2.02 Update... Ate My NaNo Novel. :(

Help… please. :frowning:

I just updated from 2.0 to 2.02 and… whatever backing-up is supposed to happen with an update has resulted in the project file for my NaNoWriMo novel reverting back to it’s pre-November 1st state. No amount of spotlight-searching has resulted in any success, and I feel utterly sick. My own fault for not backing up in a hundred different places, I suppose, but… if anyone knows ANY way I might be able to find my project, please, please tell me.

I first downloaded the trial version of Scrivener in mid-October (in its 1.whatever form), then downloaded the 2.0 trial the day it became available. Promptly realized that what I had wasn’t the official NaNo version, so downloaded that instead. At this point I moved across the outline for my novel that I’d already created in 1.x. I also renamed the project file shortly after that.

Scrivener worked like a dream… I reached my 50,000 NaNo target a week ago and haven’t written a word since as I’ve been too distracted by, um, life.

Tonight I thought I might attempt to write a bit more, so I opened up Scrivener (which, incidentally has been closed and reopened countless times throughout November, my laptop has been rebooted, and everything has saved perfectly each time, not one word lost), and got the prompt that there was a newer version to update to. I didn’t give it a second’s thought and clicked that yes, I would like to update, and Scrivener spent a few minutes doing that…

… I then reopened the application (or maybe it reopened itself, I don’t remember at this point), and… no sign of my project. At all. No file of that name even exists on my computer anymore. How can that be?! What I have instead is the project in the form that it was in when I initially moved it across into 2.0 on about October 26th. I’ve searched for all things .scriv, and… nothing. There are three backups with the same title my project had before I changed it, all of which are nothing but outlines. There’s no trace of any file with the name I gave my project.

I feel… sick. Anything anyone can suggest would be very very welcome. Unless that suggestion is that I should have made lots of backups. Yeah, I know that.

Hi RubyRed,

I really don’t think that Scrivener could’ve destroyed your project, so don’t panic! It’s probably there somewhere and just being obnoxiously hard to find. The upgrade/install doesn’t touch the .scriv files at all (the upgrade doesn’t make a backup either–the only backup that happens is when you upgrade a specific 1.x project to a 2.x format).

So, a couple things I can think of to try…First, I think you did this already, but do a search on your entire computer (and any external drives you might’ve been using) with the specific parameter “file extension” as “scriv”. If that doesn’t come up with anything that could possibly be your project (even ignoring the name, in case it got changed at some point during a “save as” or whatever, check the dates and file size and maybe open them all if you don’t have many projects), try running a search for a word or exact phrase you remember from your story, such as a character’s name or something else that would be fairly unique to your novel. That could bring up one more more .rtf files from within the project, which you can then use to find where the project is–possibly the .scriv extension got removed by accident somewhere along the line.

Hey… and thanks loads for replying! :slight_smile:

It makes no sense (logically!) to me that my project can be gone, but… it’s gone. Vanished. I tried searching .scriv first of all (after reading the stickied post at the top of this forum), and all that shows up is the Scrivener tutorial, a vague outline of an entirely unrelated project, and three versions of what should be my NaNo project. They are, respectively, oldtitle.scriv, oldtitle-1.scriv, and oldtitle Backup.scriv. No sign of the project in its newly-titled version, at all (How can this be? Makes no sense to me at all, as it was previously right there in my Scrivener folder in My Documents. The idea that history has somehow been unwritten makes zero sense to me at all, but… it’s not there!)… and a Spotlight search proved fruitless as well.

Naturally, I do not have a Time Capsule neither do I have Time Machine switched on, and neither do I have any of those fancy clipboard history-saving applications. :frowning:

Ugh, ugh and ugh. I have now officially learned my lesson. Always, ALWAYS back up. But if anyone has any other ideas as to cunning ways I may be able to get back what was previously there… please share. UGH!!!

OK, off to… cry, or swig wine straight from the bottle, or something. Incidentally, I still love Scrivener very much, I am just kicking myself for not, say, backing up in .doc as well. Or converting the whole lot to Kindle format just so I could cringe over my first draft in glorious e-ink. Or even printing the whole unpolished lot out, or something. But nope… nothing so clever as that, alas. :frowning:

Try the trash. Spotlight ignores things in the trash.


Did that too, but thanks. Not there… ugh ugh ugh. I am having a seriously hard time believing it can really be gone, but… seriously, the damned thing (and all traces of it) have vanished. And yes, I know that makes no sense whatsoever…!! :frowning:

I’m not sure this will help, but have you tried finding not the .Scriv files but your project’s automatic backup files? They’re in Zip format not .Scriv. The ones ending with .bak.zip, bak1.zip, bak2.zip etc…
Navigate to:
Users//Library/Application Support/Scrivener/Backups
(Um I think it’s traditionally written: ~/Library/Application Support/Scrivener/Backups
…but you get what I mean right?)
I haven’t tried that. But worth a shot.

Yes, if you haven’t touched your backup settings, and you’ve been closing and saving as often as you indicate, you should have five of the most recent versions of the project located in the place Cady indicated.

Meanwhile, where is your “My Documents” folder located? I ask because on a Mac the default folder for documents is just “Documents”, so I’m wondering if you are storing your projects on some kind of net service or something—or by chance is something like SugarSync messing with that folder?

You say that early on you renamed your project file. Now, if I was going to rename a project I think I would do that in the Finder (not within Scrivener itself). So, to leave no stone unturned:

  1. If you did NOT do this renaming in the Finder, then you may not really have rename your project file. If what you did was rename something in the Binder within Scrivener, then the project you wrote your novel in is not named what you think it is, so you are probably searching for the wrong thing in the Finder.

