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MS Money: Old Financial Data May Not Be Accessible on Vista

You’d think at least Microsoft’s own products are compatible with Vista.  Well, sort of.  MS Money users who converted from Quicken may be out of luck.

I have a lot of financial data in Microsoft Money and prior to that in Quicken files. Both  applications used to recommend you keep the data files small by archiving earlier years. With today’s faster computers archiving is no longer an issue, but if you’re  a long-time user like I am, you probably have a few old archive files.

Every time you “upgrade” Money (hardly any new value, but if you use online services, MS forces you to upgrade every 2-3 years) your current data file is upgraded to the new formats, too. But what happens to the archive files?

I decided to convert all my older Quicken files to Money, just in case… after all, Money supports Quicken conversion.  Or not: crash.  Crash again.. and again.  I tried several data files, even rebooted the system, to no avail: Money consistently crashed at all conversion attempts.

This is where Vista’s Problem Reports and Solutions comes handy, and yes, a few days later it shows “solution found”. Hm… if they found it, they certainly are not sharing it.  Here’s the user-friendly stuff I found:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-16″?>
<DATABASE>
<EXE NAME=”MSMoney.EXE” FILTER=”GRABMI_FILTER_PRIVACY”>
<MATCHING_FILE NAME=”adapt.dll” SIZE=”109360″ CHECKSUM=”0x24BD92C0″ BIN_FILE_VERSION=”16.0.0.1303″ BIN_PRODUCT_VERSION=”16.0.0.1303″ PRODUCT_VERSION=”16.00.1303″ FILE_DESCRIPTION=”MSN Money Adaptation DLL” COMPANY_NAME=”Microsoft(R) Corporation” PRODUCT_NAME=”Microsoft(R) Money” FILE_VERSION=”16.00.1303″ ORIGINAL_FILENAME=”adapt.dll” INTERNAL_NAME=”adaptation” LEGAL_COPYRIGHT=”Copyright © Microsoft Corp. ” VERDATEHI=”0x0″ VERDATELO=”0x0″ VERFILEOS=”0x4″ VERFILETYPE=”0x2″ MODULE_TYPE=”WIN32″ PE_CHECKSUM=”0x25BFE” LINKER_VERSION=”0x60000″ UPTO_BIN_FILE_VERSION=”16.0.0.1303″ UPTO_BIN_PRODUCT_VERSION=”16.0.0.1303″ LINK_DATE=”01/04/2007 07:49:53″ UPTO_LINK_DATE=”01/04/2007 07:49:53″ EXPORT_NAME=”Adapt.DLL” VER_LANGUAGE=”English (United States) [0x409]” />
<MATCHING_FILE NAME=”adaptres.dll” SIZE=”13104″ CHECKSUM=”0xA99DDA54″ BIN_FILE_VERSION=”16.0.0.1303″ BIN_PRODUCT_VERSION=”16.0.0.1303″ PRODUCT_VERSION=”16.00.1303″ FILE_DESCRIPTION=”MSN Money Adaptation DLL” COMPANY_NAME=”Microsoft(R) Corporation” PRODUCT_NAME=”Microsoft(R) Money” FILE_VERSION=”16.00.1303″ ORIGINAL_FILENAME=”adapt.dll” INTERNAL_NAME=”adaptation” LEGAL_COPYRIGHT=”Copyright © Microsoft Corp. ” VERDATEHI=”0x0″ VERDATELO=”0x0″ VERFILEOS=”0x4″ VERFILETYPE=”0x2″ MODULE_TYPE=”WIN32″ PE_CHECKSUM=”0x4855″ LINKER_VERSION=”0x60000″ UPTO_BIN_FILE_VERSION=”16.0.0.1303″ UPTO_BIN_PRODUCT_VERSION=”16.0.0.1303″ LINK_DATE=”01/04/2007 07:00:04″ UPTO_LINK_DATE=”01/04/2007 07:00:04″ VER_LANGUAGE=”English (United States) [0x409]” />

This looks like the problem report sent to Microsoft, not the solution.  There’s one hint though: the filename is AppCompat.txt.  Perhaps it’s a Vista compatibility issue?   Luckily I still have an XP laptop around, the data files are there thanks to Foldershare sync (more on synchronization in the next post), all I have to do is install MS Money on the XP machine and try conversion there.

Voila!  Half an hour later I have the Quicken files converted to Money on the XP computer.  Money’s import/conversion routine is incompatible with Vista!   The whole exercise, including search on the Money Group took me about 2 hours, so dear Microsoft, here’s my invoice for lost productivity:

Oh, wait, we’re in the US, perhaps I should have presented a properly Americanized version. smile_wink

My poor experience was with MS Money 2007, but with Money Plus, the 2008 version of the product line Microsoft shows true ignorance to users’ legacy data needs.  Money Plus comes in four editions: Essentials, Deluxe, Premium, and Home & Business.

Microsoft offers a nice comparison chart, which neglects to mention a small detail, available only at the footnotes:

* Important note – Microsoft Money Essentials will not be able to open previous Money or Quicken files. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Money or Quicken, Money Plus Deluxe may be the right solution for you.

Not opening Quicken … well, it’s their decision. But not opening data from their very own previous releases? And this is hidden in the small print?

I rest my case.

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Comments

  1. The only reason I want to run MS Money, is because some of the functions are unavailable in either KMyMoney or MoneyDance – cash flow prediction and such. And it looks way better, but that’s just cosmetics. Although an important one.
    The only consolation I have is that Money Plus is US only as far as I know. So, won’t have it for a while :)

  2. MS would never pay the mental stress part of the invoice Zoli – they’d claim you gained a pecuniary return from blogging about the incident so in fact they’d have a counter claim against you

    :-)

    of course yu could just find a friendly SaaS accounting package that can import all your data…….

  3. Oh, does it mean they will pay the other part? We’ll split it, OK? :-)

  4. Your “ignorance to users’ legacy data needs” assertion is certainly supported by the failure of the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard in Windows XP Service Pack 3 to read transfer archives created under previous versions. Just use the version on your Windows XP installation CD (if you were lucky enough to receive such a thing rather than merely some nonsense restoration CD, DVD, or partition)? Sure, if you want to see a message that your archive does not contain data.

    The annoying solution for one of us who do not have a compatible version floating around on a different system? Reinstall an earlier version of Windows XP then upgrade its FaST Wizard without upgrading everything to Service Pack 3.

    I also had some Microsoft Money issues when transferring my data to a new computer—I was unable to access main file, I think—but I do not recall all of the details because they are not as fresh in my mind as the FaST Wizard fiasco.

  5. Thanks for the update. I have been using MS Money for the past 6 years

  6. darla nelson says:

    I have always used Microsoft Money 2004…I now have a new computer w/ Vista and obviously its not allowing me to transfer my yrs of information…can i somehow convert the information to Quicken? or does microsoft 2007 work on Vista? I have read conflicting stories…

    i’d really like to work on my checkbook now you know!!

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