Disappearing synopsis text

I added a couple of dozen cards to a project yesterday and closed the file. This morning, the cards were all there, but the synopsis text on about half of them (the most recently added, I think) has disappeared. The back-up zip file is in the same state.

I’ve just finished a screenplay without seeing anything like this, but this makes me wonder how much I can trust the program. Any idea what has happened? Can I get this text back?

I see from other posts that this might be Dropbox-related - which I use. My routine is: Dropbox is paused while I work / close Scrivener / sync Dropbox / pause Dropbox / computer hibernates overnight. I don’t think I deviated from this yesterday. I only use one computer.

I’ve successfully used Dropbox without pausing the syncing at all; I just adjusted the autosave interval to 10 seconds instead of the default 2 to safeguard myself from too-frequent syncs.

Try doing a search for conflict in your project folder. That will tell you if there are any files that were affected by a sync issue.

Thanks, Robert. I’ve also seen your helpful earlier post about Dropbox.

I’ve searched through Dropbox, and the Scrivener Docs folder, and can’t see anything to recover. Somehow Scrivener’s xx_synopsis.txt files have been lost. Fortunately, it was only yesterday I wrote this stuff and I could remember most of it, so I don’t think I have suffered a permanent loss. But what can have happened?

Is your project on a local drive? If the text didn’t make it into the backup it sounds like it may never have saved in the first place (assuming it was all newly added this session), which maybe could have been caused by a temporary connection loss or such if you’re working from a USB drive. Did you create or edit any other texts in this session that did survive–e.g. document texts or notes? All of those would save to the same directory within the Scrivener project, so if some of those were edited and saved properly, it would rule out a permissions issue for that directory. (Someone recently experienced this, where a file had been locked as read-only, so changes weren’t being saved.)

If you’re willing, you can download and install a temporary version of Scrivener with enhanced error reporting here. If you run into an issue again where the files aren’t saving, that should catch it and warn you, so you won’t lose any work, and it will also then give us a better idea where the problem is occurring.

I was working on the computer’s local hard drive, not a USB or external drive.

Some texts were saved from that session, so it wasn’t a permissions issue for the folder (unless somehow the write permission changed during the session - as far as I can remember, the lost texts were those written towards the end of the work session, earlier ones saved ok).

I’ve downloaded ScrivenerNaNo13.exe., with enhanced error-reporting. What does it do, exactly? Is it in other ways identical to 1.5.7.0? And do I just run it to install on top of the version I’ve already got?

Re: permissions error, it was just a guess–like I said, I’d just had someone else who had a single file within the project that had somehow been changed to read-only, so it wasn’t saving even though other things were. That isn’t something Scrivener normally touches, so it’s not clear how that got set in the first place–it could have been affected by something entirely external. If the files in your case never got created in the first place, I speculated that it could have been a permissions error on the entire Docs folder preventing new files being made in it, but it seems unlikely.

Other than the error reporting, this build changes how files are saved, so the save isn’t going through a temp location the way it did for the past few builds, as that turned out to be problematic in a couple edge cases–so that also might prove a resolution for your trouble. Feature-wise it’s the same, just a slightly newer build because we had to put out the special trial for that event, so it includes these adjustments Lee has been working on and a couple bug fixes. So long as Scrivener is closed, you should be able to install over the existing copy, or you can uninstall first to start with a clean slate. Before uninstalling you can save your program settings by going to Tools > Options… and choosing “Save Preferences” from the Manage menu button. After the uninstall/reinstall process, just return there to load the saved preference file. All your projects will remain as they are, so you can just open them again via Open Existing Project or File > Open… or just via the file browser.

With the error reporting, Scrivener should pop up a warning message at any point that a file isn’t able to properly save, so you’ll be able to copy and paste the non-saving text to preserve it and close the project rather than continuing to work in an unstable file, and ideally it will give us a little more information about when and where the process is breaking down so that we can better identify and resolve the core problem.

Ok, great, I’ll install this and see how we go. Thanks again.

I can confirm this just happened to me today, and I lost a couple of hours of work … I am pretty pissed - this is a short time into my trial

I’m not sure how much I trust this software now …

I’m sorry you’ve had this experience. If you have not already done so, could you go to the automatic backup folder (accessible from the Backup tab of Tools > Options) and copy out all the backups for this project, then unzip them as necessary (right-click and “Extract All” or drag the project folder out of the zip archive) and check inside in the Files\Docs directory for synopsis text files? These would be in the form “5_synopsis.txt” though you may not see the .txt extension depending on your file browser settings, and they should be able to open in Notepad or any other text editor. This is to check if the files exist in the project but are not loading correctly when you open the file in Scrivener.

If the synopses are not recoverable that way, you may be able to restore them using Windows’ previous versions system tool, depending how your Win backups are set up and what version of the OS you’re running (this is only applicable for Vista and up).

Is the project wherein this occurred stored locally on your C: drive or on an external or virtual drive?