Zipped backup files very slow to appear when closing project

I’m using a MacBook with 250GB of flash memory and sometimes my zipped backup files don’t appear in the directory where they are supposed to be for several minutes.

I have Scrivener set to backup automatically when I close a project. Backup appears to run normally, but sometimes – not every time, only perhaps one time out of three – when I look in the backup directory after it has run, the zipped backup file simply isn’t there. I run backup a second time manually…and get exactly the same result. I open the file, close it again, and back up runs again…and exactly the same thing happens.

Then, a minute or two or maybe five minutes later, suddenly all three backup files appear in the directory where they are supposed to be at exactly the same time.

What could possibly be going on here?

My guess, which may be wrong, is that OSX only updates the view in File Finder periodically. I don’t know if there is a way to set updates (refreshes) of the view to happen more often.

See the following for background and workarounds. … -mac-os-x/

Hope that helps.

Thanks, but that doesn’t appear to be the answer. Manually refreshing the finder doesn’t make the backup file appear.

Haunted laptop?

To investigate more earthly explanations, you could try launching Activity Monitor (found in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder) and check to see what is running as Scrivener is closing. Perhaps it continues to generate the zip file in the background while closing all user touchable components?

I think I like the haunting explanation better…

Nom, great idea, but that would make the activity more reproducible and not so random.

This sounds like a resource availability issues. Either a network share is missing (or unavailable), an AV component is waiting for a web service, or the SSD is cache disabled. There are more options, but these are the most likely.

Activity monitor would be a good start. Look for high CPU utilization or IO wait.

A couple more thoughts to help diag:
Are other things on the laptop “slow” when this happens?
Is this more prevalent when you are working outside your normal work space?

Thanks, guys, but this is unquestionably a Scrivener-specific issue for me. Nothing even remotely comparable has ever happened in any other application even once. After I close the Scrivener document (and while I’m waiting and waiting for the file to appear in the backup directory), I’ve never noticed any performance lag in other applications either. Certainly my browser and email operate then without any noticeable lag.

I had already thought about, and discarded, most the possibilities you raised (all except the one about a ghost, I confess), but since the problem only occurs in a Scrivener shut-down-and-backup scenario, I don’t immediately see any of those things as good possibilities. All that said, running Activity Monitor the next time I do a shut-down-and-backup in Scrivener is a good thought. Who knows? Maybe it will suggest something worthy of further investigation. It’s at least worth a try…

I’m not sure what significance the question has about ‘outside my normal workspace.’ We have two residences and I use the same laptop and run Scrivener at both places. As nearly as I recall, the problem presents itself the same way and with about the same frequency in both places. I don’t recall ever doing a shut-down-and-backup anywhere other than at home, however, since I don’t regularly work anyplace else.

How big is your Scrivener project? Does it contain graphics or photographs? I’m no expert at all, but I’ve noticed in these forums that Scrivener users with large projects sometimes say that they find that relatively large projects take a relatively long time to back up (and in consequence they choose to back up less frequently) - although of course that wouldn’t explain the unpredictability of the occurrence of the phenomenon you describe.

I had wondered about that, too, but the project I have open now is only about 40,000 words. All text. Not a single photo or diagram. And the size of the backup file is only about 2.5mb.

Oddly, however, I did notice that there was never any delay at all in the backup files appearing until the project reached about 30,000 words. Now I wonder what significance that could possibly have?

In that case, I’d send a zipped-up copy of the project to L&L’s technical support via this page:

The “outside usual workspace” was only to see if the problem could be related to being outside the normal network for your system. It sometimes happens that interactions we don’t expect, like with a remote printer, would cause odd issues. But since you are seeing this issue in your home (normal workspace, not just your house) network then we can rule that out.

Definitely worth the email to support as suggested.

Just in case you’re interested, guys, I ran Activity Monitor when I did a close-and-backup for my Scrivener document and learned nothing. Before closing the document, CPU utilization was at 1-2%. When I closed the document, Activity Monitor showed that Scrivener claimed about 30% of the CPU for three or four seconds, then the utilization dropped right back to 1-2%. No red flags at all.

And, oh yeah, I closed the Scrivener file twice, it twice showed that it was backing up the file to my BackUp folder, and…ten minutes later neither file has yet appeared in the folder.

Ghosts in the machine…