Save didn't save

My Auto-save preference is set to save after two seconds of inactivity.
I’ve been working on a new document all morning. Half an hour ago my Mac froze. Nothing helped and I had to ‘hard restart’ using the on button.
I reopened Scrivener to discover that my new document is empty. Nothing has been auto-saved.
I said some very bad words and am now resigned to having lost a morning’s work, but what can I do to ensure this won’t happen again? Can I trust Auto-save to do its job in future?
All advice gratefully received!

My guess here is that the document itself saved, but because Scrivener crashed, the binder file wasn’t properly updated with a reference to the document (since this was a new document).

Examine your project by ctrl-clicking it and selecting “Show Package Contents.” From there, browse to “Files/Docs” and examine the RTF files that you see there (I would use OS X’s quicklook feature to make this go faster). Start with the highest numbered files and see if one of them contains your missing work. If you find it, open it in textedit, then copy and paste the text back into your Scrivener project.


… or just create a new document or 3. If there is already a file that matches Scrivener’s internal numbering system, your text will just appear in one of the new documents, along with any notes and other meta-data that went along with it. The title is the only thing that would be lost in that scenario.

Many thanks for both responses.

I am hampered by the fact that my Mac didn’t just crash but gave up the ghost and is now in the Apple store for emergency surgery. So I’m currently working on a backup machine.

Before things got that bad I did have a go at following Cosmicjive’s suggestions but had no luck. I couldn’t find the place where control-clicking the project would bring up Show Package Contents. Is this when I see the project listed via the Finder? I looked in Finder but couldn’t, er, find it. I’m very sorry to say I couldn’t really understand the instructions. Where computers are concerned I am a bear of very little brain and need instructions that start at the very beginning (e.g. ‘open the project in Finder…’ or whatever) to ensure success.

Robert, I also like the idea of creating some new documents in hopes that the machine will then find the missing one along with it. Thank you.

My immediate solution was simply to grit my teeth and re-write the missing document while hitting Apple-S every few seconds. I just want to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The crashing Mac could also explain why the document didn’t save, right? It’s an aberration caused by a faulty machine?

That’s the most likely explanation. Scrivener is built so that if saving doesn’t work because of some file system error, it throws up an error message and dumps the unsaved files in your Documents directory so that you don’t lose them. However, it can only throw up this error message if the file system tells Scrivener that it failed to save. It is possible, given that your Mac completely crashed and, by the sounds of it, had a dodgy hard drive, that your hard drive’s file system was telling Scrivener that it was saving fine but not actually laying out any data. When Scrivener saves, it calls standard Apple methods along the lines of “writeThisFileToDisk”, and this returns an answer to Scrivener, YES or NO. If YES, the file system is telling Scrivener that the save went well, if NO, then Scrivener throws an error. So, in your case, it sounds as though the file system was telling Scrivener that everything was fine when it wasn’t.

That’s all conjecture, though, of course. Bad hard drives can cause all sorts of problems, so if that is what caused your crash and is being replaced, you should be good once it’s all fixed.

All the best,