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Rebuilding the Data File (DCF)

Recovering DCFs or Lost Data (from previously uploaded reports)

The following steps provide instructions for rebuilding DCF files or lost data/reports using the importing function of the software:

1. Access the FEC Electronic Filing Report Retrieval web page: (See Figure A)


Figure A

2. Enter the Committee ID in the corresponding field and (L) click on the ‘Send Query' button. This should retrieve a web page listing all of the electronic filings the committee has successfully uploaded to the FEC. Figure A1 provides an example of options shown:


Figure A1

3. Locate the reports necessary. Then (L) click on the Download' link for each of the corresponding report(s). For Unauthorized Filers necessary reports are those in the current year to date, to provide proper aggregation totals. For Authorized Filers necessary reports are those in the current election cycle to date for proper aggregation totals.

NOTE 1: If the report being downloaded has amendments, then the latest amendment must be downloaded only. This will prevent importing duplicate transactions.

NOTE 2: If the report being downloaded is version 5.3 then simply save the report to your hard drive. If the report being downloaded is version 6.0 or greater, then you will be presented with an option screen. See Figure A2 below. The screen provides the ability to download the file in the new ASCII 28 delimited format, or the same filing delimited with commas. Version 6.0+ must be downloaded in ASCII 28 format only. This will assure proper handling of the newer filings.


Figure A2

4. Once the report is selected for download, a pop-up window should appear prompting to save to a disk or computer (depending on the Operating System.) (L) Click on the Save' button. (Figure B)

Figure B. A pop-up window prompting to save to a disk or computer.

Figure B

5. The next pop-up window should be a ’Save As' window. In the ‘Save in:' field, make sure the desktop is selected. In the File Name:' enter the type of report downloading (e.g.Q2_2002_import.fec') and (L) click the ‘Save' button. (Figure C)

Figure C. Save As Window.

Figure C

6. Once complete, (L) click on the ‘Close' button and go to the desktop by minimizing all active windows.

NOTE 3: If the checkbox ‘Always use selected program to open this kind of file' is checked, then the next .fec file can be opened by just double (L) clicking on the file.

7. OPEN UP FECFILE: You can now use FECFile to import the downloaded reports.

NOTE 4: It is a good practice to process each report individually, from oldest to newest.

8. CREATE THE REPORT: Create a report to be imported (MY, YE, Q2, etc.) (Figure D)


Figure D

9. IMPORT TRANSACTIONS FROM THE DOWNLOADED FILE: With the REPORT highlighted, select “Import Transactions” from the TOOLS menu. (Figure E)


Figure E

10. SELECT THE IMPORT FILE: Select the import file (from step 6) in the dialog box, which should be located on the desktop. (Figure F)


Figure F

START: (L) Click on the ‘Start' button on the next dialog screen. (Figure G)


Figure G

NOTE 5: The only importable transactions are Schedule A, B and H4s. All other transactions will need to be entered into FECFile manually. Also, since un-itemized transactions are not sent to the FEC, these will also have to be entered in manually.

NOTE 6: After recovery is complete and the reports are reflecting the correct totals, the original reports should be uploaded to the hard drive (which can be erased). This simulates that they have been uploaded to the FEC.  In the case of amendments: Once the original is uploaded to the hard drive, the report needs to be amended and uploaded again to the hard drive. Repeat this step until the amendment status of the report reflects the same number of amendments posted on the FEC web site. This will prevent future errors when uploading amendments.

Uploading to the Hard Drive

1. With the report highlighted in the Reports Window, (L) click on “Upload” option from the menu bar of the FECFile. (Figure H)


Figure H

2. When the ‘Settings' dialog box appears, select ‘Disk' as the Filing Method and (L) click on the ‘Configure' tab. (Figure I)


Figure I

3. The path and file name need to be enter into the ‘Disk File' field. For easy removal, the recommend path is the desktop (Figure I). Based on the Operating System (OS), the complete path name will vary. Depending on the OS, the paths should be as follows:

a. Windows 7,Vista, or XP:
C:\users\’LOGIN NAME’\desktop\deleteme.fec
b.Windows NT:
C:\wnnt\profiles\'LOGIN NAME'\desktop\deleteme.fec
c.Windows 2000 & XP:
C:\documents and settings\'LOGIN NAME'\desktop\deleteme.fec. d.Windows Vistas:
C:\users\'LOGIN NAME'\desktop\deleteme.fec.

NOTE 7: The LOGIN NAME is the username used to login to computer and or network.

4. Once the path and file name have been entered, (L) click on the ‘Submit Filing to FEC' button to begin the upload. (Figure J)


Figure J

5. If the path is invalid, the upload will fail. (Figure K)


Figure K

6. If the file name is unique and the path is valid, the upload will succeed. (Figure L)


Figure L

7. At the ‘Successfully uploaded the report' Window (L) click the ‘OK' button. (Figure M)


Figure M

9. If in the FILE menu the ‘Save' option is available and not grayed out, (L) click on it to save your uploaded changes. (Figure N)


Figure N

Electronic Filing Office
Technical Support

Page Modified April 11, 2012