget says that all scheduled income and expense are, by definition, budgeted income and expense. So, if you have an unplanned income or expense scheduled, it will distort your entire budget.
3) Budget ignores the first due date of a future expense that is a scheduled income or expense. (E.g., if you have scheduled next year's IRA contribution separately from this year's, Money will put both contributions in your monthly budget now.)
4) DRP assumes that any account in plan will never be used once paid off. For this reason, if you are a "convenience user" of your credit cards, it is almost worthless. (I.e., if you continue to charge new expenses and pay the bill off every month and do not incur interest charges.)
5) Money makes some assumptions about which account will be used for budgeted but unscheduled expenses and income--generally it assigns these amounts to the last account that accrued for the category in question. (Starting in Money 2002 you have more control over these assumptions.) This can lead to some very flaky results from the cash flow projection.
6) If you have set amounts of other expense or income in the budget manually, and use accounts in the DRP to pay them you may have essentially doubled-up the amount in the expenses half of the budget.
7) The settings in the "Customize cash flow" Common Task may help you get results from Forecast Cash Flow that work better for you. Try them and see.
8) There seem to be a number of other strange things that these tools do.
Q) You must help me! My only floppy backup has a data error reading. What do I do?
A) If you are dependent on restoring a Money data file from floppies and are getting a message like "cannot read from the specified device," there is nothing anybody here can do to help you. It's really sad how many people show up at the newsgroup with this story because they were depending on a $0.10 floppy to hold one of their most important data files.
Error messages stating that the system cannot read from the specified device are typically due to poor quality media (what do you really expect when you buy white box diskettes for $0.10 apiece?), media damage (scratches from dirty floppy drives or worn out diskettes), or media interchange problems (writing floppy drive out of alignment one direction and different reading drive out of alignment the other direction). Other things like CRT proximity to floppy drives can cause transient problems--though this doesn't happen much anymore.
Morals of story: #1) Always test backups to be sure they really are. #2) Never depend on just one backup or form of backup as your only backup. #3) Bad Money files can produce bad backups--so have multiple generations of backup. #4) Never trust floppy drives and diskettes. Corollary: the less you use the floppy drives, the more likely you are to have problems with data errors. They get dirty and the dirt chews up diskettes. Corollary 2: using diskettes cleans the drives by ruining the diskette.
My Money data is **far and away** my most important data file. It gets backed up over the net to a second system on every exit. Once a week it gets backed up to floppies and a) copied to another system, b) copied to an MO drive on primary, c) copied from the second system backup file to a Jaz drive on primary system, and d) copied to a MemoryStick on the laptop. Every time I do anything major I make a copy before doing it and keep it around until the next time I do something radical. This way if a problem creeps in and doesn't get noticed for a while, I can go further back than one week. Think all that's anal? Every time I go to the safe deposit box (twice a year minimum) I take either or both of a Jaz cartridge and an 8cm CD-RW or CD-R with a copy of the Money data file as a minimum. On top of all that, after my most recent problem with corruption, which occurred on the day of the weekly backup and also corrupted the "on-exit" backup, I wrote a script I run as a scheduled task every night, which maintains a weekly cycle of rotating daily backup copies on the primary system.
YMMV. But consider yourself advised.
Please see this disclaimer if you are using Money 2005 or this comment if you are using Money 2006.
|← Previous||Next →|
|Complaint Department: Microsoft is Evil||Complaint Department: Money 2005/6|
Last update: 10 December 2006
If this kind of stuff is important to you: