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superphily

Evernote for Windows freezing with high disk usage

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Hi

For some reason starting today, Evernote for Windows freezes up completely and uses nearly if not all 100% of my disk usage according to Task Manager. I completely uninstalled and reinstalled the program and restarted my computer. The problem is still there. My program is up to date and I do not see that other programs are interfering or hogging computer resources. Windows Defender is not blocking file access either. I just don't get why the Evernote program suddenly needs to hog the hard drive and use it a lot, but then after 30 seconds to 60 seconds it remains frozen and seeking so much on my hard drive! I can't use the program, it does it within 2 minutes of beginning to use it! Help is appreciated, idk what else to do beyond re installation and restarting the computer. Perhaps it is a bug.

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OK as a lesson to everyone out there with my issue, basically I messed this up further by using Optimize Database option in the program. The program crashed during this and actually corrupted the database file permanently. (the database file usually lives in  /Users/yourname/Evernote/Database) I have tried deleting my database entirely and getting a sync from Evernote's servers but that only downloaded 1% of my notes before it finishes the sync and says it is all done, totally not good.

Anyways, very very luckily I had done a system backup to an external hard drive 2 days ago. I restored that database file to the Evernote folder in Users and IT WORKED! I guess bc my database got errors during today, so whatever it was 2 days ago was clean. It opened up my 2 day old database file and even synced to grab all the latest files between 5/25 and 5/27! I can tell because I also made a small backup of May notes and when I manually imported them back into the program, the notes dates and times all matched.

LESSON LEARNED-BACKUP YOUR DATABASE FILE OFTEN TO ANOTHER SOURCE. WHEN ***** GOES BAD, UTILIZE THE BACKED UP DATABASE FILE AND SWAP IT OUT OF THE MESSED UP OR CORRUPTED CURRENT DATABASE FILE. BACKUP THE DATABASE FILE OFTEN AND TREAT IT LIKE A GOD

Also even if you import all your notes back in using Import and Export, the freakin program won't remember the notebooks for each note. I did NOT want to sort out 3000 notes back into notebooks. By restoring the database file, I maintained everything, my notes, tags, notebooks etc. Import export WILL NOT retain which notebook each note goes in. And for some reason trying to force Evernote servers to sync all their note copys back to my computer did not work. ALL HAIL THE DATABASE FILE. And IDK why optimise database made it worse, but I will just stick to backing up the database file often. Way more useful than import export for 100+ notes.

 

Seriously though, if I was not fortunate enough to have that database file copy, I legit would have had no other good option.

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Are you running the EN installation on a SSD or a conventional HDD ?

If you need to restore from the cloud storage , the best way is to wipe EN from your local machine and start with a fresh installation. Force syncing with the existing installation may work, but as you described it can get stuck, maybe out of the same reason that caused the problems before.

I agree on the backup issue. I am running a special job every day using Acronis True Image to make a separate backup of my EN data base. It is fast and will write the data to my Synology NAS, just in case ...

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I agree too - I use Backupery to export my notes (+tags) to ENEX files one notebook at a time - which preserves that information. I also do system backups which include my current database folder.  I have - not recently though - rebuilt my database from the server;  it actually took far less time than I thought - 6 hours or so - and (AFAIK) worked fine. 

I'm just starting to investigate,  with Support,  why my Database goes off to smell the flowers for a few minutes at a time - usually at the worst possible moment. There are search index fixes, options and possible hardware upgrades to look at - and I do have 50,600 notes and counting as of today.  As and when I make any progress I'll let you know...

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9 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

Are you running the EN installation on a SSD or a conventional HDD ?

If you need to restore from the cloud storage , the best way is to wipe EN from your local machine and start with a fresh installation. Force syncing with the existing installation may work, but as you described it can get stuck, maybe out of the same reason that caused the problems before.

I agree on the backup issue. I am running a special job every day using Acronis True Image to make a separate backup of my EN data base. It is fast and will write the data to my Synology NAS, just in case ...

HDD.

Yeah I guess the regular uninstall doesn't get rid of everthging. I did do a fresh install. The activity log said it finished sync! With only downloading 1% of my notes. Crazy.

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3 hours ago, gazumped said:

I agree too - I use Backupery to export my notes (+tags) to ENEX files one notebook at a time - which preserves that information. I also do system backups which include my current database folder.  I have - not recently though - rebuilt my database from the server;  it actually took far less time than I thought - 6 hours or so - and (AFAIK) worked fine. 

