Scriv Folder Replaced by File Only

I’m hoping you all can help me with your wonderful advice - she says calmly, on the verge of full-blown panic…

I have a project that I’ve been working on for cough years. (And yes, there’s a back-up, but I was lazy and its a few months old, so…)

The project folder was saved on an SD card - nothing whatsoever to do with Dropbox.

My computer froze with the project open. I had to manually shut the computer off and then restart it. (This has happened before on our decrepit laptop with no deleterious effects on my project.)

When I tried to access the project, the scrivener folder, for my project was suddenly missing. In its place was simply a single file of the same name that is inaccessible from the documents section of the computer.

If I try to access it from another Scriv project using ‘Open’ or ‘Recent Projects,’ it is empty - the left-hand column only displaying ‘Draft’ with one empty untitled paper, ‘Research’ and ‘Trash.’


Couple things to try:

  • Scrivener’s automatic backups. Open a different project in Scrivener and go to the Backup tab of Tools > Options for quick access to the folder where the auto backups are stored. Copy out all the backups for this project to another location, then go through one at a time, starting with the most recent, extracting them from the zipped folder and opening them in Scrivener. (The most recent is probably all you need, but it’s best to just copy them all out anyway as a first step in case you need them.) If you find a good one, you can use it to replace your current corrupt one. (To extract the project from the zipped folder, either right-click the zipped file and choose “Extract All” or double-click the zipped folder to open it and drag out the contained folder to another location.)

  • Use the Windows search tool to look for a) your project by name and b) text from within the project. You might find another copy somewhere or temp files from the text you were editing. If you find something here, it might be helpful in conjunction with the restored backup from the previous step if these contain more recent work but not enough to be a fully restored project.

What’s the file size of the file that’s replaced the folder? It sounds like this is more or less a corrupt piece of nothingness, so it may be just a 0-byte file. Can you check properties on it and get the file extension? It sounds like it’s a .scrivx file, since Scrivener recognises it and opens it, but it’s altogether a very strange thing to have happen.

You might also try running Scan Disk(select the SD card > Properties > Tools > Error Checking) Any corrupted files will be restored with funky names probably in the root folder of the SD card. You might try copying and renaming them to RTF and see if you can manually load them and see their contents. You might also try some SD Card File Recovery tool(there are many apps for recovering photos from SD Cards), that might help you to some extent recover lost contents from the SD card. Hope this helps.