Need help - Corrupted project.scrivx on Dropbox

Hoping someone can help. My project.scrivx file has been corrupted (I think).

I use dropbox to sync my scrivener project on several different computers. My work computer is always on and connected to the internet, and thus immediately makes any dropbox changes I make on other computers. I had the project open on my work computer, and made changes. I closed it, waited for dropbox to update, and then opened it on my laptop.

I didn’t check the laptop version right away, because I remembered that I hadn’t updated my laptop to the NaNo trial version yet. I closed the project on my laptop, but not the dropbox folder listing the files, and downloaded the NaNo trial on top of my existing Scrivener version.

When I reopened the project, I was missing 3,000 words and a bunch of character files. Thank you God, I found .rtf versions of the sections in the Scrivener “Docs” folder for the project. But when I open the project, the sections don’t appear.

Does anybody know what I should do to restore the corrupted project file?

This has happened to me when I’ve used another writing program. It was caused by my not waiting for the files to synch completely before shutting down the computer.

The only way I know to solve this is to:

  1. Save your new material in a separate word processor as RTF files. Make sure it’s all there. Also save a backup of your Scrivener project in case this messes up.

  2. Go to the Dropbox site online. Go into your account. Click on “Files”, then on “Show Deleted Files.”

  3. Roll back your project folder (the complete project folder) to the previous version before you entered the latest changes by hovering your cursor over the FOLDER name (be sure it’s the right version). Then click on the down arrow that will appear at the far right of the highlighted box. A drop-down box will appear. Click on “Download Folder” to restore the folder to your Dropbox folder.

I THINK it will restore over the current folder; you’ll need to check the file save date in the Windows Explorer directory to make sure.

  1. Open your new material and copy/paste the new material to wherever you want in the old Scrivener project folder.

  2. Save the folder.

  3. Be sure Dropbox is done synching, but before you turn off the computer go to another of your Dropbox computers and be sure the Scrivener file has the same time/date stamp as the original.

As an added precaution, I backup my Dropbox folder onto a flash drive or backup drive every time I change anything. Yes, I’m neurotic.

I hope this works for you. Modern technology is so primitive, it seems.

Ninthwraith, when I go onto dropbox online, and tell it to show “deleted,” it doesn’t list any deleted versions of my scriv folders (or files). It will show me previous versions of the project.scrivx file (not deleted versions, but previous saves), but rolling it back doesn’t do anything (still opens to current corrupted file).

All the correct .rtf files Scrivener created are in the docs folder. Is there some way to make the scriv project “see” them? Or do I need to just manually open them all, and paste into the project?

I’m not an expert in Scrivener, and even the manual says not to go poking about in the files, so you might want to wait for an official someone to weigh in who knows the program before opening the RTF files and cutting/pasting into new Scrivener files. Or not, if you feel secure doing it.

If the [file] index to the Scrivener project truly is corrupted, I’d be afraid of only corrupting it more. Are you sure at this point that the program (or Dropbox’s synching) will save new files, or just repeat the problem?

What I’d do at this point is open the RTF files and cut/paste them to something outside of Scrivener to make sure I had copies of the text and it absolutely can’t get away. I’d go back to writing in a word processor until someone official can tell me what’s going on.

Sorry I can’t help, but what I do is I use the free program File Synchronizer

additionally to Dropbox to save everything on an SD card I always keep in my laptop. Every time I have made some changes in my work I run the synchronization and if something goes wrong I always have a copy of my documents.
It is extremely easy to use and very reliable.

Same thing for Mac is the paid application “Goodsync”, which is more complicated but works.

And be careful because free Dropbox only saves copies of the same file for 30 days. What I do is i rename my file every day like workNov01.docx, workNov02.docx, etc. That way it does not delete them after 30 days.

Not sure if this is what you mean, but dropbox only keeps 30 days of revision history, not a 30 day limit on files stored there.

Sorry if I wasn’t quite clear.
What I meant was that Dropbox will delete every version of your file older than 30 days, leaving you with only the newest one. That can be quite annoying. Ever since that happened to me, I got into the habit of renaming my important files every time I work on them.

Thanks all for the replies. I ended up creating a new Scrivener project, and manually re-adding all the image and text files. I’m sure there must be a more efficient way of getting Scrivener to recognize the files in its doc folder, but I wanted to keep moving.

Coming in late (sorry), this is probably less helpful, but for future reference:

First, back up the project, whatever state it it’s in. No sense risking losing anything further, especially since you know all the writing is there, just not showing up properly. It does sound like an older version of the .scrivx file overwrote your newer one, which means that in Dropbox it’s going to show up as a previous state, not as deleted, so you’d want to roll back that file. Unless you’re familiar with XML, it’s not going to be the easiest thing to tell just by looking at the file itself whether the older version contains all the correct edits, but theoretically once you’ve got a full backup safe and secure somewhere else, you can test by restoring the previous version in dropbox and then checking that. The problem is that it may have been more than just the .scrivx file that didn’t finish updating, so it’s likely you have other files that are out of sync which you just didn’t notice. Some of these won’t matter, and Scrivener will just create new versions anyway; some of them, like your text files, will matter, and you’ll want to make sure that each of your text files really is the most recently edited version. You’ll also want to check for any “conflicted” files in the project and then ascertain which of the versions (regular or conflicted) is the one you want to keep.

All in all it can be a little messy, but given that Dropbox does save 30 days of revision history, you can usually find all the pieces.

If it’s just the .scrivx that’s the critically goofed one, you can restore your text into the project by just hitting “new document” a bunch of times in the binder. Each of these will be magically populated with the missing text, so just keep doing that until you’ve restored all your documents and new ones are coming up blank. You’ll have to re-enter the title and meta-data and reorganize them in the binder, but they’ll be there. (Scrivener just creates the text files and links to them in the .scrivx file using incrementing numbers, so when you take an older version of the .scrivx and add new documents, it adds links to numbers that already exist in the project–thus linking the new binder item to the existing document.) So long as all your text is right, this is probably the simplest way to restore the project, even though it does mean redoing your meta-data. (Synopses and notes will be preserved by this method.)

Happily, with the advent of 1.0, Scrivener will also make automatic backups every time you close your project. You can adjust these settings under the “Backup” tap of Tools>Options… but just with these default settings, what would’ve happened in your case is that when you closed the project on the work computer, you’d get a backed up copy of the project. After you discovered the snafu with the laptop and files getting out of sync, you could just restore the entire project from that backup by removing the current corrupt one from Dropbox and putting a fresh copy from the backup in its place. So hopefully, even if this problem does happen to you again, restoring quickly and safely will be much easier.