I'm just starting to investigate,  with Support,  why my Database goes off to smell the flowers for a few minutes at a time - usually at the worst possible moment. There are search index fixes, options and possible hardware upgrades to look at - and I do have 50,600 notes and counting as of today.  As and when I make any progress I'll let you know...

Got it. Well now I know to not tinker too much with Evernote. The only saving grace I had was that database file backup. None of the other solutions helped, Optimize Drive hurt. I guess the software can be fragile at times. I had several fatal crashes come out of nowhere with my messed up database file.

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Gah! The program is still freezing up when I start work. At least it syncs and is not corrupted. I am going to try reverting to slightly older program versions. I mean, the activity log did not state any errors with my database or sync. In fact, it doesn't seem to acknowledge that it even freezes during the log.

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From what I read in the forum, a SSD is the only way to get good performance whenever there is a significant size of the EN data base. Since EN does not allow to pick the drive it is running from, this means replacing the system drive (C:) by a SSD. I can not confirm this, because I installed on my Win10-computer right away on my main SSD. But there are many reports here that problems went away after installing a SSD.

Personally I think EN should be more flexible in choosing the drive, to allow to install it on a secondary or evening external drive. But as it is, this means replacing the HDD holding the C:-Directory by a SSD. Depending on the computer it may be possible to reuse the HDD as secondary drive.

Hint 1: Using a SSD to hold Windows and the programs will speed up the computer significantly. So it is worth switching even beside the EN issue.

Hint 2: Since SSD prices have fallen far, it is completely viable to install a nice internal SATA-SSD with 500GB for about 60-80 €/$. They come with programs that allow to move the content of the current drive to the SSD without a need to reinstall.

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Huh I thought in options you can select the folder location.

I tried using the older version of evernote. Same problem. I am just going to use the Web version until they hopefully patch the bug or explain why my account suddenly has so much trouble. Perhaps in a future major update they will fix the issue.

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BTW how big are your database files? My database file wen up to 9.54gb from something like 8.75 gb since last night. And I didn't add new notes.......maybe the program is accidentally beefing up the database file to a really big file size?

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Update-I dragged all of the Database folder files out of the Evernote folder which I guess forced the program to finally rebuild the database and redownload all of my notes. The program actually worked normally. I am now trying to update to the latest Windows Evernote version to see if that step is ok. Maybe my old database just needed a redo. The new database file is 1.6 ish GB making me think the program triggered a full database download several times, for no reason, to get to 6gb the first time.

Update-using the latest version of Evernote for Windows. No crashes in the last 30-60 seconds. All my notes are here, I can see the total note count lol. I guess rebuilding the database IS useful.

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Yes, maybe something got corrupted on the sync before.

My database file is well beyond 10GB, no issues. I have installations on Win10, Mac and iOS, all syncing fine. All of them are running on a sort of flash memory (SSDs on the desktops, build-in flash on iOS). We have users in the forum that are beyond 50.000 notes and 50 GB. 

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7 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

We have users in the forum that are beyond 50.000 notes and 50 GB. 

Hmmn.  There are also some of us with 50,600+ files and a 26GB database experiencing some of the same issues...  although to be fair my problems only started in the last month or two.  I'm working through the usual suspect fixes with Support at the moment to see what might fix it.

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1 hour ago, gazumped said:

Hmmn.  There are also some of us with 50,600+ files and a 26GB database experiencing some of the same issues...  although to be fair my problems only started in the last month or two.  I'm working through the usual suspect fixes with Support at the moment to see what might fix it.

Forcing a total database rebuild by emptying the Database folder worked for me.

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7 hours ago, superphily said:

Forcing a total database rebuild by emptying the Database folder worked for me.

Yeah.  Thanks for the suggestion,  but sadly I have a sizeable chunk of local notebooks which require exporting and re-importing if I kill my current database file.  Not a huge job,  but it adds some extra nitpicking I'd rather avoid if I can.  If all else fails however...

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A few more updates.

  • I just tried Onenote. It can't really handle large notes either, it slows down too, so pass.
  • Word actually runs well, if you use the default Print Layout mode. If i switch to web layout, Word changes and the note takes up more of the page. it shockingly looks similar to evernote at full screen when you open a note in a new menu! But alas, when typing in my large note in web layout, there is some slowdown too. So basically, if there is a way to get evernote to show just page by page or like word's print layout mode, performance would probably improve.

