Entire project vanished


Last night, the baby woke up while I was writing, I left scrivener open and went to get her, She and I spent several hours of quality time together, and when I returned to the computer it had run its automatic backup and scrivener had closed.

When I opened it, it asked me to register, which was odd since I bought a copy the first week of December and have been using it regularly, but like an idiot, I found the serial number and reregistered, opened my 50,000 plus word project and found . . . 67 scenes that still had their names but were otherwise blank. Backup files were empty, project/doc files also empty. :question:

It’s not as dire as it sounds because once a week I export to a thumb, That zipped file was fine, so I have recreated everything except for the most recent 10,000 or so words. I am, however, fairly terrified that this will happen again.

Any thoughts?

No need to feel like an idiot for re-registering. That won’t affect your projects in any way.

I wish I could offer you some line of investigation, but it sounds to me like part or all of your computer was rolled back to a previous backup, before you had registered Scrivener. That’s the only thing that explains the lack of Scrivener backups (unless you were still running the beta version).

Now that I think of it, under Help->About Scrivener, what version number does it report for your now? That might offer a clue as to why your Scrivener backups directory was empty at least.

  • Do you mean some other program on your computer ran a system-wide backup, or do you mean that Scrivener closed and you had “automatic backups on close” enabled? Or something else entirely?
  • Was there any accompanying dialog when Scrivener closed? Was there a Windows “program has stopped responding” dialog present? What did the screen look like when you returned to your computer?
  • Is some cloud service involved? That is, do you use Dropbox or some similar service to store your projects?
  • Are you comfortable mucking about (read-only) with the files in the interior of a Scrivener project? It only requires a text editor, like Notepad.
  • Would you rather spend your time trying to find those words or trying to redraft them?

We might be able to track down your lost 10,000 words or at least understand what actually happened. I think that’s a lot of work to lose.

A few days ago I lost an entire scene–a few thousand words–only to discover that in my inattention during a late night of writing, I had moved the scene in the Binder and it was now simply a child of another scene. The only indication I had of what I had done was the small triangle on the left of the parent file (which I didn’t notice until I had figured out the problem). Since the hierarchy was collapsed, the file I was looking for was not visible in the Binder. I found it by examining the scrivx project file, the XML file Scrivener keeps that, among other things, records binder contents. That told me its filename and from that I located the file. In my case, I simply had to move the file back to its proper location in the Binder UI. On the face of it, however, it doesn’t sound like this is your problem.