Cannot open my current Scrivener project!

Hi. Wonder if anyone here can help me as I have had an email back from tech. support saying they are closed until 4th January for the holidays, and I am a bit desperate.

I suddenly cannot open my current Scrivener project which has been OK until earlier today. The error message I get is as follows:

Project ‘G_Posts’ is incompatible with his version of Scrivener.

The project is in my Dropbox folder, I haven’t updated Scrivener recently and I am using Windows 7 (64 bit). Basically, nothing has changed over the last week or so and I work on this project every day. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Hi Nick,

I think you’ve run into a bug that several of us have. It’s in work to be fixed, but until so, once in a great while (and for no reason that seems apparent), Scrivener will over-write its ‘version number’. Actually, it’s a really peculiar bug, since the version number is fixed per release, and should never be written to.

Fixing it is simple. Go into your projectname.scriv folder, and then into its Files folder.

There you’ll find a simple file called version.txt.

Edit this with Notepad or other text editor, and have a look. Probably the contents will be simply blank, or showing NULL NULL if you are using an editor that shows hex.

Do a Select All from the Edit menu, to be safe, and just type the number 16, with no carriage return.

Now save the file and close your editor, and the Scrivener project should now open fine.

Here’s a recent link where other persons have had the problem:

Good fortune, and expecting this will do its job.

Regards in the season,

Clive, you are a Star*. Thank you so much.
Have a wonderful New Year. :slight_smile:

This just happened to me and I was freaking out. I did everything you said, Clive, and it worked like a charm! :smiley: Thank you so much and Happy New Year!!


I’ve done this now, and my project is entirely blank - just a template. Any suggestions?

I recently updated to version 1.03 and encountered this problem - again. I previously had the same problem when I updated from my original beta version to either ver. 1 or 1.02. Now my entire body of work is unavailable when I open Scrivener. All I see is the “live practice example”, and my version.txt document is not blank: it still has the number 16 in it from the last time I “fixed” this problem. Are we now on “17”? I am reluctant to re-enter “16” if this is an old fix that will further cripple the program. Fortunately the novel itself is backed up safely, but most of my recent research is not.

Any advice would be helpful - thanks.

Lfarmster - Are you getting the “incompatible” message, or is the project opening but not opening with your documents displayed in the binder? These would be two separate issues, so I just want to sort out what we’re dealing with. 16 is still the correct version number, so it doesn’t sound like the version.txt file is the problem here.

Before doing anything further with the project, make a backup of it as it currently stands by right-clicking the project’s entire .scriv folder and choosing “Send to \ Compressed (zipped) folder”. It may just be that the .scrivx file has gotten corrupt and we might be able to restore it or, even if that’s out, we may be able to salvage all your text and research files from the project. If you want to send that over to AT literatureandlatte DOT com, I’ll take a look at it.

Next, open a different project in Scrivener–if Scrivener is set to automatically load the most recent project, please move or rename the project’s .scriv folder before you launch Scrivener, so that it doesn’t reopen the corrupt copy we’re working with. Go to the “Backup” tab of Tools > Options… and then click the button at the bottom to open Windows Explorer to where your automatic backups are being stored. If you’ve left the default auto-backup settings, you should find up to five .zip copies of your project: copy all of these to your desktop, where you can right-click on each and choose the “Extract” option to access the projects inside. The most recent one or two of these might exhibit the same problem of the original, since the backups are made when the project is closed, but hopefully you’ll find a good one in the five that opens correctly and contains your full project, including all the research. (Note–if you open one of these backup projects in Scrivner and find that it’s missing all the items in the binder, etc. and is no good, select File > Back Up > Exclude From Automatic Backups before you close the project to prevent it making a worthless backup and overriding one of the older backups of the original.)

Once you find a good copy, you can close it in Scrivener and then move that .scriv folder to wherever you normally keep your projects (e.g. your Documents folder), replacing the current corrupt copy. I’d suggest renaming rather than deleting the bad version, at least until you’re positive you no longer need it. Since we may be able to restore it or salvage text from it, it’s good to hang onto it for now.

Could you let me know also what version of Windows you’re running and whether this is the first time you’ve opened this project since upgrading to 1.0.3? There was a bug in previous version that might be what happened here, but it was fixed by 1.0.3, so it’d be helpful to know which version was running when the project was last closed before you opened it and had this problem. Thanks!

