Problems with actualizing citations in old Word documents


my collegues and me experienced the same problem.
Half a year ago we switched from zotero for Firefox for Windows to the standalone version for Windows. In parallel we included for most of our entries a "link to URI" but we didn't change neither anything in our old Word documents nor anything in the database entry itself.

When we now try to add a new citation into one of our old Word documents which include already zotero citations, we get the message that the document needs to be actualized permanently to work with zotero 2.1 or newer. When we proceed we can choose a new citation to insert. But after entering, a new error message pops up saying that this entry does no longer exist in the zotero database and if I want to replace it. I have to choose YES or NO or CANCEL. When choosing YES I start a circle asking everytime the same independently which citation I choose. A zotero window appears to choose a new citation and after saying OK an error windos appears saying that an error has occured during updating of the document and that an item in this document is missing from my zotero library. When saying OK, the next zotero window appears to choose a new citation and so on.
When I choose NO for replacing the missing entry than one of my old citations will be deleted from the bibliography but stays visible in the text. After that the same window appears for the next old citation without showing me which citation is meant. And this repeads for all of my citations in that document. When I choose NO everytime, it stops when my bibliography is empty (when all entries are deleted).

This problem is not document specific. It is the same for all of our documents finalized with the Firefox zotero version.
On the other hand, we have no problems with new documents. But copy&paste of old documents into new documents results in the same error.
I also tried the "Debugging broken documents" instructions - without success.
Error report ID is 144160253.

Any idea is very wellcome!
Thank you in advance!
  • how did you switch to the Standalone version? Specifically, how did you move your references?
    Exporting and importing would do exactly what you're seeing.
  • Yes that is what we did because of our large database and syncing problems in the past.

    Is there any way to restore entries after importing in a way that they will be recognized as the former ones?
  • I wish I had better news for you, but there isn't. For future reference, option A here: is the alternative to syncing and works very smoothly. If you still have a backup of the old library you could likely still do that (and, if you already have new items, maybe use sync to merge the two) but that's all I have.
  • I think I have an old backup. But indeed there are several new items added now which I don't want to loose.
    I fear when I use the backup directory by replacing my actual data directory by the backup directory and when I start syncing after that, my "old" entries will be replaced by the new ones from the zotero server by syncing because the server files have the newer time stamp, not?
  • no, sync is smarter than that: if you sync the new data and then restore the old database, the next sync will merge both. The one caveat here is that, since you used export/import, it will also duplicate all imported items, so you should probably delete these first and empty the trash.

    Obviously, you should make a back up (i.e. a copy of the Zotero data folder) of your current database first.
  • If I understand it right, after syncing of my restored old database the merged database will contain all of our actual items plus the restored old ones even if the content like authors and titels and so on are identical? And merging will be done without prompting item by item?
  • I think the answer is yes, but just so we don't miscommunicate on what merging means:

    Every item that was in the old library and was exported & imported into the new library will exist as a duplicate after you're done. That's why I suggested deleting the imported ones before.

    The only way to get rid of duplicates safely is to merge duplicates individually, which is time consuming.
  • All right. Thanks for your assistance!
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