Being logged out while typing

I am experiencing a strange problem in that when I am typing in Scrivener, usually for at least an hour or so, then at some point, which seems random, I am logged off the computer and returned to the logon screen. So far this has happened to me three times now, so its starting to get a little worrying. The thing is that I am not 100% sure that Scrivener is in any way to blame so I thought I would post here and check first, so that you can help me cross Scrivener off the list and I will look else where.

The info that I have about this problem is as follows;

The first time it happened to me was about a month ago but as I was having problems with that current install (It was originally Leopard with a Snow Leopard update), I decided to do a clean install of Snow Leopard.

It’s happened two more times since, both in the last two weeks. The computer is a Macbook Pro, Unibody, Core 2 Duo 2.8ghz with 8GB of ram and is running a clean install of Snow Leopard with all of the updates applied. Scrivener is also newly downloaded with the most recent update applied.

On both occasions while writing I was writing in the standard scrivener window, not in fullscreen mode, there were no other applications open on the desktop, in the background, textexpander, Dropbox, Know, F.lux, Boom, Alarms, Simple battery, Launchbar, HardwareGrowler and Growl are running.

The problem always occurs after I have been typing consistently for some length of time, it seems to be at least an hour. By consistently I mean non-stop typing, on the times where I type something, pause for a bit to think, write something else, pause etc, everything seems to be fine.

The exact problem is that in the middle of writing, the screen turns blue and then I am returned to the logon screen.

I suspect the issue lies elsewhere and I am going to try reinstalling the latest osx update via the combo updater to see if that helps, I have also noticed when I look in the console that there are quite a few errors relating to the, which is interesting as I’m not running an app that needs to show live updates in the dock and also /usr/libexec/hidd[32] IOHIDEventQueueEnqueue: Error enqueuing memory, which I think may actually be the culprit.

I’d welcome any thoughts or comments that any of you may have, thankfully Scrivener has a good backup system built in, so at most I lost a sentence or two of work but it’s still quite frustrating.

Thanks for any help.


Hi Andrew,

I’m fairly confident that your problem isn’t being caused by Scrivener - although not so confident that I can say for definite. I’ve never heard of Scrivener doing anything like this to anyone else, and there is nothing in the code itself that can log you out. That isn’t to say that there couldn’t be some nasty bug lurking that could cause something like this - although I’ve never heard of it, it would be silly of me to rule it out.

(I have, incidentally, occasionally seen problems like this one on my new MacBook Air - just a couple of times in the months I have had it, I have been completely logged out - but I wasn’t running Scrivener at the time.)

Running a quick Google search on this, it seems the problem is caused by a window server crash, which is something deeper and at the system-level, although this thread on Excel does suggest that some applications can trigger it: … ID=2137230

The information there suggests that it might be able to solve it by checking your fonts using FontBook and getting rid of any problem ones (fonts are notoriously problematic in OS X, and can cause no end of odd problems).

A very old post here suggests it may be a hardware issue though: … us-logout/

If you have AppleCare I would definitely recommend giving them a call. One thing you could try, just to rule out Scrivener, is typing in another program - such as TextEdit - and then opening Scrivener and copying and pasting your text in. To clarify, I’m not suggesting this as a solution, but rather as a test - if you try writing in another program for a few hours or a few days, without Scrivener open, and the system logs you out, then we can definitely rule out Scrivener as the culprit.

All the best,

Hi Keith,

Thanks for getting back to me, your suggestion was actually the next thing that I was going to try, I just finished running the combo updater and Ive just launched Textmate to do the test :slight_smile:

Thanks for your help so far, will let you know what happens.



This is just a shot in the dark, but is it possible that you hit the eject key while holding down a modifier key (ctrl, cmd, alt, shift, etc…)? I know one combination of those logs you out, though I’m not sure if you get asked if you’re sure first. I don’t have my mac handy, but if you close out your programs, and hold down one of the keys I mentioned and then tap the eject key on your mac keyboard, you may be able to replicate the log-out behavior.

edit: it’s not the eject key it’s:

command-shift-option-Q log out without confirmation

Is it possible that you’re trying to reach for a different command-option-shift-KEY combination, or are accidentally hitting the above set of keys?

Thanks for the suggestion but thats not it, when Im typing, Im really just writing so the only modifier that I actually press is the shift key, otherwise Im not using any of the other control keys (cmd, option etc), so I don’t think that I am logging myself out :slight_smile:

I still think that it must be something thats crashing in the background, either the Windowserver as Keith mentioned or something else but before I get too wrapped up in that, I’m giving Keiths suggestion of using another Word Processor a try and am typing up the rest of the chapter in Textmate. Its making me incredibly paranoid though as I am worried that it will log me out again and I will lose more work, much more than I would in scrivener with its automatic save, so I am saving every sentence pretty much. :slight_smile:

Ive checked the fonts out and they all passed without issue (I did a verify in Font book), Ive also run applejack and cleaned out the cache’s, checked permissions, checked pref files, so now using another word processor will be a good test I think. If it still logs me out then its system-wide and I need to hnt down the cause.



I just wanted to add here that I have no news I’m afraid. The problem is that yesterday and today, even though I have spent some time writing, the “flow” isn’t there, so I haven’t been writing non-stop without a pause for an hour, so there have been no weird behaviour (assuming of course that is the cause).

I have however tried writing in TextMate and in Scrivener and so far so good in both.

Will update this once I have more info.



Ok, just spent some time doing some more digging and I think that I can definitely say that Scrivener is indeed totally innocent in all of this.

When I waas going through the console logs just now, I noticed that I had had a couple more Windowserver crashes, for some reason that I don’t yet understand though, it didn’t log me out.

At the moment, as first steps to see if I can fix this, I have restarted in safe mode and then ran a permissions repair. Hopefully that will sort it, if not, then it will be onwards ever onwards.

Just wanted to come and state Scriveners innocence :slight_smile:

Thanks for the update, Andrew - I hope you get it sorted out.
All the best,

Are you using any Rosetta applications by chance? A common culprit here is Microsoft Excel from earlier in the decade. The symptom you are describing sounds precisely like a problem I was well aware of in Apple’s Rosetta engine which could cause some applications running in that environment to crash WindowServer with no warning. You’d be working in a session one minute, and staring at a login panel the next. It first appeared in the original Leopard release, but wasn’t fixed until about a year after Snow Leopard came out, but I’m not sure if that fix ever made it back to earlier versions of the OS.