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by (120 points)
I just started using Twine and was working on a file recently on the desktop version. My laptop froze, because of something probably unrelated, but the file was open. I tried to restart the laptop but it wouldn't boot and wound up reinstalling Windows 10....long story....

When I got Twine installed again, my template and only other Twine file was perfectly fine and imported no problem. But the file I was working on refuses to import. Twine acts as if I didn't do anything. A flash of a box pops up (too fast for me to catch what it says but seems to be something akin to a "importing..." type loading message) but no story, nada. Doesn't appear on the story list. I've looked at it on the browser but the source code is empty. I've opened it in Notepad, but it's just blank keyboard spaces.

In the meantime, since the file that's safe is my template and I was copying it then filling it in for respective variations of my game routes, I've started re-writing the file I lost. Is the lost file lost for good, or is there still a way to save it? As another note, before the laptop went kaput on me, I was having issues with the lost file generating proof copy, and learned today that the issue was a missing start point. A second note, is that the file in question is an html file. I didn't learn what Archive meant until today when I decided to investigate this problem one last time before ditching the lost file and focusing on my new version.

1 Answer

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by (159k points)

...the file I was working on...

You don't state what file type this file is so I will assume that it is a Story Project HTML file, like those found within the folder accessed via the Install-able release of the Twine 2 application's Twine > Show Library menu items.

If you open that file with Notepad the file should contain markup elements like the following, which I have reformatted to make it a little easier to read.

	name="The Story's Name"
	ifid="...a unique set of numbers and characters..."
	options="" hidden>

	<style role="stylesheet" id="twine-user-stylesheet" type="text/twine-css"></style>
	<script role="script" id="twine-user-script" type="text/twine-javascript"></script>

	<tw-passagedata pid="1" name="Name of Main Passage" tags="" position="412,186">...contents of Passage...</tw-passagedata>

	<tw-passagedata pid="2" name="Name of Another Passage" tags="" position="412,220">...contents of Passage...</tw-passagedata>


 The <tw-passagedata> elements represent the Passages of your story, each one must have an unique value for both the PID and NAME attributes. If there are no <tw-passagedata> elements within the file then your story contains no Passages.

The parent <tw-storydata> element represents the story project itself, and most (all?) of its attributes are mandatory. The startnode attribute indicates the starting point Passage so its value must be the PID of one of the <tw-passagedata> elements within the file, if it isn't then the story project HTML file may not import.

If the story project HTML file is missing any (all) of these elements, or if the parent-child structure of the markup elements are invalid/malformed then the file may not import.

by (120 points)
The file is the HTML version. But when I open it in Notepad, there's nothing but blank spaces. No characters, just spaces. I tried adding the <tw-storydata> code, encapsulating the spaces, but Twine just gives me a never-ending "Working..." message when I try to import that.

I guess this means I'm missing everything, and it's lost for good. Thanks for the help!
by (63.1k points)
Did you happen to play test it in a browser on a computer that didn't crash? If so, it may still be in the history / cache of said browser and you can potentially rebuild it from that.
by (120 points)
Unfortunately no, and I didn't have back-ups of the file either (this has been corrected, lol). This is a secondhand laptop I acquired a couple of  months ago and I had no idea that system restore wasn't turned on, so I don't have that either (also corrected). Well, it's alright, because the template is intact and I can just rewrite the story I lost. :'D Now I will hit Archive to save, and those files are synched to cloud storage.