my library from 2010 to present vanished when I restarted computer

zotero updated automatically to 6.0.2 when I restarted computer. I may have been working from very old version. anyway...all my files vanished. i tried to follow instructions from
https://www.zotero.org/support/kb/data_missing_after_zotero_5_upgrade
sadly, i didn't see a subfolder to import. there was a file called "storage" but I don't know how to import.
It was Zotero for Firefox version.
  • You'll need to read through that section and provide all the requested information.
  • edited 15 days ago
    Your current data directory location from the Advanced → Files and Folders pane of the Zotero preferences
    (/Users/[username]/Zotero)

    The timestamp and sizes of zotero.sqlite* files within that directory
    today at 2:25pm size 1.1MB

    Which version of Zotero you were using previously
    started using in 2010, not sure if updated since then

    The names of a few files you see in your Firefox profile directory
    these files are located in Zotero sub file named storage
    2AT85ZX9
    2B6SXT7U
    2B9SV751
  • The timestamp and sizes of zotero.sqlite* files within that directory
    This means all files beginning with "zotero.sqlite", not just zotero.sqlite itself. What other files are there?
    these files are located in Zotero sub file named storage
    2AT85ZX9
    2B6SXT7U
    2B9SV751
    What are the dates of those folders?

    But unless you were using an ancient (as in, <2017) version of Firefox until just now, this page isn't relevant. Just see the general section, Locating Missing Zotero Data.

    As explained there, if you only have a 1 MB zotero.sqlite and no other files beginning with zotero.sqlite, and you have folders in 'storage' that correspond with recent usage of Zotero, then you likely deleted the Zotero .sqlite database and its backups. Usually this happens when people run utility software to try to free up disk space and accidentally delete the large Zotero database files.
  • The timestamp and sizes of zotero.sqlite* files within that directory
    This means all files beginning with "zotero.sqlite", not just zotero.sqlite itself. What other files are there?


    I also found the following files when I go into Zotero preferences and it links me to these files below:

    Under Zotero
    zotero.sqlite today 2:25pm 1.1MB
    zotero.sqlite-journal today 2:25pm 91KB
    zotero.sqlite.bak today 2:25pm 1.1MB

    Under Zotero -old
    no zotero.sqlite

    under Zotero in Firefox profile folder there are subfolders: locate pipes storage styles TMP translators...but no sqlite that I see. their dates are all 2010 except the storage which was accessed today.

    I also found under Desktop
    zotero.sqlite dec. 16, 2022 58.4MB

    these files are located in Zotero sub file named storage
    2AT85ZX9
    2B6SXT7U
    2B9SV751
    What are the dates of those folders?
    beginning June 2010 and continue...

    But unless you were using an ancient (as in, <2017) version of Firefox until just now, this page isn't relevant. Just see the general section, Locating Missing Zotero Data.
    This is possible. Out of fear of losing files i have avoided updating unless forced
  • edited 15 days ago
    Under Zotero
    zotero.sqlite today 2:25pm 1.1MB
    zotero.sqlite-journal today 2:25pm 91KB
    zotero.sqlite.bak today 2:25pm 1.1MB
    Right, so these are empty databases. If you're saying the 'storage' folder has subfolders with recent usage, then it's likely what I said above: you used some utility program to clear disk space and accidentally deleted your Zotero database and the automatic backups.
    I also found under Desktop
    zotero.sqlite dec. 16, 2022 58.4MB
    That would be a Zotero database with data in it, though obviously only through December 16. Is that in a folder or directly on the desktop? Do you see a 'storage' folder there, and if so, what do you see in it?
  • there is a zotero.sqlite folder from dec. 16, 2022 is directly on the desktop
    there is no storage folder there
  • OK, so that's probably a backup you made of your Zotero database for some reason.

    If you don't see any other large recent files beginning with "zotero.sqlite" on your computer, and you don't have any backups of your computer from before you did whatever cleanup caused this, the best you can do is close Zotero and copy that 58 MB zotero.sqlite file into your Zotero data directory, overwriting the empty 1.1 MB zotero.sqlite file that's there. When you start Zotero, you should see your data as of December 16.

    Going forward, I'd strongly recommend using Zotero syncing to make sure your data is always up to date online, in addition to any regular, automatic backups you make of your Zotero data and/or your computer.
  • thank you thank you thank you!!!
    Success!
    Have a great weekend!
    setting up syncing now.
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