Folders and files scrambled

Had a very unpleasant experience yesterday.

I’ve organised the novel I’ve been writing into a series of text documents, each in its old folder.

I opened up the .scriv file yesterday and it opened on a list of Updated documents. I then went to the binder and found a good quarter of my folders and files had become mangled somehow. Some folders contained blank documents, some documents had become folders, names had changed – a mess basically, one that it was difficult to see any sort of pattern to.

I back up this .scriv file to Dropbox and also have earlier drafts of the file stored there (under different names). I’d referred to one of these drafts earlier that day, which is the only out-of-the-ordinary thing I did that I can think of, however, I’ve done this in the past and not had any issues (that I’ve noticed). I never access Dropbox from another computer

It turned out I’d not lost any data, it was all there, just jumbled up. I’ve now put all my text files in a single folder in the hope it may prevent this happening again.

Any idea what might have caused this?

If you right-click on the project and select “Show Package Contents”, do you see any files here that have “Conflicted version…” in the name? If you do, it might be easiest to just revert to the last backup. It sounds like you had closed the project, so unless you’ve changed the default settings you should have a backup of how things looked when you closed it.

That sounds to me as though an older Binder definition file was being used the second time. So in short the file that addresses where all of the data goes got out of date and so X was placed where Y should be and so on. It is indeed possible to cause issues with Dropbox even on one machine. You needn’t have two computers to scramble up a project. I can’t think of a good reason to put your projects in a Dropbox folder if you’re only using it for backup anyway. That’s just a lot of added complexity and risk for very minor gain. It would be better to just point your automatic backup folder to Dropbox so that your backups are uploaded offsight automatically, and keep all of your projects local.