A little over two weeks ago, I took you through Part 1 of Stepping through Difficult QuickBooks Desktop Repairs covering the steps I used to resolve a ‘broken’ QuickBooks Application issue. I told you I would take you through the repair steps for a broken Company file in Part 2. We will also ensure that your QuickBooks Database server is configured correctly now that we have each application sitting in ‘non-hosting mode’ and preparing to open a ‘fixed file.’
If I had just finished resolving, the QuickBooks Company file would start to open and then display an Error message with the code -6129, 0. This is one of the few -6000/-6100 series codes you can not even find on the QuickBooks Help website, no matter how well you search. You can find Error code -6129, -101 within this Intuit Support Document.
If you are going to search the QuickBooks Help website for errors, always start your search with the first part of the error code, not the entire code. So, in this case, your search should have been for -6129 rather than -6129, 0.
Error -6129, -101 tells you a couple of critical ‘fixes’ you need to resolve, but not all of them. The error is reportedly caused by “wrong folder permissions or the QB Database Server Manager isn’t working right.” But the support list also provides another valuable clue from the -6120 series in the form of -6120, 0. That error specifies “one of the workstations is hosting the company file, or the firewall port (8019) is blocked. You may have more ports than the ‘8019’ port blocked in your firewall or a conflict in multiple firewall ports QuickBooks requires.
Let’s look at these ‘clues’ again:
- Wrong folder permissions (in other words, not or insufficiently shared, or without the requisite ‘total control’ permissions.)
- QB Database Server is not working right (has the ‘QuickBooks DBXX’ Service been appropriately configured, and the QuickBooks Database Server Manager utility has been set up?)
- One (or more) workstations are hosting the Company file (only the computer with the actual Company file on it should be set up to host multi-user access.)
- Firewall port 8019 (or other ports QuickBooks requires) is blocked (often, you must ‘open’ firewall ports manually, other times, the QuickBooks DB Server Manager can do the job.)
Step 1 – Resolve wrong folder permissions
In this case, the Company file had been created in a ‘Desktop’ folder with limited sharing; it was not placed in the QuickBooks Default location where it should have been on the computer acting as the Server. The ‘default location’ is shown below.
Moving the Company file to the ‘correct’ location could solve the -6129, 0 error, but it might take more than this.
I also observed what ‘Sybase’ (the maker of the database Intuit uses for QuickBooks Desktop) constitutes an improper naming convention for file names.
Because QuickBooks automatically creates a new Company file name from the ‘name of the Company’ users enter, it can have characters that ‘Sybase’ advises should never be in a database file operating under Sybase. Only letters and numbers should be used in ‘Company file names’; there should NOT be any ‘odd characters’ such as hyphens, symbols, etc. You can have spaces or underscores between names (but keep these limited) and limit the actual company name to the minimal number of characters required.
The Company file had numerous dashes, commas, and other oddities in this case. So, as a part of moving the company file by first copying the .QBW.tlg file and then the .QBW itself; I renamed the file to half the number of characters, including one space without any odd characters.
Yes, I realize that this means every Workstation must be redirected to the new ‘correct’ location for the Company file.
Also, those who argue, “I don’t want data on the C-drive, only applications,” had then better be smart enough to ensure the directory they create on a storage drive (E:), (F:), etc. has been shared for ‘All users‘ (including the “QB Database Server’ user”) and all users had better be granted ‘Full control‘ permissions, not just ‘Read/Write.’
Those steps are beyond the scope of this article.
Step 2 – Resolve QB Database Server not working right
As far as I am concerned, the first step is reviewing the actual QuickBooks Database’ Service’ to ensure it is appropriately configured. To do this, you must open ‘Windows Services’; the easiest way to do that is to type Services in the search window of your computer (as shown below).
Identify the QuickBooksDB## service applicable to your version of QuickBooks. For example, QuickBooks Desktop 2021 corresponds to QuickBooksDB31, QBDT 2022 corresponds to QuickBooksDB32, QBDT 2023 corresponds to QuickBooksDB33, and so on.
Double-click on the service in the list to open its properties window. We want to know if the service is ‘Running’ or ‘Stopped’ and if it is set to ‘Disabled,’ ‘Manual,’ ‘Automatic,’ or ‘Automatic (Delayed Start).’
