Missing comments file, document erased


My computer restarted while I was working on a Scrivener document, and when I tried to reload Scrivener, I received the following error message:

“Could not load comments file: ‘C:/…Files/Data/1AF1E043-493A-47EF-A556-CE30F42FC61F/content.comments’, If this is the first time you have received this message, please restart Windows, then restart Scrivener and try opening this project again.” I’ve abbreviated the full filepath with an ellipse.

When I open the document to which this comment file corresponds, the document is empty. All the text is gone, and I don’t have a snapshot to return to. However, when I navigate to the folder specified in the error message, there is no content.comments file, only a content.rtf. So I can’t delete and recreate this file, as later parts of the error message suggest.

Is the error message correct? Is there a way to recover my missing text? And if not, where in the project file structure is the project being told that this file exists?

Thank you for any help/suggestions!

Hmm, I was able to recover a slightly earlier version of the document from an automatic backup. Lost a little progress but could be worse.

Glad you were able to recover, even if not perfectly. It is unusual, but if the timing is at the worst possible place, a hard reset of the machine while the software is saving something can cause issues that are very difficult to program around.

That best thing to do is to try and avoid what caused the crash or restart in the first place. Perhaps some general troubleshooting or settings adjustment is needed (I seem to recall the Windows update defaults are to just blithely reboot whenever, which is insane, but I think you can at least tell it to wait until off hours or to ask your permission first).

Secondarily, making your automatic backups a little more frequent never hurts. I like to use the setting that backs up when pressing Ctrl+S, in the Backup options tab. There is another setting over in the General: Saving tab that will take automatic snapshots on a manual save as well. That can generate a lot clutter, but it’s a second layer of protection that can sometimes be used to recover a recent edit without having to roll back the whole project to a backup point.

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I’m on the Windows Canary Channel Preview Builds for updates (about once a week). They’ve done away with willy-nilly restarts. Something like what follows pops up while you’re working, which may be daunting for some, leading to Restart Now seeming to be a logical response. Once done, your screen dissolves before you. There’s no confirmation query.

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