This is the second time this has happened to me, the first time I had to completely remake the timeline. So I closed down FCPX last night, opened it up this morning and no project file. I've searched for it by name, tried the file list view, deleted preferences on launch, tried all the backup files from yesterday. None of them have a project file. I've deleted that CurrentVersion.flexolibrary file from the package contents also.It's gone I'm afraid. Just in case, theres nothing typed in the search window either. Luckily I wasn't far in but this is very worrying. Some of my projects have weeks of work in them.
It would be helpful to know your computer specs and also the project settings and media/codecs used. In the meantime, where are you storing your libraries, projects and media? On the system drive, external HD? If external, how is that drive formatted? (i.e. Mac OS Extended Journaled, EXFAT, etc.). If the project and/or media is on a drive approaching full capacity, that could cause issues. 15% to 20% of free space on any connected drive is recommended. Repairing permissions using First Aid in Mac OS for all drives is also a good maintenance routine to get into. If you hadn't deleted the CurrentVersion.flexolibrary you may have been able to use Pro Maintenance tools to fix a potentially corrupt project or library, but since you did that solution likely wont work. It is rarely necessary to delete files from the package contents of a library, so best to generally avoid doing that. There are times that is necessary, but usually not as a starting point.
...I closed down FCPX last night, opened it up this morning and no project file. I've searched for it by name, tried the file list view, deleted preferences on launch, tried all the backup files from yesterday. None of them have a project file. I've deleted that CurrentVersion.flexolibrary file from the package contents also.It's gone I'm afraid. Just in case, theres nothing typed in the search window either. Luckily I wasn't far in but this is very worrying. Some of my projects have weeks of work in them.
Sorry to hear about this problem. In general FCPX data integrity is very good. Over the years I've had hundreds of FCPX crashes and never lost any significant edits.
The most common cause of losing a project is accidentally opening a clip and editing that, then shutting down FCPX which deletes the timeline history, so you can't easily "go back" to the previously-opened clip. The edits are still inside the clip but there's no project to easily find. There is no "last modified" timestamp on the clip since it was not physically edited. Rather the edits were written to SQL tables within CurrentVersion.fcpevent within the event folder of the library.
If there's any possibility this might have happened you could export an event XML and look through it in TextEdit. Since most clips are not opened and edited, most of the XML file will look repetitive. Eventually you might come to a large block containing edits done to a clip, then just scroll up a bit to see the clip name. Then in FCPX open that clip and see if the edits are there. Maybe someone else has a better method.
Another possible cause of losing a project is it's in another event. Projects aren't required to be in the event you are editing. You've probably already tried this, but use the top-level "Projects" library smart collection to display all projects in the library.
If you have weeks of work in a project, it's important that be backed up on a file level. You can lose the project for various reasons including disk failure. Time Machine keeps a continuous differential file-level backup (including FCPX libraries) allowing you to roll back to a prior state.
In addition it's useful to periodically make additional manual copies of the library. If using a "lean" library where media, cache and proxies are located outside the library, this is easy and fast: In Finder right-click on the library and select "duplicate".
The FCPX auto-backups by default are in /Movies/Final Cut Backups. Regardless of whether you library is configured for internal or external storage/cache/proxies, those store "lean" backup versions of the library. They contain only the SQL tables with your edits and media links, so they are relatively small.
Upon encountering a problem, I suggest copying all the FCPX backups from the above location to a safe place. That way they won't accidentally get lost or deleted. You can open each of those FCPX auto-backups by double-clicking on the library package in Finder or from within FCPX by doing File>Open Library>From Backup.
*Never* change anything within a library bundle without first making a backup copy of that library at the file level.
Within the library package there is a folder for each event. Within that event there us a database file CurrentVersion.fcpevent which contains several SQLite database tables. Those contain all your edits inc'l effects and audio edits, plus links to the media or to symlinks which in turn point to the media.
Within that event folder there are sub-folders for each project. Each project folder contains another CurrentVersion.fcpevent with the edits for that project. If your project exists there will be a sub-folder with that project name within the event folder of the library bundle. You could look to see if that exists in the current library or any backup copy of the library you have.
I created a new project, did a little work on it, then attempted to go back to my previous project but it was missing. I FOUND IT. All I did was, on my new project I created, I Command-Z'd my way backward repeatedly and it "undid" it's way all the way back to my original project. I'm VERY new to FCP so no doubt I created the new project incorrectly.
The best way to check if you have correctly created a Project is by looking in Smart Collections > Projects. That collection holds every project you have created in the Library. If it isn't there, you probably have been editing inside a clip instead of creating a Project.
As we see these problems more often than we would want to, I have submitted multiple requests to prevent people from opening a clip in its own timeline. As a result, you now must use the Clip>Open Clip menu to open a clip instead of just R-clicking the clip and open it. But that is not enough. We should be able to apply basic effects and corrections on clips in the browser without having to open them in a timeline.
YOU'RE the guy?! Dang, Ronny! ;^) While I agree on some level with the need to protect folks from themselves, there are times when I need to open a clip to get audio into sync. I'd rather not Detach Audio and make a compound clip, but instead just fix the original. It doesn't happen often, but I love that I can do it when needed.