Sandisk encryption wiping all Scrivener files!

Please help. :open_mouth:

I recently purchased a Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0 thumb drive, which comes with Sandisk’s built-in encryption feature (Secure Access Vault). I transferred all of my Scrivener files from an older hard drive to the thumb drive. All went well, all files copied over. But when I actually open the files, they’re all blank!

I haven’t been able to find anything online, except for this review from a year ago:


Please help! Is it a bug? An incompatibility issue between Scrivener and Sandisk’s software? It’s not the thumb drive, because I re-transferred a couple files but didn’t encrypt them, and they all read fine.

I doubt there’s anything corrupted about the project. Scrivener can’t read the files if they’re encrypted, so you’ll need to make sure all the contents of the .scriv file are decrypted before you try opening it in Scrivener. Otherwise it’s just loading the binder file, but none of the text documents inside the project are able to be displayed in the editor.

By way of explanation to the OP: at a running guess the problem would be this: a Scrivener project is actually a group of files only some of which are loaded into memory at a time while you are working. Presumably, the Sandisk is encrypting the contents of the flash drive on a file by file basis. With a normal single file when click to open it, you are operating within the OS’s “finder” application and the Sandisk encryption software is wedged in there and hears that request and that is its signal to decrypt the file you want.

However, Scrivener, as a project-based applicationIt manages files internally – loading an index file with pointers to the component content files on disk. Either SanDisk encryption has messed with the filenames or filetypes (very likely) of those component files, so as to invalidate Scrivener’s internal pointers to those files. Hence the seeming emptiness of the projects when placed on the encryption-activated disk.

Given what the encryption software is doing, it is unlikely that Scrivener could do what it does without running afoul of this.

Unless obligated by an employer or keeping State secrets, just don’t encrypt your Scrivener files on a flash drive. If you are worried someone will find your lost flash drive and cash in by publishing your novel manuscript, you are living in a fantasy world in more than one way – unless you are Stephen King or something (in which case you are also living in a fantasy world – just a much spookier one). (Steve, is that you, buddy?)

When you say you transferred all of your Scrivener files, do you mean just the .scrivx files, or the entire folder (that ends with .scriv) and it’s entire set of contents?

The entire folder ending with .scriv. Then inside the .scriv folder is the following:
Files (folder)
Settings (folder)
Snapshots (folder)
project.scrivx (file)

If I go into the Files folder, there’s a subfolder labeled Docs, which contains .rtf files that appear to be the different sections that make up a .scrivx file (loss of format, of course).

This was very helpful, thank you for the explanation. And yes - when I removed the file from the Sandisk vault and onto the ‘plain old’ USB drive, the contents reappeared on the .scrivx file. It’s not a perfect solution, but I guess I can move the folder back and forth. As for the state secrets and fantasy worlds, LOL no. It’s just a personal preference. Now I mean this in the nicest way possible, but it’s my right to want my files encrypted whether they’re state secrets or blueprints to my son’s birdhouse.

Oh no, I’ve been found out! :open_mouth: :laughing: