Missing files after November 5.0.30 update

edited January 11, 2018
I have Zotero 5.0 installed on two computers, a desktop and a laptop, both PCs running Windows 7. I made the switch from Zotero for Firefox to Zotero 5.0.29 on both computers in November when prompted by the program. About two weeks later, in late November, I was prompted to update Zotero 5.0.30. I installed the update on my desktop and lost about 40 files. Those 40 files are also missing from my online library. I did not install the update on my laptop, so it is still running Zotero 5.0.29, and the 40 files are still available there. I would like to update my laptop as well, but I do not want to lose the files and I can't figure out what happened to them.

I have read the FAQ on "I upgraded to Zotero 5.0 and now my data is missing! How do I get it back?" but it did not solve my problem.

On the desktop, my current data directory location is C:\Users\barkerh\Zotero and zotero.sqlite is timestamped 1/11/2018 1:43pm and is 16,512 KB. When I open my desktop Zotero library, 3,395 files are listed. On the laptop, my current data directory location is C:\Users\Hannah\Zotero, zotero.sqlite is timestamped 1/11/2018 11:31am and is 13,492 KB. When I open my laptop Zotero library, 3,435 files are listed.

On the desktop, there is no file called "zotero" in my Firefox profile directory. On the laptop, there is a file called "zotero" in my Firefox profile directory. In that file, zotero.sqlite is timestamped 4/17/2014 11:37am and is 1,008 KB.

As some examples of files, on the laptop, in my Firefox profile directory, in the zotero file, in the storage file, there are files called 2BQMDT2E and 35KRFSUS.
  • Are you saying that 2BQMDT2E and 35KRFSUS are examples of files missing from the desktop?

    If not, that's what we'd want to know to start. Find a file on the laptop that's missing on the desktop, right-click and Show File, and then check the folder name.
  • Though do you mean "files" here or just "items"?
  • Well, and also, is the account you're posting from the one that you're referring to? This account hasn't been synced since November and hasn't had any items deleted since May.
  • The account I'm posting from is the account I'm referring to. I don't know why nothing has synced since November, I have continued using Zotero as normal since switching to 5.0 in November except that I have not installed the 5.0.30 update on my laptop.

    I think I mean that 40 items are missing from the desktop and online rather than 40 files. One item that is present on laptop but missing on the desktop and online is a book chapter titled "Notizie da Caffa" by Raimondo Morozzo della Rocca. When I right-click on the item, it gives me options to Add Note, Add Attachment, Duplicate Item, Move Item to Trash, Export Item, Create Bibliography from Item, or Generate Report from Item. I don't see a Show File option.
  • If you switched from Zotero 4.0 for Firefox to Zotero 5.0, you'd have to re-enter your sync credentials.

    So then the question is whether you're simply looking for items you added on the other computer that haven't synced (because you haven't been syncing). Anything you added since November would only be on one computer.

    ("Show File" only appears for attachments.)
  • I didn't realize that I needed to re-enter my sync credentials, so I'll do that now.

    As I compare the items on the laptop and on the desktop, it seems that my desktop does not have any of the items I've entered since 6/12/2017. When I installed Zotero 5.0.29, I was able to see these items, but when I installed the 5.0.30 update I lost them.

    I can manually backup the items from 6/12/2017 onward before I allow anything to sync in order to ensure that the items are not lost, but I'm not sure how they were lost in the first place and want to make sure that this never happens again.
  • edited January 12, 2018
    The only change between 5.0.29 and 5.0.30 at all related to this was a warning that might've started popping up if your old Zotero for Firefox was inaccessible due to permissions reasons, but that would've simply encouraged you to manually move your old data directory to the new default location. 5.0.30 didn't introduce any changes that affect the data directory directly.

    The simplest explanation here is that 1) those items were created on your other computer and were never synced to the online library or this computer and 2) when you upgraded to Zotero 5.0 you ended up in an old data directory and synced down only what was online, which didn't include those items.

    So syncing both computers would probably fix it, but you can also see https://www.zotero.org/support/kb/data_missing_after_zotero_5_upgrade for some more details. Basically, in most situations Zotero would've either done the right thing with your data automatically or warned you about a problem, but there are couple places you can look for another data directory if you're sure you had the items created between 6/12/2017 and 11/9/2017 on this computer. You might want to do that just to make sure there's not another data directory taking up space somewhere on your hard drive, but it's likely that simply backing up your data directory and syncing both computers is sufficient.
  • Ok, thanks for your help
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