I have a bunch of older projects that are marked as Zero Bytes

I have scrivener set to automatically backup to my dropbox account. I’ve used scrivener for almost 6 years or so. I’ve upgraded faithfully each time a new version came out.
I decided to go back to some old projects that I haven’t touched for almost 4 years and was shocked to discover that almost all of these seem to be unopenable. They are marked as zero bytes, and I can’t open them at all.
I see the following message, “The project at “/Users/larrymitchell/Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener/TomoeBook5BookOfWind.scriv” seems to be of an older format, but no binder.scrivproj file could be found inside it. It may be missing or corrupt, possibly because of a problem with the device on which it is stored, or because of a synchronisation problem.
Try ctrl-clicking on the project in the Finder and selecting “Show Package Contents”, then look for a file entitled ‘binder.scrivproj’. Ensure it has not been renamed by a backup routine. If it does not exist, try restoring from a backup.”

This is a problem because it’s an awful lot of work, and the thought that I’ve lost all my earlier work really gives me serious doubt about continuing to use scrivener.
Is there nothing I can do? If you say there isn’t, then I will stop using your application and find another. Plus, I will tell everyone my experience and tell them not to use the product.

Now that is friendly. :wink:

First: take note that I am just a user. I have no affiliation whatsoever with Literature and Latte. (Like most people here, just so you know.)
. . . . . . .

You should search the forum, as I have seen the very same issue (that was resolved, if I am not mistaken) in the past.

If I remember right, the problem was with the cloud service.
Something related to having the files stored locally.

Alternatively, perhaps you could try and download one of these old projects from the cloud to your computer, then see if sitting on your hard-drive it loads or not.
→ At the same time, if it downloads to a 0 kb size, you’ll know it is likely the cloud that’s messed up. Not Scrivener.


Both of these seem like viable fixes. Issue successfully resolved in both cases.

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When files are saved in Dropbox and this error occurs, it is almost always a Dropbox sync issue. Try re-syncing with Dropbox by dragging the files out of Dropbox, letting them download to your computer, and then dragging the files back to Dropbox. You’ll also want to check your Dropbox settings to make sure your files are available offline.

I copied all the files out of dropbox to a local folder and tried opening them.
I managed to open all of them save one.
Thanks to everyone with responses.
There was almost 1.5 million words in those projects (20 separate projects) that stretch back years.
The thought of almost losing it all would have been heartbreaking.
I have to find another way to back these up because I can’t take the chance of losing it all.
Again thanks

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Perhaps, I was a little overwrought. It was about 1.5 million words in 20 projects that went back years. The thought of losing it all would have been a disaster. There is no way, I could have recovered any of it.
I managed to copy the files to a local folder and recover them. I did lost one of the projects but I can rewrite that one since it wasn’t that large (12000 words)
I am thinking long and hard about some other means to store backups because Scrivener and Dropbox isn’t the best solution.

Right. It ain’t.
Cloud sync as a backup solution is worthless in my opinion. (It is good for sync, and sync only.)

What you need to do is set Scrivener to generate zipped/time-stamped backups.
Options / Backups
And then you regularly upload these backups to the cloud, somewhere like Google Drive for e.g.
Anywhere really, as long as it is not a sync folder that remains live and vulnerable to user error or system crashes.
Once the backup is uploaded to the cloud, you just forget about it. You don’t do anything with it – unless it is needed for a recovery, if ever.

It has been part of my daily routine to upload a backup of my day’s work for years now : never once did I have a problem.

→ Have the backup function target a designated “in transition” folder on your desktop (or anywhere easily accessible to you). Backups will accumulate there (set the function to “Keep all backups”). And when finally you have time to upload (so to make a backup of those backups) you only need to do it for the pertinent ones. – Usually the most recent one per project.
After which you clean the folder. – In my case I duplicate the pertinent backups I just uploaded to Google Drive to an external hard-drive, then reset my backup folder by deleting everything from it.)

I explain it all in more details here:

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Standard Scrivener “zip” backups on open/close? TimeMachine?

Dropbox is not a backup

I’ve used Dropbox for many years for a wide variety of things including collaboration with others. This is the first time I’ve had a problem like this. For my laptop, I use time-machine as the primary backup but it doesn’t since the dropbox folder.
I’ll stop using it for scrivener and move all my files to a local folder so time machine captures it.

Sorry to burst your bubble. TimeMachine can and will capture Dropbox files if they are set to be “offline” which Scrivener requires anyway.

Adios. Leaving the forum

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There are pros and cons of anywhere you store your files; something can go wrong with any method. If you aren’t actively using Scrivener on multiple devices, I’d recommend saving them locally instead of in Dropbox—no need to worry about sync errors if you aren’t actually syncing your files.

You can then set your automatic backups to save as ZIP files to Dropbox or OneDrive or wherever. That way, you have backups automatically saving somewhere other than your local device. ZIP files can be saved anywhere securely, whereas unzipped files are a lot pickier.