Lost Work/Chapter

I’ve just lost all of my work for today. I “usually” back-up my work before closing my computer down. (I didn’t back-up personally today as my internet had gone down & I clearly was flustered!) But I had compiled a mobi file, so the work should have been on there. But the mobi is corrupted and when I opened the Scrivener project up again, the chapters are missing.

This is a first for me and I’m in a state of shock. I’ve checked the files/docs in the scrivener project folder, but that chapter hasn’t even been backed up there. Two others I’d briefly edited/worked on are. but the main bulk of work is missing.

The programme was shut down correctly before I restarted my computer to get my internet going.

Any suggestions? Please?! I’m hoping you guys know some magic solution, but I think it’s looking pretty grim.

First thing to check is the automatic backups. If you haven’t changed the settings, those are created each time the project is closed, so you may still have one from this last session that’s good. Open a project in Scrivener and go to Tools > Backups. While there I’d disable the automatic backups temporarily, so that you avoid making any more backups of the current corrupted project that might replace good older backups. Then click the button to open the backups folder and take a look for your recent backups for this particular project.

The easiest way to check the backups is to sort them by date. Switch the file explorer to showing “Details” view if it’s not already there, then toggle the Created Date header so you can look for the most recent project backup that’s before the time you opened it and it was corrupted. Copy that backup to another location, the desktop is fine, and then if it’s a zip file (with a zippered folder icon), right-click and choose the “Extract All” option to save a copy of the project folder. If you’re on Windows 8.1, you’ll probably see the extraction tools in the file browser just when the zipped folder is selected without needing to right click. Either way, once you’ve got the extracted copy of the project folder, you can open that in Scrivener to check for the missing text.

If that’s no good, it’s possible the text might still be in the index file, or you may be able to grab something with the Windows “previous versions” of files, but check the backup first. It’s very unusual that files would be missing like this–normally it would be a result of the computer crashing while the project was open, or a problem syncing a live project, but that doesn’t sound like your situation. Is your project saved somewhere like OneDrive or Dropbox?