Best practice' for re-installing Scriv on Dropbox-linked PC?

I sync Scrivener between my Windows 7 PC and my Windows 7 laptop, using DropBox. Recently I had to reinstall Windows 7 on my PC and all programs.

I have not yet reinstalled Scrivener on the PC, and still have version on my laptop. I am nervous about the PC re-installation.

Why? Because I am concerned about what is ‘best practice’ in a linked computer scenario. Once previously I downloaded an update for Scrivener on my PC, and the result was to trash my files on my laptop. I think it had something to do with how DropBox interpreted the update, it assumed that the new files on the Scrivener version downloaded onto the PC, which were of course empty, represented an editorial decision on my part, and started systematically to remove all the work I had done from my laptop.

This was scary and also time-consuming.

What is the ‘best practice’ for re-installing Scrivener on my PC so that the entirety of the work that is present on my laptop gets transferred to it? How to indicate to Dropbox and to Scrivener that the (older) version on the laptop is the authority version?

Dropbox doesn’t work that way. Either “the cloud” (servers on the internet) or one of your computers has the most up-to-date version of your Dropbox files & folders at any given moment. If syncing is on, and there is no network problem, then all computers syncing to the dropbox servers will be up to date as quickly as the data can be uploaded or donwnloaded.

Scrivener’s installation has nothing to do with the projects that you create with it. Now, there are “recent files” lists that are associated with the installation, but just as with other document based programs, that’s just a list of the most recently opened files, and not the sole way to open them.

So, just install Dropbox on your new computer, give it your DropBox username and password, and let it sync. While that’s happening, install Scrivener. When the install and the sync are all finished, then you can go to your dropbox folder and find one of your .scriv folders, double-click on the .scrivx file within, and you’ll successfully have opened that project. Or click the “Open Existing Project” button on the template chooser when you launch Scrivener for the first time, or go to File->Open if you have another project open already, and navigate to another project folder to open it.

The key here is that Dropbox must be completely done with its syncing. Don’t attempt to open any project until the icon has the green check-mark showing.

Just a tip regarding this part, as I myself forgot at first when I reinstalled Win7 on my Desktop PC: leave your laptop open while Dropbox download your stuff on the fresh install—it will sync through LAN and fetch your data from your laptop instead of from the cloud. So if your Dropbox folder has a few GBs of data, it can makes quite a difference.