Scrivener (not responding)

Hi. I’ve been using Scrivener for a few months now. I have Mac and Windows licenses, and sync my projects using Dropbox (backed up to my local drives too).

I’d had a couple of months away from my book project, but when I fired up the Mac version this week to continue work on it I couldn’t get Scrivener to load any files. I can open the Projects Templates window, but when I select a file - any file, even the tutorials - I get the spinning ball. After about 20 seconds the Force Quit Applications window says “Scrivener (not responding)”, and it never fixes itself. The same thing happens if I try to create a new project.

I’m running OS X 10.8.2, and Scrivener 2.3.1. I know Scrivener worked fine on earlier versions, but I don’t know if it’s an OS upgrade that’s killed it. I tried deleting the app from my system and downloading afresh (I didn’t purchase through the App Store) but it hasn’t made a difference.

Has anyone else encountered this issue, and is there a fix? I’d really like to get this working again, as I’ve barely used my Mac licence!

Yeah, if you haven’t done anything with the software recently and did an OS upgrade in between then and now, that’s the most likely culprit. I would first suspect any third-party plug-ins you have installed. For the last year and a half, Apple has been aggressively dropping support for security holes that have been deprecated for a while now. A lot of plug-ins relied on these to get by, and now they are causing other software on the computer to crash, since they get automatically hooked into the software’s running code when you launch it. I’m not aware of any large-scale OS X level incompatibilities, so that is what I would suspect.

However before sleuthing that out, I’d just try doing a preference reset and reinstall. Something simple might have jammed up. If you get identical results after a preference wipe and reinstall, then you know it is likely something external to Scrivener that is causing it to crash.

A good way to test the theory is make a little test account for yourself. Log into that, run Scrivener and make a project. If it works then you know it is something about your user account that is breaking the software.

Thanks for the quick response AmberV.

I’ll set up a new account tonight to test the theory. If Scrivener works OK in that, how do I go about “doing a preference reset and reinstall” on my normal account? Is there a file or files for Scrivener preferences (presumably in Home/Library/Preferences) that I should trash?

I don’t think I’ve installed any third-party plug-ins lately. However, thinking about it, a few times lately my one-year-old son has yanked the power cable out (though not while I was using Scrivener), so something might have got corrupted when the computer wasn’t shut down properly. I’ll run a disk repair as well.

OK, I created a brand new administrator account, did a clean install of Scrivener, and it still hangs when I load the tutorial. I’ve checked the hard drive using Disk Utility, which gave it a clean bill of health. I also repaired disk permissions in that program but it didn’t make a difference.

Could you give me some guidance on which preferences I should try wiping, and where I can find those files/settings? I couldn’t see anything related to Scrivener in Library/Preferences.

You’re probably okay on the preferences front, since a new test account would have a completely clean slate in that regard. I would just try reinstalling the software first, it could be something in the application package broke.

Hmm. Unfortunately I’ve tried that already - I did a clean install using a new download from this site. I deleted my old copy from the Applications folder and installed afresh.

Are any other Scrivener files located outside the Applications folder that I can try deleting? Or any other ideas on how to get this working? Please don’t say I have to do all my writing on my Windows machine!

We’ll try to avoid that scenario if at all possible!

Next phase is gathering any diagnostic info, either from the crash or from the system Console. Use the Finder’s Go menu to select Utilities. Double-click the Console icon, and click the clear button in the toolbar. Now try to launch Scrivener, do you get any lines from the OS? If so, copy and paste them here. In your Library folder (you’ll need to use the Go menu in Finder, and hold down the Option key), there is a folder for crash reports. Anything from Scrivener in there in this time frame? If so send them in to our support address (they can be quite long and it is easier to work them as files rather than text in the forum).

Another thing you could try is the latest public beta. It is actually more stable than the current stable version, so there is little risk in trying it. That page has instructions for installing it.

Thanks AmberV. I’m away from my Mac for a couple of days, so can’t test this for a while, but I appreciate you taking the time to help. Hopefully I’ll get it sorted out!

Hi. Just a quick update. I had to reinstall Mountain Lion to get things back to normal.

I tried following your instructions to check the console, but that app wouldn’t even open. That’s when I realised that the problem might have gone beyond Scrivener. Reinstalling ML seems to have made everything go back to normal (hurrah!). I still don’t know the actual cause of the fault; I presume it was a system update that went wrong somewhere along the line.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for your help and patience in getting me up and running once more! I really appreciate it.

Whew, all right. That’s always a pain to have to take things that far, but I think you might the right decision if Console wouldn’t even open. Glad to hear you have it all working again.

hi there,
I have the same problem since my 10.8.2 clean install (18/12). I had to force quit scrivener two times this week after hang in during writing in fullscreen mode with inspector footnotes (i don’t know if it’s related).

Here are the two logs (nearly at the same hour, 19 and 26/12), hope this could help. At the next crash, i’m back with Snow Leopard :slight_smile:


Scrivener_2012-12-26-231756_MBPSBU.txt (346 KB)
Scrivener_2012-12-19-231929_MBPSBU.txt (362 KB)