Lost work *URGENT*

Dear all,

I also sent an email to the support email address, but I am afraid I won’t find a solution until after the weekend. I have a deadline this week for my PhD thesis chapter and I just lost a part of my work, because I was installing Scrivener and Dropbox on my new computer and opened my project (saved in Dropbox) before it was fully synced. It saved my chapter without half of the text in it and after panicking and looking for the right back-up on my laptop, it saved this half blank file as the last 5 back-ups. I tried to open back-ups from yesterday, but there was no text in it. The Binder looked as normal with all the correct headers that I created and Research files, but there was no text in it.

Is there anything I can do? I really hope there is a secret solution for this…

I will no longer save my Scrivener project in Dropbox in the future of course.

Many thanks in advance for thinking with me.

could you restore an older version of the dropbox file to dropbox… wait for it to sync back down to your machine… then reopen it in scrivener? worth a try at least

see the below from the dropbox site…

How do I recover old versions of files?

Dropbox is like a time machine. It keeps snapshots of every change in your Dropbox folder over the last 30 days (or longer with the Packrat feature). So even if you saved a bad change, or if the file has been damaged or deleted, you can restore the file to an older version with only a few clicks.


LN24. Do not panic. Do you have your old computer, and/or did you also copy all files to the new? Did you only have five local backups? If you still have your old computer, then your backups should still all be good. Copy the most recent to a pen drive. Copy it to your new computer. Hunt it down with Scrivener. If it is in a zip file, unzip it into a directory on the new computer and then hunt it down with Scrivener. I cannot resist the urge to shout “Don’t change anything! [especially in the middle of a Ph.D. dissertation!!]” Forgive me. kraml

First off, deep breaths.


Have you gone through the information in that post?

Dropbox is fine, but it has to be fully synced first.

And if I may make a suggestion? Every time before you close Scrivener for the night, do a complete compile of everything you possibly can. Then do a manual backup. Put both of these files on a thumb drive, your dropbox, and email them to yourself. (You get an insane amount of space on a gmail account.) Every few days burn those files to CD and give a copy to a geographically-distant friend. Overkill? Probably, but it’s this generation’s method of keeping a copy of your dissertation-in-progress in a freezer in case of fire.

As others suggested, recovering from a project backup on the old computer is the simplest solution if you have access to those. If you hadn’t changed Scrivener’s default settings, it would have created a zipped backup of the project in C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local\Scrivener\Scrivener\Backups each time you closed it. (C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Local Settings\Application Data\Scrivener\Scrivener\Backups on XP.) None of those would have been affected by the backups made from the new computer, which would be stored locally on that machine.

If that’s not an option, then recovering the project from Dropbox’s own backups is your next solution, and this isn’t really that bad either. Make sure the project is closed in Scrivener, then go to your Dropbox account online and navigate to the project’s folder to recover the deleted files or older versions as necessary.

(Right-click on any file row to access the “Previous Versions” option in the context menu.)

From the website you may be limited to recovering files individually rather than an entire folder unless that whole folder was itself deleted, though you should be able to do multiple selections. If you have a lot to recover this way though you may find it faster to contact Dropbox’s support directly, as they can usually quickly restore your deleted files. Similarly, the “previous versions” I think works only on individual files and will be more time consuming, but their support team may have a way of quickly rolling back everything in the project folder to its state on a given date/time.

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I thought I would receive email updates about any replies (oops), so that’s why I didn’t get back to you. But the good news is I managed to find everything back by using Dropbox restore deleted file options… so again, thank you!!