I started a new project earlier this month, wrote in it for a week or so before realizing I’d been saving to the wrong hard drive, along with several other files. I moved the scrivener folder along with everything else to the other drive, then carried on as usual. Then, last night, I went back to look at a previous section and it was empty.
The chapters are all still listed, but only the ones I added since the move have any words in them. I, unfortunately, hadn’t made any sort of backup, and both of the Scrivener-default backups have the files missing completely; they only contain a one rtf called ‘5’ which has the most recent chapter in it.
Is there any way to find the missing content, or have I really messed things up big time here?
First possibility is that the entire .scriv folder for the project didn’t copy completely to the new drive. The binder structure is all contained in the “project” file that you click to open the project, but the documents themselves are stored deeper down inside the Files\Docs subfolders of the .scriv folder. If that Files folder didn’t copy, you’d get the situation you have now, where the items are listed but have no content. New items you create of course are being saved in the new location, so they act like normal.
Have you checked the original drive for any remnants of the project’s .scriv folder? If you find it, you may be able to fix the project relatively simply by just copying the contents of that Files\Docs folder into the new one created by the project on the new drive. You’ll just want to be sure that there aren’t any identically-named files, to avoid accidentally overwriting content. If you see there are two of the same name, don’t replace or add them as a copy (as Windows will probably offer to do); just leave them out and then deal with re-importing or copying and pasting contents as a separate step once you’ve reopened the project in Scrivener. Generally I would not expect you to have duplicates, since the files are numbered based off the “project” file, which still lists the old ones, even though the documents themselves aren’t currently in the project.
If you have no luck tracking down the remains of the original project, check your automatic backups. By default Scrivener creates a complete backup of the project each time you close, so you may have a backup you can retrieve from prior to moving the project. It will be missing your new content, but it’s easy to open the current version and the backup side by side and just drag items from one binder to another. You can access the backup location by opening a project in Scrivener and going to the Backup tab in Tools > Options. Copy any backups you find for the project to another location, where you can extract them from the zip folders (either right-click the zipped folder and choose “Extract All” or navigate into the zipped folder and then drag out the .scriv folder to the location you want to save the project) and then open them in Scrivener to check the contents.
You were right! The missing files were hiding in a different .scriv folder somewhere else with the same name, so even though the auto backups were blanked I was able to find the first chapters! Thank you very much!!
Another possibility is that the project may have been moved while it was open. It’s not possible for us to detect that, nor find where it moved to, so the software keeps “ignorantly” writing changes to the old location, causing the data to become forked with old stuff in the new place and new stuff in the old place. And, since the the “recent projects” system keeps working off of the old location, that’s the one that opens in the future, and hence the one that gets backed up as well (missing all of the old documents naturally).