Odd Update Message When Opening Zotero Client

I think this relates somewhat to two older threads I posted:


... but I thought I should start a new thread.

This same curator as the one mentioned in these above posts had been using Zotero for a number of years. I never did get a chance to reinstall her client as recommended in this post - https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/70173/user-account-control-message-appearing-when-opening-standalone - but a few months later (in May 2018) she received a new PC so it gave me an opportunity to download Zotero from Zotero.org for her afresh. I also synced her data with the cloud (not her files) and changed her Zotero Data Directory to her personal network drive (backed up every night by out Systems team).

I have only now found out that for the past few months she has been getting the following message when opening her Zotero client:

"Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?
Zotero Updater
Verified Publisher: Corporation for Digital Scholarship
File Origin: Hard drive on this computer
Yes No"

She has been choosing "No" and then Zotero opens and she can use it without a problem to add citations, etc. But when she tries to update Zotero via the Client>Help Menu>Check for Updates it just hangs endlessly such that she needs to close the Client and then gets the same message again on start-up. So she has been unable to update Zotero. Her current version is 5.0.46, which I know is not the latest.

Should we select "Yes" to this app message she is getting on start-up? The last time this happened she got an "entry point not found" message -ahttps://forums.zotero.org/discussion/69682/zotero-exe-entry-point-not-found - which lead to complications. This is why she's worried about selecting Yes, and since I'm not a systems person, I want to be reassured before I click Yes myself that I will not lose her (very considerable) library.

I have backed up her Zotero Data Directory on a USB drive. But in case I need to restore her library from this back-up, I'm worried because of the conflict with online synching - i.e. "more recent data in the online library would replace the data you just restored" https://www.zotero.org/support/zotero_data.

In short, I'd like to avoid the doomsday solution of restoring her library altogether. Please advise - thank you!
  • Following up on my query. Any help is appreciated as the curator has a deadline and I've told her to suspend using Zotero until we know how to safely proceed with the message she is getting when opening her client.
  • That's just a standard Windows message telling you that the updater program is signed by us. (See "Corporation for Digital Scholarship" referenced at the bottom of this page.) You have to say yes to allow Zotero to perform its normal update.

    You should always have a backup of your Zotero data, like any important data, but there's nothing whatsoever out of the ordinary here and no risk to her data. (Remaining on a year-old version is a much riskier choice.)
  • A couple more points from the other threads:

    1) Those "Couldn't load XPCOM" errors were likely from upgrades from Zotero 4 to 5 that, in some rare cases, didn't go through successfully. That shouldn't happen, but reinstalling Zotero 5 from the download page fixed it, and it shouldn't happen going forward as long as you stay up to date with updates.

    2) @bwiernik says in the second thread that this prompt means Zotero was installed as an administrator, but that's actually not necessarily the case. Windows prompts when you first run installers or updaters that need to write to the Program Files directory, so this is normal on Windows even for standard installations. The reason you don't see it every time is that the updater generally doesn't change between Zotero updates. Occasionally we update the underlying framework Zotero is based on, and that can cause the updater program itself to change, and at that point you'll be asked again. But it's perfectly normal. As long as it says it was signed by Corporation for Digital Scholarship, you can say yes.
  • Thanks so much. We choose Yes and everything is fine, but we had to also update it by going to Help>check for updates within the client and restarting and clicking Yes again to get the latest version - 5.0.60.

    A related question - do I need to tell our users to keep checking for updates by going to the client>help menu>check for updates, or does Zotero automatically update itself when one opens the client? This curator was one of the only ones in our institution getting this update message at start-up. When I open my client it either a) does some quick progress/bar update thing on its own (without prompting) or b) I manually update it with the Help Menu> .....
  • Meant to write that she has version 5.0.62
  • Zotero automatically updates itself and displays a pop-up message prompting restart if a new version is available.
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