Complete data loss on last active note when opening vault this morning

I’ve been using Obsidian daily for many months now and love it. But this morning, when I opened it again, the 6000 word note I had open last when I closed it last night was now empty, except for the heading which had synced over automatically with the Filename Heading Sync plugin. The other open notes seem fine.

My setup is as follows:
Obsidian v0.15.9 (installer version v0.14.6) on Windows 10
Active core plugins: Backlinks, Command palette, File recovery, Note composer, Page preview, Quick switcher, Templates
Community plugins: Advanced Tables, Filename Heading Sync, Hider, Paste URL into selection, Sliding Panes (Andy’s Mode), Style Settings

My vault has always been stored on a shared and mapped network drive (SMB share on UnRAID), which has worked fine up until now.

So I have two questions:

  • Is there anything I can do to get that data back? I’ve tried the file recovery, but I can’t see older versions, only the last changes from the empty file to me typing a few words of what I could remember in a panic. I don’t have a recent backup of that file but am currently making a manual one of the whole vault as a precaution.

  • I can begrudgingly accept losing that file (should have kept better backups), but what can I do so this doesn’t happen again? Apart from copying my vault onto my local device, because I’m sharing the vault with someone else who needs access to it.

Hi there,

I had a similar problem! Opened Obsidian up on my desktop this morning and a very large note which had a lot of work gone into it had no text in it. I closed it down and opened my mobile app and briefly the text in the note appeared, before disappearing again. Would really appreciate any help as to why this happened - a bug maybe?

My setup:
Obsidian v0.15.9 (installer version: v0.15.9)
Active core plugins: backlinks, command palette, daily notes, file recovery, note composer, page preview, quick switcher, sync
Community plugins: calendar, cMenu, LangaugeTool Integration, sliding panes (Andy’s mode), style settings, tasks.

As above mine is backed up to my dropbox.

Really really upset about this!! In a bit of a blind panic if I am honest, I really needed this file as I have a big deadline on Friday.

Any help would be appreciated!!

Ah just noticed the file recovery plugin whilst typing out the above comment and was able to recover most of the text - hopefully that helps the OP!

Interesting that the same thing happened to us at the same time! I’m still none the wiser what could have caused it.

Glad you were able to recover most of your data at least! Unfortunately the file recovery plugin only seems to show the most recent changes, and because I had typed a few words in there it showed the change from empty to those few words rather than showing the change from my 6000 words to empty.

I don’t know know what caused this problem, but you might increase the odds of recovery in the future by increasing the snapshot interval and/or history length of the file recovery core plugin.

You need to download and reinstall the latest version of Obsidian. Your installer is out of date, and certain parts of Obsidian have changed, and can’t be auto-updated.

(I’m not claiming this has anything to do with your data loss, or would have fixed it. I don’t know. But it could certainly be contributing to bugs.)

Also, it might not affect you until version 0.16.x but the Sliding Panes plugin causes trouble with the latest versions of Obsidian. I’m not sure if it has been fixed, but you’ll eventually have to remove it, unless the plugin has been updated. (0.16.x has new stacked tabs features built in.)

Lastly, you’ve already acknowledged you need to keep better backups. You are running 3rd party community plugins in an alpha API, in a rapidly developed app. Keep backups!

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I had it on the default settings which I think are good enough (snapshot every 5 minutes and kept for 7 days), but unfortunately it only keeps one snapshot. It would be neat if there was the possibility to view a history of snapshots so that if one accidentally overwrites the most recent snapshot (as I evidently did), going back is still possible.

Done now, though I’ve already done this probably four times since I installed Obsidian… with auto-updates enabled I don’t really think about it until I have a bug, check my version and notice just how out of date my installer is.

Thanks for the heads up! I’ll watch out for that, curious to test the built-in stacked tabs.

That sounds like something is wrong. If you edited the file within the last 7 days before the file turned blank, there should be snapshots of those edits.

Interesting, are you able to see multiple snapshots for the same file? I can only ever see the last change, and I can’t seem to find anything in the UI to give me the option to see the second to last change etc.

Yes you should see multiple snapshots for a file, assuming changes have been made.

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Huh, now that is strange. I don’t have that for any of the files. Based on the shape of the screenshot I imagine it would go on the left here, but it’s blank for every single note I’ve looked at that I know I’ve edited multiple times recently:

Any idea what could cause that?

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So I was wondering if it was maybe an issue with using a vault that is on a network share, because I understand that isn’t fully supported. I have the LYT Kit folder on the same network share as well, so I tested it and it actually works as expected. I’m guessing it must be something with the plugins I’m using in my own vaults, I just can’t imagine what could cause that. Very strange.

Edit: Tried disabling the Hider plugin, that didn’t return it.

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I figured it out, it’s my theme! I can see the file recovery properly when using the default theme. But California Coast seems to accidentally hide it.


How unexpected! Good job finding that. If you have the time, could you file that as an issue in the theme’s GitHub

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