Disappearing Work?

So I’m running Scrivener 2.4.1

For the last few weeks (maybe month), I’ve had probably about five or six times when I’ve opened Scrivener and my 5k chapter that I’m working on isn’t there. It has the title of the chapter, but the actual page is blank. It’s gotten bad enough I actually copy the entire file into a Word file just so I don’t have to go hunting for the .rtf which saved my butt the first time.

I’ve tried reinstalling Scrivener and I’ve googled to see if there’s a solution to this problem and can’t find what I’m looking for. Am I don’t something wrong? It’s not like I had a blank page and then “forgot to save” after typing 5k. The 5k has been there for over three months and I’ve just been editing.

These issues didn’t start popping up until I updated the Scrivener software. Hopefully this isn’t an unheard of problem :wink: I’d just like it to stop deleting my stuff so I can use the program reliably again.

(My apologies if I’m missing info/jargon. I’m new to the board if you can’t tell).

This same thing happened to me just now, and frankly I’m still in shock. :open_mouth: Titles are all there, but ALL the pages are blank. I got an older version from another computer and opened the project: blank. I use Windows by the way, not Mac.

Are either of you using Google Drive, Dropbox, Sugarsync, or any similar service that synchronizes your files with a remote computer (i.e. “The Cloud”)? Some services manage to destroy work by doing a poor job of synchronizing Scrivener’s complex file structure.

Another culprit is the use of “Save As” to do backups. It’s fairly easy to do a Save As to “My project-backup” and then continue working in that new “backup” file. Later, you close Scrivener, and then re-open the original, and it looks as if you’ve lost the work you were doing.

Computer backup software can also cause something like this, if you roll back changes to a previous state of your hard drive after working on Scrivener.

I hope maybe one of these helps you find your missing work. If all else fails, try creating a new document (sometimes, if the binder looses track of it’s documents, creating a new one will re-discover the contents, if not the title), or just digging into the Scrivener project folder and looking at the .rtf files may reveal the contents, but do a “File->Backup->Backup to…” kind of backup before digging around inside; you can lose footnotes and the like editing those files directly.

I do use Dropbox, yes. I’m not convinced that has anything to do with it though. I’m always careful not to re-open the project while Dropbox is synchronising and I didn’t “Save As” either. Also, this wasn’t a case of losing just that one latest version, I lost the whole project. Well I didn’t lose it (thank goodness), I did have backups of the scenes, but all the project notes that I didn’t have enough sense to make backups of, that’s gone.

Anyway, I wrote about my problem on forum’s Windows section, I do hope you or anyone else can figure this out for me.

I use SugarSync, but I’m only uploading, not downloading (so the actual file is being read from my computer, not from SugarSync - I save the file to my hard drive and then SugarSync backs it up on the Cloud, but the actual save file is in the folder). I’ve been using SugarSync the whole time, but as I mentioned, this just showed up in the last month… is there something secret that a cloud program would be doing?

(PS KaFI - if you hear something in the Windows forum, let me know - it sounds like it’s not exclusive to Mac or Windows!)

Sync software can end up with conflicts. Look up the documentation for Sugarsync, and see if it says what happens when there is a conflict. For Dropbox, if there’s a sync conflict, it adds the word “conflicted” to one copy of the file, and then leaves another with the original name. If Sugarsync works this way, then inside your scrivener project, there may be a file or files that are in a similar state, with the “conflicted*” file or files being the ones that actually contain your writing.

To look at the individual files in your scrivener project, right-click (ctrl-click?) on the project and choose “Show Package Contents”. That will allow you to explore the underlying file structure.

*Note that I don’t know if Sugar sync names files this way when there’s a conflict.

It looks like SugarSync duplicates the file and adds a name to it when there’s a conflict (in reading through their website, I’m not sure how exactly a conflict occurred since I don’t access my file from anywhere but on my computer, but good to know). Not sure how to resolve that exactly (manual sync for back up perhaps?)… and I’m not sure why this started now either :stuck_out_tongue: I’ll have to do more digging it seems like. Thanks for the head’s up.

To resolve it this situation, assuming you find conflicted files, I’d suggest:

  1. quit Scrivener so you’re absolutely sure that you’re not editing the project.
  2. If you find the conflicted files, open them with the default editor (on mac, that’s likely to be the generic Mac text editing program). If that file contains any of your missing words, do a Save As (or Duplicate and then Save if on Lion and above), placing the file somewhere outside of the Scrivener project.
  3. Repeat for all of the conflicted files.
  4. Open Scrivener, and then copy and paste each recovered file’s contents into the documents with missing words. Take a snapshot in Scrivener of each one first, just in case you need to compare what was there before the paste.
    5 Once you are sure you’ve recovered as much as possible, quit Scrivener again, locate the conflicted files and delete them or archive them somewhere outside of the project.