versioning issue errors with standalone

My institution limits upgrades of software, and requires various testing first, so this happens infrequently and we're always behind. Also, the push software upgrades remotely and I may or may not get notice of it. A number of months ago we upgraded my Zotero standalone from 5.0.17 to 5.0.80. That was going along fine until the last couple of days when I intermittently can't start Zotero on this computer with the following message:

This Zotero database requires Zotero 5.0.80 or later.
Current version: 5.0.17

But then, a few hours later Zotero works again. And then it doesn't. I can't see anything obvious in the timing of when files in my directory are updated to explain the problem, and restarting the computer seems to have no direct bearing on whether Zotero will want to work or not.

Can you offer me some advice on how to troubleshoot this? This is installed for Win10 and I'm more of a Mac user. How can I tell which version is installed and when that last happened? While it's possible they are secretly pushing me one or the other version of Zotero every day or two, that seems unlikely. What else should I be looking for? Which file save times in which directories should I monitor? (Note that I do not have any perms on this computer.)

Thanks for your assistsance!



  • You'd have to ask your IT department. If you're getting that message, you're running 5.0.17 — intermittently, from the sound of it. I'd guess that files on your computer are being pulled from the network and there's some caching issue, but that's pure speculation. We really couldn't say.

    For what it's worth, your institution is really doing you — and the security of their network — a disservice by waiting so long between software updates. Zotero 5.0.17 was released in August 2017, and there've been a huge number of bug fixes since then, including a security fix. (There've also of course been major new features.) In the near future, you're likely to get syncing errors if you're not able to upgrade and you belong to a library that's been synced from a newer version of Zotero. At some point, saving could even degrade, since that depends on updated site translators, and we need to be able to move the platform forward in potentially incompatible ways. Finally, we can't really provide support for older versions, since there's a very good chance that whatever the problem is has already been fixed, and if it hasn't you wouldn't be able to use the fixed version anyway. Anyway, not your doing, I know, but worth lobbying for the ability to keep Zotero — and all installed software — more current with regular updates.
  • Thanks--trying to get 5.0.8 to work!

    Since your last suggestion that I'm actually literally running 5.0.17 at times, I've been watching to see what goes on. Sometimes when I click on the Zotero icon to start it up (with 5.0.8 installed), that triggers an instant reinstall of the older version! It's right there in the install.log. Then a few days later, for reasons not clear to me, the newer version gets installed again, although not based on my interacting with the software.

    This may relate to the way my institution packages and deploys software over the network. If you can think of anything else at all that would make Zotero revert to an older version when I start it, please do let me know. I'll be working with our IT staff on this.
  • trying to get 5.0.8 to work!
    I assume you mean 5.0.80?

    I'm afraid only your IT department can help you here. We distribute current versions of Zotero and they auto-upgrade properly as new versions come out. We can also only provide support for current versions.
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