recovering Scrivener files - please read!

I have tried to pare my story down to essentials, though this might get a little complicated: I had my novel, which I wrote using Scrivener, stored on a hard drive, which failed without (as far as I knew) had a back-up, however when I looked at them I think (unless my memory has deceived me) zipped back-up Scrivener files which I also accidentally deleted. (I know that I deleted some photos.)

I took the flash drives to a person who does data recovery. he sent me a list of what he found on the drives. Safari, photos, movies, PDF’s, etc. including some very old stuff and some files, strangely, supposedly from 1980. he did not find any Scrivener files, zipped or un-zipped. possibly important detail: I do not have Scrivener itself on the flash drives.

I don’t know whether my memory lied to me and I never backed up any of the files or whether the Scrivener files haven’t shown up as obviously Scrivener files. probably me clinging at a hope that I still have the files, still this seems strange. I know, by the way, that I have or had the Scrivener files on the original hard drive, though that will take much more money to recover.

if you ask for it, I can PM you the actual list he sent me earlier today.

Scrivener files are really “packages”, which means special folders containing lots of other files. If the person was opening the files on Windows, this would probably come up as a folder, not an individual file.

Inside that folder, you would find a lot of numbered RTF documents: 1.rtf, 2.rtd, etc.
These will contain the actual text you wrote.

There will be other files inside to store information about the binder, all the notes etc. as well.

If you can only recover the RTF files, you will at least have all of your text.

If you can recover the whole folder (it will be named with a .scriv extension) then you should hopefully be able to open that in Scrivener when you get it back onto a Mac with Scrivener installed.

Someone else might be able to give you further help.


ahh, right. I forgot most people use machines that run on Windows.

he did not find any folders marked ending in “.scriv”. I would have noticed, I think. actually, I told him to look out for any files ending in “.scriv”. though I will doublecheck. I will go back through the list to see if I can find any large assemblages of .txt files. I did notice some files that I thought possibly could contain zipped Scrivener files. though their names did not end in .zip. (I habitually zipped up the Scrivener files when making back-ups.)

Could it be that the extension has not been saved with the file name? I don’t normally choose (or is it unchoose?–I can’t remember) the option to save extensions with the file name, and this has once or twice caused problems in transferring files to users of other machines. Are there any files without file extensions (i.e. no .rtf, .zip or anything else) that might be what you’re looking for?

I think I can answer some questions if I just post up everything off the flash drives.

note that HJ means Honest John, the name of the novel. however, HJ-related means stuff related to the novel not the actual drafts. (the “nelly” document comes from after I had lost it. or, if I had copied drafts to one or more flash drive, thought I lost it in the hard drive crash.)

I have engaged in a little censorship of information in the list, for my own privacy. in that cases I have put in asterisks (i.e. [movie] in place of a video file or ******).

if you guys must have a completely accurate version of the file names, I can provide the uncensored version.

the below folder has some files which I almost suspect contains drafts, listed as HTML files.

repotria (censored).txt (91.7 KB)

I’m afraid nothing in that list looks like it is what you’re after.

I’m afraid nothing in that list looks like it is what you’re after.

I’m afraid Matt’s right - nothing in there indicates any Scrivener files.