Desperate Over Data Loss

I know we’re not supposed to post again, but I’ve lost so much data I don’t know what to do. Yesterday, it was my scrivx documents that were missing data. Today, compile documents have big holes in them and I can’t get my backup files to work. They open, but with the scrivx file missing. I’m now afraid to open any Scrivener documents at all for fear that’s what’s causing the data loss. With the compiles now also compromised, I have no idea what to do. I’m facing the loss of everything.

Someone please help?


Were you using dropbox? Might want to check the using Dropbox thread, if so, since there are a lot of good tips in it.

Other than that, have you looked at the RTF files within the Scrivener project? They could all be there and just not be showing up in the binder. Inside the project, there are a bunch of individually-numbered files. If it’s just the project.scrivx file missing, then you can safely import the files into a new project.

Also, if you have a previously-zipped backup and have lots of duplicate files that are of size 0, then you need to delete the zero-sized files before opening up the backup in Scrivener.

I found the RTF files, Garpu. A couple of questions, tho. The docs folder prior to when I started experiencing these problems has many more RTF files than the folders for the days when I’ve had the problems. It looks like I’ll have to import text from several different days’ work to get a complete manuscript. This is basically what I’ve been doing, using some old scrivx files. I now have a complete MS but it’s been stitched together from healthy non-current files. Not only is this incredibly time-consuming, the final product isn’t my latest work. So, in addition to piecing together a new draft made of old files, I now have to repeat my rewrites. Also, I still have the problem of the missing text in the compiles.

To add to these problems, I have a new one that just cropped up. Any click on the binder or the text freezes the program. After a minute it unfreezes but then freezes again when I click again. Essentially, the program is immobilized.

Something is obviously wrong but I need guidance to fix it. For example, I’m wondering if I should uninstall and reinstall the program or would I lose all my work? Or perhaps there’s another solution?

Re: dropbox, I don’t use it.

Thanks for your help,

Uninstalling/reinstalling would certainly help. If you’re using any kind of malware or security software, whitelisting Scrivener would also help. You’re using 1.0.3, correct? If you uninstall Scrivener, you won’t lose any of your projects. (To be extra safe, don’t save a project in the Scrivener directory–your own Documents folder, Desktop, or anywhere else should be fine.)

If you’ve got a project that won’t open with an error about a problem with the version of your file, what sometimes works is to go into your project file (ends in scriv) and find the “Files” directory in it. Then open up “version.txt” with something like notepad (don’t use Word for this) and make sure it’s got a 16 in it. Save and close the file.

I’d also email support at literatureandlatte dot com to see if they have any other suggestions or know what could’ve caused it.

Thanks, Garpu. I’ll give this a shot and also contact support.


I saw that you responded to my post on your other thread, but now I’m not clear what you’re experiencing. (That’s one reason to keep everything in the same thread…)

Have you checked to make sure that you haven’t inadvertently saved parts of your project under a different name using Save As?

You’ve said in a couple of different places that you’ve been looking through your project folders manually, trying to find pieces of your work. While I can understand why you’re doing that, it’s really not a good idea to edit a project outside of Scrivener – that can easily break the links that Scrivener uses, leading to exactly the kind of problems you’re experiencing. PLEASE make a SEPARATE BACKUP before digging through project folders in this way.

Compile will only include the files that you tell it to include. So be sure to check the Compile -> Contents pane to make sure all the appropriate boxes are checked.

Once Compile creates a file, it is out of Scrivener’s control. So any text missing from a Compiled version was either (a) not in the project to begin with or (b) not included in the Compile. Scrivener has no ability to change a Compiled file after the fact, unless you save a new version on top of an old one.

Before you go any further, I would suggest the following:

  • Backup all of your Scrivener projects exactly as they now stand to a separate location. That way you can be assured that things won’t get any worse.
  • Uninstall and reinstall Scrivener.
  • Use Windows Explorer to find all of the Scrivener projects that are present on your disk.
  • Go through your existing Scrivener projects one by one. Identify whatever material is usable in each, and flag that material using Document Notes, the Status metadata, or whatever works for you. DO NOT change anything at this point.

Once you’ve done all that, you’ll know what you’re dealing with and can work on piecing together a best case project.


Sorry to have messed up on the posts, Katherine. Thank you for helping me. I’ll try what you suggest and post again.


One more quick thing. When going through a project to see what you have, be sure to click the little disclosure triangles to expand sections of the outline that you may have collapsed, and be sure to actually click on the individual files. You would be amazed to see how many support requests we get where people report “vanished” text that magically reappears when they do those two things.

A strength of Scrivener is that it allows you to ignore parts of your manuscript that you don’t need at that moment. Unfortunately, for some people it seems to hide things a little too well.


Katherine, by disclosure triangles do you mean the the plus symbols beside folders and documents? :smiley: Can’t see any triangles in the Windows version…

Hi Katherine:

Well, I removed the program and then reinstalled it. Now it won’t work at all. Today, I couln’t even get it to open. The problems with Scrivener have also spread to other programs so I’m going to wipe the hard drive and install my backup which is from before the Scrivener problem. That should take care of it.

Thanks, tho, for trying to help me.


Sorry, the plus signs are what I meant. They are triangles in the Mac version, which is what I had open when I posted…

If the problems are spreading to programs other than Scrivener, I’m afraid there’s some sort of larger problem with your system. Scrivener has no ability to change files other than .scriv projects.

Good luck getting things straightened out!