Backup Issues

I have this friend. (no…really) Who is more computer illiterate than me (it could happen). I’ve talked him into buying/using Scrivener and he did. Created a new project and ported over all his Word files. That was weeks ago. I talked him into making a ‘backup’…at which point all the data in his project…is gone. The project is still there. The binder is there. But he went from 30k+ words…to zilch.

I’m thinking it MIGHT be operator problems. But…since then, using his laptop, I created a new test project and when I go to ‘backup’, the program locks up. I have to reboot his laptop.

Suggestions? Before he kills me for losing his data?

Difficult to even know where to start with this…

How did he go about trying to backup?

If you expand the binder structure, are there document files or only folders?

If there are document files, what do you see in the edit window when you click on a document file in the bindery?

Using Windows File Explorer, in the file system, if you navigate to where the project .scriv folder is, right click on the folder and select Properties, what size, number of files and number of folders does it report?

As far as backup causing a lockup, in Scrivener, check and see where Tools > Options > Backup > Backup location is pointing. Is that a real or still existing location? A local writable location? If not, probably need to change/correct it.

If he did a File > Back Up > Back Up To, where did he do the backup to?

In either of the above backup locations, are there compressed/zip backup files (files with date/time stamp in their names, with .zip as file type) or raw projects (folders with names ending in .scriv)?
If any exist, make a copy of one of them elsewhere, use Windows File Explorer to drill into it, down into the projectname.scriv\Files\Docs subfolder and see if there are .rtf files present. You can open them (double click or right click and select Open, which will cause WritePad (not Scrivener)to open them) and see what’s in them (BUT DO NOT MODIFY/SAVE THEM).

May also be worth uninstalling/reinstalling Scrivener.

Hope that helps or is at least a start…

Thanks very much!

I wasn’t with him when he created this mess and he really doesn’t know enough (even about file management) to recap the sequence of events.

I did check ‘properties’ on his backup files. The file size was tiny (compared to some of mine, anyway).

And…I DID find one ‘zipped’ file on his flash drive. I’m thinking you’re correct, that he changed destinations too often and has created some kind of conflict.

I’m further going to take your advice and uninstall/reinstall.


Good luck with your novel. I’m on my third…and it’s worth it.

This sounds exactly like the issue I had when I did a File/Save As. I wanted to create a copy of my project to do some testing, and did a File/Save As to a temp folder. When I opened the new project, all the structure was there (notebooks, etc.), but all the text was gone.

I just tested this with my two projects. For one, everything was fine. For the other, I got exactly the result I described: Structure is there, but text is gone.

Demonstration of that (showing missing files):

Perhaps your friend did a backup by choosing File/Save as, or the bug that I saw can also happen with backups.

I just opened one of my backups, created the normal way, and it was fine.

Thanks again.