disappearing text

I’ve been using Scrivener for nearly 4 years (ie, since the Windows version first came out)… and I use it with Dropbox, and I routinely use it from home and work, all without difficulty. I never use the save as… and I have scrivener automatically do a backup to dropbox whenever I close. I almost never forget to close, and on the rare occasions when I get a message that the scrivener file/folder is in use elsewhere, I use Chrome Desktop Remote to go to the other computer and close everything out, before I continue on the computer I’m sitting at.

Yesterday, I opened up my current novel on the office computer. Scrivener acted just like normal, I opened the file from Dropbox just like I always do. I had worked on the file at home the night before, but had properly closed it out when I was done.

I tend to use a lot of chapters in the early stages, and I had around 40 chapters. Chapters 1, 2, 7, 11, 14 and 15 all appeared in the binder, but when I opened them, they were blank. I’m in the process of editing, and am up to chapter 23. Although I do jump around a bit, and I had been in chapters 1 and 11 the night before, it’s been a week or more since I was last in chapters 14 and 15, and even longer than that for chapter 2. Having said that, I don’t know when the text disappeared… when I discovered the problem in chapter 2, I quickly ran through all chapters, and found what I’ve described.

Fortunately, I was able to go to the backup from the night before, and retrieve everything.

But I am curious as to what could possible have caused this random text disappearance.

btw, the fact that my system of using Scrivener and Dropbox has worked successfully for nearly four years, and the fact that I was able to access a recent backup, have reassured me that this L&L-recommended-system does indeed work, and I’m not going to change a thing. Still, I’m a bit curious.

It may have been a sync glitch. Dropbox as a system does work well with Scrivener, as you’ve found, but you can still hit a snag when the server is slow to respond and your project syncs a little more slowly–I’ve had times where a lot of files were syncing and they seemed to go in batches, so I’d see the syncing indicator come and go, even though the full sync wasn’t complete yet. I’ve learned to give a minute or so of inactivity before trusting that it’s really complete.

Since you found all the files in the previous night’s backup, either the problem happened between that backup being made and your opening the project the next day, or it was only a problem on the work machine. If you’re not already keeping separate backups from the machines, you may want to set that up–you could still save them all to Dropbox, just choose two different folders for your “home” backups and your “work” backups. That will double the number you’re saving and will give a little extra protection in case one machine isn’t updating properly.