Unexpected shutdown followed by disaster.

Hi,
I am new to Scrivener. I’m using the trial version on a netbook running windows 7 starter.
(I have other computers but I like using the little guy because I can write next to the wood stove or down by the creek.)

I moved a 249,000 word document to a binder in the draft folder (After copying from Open Office into notepad). Then selected, copied and pasted each of the 161 scenes/chapters into it’s own folder. I decided I would write the next chapter in Scrivener instead of OO. So I prepared “Chapter 162” folder so it would be ready in the morning. I just sleep the computer over night so I can get right at it.

So I’m ready to write. As soon as I type the first letter the program freezes up.I get a message that it has stopped working unexpectedly, will shut down but windows is collecting information. I usually don’t wait for that but I did. Went to another window and began writing in OO.

When the program closed itself I tried to reopen it and it would not. So I shut down and restarted. The program opened and brought me to the window with the options: buy online, enter registration code or try. When I clicked “try” it would freeze up. I tried this a few times with the same result. The fourth time I clicked “buy online”. The Wifi was off so it just went to the program when the page would not open.

NO DOCUMENTS. THE NAME OF THE PROJECT REMAINED BUT NO DOCUMENTS. SEARCHED MY COMPUTER AND THEY DON’T EXIST!

I Cried.Went back to OO with the little time I had left and wrote some crap cause I knew I would feel even worst if I didn’t get any work done.

Any body know why that happened?

Before this happened I started with the tutorial document inside Scrivener, downloaded all of the tutorial videos including the long one form YouTube. I plan to finish the tutorials, but I wanted to get started using Scrivener. Also got [i] Writing a Novel With Scrivener by Hewson and plan to read that.

But when I saw how sweet it was moving each chapter to it’s own folder, seeing the folders labeled automatically, I decided to work on that while also. I was really attached to getting the separate chapters lined up and the synopsis on the corresponding index cards because I’m writing the last few scenes and I wanted to have the chapters ready to roll to start the rewrite.

Delphine,
I’m sure you will get a prompt answer from tech support, (where to look for Scrivener back ups, and so forth)
In the meantime, a quick note to reassure you. You say you 'MOVED" a document into Scrivener 's binder. Actually, anything you drag into Scrivener is NOT moved, but COPIED. So you will ALWAYS have your original document, unless you decided afterwards to delete it from your hard drive.

Thanks Marta,

I have copies on several drives and on several computers because I religiously save the novel in multiple locations at the end of every writing. I would have totally lost it if the entire thing was gone. Just lost the time it took over the course of four days to do the work. That’s OK as long as I learn from the experience and understand what happened so it doesn’t happen again.

Last night I copied the document in again, separated out a couple of chapters, saved it all and then shut down the program, just to see what would happen. When I tried to launch the program it hung up several times at the opening prompt. Each time it eventually gave me the “not responding” message so I closed it. About the fourth time it opened successfully and the documents were still there.

I thought about uninstalling and reinstalling but I was hesitant because most trials cannot be reinstalled.

I’m gonna be patient and just get through the tutorials and kept using OO for now. You know how it is, we are all pretty familiar with working with word processors and windows so it’s easy to assume things and just jump right in.

I’m sorry you’re having such a frustrating start with Scrivener. Hopefully we’ll be able to help you get things straightened out and get rolling.

First question. How are you bringing the material into Scrivener? Did you copy and paste, or import the file? Similarly, how are you splitting the chapters up? Are you using copy/paste, or Scrivener’s Documents -> Split command?

In both cases, I’m thinking that routing that amount of material through the clipboard might be irritating some kind of stability bug. The Import and Split commands work directly with files, so they might not leave as much material dangling in your computer’s memory.

Second question. Is it just text that you’re bringing in? Or do you have images or complex formatting like footnotes and tables? Again, I’m thinking that more complex material might be more likely to irritate various bugs.

There is a new beta version of Scrivener out, just within the last few days:
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=17929&start=0
I kind of hesitate to suggest it since you’re already having trouble, but it does fix quite a few performance and stability bugs and so it might be worth a try.

Hope this helps,

Katherine

Hi Katherine,
Thanks for the reply.

First question. How are you bringing the material into Scrivener? Did you copy and paste, or import the file? Similarly, how are you splitting the chapters up? Are you using copy/paste, or Scrivener’s Documents -> Split command?

I copied the original document from Open Office, an odt file, and pasted it into notepad to remove any formatting that might interfere. I copied the new notepad document and pasted it into Scrivener.

I left that entire document there in the first folder and went through it selecting and copying the chapters one at a time and then pasting each chapter into a new file. The first document was the full 249,000 words. By the time I had copied each chapter into a new folder I had 500,000 words in the draft folder.

I got carried away because it was so wonderful simply going back to the 1st document grabbing one chapter after the next. I divided the chapters into several smaller categories representing the major plot points. This all remained stable until I prepared the 162nd folder which was a blank page. I attempted to type into it and the program froze and closed.

Second question. Is it just text that you’re bringing in? Or do you have images or complex formatting like footnotes and tables? Again, I’m thinking that more complex material might be more likely to irritate various bugs.

It was just text, no images or complex material. I have a lot of complex stuff that I wanted to move into the research folder soon. The research is scattered so I look forward to having it all in one place.

I don’t even know about Scrivener’s Document->Split Command and it appears that I should. I think I will complete all of the teaching material I have before attempting to change to the new beta version. But I don’t know. There is still the fact that the program is very hesitant to launch, as I mentioned in my reply to Marta. So I guess that means there’s something going on beyond my bumbling.

*Additionally, the program had been open for four days. The computer was put to sleep but was neither hibernated nor shutdown and restarted. Maybe that was a part of the problem.

I’m totally into trying anything you suggest and I’m not going to do all that work over until I know more about using the program.

Tell me what you think about trying the new version now that you have more info.

I think I’d recommend trying the new version. The problems you’ve encountered sound like the sort of stability issues that Lee put a lot of effort into fixing. More information about the new beta is at:
https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/1-1-0-4-beta-released/17345/1

For future reference, I’d also suggest a couple of “best practices” to reduce your risk:

  • Don’t leave your computer up for four days, and in particular don’t leave a critical project open when you’re away from your computer for an extended period. There’s just too much potential for unpleasant accidents.
  • When doing this kind of massive import, take intermediate backups using Scrivener’s File-> Backup command.
  • Use Scrivener’s Import and Split commands rather than the clipboard whenever possible. Reason being that creating new files writes the material out to disk, where it’s a bit safer. (Also because I trust Scrivener more than I trust Windows, but that’s my Mac bias showing… :slight_smile: )

I hope this helps, and that your future Scrivener experiences are more positive.

Katherine