NaNoWri...ARGH! Missing text on separate pc & thumb

Hello & hope you are well. :smiley:

First of all I’d like to say thank you to the developers of this great software & to all the generous people who give up their time to advise us on this forum.

On top of tearing my hair out trying to write 1700 words a day, I tried to work on my NaNoWriMo project on Scrivener Trial Version (downloaded a few days before 1 Nov, not sure of what number it is) on OH’s computer, which is Windows 7.

Installed Scriv Trial version on OH’s pc, opened the project so far on OH’s pc, and - doink! - half my text was missing. About 20k. Figured it might be something to do with Trial version so decided will only work in Scrivener on my laptop (Win XP).

Today, having backed up the Scrivener NaNo Proj to my thumb as I have been doing since 1 Nov, I opened it on the thumb on my laptop. Scrivener crashed. I opened it again and - voila! - 20k’s worth of files, again, missing. (Luckily I have a strong heart ;o)

Is this to do with it being a Trial version? My thumb is sound; I compile & save the Scriv project when finished for day. Up until now I have then been copying the saved Project onto my thumb, but no longer - instead I’m compiling it daily into an RTF which then goes on my thumb, along with a backing up.

And if this problem has already been reported, apologies, I tried to find an up to date thread on this & couldn’t.

All best & mucho gracias in advance,
A.x :mrgreen:
(Deranged on the Welsh Riviera)

I had crashing and .scrivx file wiping problems with the NaNoWriMo trial version (which is actually still a beta). Try using a normal trial now (1.0.2), until Scrivener ends. That version lasts 30 days.

Thank you so much for your reply, Dretzle :smiley:

Aunty Socialite, I’m so sorry you’ve been having troubles! As Dretzle suggests, I would go ahead and, after backing up your projects, uninstall the older NaNoWriMo trial of Scrivener on each of your computers and download and install the latest official version, 1.0.3, which you can get from here. Although it doesn’t sound like you’re experiencing the .scrivx bug Dretzle referred to (or your project wouldn’t have opened at all), it still has bug fixes and improvements over the beta version, including fixes for a couple crashers. It also automatically creates backups of your project when you close (with options to change how this works, under the “Backup” tab of Tools > Options…) which gives some peace of mind.

It sounds like what’s happened is that your .scrivx file isn’t getting updated properly when you move from computer to computer. How are you transferring the project to your thumbdrive? Windows will typically merge folders of the same name rather than overwriting them completely, meaning that if you have a Novel.scriv folder on your drive and then try to replace it with the updated Novel.scriv, what will actually happen is that files inside of the folder already on the thumb drive won’t be deleted but those with the same name will be overwritten with the newer version. This should mean your .scrivx file was the newer one, but since it will cause some chaos with the other files in the project, it might be part of the problem here. I don’t think that was introduced as early as XP, though, so if you were just going from XP to Win7 that might not have been in play, at least in that direction.

When you say that the files are missing, do you mean that they’re no longer appearing in the project binder as they should be or that the items are there but the documents are blank when you load them? If you use the Windows search tool to look for a unique word or phrase in the missing text, does it find any RTF files in that project’s .scriv folder?

I had a similar problem when I switched from one of the betas to the NaNo beta. At the time I thought that I had made a mistake with Dropbox, but later discovered that wasn’t the issue.

Here’s the good news – although within the Scrivener project the words were simply gone, I was able to recover them. Check the Scrivener folders for the project. Within Files / Docs, there are numbered RTF documents which contain your text. Despite the fact that my .scriv project couldn’t see the words, I found the missing text within several of those numbered docs. Might be worth giving it a try.

Edited to add: I missed the fact that you’re using a thumbdrive. In prior betas I tried syncing with a thumbdrive and found that the Scrivener files weren’t all updating when I switched between computers. Dropbox has worked much better for syncing purposes.

This might be due to Windows’ “merge” feature when copying folders with the same name. If you replaced an older “ProjectA” folder on your thumb drive with an updated “ProjectA”, rather than completely deleting the original folder and replacing it with the new one, Windows will just update the files within the folder that have the same name–that is a newer “file1” will overwrite an older “file1”–and will add any new files–so you’ll now have “file20” whereas before there wasn’t one. Files that you’ve deleted from the newer version, however, won’t get removed from the original version–so if you originally had a “file2” and then you deleted that from your project so it no longer exists in your new “ProjectA” folder, Windows just leaves the original “file2” from the old “ProjectA” folder in place.

So what you end up with is a Scrivener project folder that contains documents that Scrivener doesn’t know about–versions of files that it thinks are deleted, etc.–and so you can end up with some messy results. The best way to transfer projects over a thumbdrive is to zip the project folder and then move that to the drive, as it will be treated as a single file and will therefore completely overwrite the older version on the drive.