losing new material

I love Scrivener, have recently put my 400 page novel on it and it has changed my life. BUT I’m not sure I understand how the save function works. Last night I revised and added new things to a chapter and this morning the changes aren’t there. I have noticed this before with little things–nothing major has yet disappeared, but sometimes little changes don’t see to take. I thought that I don’t need to manually save…am I mistaken about that? and besides I almost never close out the program, I just hibernate my computer and leave it open. What is happening?
p.s. I use Windows XP

I am making sequential copies so I save Val01, Val02 etc. I do it every so often and particularly after a major chunk of work.

Simply go to File, Save As and Bob’s your Auntie… So far no probs but I am working on 85K words and don’t want to have to work out what has/has not been saved.

Hope that helps.


What version of the beta are you using? Some earlier versions had problems with saving data. By default, Scrivener saves every two seconds when the computer is idle. You can tell the save status by the asterisk next to the title (the asterisk is there when the document is not yet saved). It’s often hard to even catch unless you look when you are typing because the saves happen so fast.

Also, are you saving to any folders that have any kind of synchronization happening (dropbox, live mesh etc…)? There can be issues here depending on how you are doing it. If so, read this thread for more specific information and tips:


Thanks for your replies. I’m using the most recent version, and I had thought that it saved every few seconds–hence my confusion. I’m not doing any synchronization.
I see the value of using “save as” but for me that’s too confusing–I don’t want a lot of different versions of my work that I have to sort through, as it’s very long and complicated and hard enough to keep track of in my tiny brain. I was hoping Scrivener would help me to avoid all the multiple files of everything. But I may have to do that.

You shouldn’t have to manually save or save as so something is going wrong. A couple of things come to mind:

Since you always have the program open, does there seem to be a pattern between how long the program has been running and when this happens? How easily can you reproduce this? If you check the file dates of the actual project text files, are the modified dates updating to reflect your latest changes? Are changes to existing words not sticking, or is it just additional text added to the chapter that is missing?

Since you always have Scrivener running, you might want to monitor the process in task manager and see if there is any long term memory usage issues (if for instance, it keeps going up and up and up) that those of us to regularly restart the program each session might not run into. Sorry this isn’t more helpful, but I haven’t heard of others experiencing this still.

Hi mit7y,

I’m so sorry that you’ve been losing work! As the others have expressed, the auto-save should be running (every two seconds of inactivity, by default) and saving all your work as you anticipated, so what you’re experiencing is definitely not the norm and sounds like a bad bug. This was an issue that cropped up back in beta 022 and which Lee has put a lot of work into fixing, so all the details you can provide will help him better see what’s happening on your system. Answers to any of the following questions would be great:

1.) What is your operating system? (I know you said XP–is it Pro or Home, what service pack, and is it US or a localization?)

2.) Is your Windows user account standard or administrator? (You can check by viewing User Accounts from the Control Panel)

3.) Where are you saving your Scrivener project file? (e.g. to your Documents folder, to a thumb drive, etc.–the full file path would be great; I’m especially interested if it’s a network drive)

4.) What format is the drive you’re saving the project to? (NTFS, fat32, etc)

5.) What is your ‘Save after period of inactivity’ set to in Tools>Options… under the General tab

6.) Do you have any backup or sync services running while working in Scrivener?

7.) and as much relevant information as you can so that Lee can reproduce the same situation as closely as possible

As you mentioned that your computer often hibernates while Scrivener’s open, I’m wondering if that may be part of the trigger–many of the reports from this issue before involved the computer sitting a while before a user returned, and edits after that point not being saved. So while it would be fantastic if you could reliably reproduce this and provide the steps so we can see it, too, I don’t want you to lose any more work and I’ll recommend closing Scrivener more frequently than you’ve been doing and making regular backups (you can use File>Backup Project To… for this, which just creates a time-stamped copy anywhere you choose–I’d make a “Backups” folder–and keeps you still working in the same original project, thus it’s a bit cleaner for simple backups than using “Save As”).

I’d also suggest compiling your work at more frequent intervals, since in previous cases when the edits weren’t being properly saved, a backup wouldn’t contain them either but compiling before closing Scrivener would capture them in the compiled document. Using the collections feature, you can compile all your text documents, even those outside of the Draft folder, and you can compile the meta-data as well just for keeping a record of that. Other files can be brought out of your project via the Export function, but they’re probably at less risk since the issue seems to be Scrivener saving text. If I’m understanding correctly, everything that has gone missing has been text that you’ve typed in documents in the editor, yes? You haven’t lost complete documents or meta-data or document notes, etc.?

Other question–when have you noticed that the edits aren’t being saved? Does it all look fine until you do close and reopen the project, or do you notice the changes missing during the course of a single session?

Thank you for any more information you can provide so we can get rid of this bug for good, and again I’m sincerely sorry you’ve lost some of your work.

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I’m sorry to be so long in responding, I was on vacation and my haphazard e-mail setup didn’t alert me that there was more traffic on this thread.
It makes sense to me that leaving Scrivener open for so long while hibernating may be at the root of the problem (which was just about minor revisions and typed additions within the editor, before compiling), so I am going to change my ways and see if that helps. In the meantime, here are the answers to your questions:
–I run Windows XP professional SP 3
–administrator account
–save to documents folder on NTFS C drive
–the “save” is set to 2 seconds but I can’t remember if I fiddled with that setting when I was having problems, I might have
–I run Norton 360 and it may have been backing up while I was running Scrivener (aha!)
–I noticed the problem only on closing and reopening the session, not within the session
–I’m pretty sure the only losses were within the editor

Also, I have been getting popup messages about CPU usage…for the first time ever–so I guess this is what the other poster was referring to. I’m not sure what the Task Manager is, or how to find that. Again, I will begin closing down the program when I’m finished–that does seem to be related.
Thanks again for all the great work.

Oh, never mind about the Task Manager–I do know what that is. thanks again.