Unfortunately Autosave has always tended to be erratic in this way, for no clear reason. If it is operating, then you will notice it occurring - the converse is useful, if you do not notice its window in the centre of your screen at the defined intervals it is not working.
I usually find that turning it off, saving and then turning it back on again restores it to life, for a while at least.
Let's all petition Adobe for this:
There’s nothing more depressing than losing your last edit. You've spent hours fine-tuning a cut and the power fails or your hard drive dies. We’ve been there and we know what it’s like. So that’s why we have an AutoSave feature that is as good as it gets. To put it simply, you'll never lose your work again. Lightworks saves every keystroke, every edit, every change you make in your project. Not only does Lightworks save your project continuously [empasis added], but it also saves incremental backups of each Edit. You can decide how often and how many versions are kept. Peace of mind that you can return to any point and not lose any of your hard work.
I'm the moron here; I figured out what happened... I now know I shouldn't be using the PPRO opening window that lists recent projects!! Instead of opening the project on my work drive, I mistakenly/unknowingly clicked on the BACKUP, the identical project on my backup drive! Did my days work of logging and marking footage and when the nightly backup occurred - bingo - the work was lost as I my work drive overwrote my July 4th work...
Yikes I feel like an idiot, but at least I found the answer! LESSON LEARNED! Thanks you guys for weighing in. (At least I didn't lose a day of major cutting...)
FWIW I dont even have AutoSaves turned on.
I simply manage a frequent manual "Save" and then a 'Save Copy As' routine which I increment as I progress.
This is followed by a Back Up routine to a separate location using a B/Up application on shutdown.
J. Simon, though this is an old issue I recently deleted a large section of my project accidently without knowing it and unfortunately saved the file soon thereafter. My hope was that I could pull up an old 'autosaved version' and recover the sections that I had mistakenly deleted. Well, I discoverd the users/Greg/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Premiere/5.0/Meta Data Caches folder that contained the autosaves. However, when I tried to open them nothing happened. I also tried opening them from within Premiere by chosing Open File, then navigating to the proper folder. None of the files appeared that way, even if I added a .prproj extension or a .prel extension. What am I doing wrong?