Bringing File Links from PC to Mac

I got a computer upgrade at work from PC to Mac. On my PC I have hundreds of Zotero 2.0 references linked to PDFs (4.5 gigs), etc. in an organized file directory. I have synced my references and so they are there on my new Mac in Zotero, but the links are dead. How do I transport my PDF file directory from my PC onto my Mac so that the Zotero in Mac can recognize/find those files? I have been looking for help.
  • There is not a particularly easy solution to your problem.

    Syncing is not going to bring over linked files. Now, if you were using the same operating system you could simply copy the files over to your new computer and make sure they are in exactly the same directory. However, if I understand this right, switching operating systems

    Now, if you go back to the original computer and export the entire library in Zotero RDF and tick the box to include attached files and notes Zotero will also include all of your linked files. So, if you export your entire library from the first computer you could import the resulting Zotero RDF and files into a new Zotero library. IMPORTANT: do not import this Zotero RDF file into the copy of your synced library, this would result in you having duplicates of every individual item.

    With this said, this could introduce some issues in its own right. Zotero RDF is not a lossless exchange format. This is why it is not generally recommended for transferring entire libraries. However, in this case, aside from doing some complicated editing of the paths for the linked files in your actual zotero.sqlite database (which I would not recommend), I can't think of any way to migrate your linked PDFs.
  • TJ,

    Thanks. I may need to do this. The other option is that I am running a Windows emulator, and may just run Zotero from within that, and copy my linked files into that artificial environment within my MACbook where the directory system will be preserved. Kinda less than ideal. I may try the RDF mode first.

    Thanks again.
  • I did the RDF file, and things came over alright, but the directory system was completely redone and linked to randomly created folders with odd names (GN567RU) etc.

    Well, I wonder how I will continue working with it, if my folder names become irrelevant. OI could continue the newly added PDFs within my old directory, which is a waste of hard drive.
  • edited August 24, 2010
    sorry to intervene, BUT: Why was it so easy for me to change from MAC to PC (I just did it and also had hundreds of pdf files attached in my library) - and why does it seem so awfully complicated to change back to Mac again?
    (Asking because I will change back to mac as soon as I have money for a new computer...)
  • Jeanie: It has nothing to do with what direction you're going. Files stored within the Zotero data directory ("Store Copy of File", snapshot, or drag-and-drop) are cross-platform compatible. Linked files aren't. That's all there is to it.
  • I'm considering switching to Mac, and am also wondering about my options. I have a large directory with over 5,000 pdfs that are linked to entries in my Zotero library. I'm not really keen on a lossy transfer of my library (ie., the Zotero RDF route described by Tjowens). What about the SQLite option? Is there a utility that can be used to re-formulate the links? Also, how would it work if a person were syncing a library between a Mac and a PC?

  • Jon - there are of course sqlite utilities - people usually recommend this: - but you'd still have to use sqlite commands - overall that's your best bet - figuring out enough about sqlite to be able to do this probably won't take more than a couple of hours.

    I don't think I understand the question about syncing - if you're syncing stored files you can sync between any OS you want. Links just sync as absolute paths, so that has never worked.
  • Hi, thanks for that. RE: the second question, I was just imagining a scenario in which a user (me) had a desktop running Windows and a Mac laptop. Although I realize that the file structures are different, I think I hadn't quite put it all together to figure out that links wouldn't work in that case. But, of course, that seems to be the only logical conclusion. Thanks.
Sign In or Register to comment.