My files are dead

• Apr 26, 2021 - 12:42

I just recently updated MuseScore 3 to MuseScore 3.6 and nearly all of my files got wiped. Is there any undo method?


MuseScore under no circumstances would ever delete any of your scores, these stay where they were, and you just need to find them and tell MuseScore to look for them in the right spot

In reply to by MSMatt

I know what a file is ;-)
Installing or updating MuseScore is not going to delete any file (that isn't part of the installation package itself).
So it won't, under no ciicrimstances, ever delete any files (that aren't part of the installation packag itself)

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I am using a Microsoft Windows 10 Home (Version 10.0.19041)
I believe I went from 3.5 to 3.6 (I don't remember any numbers past the 5 and the 6)

Looking back, this probably isn't necessarily a MuseScore problem but more a Windows problem but I somewhat assumed it was MuseScore because it was an indirect cause.
Quick question: When updating to 3.6, did anybody else require a restart of their computer?

In reply to by MSMatt

As mentioned, MuseScore never ever under any circumstances deletes and of your files. If you saved them, they are absolutely positively still right there on your drive in the exact same folder your saved them to. next step, then, is remembering what that folder is and being sure you are looking there and not in some other folder. What is the precise pathname of the folder you believe you saved them to?

In reply to by MSMatt

There is no such thing as a "MuseScore file" - MuseScore writes perfectly ordinary files to your hard drive. They are not special in any way, just ordinary files like any other. So again, the first step is to try to remember the precise pathname of the folder you believe you saved your scores to, and then navigate to that folder in Windows Explorer and check the contents of that folder.

If you don't see them, please type in the exact pathname you are looking in and show a screen shot of Windows Explorer viewing the contents of that folder, so we can understand and assist better.

As for reboot on update, yes, this happens if any files MuseScore shares with other applications are still in use by those other applications when the installer wants to update them. That can also happen when updating from older version in some cases if the older version itself crashed at some time since the last reboot and left another process still running.

In reply to by MSMatt

If your MuseScore files are still fine and your normal computer files are not, then the cause is not MuseScore.
It may be that the MuseScore installer was the thing that prompted you to restart, but I'm betting that you also had a windows update pending at that time.

In reply to by MSMatt

Can you remember the names of any of the files you think you've lost , or maybe just the file types?
Even just a few dates on which you last opened or created files.
If so, try a search and see if any appear. I suppose it's possible that a file link or path name has changed, so your files might still be there, but not obviously visible. If that is the case, then you might be able to figure out what path name(s) to reset.

It's a while since I used Windows in any form. System Restore could reset your system to back before you installed the MuseScore program which you feel might have caused a problem, but System Restore shouldn't affect user files anyway, so that shouldn't help, unless something else caused a significant change.

Try doing the search first. Don't do System Restore unless you are either very confident or desperate.

If all else fails, do you have a backup drive? If so, you should be able to recover your files from that.
It might also be worth doing a new backup to a clean drive before trying anything drastic.

In reply to by MSMatt

So, the moment you post the information we keep requesting - the exact pathname of the folder you believe the files to have been saved in, a screenshot showing the contents of that folder as displayed in Windows Explorer - that's the moment we can start working to help you find your files.

If you don't have any idea what the folder you actually saved the files too, where are you looking for them and not seeing them - eg, what ispecifically is causing you to believe they aren't where they belong? What is the actual pathname of the folder you are looking in?

If perhaps you are simply looking at the recent files list and finding it empty, that shouldn't be a cause for concern, that's list does get cleared for various reasons but in no way affects any files on your system. Again, they are still there in the exact same folder they have always been in. So first step remains as it was when you first posted - we need you to =start thinking about what folder you believe those files to be i, and to open that exact folder.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't think you are understanding what I am saying. By "MuseScore files" I am referring to the .mscz files that get saved. Those are perfectly fine. Everything in my files named "Windows", "RECOVERY", and "Data" are all fine, but everything that WASN'T in there is gone (My .mscz files were in "Windows").