My amateur impression now is that Evernote, and other note apps, are not built to handle long notes. They crumple under the performance pressure. For whatever reason, Word can barely handle it in print layout mode. But evernote just doesn't seem to be handle long notes really at all, for now. Word barely can, but at least it can in some way.

 

Other solutions include breaking up long notes into smaller ones, which sucks, but does work to solve the slowdown in evernote.

Also, perhaps a barebones html editor is better to use for long files. I tried Word in safe mode, but it still struggled with a long note in web layout, so Word for me is kind of out, since I like that big view.

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22 hours ago, superphily said:

My amateur impression now is that Evernote, and other note apps, are not built to handle long notes. They crumple under the performance pressure. For whatever reason, Word can barely handle it in print layout mode. But evernote just doesn't seem to be handle long notes really at all, for now. Word barely can, but at least it can in some way.

Other solutions include breaking up long notes into smaller ones, which sucks, but does work to solve the slowdown in evernote.

Thanks for the update. I think you're right about long notes. On some platforms, they can be hard to scroll around in or present other issues as well. Out of curiosity, how would you define "long"? I try to keep notes short, since for me that is the meaning of a "note," as opposed to maybe a "document." But I do have a few in which I have broken my own rule, and sometimes must pay the price.

Shorter notes on the same topic can be connected by tagging, notebooks, and/or by using note links. There could be a main note with a kind of header or summary that functions as a table of contents, with links to the other notes, for instance. Or you could create a notebook on the topic, again have a header/summary note, and then individual smaller notes within that notebook. Another option might be to keep the long version in Word, editing there in Print Layout. Every time you come up with something that needs to be added, that could be done in a single Evernote note wherever you are. Later that content could be transferred to the full version in Word, and then that updated document could be attached to the Evernote. None of these is as simple as just keeping one long note in Evernote; but each option comes with its own price tag.

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Yeah I will just string the note pieces together using internal links and tags. The note with the issue was 298 pages long according to Word.

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298 pages? No offense, but to me, that's more like a book than a note! While I'm sure Evernote can, technically, handle that, I don't think it was designed to. (A Basic account has a note size limit of 25 MB, which I'm sure even that much plain text does not approach; there's no limit specified on number of characters.) I'm not surprised it gave you some freezing issues: sometimes when we push the envelope, the envelope pushes back. :)

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Yeah, Evernote is clearly NOT designed for writing books. Lol. Splitting up the note into two smaller notes fixed it. Note apps do not equal word processors.

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11 hours ago, superphily said:

Evernote is clearly NOT designed for writing books.

Not all in one note anyways - it is actually possible to write quite long documents; I just have a separate notebook and (a bit like a mind-map) make a short note for each topic.  If you create a Table of Contents note for the whole notebook,  it's then possible to move the links around in the ToC note to get them into a logical order, and number the titles so they sort that way in the notebook,  or copy the individual notes into a separate word processor and attach that completed file to a new note.  Depends on your comfort levels and needs.  "Proper" word processors are also available!  🙂  (Some with Markdown!!)

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55 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Not all in one note anyways - it is actually possible to write quite long documents; I just have a separate notebook and (a bit like a mind-map) make a short note for each topic.  If you create a Table of Contents note for the whole notebook,  it's then possible to move the links around in the ToC note to get them into a logical order, and number the titles so they sort that way in the notebook,  or copy the individual notes into a separate word processor and attach that completed file to a new note.  Depends on your comfort levels and needs.  "Proper" word processors are also available!  🙂  (Some with Markdown!!)

Nice. Yeah I will definetly use internal note links to chain them together. I guess now that I think about it, even ebook readers never try to show an entire book at once, they go page to page, lol.

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18 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

sometimes when we push the envelope, the envelope pushes back

And sometimes it leaves us with paper cuts!

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15 hours ago, superphily said:

Yeah, Evernote is clearly NOT designed for writing books. Lol. Splitting up the note into two smaller notes fixed it. Note apps do not equal word processors.

Have you taken a look at Scrivener? It's a very different product from Evernote, but it is designed for writing books.

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5 minutes ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

Have you taken a look at Scrivener? It's a very different product from Evernote, but it is designed for writing books.

Yes I tried a trial. That program will work only if I split the file up. I dumped the 298 page file directly to scrivener, didn't work.

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Just now, superphily said:

Yes I tried a trial. That program will work only if I split the file up. I dumped the 298 page file directly to scrivener, didn't work.

This isn't the place to try to sort that out, but if you want to raise a question in the Scrivener for Windows forums, we might be able to discuss it there.

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