Scrivener opens...then closes

This is now beyond frustrating. Whenever I open Scrivener, 9 times out of 10 it opens correctly, stays open for 3-5 seconds, and then just closes. It’s gotten to the point where whenever I somehow DO get it to stay open (utter luck, no judgement), I leave it open until I have no other choice but to close it - it’s rock solid if it doesn’t crash in those first few seconds.

I’ve tried reinstalling, I’ve tried moving it from my ‘Data’ (D) drive to the C drive with Windows etc., I’ve tried all the compatibility modes, and running as Admin. Virus/Malware scans show no problems, and Windows and all my drivers are up to date. It doesn’t seem to make a difference if it’s the first program I try and start up, or the last. No other programs I use exhibit the same behaviour. Even if I manage to make a change (viewing a different project file, adding/deleting text) in the first couple of seconds, it doesn’t prevent the crash.

I’d post the minidump file, but apparently the ‘extension dmp is not allowed’ …


As far as posting the minidump goes, here’s an earlier note by MimeticMouton regarding how to do that… basically, compress/zip it and should then be able to attach or email it, as .zip is an allowed format.
“Please also check in your Scapple installation folder for the “minidump” folder there. If you could zip the contents (select them and choose “Send to \ Compressed (zipped) folder”)”

Before anything else, make sure you have copies of your critical projects located somewhere elsewhere than on your computer. USB thumb drive, DropBox, CD/DVD, etc…

My first guess, which may be wrong, is that the project(s) you are normally trying to open may be corrupted. You may be tempted to think I didn’t fully read your post and that I missed your mentioning that you’ve sometimes managed to switch projects… I didn’t. I know from bitter experience doing PC support that it’s worth checking/checking again.

There are at least two ways to investigate that…

  1. Instead of launching Scrivener and waiting for it to open the most recently opened project (and to see if it crashes), instead go into Windows File Explorer, navigate to a given project’s .scriv folder, drill into the folder and try launching (double clicking) the project.scrivx file. Try this for at least two or three different projects (default projects that came with Scrivener or other/test projects that you have created). See if Scrivener crashes on just one of them or all of them.

  2. If/when you can get Scrivener up long enough, go into
    Tools > Options > General and uncheck the "Open recent projects on program launch, so that it won’t attempt to open the most recently opened project on subsequent launches. Then try launching it, letting it sit idle for a few minutes (to see if crashes while idle), then opening various projects and seeing if it crashes on only one or all of them. Try creating new projects and see if it crashes with them.

If the project(s) is corrupted, can come back and discuss how to deal with that later, once determined.

Another possibility, from this thread
is MimeticMouton’s note…
“Ok, thanks for clarifying. When you last closed the New project on the laptop before making the copy that’s not opening on the desktop, what was loaded in the editor? Specifically what I’m wondering here is whether Scrivener is trying to load a lot of files when opening the project, for instance if you had left a large Scrivenings session open or were viewing a lot of images on the corkboard, and that process is stalling out on your desktop.
Try opening the project on the laptop, setting it to show a single small document in text view, with no split editor, and closing the project. Trash the copy that’s on the thumbdrive and then make a new copy of the project you just closed and try bringing that to the desktop and opening it.”

Beyond that, there’s a whole bunch of possibilities… and I’ll probably miss the obvious one the first few times around…

Some possibilities/questions:

Uninstall Scrivener (if it asks about keeping anything, tell it to get rid of everything). Download a fresh copy of Scrivener (production version) from the L&L web site, install, and see if still crashes on just one or all projects.

Info needed:

  • What version of Windows? (Control Panel > System)
    Version name/number. 32 or 64 bits.
  • How much RAM (chip memory)?
  • How much free space on C: and D: drives?
  • Are C: and D: both conventional hard drives, solid state drives (SSD), etc??? As opposed to USB thumb drives, rewritable CD/DVD, etc.?

Other programs running? Shut/exit as many as possible and see if crashing persists.

What other applications are installed? Control Panel > Programs.
Any keyboard/macro related utilities? Anything relatively new that you installed shortly before or at the time you started experiencing the problem with Scrivener?

See if your computer came with, or its manufacturer supplies via their web site, a systems diagnostics program. If they do, sometime when you can spare the computer for a long period of time, run it and see if it turns up anything.

