Problem restoring from external hard-drives: no "binder.scrivproj" file


Would anyone be able to help me troubleshoot a problem restoring from external hard drives?

It is happening on two separate drives (Samsung SSD T5 and SanDisk Portable SSD), though this is fortunately only a trial run. When I click on the Scrivener folder in each drive I receive the following message:

"The project at “/Volumes/Extreme SSD/Backups.backupdb/MacBook Pro (8)/2018-12-17-202822/Macintosh HD/Users/julianw/Documents/Dissertation/Dissertation .scriv” seems to be of an older format, but no binder.scrivproj file could be found inside it. It may be missing or corrupt, possibly because of a problem with the device on which it is stored, or because of a synchronisation problem.

Try ctrl-clicking on the project in the Finder and selecting “Show Package Contents”, then look for a file entitled ‘binder.scrivproj’. Ensure it has not been renamed by a backup routine. If it does not exist, try restoring from a backup."

Oddly enough, I can’t seem to find a “binder.scrivproj” file anywhere on my computer. That said, I have no problem accessing the project on my computer by clicking on “Dissertation.scrivx.” Yet selecting “Dissertation.scrivx” in either of the external hard drives leads to the error message above.

I should also mention that I am having no problem restoring from Backblaze.

Does anyone have advice on how to proceed here? Thanks very much for your time.


What happens if you restore the project to your main drive and try to open it from there?

How did you save the project to the backup drive?


Just an observation that may or may not be relevant, but the filenames given above are different: there is a space after Dissertation in the file path, and the extension is scrivx, not scriv, in the other examples.

Hi Katherine, thanks for your response.

Your first suggestion solved the problem. When I copy the project to my desktop I can restore it from there.

On your second point, I was using Time Machine to save to the backup drive. I now see elsewhere on the forum that TM is not to be trusted…or at least one needs to use a few workarounds? Do you think I can keep going with the current method of using TM for Scrivener and planning to copy to my desktop?


Personally, I wouldn’t use the Desktop for my projects because I have various Mac / iOS devices, and they use iCloud to synchronise what is on the Desktop and in the Documents folder. My solution is to use Dropbox, and keep all my Scrivener projects in a Dropbox folder. My whole hard drive is backed up to Time Machine, and is also cloned every evening to an external hard drive partition using Carbon Copy Cloner. I also use Backblaze to back up my whole hard drive to their cloud service. In addition to that, Scrivener is configured to save zipped backups on close and with each manual save, to the Documents folder, which is synchronised via iCloud. I don’t like losing things.

Time Machine is trustworthy, but only if you use the Time Machine interface to restore things. Any given backup only includes the individual files that have changed. To restore a complete project, you need to let the Time Machine software stitch the components back together.


Thanks so much. The problem does disappear when I use the TM interface.