Empty Zipped Backup Folder

I do have Backups on Manual Save enabled because I can’t get out of the mindset of hitting Ctrl+S frequently (which I now realize after hours of browsing the forums isn’t helpful), but I hit Ctrl+S this afternoon, then unplugged my computer that has a dead battery to move to a different room, and when I turned it back on, the version that popped up was the version I was working on 2 days ago - I’ve done about 10 hours of work since then.

I dug into the backup folder and was able to extract a backup from 40 minutes before I unplugged, but the folder that was most recently created before the shutdown (let’s call it file 15) is blank. It won’t unzip and the error message says you have to copy folders into it first. I went into the docs from file 14, and there is an RTF doc named 41 that I suspect has some of my missing work - It’s 22K and shows 22,000 characters when I open in Notepad - but 0 words and is completely blank. (I can get it to show boxes if I change the font to MS Outlook or similar, but nothing else). Is there anywhere else my files could be or anyway to find them??? This is 2 days of work and I have a deadline in 8 hours…

Are you saving to a cloud service?

I am not, unfortunately. I usually backup to an external hard drive but have been so engrossed in this project for the past 2 days that I forgot. So I have no outside backups, only what’s on my computer in whatever files there are…

Have you searched for .scriv folders? Sometimes people have made a Save as… and then open an older version.

Yes, I’ve been through all the .scriv folders I could find. The version that opened on startup, oddly, was the version from 3 or 4 saves ago, not the version I had opened when I shut the computer, and I have no idea why the zipped Backup folder should be completely empty…but I’m hoping someone out there has some secret hidden temp file place or way to recover hidden rtf docs or something that will grab this work back for me. I’ve been going down the rabbit hole of the forums for over an hour looking for some solution I haven’t thought of - This isn’t the first time that Scrivener has opened up an old version on startup, which is why I’m usually so careful with my backups.

Here’s a fun additional wrinkle if anyone can help:
The old version (the one that came up on startup) is completely missing the folder and documents that I added 2 days ago…but contains the latest saved version of a different document (from the Research folder). So somehow, it saved the Research folder accurately, though those changes were made just before shutdown, but did NOT save anything that had been done the past two days in the other folder, including its creation…

Is there a place that missing folder might be hiding? The backup version that opens (backup 14) contains the folder but not the most recent edits; the backup versions that created on opening at startup (backups 16 and on) contain the edits to the one document but not the folder. This is so bizarre and frustrating!

In your description it sometimes seems that you are confusing backups and the live projects.

This is typically caused by a Save as… where the user changed the name of the project and later opened the older version and ”discovered” that the latest edits were missing.

I haven’t changed the name of the project in about 4 years, so I don’t think that’s it, but I’m sorry if my description is confusing. I’m not the most technically savvy but I generally thought I had a good grasp of Scrivener’s backup process…until today.

For clarity, and because I think I’ve figured out PART of the problem (but still haven’t figured out how to fix it):
Yesterday, I created a subfolder within the Drafts folder. We’ll call it Project. I have been working on documents within this Project subfolder all weekend, periodically using Ctrl+S as I go (with Backups to Manual Save enabled).
Today, just before the shutdown, I made changes within a document under the Research subfolder.
I hit Ctrl+S, unplugged, plugged back in, and the version that appeared was a version with NO Project subfolder, but WITH the new changes to the Research document. Backup 14 (40 minutes before shutdown) contains everything I had done to that point, including Project. Backup 15 won’t extract through any means (tried downloading different extractors), and is the Backup made just before shutdown. Backup 16 contains the changes to Research but NOT the Project subfolder.

So it looks like this subfolder is the thing that has gone missing somehow. Docs I can find, but anyone know how these subfolders are stored/backed up so I can go on a search? Because its docs are missing from Backups 16 and on also…

Between Backup 14 and Backup 16, do you have everything you need? If so, just drag and drop from one to the other to combine the two.

If I had to speculate, my guess would be that Backup 15 was interrupted by shutting down the computer.