integrity of os x-packages

I’m a newcomer to OS X, so this might be a dumb question:

From search the forums, I’ve understood that the .scriv-files that store my various projects are actually something like ordinary folders. My concern is what happens with a .scriv-file if I get a harddrive error just where the file is. Would it render the whole package and all it’s content useless, or just parts of it?


Any file or folder can get damaged by a hard drive error. The Scivener files are all separate files inside the package, so there’s actually less chance of losing ALL your work if your hard drive goes boink in that particular sector.

It all goes back to the Number One Rule Of Computers - back of your work OFTEN, and preferably to multiple locations.

Yes, of course a hardware error can happen to any sector of my drive. But I’ve had zip-files on my Windows machine getting corrupted and only after some hard work been able to recover some of the content.

My questions is if files inside a package like a .scriv-file is more in danger for hardware errors then files placed “native” and individually insider the Finder?


As Khadrelt said, since an OS X bundle is actually just a folder with files in it, the chances of the “Bundle” itself getting corrupted as dramatically less than a single data file. It is no different than your Documents folder, just on a smaller scale. The only difference is a little flag that says, treat this folder like a Bundle.

Worst case scenario, one of the plist files that holds meta-information for the project gets on a bad sector. The data is still intact, and you could easily rescue your book, but keep in mind this plist file is very tiny. There are literally millions of files about that size on the average OS X installation. The odds of that one blowing up your Scrivener project are pretty slim. A lot more slim than if the whole thing were one big data file.

Another benefit is that Bundle style data files work better with OS X’s fragmentation protection. The odds of each file within a Bundle being less than 20mb is much higher. So you project will stay speedy for years, even if it becomes quite large.

Thanks for the clearification!