Monday, August 27, 2007

How to Recover Returned Items

There are a number of different situations where inventory items of yours that are rezzed in-world might be returned to your inventory. Some people use the Return Items feature of About Land when picking up their things before moving to a different plot. Sometimes you'll forget to wear your group tag when placing items on your property and they'll be autoreturned to you. When this happens, your returned items end up in the Lost and Found folder of your inventory. Due to a technical change made to Second Life last year called coalescing, multiple objects returned to you at the same time are usually lumped together as a single entry in your Lost and Found folder.

This fact has caused endless confusion among Second Life residents, who see that only a single item ended up in Lost and Found and think that the system lost all their other items. What follows is a demonstration of how coalescing works and how you can recover your coalesced items.
  1. Vapor here has several objects set out on her property. Each object has a name corresponding to its color. For example, "Red Cube," "Orange Cube," and so on.

  2. Vapor has rented a bigger plot on one of the other Desperation Isle estates, so it's time to pack things up. Initially she starts returning objects one-by-one. She right-clicks the yellow cube, clicks More, and then clicks Return. The yellow cube is ends up in her Lost and Found folder.

  3. Vapor decides this will take too long so she goes to World > About Land and takes a look at the Objects tab. She selects her name in the list of object owners and then clicks Return Items. The rest of her cubes appear in her inventory- but this time they're bundled together under a single entry. She can tell that even though the entry is simply named "Green Cube," it represents a number of individual objects because the icon for that entry looks like a little stack of boxes instead of one single box. The object name that gets used to represent rezzed items is seemingly random. She could have returned an entire house to her inventory and ended up with a single entry named "Object" in Lost and Found.

  4. Vapor goes to her new location and decides to unpack her things. She steps into a big open area with enough free prims for her to rez her items, and drags the "Green Cube" entry onto the ground. All of her bundled items are rezzed at this time, in their same relative postitions as when they were were initially returned. She can now take them all into inventory one at a time, by right-clicking them and then clicking Take. This will return the items either to their original folders if they were originally dragged from someplace other than Objects, or to the Objects folder if their old folder no longer exists.

Important Note
If items get returned to you, but you don't find anything at all in Lost and Found, it's possible you need to clear your cache and re-download your inventory. Here's how:
  1. Go to Edit > Preferences and click the Network tab.
  2. Click the Clear Cache button and then click OK.
  3. Click OK again and then exit Second Life.
  4. Log back into Second Life (it may take a little while longer as your cache is deleted).
  5. Once you're logged back on, open up your inventory and leave the window open until it is done re-downloading your items. This can take several minutes. While your inventory is downloading there's usually a "Fetching..." message at the top of the inventory window.

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