Reinstalling Zotero standalone, hopefully with some of my data still intact

In January my hard drive was trashed. Got a new one. Restored files from a Cloud backup, but not the program. Have I lost all my references? :-(((( If not, do I need to reinstall and point them to my current ones? How do I do that?

I checked the docs, and believe I may be out of luck. There's no sign of a zotero.sqlite file anywhere, either on my drive nor among my backups. I do have a Zotero Exports folder on my desktop, though, not sure when I made it. Might that save me, or at least help? If so, how do I use it?
  • Did you use Zotero sync? If so, they'll reappear if you sync again.
  • If you didn't use sync, what's in the Zotero Export folder (i.e. what are filenames & extensions?)
  • To continue this thread, three months later:

    Here's what I have:

    1. The last sync I did, apparently, was on or about March 31, 2015. There are 125 synced entries, dating from 11/28/2011 to 3/31/2015. If I choose to sync, I presume that all of those will be restored.

    2. I also have a Zotero Exports folder dated 11/17/2015. The Zotero Exports folder contains Zotero Exports.rdf, as well as a subfolder called folders, which itself contains 27 folders, each with a number as a name (e.g., 60, 75, 85, etc.). Contents of those numbered folders varies, but each folder appears to correspond to a single Zotero entry. Of those 27, 16 correspond to entries in syncable storage, but 11 do not. 8 contain files whose dates are newer than the newest in sync; no surprise there, since the backup was done later. The other three folders that have no corresponding sync entry are harder to explain, though. According the dates of their files (2013), all of them should be there.

    Anyway: Should I resync, then import the .rdf file? Or just do one or the other? (Are there additional entries hiding inside the .rdf file itself?) How do syncs and imports play together? (Obviously what I'd like to end up with: the 125 synced items, plus the 1l items from the Zotero Exports folder that aren't in the sync.)
  • Hello? Anyone out there knowledgeable about this? I'd really appreciate your counsel! The docs, as far as I can find, are silent on the sync / import interplay question.
  • edited August 13, 2019
    I would just sync to get back the 125 items and then manually re-add the 11 items. Otherwise you'll end up with duplicates for all the items that exist in both.

    To add the 11 back, you can either just add again from the web or drag the PDFs in from the export folder and see if Zotero can pull down metadata for them. (If it can't, you can add from the web and drag the PDFs to the new items.)
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