Help! New message about empty Zotero database?

I just opened Zotero and received the following message:

You are about to sync your account to an empty Zotero database. This could happen if you removed your previous database or if the location of your Zotero data directory changed. If your Zotero data exists elsewhere on this computer, you should move it to the current data directory or change the data directory location to point to your existing data.

I haven't changed the data location, and it's still showing up on my computer under the same address/folder location?
  • What's the folder? (You can x out your username.)

    See Locating Missing Zotero Data for possibilities and see the requested information there.
  • so, i'm not sure what's going on. it shows that my data /users/myname/zotero. when i click "show data directory," it takes me to my zotero folder but says that the size of the folder is --. when i go into "storage" all the individual pdfs are still in folders, but there are no zotero.sqlite* files, and it says i don't have an application to open this document
  • We need all the information requested at the bottom of that section. If you've started Zotero, you definitely have one or more zotero.sqlite* files in the data directory. 'storage' is just a subfolder of that.
  • edited November 29, 2020
    it says i don't have an application to open this document
    And I don't know what this is referring to. You seem to simultaneously be saying there are no zotero.sqlite files and that it gives you an error when you try to open one, which nothing says to do and you definitely shouldn't be doing.
  • hi - i am trying my best to explain it. is there a way for me to attach screen shots? when i go into show data directory it takes me to a zotero folder with 6 subfolders: locate, pipes, storage, styles, tmp, translators. there are then two additional items: zotero.sqlite & zotero.sqlite- journal. but i cannot open either of these. when is search for zotero.sqlite on my computer, nothing comes up. my entire online library is still there and up to date. my computer hard drive was wiped recently, so perhaps i messed up in reinstalling everything...
  • edited November 29, 2020
    there are then two additional items: zotero.sqlite & zotero.sqlite- journal.
    That's fine — you just said above that there were no such files.

    Again, nothing says to open the .sqlite files. Don't try to do so.

    Most likely you just didn't copy the zotero.sqlite file correctly from your backup from before your hard drive was wiped. You need to copy the entire Zotero data directory from the backup. It should contain a zotero.sqlite file that's larger than 5 MB.

    If you only have the 'storage' folder from your backup and no zotero.sqlite, you won't have any data locally and would need to sync to pull down your data from your online library.
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