#249 Saving error:"Unable to create intermediate backup"


I just ported my PWsafe dat file from PWsafe running under XP to a new Win7 based PC. I just installed PWsafe today on this PC and it seems to run fine. It open the PWsafe date file and added a new entry without any obvious problems. However when tried to save and closeout PWsafe I got the following error message: "Unable to create intermediate backup." It want's me to rename the file but that did not seem to help either. I have no idea what all this means or what the issue is. What I do know, is that I can't seem to add new passwords to the existing PWsafe file and that is a huge problem making PWsafe of little value until we can fix this problem. I also tried instead adding a new very simple dummy entry into PWsafe to see if it might be what I added to PWsafe but I got the same problem, so I don't think the data I entered into PWsafe is the problem. Please help me ASAP. Thank you.


  • Rony Shapiro

    Rony Shapiro - 2010-07-26

    Hi Arthur,

    Sounds like a file or directory access permission issue.

    Could you check and let me know in what directory PasswordSafe's trying to save the database in? File->Save As.. should show you the directory.

    As a workaround, you might want to change to a directory in which you have write access, such as My Documents.

  • Ken Hemmerling

    Ken Hemmerling - 2010-08-03

    I'm having the same problem. I'm running Windows XP and have the password safe in a LAN directory sharable by my teammates. I have "Save database immediately After Edit or Add" and "Create intermediate backups (.ibak) before saving" both checked. When I add a new entry, I get:

    Cannot copy <safe-name>: Access is denied.
    Make sure the disk is not full or write protected and that the file is not currently in use.

    Clicking OK gives:

    Unable to create intermediate backup.

    Oddly, the new entry is added to the password safe database - it's only the backup that fails. The properties on the shortcut have the "Start in" directory set to the same location as the password safe file. I've confirmed that I am in the active directory group that has modify, read&execute, list folder contents, read and write permissions to the directory containing the safe. I've also rebooted my desktop to ensure that my privileges have been refreshed - no change.

    When I do File > Save As, the default directory is in My Documents which I have full permissions on. In summary, the software appears to work EXCEPT for the intermediate backup option which I've disabled.

    Oddly, this function did work a few weeks ago when I had domain admin access. Once I lost domain admin, I lost the ability to use the intermediate backup. In addition, when I had domain admin, on startup Password Safe would tell me which other users had the safe open. It no longer tells me this - I'm not sure if it's related or not.


  • Hugh D. Hyatt

    Hugh D. Hyatt - 2011-09-14

    I've just started having a similar problem using PWSafe v3.26 (4333) under Wine 1.2.2 on Ubuntu 11.04; I never saw anything like it under Ubuntu 10.04. Periodically PWSafe pops up a window saying, "Unable to create intermediate backup." Then it asks me to save the file. When I try to save it to the original location, I get a window showing me the full pathname and saying, "File is currently locked by" (that's the whole message—apparently the user name is null).

  • DrK

    DrK - 2011-09-14

    This has been fixed and will be in the next release.

    See: Bug Report: 3380714


  • Adam Brown

    Adam Brown - 2012-01-20

    Right click, Run as administrator

  • DrK

    DrK - 2012-01-20

    If you have to run as Administrator, then you have put your database in a directory that requires that authority to write to it. It is best not to run applications with this privilege if you can. I therefore suggest that you move your database to a directory to which your user has full access rights without having to run as Administrator.


  • Matt

    Matt - 2012-10-04

    This may be related to bug report #1063 as I just came across the same thing in v3.29. So I know this is a response to a relatively old question, but I believe the bug has traveled throughout the different versions.

    If it is related, this may be able to be closed once a fix is implemented.

  • David Taylor

    David Taylor - 2014-04-30

    I have the same symptoms with 3.33. The file is being accessed over a windows share and is installed on a windows 7 machine. Also currently only one machine is accessing it.

  • Ken Hemmerling

    Ken Hemmerling - 2014-04-30

    I got this error when trying to save the safe to iCloud (on my Mac). The solution for me was to disable iCloud storage for Documents & Data (System Preferences > iCloud > un-check "Documents & Data"). Once that was done, PasswordSafe started working properly. Oddly, when I re-enabled iCloud, everything continued to work. It must have been a glitch in the matrix but mine has been problem free for months now.

    Unfortunately, if you're not trying to safe to a cloud service, then this likely doesn't help you. I just thought I'd mention it. It appears, based on my experience, this error indicates a problem writing the file. Maybe try creating a text file in the same directory as your password safe just to see if that works. I couldn't create a file on iCloud which is how I figured out what my problem was.


  • John Ellson

    John Ellson - 2015-01-16

    The problem is that an invalid backup filename is being generated.

    In src/core/PWScore.cpp

    981 Format(cs_newname, T("%s%03d"), cs_filenamebase.c_str(), nnn);
    (gdb) p cs_filenamebase
    $11 = L"/home/ellson/.pwsafe/pwsafe"
    (gdb) p cs_newname
    $12 = L""
    (gdb) n
    984 size_t num_found = file_nums.size();
    (gdb) p cs_newname
    $13 = L"/_002"

    So it is attempting to write to /_002 ( + .ibak which is added later)

    I'm sorry, but my C++ foo isn't good enough to know what is wrong with the use of Format().

  • John Ellson

    John Ellson - 2015-01-16

    Somehow an underscore was lost in the above paste from gdb, It should read:
    981 Format(cs_newname, _T("%s_%03d"), cs_filenamebase.c_str(), nnn);
    ie with an underscore between %3 and %03d

    Also, this was on Fedora-21 with passwordsafe-0.94.1-1.gitfea11aa.fc21.x86_64
    and its debuginfo.

  • Rony Shapiro

    Rony Shapiro - 2015-01-16

    This was fixed in 0.95.

  • Rony Shapiro

    Rony Shapiro - 2015-01-16
    • status: open --> closed
    • Group: --> v1.0_(example)

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