In reply to by MSMatt

The point is that the installer is only capable of changing the contents of its installation folder.
By default C:\Program Files\MuseScore 3, especially if it requires a reboot it is only because it couldn't update a file in that folder and asks windows to put it there on the next boot cycle.
Note that by default your user scores also wouldn't be in "Windows" but in "C:\Users\username]\Documents\MuseScore 3\Scores".

So again; the installer has no way of breaking outside of its installation directories and can not be the cause of random other files disappearing.

In reply to by MSMatt

I understand you just fine, but I don't think you are understanding us, or how MuseScore works. Again, if you have your MSCZ files, that is all there is to have, so you are good to go - just open them normally. There are no other files to find. What were you expecting to see?

EDIT: Ok, maybe you are actually saying, files that have absolutely nothing to do with MuseScore whatsoever - like maybe, files created in Microsoft Word, or pictures you took with your digital camera, or whatever else - that these files having nothing to do with MuseScore are the ones you can't find? If so, then just as the files themselves have absolutely nothing to do with MuseScore, then neither does their disappearance. You'd need to ask for help on a general Windows help forum to understand what might have happened to any completely unrelated files for completely unrelated reasons.

But as noted, your MSCZ files had better not be in Windows. There should be in C:\Users\YourName\Documents\MuseScore3\Scores (or MuseSce2 if you were still using an ancient version), or whatever else you personally chose to save them. If you made the mistake of saving your own files into the Windows folder - despite the warnings that would have appeared every time you tried to do so - then indeed, an uninstall would likely remove those along with the program. I'm assuming you did not make that mistake over and over and over each time you saved a file.

So once again, we'd love to help, but if you think some file is missing, step one in getting help is to tell us the exact pathname of the folder you believe that file should be in, and show us what's actually in the file instead of what you expect to see there.

In reply to by MSMatt

Surely C: is the volume, and there should be files within it. Can you probe it - go in and (perhaps recursively) list the directories? It's a while since I used Windows as I mentioned, but another possibiility - though perhaps unlikely - is that the files are there but hidden. Check to see if there are any options in your version of Windows to hide files - which might have been turned on accidentally.

You need to find some files and identify the starts of the path names in order to home in on where the files might have gone. I'm assuming they are in fact still on the drive, but you can't find them, which is why I suggested a search earlier on.

In reply to by MSMatt

Why would you expect files some where other than in your C: drive? Did you previously have a second drive that contained your files - a D: drive, for example? Are you saying that is what is missing? Was it a removable drive and you removed it? You say there are many files missing, then it should be easy to name one - the exact pathname of the file you believe to be missing.

To be clear, most computers have only a single drive, and it is the one labeled C:. Every single file on your computer would normally be in C:. So of course the only files you have are on that drive, scattered mong different folder on the drive like Program Files, Windows, Users, etc. This is basic computer 101 for Windows users. And again, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with MuseScore in any way, shape or form. So if you're having trouble understanding how to find your files, I highly recommend finding a general Windows help forum.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well...not for me apparently. It goes "This PC" with folders, "3D Objects", "Desktop", "Documents", "Downloads", "Music", "Pictures", "Videos", and Devices and drives, "C:", "RECOVERY", "Data".
But, like you said, this isn't a MuseScore-related thing (at least, not in the direct sense).

In reply to by MSMatt

What you showed above is completely normal. It shows exactly one drive - the C: drive. The other things listed under This PC are not separate drives, they are shortcuts to places within your C: drive. Like, Documents is a shortcut to C:\Users\YourName\Documents and/or C:\Users\YourName\OneDrive\Documents, unless you previously customized it to point somewhere else. But unless you have - or used to have - a second D: drive, it's there in some folder on your C: drive. Along with each and every single file you are having trouble finding right now. They are all there in one or more of those folderson your C: drive, and the moment you can take a step back and remember the exact pathname of one of those folders, you are then only seconds away from actually finding the files it contains. You can even use Windows to help you find the file, by typing a portion of its name. but once again, this requires you to actually be able to name one of the files you believe to be missing, not to just have some sort of vague unsubstantiated feeling that something seems missing.

