How To Fix A Crashed & Screaming QuickBooks Timer

We use QuickBooks Timer to track our billing hours. It seems to crash with great regularity whenever you finish entering an item. When it does this, its usual two note happy acceptance chirp turns into a squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that goes on and on and on …

I’ve found a way of fixing this without rebooting:

  1. Hit Ctrl-Alt-Del, and call up the Task Manager
  2. Select QuickBooks Timer, and ‘End Task’ (it may take several tries)
  3. Open a command prompt, and hit Ctrl-G, then Enter
  4. After beeping, and complaining that ” is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file, the beeping will stop.

This has been a public sanity announcement.


  1. The Quickbooks Timer was written using outdated 16bit code by a 3rd party developer.
    It crashes all the time in its attempt to operate in Windows 32bit environments.
    If Intuit would attempt to recompile their software using a more recent 32bit VB compiler,
    this problem would more than likely go away. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to load and
    recompile in VisualBasic 6 or 7. From numerous discussions with tech support, they have claimed:
    “we use it all the time here in our office without any problems” (are they running it on Windows 3.1 or 95?)
    “no one else has ever called with this problem” (unfortunately this is complete dishonesty. On a
    prior call with one of their very knowledgable developers he did claim knowledge of this issue.
    If you call tech support about this problem, I recommend skipping the less knowledgable person that
    first answers the phone.)

    Judging by their responses, we get to continue wasting hours each year when the program
    hangs and begins its incessant “system” beep (no sound card involved). I’m sure most people simply
    reboot, not knowing what else can be done.

    Here is the XP workaround for the rest of you unlucky souls..

    1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to call up the task manager.
    2. Select the “Processes” TAB.
    3. Click on “qbtimer.exe” to highlight it.
    4. Click on the “End Process” button.
    5. Wait until the process terminates.
    6. Click on “wowexec.exe” to highlight it.
    7. Click on the “End Process” button.

  2. You saved me a ton of time and trouble talking to QB support. Thank you.

  3. Do you have any idea how to get QBTimer.exe to import ‘timer’ lists from Quickbooks 2003 Pro without it telling me that it’s an incompatible version???

    I get the error:
    “You are attempting to import a file from an incompatible version of QuickBooks Pro. The QuickBooks Pro Timer Version 6.0 can only import from QuickBooks Pro Version 6.0. Cannot import”.

    Yet this is the QBTimer that’s on my original CD… I’ve uninstalled both Quickbooks, the timer, tried installing the timer on 2 different machines, and it has the same error each time. It’s driving me mad.


  4. Hi Jason Sheldon did you get this resolved? Drop me a line if you did. troy at dot au


  5. Good news!

    In the later versions of QuickBooks (2006 and possibly prior) they recompiled the timer code, putting an end to the system beep hang.

    Just in case someone is thinking about obtaining the new timer to use with an older version of Quickbooks, I’d recommend checking with Intuit first. I examined the file output from the newer version and it appears to have a couple characters in a few areas that were normally blank. You may have to adjust the version manually as well. It probably isn’t recommended.

    Jason, if you didn’t get this resolved yet, make a backup of the timer file, then try to open the IIF timer file with a text editor like Wordpad. Check the version number. It will be shown on the second row under VER on the first row.
    It should look like this:
    TIMERHDR 6 0

    If it doesn’t your timer file may be corrupt.

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