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I am getting a strange error when I try to use biblatex with Biber on a freshly installed and unpdated Windows 10 system.

After a fresh installation of Windows 10 (yesterday), fresh installation of Miktex 2.9 (just for my user, path: "C:\Miktex29") and fresh installation of TeXstudio, I cannot use Biber any more. I have updated all my packages and reinstalled MikTeX and TeXstudio several times, the following minimal working example saved as test.tex

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[backend=biber]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{biblatex-examples.bib}

\begin{document}
  \nocite{*}
  \printbibliography
\end{document}

gives me the following output for biber:

Prozess gestartet: biber.exe "test"

INFO - This is Biber 2.10
INFO - Logfile is 'test.blg'

ERROR - Cannot find control file 'test.bcf'! - did you pass the "backend=biber" option to BibLaTeX?
INFO - ERRORS: 1

The only setting I changed in TeXstudio was to specify Biber instead of BibTeX. I get the same error when I call Biber from a command line.

If I try to compile my file with pdflatex (or latex), I get the following error:

Zeile 3776: Missing \begin{document}. australian,newzealand}
Zeile 3776: Math formula deleted: Insufficient symbol fonts. australian,newzealand}

The second error repeats 99 times.

I asked two of my colleagues to try and compile my example, which works and generates the test.bcf file. If I try to run biber afterwards, I get the following output:

Prozess gestartet: biber.exe "test"

INFO - This is Biber 2.10
INFO - Logfile is 'test.blg'
INFO - Reading 'test.bcf'
INFO - Using all citekeys in bib section 0
INFO - Processing section 0
INFO - Looking for bibtex format file 'biblatex-examples.bib' for section 0

INFO - Reading ascii input as UTF-8
INFO - LaTeX decoding ...
INFO - Found BibTeX data source 'C:/MiKTeX29/bibtex/bib/biblatex/biblatex-examples.bib'
INFO - Overriding locale 'en-US' defaults 'variable = shifted' with 'variable = non-ignorable'
INFO - Overriding locale 'en-US' defaults 'normalization = NFD' with 'normalization = prenormalized'
INFO - Sorting list 'nty/global//global/global' of type 'entry' with template 'nty' and locale 'en-US'
INFO - No sort tailoring available for locale 'en-US'
INFO - Writing 'test.bbl' with encoding 'ascii'
WARN - The entry 'aksin' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'almendro' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'angenendt' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'averroes/hercz' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'averroes/hannes' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'brandt' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'cicero' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'britannica' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'herrmann' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'iliad' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'jaffe' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'kastenholz' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'kowalik' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'malinowski' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'moraux' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'nietzsche:ksa' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'nietzsche:ksa1' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'nietzsche:historie' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'salam' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'spiegelberg' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
WARN - The entry 'vazques-de-parga' has characters which cannot be encoded in 'ascii'. Recoding problematic characters into macros.
INFO - Output to test.bbl
INFO - WARNINGS: 21

Prozess endete normal

However, pdfLaTeX still gives me the same error message as before. Adding \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} does not change anything.

marked as duplicate by moewe biblatex Feb 7 '18 at 16:59

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    The real problem is Missing \begin{document}. australian,newzealand} Zeile 3776: Math formula deleted: Insufficient symbol fonts. australian,newzealand}. That error prevents your .tex from compiling properly and from producing a .bcf. This is a known problem in etoolbox that has been fixed, the update is already on its way, but it might take a day or two until it arrives in MikTeX. See tex.stackexchange.com/q/413898/35864 for a workaround. – moewe Feb 7 '18 at 16:54
  • Wow, that was fast. Thank you very much, that solved my problem. I had been searching for quite some time, but missed this answer. Best, Ulrich – UJR Feb 7 '18 at 16:57

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