beta 26 saving bug

I haven’t had any issues with the program not saving until now, and it was in weird circumstances, but here goes. I have my scrivener project set to sync using windows live mesh. It is synced between my desktop and my laptop.
Last night, I decided to type on my laptop. When I checked later, I found that the file had either not been saved, or the changes I’d made hadn’t been saved. There are also four copies of my project in the scrivner folder, labeled as belonging to either the laptop or the desktop computer (2 each). I opened all of them, but none contain the new text. The copy on skydrive won’t even open saying it is incompatible with this version of scrivener (even though it was saved from this version of scrivener.)

I am running Windows 7 on each computer and they are connected with a homegroup network as well. I’m thinking of getting rid of windows live mesh, since I didn’t have any problems before I used it. I just thought it might be a good idea to back up more frequently and it seemed like a good idea since I alternate using both computers.

The problem is likely due to the sync–the different versions that you have mean that, most likely, the sync wasn’t completed before you opened the project on the other computer, and so you haven’t been overwriting the same file each time but creating new “conflicted” versions which may not all contain the same information. We’ll need to clean up the extraneous files and get the project back into sync with itself.

The .scrivx file, which I assume you have several copies of, is not the entire project but the file that keeps everything organized and controls the display of the project, etc. It doesn’t contain the actual writing itself, which is kept in .rtf files inside the Files\Docs directory of the .scriv folder. You may have created some new documents when last working in Scrivener that are saved in the project but aren’t listed in the .scrivx file that’s now being used to open the project–good news there at least is that the writing itself is still saved, it’s just not displaying. Changes you made to the meta-data or binder structure are all saved in the .scrivx, so they may just be in a different copy of the .scrivx as well.

The incompatibility message means that one or more files that Scrivener needs to open has gotten damaged–the usual culprit is the version.txt file, but there are other files that could’ve gotten messed up during the failed sync process that are preventing the project from opening.

I’m not familiar with Windows Live Mesh, so I don’t know if it keeps older “versions” of files that it rewrites and if that’s a potential restore method for this if we need it. Depending how much you’ve lost, it may be unnecessary.

The first thing to do is to create a backup of your whole project, just to safeguard it against anything else while we shift through and try to fix it. With the project closed, just right-click the .scriv folder in Explorer and choose “Send to \ Compressed (zipped) file” and then name that zip something helpful about being a backup of this corrupt project. Then I’d try doing a Windows search for any unique text in the documents you’re missing (assuming you are missing documents from the binder) to see if it turns up anything from the Files\Docs folder. If it does find some, then your writing is at least there, just not being opened as part of the project.

Depending how much you’ve lost, you might just want to pick the most recent .scrivx file, clean up its name to just be “project.scrivx” and delete the others, then work from there to restore your changes. You can move the documents found by the Windows search out of the project folder and then open the project and import those files into the binder to bring the text back in.

Before opening the project and doing the import, you’d also want to click around inside the project folder in Explorer to see if there are any other conflicted files–ones with multiple copies that are labeled as coming from one computer or the other. The project will only recognize one of them–it may not recognize either, if both of them have the extra text in the file name–so you’ll need to compare those and pick one to keep and one to remove.

If the incompatibility issue is due just to the version.txt file, you should be able to fix it yourself with these steps:

  1. In File Explorer, open your project’s .scriv folder, then open the Files folder
  2. Open the “version.txt” file there in a plain-text editor (e.g. Notepad)
  3. In the editor, select all, type “16” (no quotes), then save

Then try opening the project again in Scrivener. If it doesn’t work, after you’ve already removed the extra copies of your various files, then there’s probably another file preventing the project from opening. In that case, if you want to zip the project and send it to support AT literatureandlatte DOT com, I can take a look and see if I can clean it up so it will open.

Also, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading this post on Using Scrivener With Dropbox. It’s in the Mac forums and is about Dropbox specifically, but all the instructions apply to Scrivener for Windows as well and the points about syncing safely should probably be just as valid for other sync services. (This is in the manual as well, in a chapter on Scrivener Everywhere; the Windows manual is out of date but I believe this is included.) The important point are making sure that you only have the project open on one computer at a time and that the sync has fully completed before you shut down the computer or open the the project on the second computer; that should prevent getting multiple copies of files.

Thank you so much for your response, Jennifer. I tried all the things you mentioned, but unfortunately couldn’t find any of the data. There are no rtf files listed anywhere for July 31, early morning, which is when this happened, so I suspect it didn’t save anywhere. The desktop wasn’t running Scrivener when this happened, but on the previous times when I had two copies running, it did warn me, I just didn’t realize the consequences :blush: I actually thought that my laptop was turned off at that time, but I guess it was just sleeping. I have learned my lesson.

I will take advantage of your kind offer for help and email you the folder, just in case you can find anything, but if it’s gone it’s okay - I can rewrite it. Since Scrivener windows is still in beta, I usually write everything by hand and just type it later anyway - unfortunately this is the one time I didn’t do that. I am really looking forward to the release of Scrivener for windows, it’s an amazing program. Thanks again.

Hi,
I just wanted to say that I experienced this problem after my computer shut down unexpectedly (and I keep my scrivener files synched with dropbox).
I simply went into the version.txt file and changed it and it opened like a charm.
Thank you!

Just to make sure that the lesson you learned is complete, I wanted to clarify something about syncing Scrivener projects between computers…
You must. Allow time for… your sync software to upload your changes-- BEFORE you disconnect, sleep, or turn off your computer. Verifying that it worked is also imperative, since time itself isn’t sufficient if a network glitch occurs, or some other problem cropped up.
You ALSO must allow the other computer time to download changes from the internet server where your new data is stored before opening the project in Scrivener. If you don’t, then chaos ensues. Dogs & cats living together… it’s ANARCHY!

Forgive me if you already understood this, but network-based syncing is something that can’t be assumed to “just work”, no matter what kind of computer you are using. It’s important for the above to be clear in one’s mind when entrusting your writing to any sync service.