The mysterious disappearing file

so
sorrel
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:58 am Post

Someone told me mercury is in retrograde, which probably explains everything:

Yesterday I closed a Scrivener file and shut down the computer. This evening I got back to it - except it wasn't there. It wasn't in Scrivener under Recent Projects (which is where I usually retrieve it), and it wasn't in my OS X smart folder, and it wasn't anyplace in Finder, and it wasn't in the Trash. I tried Spotlight, finding it fairly useless (I use QS on the other computer, but it says it doesn't work with Leopard). I know Leopard is buggy. I investigated the L&L forums, I googled, etc. No, I didn't panic. I'm becoming very blase.

Anyway OS X help said to look in Apple Recent Items. I found my file there, but I am perplexed because it wasn't anywhere else. I spent a couple of hours looking for it.

Is this a Scrivener problem, a Leopard problem, an operator problem, or an astrology problem? How likely is it to recur? What can I do to avoid a repeat?

Any help would be gratefully received.
sorrel

cy
cyberbryce
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:08 am Post

sorrel wrote:Anyway OS X help said to look in Apple Recent Items. I found my file there, but I am perplexed because it wasn't anywhere else. I spent a couple of hours looking for it.

Is this a Scrivener problem, a Leopard problem, an operator problem, or an astrology problem? How likely is it to recur? What can I do to avoid a repeat?


Were you then able to open the file from the Apple Recent Items menu?

If so, click on the title of the document while holding down the command (open-apple / figure-8) key on the keyboard, and you should see a menu that represents the path to the document in the Finder.

Apologies if you've already tried this or it's not relevant because you can't open the file.

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antony
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:10 am Post

And FWIW, Quicksilver works perfectly fine on Leopard.
Antony Johnston
antonyjohnston.com

so
sorrel
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:48 pm Post

Thanks for all the suggestions and help.

I checked the file path and it is in a folder that I searched exhaustively, several times, when I looked for the file. It was not there then. It is there now. I can't explain it.

Yes, it opens perfectly normally and there is no problem with it.

I will look into Quicksilver again. Last time I visited their website they said Leopards should hold off.

Thank again for the help.
sorrel

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Wock
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:25 pm Post

May be that the Spotlight Index has corrupted. OSX now depends heavily on Sotlight and yet there are some shortcomings and "gremilins" I have seen, especially dealing with files on Network Volumes in Tiger.

SOmetimes the spotlight "index" of your HD may become inaccurate or corrupt and cuase really weird things to happen, like not being able to locate a file......

Fix.

(Do this right before you are going to bed, Have your computer plugged in and under the energy saving preferences make sure you uncheck Put the hard to sleep and also make sure the computer will never go to sleep.)

Ok once you are ready.
(1) Go to SYSTEM PREFERENCES - SPOTLIGHT.
(2) Under spotlight go under the PRIVACY tab.
(3) Now DONT CLICK the + sign at the bottom.
Instead drag your Hard Drive Icon from the desktop into the center of this window.
(4) Close the system preferences.
(5) Restart.
(6) Go to SYSTEM PREFERENCES - SPOTLIGHT - to the privacy tab.
You should see your Hard Drive in this list.
(7) Highlight your Hard Drive and then at the bottom left of screen click the - sign to remove your Hard rive from this list.
(8) Close your system preferences and leave your computer on and go to bed.

What happens is when you select your Whole Hard Drive in the privacy tab and restart, Spotlight is told NOT to index your HD at all so the index is removed. When you go back and delete it from the list you are telling Spotlight to re-index your Hard drive. This creates a brand new index that is without corruption and gremlins that may have either been carried over from upgrading from Tiger or from extensive use.

I tell you to leave your computer on overnight so Spotlight is given plenty of time to rebuild the index, now if your computer is quite full of a lot of files this may take longer than one night so if you notice a "slow down" over the few days that is because Spotlight is still trying to complete the index of the HD in the background. So you may wish to leave it running more than one night.

This also happened to people when they first got tiger and everyone was like "Why did my computer run slow for about a week?" SPotlight was making the magic index.

This is not something you have to do often (I suggest about every 6 months or if you have moved a ton of files around, like a major backup) or if you start noticing "gremilins like unable to locate files you know you created or strange find responses.


PS: For those that find they wish to "search" the old way try
Easy Find
http://www.devon-technologies.com/products/freeware/
Really a great search tool that to me is much better than Spotlight for actually searching for a file or folder by name.

Hope that helps?
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jc
jcarman
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:29 pm Post

This may be the same issue, but on steroids.

