Never lose a file again!
Savetime is the AutoCAD variable setting that sets the time delay before creating SV$ file (the automatic backup save files).
Sometimes, for some reason, the Savetime variable is reset to 0, and you might not know about it. It often happens when AutoCAD crashes during the Publish command. What happens is the Publish command sets this variable to 0 during the command process and resets the variable to the original value after it's done. So when the Publish command freezes or crashes AutoCAD, this variable is not reset.
To make sure you never experience this problem, I suggest to put this little LISP code in your ACAD.LSP or ACADDOC.LSP.
(if (eq (getvar 'savetime) 0) (setvar 'savetime 7))
This will automatically set the Savetime variable to 7 min, if it was 0. You can change the value for the increment in minutes that works for you.
Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer R.K. McSwain: System variables can often seem to "change on their own," but of course you know that something is doing it. Until you figure out what it is, you can follow this tip to simply restore your preferred setting to the variable that is being changed (SaveTime in this case). We suggest using ACADDOC.LSP, which loads each time a drawing is loaded.