Error: No project found

Hello! My colleague who is using Tropy for our research project on Ajami manuscripts is having some trouble opening his project. Here’s a link to the a screenshot of the error he is receiving.

The project was setup to be “portable” and lives on an external drive. He typically works on his project using both a desktop and and a laptop. Apparently he reinstalled Tropy on his laptop for some reason and ever since he cannot open his project on either his desktop or his laptop.

Please help! Can send you his project file if need be.

Can you send the project file to me or upload it here? The error seems to suggest a bad project file, I’m afraid.

The scenario itself seems similar to this one where we also had a completely empty database file. I’m not sure how exactly that happened, but the likely reason is that a new project was created and then copied (outside of Tropy, maybe in relation to the fact that the file was in a Dropbox folder) while it was still in use. In the end the ‘real’ project file was found and I’m not sure how exactly the empty project file came into existence. Without having looked at your file I would guess that something like this might have happened here too.

I just sent it your way. In the meantime, I’ll ask him about potential backups that might be lurking around, but he wasn’t using anything cloud-based like Dropbox etc to my knowledge.

Thanks, I got the file. Unfortunately it confirms my suspicion: it is an empty database file; it contains only the schema but no data. Even when Tropy creates a new project initially it would contain some data (that’s why there is an error when trying to open the project now) so my working theory as to what happened is this:

After Tropy was re-installed, it had no ‘memory’ of the original project, so at start-up it would have opened the project wizard. Now my guess is that your colleague created a new project and changed the location to that of the original file; Tropy would have prompted whether or not to overwrite the file at this point; when confirmed the project would have been overwritten by a new one and then, during the project initialisation, there must have been an error that caused the project creation to abort before the project was finished (after the schema but be before the initial data was written).

I’m really sorry that there is no way to recover any data from this file, because it has been overwritten. I hope you still have a backup copy?

Hi. Well, that’s horrible news. I have no idea what exactly happened – I will have to have a look at his computer to see if there’s any hope, but I fear that he has lost months of pain-staking work for his PhD. Perhaps he will switch back to dozens of separate Word documents now after this traumatic experience of trying out a new software at my behest. Anyways, thanks. Will keep you updated on what I find out.

Please let me know if I can help in any way. I would just like to add that we have had only two cases since Tropy was released where a project file was corrupted – in both cases we were able to restore the project with all data. There is just really nothing we can do if a file has been overwritten explicitly.