Sunday, June 13, 2010

Update to my Money backup mechanism

Over the last few years, I have used many mechanisms to keep my Money file and backups safe. These include

  1. USB Drives
  2. Automated network copies
  3. Manual copies
  4. Floppy disks
  5. etc.

As you can see, a variety of methods.

I've been looking for something which would also automatically backup, with no effort on my part, and cheaply (or better, free), my Money file. Live Mesh was my preferred solution as it would allow me to synchronize and backup other files, but this wouldn't do .MNY files. I also understand that the next iteration of it won't work on Windows XP, so I have to move away from it.

I've decided to go for DropBox. I wish I had found it before -I can store my main Money (.mny) file in the DropBox folder and it will synchronize changes to the cloud. With the 30 day history, I know that each time I use Microsoft Money, the previous versions are automatically being saved.

Note that this is not the only way I backup, I still use the settings in Money that output to a USB drive, as I am of the opinion that you can't have too many backups.

If you're looking out for cloud-based storage for your Money file, think about checking DropBox out.


Liz Valette said...

Brilliant solution, I've been using Money for nine years. I once lost everything because the file became corrupted so backing up to Dropbox means this will never happen again.

Liz Valette said...

Brilliant advice. It was very frustrating to loose everything when my backup file got corrupted. Although I had an account I didn't realise I could use Dropbox as alternative.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned live mesh. As you say, it won't accept mny/mbf files, for some ridiculous reason. But if you use the updated live sync in the new Windows Live betas (which replaces mesh), it will handle both without issues.

Glyn Simpson said...


thanks for the comment. I also found out that Live Sync accepts .MNY files, which is great. It's a lot better than Live Mesh in that regard. If it worked on WinXP, it would have been worth sticking with.

Saying that, I am also using Live Sync for photo sharing between devices (bypassign the cloud) which is better than DropBox as they're a good 10Gb.


Doug A said...

Hi Glyn - I am new to blogging and am not sure how I can pose a new question to you regarding MS Money (ver 3), so I thought I would just do it here. Forgive me if this is not appropriate.

Our family has been using the MS Money ver 3 (Canadian) for the last 12 years or so and have never upgraded because ver 3 does what we need it to do. We had recently upgraded our computer to Vista OS unit where we installed MSM ver 3 and the transferred xxx.mny file and have been using it for several months. However we have recently reverted back to the XP OS and now cannot seem to get Money on the XP computer to recognize the xxx.mny file that we transferred from the Vista computer.

We are stunned and wonder if there is a compatibility issue with the way Money is being saved under the Vista OS that cannot be opened in Money on the XP unit. Have you heard of this issue from other folks who have tried to go back to XP?? Thanks so much for any comments or suggestions to get the file to open on the XP computer.
Duster Doug

Glyn Simpson said...

Hi Doug

In theory, you should be able to use a Money 3 file on both Vista or XP - there shouldn't be any difference in the file format.

I would suggest you try and create a new file in the new installation of Money and see if it works - this is to establish whether it's an installation or a file issue.

The error you have can occur if different versions of Money have been installed, but I assume from your comments, this is not the case. It's worth checking on Help->About on the version to be sure though.

The exact error would be useful to see to help diagnose


Doug A said...

Thanks for the reply Glyn.
As it turns out the .mny file incompatibility issue bewteen XP and Vista was related to the a Regional and Language Settings (in Control Panel) being different on the two computers (one being English US and the other English CAN). The two English settings have different numbering formats such as the way dates are shown, negative numbers, etc. Once I set a common Regional Setting for English on both computers the xxx.mny file incompatibility issue went away. :) cheers