Can't backup

Tonight I tried to backup my work as I normally do, and for the first time, Scrivener wouldn’t let me. Each time I tried to use the “Backup project to” command, everything hung and I had to force quit. I did this four times in a row with the same result.

I have no idea what’s different tonight from all other nights, other than the project is larger than it was last night, because I duplicated and renamed half a dozen chapters.

But I’m worried that If I keep trying to backup, I’m going to corrupt the file and then I’m screwed.

When you get info on the Scrivener project in Finder, what is the number you get? If indeed the project has become very large, it will take a lot longer to back up and will appear to hang while it is doing so.

Did you add or at least copy any pdfs? If so, one of your pdfs could be corrupted. There are several threads here with people suffering crashes etc. with bad pdfs. You just need to open the package and determine if you can indeed open all the pdfs etc. using a different software. Apparently, there was a report of a bad html file causing trouble too.


No pdf’s involved.

Quick update. I created a new project with a tiny amount of text and tried to back that one up.

The program hung again. Tried again, no luck.

This is really strange.

EDIT - Update #2 – It seems to have been a system wide problem, rather than a strictly Scrivener problem. The clue was when Scrivener wouldn’t even export without crashing. I rebooted the system and brought everything back, and so far it seems to be working properly.


Glad you’re up and running. Let me know if it happens again though.

All the best,

If it does happen again, you might want to try opening Terminal and typing “killall Finder”.

That sometimes helps me if my system acts up.

I might try that but it sounds scary. What does the command actually do?

It’s mainly bark. killall just asks any applications matching the string you give it (“Finder” in this case) to quit. It “asks” this on a level which is slightly more imperative than a shut-down request (you won’t get any “Do you want save your open documents” dialogues), but won’t outright shut it down if it refuses to quit (usually this means it has crashed and can’t get any signals). In the case of Finder, this hardly ever hurts anything. It just restarts itself a second later and carries on, hopefully in a better frame of mind.

The kill and killall command should really be avoided if you are not sure what they do. While there is no real danger in doing a killall Finder it would be safer for the uncertain to go to the apple menu, select Force Quit, then click on restart finder. Essentially the same thing, but a better idea.

For those pesky “it just wont die!” progies, there is my favorite.

kill -KILL <PID>

This will terminate a processes with prejudice. Meaning no chance to respond to a TERM or STOP signal. Depending on kernel implementation (which I have not looked up for OSX) this would be the equivalent of a bullet to the head.

And if you ever work with Oracle or BEA based application servers you will know the horror that comes from a junior who is kill happy.