Error ID 103012289: "My library has already been reset"

I am trying to Sync my Zotero Library, but I get an error saying "My library has already been reset".
What happens is that I click on the sync icon, then after a while, it asks me about I want to handle some conflict, I decide on using the local library versions and doing that for all future conflicts, and then a bit later it stops with that error.

Not sure if this is relevant, but the first time I tried to sync today, most of my Library structure (the folders and such), disappeared and instead I now have a huge amount of unfiled items.
I clicked on the stop icon when that happened, but the sync icon didn't stop moving so I closed Zotero instead. The file structure is still gone.

The only part of the structure that still remains are the collections I created within the last week or so.
  • Can you provide a Debug ID (different from a Report ID) for a sync attempt that produces that error?
  • @MerlinPercival: Actually, before you do anything else, make a backup of all the zotero.sqlite and .bak files in your Zotero data directory, just in case we need them later.
  • I've realised in the meantime that things are actually a lot worse, because a ton of attachments/source files just vanished.
    Like, PDFs that I was opening this morning from within Zotero are now nowhere to be found, not within Zotero, not in the actual file system on the drive, and not in the recycle bin of my computer.

    Luckily I had a backup of the library from September, and most if not all of what is gone seem to be older files, but for now I'll be busy re-adding all of those and sorting them.

    Will definitely do a backup before I try to sync again, this library is over 1000 files large, so I am not taking any risks again.
    (If anyone is wondering why I took the risk in the first place: I didn't know it existed since I told Zotero to use the local library for conflicting entries).
  • edited January 21, 2022
    for now I'll be busy re-adding all of those and sorting them
    No, don't do anything. The point of posting here is to let us help you.

    First, did you make a backup of your Zotero data directory when I said to? Zotero makes automatic backups of the database, so if this just happened you should at least be able to restore data from one of the automatic backups from the last couple days. So start with that, with automatic syncing temporarily disabled, and try to find a copy from before this happened. Let us know whether you've done so and whether the attached files are accessible, and check the same files online.
  • I did, though I didn't see your reply until after I started importing the old files back in.
    Sorry about that, I didn't know that Zotero makes automatic backups, and didn't think anything was salvageable, since I couldn't find the files anymore.
    Thank you for helping me though!

    There was a backup from earlier this morning.
    I loaded it in (making sure to back up the all the database files first), and it has the old structure, but it is now showing a lot of entries with missing links (some may have been there before, but there's definitely some that weren't) and obviously it's missing the work I did in the hours inbetween.

    The online library appears to only have what was left after I tried the first sync (as in, two subcollections and a bunch of unfiled entries).

    Btw. in case that wasn't clear, I do not sync files online (because this library is over 60GB).
  • So, is there anything I can do to get files back for the entries that are missing their links?
  • it is now showing a lot of entries with missing links
    Meaning attachment items with missing files? You can restore those for older files by copying in folders from the 'storage' folder of your backup into the 'storage' folder in the active data directory. Unless you used an external PDF reader and saved annotations back to the original files, you can probably just replace the existing folders. Zotero simply looks for attachment files in folders named after the attachment item keys.

    It looks like this was your first time syncing in over two years? What exactly happened with this library between then and now? The fact that you had conflicts at all means that you somehow made changes on both sides between the last sync and now, apparently to many items. There are no recent deletions in your online library, but there are over a dozen collection deletions and over a thousand item deletions from March 2020, so my best guess is that you (or someone using a computer where you had set up syncing) deleted the whole library elsewhere, and then when you synced now any parent items that you had modified since then (including, e.g., adding them to collections) triggered conflict resolution, while the attachments (and other items) that you hadn't modified were simply deleted based on the remote deletions. That wouldn't be a bug — choosing the local version of a parent item wouldn't prevent a remote deletion of one of its child items from being applied. Maybe there's an argument that it should, as the safer option, but it wouldn't be the correct behavior in all situations. And regardless, any remotely deleted regular items that hadn't been modified locally since the last sync would correctly be deleted locally.

    For syncing going forward, if you're happy with the local version of your library, you can use Replace Online Library in the Sync → Reset pane of the preferences. If you then leave auto-sync enabled, your local library should remain in sync with the online library.
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