Setting up MD on new PC

steve mutchler's Avatar

steve mutchler

01 Oct, 2020 03:23 PM

I have MD on PC1 and PC2 and 1 Android....sync thru Dropbox....
PC1 died....replaced it and installed it registered....
I can find .moneydance and the document folders....but I don;t see any files that I can open....

I have Dropbox installed on PC1....and I figured about 15 minutes for everything to sync from Dropbox to PC1...
When I open the Dropbox folder in PC1 and then open the MD folder....I see 4 files with long alpha names...about 30 characters...
They are dated with a time stamp....

Is this the files I need to work in MD...

Call me "Stumped in St Louis"...:)Thanks for your time....

  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 01 Oct, 2020 05:27 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    The first thing to establish is PC2 a primary or a secondary syncing computer. To establish this look under FILE – SYNCING if the syncing method is greyed out and can’t be changed then it is a secondary computer. If the syncing method can be changed them its your primary computer. Its important to establish which it is, as the steps you take next will be different depending on what you find. Also which computer, new computer or PC2 do you want to be the primary computer
    Post your finding and I will post a suggested next step.

    The following may help you to understand how the syncing methods, Dropbox Folder works.

    When syncing you have one primary and as many secondary computers as you require. The data set is stored in the default location on the hard drive of your primary computer. See under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. Your data set is a folder not a file. It contains other folders and files. The data set folder is named yourdatasetname.moneydance. DON’T STORE YOUR DATA SET IN DROPBOX or any other shared drive or cloud server as it could become corrupted due to how Moneydance reads/writes small files.

    When you start the syncing process, FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) - SYNCING, a syncing folder “.moneydancesync” is automatically created in Dropbox. If you have more than one data set you can set up syncing for each. The “.moneydancesync” folder in turn has an alphanumeric folder created, one for each data set you sync.

    Your secondary computers, set up using FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW – OPEN SYNCED FILE, do not have the same data set as the primary computer. There data sets are automatically created from data synced via the folder “.moneydancsync” / alphanumeric folder, created automatically by the primary computer. See under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. Although the data sets have the same name the main difference between a primary and secondary data set is you can’t change the sync method when running a secondary data set.

    Once set up you can say add a transaction on one computer and within 60 seconds see it appear on your other computers or mobile device e.g. phone.

    In normal operation Moneydance on your devices reads and writes to the folder “.moneydancsync” / alphanumeric in the Dropbox folder, creating small transaction files (mdtxn files) in such a way that there should never be any conflicts (at least not to any important files). Filenames are unique and the data is end to end encrypted using your sync key (“Encryption Passphrase”) only held on your devices, not in the cloud. All changes are recorded in this folder and if any of the changes cause conflicts then they are resolved by checking Unix Time stamp that are internal to the file (i.e. not the file modification date). At interval these transaction files are rolled up in to a truck file to reduce the number of small transaction files. The alphanumeric folder also contains other support folders and files.

    All this is transparent to the user.
    Set up syncing
    1. First set up syncing on the computer you have chosen to be the primary computer, FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – SYNCING and follow the on screen instructions.
    2. Wait for the Dropbox icon to read up to date, then for the secondary computer Dropbox icon to do the same.
    3. On all of your secondary computers set up syncing, FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW - OPEN SYNCED FILE and follow the on-screen instructions.

    Hope this helps.

  2. 2 Posted by TimC on 02 Oct, 2020 07:38 AM

    TimC's Avatar

    Derekkent23 a good description of the operating concept of the sync process - this is not explained in the formal user guides and would be useful.

    I have been running sync on two PCs quite happily until the other night. I inadvertently imported a bank statement that was in the wrong format and it completely corrupted my accounts on the primary PC. I had not recently created a backup so I thought all was lost. I then remembered that the secondary was probably ok (and was switched off). I switched off the home network to prevent the corruption cascading through drop box to the secondary and then switched on the secondary and made a backup file. To play it safe I then switched off the sync on the primary and deleted the drobox sync folder. I restored the primary from the back up file and all looked good. I then tried to re-establish synch but the grey box in sync setting will not allow me to switch it back on. Any ideas?

  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 02 Oct, 2020 07:58 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi TimC

    You don’t state the version of Moneydance you are running. The following assume either 2019 or 2020. The process for 2017 is slightly different, I can post if required.

    First do an EXPORT - BACKUP in case something goes Wrong.

    If you only have a secondary data set try the following:

    To convert a secondary data set to a primary data set you need to run the attached script in Moneydance 2019/2020.
    With your data set open click WINDOW - SHOW MONEYBOT CONSOLE use OPEN SCRIPT to select the script and click RUN. Wait for the script to complete its run, it can take a minute. Close and reopen Moneydance. You should now be able to change the syncing method.

    I strongly recommend you set up a Moneydance Auto Backup under FILES – PREFERENCE – BACKUP and set your backup to a backup folder you create in Dropbox. If you want to backup your secondary computer make sure you use a different location.

    Hope this helps

  4. Maddy closed this discussion on 02 Oct, 2020 10:03 AM.

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