Lost Backup FIles

…since the last update. All of my backup files since 6/4/18 are gone, not in the backup folder. 3 weeks of work, vanished. Even though I saved every day. No, I didn’t manually backup because I thought saving them was enough. Where are those saved versions? Where are the allegedly automatically backed up files? The backup files from this morning had none of the revisions I’ve made over the last 3 weeks–that’s the real problem.

As well, when I reopened the latest draft, many of the chapter headings in the binder were there but the chapter contents were empty. This I’m not so worried about because I have an unrevised previous draft I can use but…just so you know.

The latest updated didn’t make any changes to backup files, and there is nothing in Scrivener that is capable (even accidentally) of wiping them out. It’s difficult to say what is going on with more information. Have you tried opening the backups folder from Scrivener’s “Backup” preferences? By default Scrivener deletes the oldest backup when it makes a new one, but the last five (or however many you set up) should be there. Are you using your own backups folder or the one Scrivener automatically assigns? Have you made any changes to your computer?

I’m not sure what you mean about the chapter contents being gone. Could it just be that you need to select the folders and switch back to scrivenings mode? If the folders are set to use single document mode, then they will just show the textual content of the folder document, which may be empty if you don’t usually type into folder text.

All the best,

Thank you so much. Let me be more clear now that I’ve calmed down a bit. The backup files are there, in the backup folder automatically set up by Scrivener. They just don’t have any of the revisions I’ve done over the last 3 weeks. What they backed up is a previous draft so, in essence, every time it backed up it did not back up the latest revisions of this draft. Every new draft I do I create a new project–this is draft 10–and save it as such. I start with importing the previous draft and revising from there. Draft 10 has been backing up, since 6/4/18, that imported draft without any of the ongoing revisions.

When I open some of the files in the folders, there’s an empty page. No text at all. The file above it may have text. The file below it may, but some files are blank. Not so much of a concern because I have a previous draft I can copy and paste from but definitely a bug in the system.

Isn’t there someone I can talk to on the phone? If I go to the Apple genius bar, can they find the files?

Where are you saving your project and your backups? Are you using a cloud service?

Backups are on my hard drive. Project is in dropbox.

Is your project in DropBox because you are sharing it between machines?

We don’t offer phone support, I’m afraid, as we are a small team and don’t charge a high enough price to pay for phone support. We do offer very thorough email support, though - you can email us at mac.support AT literatureandlatte.com. (It’s usually easier to work out issues through email anyway since everything is written down and screenshots can be shared.)

I’m almost certain this is not something that has been caused by Scrivener, since there is no way that Scrivener can clear out text from inside a project without user interaction. Also, Scrivener cannot back up a previous draft - that’s just not technically possible because it does not know anything about previous drafts; it can only back up the project as it is right now. Therefore, any backups that have been made will have been made of the project as it was at the time of the back up.

Now, if you had two versions of the project and both had exactly the same file name, and if you opened and worked on an older version, then the backups would be for that version, and backups for the other version would get overwritten. But that would only be if you inadvertently started working on an older version of the project.

One thing to try:

  1. In Scrivener, go to File > Find All Projects in Spotlight. This will find all .scriv files on your system.

  2. Sort the results in Finder by date and look at the recent files to see if you can find the version of your project you are after.

(Note that this will not return .zip files, so it won’t return backups that have been zipped.)

All the best,

And they are not stored in your Documents or Desktop folder with the ’store in iCloud activated?

One thing to try:

  1. In Scrivener, go to File > Find All Projects in Spotlight. This will find all .scriv files on your system.

  2. Sort the results in Finder by date and look at the recent files to see if you can find the version of your project you are after.

(Note that this will not return .zip files, so it won’t return backups that have been zipped.)

All the best,
Thanks. That’s a good tip. I did that. I found Data files from 5/28/18 (the last time it backed up, evidently) and then files from 6/29/18 with no Data files from the last three weeks. No back ups have been made by Scrivener in the interim.

Could this have to do with that mini update this week? Was it to 3.0.3? I’m sorry I wasn’t paying more attention to what that was. A window popped up and I clicked the update later tonight button (or something like that) since I was in the writing zone at the time.

If I take it to some data recovery genius will they be able to do anything other than this? I don’t want to waste my time or money if it’s pointless. Thank you.

Nope. Just because I’ve had laptops crash and wanted to save in a place I’m able to access if that happened again.

No. Users> me>Library>Application Support>Scrivener>Backups

If you have a better idea, please let me know what and why so I can do better going forward. Thanks.

I’m the only one who uses this laptop, btw.

In the hidden Library folder? How did you set that up?

The folder Library>Application Support is a folder handled by the system itself so you don’t really know what happens there. It sounds as if you have activated Documents on iCloud, which means that your whole projects are not kept on your HD.

OP, sorry if you’ve already answered this, but I don’t recall it.

Scrivener default setting is to take backups of a project when you close the project.

Have you been closing your project on a daily basis, or leaving it open for days/weeks at a time?

It’s very easy to make the Library folder visible: it’s one of the options if you hit Cmd-J in the User folder.

I thought that backup folder was the default one in Scrivener. It is what is being used on my computer. I doubt I would have changed it.

I assumed so as well. I didn’t change it. Any recommendations for where it would be better to put it?

Thank you for asking. You’re the first one to do so. So after checking the Backup Preferences, I saw that it was set to backup upon closing. And no, I haven’t closed the project in 3 weeks. I foolishly thought that command + S was enough to save any changes. I’ve come to see that it is not the case (if you know otherwise PLEASE let me know). When Scrivener relaunched after some little automatic overnight update, it didn’t back up (I assume because I didn’t close it manually) and all was lost. Lesson learned, the hard way.

I am holding fast to the idea that the next draft of those 9 chapters will be even better than the last. What else can I do? Keep on keepin’ on.

Yes, that’s the default. Saving the live project locally and sending a zipped backup to a cloud service is an option.

(Although the following thread is in the Windows sub-forum, it’s still relevant to Macs.) You can learn a great deal about saving and backup strategy from this recent discussion:

Super information. I’ve changed my configuration for saving and backing up based on this. And yes, I assumed (falsely as it turns out) that Ctrl + S would save the open project, which I never closed. Thank you for this. I feel much better going forward.

It’s possible you might be able to recover some of your lost revisions. Scrivener keeps the text for each document in your project in an .rtf file.

In Windows Scriv, these files are in the following folder path: YourProjectname.scriv > Files > Docs

The Mac has either the same naming convention or something very similar. You might want to try opening each .rtf file in the Docs folder, or at least the most recently modified ones, and see if they contain your missing revisions.

If you do find your revisions in the .rtf files, and they are not in the Scrivener documents, that indicates possible corruption of the project’s index.

If that’s the case, than I would copy your words out of the .rtf files into a new project and start from there.

Hope that helps and best of luck…