Windows XP Ate My Images

In order to save space on my Windows XP laptop, which I use for a lot of my imaging, I used the built-in compression to zip up the entire directory tree from the 2009 Summer Star Party. When all was done, the final archive was nearly 4 GB. Nearly, but not quite. To my horror, today, when I tried to unzip the archive to get at some of the files, I got a dreaded

The Compressed (zipped) Folder is invalid or corrupted.

Noooooooo! But yes, it appears to be a known problem as logged in this notice from Microsoft:

The part which doesn't make sense is that my laptop is generally up-to-date and I apply all of Microsoft's patches pretty promptly, so the claim that they patched things in 2003 to make it impossible to even create such a large archive just doesn't fit. I didn't create the archive it 2003 (duh, it's 2009 data) and while I might not have had some of the 2009 patches installed, one of the first things I did when I got the laptop in 2008 was to apply all of the patches (what a job that was!). While I do have backups of my laptop, I don't have any that go back several months to before the time I zipped up the files. This is a home setup, not some enterprise backup solution; I've got backups going back a couple of weeks.

So it looks like I have lost all of the original data from the 2009 Summer Star Party.Thank you Microsoft.


About 10% Recoverable

Well, it looks like a little data is salvageable. Less than 10%. I've tried a few different Windows-based tools that offered a trial version (sans the option to save) and none do any better than the free Linux version. So I have a few of the calibrated images before processing. No signs of the processed images, except for the few where I already stashed the final result in the image gallery. I supposed I should be grateful for how this helps reduce my filesystem clutter. Kind of like being grateful for how a house fire helped clear out the junk in the attic.