Celtx and the disaster that was almost…

Posted by Rick Burnett on September 24th, 2009 filed in General News, Relativity

For the record, being someone who has done a lot of software development and support, things happen, and many times those things are outside the control of the program you wrote and/or are specific to some condition happening on the machine at the time.  Given the extensive research I have done on Celtx, I have not come across someone else who had the same thing happen to them that happened to me.  Therefore, since I cannot repeat it either, I’m going to let it slide and give a huge thanks to the Celtx developers who were amazingly responsive in helping me.

The simple problem was, I hit save then exited Celtx.  I reopened the document and I got the spinning beach ball of death.  I waited awhile and saw nothing, so I killed the application and restarted it.  Somehow my script had been overwritten by an incomplete set of files and it would no longer open.  You can imagine the panic that ensued at this point.

Maybe during me force quitting the application, the OS did something to the file.  I am done speculating on this point, but from this I learned this major lesson.  Back up more often.  I also use a service called Drop Box to keep off-site copies of very important work.

The crazy part is some quick thinking on my part allowed me to save my script.  In case anyone else gets into a situation where the file is gone, or destroyed, if you act quickly, you can possibly save it as well.

I ran a utility called Data Rescue II on my drive and let it scan all the free space (which takes just over an hour on my 320Gbytes drive with 80Gbytes of free space). I took a look in the CBR directory it creates which had an ARCHIVE directory containing a ZIP directory under there. If you did not know, a Celtx file is just a renamed zip file.  There was a few hundred zip files. One thing I noticed was that the majority of the files were the exact same size 24.1 KB. Well, knowing I had set the autosave to 5 minutes and I had left this script up in Celtx on my machine for about 2 days, I figured this HAD to be the file. This would mean it wrote out the script probably a good 500+ times.  Of course, I had to be correct on which one I wanted to undelete since the demo of Data Rescue II lets you recover ONE file of <5Mbytes. I picked one of them and recovered it, and sure enough, there is the script! I checked and it has ALL the changes I had made.

Hopefully if anyone else loses their script, they can use this method to get it back. Data Rescue II does cost, but depending on how much time you spent, it is probably well worth it.  Also, Time Machine is another good alternative, or running daily backups on your machines (incremental of course). But there you have it. Now back to being productive.


43 Responses to “Celtx and the disaster that was almost…”

  1. tom Says:

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  2. Gene Says:

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  3. Marvin Says:

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  6. donald Says:

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