So after a couple of weeks of working on other projects, I tried to restart a project. I opened Scrivener, chose OPEN from the FILE menu, chose the appropriate folder - project.scrivx - only to get the ‘Short Story Template’ thing. No work, no notes, no corkboard, it all appears to be gone.
Thankfully I’d already posted part of it online, so I have a copy of that, but everything else - there’s no sign of it. I’ve looked at the backup files, but I’ve fooled around with it too much and I now only have backups from the past two hours. And, unfortunately, I thought I’d backed up the folder onto a seperate drive, but I’d backed up a different folder.
Tell me straight - is there any hope, or should I just continue to cry?
I’m sorry to hear of your troubles! I wouldn’t give up hope just yet. The fact that you’re opening to a short story template suggests that you’ve got the wrong .scrivx file for some reason, which means all your documents might still be there and just aren’t being listed in the binder. So there are a couple things I’d check:
Make sure you’re really opening the right project folder. I know, this sounds obvious, but it’s easy to make mistakes and then panic sets in and makes everything worse. You wouldn’t be the first of us to accidentally open the wrong version of a project and almost have a heart attack! Try using the Windows Search from the start bar/start menu to look for some of the text from your project and see if it digs up any document RTF files that are named only with a number. Those would likely be the documents within your project, and checking where they’re stored on the computer may lead you to the correct .scriv folder.
Check within the project’s .scriv folder for the document text. All your writing and imported files are stored inside the project’s .scriv folder in the Files\Docs folder, so open the .scriv folder in Windows Explorer and drill down to Docs to see if they’re still there. All the files will be named just with a number, or with _notes or _synopsis for document notes and synopsis files. If these are still in the project folder, copy them somewhere for safekeeping, and then we can get to work on figuring out why they’re not loading properly in the project.
Check for multiple “project” files in the project folder. Usually this is the fault of a bad sync via Dropbox or Skydrive or the like, but it’s happened that projects will end up with multiple yellow-icon “project” files inside them. This can lead to the project not opening at all, but it can also end up with a project opening the way you’re describing, just as the fresh template project. If there are two project files in your .scriv folder, check the dates on them and then remove the more recent or the smaller of the two (don’t delete it, just move it out of the project), then try to open the project again using the remaining file.
Search your hard drive for the text documents. Possibly already done as part of the first step, but worth mentioning on its own. If your project got corrupted and pieces of it are scattered across your hard drive, you may be able to track down your writing using the Window search tool. Once you have that, you can start to reassemble the project, and make some new backups.
Check if Windows Backups can restore previous versions of the project. Starting with Vista or 7, Windows has offered system backups that allow you to restore previous versions of files. If you have this running, you might be able to restore an earlier version of your project with that tool.