I am using Scrivener ver. 2.2 15858 on Lion ver. 10.7.2.

This happens only in certain conditions, but has happened enough I think I can say this is how it happens for sure.

If Time Machine is making a local backup to disk (but not w/ an external drive) and if the Scrivener project is closing during the local backup, but Scrivener is also backing up to file, the search index for the Scrivener project corrupts. I keep my files in Dropbox, but this happens whether or not DB has a connection.

Now for the odd bit. If I open the Scrivener project package contents and navigate to the folder where the files themselves reside they are invisible! I can move them via Terminal only. They then appear.

I am a heavy TM user, and I can't control when TM backs up, nor Scrivener, AFAIK. How to avoid this?

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kewms
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:50 am Post

jcarman wrote:If Time Machine is making a local backup to disk (but not w/ an external drive) and if the Scrivener project is closing during the local backup, but Scrivener is also backing up to file, the search index for the Scrivener project corrupts. I keep my files in Dropbox, but this happens whether or not DB has a connection.


That's odd... Time Machine *should* be smart enough to figure out when a file is in use, and to give the file owner -- Scrivener in this case -- priority.

With that said, letting TM backup to the main drive strikes me as risky in lots of ways, for more programs than Scrivener. Perhaps not the best choice of destination.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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AdamD
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Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:39 am Post

If your external drive is inaccessible, Lion's TM stores a temporary backup (increments only, I assume) on the main drive. When it sees your external drive again, it runs a proper backup and removes the local temp backup. That's the default behaviour, although it can be turned off.

I don't know whether that's the same as jcarman's situation.

jc
jcarman
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Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:05 am Post

Being able to turn off TM's local backup might do the trick. I'll try. Thanks.

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robertdguthrie
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Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:36 pm Post

Please keep us posted. I haven't upgraded my circa-2006 macbook pro to Lion just yet, but the incremental backups while I'm away from my TM volume was one of the perks I was looking forward to. If I have to turn it off to avoid this behavior, then that'll be yet another reason to put off the upgrade.
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JoyLPhillips
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Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:54 am Post

Hello! I'm new at this, so let me know if I'm not providing all of the required information.
Last fall I created a project in scrivener. It was saved and I worked on in during numerous sessions. At some point I upgraded my software to Snow Leopard. I don't know whether this caused the problem I'll describe, but I suspect it did.
Now I can't find the project in scrivener. It's listed on apple-recents list, but when I click on it, it won't open. It's not in my word documents list anywhere. I believe it was there under a different heading than what I use in scrivener, but that file pane is now blank.
I KNOW it has to be in this computer someplace, so I'm trying not to panic.

Can you help?

mb
mbbntu
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Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:08 am Post

1. In Finder, click on the Spotlight icon at the extreme right of the menu bar.
2. Type in "name:.scriv" -- just for clarity, that means type the letters inside the quote marks but not the quote marks themselves. Note also that there is a colon followed by a full stop -- you are looking for a file extension of .scriv.

This should bring up a list of all the Scrivener projects, unless you have done something unusual, like telling Spotlight not to index, or not using file extensions when naming your Scrivener projects.

Cheers, Martin.
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JoyLPhillips
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Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:26 am Post

Thanks, Martin. When I typed in my document name in spotlight, nothing was found, not even the files that I was able to find in Scrivener yesterday.
When I created documents in Scrivener, I didn't realize I needed to use that tag. My impression from the tutorial was that documents were saved under the file names automatically. And because I was able to work on those documents for months before I lost them, I think my impression was correct, yes? Do you think there is something about Snow Leopard that created this problem or is there something else?
Joy

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JoyLPhillips
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Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:44 am Post

Martin,
I wanted to try the solution posted above (hit open-apple/figure 8), but I don't know what you mean. I know what the control button is. Is that what you mean by open-apple? I don't know what you mean by figure 8.
By the way, I just opened up a different project in Scrivener and it is there. I wanted to figure out what it was saved under to see if that would help me find a different project, but I can't figure out how to open that file name.
Urgh!

Hu
Hugh
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Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:56 am Post

Forgive me Joy (and Martin) if I've got this wrong, but what Martin has suggested is that you type into the Spotlight search exactly what he wrote i.e. not the name of your document, but the words "name:.scriv" (without the quotes). This will find all the projects on your computer (I'm assuming they are on your computer, not on a memory stick or a network server) with a ".scriv" file extension. Your work should be amongst them.

By the way, you shouldn't manually add ".scriv" to the names of your documents or projects.
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