For QuickBooks to work correctly, this service must be ‘Running’ for multi-user mode, and it should also be configured for an ‘Automatic‘ or ‘Automatic (Delayed Start)‘ startup type. Unless there is a service that shares a common port with QuickBooks, the ‘Automatic’ setting is most appropriate.
In this case, the hosting computer acting as the Server had the QuickBooks database service improperly configured as ‘Manual.’ Every time QuickBooks started, it had to ask permission to launch this service.
To resolve this problem.
- Make certain QuickBooks is closed on every computer.
- Stop the QuickBooksDB## service
- After the service is stopped, change the Startup type setting to Automatic
- Click Apply
- Now Start the QuickBooksDB## service
- Click OK, and the QuickBooksDB## Properties box window will close
We are now ready to finish our configuration of the QuickBooks Database Server using the QuickBooks Database Server Manager. When you click on the Windows start icon, you can find this utility listed under ‘QuickBooks’ in your list of programs and apps.
Windows may ask permission to launch this app since it is not configured to open automatically. This is an application, not a service, and you can’t configure it with a simple ‘change of settings’ like we did the QuickBooksDB## service.
When the QuickBooks Database Server Manager opens, it may or may not show anything in the Scan Folders tab’s folders (top) window. If it doesn’t, you must Browse your computer to find the parent directory where your QuickBooks Company file is located.
The depiction below shows the parent ‘QuickBooks’ directory of the default location QuickBooks configures when installed. This is the same parent directory to which we restored the corrupted file earlier in this article. This QuickBooks parent directory will have two primary sub-directories, Company Files and Sample Company Files. We want to use the parent as the source directory so that the scan will include files in both the Company and Sample Company sub-directories.
With the proper directory located, we now want to ‘Start Scan‘ (scan) the directory to find all QuickBooks files. This also initiates a process to ensure that the necessary directory settings, permissions, firewall ports, and other ‘networking components’ required for multi-user operation are configured or repaired.
This also initiates a process to ensure that the necessary directory settings, permissions, firewall ports, and other ‘networking components’ required for multi-user operation are configured or repaired.
Once the scan is completed, we expect the last line in the Status (lower) window to report, “Network Diagnostics: Repair successful!!!”
Before we minimize (NOT Close) this app, we have one more functionality to check by clicking on the Port Monitor tab.
You may or may not show multiple Database Versions depending on if you have past old or newer QuickBooks versions than we are working with. Regardless, even if your Port Number settings differ from those shown here (for various reasons), we want to ‘Refresh’ the ‘.nd‘ files that are a companion to each QuickBooks Company file with the specific port numbers applicable to the version of QuickBooks associated with the file.
By moving the Company file and its companion .tlg file, without moving the .nd file, a new .nd file was generated with the existing port number. This affirms or changes the port number assignment in the .nd file to be consistent with the appropriate QuickBooks version.
Return to the Scan Folders tab, and then ‘minimize‘ this App, DO NOT CLOSE it. It should always be running as we have configured it whenever you intend to use QuickBooks in multi-user mode.
Step 3 – One (or more) workstations is hosting the Company file
In Part 1 of this mini-series, we went through the steps to check QuickBooks to make sure that Hosting was turned off during our initial testing. We need to recheck each computer that will ‘not’ be our Server to confirm that Hosting is off.
Remember to launch QuickBooks directly from the Windows menu from the Windows Start icon and scroll until you find the version of QuickBooks we’ve been working with. Do not use any existing icons on the Desktop to launch QuickBooks.
Chances are, with the work we did to every Workstation in Part 1, QuickBooks will open to the No Company Open window, and it may only display the sample company we tested with, or it may not display any companies at all.
Regardless of whether the company is visible or not, we will not open a QuickBooks company unless we need to change Hosting.
From the window shown above, select File on the gray menu bar, then select Utilities, and then look to ensure Hosting is off; we know it is turned off if the Menu item reads, “Host Multi-User Access.” If the menu item reads Stop Hosting Multi-User Access, then hosting is turned on, and we need to turn it off by selecting the Stop Hosting option.