  2. If you DID rename the file in the Finder, then you at that point knew exactly where your .scriv project was located. Scrivener would never /move/ your project file, so that is where you should look to find it.

  3. So, you renamed a project file in the Finder at some point early on. But, you should consider the possibility that the work you did subsequently was /not done in that/ renamed project, but in (a copy of) one with the original name. You need to look in any of those that are there.

  4. Yeah, you could have made a differently-named copy of your original project early on by using Save As in Scriv, and this might have created the opportunity for you to have saved the project in a location you did not control or take note of. Moreover, notice that doing it via Save-As would not have changed what project file Scriv would auto-open up for you in future, so this might easily have led to the circumstance described in (3).

  5. In Tiger, the OS X search function cannot be relied on to find all your files – there is some bug in the indexing function of the OS. This is a known problem in Tiger, and can lead to no results from search for things that are really there. I have not sought or seen external verification of this, but it seems to me that I have on occasion run into the same thing in Snow Leopard (and, so, presumably Leopard). There is a trick to make your Mac reindex your harddrive to get passed this problem: In Sys Prefs > Spotlight > Privacy, drag your ~user home folder into the file list area. Go out and come back in to that prefs panel and remove the listing of your home folder that you just made there. This should force your Mac to reindex all the files in your user folder (which can take some time, of course).

  6. Try seaching on a unique character name that would occur within your Scriv project.

  7. Hate to ask suggest it, but you should certainly ask yourself this question: did you do any housecleaning on your computer during the recent interval – that might have occasioned tossing into the Trash some scriv projects or even some files in the same folder as your scriv project?

Hope this helps.

P.S. Yes, always backup. And, I might add, always know where your documents are stored. I feel confident you will solve this current mystery and find your project, but these practices will be a great savings on your nerves in the future!

Along the same lines as gr’s suggestions… Have you considered that you might have saved it somewhere else? Network drives, external hard drives, and removable flash keys can all cause chunks of storage to (seemingly) disappear if the device isn’t attached. Or you might have saved it in an unusual spot in your directory tree (Downloads is my favorite…) that isn’t normally visible.


Ooh ooh ooh!! OK, first of all… Amber, you’re quite right, this will teach me for moving between PCs and Macs often - what I mean when I say “My Documents” is just “Documents”, that’s where my file was and now… isn’t. But… Cadence, I think I want to, uh, kiss you or something, because despite Spotlight NOT finding any permutation of my project’s title when I searched… yes, right there in the location you specified are multiple .bak.zip files with the correct title and everything. Only… I’m now too scared to touch them in case I make my project evaporate by doing so. I am going to be using my friend Google right now to figure out what to do, but meanwhile… if anyone knows what I should or shouldn’t do, please tell me! Can I just click and open or… do I need to sneak up on the backups so as not to startle them and open them in some special way?! :slight_smile:

I am now going to finish actually reading to the end of this thread, because I got as far as what Cadence suggested and almost died of relief at that point… thank you all so so so so much!!! You are all beyond awesome for trying to help me figure out what the hell I have done wrong here!! Much, MUCH appreciated!! :slight_smile:

Just select all five .zip files in the Finder by holding down the Cmd key and clicking on each one. Now drag them out to Documents while holding down the Option key (you should see a green plus icon in the corner of the drag), drop them there. They will copy, this may take a minute or two. Now you have two sets of backups. :slight_smile:

Create a folder in Documents called “Oldfile Remnants” or whatever you want, and drag all of the partial Scrivener projects into that folder—just to get them out of the way and reduce confusion having all of these -1 -2 -3 copies everywhere. Now if you don’t have the Modified column shown, show that now (Cmd-J). Now you can see which backup is the latest of these five zip files. Double-click on that one, it will decompress and spit out a .scriv file. Open that and hopefully you have everything you need.

If the most recent one is good, you can probably just delete all of those zip files at this point that we copied to the Documents folder.

If it would make you feel better, you can copy the most recent .bak.zip file of your project and store it in a bunch of other places before you open it…but opening it should be just fine. Well, unzip it and then open it. I forget the specific default settings, but Scrivener can be set to make a backup copy of your project when you open, close, or hit “save,” and at least one of those (on close, I’m guessing) is set by default and will thus store the copies to that location. (You can change the location and choose whether to make them zipped backups in the Preference settings, and set some other stuff.) So what you are looking at is just a zipped copy of your project. Huzzah!

…errr, yes, what Ioa said. :slight_smile:

:blush: OK, this is how much I was panicking with relief/delight/worry at finding my actual files right there (in backup form) still on my computer… the rather obvious thought of copying them before trying anything didn’t even enter my head. Duh. :blush: :blush:

And… OK, I officially love each and every one of you. I unzipped the most recent of the backups, opened the .scriv file and… it’s there! All complete and as it should be!!

Thank you all so, so, SO much!!

Now I can get back to my regularly-scheduled fretting about the atrocity that is my writing, rather than the fact that I can’t find said writing anywhere. Again… you are all wonderful - I would buy you all multiple beers right now if I could! :slight_smile:

And now, as your heart rate returns to normal and you reach for the wine glass filled to the brim, stop dead, reach for your external hard drive, plug it in and copy that manuscript onto the external hard drive. Then, you may drink the wine. (Repeat daily.) :slight_smile:


:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
Hi RubyRed, I’m so glad it worked! See, Scrivener takes care of its writer users: it backs up your projects even if you forgot to! :open_mouth: I won’t give you any more advice 'cause everyone else here have taken very good care of you. So a big hug (and a kiss, LOL) right back at ya.
Take care, :smiley:

This can be arranged. This can definitely be arranged.