Syncing problem after Mendeley import

I had ~1.5Gb in Mendeley and try Zotero for the first time.
The files seemed to be imported well (at least the metadata and some PDFs I checked), but it of course filled all my free 300mb and then I didn't know what files were really imported and which don't.
So I bought the plan of 2GB, but the storage manager on the website in my account said I still use only 300mb.
I then decided to start over, and wanted to remove all the files from my account and re-import the files.
First, I deleted everything from my web library, and it really then showed a usage of 0mb.
But this was not updated in my local PC. so I manually deleted all files (via zotero interface), but then couldn't delete them from the trash.
Installing and reinstalling the software did not help to remove the files from trash (even though I marked the option to remove all my personal data).
I then tried to remove the content directly from the storage folder in explorer, which didn't remove the entries from Zotero, but indeed disable the option to open the PDFs.

Finally I tried to import again from Mendeley, but now even this doesn't work, I get an error: "An error occurred while trying to import the selected file. Please ensure that the files is valid and try again."

What can I do now? did I screwed my account? can I remove the 2gb plan to a new account?

Would appreciate any help,
  • Those familiar with importing from Mendeley will respond but local storage on Zotero is always free. Anything you import into your Zotero app should be there locally on that one computer. Whether all your attachments upload to Zotero's server is a different matter, which you can take care of by purchasing one of the storage plans anytime. (Also, all data sync for free, the syncing limit is only for attached files.)
  • @Magniv: If you're confused by something, I would strongly encourage you to just ask us here — don't just start randomly deleting things in different places. It sounds like you made quite a mess of your library for absolutely no reason.

    A storage subscription is entirely optional, but if you add one, it takes effect in a few minutes.

    It's not totally clear what the state of your library is now, but at this point you should close Zotero, delete the entire Zotero data directory, restart Zotero, and sync to pull down the current state of your online library. Once you've done that, you can repeat the Mendeley import. If you get an error, provide a Report ID, and we'll take it from there.
  • Many thanks, I did exactly as you suggested (uninstall, delete folder, and reinstall+import) and the problem was solved.

    I still think it is very confusing for new people coming from Mendeley (before buying additional storage) who have more than 300mb of data. On the one hand after import it seems all data can be accessed (from a few attempts to open files), but on the other hand the data can require much more than the free 300mb (for me it was 1.5gb). So were all the data imported to Zotero or not?
    Add to this the fact that purchasing additional storage space does not update (at least after 2-3 minutes)- the written amount of used data stays on 300mb in the online storage manager... I think it might be confusing.

    A constructive idea: Maybe consider giving a message after the first purchasing, saying it will take time to update, and that an email will be sent when updating is done.

    Looking forward to try Zotero out, and thanks again for the help.
  • On the one hand after import it seems all data can be accessed (from a few attempts to open files), but on the other hand the data can require much more than the free 300mb (for me it was 1.5gb). So were all the data imported to Zotero or not?
    It's really not complicated. Zotero is a local program on your computer, and you can save as much as you want to it — it's your disk. You don't need to use syncing or even have an account to use Zotero, which should make it clear that there are no restrictions to using it locally. It's the same as, say, a photo management program (e.g., Photos on macOS) that also has a cloud syncing feature. Every program doesn't need to explain that it allows unlimited local use. In all the places where we discuss storage subscriptions, we're clear that it only applies to syncing.

    It's Mendeley that blurs the lines between local and remote, by not even letting you open the program without logging in. That's the exception, not the rule. It's for them to explain why they feel entitled to lock you out of your own data on your own computer.
    Add to this the fact that purchasing additional storage space does not update (at least after 2-3 minutes)
    We'll look into removing the delay before the storage quota is updated after purchasing a subscription. Sorry for the confusion there.
  • @Magniv: Actually, I think the storage display issue also may have been a misunderstanding.

    First, I thought you were talking about the quota display, but I guess you were talking about the display of used storage?

    I checked our systems, and both quota and usage should be updated immediately — there shouldn't be any delay after a purchase before the new quota takes effect. But if you simply add a storage subscription, that's not going to affect your online storage usage in any way until you actually try to sync again and Zotero tries to upload more files. Otherwise, you just have the same files you already uploaded taking up the same amount of space (e.g., 300 MB).

    If you think you saw something other than that, we can investigate further, but I'm not currently seeing anything wrong here.
  • Wow, I got it all wrong, thank you very much for the clarification.

    After importing from Mendeley, I saw all my data in the local Zotero interface, and indeed (as I was used to in Mendeley) thought it reflects what is happening in the cloud.

    I told myself a (false) story "Zotero actually gives me more than 300mb, in order to try working with the software as I was used too. I probably just can't add new items to my online library until I purchase more space, but for now I can start trying the software."

    This is of course not true. And it was the source to all my further misunderstanding about the update of "storage usage".

    I would suggest adding a note that clarifies this for future Mendeley users. After importing from Mendeley, there is a window saying something like "All data were successfully imported". I suggest adding in the same window something like:

    "Although all the data were saved in your local machine and can be accessed via the Zotero software, please notice that the free cloud storage is limited to 300mb. If your imported library is larger than the storage space available for your account, only fraction of the data will be saved in the Zotero cloud. In that case, you might want to increase your storage space, either from Zotero or a third party [link?]. Make sure to sync your library after updating the storage space, in order to upload the missing data to the online storage."

    This is the simplest (and good enough) solution. An even better one will be to first check (after the import) if there is an account connected and if the free 300mb is fully used. Only if this is true, then display the above message.

    It makes much more sense now, but actually I didn't completely understand the situation until your last message (even not after the one before it). Maybe it is just me, but I think additional help (the message after Mendeley import) could never hurt.

    Thank you again for your time, in this topic and in general.
Sign In or Register to comment.