Self populating new text file

found some very odd behaviour.
I had a folder within the project called “To Do” with a few sub-text files.
Noticed today the text files were missing from this folder.
Then, when I added a new text-file to a particular sub-folder within my project, the new text file was automatically populated with the text of one of the missing “To do” sub text files. (This didn’t occur with any other folders).

Weird stuff.

I’ve made a truncated version of my project if one of the devs want to inspect it.
When I did that, if I deleted everything but the relevant draft-directory, the odd behaviour continued, but if I emptied the trash then new-text files were empty, so the “ghost” data is somewhere within the project, I just don’t know where.

Let me know if you want the file, devs.

It sounds like what happened is that the .scrivx file was out of date with the rest of the project, so it wasn’t showing your most recent documents. The documents are all created as a numbered file; essentially the .scrivx creates these placeholders in the binder and references the actual document of that number. In this case, you went to create a new item and the .scrivx thought, according to the last item it had numbered, this new one should be “19”, for instance–but you already had a 19.rtf sitting in the project, so as soon as the reference was created in the binder, that document appeared. This will keep happening until you’ve created enough documents that all the existing .rtfs are referenced, and then you’ll start getting the blank placeholders as normal.

I’ve only seen this happen when the project is being stored lived in Dropbox or otherwise syncing as it’s being worked on–if you’re not careful that the entire project finishes syncing before you close up on the first computer and open on the second, you can get some files updated and some with the older versions overriding the more recently updated one. If that’s not happening here, was there anything else odd about the last time you closed the project (computer started running updates, something crashed, etc.) that might indicate there’d been a problem saving the project?

Since the meta-data is lost in this scenario–your text is all there but you’ll have to reorganize the documents in the binder, retitle them, etc.–you might want to go check your backups to see if you’ve got a good one containing all your text. The “Backup” tab in Tools > Options… will give you quick access to where Scrivener saves your automatic backups. Copy the most recent one or two out to your desktop to extract the files and open up the projects see if they’ve got everything correct, and if you find a good one you can just close it and move it to wherever you normally save your projects to replace the corrupted version.

Thanks Jennifer,
I have hundreds of backups so that’s not a problem.
I backup at the end if each session to a zip file onto dropbox, but when I work on it again next time I unzip it locally on the hard drive, not dropbox, so am not sure why it didn’t update/save it properly.