New Harddrive = No Access?

I’m a Mac user and I recently had my first harddrive die. It was hard and stressful, but I managed to pull all of my Scrivener files onto my new hard drive. And I pulled my license information from the depths of my e-mail and Scrivener can work.

Except now all of my old files are “read only” and Scrivener refuses to open them. One of these files is a short story that’s absolutely due in three days and at this point, I’d be happy to open them and manually copy-paste every single one into a new file, except Scrivener apparently doesn’t support read-only documents.

Please, can anyone help?

This is likely due to the new hard drive’s setup not recognizing that your old files are owned by the newly-created mac user account. They may have the same name, but internally, the computer uses numbers to say which user is which, and you may have a new number on your newer hard drive.

The following is pretty technical, but if you follow it, everything should turn out fine.

  1. Find and launch the Terminal application (under Applications/Utilities).
  2. Type the word “whoami” at the prompt and hit the RETURN key. (this will reveal your “short” username" for use in a later step.
  3. In the same Terminal window type the word “find” and a space.
  4. In the Mac Finder app, locate your project.
  5. Position the Finder & Terminal windows so you can see as much of both windows at the same time as possible.
  6. Drag the project file from Finder to the Terminal window. There should now be a “path” in your Terminal that looks something similar to this:

find /Users/rdg/Documents/YourScrivProject.scriv

  1. Using the short user name from step 2 (for me it’s rdg, for you it will probably use your first initial and last name), add the following to the end of your “find” command in the Terminal, substituting every instance of “rdg” with your username from step 2:

-exec chown rdg.rdg {} ;

The whole command will look similar to this:
find /Users/rdg/Documents/YourScrivProject.scriv -exec chown rdg.rdg {} ;

  1. Hit the Enter key.

This should assign ownership of your project to your new user account. If you have trouble with this, just post the output of “whoami”, and the path that you get when you drag your project from the Finder to the Terminal, and I or someone else who understands what I’m doing here may be able to construct the find command for you from that information.

Good luck!