Help! Need to make sure reinstall won't overwrite/lose files

Due to a series of unfortunate events, I had to swap out my hard drive. Everything was backed up with Time Machine, and after a rather hurdle-laden attempt to get everything back up, have been successful save for Scrivener (of course this happens on the first day of NaNo).

I was running the Trial version. Now when I try to open Scrivener, the icon is greyed out, and I get the error message “You can’t open the application “Scrivener” because it may be damaged or incomplete”.

I had been working on 3 projects, and want to make sure they are correctly backed up before re-installing Scrivener in case it gets overwritten during the reinstallation process. I had been planning on purchasing through the App store since I want to DL on both the main desktop and laptop. I read the documentation via PDF online, and didn’t see anything that addresses this issue. I also did not find anything on the boards, but may have not been properly searching for it.

(1) Is the reinstallation likely to overwrite my existing files or am I just being a worrywart?
(2) How can I backup all files given that I cannot get into Scrivener itself to do so?
(3) Is installing a new version of Scrivener using the App store the best way to go?
(4) Is there any way to get the 20% Nano discount by using App store? (if not and it is best to go through App store, that’s no real skin off my nose)

Thank you all for any help you can offer!

In order:

  1. The software is completely separate from your data. This is typical for desktop software. If you’ve become accustomed to how stuff works on a mobile phone or the iPad, it’s quite a bit different. The files you make on your computer are never “inside” of the application itself, and thus you can feel free to reinstall the software or whatever. Think of it like DOC files. The .doc files are not in Word, Word just loads them when you ask it to.
  2. If you’ve been using Time Machine, your projects are probably already backed up in multiple ways. Scrivener backs up your projects whenever you close the program by default. In addition to that you have the live project itself. Time Machine captures both of these.
  3. App Store vs. direct-sale version: That is up to you. Both versions are similar, but the App Store version is sandboxed. That might be more technical than you need to know, but basically the App Store version is not allowed to access anything unless you tell it that it is okay to do so. The direct-sale version has a bit more freedom. Honestly, I’d recommend the direct-sale version, and not just because Apple takes a 30% cut, but because you’ll be able to stay on top of bug fix updates quicker. It’s really up to you though. Like I say, there isn’t much of a difference between the two.
  4. Nope, that’s one of the downsides of the App Store. There is no way to provide discount coupons and such. If you buy into that route, your basically agreeing to always buy the software at full price, even when a paid update comes out (which won’t be for a while). We can offer event coupons like NaNo as well as educational pricing from our website store, though.