Help! Dropbox . . . where's my stuff?!

Firstly, I did a search, and found similar problems, but not exactly the same, as far as I can tell, so. . . .

Oy. Thankfully the draft is backed up in a Word file. But I’m working on a project, basically ghost-writing for someone who speaks English as his . . . I don’t know . . . 5th or 6th language. We meet in person. He basically talks and tells me what he wants to say (consulting his references in everything from Spanish to Czech), and I take notes, then I work to come up with a draft of it in English.

Anyway, I put Scriv on my laptop, so I could take info down into it at our meetings and rather than do the annoying jump-drive thing, I pull it up on my lovely new desktop with the large screen when I’m in my home office. :slight_smile:

So I finished interpreting everything from our last session yesterday. I put it into a Word file (thank God!) so he could read it and I sent it to him. Meantime, after having saved it in my Dropbox folder (I moved the whole project there) and closed it on the desktop, I went to check to make sure it was going to come up on the laptop for my next meeting in a couple hours. But no! When I went to the laptop, I get nothing at all!

Okay, well, not NOTHING. Actually, here’s the weird part: I got the headers back (“120110,” for example, or “120113,” for the date of the meeting), but there was nothing in the text area. How weird is that?

Weirder still, I just thought to go back into Scriv to “File,” “Recent Projects,” and this time instead of selecting the one I had just saved, I selected an earlier version of the same thing, and now I just managed to get back everything. (Which I immediately backed up, natch.)

So now I’m doubly confused and a little bit paranoid!

I’m wondering, after having browsed some of the other similar TOPics, if I could have somehow opened the wrong file (I wasn’t sure which file to open, actually, so I tried several, since when I tried a to open it from within Scriv I got nothing either). OR, maybe it’s something I did or didn’t do with Dropbox?

Even after reading the applicable section in the ScrivMan, I can’t tell what I might have done wrong. Unless it wasn’t synced yet, though I had saved it in the morning and this happened a little while ago, around 3pm. So the next question I have, I suppose is: could that result in what happened to my stuff? With having only the headers come up? Doesn’t seem like it would omit previously-saved stuff that I’m sure had previously been synced, like a few days ago, but you never know.

Another question occurs that is not strictly a Scriv thing, but is related for this function: when/how often does Dropbox sync? And how does one tell if it has synced? Okay, that’s two questions. :slight_smile:

The thing is, I have done this successfully two or three times before this weirdness happened, and before this happened I actually didn’t pay much attention to what I was doing, how I was doing it, or in what order I did it. (Though I’ve been a geek for as long as I can remember, I am both new to Scriv and to Dropbox as well, so I’m betting the problem is “user error,” except I don’t know what that error was, nor how to correct it.)

I have to go meet my client now, so, not that I’m worried about Scrivener - I’m sure that someone will tell me what I did wrong and how to fix it - but lest I do anything to screw up those files further, I dare not open and work in Scriv. So I will just do this session in Word (much as I don’t like to work in that, but better to do that than risk losing stuff until I have figured this out), and copy/paste it in once you guys have enlightened me as to what the heck I did that messed it up!

I’m counting on you guys!

Thanks for reading, even if you don’t have an answer, I appreciate your time.


To find a good copy of your project… Every time you close your project, it should make a backup. Go to Tools->Options and then to your Backup tab. There will be a button labeled Open Backup Folder… Click on it to see the most recent backups of your project. Choose the one that was made the day you closed the project and then moved it, and copy that file to where you keep your projects, double-click to un-zip it (if necessary) and you’ll have the project as it was before everything went sideways. Note that in the backup tab, you can relocate the backups folder to someplace more visible, and you can increase the number of backups kept before old ones are purged. I recommend upping that number as high as you can tolerate.

On “Recent Projects”: When you move a scrivener project using the Windows file manager, Scrivener is not told what you did with that project, so it will disappear from the recent projects list. You have to either go to File->Open and navigate to the new location the first time you open it in a new location, or you have to navigate to the Project.scrivx file and double-click on it.

Dropbox warning & hints: Moving things around on Dropbox can be risky if you don’t wait for syncing to occur between file moves. I tried rearranging my dropbox folder, moving projects scattered about to a central folder, only to decide that I needed another sub-folder for my projects, so I moved them again, all while Dropbox was still working on syncing up my changes from the first set of moves. The second move only had a partial set of files for my scrivener project, and so it only copied them to the second destination I had sent it to. The result: I had a binder full of documents, but many of them were missing any contents.

So, make absolutely sure that if you relocate a scrivener project on your dropbox folder, wait until it is completely done syncing before you do anything else. If you are completely reorganizing the file structure, then just copy everything to a new folder that is NOT on your dropbox, do your rearranging there, and then delete everything in dropbox and copy from the off-line folder back to your pristine dropbox folder and let all of that sync up.

Also, in any case with dropbox, you must wait for syncing to finish before letting your computers sleep or shut down (and there must be good internet connection of course), and on the receiving end, you must wait for the syncing to start and finish before you open the project. Similarly, if you move a project, DO NOT OPEN IT, until the dropbox logo is showing the green check-mark.