Files in my binder delete all my text when I click on them

I have been using Scrivener for years, and have it set to automatically back up on exit.

You would think this would prevent me from having any issues, but apparently I am not so lucky!

I generally use a single Scrivener project to write lots of stories of varying lengths, and have a file dedicated to my ideas as well.

But today when I opened Scrivener to work on some things nothing will load and when I click on a draft in my binder no text comes up and it returns the little icon to the ‘blank’ icon instead of the one that indicates there’s something in there.

I really can’t lose all of this work, there’s over two years of works in progress (some over 50k long) and all my requests, prompts, and ideas as well as every work I have posted publicly in the last 2 years. Is this a known bug with a fix, or am I basically going to have to try and find a way to recover my work? I do have the Windows version of Scrivener too, so I could try sending the file over to my windows machine to see if it opens there, but since my Mac is my primary computer and the netbook isn’t really very good for writing on, I would love to find a way to recover my work here!

Thank you for any help or advice, I’m really in a tizzy about this! T^T

The good news is that, based on your description, chances are extremely high that there is no deletion going on, and that all of your text is sitting on the disk, it’s potentially not where it should be though. This sort of thing that can happen with backup or synchronisation software messes with the internal components of a project in such a way that it loses all (or some) of the proper “addressing” between those components. Then, when you click on “chapter 10” or whatever, Scrivener’s internal address for that file doesn’t correlate to the data stored for chapter 10, and so it just assumes you haven’t typed anything yet and gives you a blank editor. The text is still on the disk, but it is in a place where the software doesn’t know to look.

Have you ever used any backup or sync software in the past to share this file with your netbook, such as Dropbox? If so, that’s the prime suspect, and this sort of problem is nearly always possible to recover from without any data loss. In fact, you might find some things you had lost that you didn’t even know about. I.e. if you add a paragraph on the netbook but that added paragraph ends up getting marked as a conflict, when you load the project on the Mac the newer version with the paragraph isn’t loaded, that version of the file is “invisible” to Scrivener since Dropbox changed the name of the file.

If that is the case, we have some recovery and repair tips on this web page, if you scroll down a bit.

If the problem occurred some time ago, then your backups might have the same issue, yes. The program just creates a copy of your project when backing up, if the project has issues those will get backed up as well.

The question is why this suddenly started working differently. Either the problem happened today (and then your backups would be fine, have you tried them yet?) or it’s been around for a while and something else on your system changed. Any significant updates, installs or configuration changes recently?

Thank you so much!! T^T

I did check my backups, and it does sound to me like what you’re suggesting is the problem - I did share my work on my dropbox, and deleted it accidentally a month or two ago. After an initial panic I managed to restore everything from a backup stored on my actual computer, since I hadn’t been using the dropbox file itself but apparently it was still saving to there without me realising! Since there are some files that are still there (most of my more recent things) and some that are not there’s a good chance that it’s some kind of weird dropbox issue.

I did check all my backups and none of them contain the information that is missing from my main file, but I had started backing up more regularly since the Great Dropbox Deletion Scare because I thought it would be a way to prevent my work from going missing…

Is it possible to restore the missing ‘links’ to my older works? (scratch that I just saw you linked me to a page, I’ll check there, thanks!)

Thank you again for your help, I appreciate it so much!! <3<3<3

Hoookay, I really don’t think that I can fix this :frowning:

The scrivener ‘file’ that is sitting in my dropbox contains zero bytes, cannot be opened, and when I “Show Package Contents” it contains the folders, but nothing in them.

When I “Show Package Contents” on the file(s) on my hard drive, it doesn’t seem to show up anything in parentheticals, or indeed anything that looks similar to what the FAQ is talking about. I am really, really not tech-savvy at all so I don’t really understand it very well, which may also be a big problem…

Well, on the bright side, I know I have some of the larger projects saved in emails where I’ve shared them with others for proofreading etc, and I’ve been looking at cutting down some of my requests and ideas list anyway ^^; I had intended to put them up as plot bunnies for adoption, but… I guess this works as well? Everything else… well fortunately they were individual works and not portions of a whole, so I guess either I can figure out what I was doing with it based on the title or abandon it and work on new ideas!

Mandatory spring clean, haha, oh well! Thanks for trying anyway, I really appreciate it <3