Scrivener files no found in Time Machine


My hard-drive crashed.

Had to reformat drive and re-install OSX 10.7.5.

Re-intalled Scrivener.

But when I restored my “Documents” several (important, sadly) scrivener projects did not appear.

Some did.

Can’t seem to find them searching for “.scriv” “bak.scriv” - don’t find a Scrivener folder in Applications Support in Time Machine.

I am not skilled at these things: How should I go about finding these files. Is there a trick I don’t know?

Michael McCarthy

Sorry about the crash. :frowning:

How far along in the recovery process are you? I ask because there may be a few other recovery methods you could use that could save you a lot of time. One is to reinstall your operating system using the Time Machine drive. This is an optional installation procedure that uses the backup to restore everything, ideally, identically to the last backup, which will include as much of all applications, settings and user data as backed up. I’ve used this method myself after a couple of hard crashes, and was pleased with the result. It was as though nothing had happened at all.

A second option, which doesn’t involve going all the way back to a reinstall, is to use the Migration Assistant to restore your home folder using the Time Machine backup. I’ve never tested this method myself, but it still should be easier than manually trying to restore things bit by bit.

An aside: the Application Support folder location may not be relevant if you use the Mac App Store version. It would be easier to find your support folder from within Scrivener. Just use the relevant menu command from the main Scrivener application menu.

Thank you for your help.

I went to the Apple Store, where, for reasons I don’t understand, they said I had to reformat and re-install the operating system.

I then could import my data from Time Machine, but not my applications.

That is, I couldn’t just pull everything back using Migration Assistant.

Instead, I had to re-install my applications – and then manually drag my folders (e.g. iPhoto library) over.

This worked for most of my documents, photos, etc. But several big Scrivener projects just don’t appear.

I wonder if they could be hidden somewhere.

Ah okay, well it’s best then to stick with their advice. It could be they located a problem with the old system that would just reproduce the crash if you did a full Time Machine restore or Migration.

So when you navigate into the Documents folder using the Time Machine interface (with all the Star Trek galactic voyage stuff) you do not see your Scrivener projects, even if you search for their name to see if there are older ones than the last snapshot?

The two places to look for Scrivener’s own automatic backups, under default settings are:

  1. Mac App Store: ~/Library/Containers/com.literatureandlatte.scrivener2/Data/Library/Application Support/Scrivener/Backups
  2. Direct-sale: ~/Library/Application Support/Scrivener/Backups

As for searching: that may be spotty right now. The Spotlight index may not be terribly reliable for searching the Time Machine drive externally (using anything other than the search toolbar from within TM interface itself), and plus since you just reinstalled, the index may still only cover what you’ve already copied into your user folder.

So rather than relying upon a search index, you can do a full trawl of the entire computer (Time Machine included if it is plugged in). Unfortunately Apple removed the ability to do reliable slow searching when they introduced Spotlight, so you’ll have to use the command line.

  1. In Finder, use the Go/Utilities menu command.
  2. Double-click on the “Terminal” icon from this window.
  3. Copy and paste the following command into Terminal:

find / -name “.scriv” > ~/Desktop/all_scrivener_projects.txt

This may take a good while to run. Basically it will go through each directory on the entire computer and any attached disks and return anything with “.scriv” in the name. You will get a lot of permission errors in the Terminal read-out that you can ignore, this is normal. When the procedure is done, check your Desktop for a file called ‘all_scrivener_projects.txt’.

Like I say, this is very thorough, it will even find projects that have been trashed (prior to emptying the trash of course), projects deep inside of the Scrivener application itself, as well as backups and templates. You can probably ignore any lines in this file starting with /Applications, as that will just be Scrivener default sample projects and templates, as well as .scrivtemplate lines, as those a project templates rather than live projects.

What will likely be of most interest are any lines starting with /Volumes/NameOfYourTimeMachineDrive. For anything that looks like it might be what you’re looking for, use that as your map for finding it in the Time Machine interface. Basically the important part of the path starts where it looks like your home folder.

Something worth mentioning: always use the Time Machine interface to restore files. This deep search will reveal the precise location of all kinds of files, but you shouldn’t go directly to them with Finder and try to copy them around. You need TM itself to piece everything back together the way it should be.

This sounds strangely exciting to me.

I will dedicate a big chunk of time this weekend to do the search.

Thanks again for your help.

Will let you know how I fare.