Something to try sometime before going to bed, run an integrity check on C: and D: (possibly on different nights).
Details will vary depending on version of Windows… In Win8.1 is…
In Windows File Explorer or My Computer, right click on the C: or D: drive, select Properties, Tools tab, click Check for error checking. The check can run for a loooonnnnngggg time.

If you think I’m guessing or rather scattershot… you’re correct. Someone else may immediately hit on what the problem is. When you don’t, you spread a net and start seeing what turns up in it…

Whew, thanks for this 8)

Minidump attached - there’s five files in there. My sixth attempt was a speedrun to deselect the ‘open recent projects’ option, which, whether because I was in an options menu at the time, or because I happen to be more stubborn than Scrivener when I’ve got a plan of attack, decided it was going to stay open.

For today at least, Scrivener seems to have thrown the towel in - it’s staying open, regardless of what project files I open, whether I have any other applications open, and even though I’ve switched it back to opening recent projects (I originally switched this on because it seemed to fix the same open/close issue when it was occuring after the launcher opened - the only thing in common seems to be the length of time; if it stays open longer than 5 seconds, idle or otherwise, it’s fine). It’s remained stable through several reboots to see if changing any of the above caused the issue to restart. I’ll resume testing when the issue almost inevitably crops up again - I’ve had so much ‘seem’ to work only to stop working that I’ll probably now remain skeptical for the rest of my life, lol.

I’d almost wonder if it was a page file or other memory issue…but I’ve opened it with as much success when the PC’s just booted up as when it’s been on for a day or two, and I’d expect to see symptoms of a memory issue in other applications.

Needless to say, it seems to me unlikely that the projects themselves are corrupted or too large, as once Scrivener will stay open, it opens them all without issues, even if it’s previously been opening and then closing on them (to reassure you, yes I’ve checked and double checked, I’m not just presuming :wink: ).

My reinstall was to the latest version (I was having the issue with an older version, the reinstall/move seemed to fix it, but now it’s up to its old tricks again), and as mentioned, I’ve been unable (process of elimination) to find anything installed/running that matches up with the issue’s occurrence - none of them are keyboard/macro utilities, and nothing was new when the issue started to occur (would’ve been one of my first suspicions).

I’ll look into the systems diagnostic program, and I’ll try error checking the drives over the next couple of nights.

Systems info:
Win 7 Pro, SP1, 64 bit
C drive is an SSD with 57.7GB free
D drive is a conventional HDD with 718GB free

As a shot in the dark, scattershot has the advantage of saturation and random luck - as the saying goes, it’s worth a shot :smiley:
Scriv dmp (96.8 KB)

Hope the problem doesn’t resurface. If it does, hope the earlier or following stuff is of assistance.

The minidumps are beyond me… I’ll defer to L&L on that.

If your computer’s manufacturer doesn’t offer a diagnostics tool/suite, I don’t have a full suite to recommend, but…

But I can recommend an exhaustve RAM tester I used to use extensively (about two years ago… presumably still compatible and among the best). Is available in two versions, both free, that can be put onto a CD/DVD or USB thumb drive. It is self contained, i.e. has its own boot/operating system… so you boot it rather than launching it from in Windows. Typically, if there’s a RAM issue, it will spot it within minutes… but I have seen cases where marginal RAM would only show up a few times during an overnight run. Use at your own risk.

As for HD and SSD drives… their manufacturers presumably offer diagnostic utilities. Use at your own risk.

A fallback malware scanner that I also used to rely on extensively when the official antivirus failed to catch something (again… about two years ago). Free version available. Can install so only runs when you want it to. Full scans can take a long time (figure overnight). It did a fairly good job of also being able to remove stuff it detected… though the stuff was getting nastier and nastier, both in terms of detection and removal. Use at your own risk.

3 to 5 seconds of any signifigance?
In Scrivener, Tools > Options > General, is Save after period of inactivity by any chance set at 3 to 5 seconds? Guess could extend it for test purposes and see if the problem timing changes correspondingly.

Check the Backup location in Tools > Options > Backup > Backup location and make sure it is correct/where you assume it to be.

I was recently testing screen reader (screen to voice) software for the visually impaired that crashed Scrivener.

Good luck.