Missing covers, missing content. Getting worse with each sync.
#1  Mememememe 06-15-2010, 09:48 AM
I'm on my second Kobo reader, after having returned the first when it froze and wouldn't reset. I'm starting to regret getting a replacement instead of a straight refund.

I've had a series of problems since last night. I'm not sure if I've got yet another faulty reader, or if Kobo is having trouble with the online library. I did noticed that they've "improved" the site when you sign in to your account. But my trouble began when I updated my library, downloaded new purchases, and synced.

Here's what I did to kickstart the calamity:

1. From the Kobo desktop, I downloaded a book I'd purchased.

2. From Calibre, I added a converted .odt file to the reader.

A pretty harmless start,you'd think. I did find it odd that on the Kobo desktop application, covers for my purchases were missing, but I didn't think anything of it. Then I synced.

Problems that arose:

First sync: Some of my purchased ebooks were missing. Others were there in duplicate (listed twice in I'm Reading). In one case (but not all) I went to the duplicated listings for a title and wasn't able to open either listing.

Second sync: First, I went to my account on the Kobo site, and bookmarked all my purchases so that they would come back to the Kobo I'm Reading list. I also removed the item I'd added through Calibre. Then I synced. After syncing, all the books were there, some in duplicate, but the files were screwed up.
- there were no covers for purchased books or for the pre-installed books. None at all.
- in I'm Reading, some of the titles actually opened different books. In one case, I opened a file and it opened on the last chapter of one book, then when I flipped through the pages it ended up at the first chapter of the book I'd meant to open.

Third sync: The covers are still gone, the file names are still duplicated, and now, there's nothing but garbled text for my purchases. The pre-installed 100 books have text, but not my purchases.

Along the way, I noticed that even on my Kobo desktop, covers are missing.

I'm not doing anything abnormal with the reader (nor did I do anything abnormal with my previous failed reader). I'm starting to feel as though this product is a huge lemon, but if someone can suggest solutions to this problem I might be convinced otherwise.

#2  Mememememe 06-15-2010, 09:49 AM
I should mention that I've been using the new reader for a week without any problems, until now.

#3  Stinger 06-15-2010, 06:12 PM
Wow.... Did you check for gremlins?? That is just wild!
On the plus side, it's nice to get a funky new problem to think about rather then answering the same 3 questions over and over

In the first place, remove that epub you transferred from Calibre from the Kobo, and keep it off while debugging this issue. That file itself could be corrupt and causing this issue, but lets eliminate it from the equation for now. If we fix the problem, and it reoccurs right after you load that epub back, we'll have a fairly good guess at the culprit.


First log into your account at and completely clear your I'm Reading list. Then sync the Kobo to clean out the books.

Then sign-out of your account on the desktop app. This SHOULD delete the local copy of your purchased books that might have gotten corrupt somewhere along the line. Then log back in, re-add the books to your reading list through the website, and update/sync the books back onto the Kobo.


No? Try fully uninstalling the desktop app, and reinstalling. I've really never heard of anyone having covers not showing up in the app, so lets just cover all the bases before we get more extravagant.

(NOTE: It really sounds like, somehow, your SQlite database got borked. So if all else fails, you should be able to completly wipe the database and start with a fresh one without problems. You will of course lose all the 100-free books this way, but I wanted to through it out there so you know there is a last ditch option)

#4  Mememememe 06-15-2010, 07:17 PM
Thank you, Stinger.

I'd actually tried "all of the above" over the past day, but I tried them again with no luck.

You're right -- it was the sqlite file. (I looked into that file today using an sqlite editor and saw that some remnant of the Calibre file was still there.) So, I deleted the sqlite file and re-downloaded all my purchases and it looks like the problem is solved.

Thanks for the help.

#5  SensualPoet 06-15-2010, 10:00 PM
So, is the title of the thread still accurate? "Missing covers, missing content. Getting worse with each sync."

Did you contact customer support along the line and tell them you were adding .odt files and deleting sql lite files? What was their advice?

Is there some reason you avoid using the tools that come with, and are recommended for use with, the Kobo reader?

I use the Kobo desktop software for anything I acquire from Kobo; and ADE for anything I acquire from the public library or from my own ePubs at Calibre. At no point do I fool around with the internals of Kobo reader and I've had no troubles at all syncing, reading, adding, deleting ... using the Kobo tools.

Yes, I have the sporadic ePub problem with non-Kobo acquired books. Until Kobo fixes that issue, I just read something else.

#6  Stinger 06-15-2010, 10:24 PM
Uhhh Sensual, what are you smoking?
He loaded a single epub (converted from an .odt in Calibre), and used the official desktop app to load purchased content. He was using the Kobo exactly as intended.

Somehow, his SQlite database got messed up, so he had to nuke it (mainly because Kobo DOESN'T provide any tools for database diagnostics and maintenance).

#7  artificial 06-15-2010, 10:27 PM
Quote SensualPoet
Did you contact customer support along the line and tell them you were adding .odt files and deleting sql lite files?
Mememememe didn't transfer an .odt file to the eReader, but an ePub file.

The sqlite database was only modified AFTER the problem occurred, and it fixed Mememememe's problem.

Quote SensualPoet
Is there some reason you avoid using the tools that come with, and are recommended for use with, the Kobo reader?
The Kobo desktop app only does one thing: allow you to buy books from Kobo/Borders and transfer them to the Kobo eReader.

If you're happy to puchase all your reading material that way then fine.

Some people want to use their Kobo eReader for reading ePubs purchased elsewhere, web pages converted to ePub using instapaper, txt files converted to ePub using Calibre, and any number of other things.

That's OK too. The Kobo is advertised as (and does) support the ePub standard. In this area however, the Kobo desktop app is sadly lacking, since it does not currently allow you to transfer non-Kobo ePubs to the Kobo eReader. Therefore people must use other methods to transfer their reading material to the Kobo eReader.

If someone encounters problems with this process they ask a question here, and hopefully (as in this case) a forum member can offer a solution. I don't think there is any need to chastise someone for asking for help, especially when they did nothing wrong to begin with!

#8  Mememememe 06-16-2010, 09:02 AM
Short answer ... What they said.

Long answer ...

Yes, as indicated in the initial posts in this thread, I used the "tools" that Kobo supplies. Those are limited. The desktop app doesn't do much, but I used it as indicated above, along with the online user account page on Kobo's site. I spent quite a bit of time, in fact, trying to solve the problem using the desktop app, the online account page, and ADE.

I did contact customer support, but their turnaround time is generally about a week ... and I'd prefer to not have to wait that long. I've found in the past that their phone help line isn't terribly helpful ... they don't know any more than I do.

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