Failure to sync a shared library (error report 222580951)

For the past week or so my Zotero standalone has been unable to completely sync and has shown the red exclamation point icon continually. I've restarted it multiple times and checked for updates but still have this problem. It says it can't sync my shared "Migration" library because an item already exists. Any ideas? Thanks.

Error report: 222580951
  • [JavaScript Error: "Not deleting symlink '[...].pdf' in Zotero.Sync.Storage._deleteExistingAttachmentFiles()" {file: "chrome://zotero/content/xpcom/storage.js" line: 1784}]

    [JavaScript Error: "[Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520008 (NS_ERROR_FILE_ALREADY_EXISTS) [nsIFile.create]" nsresult: "0x80520008 (NS_ERROR_FILE_ALREADY_EXISTS)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://zotero/content/xpcom/file.js :: Zotero.File</this.createShortened :: line 326" data: no]" {file: "chrome://zotero/content/xpcom/file.js" line: 657}]
    You somehow ended up with a symlink in your Zotero data directory. Due to a Mozilla bug (at least when I last checked a couple years ago) Zotero can't handle symlinks safely. But there's also no reason for a symlink to be there, so you should look at the error report for the full filename of that PDF, find that file in Zotero, Show File to see it in Finder, and then delete the symlink. You should also figure out how it got into your data directory in the first place, because that shouldn't happen.
  • That's strange, the PDF file it lists in that line ("Not deleting symlink") is a regular file. I deleted it manually in the file browser (rather than just trashing it), and the error message went away. Then I added it again (Attach Stored Copy of File), and the error message is back. I've never manually added symlinks and I'm just using Zotero standalone, not Mozilla, so I don't know how a symlink would have gotten in there if there was one. Could the error message be misdiagnosing the problem?
  • When I rename the file from parent metadata, the error goes away. Strangely, there are no unusual characters in the file name ("Fanon black_skin_white_masks.pdf").
  • For some reason I can no longer reproduce this error, even though I just did fix it and reproduce it once. Something anomalous seems to have been going on.
  • (To clarify, Standalone is still based on the Mozilla platform.)

    The symlink check is indirect — part of the problem is that Mozilla can't (or couldn't, as of Firefox 3) detect symlinks, so it used another method — so it's possible that there was some other issue, though I'm not sure what. You're sure the original file you're selecting isn't a symlink or alias? In any case, we can test out a newer set of Mozilla file methods and see if symlink handling has improved, which might at least narrow down potential causes for situations like this.
  • Yes I'm sure it was not a symlink, at least not on my system. I looked at the file in Finder and in a terminal and it just looked like any other file. I attached it using the same method I use to attach all other files ("Attach Stored Copy of a File"). I can't imagine how that would have led to a symlink being created. Even after I deleted it both through Zotero and then the file itself through Finder (solving the error because it was no longer there), then re-added it the same way, seeing once again in Finder that it was not a symlink, it gave me the same error once again. If there is a symlink in question, it certainly is not this PDF file. But after seeing this error after 2 instances of attaching this same file with the same name to the same reference, I have not been able to reproduce the error and I have no idea why it happened then and now now.

    I should clarify that my storage folder is not actually in the Zotero folder but is another folder and is symlinked from my Zotero folder to facilitate backing up. But the file in question is stored in the same "storage" folder that my 3,800 other storage items are stored in that are not triggering errors. So there's nothing unusual about this one item.
  • Just in case this is the cause of the problem, I've just changed my Zotero settings simply to use that folder instead of symlinking to it.
  • Sounds like you know what you're doing, since you had gone through the steps to symlink the storage folder, so you know that the data directory itself should not be _synced_ using third party sync providers. If this is just for backup and not sync, then everything should be fine.
Sign In or Register to comment.