Files corrupting

Hi there –
I don’t know if this is a bug but I’ve had 2 different files corrupt in the past two days. It seems to happen when I have more than one Scrivener project open. Luckily the backups saved me (mostly), but I’m getting a bit skittish about the frequency. It’s never happened before and I’ve been using Scrivener for at least six years. I did the last update when it came available, so I’m up to date…

Just happened again – except this time the text of a dozen chapters just disappeared. :frowning:

I’m sorry you’re having such trouble! Could you share some more details about the setup of the projects, where they’re saved on your hard drive–for instance, are either of the projects saved in a synced location like Dropbox or Google Drive, or did one project folder somehow get moved inside another project’s folder? When you say the files are corrupted, do you mean that the text no longer loads in Scrivener’s editor, or that it appears as gibberish characters, or something else? Any more information you can offer about what you were doing when you discovered the problem, what steps led up to it, how you fixed it, etc. would be helpful in trying to track down what could have caused this.

I’m working on a Microsoft Surface. The Scrivener program is loaded on the hard drive and the project files are on an SDX card. I see there’s a problem when I try to call up a document from the “recent projects” menu option and I get an error window that says it can’t find the project. If I go to the project file and launch it there, it sometimes comes up, but when it does it is not the file I wanted, it is another one (usually one that might have been open in the background).
The second problem that I opened a project, but when I would click on a scene where there had been text (and it shows as having text in the left-hand navigation area) I see a blank page and then the icon in the navigation becomes blank as well. Every scene I touch then empties that section.
Please let me know if there’s any other info you need…

DeAnna, this is Jennifer’s patch, but given timezones, I might suggest the first thing that comes to mind.

It’s that the problem files are living on this high-specificaton SD card, SD-X, if I’ve understood correctly.

Are you able to try another card? Maybe one without the same specification or brand? Can you successfully copy some or all of your Scrivener projects to this other card (maybe by first copying to your main drive, then to the new card)?

If they open correctly there (outside of any corruption caused before), then you’d have an answer. Cards shouldn’t be, but can be tricky sometimes.

Best fortune with it, and I will bow and away :wink:


Hi DeAnna,

The first issue does sound related to the card, in the sense that the file path isn’t recognised for whatever reason–perhaps the card was idle too long and Windows dropped it, perhaps it is physically inserted into the computer but not mounted, perhaps there’s a password protection that isn’t being recognised. When you attempt to load the project, Scrivener is launched or activated (if it was in the background), so the most recent project may be opened automatically or any projects open in the background will be brought forward. It’s not replacing the project you’re trying to open, it’s just a secondary effect of the attempt to open that project.

You could try quitting Scrivener, then ejecting and re-mounting the SDXC card, then attempting to launch again. Copying the project to the local hard drive would likely also work and might be a better solution, if you’re going to be working on the project for a while, so you won’t have so much reading and writing to the external disk. When you’re finished and close the project, you can copy it or a backup back onto the SDXC card.

The other problem of the text not loading could be a few things. All the documents in Scrivener are stored as individual files within the .scriv project folder, so the two most likely possibilities are that Scrivener cannot locate the document file–it could have been renamed or moved, not necessarily deleted–or that it cannot load it, possibly because it is (or appears to be) encrypted in some way or requires user access privileges that Scrivener does not have. Considering the problems you’re having loading the projects in some cases, I think the best thing to try to start is to copy the whole project .scriv folder to your local drive, as Clive suggested. That may not solve it, but at least it will eliminate one factor. Also make a backup of the project if you haven’t recently done so, by right-clicking the .scriv folder and choosing “Send to \ Compressed (zipped) folder”.

Then, right-click the .scriv folder and choose “Properties” then click the “Advanced” button. In the Advanced window, if the option to “Encrypt contents to secure data” is selected, deselect it, click OK, and click “Apply”. You should get an option then to apply the changes only to the selected file or to all the folder’s subfolders and files as well; choose that latter. Windows should decrypt everything and you can click OK to exit the Properties window. Then try opening the project in Scrivener.

If the “Encrypt contents…” option isn’t selected, back out to the General tab and go to the Security tab. Select your Windows user account or the group it belongs to and ensure that it has read and write permissions for the project folder. (You will likely need to provide an administrator name and password to change this if the account does not have the needed permissions.) Sometimes files coming from another drive get their permissions skewed, so it could be that the file should be read and writeable but isn’t, and you may be able to fix that here. OK all the changes and then try opening the project.

If neither of those helps, navigate into the project’s .scriv folder (when the project is not open in Scrivener) and drill down into Files/Docs to check the contents there. It should contain all the text documents and imported files in your project; you may be able to preview them directly in File Explorer with the “Preview” pane enabled in the View tab. The files should all be named with simply a number; if they’re called anything else, Scrivener isn’t finding them and loading them correctly, and the fix will be to correct their names.

If you like, you can attach the zipped copy of the project or email it to AT literatureandlatte DOT com and I can take a look at it directly to see if we can get it fixed up. Be sure to your backups are all in a safe place, as well–remember that Scrivener’s default is to save only the five most recent automatic backups, so if you haven’t changed that setting, you may want to do so in the Tools > Options > Backup tab to save all backups until we’ve sorted this out, or at least copy your existing backups to another location, if you’re not making manual ones regularly. That way you won’t replace your good backups with ones in a problem state.

I appreciate the suggestions. I’ll try them. :slight_smile:

On my Surface, I had a terrible time with it temporarily losing the SD card (as if it had been removed). Turns out I had my OneDrive folder pointing to the SD card – not something you could set up directly, but there was a clever workaround.

In the end, it was not so clever – once I moved OneDrive back to C: my SD card was much more stable.