Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got an Automator workflow that is supposed to backup the contents of my USB stick whenever I plug it in (after asking for a confirmation). It works if I trigger it manually within the Automator GUI. When I save it as a folder action, the workflow is triggered as expected (I get the confirmation prompt) but then gets stuck somewhere.

What options do I have to find out what is going wrong? In what does the environment of the workflow differ when it's called as a folder action?

annotated workflow

share|improve this question
Does it work when not run as folder action, but e.g. started as a Service? – Daniel Beck Nov 12 '11 at 21:19
@DanielBeck How would I do this? – vwegert Nov 13 '11 at 9:55
@slhck see linked file – vwegert Nov 13 '11 at 10:11
Use File » Duplicate To… in Automator, then select Service. It'll then show up in the Services sub-menu of the application menu (the menu whose label is the active application's name). Click to launch. – Daniel Beck Nov 13 '11 at 10:21
Consider uploading the workflow as a screenshot image to imgur via this site's upload functionality, and annotating it within your question. There's no lasting value in linking a file automatically deleted within a month. – Daniel Beck Nov 13 '11 at 10:26
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Your script is only checking whether the encrypted volume exists, not the USB stick.

Make sure the folder action isn't triggered because of something else by adding a check for the destination volume to the workflow.

In general, if something's not working when automatically triggered, it's best to replicate as much as possible in a manually started process. In that case, executing within Automator or making it a service or application instead proved to be useful for finding the issue.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.