Just ran into this. So, here’s the run down

  • laptop shut down suddenly because of low battery (problem caused by cocker spaniel pulling out power cord when I wasn’t looking)

  • moved cocker spaniel, plugged laptop back in and restarted.

  • reopened Scrivener which tried to relaunch the project I’d been working on. Got a message that the file was incompatible with this version of Scrivener.

  • was able to open another project that hadn’t been in flight during the unexpected shutdown. Just couldn’t open the file that was in the works when things crashed.

  • tried the trick at the top of this with the version.txt file and was able to reopen files.

  • the file does seem to have saved to the actual point where things crashed so everything is there.

Had a similar issue years ago, with a visiting dachshund. When my friend upgraded to a German Shepherd my software showed no compatibility problems. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yep. This doesn’t happen with the Springer Spaniel. Obviously Scrivener Windows version is incompatible with smaller dogs.

I’ve been having the same problem with opening my current project. My computer needed to restart unexpectedly, and I was unable to properly close Scrivener before it did so. I already did the “16” trick on a previous occasion, and it worked then, but is not working now. I’m getting the “project is incompatible with this version of Scrivener” error message.

Please, is there any way to recover my project? It’s over 77,000 words.

I have the same problem. I’ve just registered here as new user to report this.
Recently I installed scrivener_1.0.1_beta.deb on ubuntu 10.10.

I had been creating a multi page document in scrivener and then I experienced a freeze in ubuntu for some reason (not due to scrivener but some other installed application) and I had to force power down.

When I rebooted and launched scrivener I wasn’t able to get back into my document … saw this error message

What is the data recovery approach? Is this scrivener beta reliable?

I have scrivener also running (trial mode) on windows separate partition but I would prefer to prepare data on ubuntu.

Should I be looking at data recovery now or should I reinstall scrivener in ubuntu and try again?

Sorry about the shutdown and incompatibility error! Definitely we’ll see if we can get your project back–chances are it’s just the version.txt file, as mentioned earlier in the thread, and that’s an easy fix. Make a full zipped backup of the project’s .scriv folder first, then drill down to YourProjectName.scriv\Files and open the “version.txt” file in a plain-text editor. Replace all with “16” (no quotes) and save the file, then try opening the project again in Scrivener.

If that doesn’t get it working, you can send the zipped backup to AT literatureandlatte DOT com and I’ll take a look; there may be another file that got upset in the crash and is preventing Scrivener from opening it. Chances are in any case that we can salvage most of your text from the project, so it’s worth going through the recovery steps, and likely we can get the whole thing up and running again quickly.

Lee’s also made some fixes to the code surrounding the version.txt file that should help keep it from getting corrupted like this, so that will be included with the next update (for Windows and Linux).

Thanks for the reply …
I also read this thread …

I inspected version.txt and indeed the syntax was incorrect … not “16”


I changed this to 16 and tried renaming the project.

But there was a corrupted rtf file which I inspected using nautilus … the last file I was editing.

I’ll take more care about taking more frequent backups … can they be date/time stamped?
Meanwhile I’ll have to manually retrieve the *.rtf files which I can recover to reconstitute the *.scriv.
I can’t send it to you for recovery since content is confidential

Check your temp folder. Your rtfs should all be in there. Unless you recently cleared the temp folder, of course.

For the time/date stamp: In your file manager or Windows explorer set the view mode to “Details”. This will give you a column with the corresponding date and time for each zip-file. You can sort this column by clicking its title bar header.

If you were asking if your backups could have the time/date in their name, the answer is yes. Go to Tools->Options, select the Backups tab, and there you’ll find options related to the location, retention, and naming of your backup files.

Final status …

I’ve recoved most of the crashed project by opening *.rtf files in OpenOffice Word Processor and copying/pasting recovered *.rtf files (1 - nn) into new scrivener project.

Setting up … tools > options < Backup

untick - Compress automatic backups as zip files
tick - Use date in ackup file names

and tick on required backup events … on open, close, save

This keeps regular backups with date … and time can be seen from folder properties.

Oops, just now I realize you’re on Linux.
Since there are dedicated Linux and Mac forums, I never check the OS in the sidebar. Guess I should.

Thank you thank you thank you for this thread. I just got my project back!