Stress testing of saving needed...

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Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:56 pm Post


If anyone has the an external drive (or flash drive) and a little bit of time to spare, I'd be very grateful for some stress-testing of Scrivener's save methods. Basically, I want to find out how to trash a project - this seems possible when working on an external drive, and it seems to be some combination of Scrivener's saving in chunks (the package format) and the way OS X saves to disk.

If you get a chance, just do the following:

1) Create a dummy project that you will be happy to trash, and import and create a few files.
2) Copy the project to an external drive or flash drive and open it from there.
3) Make some changes to the project and save it.
4) Disconnect the external drive. You could try both disconnecting it "behind OS X's back" (by just unplugging, so you receive the "Device Removed" warning) and ejecting it properly in the Finder. The Scrivener project should still be open in Scrivener at this point.
5) Make some more changes and save. (I have no idea why OS X isn't telling Scrivener that the file doesn't exist to save to at this point...)
6) Plug the drive back in.
7) Make some more changes and save again.
8) Close the project and then reopen it.

I'm interesting in whether this trashes the project - my results are a little inconclusive at the moment. I've had some odd behaviour but haven't lost anything in doing this. But I think it should be possible to lose work in this circumstance judging by user reports.

Please post your findings here. If you find any other ways of getting Scrivener to trash a project, I'd love to hear them too. If you can add to the above steps to find a way that I can always trash a project, I'd be very grateful, or provide other instructions that will show me how to mess up a file.

Remember: only do this on dummy projects! I don't want anyone to lose any work...


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Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:06 am
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:08 pm Post

Hi Keith,
I would love to help you here, because really losing text is not a very nice experience...
I followed your instructions and got at openiing of the dummy file this window:

"The project you are trying to load uses an older format and cannot be opened. Would you like to update it? A copy of the old project will be saved in the same directory.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you choose to update this project, make sure that you do not try to open the updated project using a version of Scrivener earlier than 1.10. Versions of Scrivener earlier than 1.10 will mistake the newer format for an older one and offer to update it - but doing so will corrupt the file (although a backup will be created which will still be usable)."

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Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: U.K.

Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:19 am Post

Using 10.4.11, Scrivener 1.1, an external flash drive and an extremely simple, very sparsely populated test project...

(1) Unplugging the flash drive without disconnecting it gives me the OS X "Device Removal" message, but the system otherwise does not appear to recognise that the device is missing -- there are no error messages if I save changes made to existing binder items (i.e. if I stick to editing text in existing files).

(2) Regardless of whether the drive was disconnected properly or "improperly", creating new binder items while the drive is disconnected produces the error message "Error saving project -- There was a problem saving the project".

(3) At some point, after drive disconnection and subsequent save but before closing/re-opening the project, the data became damaged. A document in the Draft folder had contained a tiny amount of text (a single digit); it had not been edited or even directly opened during the session, although its containing folder had been opened in corkboard view. However, while I was editing another document in the same folder, I noticed that its icon in the binder had changed to show it as empty (I assume this means that its text content had disappeared, but it has just occurred to me that I didn't actually go into the document to check). I noticed the change after reconnection of the drive, but I don't know exactly when it happened because I can't get the behaviour to repeat, and I don't know how long it was before I noticed the change. Sorry I can't be more specific.

(4) When the project has been edited/saved with the drive removed, then edited/saved again with the drive reconnected, and is closed then re-opened, it loses all changes made since the last successful save prior to disconnection. No obvious data corruption in my minimalist project, no warning messages. All looks perfectly normal, but the "work" has been lost, as though the editing session with the drive disconnection had never taken place. It's a bit like time travel!