First of all, I just want to say that I really like Scrivener and have decided to use it for pretty much all my writing projects, including essays for university.
Now here is my problem. The last several days I have been doing research for my final essay in my Italian class. I was taking notes on different books by creating separate documents in the “research” section and I have to say that I’m very careful about saving. I save and save and I even had my document backed up on dropbox.
Anyway, yesterday my computer froze and I had to force it to restart. I think that maybe my problem came from that. I went to work on my research on the essay again today, and when I opened the document, at least two thirds of all the notes I had taken were just GONE! I thought “good thing I have the backup!” So I went and pulled my backup off of dropbox and what do I have? the exact same thing! Why are all my notes gone!? I have never had this happen in MS Word. I love this program for its functionality and convenience of working between documents, but I’m a little bit worried about whether I can trust it not to lose my stuff. As I said, I SAVED it repeatedly AND backed it up! I am so sad and frustrated to have lost my work.
Anyway, this post was mainly to vent, but I thought I would mention it in case there is a bug in the program that could have caused it. I suppose it could just as easily just be something that went wrong on my end. But I SWEAR I saved it and took all the precautions. Sheesh! I think I will keep using the program for my writing projects, but I might have to copy and paste everything into Word documents (unless there’s a way to export the research parts) so that I can be sure I won’t lose it in the future.
Thanks for listening.
Firstly, are you using a recent version of Scrivener? There was a nasty bug about a year ago that could cause data loss under rare circumstances, but that was fixed a while back. Make sure you are running at least 2.4.1, but optimally you should be using 2.5. If you were using an older version then this bug may have been the culprit and I’m afraid the news isn’t good. it was bad one, and the data is gone. If it is the newer version though, there may be hope somewhere. It’s very unusual that stuff will got lost like that.
Have you checked the main backup folder? If you don’t know where it is, check in the “Backups” preferences pane and click the button at the bottom to open the backup folder. I would drag all of these backups out to the Desktop with the Option key held down, to make copies, and then examine them one-by-one from the Desktop. If you leave Scrivener open for long intervals of time, however, this may not be terribly useful as the default settings assuming you close the project when you’re done working on it. If you tend to leave it open for weeks on end, you might wish to revise your settings in this panel. I myself use the option that makes a backup whenever I save, and I increase the number of backups to 25.
I would recommend you examine the File/Export/Files… feature. It is designed to make periodic backups to external files. Just select the entire Binder and use that. That will back up everything, even the contents of the trash can, and optionally your meta-data, notes and even snapshots.
At any rate that is certainly a lot easier and more thorough than copy and paste.
Thanks so much for your response. It was very helpful!
I am using Scrivener 2.5 so I guess it wasn’t the old bug.
I checked the “Backups” folder and did not find a backup of what I had. You mentioned that I wouldn’t find anything if I am not in the habit of closing down Scrivener frequently, and I’m sure that is why my information wasn’t there.
I am definitely learning that I have to change the way I operate a little bit. I think the problem happened when my computer crashed when Scrivener had been open for several days. Even though I had saved my stuff, I think the file reverted back to what it was the last time I had closed it and reopened it. Strange.
In any case, I’m glad I learned my lesson with this incident and not something worse - I could just as easily have lost my entire essay after having written it. In this case I just lost a bit of research and it wasn’t too difficult to just quickly summarize it again.
Yes, I will try the export files feature rather than copying and pasting. I’m still pretty new to this program I will be learning about features like that as I go along.
Anyway, thanks a lot for your help!
I’m sorry you couldn’t find anything in the backups. You definitely should take a look at adjusting your backup options. Like I say, I like to bind it to manual saves so that whenever I hit Cmd-S I get a new backup as well. For me it is because often I just open to check one little thing and I don’t want a backup, but also I leave projects open for a long time when I am working on them. It’s just easier for me to remember to backup several times a day than to rely on automation that may or may not get it right.
To restore confidence in the software, maybe just leave that backup folder window open so you can see them tick over when you save, and check them everyone in a while to make sure everything is going into the backup zip files. It was probably some freak thing related to the crash, but you might as well play it safe for a bit.