Z5.0(beta) standalone: loading time, is it normal in my case?

edited December 2, 2016
Hi. I think it takes too long time to start Z5.0 standalone for me.
So I made small .wmv file. Please have a look.


As you can see, the first time I start Zotero, it takes about 40 seconds to get full item list. Second time I close the window and re-start Zotero, it takes shorter time. But some time later after I end Zotero, for example 2-3 hours, it takes long time again.

In addition to this, searching time takes more time than earlier Zotero 5.0 beta versions, I think. On the earlier beta versions, Z5.0 searched items very quickly.

I well understand that this is beta version and gets better day by day.
So what I want to know is that it takes me longer time than other people.

My OS is windows 7, Zotero 5.0(r85) standalone.

  • edited December 1, 2016
    In Z5.0 standalone.

    Add-on manager has 3 parts: Extensions, Appearance, Plugins.

    Plugins section has lots of plugins which, I think, are unnecessary for Zotero, for example Google Earth Plugin, NPLastPass(LastPass Plugin), etc.

    Can I set these plugins disabled without problem regarding performance of Zotero?
    Will this help to shorten loading time?
    (I have only 3807 items, but it takes some time to load items.)

  • No, disabling those won't make a difference.

    Zotero caches data at startup in order to make later operations faster, but it shouldn't take more than a few seconds to load that many items. What sort of times are you seeing? We're also hoping to improve this further after 5.0 ships — while 5.0 improves responsiveness across the board (e.g., it won't freeze during large syncs), some areas might be a little slower for now.
  • Also, if you provide a Debug ID for Zotero startup using the "Enable after restart" option, I can take a look and see if anything seems out of the ordinary.
  • edited December 2, 2016
    Here is DebugID: D1685764468.

    Thanks for your kindness.
  • (I've merged your two threads on this together — no need to create a new one for the same issue.)

    The startup time shown in your debug output and the second startup time in the video both seem normal (though something we hope to improve). The first one in the video certainly isn't. We'd have to see a Debug ID for that one to know more.

    The debug output shows that your data directory is on O:\ — is that a local hard drive or a network share? If the latter, that's definitely the problem, and you should move your data directory to a local hard drive. Either way, it seems clear that initial disk access is extremely slow for you, and then once the system has cached that part of the disk it returns to normal speeds.

    How big is your zotero.sqlite file?

    (For the debug output, you might be able to replicate this by restarting your computer, which would clear the disk cache.)
  • edited December 2, 2016
    First, O drive is my external HDD which is connected through USB 2.0 cable.
    Second, Zotero.sqlite is 79.8MB.

    Zotero makes disk cache in hard drive. When I restart my computer, it clears the disk cache. So, whenever I start Zotero the first time every morning, it takes longer time to make disk cache, right?

    I prefer external HDD for my data protection from virus. At the same time I use 2 computers at school and home, so I need external data device.

    Then to improve Zotero, I'll try to make another debug ID.

    Thank you very much. Your advice is very helpful.
  • The operating system maintains the disk cache. When a particular part of the disk is accessed, it caches the data in memory. This process is transparent to a given program like Zotero — it just means that, if the program asks for the same part of the disk again, it's faster.

    A USB 2.0 HDD is pretty slow, so it might be worth testing with a copy of the data directory on the local disk. You can just make a full copy of the Zotero data directory, point Zotero to that in the Advanced → Files and Folders pane of the Zotero preferences, restart your computer, and see if the initial startup is any faster, and then point it back at the external drive.

    But a Debug ID for a startup that's actually slow would be helpful to see exactly which parts are causing trouble.
  • You're right. As you told, I copied the data into local drive, and zotero started faster.

    In addition to this, I made Debug ID : D535067877. This would show you how Zotero works with external HDD.

    Ever since I used Zotero (e.g. 4.0), I have used it with external HDD. The startup time has been slow, but in case of Z5.0, it takes more time, I think. That's because I posted the comment.

    Basically it's better for me to locate my data in external HDD. Many people use more than one computer nowadays, so I think it's good to use external HDD without speeding down if possible. Of course if there is no other way, I have to locate my data in local drive. I understand this very well.

    I have another question:

    My present database sizes are :

    Zotero.sqlite is 81 MB
    Zotero.sqlite1.bak is 164 MB
    Zotero.sqlite.87.bak is 156 MB
    Zotero.sqlite.bak i 156 MB


    Is it normal? As I remembered the sqilte sizes are almost the same.
    There is no error when I check Database Maintenance of Zotero.

  • A good external SSD (huge differences in speed among those) with USB 3.0 should be plenty fast. It's just USB 2.0 HDs that that are quite slow.
  • OK, try the latest build. It may not help much, but it rearranges some of the work at startup in order to show the items list sooner.
  • edited December 3, 2016
    Wow. It starts faster.
    First start: about 40 seconds -> 13-15 seconds
    It's satisfying.

    As you said, in addition to your latest build(r86), I need to upgrade device to use USB 3.0 or external SSD.

  • OK, great. This delays translator initialization until after the UI has fully initialized. It seems that, in your case, checking the timestamps of all translators for updates is extremely slow. (You might notice that you can't save with translators for ~20 seconds after Zotero has started.)
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