Dropbox & backup location

Hi there! I apologize in advance if this has been already addressed. I couldn’t find my specific issue. I’m not very technical so bear with me as I try to re-trace my steps. I haven’t watched many tutorials but have been using scrivener for a single manuscript for over a year. Never any problems until now (lucky). I decided to take advantage of dropbox so I could work on the manuscript from different (windows) devices (and also because the computer I originally set it up on needs repairs.

I initially saved my project in a Writing sub-sub-folder on my desktop. I could always access the project from there; however, I could also access it just by opening Scrivener… since it was the only project I’ve been working on (?) I guess. I don’t remember if I was required to specify a back up location or if there is/was a default location that I used (I can’t find those backups now).

Fast forward to today. I installed dropbox on both computers. Then I listened to a video tutorial which instructed me to create a Scrivener Backup folder in dropbox and change the backup location in Scrivener by going to Tools: Options: Backup. This I did. Then I used the “back up now” feature in scrivener. I saw in the log that the project was backed up in the dropbox.

Next I went to my 2nd computer to see if I could open the manuscript. I could not. The popup indicates:

c:user/user(info from 2nd computer)/ Appdata/Local/Temp/Temp1_(project title).bak.zip/(project title).scriv/(project title).scrivx

File is not writable: Access is denied.
Auto-save need write permission to your project.

So… I found some other info on line that suggested I should deselect “read only” settings. I did this in the folders and subfolders in dropbox (but still no success opening on the 2nd laptop). I watched an additional video that suggested I (should have) created an “Apps” folder and then a “Scrivener” folder within (in dropbox). I did that. But still could not access the manuscript from the second computer. I have since returned the Scrivener Backup (if it’s actually there) to the original location as a (1st) sub folder in the drop box. If I could return the backup to it’s original location, I’d do that as well (I’d really just love to return to when life was simple and scrivener was my pal) but I don’t know the (default?) location of the original backup.

Currently, if I try to open the project from it’s location in the subfolder of a Writing folder on my desktop, it does not open as it used to. Instead, it asks me "How do you want to open this type of file? and offers a click link to look for an app in the Store.

I can (THANKFULLY) open the manuscript by opening the Scrivener program itself (even though I “cleared menu” from recent projects, as instructed by a different on-line tutorial.

I’m hoping to find a solution and understand the proper way to be backing up so as not to cause problems down the line. I’m afraid if I follow something else on line (rather than my own specific mess-fix, I will end up in a puddle of wine and tears). If anyone can guide me, I SO APPRECIATE your help. I really just wish I could find a Scrivener dula to fix this for me. Is there such a thing as a certified Scrivener teckie that I can locate (and pay for ) in my area?? Thank you in advance!!!

You are confusing projects and backups.

Your live project is saved somewhere and it is what you open when you work on it.
Your backup is a copy of the project stored in a safe place in case you lose your active live project. Backups are usually saved as zip-files and can’t be opened by Scrivener. You need to unzip it to get the whole project back.

If you want to work on the same project from two different computers you should save your live project in Dropbox, not the backups. Don’t have the backups anywhere near where you save your live project because if the project is corrupted and stored together with the backups you might lose all of it.

So active projects in your Dropbox folder, your backups somewhere else, and your hard disk regularly backed up to an external drive of some kind. Then you are pretty safe.

I normally store my document files in DropBox. My question is this: If I use a MacBook and a Windows 10 Pro PC, can I work on the same project without doing anything special?

I write a lot when I’m away from my desktop and use DropBox to access my files. With DropBox and Word, the switch is seamless and the only thing I have to remember is to close the file to ensure DropBox updates its copies. I’m assuming that if I have Scrivener on my MacBook Air, I can set it up to load the files off the Mac hard drive. Likewise, I’d like to access the same files on my Windows machine.

Has anyone tried a scenario like this and are there any problems?

It depends on which versions of Scrivener you are using.
Scrivener 3 has a different format than version 2 (Mac) and version 1 (Windows), but Scrivener 2 (Mac) has the same as the latest version 1 (Windows). So you can’t edit the same project if you have Scrivener 3 on the Mac and Scrivener 1.9 on the PC, but you can if you have version 2 on your Mac.
There are workarounds for Scrivener3 (Mac) <-> Scrivener 1.9 (Win) but this is the basic conditions.

To add to Lunk’s reply: Syncing Scrivener projects between multiple computers is quite common. Literature and Latte wrote an article on the matter here: scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb … c-services

What I’ve found in use is that the lock file that Scrivener opens in DropBox takes a minute or so to update when you close Scrivener. If you save/close Scrivener then check DropBox to be sure it is up to date then close your laptop, the lock file is not immediately removed. This causes Scrivener to think the files are open on your original device.

In order to make sure, I close Scrivener, then wait for a couple of minutes before closing my laptop lid. A lot of times, after DropBox says up to date, a little bit later you’ll see another message that the lock file is changed, then you can close the lid.

I use both a Mac and a Windows 10 laptop and don’t remember if I see the same thing on both but recommend that you watch for it if you’re getting errors that the Scrivener project is open on another device.

I work with a Windows-using collaborator—though we use Sync rather than Dropbox as she can’t access Dropbox—and she has had this problem occasionally. I have always suspected that she has put her computer to sleep or turned it off immediately Sync shows it’s updated, but that the user.lock has still not yet been deleted.