Lost Everything, Including Backup


I haven’t used Scrivener in 10 days and when I went to open my most recent file – 6-3-13 – it had a long list of scenes but only 2 had any copy. Also, the binder, which had color-coded and titled scenes, was grey, and, out of 43 scenes, there are only 3 that have retained their titles. I went to backup and found the same problem.

However, I am able to access a file from 4-30-13.

Essentially, I’m missing a month’s work.

Hope someone can help.

Many thanks,

Hi Jane,

I’m sorry you’re having such a problem! When you say you checked the backups, are these the automatic backups Scrivener creates (typically when you close a project)? It sounds like you have a big gap in your backups without any from May, so I’m wondering if this is a manual backup you’re looking at and if you haven’t checked the automatic ones yet. If that’s the case, try going to Tools > Options and opening the backup folder from the Backup tab there and copying out all the backups for this project. You can then look for the most recent prior to the problem appearing, extract the backup project from the zipped file (assuming they’re stored that way), and then try opening them in Scrivener. You may want to temporarily disable automatic backups while you’re doing this to prevent generating a bunch of worthless backups of backups and that causing your real backups to roll off in the queue.

You may want to try using the Windows search tool to look for both another copy of the project (by name) or for some of the text documents by searching for a specific phrase or such from within the document. Your description incorporates symptoms of a few different problems, but part of it sounds as though some files were moved from the project folder or the project folder was altered while it was open in Scrivener, so you may turn up files belonging to it that are just in the wrong location on your drive.

If you’re on Vista or higher, you could also check for previous versions of your project folder. I’d make a zipped backup of what you do have first by right-clicking the project folder and choosing “Send to \ Compressed (zipped) folder”, then try restoring an earlier version. You could try this in your backups folder as well, to rescue any older or deleted backups. You can find more info (and search for the approrpriate Windows version) in Microsoft’s support centre. (Here’s the article for Previous Versions FAQ for Vista.)