Error 684134469: My library files are blown away - Please help

I am using the latest beta (1.5 sync 3.6)I have checked database integrity and sent an error report although zotero gave no database errors. I can see my library data but I cannot find attached PDF or links.. what I see is storage debugging is also greyed out. I do not upload my files to any webdav server and I have't synced the data for a long time, fearing to lose my data somehow. Please help, as I cannot find any of the pdfs I have downloaded from several databases over a five months time, and I have to hand out 4 assignments next week.
  • What do you mean by "I cannot find attached PDF or links"? You attempt to open an attachment and it says the file can't be found? Or something else?

    Check if the files in question exist in the 'storage' directory. See Troubleshooting Zotero Data for an overview of the Zotero data directory.

    If you're using the Sync Preview for non-testing use, you should be making daily (or more frequent) backups of the entire data directory.
  • Zotero gives this dialogue: "The attached file could not be found. It may have been moved or deleted outside of Zotero." The directory I have taken backup is unfortunately the same with the one I have been using, as I do frequent backups and I have only discovered the loss of these pdf files after taking the latest backup, a couple of hours ago.
    The pdf files (and links & images...) supposed to be attached to the Info appear as data on zotero; however, except for the most recent and the earliest files (imported from an earlier version), there is no pdf attached (although I see the pdf icon in zotero)
    I see that the size of my zotero storage file has significantly decreased, meaning possibly the pdfs have already blown up for some reason.
  • PDFs aren't stored in the database, if that's what you mean by "storage file". Review the Troubleshooting Zotero Data page if that's unclear, and search for the missing PDFs in the 'storage' folder to see if they're there.
  • No, they are not there in the storage folder although they seem to be there in the firefox interface of zotero (by storage file, I meant the "storage folder", sorry for the confusion). I will check troubleshooting again, thanks for your help.
  • The troubleshooting page probably won't be much help if the files themselves are missing. It's also pretty unlikely that Zotero would remove files without removing the database items.

    You might want to search your hard drive to see if they've somehow been moved somewhere else. (Also check the orphaned-files folder in the Zotero data directory, if there is one.)

    For the future, you'd probably want to consider rotating backups, since frequent backups don't help much if data was removed before the last backup.
  • Anatolica, have you maybe added those references + attachments from another computer? Then it could be that only the database has been sync'ed, but not the attachemnts.
  • Zorro, yes, part of my references are imported from another computer, you may be correct. However, both those files I have added from another computer and those I have added recently to zotero while making researches are gone, except for a few pdfs I added yesterday. So I had to re-download the pdfs (over 250, and not finished yet).
    I think it might be what you said plus that zotero might have tried to sync my data with my account, but as I have no webdav account, it just might have deleted the pdfs, because in the Actions> Preferences> Sync> Reset (tab), I saw that the option "Restore from server (Erase all local Zotero data and restore from the sync server)" was selected, although I did not select it and I did not push the "Reset" button. I don't know the reason yet, but that might be it together with what you suggested (although I remember I was able to open those pdfs last week).
    Thanks a lot.
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