"Files were recovered" advisory message on opening project

An odd thing happened as I was cleaning up and reorganizing a Scrivener project yesterday evening. I was simplifying and flattening a complicated folder hierarchy, consolidating and deleting documents, and moving them from folder to folder, working at a fairly rapid pace. I don’t recall my exact sequence of actions, but I do recall that I had deleted some files from a first-level folder in the Binder. I believe that in quick sequence, I deleted all three files in the folder. Perhaps I deleted the folder as well.

Two of the files appeared in the Trash folder (which I had open at the time), but one did not.

I stopped what I was doing and looked all over the Binder for it, and it was gone. Cmd-Z did nothing. The file did not appear in the project-wide search results, either – no traces of it were left. I chalked it up to gremlins, “one of those things,” etc.

I finished my work, quit Scrivener, closed all programs, backed up, logged off and on again, and started Scrivener again. It loaded the project, as I had left it open when I closed Scrivener. I received the advisory message, and the file that had disappeared, showed up in the “_Recovered Files” folder.

My main question is: is my project damaged? (It seems not, from the description in the advisory, and I have since deleted the _Recovered folder, and reopened the project without errors reported–but I do want to make sure.)

I am on 10.6.6, and Scrivener 2.0.5 (9496). I do not sync with Dropbox, and I do not edit the file on more than one computer. Not sure if it’s relevant, but my project is located on a second volume on my MacBook Pro’s hard drive, named “Data.” 218gb free on Data, 114gb free on Macintosh HD. Both volumes verify OK in Disk Utility. 8gb RAM.

Screen shot 2011-05-16 at 11.31.46 PM.jpg

This exact thing has been happening to me recently.

I’m getting “Files Were Recovered” a lot lately and I’m not sure I understand how to deal with it. It is frustrating putting things back where I originally placed them and having to rename them. I’m using dropbox and simplenote, perhaps there is an issue here? Would like to get this sorted out. What is the best practice for have offsite storage to back up my files.

Thinking cap is on. Your thoughts on this issue are welcome. :slight_smile:

fyi, for textbots the message reads:

Files Were Recovered

While the projet was opening, files were detected within the project package that do not exist in the binder. This may have been caused by a permissions conflict, in which the file system refused the deletion of files from inside the .scriv package that had been deleted fom the project binder, or by synchronization between different versions of the project.

The recovered files can be found in the “_Recovered Files” folder at the bottom of the binder.

Scrivener attempts to recover such files whenever a project is opened. To disable this behaviour for a project, hold down the Option key while the project is opening. If the file recovery is disabled, holding down the Option key on open will re-enable it."


First, your project isn’t damaged, no, but this does mean that something went wrong at some point - this process is in place to ensure that the project gets “repaired” immediately to ensure that it will continue working fine. What this message means is that some files inside the .scriv file were found that don’t have a representation in the binder; it will therefore recover these files so that you can deal with them. Usually, this would be caused by a syncing or Dropbox problem, with the project being worked on in two places and the binder being saved without files on one computer that have been added to the project package on the other - but you say you are not on Dropbox.

It’s unfortunately almost impossible to speculate as to the cause off the bat - all I can tell you is that at some point you ended up with some files inside the project package that weren’t in the binder. You say that you deleted some files, and some did not appear in the Trash folder - if they completely disappeared from the binder, this would account for the message, but it would certainly be a bug. I’ve never heard of it happening before outside of a sync error, so I would need - and be very grateful for - more information. Unfortunately, unless you have kept the project open since, any useful information has most likely gone, so the best thing to do now is just to keep an eye out for it happening again. If it does happen again, please go to ~/Library/Application Support/Scrivener/Logs in the Finder (on Lion you can access the hidden ~/Library folder by opening the “Go” menu and holding down the Option key), and then open up Console.log and the backup version of it in a plain text file and send me the contents (or post them here). This will detail any errors that were thrown.

Also, if you notice any files disappear while working with Scrivener like this, close Scrivener completely and restart it (to trigger the recovery), as it’s possible an error has been thrown somewhere, and it’s always safest to restart in such situations.

Thanks and all the best,

I think from now on, I’ll “File -> Open” rather than use the “recent files” thingy to open my project. When I went through the other .scriv items I have and opened them that way, it worked out fine and I didn’t have to breathe into a bag anymore. :slight_smile:

Strange - that shouldn’t make any difference, except that you at least know the exact file and its location when you open it that way.
All the best,

For keeping your projects in Dropbox or using Dropbox as a backup location, check out this knowledge base article. If you’re using the external sync with Simplenote (which is more for accessing your work while away from Scrivener than really a “backup” method), section 13.1 in the user manual (available from the Help menu) covers that.