I tried to view a file in my project and got this error (image below). I followed the quit/restart instructions. When I reopened the project, I got the error immediately (possibly because that’s the file I was looking at when I closed it?) I immediately quit. I copied the file that’s the problem and it doesn’t appear to have any problems (opens in Word just fine).
What did I do (wrong) to cause this?
If I delete the file from the project, is it safe to copy the contents of the file (from the copy I made) and paste into a new file in this same project? Or am I possibly copying that-which-caused-the-corruption too?)
Thanks for reading!
It’s uncertain what may have caused the problem in the first place, it could be a bad character in the file, or a corrupted image if you embed graphics—something along those lines. If you want, we can take a look at the RTF file and see if there is anything suspicious about it.
It’s kind of a blanket error—as you can see, it even covers stuff like the disk itself not letting Scrivener work freely—so that’s why it is hard to speculate.
Before going any further, I’d right-click on the “Journal Notes on Writing.scriv” folder in File Explorer, and compress to zip so that you have a copy you can return to. The following is all pretty safe, really, but it’s always a good idea to have a backup when you starting pulling things out of the project folder.
- If I delete the file from the project, is it safe to copy the contents of the file (from the copy I made) and paste into a new file in this same project? Or am I possibly copying that-which-caused-the-corruption too?)
Yes, that is a safe recovery step. Without the content.rtf file Scrivener will just presume you never wrote anything in that section, like any other new item you create before you start typing.
Given that the problem may be something that can copy and paste, be ready to take it back out again if it stops working when you paste from Word. In that case my suggestion would be to first copy and paste the text from Word through Notepad.exe to flush out any and all formatting. If that doesn’t work, look around for “?” type symbols, or those little empty rectangles you might get if the font can’t print a character in a file, and delete them.
Thank you for your answer. I have taken these steps and the copy/paste appears to be fine. If my file would be helpful for your people, I’d be glad to share it. Just let me know where to send it.
This is the first time I’ve ever had an issue with a project, so I was a tiny bit freaked out. I love how matter-of-fact your reply was. I know I can come here and I’ll get an answer!
Whew! Glad it appears to be working fine now.
Sure, if you want to send the original ‘content.rtf’, just click on my avatar here on the forum, and then the big “Message” button. That will send a private message to me. Drag the RTF file into the composer area to attach it (if it fusses about RTF not being allowed, zip it first).
I’ve been taking a look at it this morning. My first test was to create a blank project, close it, and then swap out the content.rtf file with yours, on the disk without alteration. This would simulate the data always being there in the project.
Unfortunately I ran into no problems though. It loads normally in Scrivener, the command to rebuild the search index in the File menu works fine, and I can edit the document without errors.
It also works fine after reloading the project. I can thus find nothing wrong with the text itself—which I suppose is the best case scenario. It doesn’t explain why you are seeing what you are seeing, but at least you know the data itself is fine and there is no corruption going on, at least from what I can see.
That moves the problem to your system. Perhaps there is an over-aggressive anti-virus program running that is blocking Scrivener from editing files. Another theory is where and how the project is stored. If it is in a cloud share area for example, maybe that utility is locking files and failing to unlock them.
I would try relocating the project to another drive, or area on the drive that is relatively simple, like My Documents, and see if the problem persists.
Thank you for your help. I wasn’t too freaked out, but your cool confidence definitely helped me keep mine!