Syncing lost files

My last computer passed away a few months ago and I think it was using an old version of Zotero that could only sync files with webdav (which I didn't have set up). I got a new computer soon after and it automatically grabbed my Zotero library (or so it seemed). However, today I tried to use some of the snapshots and attachments and Zotero says it can't find them anywhere. Is there any way to get them back and synced into my database? I might be able to recover some of the files off my old computer but it will be a lot of effort.
  • If you did not setup WebDAV or Zotero file storage syncing, the only place those files exist is on your old computer (or any backups you made from it).
  • If I can find them, what's the easiest way to merge them back into the database?

    I have an old backup of a zotero folder from about two years ago with some files in it. Can I merge that in somehow too?
  • Not if it's from Zotero 1.0 (i.e., with numbered folders instead of random eight-character strings).
  • It would have been the most recent version as of about the beginning of last October.
  • If it's a Zotero 2.0 data directory, you can copy the eight-character folders from the 'storage' directory to your current 'storage' directory.
  • So I get all the files from the storage folder and just overwrite existing files (if any)? And these folders can come from multiple zotero backup files?
  • edited January 12, 2011
    Don't overwrite anything without making a backup, but, sure—that or just say no to overwriting, assuming you don't have any empty folders in your current 'storage' directory. (Technically merging would be better, but you would need a different tool for that.)

    All Zotero does is look for the file with the stored filename within the folder within 'storage' matching the item's unique key. If it's there, it'll show the file. If it's not, it'll say it's missing.
  • How are the unique keys generated? Will they always be identical across Zotero accounts?
  • If you mean across multiple computers synced to the same Zotero account, then yes.
  • Cheers, will give it a go.
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