Rescue file from Google Drive

I’ve been blithely using G Drive to back up my Scrivener project, and only now realised the problems and advice regarding it (i.e. don’t use it!).

I’m having problems with my main Mac, so went to download the backup of my Scriv project from G Drive, only to get an error. It prompts me to give the project a .scriv extension, then says that I don’t have permissions to do that. Any ideas?

Unless I can get my other Mac working, I’m relying on this file being rescuable - even if it only means the RTFs. Is it?

Thank you,


What about your Scrivener project backups - the zipped ones. Can you restore from the latest one?

Right now it sounds like you have just one piece of the project downloaded, the binder metadata basically, and are trying to load it all by itself, prompting Scrivener to try and “repair” the parent folder it is in by renamed in it to “original name.scriv”, and running into permission issues in trying to do so.

Does Google Drive not let you download an entire folder as a .zip file or something along those lines? As you note, there are RTF files and so forth, but they all need to be together in the right order, in the right folders, all within that main master “my project name.scriv” folder.

Meanwhile, can you boot the other Mac in disk transfer mode? That can nearly always be done even if the system itself is completely hosed, since transfer mode just wakes up enough hardware to treat the whole Mac like an external hard drive. Plug it into your other Mac, and get everything copied down and backed up.

Thank you both for your responses. As you will have guessed, I’m a huge idiot - in my gut wrenching panic, I had downloaded a part of the project, not the whole thing. Sorry.

Thanks also for the Mac advice. Yes, target drive was to be my last port of call - my external backup had become defunct a while back, and so time machine wasn’t an option. However, I convinced myself that everything I needed was on Google drive, and so I just did a disk format and a reinstall - which worked. I don’t know what this means for my hard drive’s life expectancy, but at least everything was salvaged.

Now, off to hunt for a new backup disk. Any recommendations? Airport Time Capsule seems a bit expensive…

You might also want to look at Backblaze: A dollar a week (I think) to back up your entire hard drive, offsite (so fire and flood can’t destroy your backups), and it never wears out or has to be reformatted, etc. I use a Touro HD and Carbon Copy Cloner as well, but Backblaze is well worth it, in my opinion.

Glad to hear you’re back on the road to recovery.

The Capsules are a bit overly complicated if all you want is something to plug in to. On externals, it’s difficult to go into specifics since they change every year and I don’t know of any one company being terribly more reliable or consistently reliable to put it that way. Better to look for overall markers of good design, and keep a close watch on it within the warranty period:

  • A solid (heavy) chassis with open ventilation and fans. Heat is the slow death for those things, and trendy slim designs are little data coffins in the making. Weight keeps it from bouncing around.
  • I’d look for USB-C / USB 3 hybrids these days. If Apple keeps going in that direction, you wouldn’t want to end up with something you need adapters for eventually.

Encrypted online isn’t a bad idea either. I use SpiderOak for that, it has saved me in the past—I memorise the passphrase; if I lose everything in a fire it’s how I’d get my stuff back. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox are more like a distributed hard drive than a backup. You make a mistake in one place and it gets mirrored to all the rest in seconds. I like to think of them as being one “instance” of data, even if there is physical hardware redundancy.

By the way your forum tag is set to “Windows”. :slight_smile: