Project is hanging Scrivener

I have a project that is unable to open and that hangs Scrivener when I try. The project was last opened in June, as per the timestamp of its .scrivx file.

First time I tried opening it from the Favorites menu, it seemed to start opening, but then nothing happened. Because I had two other projects open, I gave it a good amount of time. I eventually clicked on the Scriv window that I tried to open from, and the window “went white” like it was hung. I terminated the Scrivener process manually.

After making sure the two projects that were opened at the time were ok (they were), I tried to open the problem project, and the same thing happened. The timestamp of the .scrivx stays unchanged. A tried a few more times, in slightly different ways, always with the same result.

Scrivener throws no errors. Just stops responding. Very rare in my experience. And I don’t think I’ve ever had a project not open before.

Is there a safe mode or some other way to troubleshoot? Or something I can look for in the scrivx files or elsewhere?

I have a project backup with a timestamp 10 days after the timestamp of all but two of the rtf files in the project that won’t open. So I should be able to recreate the project easily enough.

Thank you!

Perhaps create a blank new project, and try importing the faulty one ?
With any luck…

That would be interesting to try, to see what happened. I’ll try to import it into my standard test project.

I’ve restored a backup so I’m ok as far as this project goes. But in the process, I’m remined of how restoring a backup is more cumbersome and with more potential risk than it might be. I’ve posted about this before. But here’s the main takeaway:

When Scrivener creates the timestamped zip file with the name “ProjectName-bak-2022-02-26T16-18.zip,” it should also rename the internal project folder and scrivx files with the same timestamp, locking container and contents together as a unique backup set. That would make it impossible for a bak to overwrite a current [project pf the same name.]

Instead of using the Favorites menu, you might try opening either from the File Chooser (or whatever Windows calls it) or from Windows File Explorer.

Thanks, kewms. Yes I did that. I tried opening it from every point in the system I could access it from, including directly in Windows Explorer, double clicking the scrivx file itself, both with and without Scrivener already running. Something about the project just didn’t want to open. But…

When took Vincent’s suggestion, and imported this wayward project into another project — it came right in! Isn’t that interesting? :smiley:

It was only then I recalled that this project is very large, at least in my experience. With some very large documents, and only a few top level folders making for large scrivenings, which can slow things down. Here are the project stats.

My next largest project is just under 100,000 words. The Scrivener 3 user manual is just under 300,000. That took a while to open just now, and when I clicked the Scrivener project that I opened it from, that project said “not responding” for a moment — and then the project finally opened and all was well.

Based on that, and the fact that my problem project imported without any problems, I am going to try to open the problem project under more favorable conditions, after a reboot, to see if maybe it’s ok after all, just a bit over grown (where half of it is pure redundancy.) Does that make sense? I only have 8 Gb memory on this machine, and don’t reboot too often, so it can get groggy after a time.

If your drive(s) is/are HDD (and not SSD), perhaps you are due for a defrag.

See that “longest document” that’s 169K words? That’s most likely your problem. Scrivener is optimized to work in much smaller chunks, typically less than 5,000 words. If you then add a bunch of Snapshots or maybe make a large Scrivenings session, possibly with hardware that’s a little on the light side … yes, I can see how you might have some issues.

I would advise splitting that document into smaller pieces. Probably it has some internal structure already – I hope you aren’t inflicting 169,000 words without even a scene break on your readers! – those divisions would be a natural place to break it down.

Indeed, kewms. I have located that 169k file and split it into parts. This is an unusual Scrivener project.

It is a pre-Scrivener project, consisting of several hundred Word docs, from well before the docx format was around. There were even some WordPerfect files in there. The files were all well-named and organized. After preparing these in various ways — including renaming them with their last-saved timestamp appended to their original name, then converting them to docx — I scooped them all up into a new Scrivener project whose binder more or less mirrored the folder structure and filenames of the originals. It worked great! I was really pleased to have that mass of verbiage accessible through Scrivener. (That somehow feels like the essence of the program to me.)

That was about a year ago. I’ve accessed the project a number of times since, as recently as June, but mostly just reading and reference, never really as a working project. I knew it had some huge files (and indicated those in their filenames.) One was a 21,000 word doc (originally 44 pages in Word), which is orders beyond what my typical Scrivener docs get, but I never experienced any issues. Yet that’s the identical project that can’t open now. (Glad I had backups.)

A few of the docs that got vacuumed into Scrivener were “ALL” docs, which contained the full text of all the docs in the project, or select subsets of that. Sounds a lot like scrivenings! :slight_smile: Though the 169k doc was not one of those.

I could have weeded that kind of stuff out before bringing it all into Scrivener. But Scrivener makes doing that so much easier. And keeping it unweeded is fine, too.

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