HELP! Document is blank after crash.

I’ve been writing in the novel format and I had five chapters, four of which I was done with. I was writing on the fifth and had about 5-6k words when my PC crashed. When I got it back on everything in the chapter five document was gone.
The funny thing is that I still have some of the chapter that I’d written halfway through in another document (that I use for counting words) so the program must have saved at least up until that point, but there still is nothing in the main Ch. 5. document. An the title of the chapter is also still there, even though I set it when I’d written about 5k words.

How can this happen? How can everything disappear from only one document?

I’ve tried restarting scrivener, restarting my computer, checked my trash in scrivener and the paper bin that comes with the computer, but nothing. I’ve also checked my backups under Tools-options-backups, but they’re all the same. Meaning that my first backup contains exactly the same as my last, even though it should only have about one or two chapters in it.
I unpacked the .zip file by right-clicking on it and selecting unpack and nothing seemed to go wrong. I just don’t understand why they’re all the same.

Please, someone help me if you can. I’m desperate to get my stuff back! If I don’t get it back today I have to write about 8k words before midnight to get ajour again. I’m participating in nano and this is the kind of thing that kills my motivation!

If you can help me fix this I swear to god I’ll bake you a cake or send you a christmas present or something!

Take a look at the manual, Appendix G.

That will tell you the folder where your writing is actually stored, within your project folder.

Look through the .rtf files and see if you can find your missing chapter.

Thank you for the answer. I went through every file in my project folder, including the .rtf files. And while all my other writing was there, no trace of the missing chapter was found except the bit that I already had in my word count document.

I managed to retrieve my files by using a program called ‘Disk Digger’, and for anyone unfortunate enough to run into the same problem as I did, I’ll post a rough step by step guide to what I did.

  1. Dowload and install Disk Digger.
    It’s recommended you install it on another disk than the one where your lost files might be located. I’m no expert, but i interpreted this as not to install it on the disk where you keep your project folder, which in my case was the C: drive.

  2. Open disk digger and choose the drive which is most likely to contain your lost files. In my case it was the same drive where I had my project folder. Click “Next” three times and the scan will begin. Keep in mind this scan may take hours to complete. I was able to sift through my files after just a couple of hours, while the scan was still giong, and find what I was looking for, but if you can’t find your stuff just wait for the scan to complete and go through it all then.

  3. Find your missing files.
    If it’s images you’re looking for then (1) click on the “View: List” above all the file types and select thumbnails to see images instead of sector location, size and file names.
    Choose your file type (2), for me it was RTF.
    To make the search easier, since the file names doesn’t show up, click on the “preview” option (3). This will allow you to see the text in the respective files before you restore them.
    Click on “sector location” so that the files are sorted, at least they were for me, in a way that puts all the scrivener related stuff after each other, which will save you a lot of time.
    When you find what you’re looking for just click on the text in the preview window, copy it all and paste it back into scrivener.

  4. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You can breathe easy. And from now on fevirishly back everything up all over the place!

PS: Yes, I write HP fan fiction. It’s oodles and noodles of fun.

Congratulations! You dodged a bullet with that one.

Are you in the practice of leaving Scrivener up for days at a time? If so, better change that habit, as I believe Scrivener default is to backup at shutdown.

To prevent this stress from happening again, you should read this post about backups:


Best of luck,

I am. I usually just close my pc when I’m done for the day. Thanks for the tip, I will definitely better my ways from here on out!