Import of ZoteroRDF fails


I have the problem, when exporting a collection with notes and attachements into ZoteroRDF format, saving them on an USB Stick to import the rdf-File on an other Zotero DB on another computer, i got the message, that "A problem occured. And I should check whether the file to import is correct" (Translated from the german error message). Nothing will be imported and Zotero hangs.

In the exported rdf-Files there are some snapshots from wikipedia. I guess, that this is the trouble. If I delete these snapshots before exporting to ZoteroRDF, import is done without problem.

Unfortunately, I need these snapshots, because thats the reason for me to do the export (I want read the snapshots offline).

What can I do? Some suggestions?

  • This won't help but I'm having a similar problem trying to get my Zotero library onto my flash drive. I export the library to an RDF file on my desktop, then launch my portable Firefox with Zotero installed from my flash drive and import that libary RDF file from the desktop. I get a message saying my Zotero library was corrupted and Zotero is helpfully restoring my old library. In other words, the new library didn't transfer.

    If anybody has experienced this or has any ideas about how to get a library onto a flashdrive, I'd be grateful
  • SiGi: If you send the RDF file (no other files) to, we'll take a look.
  • Dan: I'll send you the "broken" rdf File.
  • SiGi: I'm going to guess that the problem is the colons in the attachment filenames. Could you try renaming the attachment files and removing the colons before exporting (by clicking the title of the attachment in the rightmost pane and, in the dialog that pops up, removing the colon and choosing "Rename associated file")?

    We strip potentially invalid characters in some places but not currently in the translator or import/export architectures, so we'll have to fix that.
  • Hi Dan,

    the renaming of the files do not work. There are some attached files, which could not be renamed.

    I tried to locate these files in the filesystem. Zotero could not find the file. And using an other filebrowser, I could also not find the *.html file, which should be saved as "snapshot".

    I think, that the process, taking the snapshot, do not work correctly, if the filenames to save have a ":" in the name. Perhaps thats the problem.

    Try this link below. That's the snapshot, which makes problems in my case.

  • Yes, the problem is the colons (":") in the filenames.

    On OS X, the snapshot process just fails with a file creation error. Windows, in its infinite wisdom, actually saves the file, invalid filename and all. The result is that it appears as a zero-length file named "Kategorie" in Explorer but is only accessible with its full name, "Kategorie:Klassifikationen.html". So the snapshot is visible when you click View Snapshot but shows as not found when you try to locate it.

    I've created a ticket to strip invalid characters when saving manual snapshots. (We already do this for snapshots imported via translators.) As far as I can tell, you don't have much recourse for salvaging those existing attachments with invalid filenames other than waiting for the fix and resaving them, but you should be able to export successfully if you don't include those files in the export. A saved search could probably help you with that.
  • Dan, thank you for your effort. Until the bug is fixed (I hope in the next release), I will exclude such problematic snapshots in my export.
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