HELP!!!!! Scrivener has wiped out a month's work

Please, please can someone help me? When I went to open my project this morning, a small screen came up saying Scrivener had not shut down properly last time and needed to ‘re-string’ I think. It then presented me with the opening screen rather than automatically opening my main project. When I opened it, it had not saved all the work I’ve been doing for a month. Yes, I have an online back up (Sugar Sync) but it has already overwritten the old file. Yes, I know now that it not a good idea. Is there any way I can get my work back??? Roll back is greyed out. I’m really really desperate :cry:

PS Looking across the forum, this seems to be the same problem that many people have been having with updating to v. 1.5 and saying that programme didn’t close properly. What I still don’t understand is why it has lost my recent saves. Where are they???

Does this synch service have any kind of version control in place? With DropBox, if a bad file wipes out an older good version, I can go into their web administration page and roll back to a prior version. And yes, you are right, anything that has “synch” in the name is probably not a backup service, but a synchronisation service. This is especially true if it doesn’t offer versions.

Most of the people losing data in the 1.5 update were not actually saving their work into separate projects, but rather putting everything into the Tutorial project. When the application updated, it (rightly so) updated the Tutorial to match the new features and revisions. When that happened they lost their work. So unless you have been writing in the Tutorial this entire time, your situation probably doesn’t match what most experienced.

Safeguards have been put in place so that this kind of misunderstanding doesn’t happen again in the future. If your situation does match the above description, it is very important that you check your Trash. You might find your work in there.

The good news is that I have found my work - but I’m still not quite sure how. There was obviously some glitch in the transfer to v.1.5. It wasn’t being saved in the Tutorial folder but its own so that wasn’t the problem. But Scrivener does need to do something about that opening message on v. 1.5.
You’re so right about the sync - mine doesn’t appear to have a roll back feature - a serious fault. I will in future save on to a separate hard drive, and zip back up elsewhere.
Many thanks

How aggressive is the upload with your synch program? Might it have started writing to the network before Scrivener had a chance to finish updating the project file? I can see how that might theoretically make a mess of things.

This is where Time Machine can save your life. Just nip back to the day when all was well and restore your file. Its a no brainer.

I know this is a relatively old string, but…
I am getting a lot of messages of the type:
Warning: This project was not closed properly or is currently open on another machine…Before the project can be opened, its search strings need resynchronizing. This could take several minutes. Continue?
I use a Macbook Air when I’m out and have a Macmini in my office. I also use Idisk, and do have Scrivener files on the Idisk.
Now, to be sure, sometimes I don’t close files on my Air properly before opening them on the Mini (occasionally vice versa). But I have become more conscious of closing and I’m pretty certain that I’m getting these messages even when I have closed the file on the previously used computer. By close, I simply mean a close, or control-W. Is there something I am doing wrong? Does the whole program need to quit before a proper save?

The whole program doesn’t need to be quit, no, but you do need to be very careful that you don’t open the same project in two places. Also, I would recommend only using iDisk as a backup and not as a place to store files - over the past few days I’ve been trying to help someone who lost a lot of work because of iDisk synchronisation wiping out some new files with old ones.

Those messages occur when Scrivener still has a setting in it that tells it is open - that setting is destroyed when the project is closed, so the only other thing it can be is that either Scrivener crashed or you copied the project while open.


Thanks Keith. IDisk doesn’t play well with a number of programs that way (e.g. Devon). Does Dropbox work better?

Unfortunately no, not really. The problem is that the entire technology, and theory behind it, somewhat contradicts the Mac bundle format (which Devon also uses), whereby a bundle provides an orchestrated package of files hidden within a single “file”. If the hidden files inside of it depend upon one another in any way, then the likelihood of any of these services eventually causing problems goes up. They are somewhat limited in that they are designed to work with ordinary folders and files, and the methods they must use to protect your data from unwanted reversions and conflicts all generate problems for hidden files.

All of that is tech speak for: Your Scrivener project file is actually a bunch of files, and they all need each other to stay predictable. Their names can’t change, and in some cases their contents shouldn’t change either, without Scrivener being aware of it.

The answer isn’t quite so simple as moving to a single-file format, especially in the case of programs like DEVONthink and Scrivener, which can house staggering quantities of information within them. If the whole thing was stored in a single file, these programs would crawl to a stop, and your network bandwidth would go through the roof, as changing any one tiny little thing would require a full save and upload procedure. In extreme cases, save & sync times would go from seconds to hours.

Very useful. Thank you Keith and Amber, as always.