Scrivener crashed, won't open

Scrivener has been my saving grace. I love the program and have been telling all my writer friends about how its functionality actually made my book seem POSSIBLE for the first time.

But now, the program has crashed and I can’t access anything from my manuscript, which is due to the publisher in mere weeks. The trouble started when, out of curiosity, I clicked on Project Stats. I fear my project, at 1.38 GB is too large, maybe. The program froze while trying to tally stats so I force quit and restarted my computer. Now when I try to launch to program it says “Synchronizing search strings” then stops responding. I’d try to take out some of the larger files if only I could access them.

I’m in a panic, on deadline. Any help you can offer would be most appreciated.

In case there are no alternative solutions, maybe you can open the package of your project, and find out the separate text and illustration files?


Thanks, Paolo, for the suggestion. Any idea how to do that? My file Name.scriv seems to be a united whole, alterable only through the application itself. I’ll try anything at this point, so any advice would be most welcome.

Right-Click -> Show Package Contents

Thanks so much for your advice. I deleted the preferences, reinstalled the program, made a copy of my .scriv file and opened that. I now have access to my work. Whew!

Now, I’m left with the question, was the project size the problem? Do I need to delete some material or move it out of the project? Is 1.38 GB too big for Scrivener to handle?

It may just be that you didn’t give it long enough to collate the stats, and then in turn didn’t give it long enough to do the “Synchronise Search Strings” on startup (this latter can take a while even with a small project - on something that big, I imagine it would take a loooooong time). How long did you let it process each time?

There shouldn’t be a problem per se with a file that large, but these are probably the two instances where such a large file size would mean waiting around for the computer to finish processing stuff.

Good thoughts. Thanks! Unfortunately I had to force quit in both instances because I got a Scrivener “not responding” message in the force quit menu. Keith also mentioned these operations would take a long time with such a large file, but I guess in my case the file size overwhelmed the system.

You can sometimes get a “not responding” message just because an application is taking longer than the system thinks it should… I’ve had it with lots of programs where an application shows that message in the Force Quit panel but then comes alive moments afterwards. So it is worth just giving it a lot of time to synchronise before force quitting…

Oh, I didn’t realize that. Good to know. Thanks, Keith!