Not Saving

by wjw on March 21, 2024

So the other night something weird happened with Scrivener, my word processor. I finished my work, backed it up to Dropbox, and went about the rest of my evening. Next night, I opened Scrivener, and discovered that none of the new writing I’d done the previous night was anywhere in the file.

I checked the time stamp, and the file had registered no updates from the time I first opened it. When I hit “save,” nothing happened.

I very much doubt that I’d forget to save after hours of writing, and in any case I’m pretty sure that Scrivener automatically backs up the file every few minutes.

I checked the backup on Dropbox, and the file had the same omissions as the original.

After performing a number of frantic and useless actions, I remembered that Scrivener automatically saves the file when the file is closed. I’d never seen any of these backup files, and I presumed they were hidden in some little Scrivener folder somewhere. A search of the hard drive located these backups, and I discovered they were in ZIP files.

When I tried to open the latest file, I got a notice that opening a ZIP file could result in some kind of catastrophic alterations to the text. But what did I have to lose?

I opened the ZIP file and found all the missing text from the previous night, which I copied and pasted in my original file, which I then saved under another name. It actually saved! Yay!

But now I have to wonder what the hell all that was about. How often does this glitch turn up? Dare I trust that my work will be saved when I try to save it? What’s going on?

{Note: I’ve had to close comments here due to an inundation of Cyrillic spam, but maybe I’ll leave comments open for a bit just in case one of you has some answers.]

{UPDATE: thank you for the comments, which for some stupid reason are not displaying. I’m having too close comments again because the Cyrillic spam is starting to flood in.]

Lisa March 22, 2024 at 7:35 am

For what it’s worth, I had a similar issue on my work PC a few days ago, though in my case my mysteriously disappearing files ended up on Sharesync, lol…my issues were apparently caused by the most recent Windows security update–just in case you’re one of those few home users that actually apply patches and/or you have your PC (assuming you have a PC, if you have a Mac none of this applies!) set to automatically install updates.

oofoe March 22, 2024 at 9:14 pm

For what it’s worth, merely _opening_ the zip file shouldn’t cause any damage. However, you can always copy it and open the copy if it seems to be a concern.

I assume that current work with Scrivener seems to save correctly? If you haven’t tested it yet, probably worth a go with some “low value” text.

grs1961 March 23, 2024 at 8:33 am

That can be due to a disk that is getting “too full”, or just getting a bit old.

And it can be transient, so everything will seem okay until it happens again.

And I can’t recall if you’re on Windows or Mac, either way, I’d be doing some disk checks, that might throw up a problem.

wjw March 23, 2024 at 5:14 pm

Thank you for the comments, but the cyrillic spam is starting to swarm in, so I’ll have to close comments for now.

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