Lost all my astro photo's of 2020..?

Pindaklaas

New member
Jan 22, 2021
4
0
Hello,

I just downloaded the trial Pixinsight license and installed it. After I installed the program, all my photo's are gone, everything..

I'll try to explain what happened and hope you can help me.

I have a folder "stars" on one of my SSDs. This folder contains few other folders called "galaxies", "nebula" etc where I save all my photo's.
When PI asked me where to install it, I chose this folder. (G:\stars)
Usually when you install a program it will create a new folder : G\stars\Pixinsight
However, after installing it there wasn't a new folder called Pixinsight, the folders "galaxies" and "nebula" are gone and instead I only see Pixinsight sub folders (bin, color, doc, etc.)

I couldn't imagine it would just delete/overwrite all my other files.. But when I looked at the size, I could see my G Drive was now half empty, while it was almost full before the install of PI.

I tried to open a recent project I worked on in Photoshop with "open recent", but got an error message: the file cannot be found.

I tried to recover the files using "Recuva" and "Windows file recovery". I found them back but when I try to open them I get an error: "This file format is not supported"

I'm really stressed out because every single photo I took in 2020 is now gone..?! I really hope you can help me by retrieving them or showing me that I'm stupid and they're somewhere else/hidden..

Also I have nothing to process in the trial version now and I don't see any clear nights in the forecast.. So my trial version will also be not used at all.

I'm so sad
 

Juan Conejero

PixInsight Staff
Sep 2, 2004
7,790
173
56
Valencia, Spain
pixinsight.com
I am very sorry for this. The Windows installation program clearly warns you about the fact that all existing files in the destination folder will be deleted before installation:

windows-installer-2.png

You should not have selected a folder with important data to install an application in the first place. On the other hand, applications should always be installed on the default 'Program Files' system directory on Windows, or on a protected directory with admin-only access rights, for basic security reasons. In other words, you should know what you are doing when you change a default option, especially when you see a warning with the words 'files' and 'deleted' in it.

I hope you have a backup of the files that have been removed. If you don't, then now you know how important they are, and why you must always, always make at least one backup copy of any important data and keep it in a safe place.

I tried to recover the files using "Recuva" and "Windows file recovery". I found them back but when I try to open them I get an error: "This file format is not supported"
Recuva and similar applications should be able to recover most of the files that have been removed. Obviously, files that were stored on the space that has been overwritten with new data on the disk are not recoverable, at least by conventional means. The 'format not supported' error may be caused by the fact that recovered file names no longer have the appropriate file extensions (such as .fit, .tif, .jpg, etc), so you can try renaming them. At any rate, do not store new data on the disk where you are trying to recover lost files, since every byte that you write may be overwriting existing data.
 

Pindaklaas

New member
Jan 22, 2021
4
0
Thanks for the reply, I didnt see that warning >.<

I guess I lost all my data then. Is there any way I can cancel the current trial version as I have now data at the moment and get a new trial version when I get data agian?
 

Juan Conejero

PixInsight Staff
Sep 2, 2004
7,790
173
56
Valencia, Spain
pixinsight.com
Don't worry about that. You can request a new trial license or a renewal of your current license whenever you want. Just let us know when you're ready. This is not going to be any problem at all.

You're not the only one to have lost important data. I remember myself removing an entire root directory on a RAID volume by mistake... hundreds of invaluable files lost, including the source code of a fantastic numerical integration program that I have never been able to rewrite. I learned the importance of backups the hard way. Also learned that RAID 1 is not a backup.
 

fredvanner

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2019
828
90
70
Wells, Somerset, UK
recovered file names no longer have the appropriate file extensions (such as .fit, .tif, .jpg, etc), so you can try renaming them.
You may be able to identify the file type by looking for an identifier in the first few bytes of the file. Some file types have readable text. Many older file types use a short byte sequence ("magic number").
  • xisf files start with "XISF"
  • fits files start with the fits header in readable text (usually starting with the "SIMPLE" keyword)
  • tiff files start with the hex bytes "49 49 2A 00"; Canon CR2 files are based on tiff format, and start with the extended header "49 49 2A 00 10 00 00 0043 52"
  • other magic numbers are documented on the web
I use Notepad++ with the Hex viewer plug-in to examine files.
 

Pindaklaas

New member
Jan 22, 2021
4
0
Don't worry about that. You can request a new trial license or a renewal of your current license whenever you want. Just let us know when you're ready. This is not going to be any problem at all.

You're not the only one to have lost important data. I remember myself removing an entire root directory on a RAID volume by mistake... hundreds of invaluable files lost, including the source code of a fantastic numerical integration program that I have never been able to rewrite. I learned the importance of backups the hard way. Also learned that RAID 1 is not a backup.
Thanks! That's a bit less stress haha.

Oh god ._. I can totally imagine the feel of not being able to rewrite it...
I'm looking into a NAS system now :p

Thanks again for the quick replies!
 

Pindaklaas

New member
Jan 22, 2021
4
0
You may be able to identify the file type by looking for an identifier in the first few bytes of the file. Some file types have readable text. Many older file types use a short byte sequence ("magic number").
  • xisf files start with "XISF"
  • fits files start with the fits header in readable text (usually starting with the "SIMPLE" keyword)
  • tiff files start with the hex bytes "49 49 2A 00"; Canon CR2 files are based on tiff format, and start with the extended header "49 49 2A 00 10 00 00 0043 52"
  • other magic numbers are documented on the web
I use Notepad++ with the Hex viewer plug-in to examine files.
Thanks for your reply.
The file names still have the file extensions. For example the file is called IMG1234.CR3 or .JPEG. However, when I open them I get an error that the file format is not supported.

A friend told me I can maybe retrieve the deleted files from my camera, so I might try that.