How to recover a corrupted file?

I saved and closed Scrivener, shut down my computer, and when I restarted the computer Windows 8.1 crashed. I had to refresh the computer, which deleted Scrivener but kept my files, including the project file. However, the project file only has half of my work. It deleted 7,000 words.

I downloaded the file from the cloud, and it has all of the text files with titles but the text files themselves are blank. Is there any way to recover the content of those text files?

How exactly did you download your project from the cloud and open it? Does “the cloud” here mean Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, something else? It’s possible that the backup of the project there does contain all your text, but it’s not appearing because of how the file was accessed.

If it was saved as a zip file, for instance, you need to extract the project from the zip folder before opening it in Scrivener. Normally Scrivener won’t let you open directly from within a zipped folder at all, because the files are in a read-only state and Scrivener needs to be able to save regularly, but some file managers will let you view the zipped contents in such a way that it will open the project file in Scrivener, so you’ll see the binder looking all right, but it won’t then also be loading all the text files that are part of the project. If that’s waht’s happened here, just fully extracting the project’s .scriv folder from the zipped folder should fix it for you.

I’ve also seen some cases where project folders are marked as “read-only” or have their permissions altered after being downloaded from somewhere like Google Drive or Dropbox. If the project you downloaded wasn’t in a zipped folder, or extracting it didn’t fix the problem, try following the steps under “Correcting file permissions” in this KB article.

As a precautionary step before you start doing a lot of opening and closing projects in Scrivener, I would go to Tools > Options in Scrivener and in the Backups section, temporarily disable the option to automatically back up projects. Once you’ve restored your project you should be sure to reenable it, but in the meantime this will prevent creating any incomplete backups that might roll off older good ones.

Once you’ve disabled backups, click the “Open backup location” button to open the folder of Scrivener’s automatic backups. If this is a separate location from where you’ve been storing backups in the cloud, you may find an easier-to-use backup here. By default the backups are zipped, so as above, you’ll need to extract a copy of the project before you can open it in Scrivener. You might want to copy out all the backups for the project to another location, then go through extracting and opening them until you find the good one. Then you can move that to where you want to store the project (when it’s not open in Scrivener) and delete the other copies you made.

Holy cow, Jennifer, you just saved my career!

OneDrive had saved a zipped folder, which Scrivener said it didn’t recognize as a .scriv folder, which is why I thought that folder had corrupted. I had also downloaded just the project file from OneDrive, and that gave me an incomplete story. So all I had to do was follow your instructions, unzip the folder, and it was all there.

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!! I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to reply. Thank you!

Oh good, I’m glad you’ve got everything restored!