Question about loading project onto new computer and "project already open"

I was working on Scrivener a few days ago on a laptop that went into sleep mode when I took a break. When I went to return to my work a few hours later, the laptop would not turn on. When I took it into a repair shop, I found out the laptop was completely dead and no longer accessible. I was able to recover data from the machine’s hard drive and put it onto an external hard drive.

I now have a new laptop and my external hard drive with the files from the old, dead machine. I have installed Scrivener on the new machine with my license key. However, when I try to open the .scrivx file from the external drive in Scrivener, I get an error message about the project already being open elsewhere.

I imagine this is because the program itself was not closed before the old laptop died, but what do I do about this? How do I proceed correctly as so not to lose any project data? Do I make a copy of the file as the warning message says and work off from the copy? Ignore the warning and just proceed? Somehow try to rebuild the project from scratch (I have no idea how to do this)? The data from my external hard drive is the only back up I have at the current moment.

I would be very grateful to learn about the proper next steps.

If you look in the “Files” folder within your .scriv folder above the .scrivx, you will see ‘user.lock’. Delete that and you’ll be able to open the project.

Only do this if you are absolutely certain the project is not open on another machine … as you are in this case.