But indeed, this is not MuseScore related. Not in any sense whatsoever, direct or indirect.

In reply to by MSMatt

So, again taking a step back - can you name a single file you believe to be missing? What are you seeing, or not seeing, that makes you believe anything isn't exactly as it should be? Name one specific thing, and we can begin to help, even though this indeed has nothing to do with MuseScore.

In reply to by MSMatt

One possibility is a hard drive malfunction. Another is that you have deleted a whole directory. More likely, however, you have accidentally moved your Documents or other folder (who knows where you have saved things?) to a place that you didn't mean to.

Go to this web page:…

Read down to “View Tree Structure in Windows Explorer“ and follow the instructions to generate a file containing the names of all your files

CMD /c "Tree /F /A > Resultant.txt"

This will take a long time to run and will generate a large text file containing the names and locations of all your files. Search through that file to see if you can find your lost files. You can even post it here (although you might have security issues about doing that).

In reply to by MSMatt

t would still help if you describe what actually is making you think some file is missing. That's entirely unclear right now. You just showed the list of things under "This PC". That looks absolutely normal - I don't see anything obviously missing. Is there something else you expected to find there? Did you try to open a program and find you couldn't? Did you try to click one of the things in that list and find it empty? Something must be causing you to believe files are missing, but right now we literally have no idea how you came to that conclusion..

Again, the moment you make an attempt to describe why you feel there are missing files - some hint as to what kind of files you aren't finding, where you are looking - that's the moment we start to work toward a solution.

In reply to by MSMatt

Mmmmm. That's not sounding too good. How's your current backup going?

Have you got a backup of previous work at all? If so, might now be veering towards doing a restore from a backup drive - but don't rush into it.

If you have a big enough spare drive you could clone your C: drive for extra safety.

In reply to by MSMatt

I remember that one of the big MicroSoft updates last year had such an effect if the updated only halfway worked; in which case your user account would be moved into some shadow account thing and you'd end up in a new similarly named empty user account.

Do make sure to check the contents of C:\Users\

In reply to by MSMatt

This definitely sounds like the Windows update bug that caused people's user accounts to change names. Your old files would still be there, but in a different subfolder of C:\Users than you expect. Something like C:\Users\YouName.000, if I recall correctly (which I probably don't). Anyhow, some web search for more information on that Windows bug may prove useful

But then, you say your MSCZ files are still present - where are they, then, and how are you seeing them? They would normally be in Document - Documents/MuseScore3/Scores, specifically.

In reply to by MSMatt

It's a very good thing, I think - it means even if your disk should completely fail and your files really are lost, you'd still be able to get them back from OneDrive online.

But that still doesn't really make sense. What is the exact pathname of the folder? I keep stressing that, because understand this is almost certainly the key to any solution.

Normally when you click Documents under This PC, it would show you the contents of both C:\Users\YourName\Documents and also C:\Users\YourName\OneDrive\Documents. So if you are seeing files in one drive, that suggests the latter folder is still correct and where it should be, but again, we'd want to know the exact pathname to find out if it's YourName or YourName.000 or something else.

In reply to by MSMatt

"It's indirect because MuseScore's 3.6 update required me to restart the computer which caused this"

Is that still a feature of program updates on Windows? This still happens sometimes on Macs, but not often.
I don't think updating MuseScore within MacOS requires an OS restart, but of course the update procedures and processes could still be different between the different types of platform.

Was it precisely at that time that you were aware of the "loss" of files? In other words, were you sure that everything was OK before you restarted the computer during the MuseScore update, and that immediately afterwards everything was missing? That might indicate some failure in the updater programs, though as discussed it doesn't absolutely follow that you have really lost any data permanently.

You seem sure that the MuseScore update was the cause of your problem.

In reply to by dave2020X

>"Is that still a feature of program updates on Windows?"
Yes. It usually isn't required for MuseScore, but we had a bug in older versions that could leave a subprocess running, thus locking that file and preventing it from being updated. The installer has a possibility to then ask Windows to update that file upon a reboot, as it is guaranteed to not be in use at that point in time.

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