Empty Files

I had this problem a year ago when my cat jumped on my netbook and I thought that it was a fluke and never experienced it again, also contributing to my fluke theory.

But now it is a year later, I have bought a new laptop, transferred Scrivener to that, and as I was typing last night, all my text disappeared. I mean the whole entire manuscript. 65k words. Gone.

All the Chapter and Scene titles were still there but the actual files were blank. I’ve had the laptop for approximately two weeks and had no problems and now it’s losing my text almost hourly today.

I know it’s not grey on grey text for two reasons, you know the cute little notebook pages that are displayed off to the left in the Binder window? The ones that have little dots in them to indicate there’s text in that file? They suddenly turn blank. And I’ve highlighted the whole file attempting to change colors, etc, there simply is no text there anymore. But the scene title is still on the file.

I have my worked saved other places so I haven’t really lost anything for good, but that’s not the point of writing software. I can’t keep using Scrivener if I can’t figure out what is causing this to happen.

That is definitely a worrisome problem, even if you do have backups as you say. You say this is happening roughly hourly, do I take it to mean this happens while you are working? If so, I wonder where the project is stored? Is it perhaps being saved to a location that might not be connected 100% of the time, like a network share to another computer? It might be worthwhile to experiment with keeping the project on the netbook’s internal drive for a bit, if you aren’t already, and see if the problem disappears.

Another issue that can more rarely happen is synchronisation malfunction. Some people work out of folders that are moderated by “cloud” software like Dropbox. Generally speaking this should be quite safe. As you work stuff is uploaded to Dropbox (or whatever), but perhaps some strange combination of factors is causing that process to backfire, like a system clock that is out of date or something (causing files to be reverted or destroyed by the server periodically).