Won't open due to no "valid binder structure file" / project size question

I have persistently gotten this error message for a Scrivener project:

I’ve read the forum for other people with this problem, & have followed the advice given there. Specifically:

  • I use the most recent desktop versions of Scrivener for Mac (2.8) & Windows.
  • Most recently, just now on my Mac (running OS X El Capitan), I opened & closed my project, made sure it synced completely to Dropbox, then synced the project again in iOS.
  • I’m still unable to open on either my iPhone 6 or my iPad mini, & still get the above error message instead.[/list]

Is there a known limit to project size that SiOS can handle?

I’ve been able to open small projects without a hitch — the problem one is very large, currently at 28.4 MB. (Don’t ask!) My next step is to break my megalarge project into small bite-size pieces, & hope that takes care of the issue. But is there any information about that already? But it would be helpful to have guidance on the upper size limit of projects that SiOS can handle, if its known.


— Mel :mrgreen:

How did you sync it from your Mac and how did you sync it on your iDevice?

“No binder structure” indicate that iOS don’t find a Scrivener project file (scrivx) but something else. Did you just Save the project on your Mac, and nothing else?

The project is in my Scrivener project folder in Dropbox, which I’ve named scrivmain. It syncs the same to/from my Mac the same way everything syncs. I’ve been using Dropbox for several years, & am quite familiar with it (as I am with Scrivener, which I’ve been using since 2010). Within my iOS devices, I’ve set scrivmain as my dedicated Scrivener project folder, & use the sync button from within the app.

I’m not sure what you mean by “just Save the project…and nothing else.” It can’t properly be called a Scrivener project if it doesn’t have the .scrivx file or the other files Scrivener needs to run properly.

In any case, everything that belongs to this project is there — the .scrivx file & all indexing etc. files (binder.autosave, binder.backup, search.indexes, etc.), as well as the various documents that I actually write in. The project works normally when on my Mac or the PC that I also sometimes use.

— Mel

Have you at any time set up ‘Sync to external folder’ to the same ‘scrivmain’ folder for this project? There was someone else having problems and a forgotten ‘external sync’ turned out to be the culprit.

No, with this project I never have.

— Mel

Yeah, I think we need a tech support person in here to help you out on this one.

If someone doesn’t drop in here soon, you might want to make direct contact through Support.


Although it may have absolutely no relationship to the error in this thread I had this error happen to me this morning. After some testing I can repeat the problem with 100% reliability. First something about my workflow…

I have a root folder in Dropbox named Scriv. It holds all the projects I’m currently thinking about. In the folder apps/Scrivener I have my active iOS projects. When I ‘finish’ working on an iOS project, lets call it Test.scriv, I back out to the initial Projects menu and then I move it from Apps/Scrivener to Scriv using either my iMac or Dropbox on my iPad.

I then perform a manual sync on the iPad–note, the project is NOT open on the iPad.

If the iOS Scrivener app is open at the time of the move this manual sync ‘creates’ a file named Test.scriv in the Apps/Scrivener folder. It is only 1kB in length…in this case the original is 5.8MB.

If I move the file Test.scriv while the iOS Scrivener app is closed all works exactly as it should. If Test.scriv is not the last project opened on iOS then the problem does not happen. In fact, any .scriv file can be safely moved as long as it is not the last one opened on iOS Scrivener.

It is pretty clear that ‘some hook’ into the project last opened on iOS is still present even if one backs out to the main project menu on iOS.

A simple work around is to close iOS Scrivener before the move. Of course, one could also just open a different project on iOS before the move.

Point of clarification on your steps: When you back out of your project in ios Scriv, do you hit Sync also then or just leave things be? You do not say you sync then, so I am guessing you do not. And I am guessing that if you did, the problem would not occur.

Even just going into Scriv projects typically changes something, so Scriv then has file changes not on Dropbox when you back out of the project. This is likely relevant to the phenomenon you see later (having moved the project out of Dropbox behind Scrivs back!) when you then hit sync. I am guessing that the small resuscitated project that appears in Dropbox contains just exactly the changed files.

It would be useful if ioScriv had enough self-knowledge to light up the sync flags when you backed out of a project, so as to indicate that there is actually something to sync.

It is still puzzling that quitting Scriv or opening a different project (so the target proj is not the most recently opened in scriv) would make a difference to the appearance of the problem. That is not explained by my thought above.


P.S. And I do hope your stowed projects also are backed up somewhere other than Dropbox!

Sorry I wasn’t clear. I’ve had auto sync set from the beginning so I didn’t even think to add the fact that the project is always sync’d when I back out. I did try a manual sync after the auto-sync and it didn’t change the equation. Now that I’m aware of the problem it won’t happen again.

As to backups, I’ve been burned by lost files before–I have several backups of each of my projects.

Mine does, on the iPad… The Dropbox symbol changes shape and color if you change a project.

Lunk, i believe you’ll find that if you just open a project without making any changes and then go back to the project list, you won’t see any symbol change. Auto sync, if you have it set up, won’t happen. Nonetheless, if you then tap the sync button, two files will get synced–the mobile settings file and its containing folder.

And have you checked what happens if you don’t sync at that point and then open the project on e.g. a Mac? :wink:

If you open a Project and look at various pages, the symbol telling you to sync the project turns blue and tells you to sync. If you after a sync open the project and return to exactly the same document and then back out again, it won’t show a need to sync. If you tap the Sync symbol anyhow it will sync two files. BUT, nothing happens if you open the project on your Mac, i.e. it’s not telling you that it needs syncing. What happened was possibly that the iOS version wanted to remember what you were looking at, which isn’t that important to the Mac version, so hence no need to sync.
Conclusion: If you have set manual sync in App Settings , Scrivener WILL tell you if you need to sync.

Not sure if your question was directed at me…

If, after editing the project on the iPad and backing out to the projects menu, I open the file with Mac Scrivener and then move it and sync on iOS all is OK, i.e. the project disappears from the iOS project menu. That’s true even if it was the last project edited on the iPad and the Scrivener app on the iPad was still open at the time of the move.

It seems that whatever is causing the ‘glitch’, be it Scrivener iOS or something in the Dropbox interface, the ‘glitch’ is cleared by opening the project on the Mac.

No, a direct response to Silverdragon’s post, right above mine. Hence no quote.