In this case, ‘Host Multi-User Access’ is the menu option, so hosting is turned off, and that is precisely the way it should be for every QuickBooks workstation. Only the QuickBooks server should have hosting turned on.
If you check the QuickBooks server in the same manner, the menu item should read “Stop Hosting Multi-User Access, ” meaning that the Server is configured as the Host, precisely as it should be. If it wasn’t configured that way, you must change it to hosting (see Part 1 for that information).
The last step in our repair is an additional check of the firewall ports necessary for QuickBooks to work correctly in multi-user mode.
Step 4 – Resolve Blocked Firewall port 8019 (or other ports QuickBooks requires).
While the Port Monitor and Scan networking features of the QuickBooks Database Server Manager may have already resolved these problems, we will attempt to ensure that we do not have a firewall port conflict by using the networking tool found in the QuickBooks Tool Hub.
We downloaded, installed, and used the QuickBooks Tool Hub in Part 1 of this mini-series to resolve issues with the QuickBooks application (program). So now we want to launch the QuickBooks Tool Hub, for which the icon is likely resident on your Desktop.
When the tool hub opens, please don’t conclude that we need to go to the Network Issues tab; the tool we need is back in the Company File Issues tab.
We will use the ‘QuickBooks File Doctor’ again, but not to diagnose our file but to diagnose our Network. We will first use this tool on our server computer, and then we will need to do the same thing on each of our workstations.
It may take a few minutes to open File Doctor, and you might even be prompted to update it. When it does open, select the option to ‘Check your network,’ NOT the Check file and Network, or Check your file. Then select the same sample company file as used in Part 1.
When you Continue, File Doctor will open the Network Access window asking if you are checking the Network from the Server or a workstation. Since we are using the QuickBooks Server computer, select Server (as shown below).
Now click Next; File Doctor checks the status of all your file directory share settings and permissions (for full access) and the status of ALL ports that QuickBooks requires for multi-user access. It will even identify if there is a 3rd party firewall, typically part of an anti-virus program, blocking QuickBooks access.
Along the way, File Doctor may identify issues requiring you to approve a fix, like changing the sharing status or permissions. When File Doctor has finished its work, you should receive a diagnostics message.
If issues are in red, they must be resolved (in most cases) before you attempt to use QuickBooks in multi-user mode. Green messages are information only and do not pose problems as File Doctor generally has resolved these.
Close File Doctor and the QuickBooks Tool Hub.
Proceed with running QuickBooks File Doctor on every Workstation, selecting Workstation in the Network Setting window. In most cases, you should not experience a problem.
One note is when File Doctor finishes with the message ‘QuickBooks Hosting isn’t running.’ If you have multiple years (versions) of QuickBooks Desktop, this message may be displayed even if the version you have been working with for repairs has Hosting turned-on (as we previously checked). This error can exist if any one of your QuickBooks versions has hosting turned off, which is likely to be the case for older versions. In that case, the error can (should) be ignored.
Step 5 – The Final Test
We are back testing our file to see if it opens and will run in multi-user mode. So let’s start QuickBooks.
Regardless of the file(s) in the No Company Open window, we want to ‘Open or restore an existing company.’ We will then browse until we find the location of our file. Before opening it, ensure the ‘Open file in multi-user mode’ checkbox is unchecked.
It may take a minute or two for the file actually to open once you enter your User Name and Password. After all, this is the first time it is opening after everything has been resolved. Sure enough, success!
I suggest you immediately run the ‘Verify’ utility even before we try to switch to multi-user mode.
Once again, success! QuickBooks detected no problems with your data.
Now, let’s switch the file to multi-user mode for the big finish.
And one more time, success!
Our formerly broken Company file and Network are now fixed; we can use QuickBooks and our Company file in multi-user mode.
Of course, you still need to ensure each Workstation can connect to the Company file in multi-user mode. Still, if the Hosting is appropriately set, and the network functions of the QuickBooks File Doctor identify no problems from the workstations, you should be “in great shape.”
As with my client, this did the trick for a QuickBooks error code that couldn’t even be identified in the Intuit QuickBooks Desktop Help articles.
I hope your future fixes go as well as this one.