Frequently Asked Questions

Installation Questions

The Voyager 4.5 DVD version is taking a long time to install. Is this normal?

On some Windows machines, the Voyager 4 DVD version can take up to 45 minutes to install, particularly with Windows Vista. Windows XP and Mac OS X install times all seem to be less than 30 minutes. It depends on the speed of your DVD-ROM drive, among other things. Bear in mind that the installer is copying a lot of data to your hard drive, and that the progress meter is very non-linear! The CD version of Voyager 4 only requires a few minutes to install, on every platform we've tested.


Do I have to install the Voyager 4.5 DVD files to my hard drive?

Yes, if you have purchased the DVD version of Voyager 4.5, then the DVD files (GSC2 star catalog, PGC galaxy catalog, and a few other "goodies") will be installed on your hard drive automatically. Previous versions of Voyager allowed this data to be read off the DVD-ROM, but we found that very few people used this feature any more (and it caused problems on a number of Windows machines). In today's world of multi-hundred-gigabyte drives, the 3.5 GB required by the GSC2 files isn't really that much space. And reading those files from your hard drive is much faster than from the DVD-ROM - and works flawlessly.

Most of the data installed by the Voyager 4.5 DVD version is inside the GSC2 folder. This folder contains the Guide Star Catalog version 2.3 star data to magnitude 18.0 (155 million stars!), which is 3.5 GB in total. You can delete the entire GSC2 folder, and reclaim 3.5 GB of drive space. Alternately, the stars within the GSC2 folder are organized into sub-folders by magnitude, as follows:

Folder Name
Magnitude Range
Number of Stars
10.5 - 12.0
36.3 MB
12.0 - 13.5
214.5 MB
13.5 - 15.0
562.9 MB
15.0 - 16.5
1.19 GB
16.5 - 18.0
1.48 GB


For example, you could keep everything brighter than (say) 15th mag by removing the "1650" and "1800" folders. The fainter you get, the more stars there are, so this will save you 2.5 GB of disk space (almost as much as deleting the entire GSC2 folder), yet still keep something like 20 million stars - as many as in the original GSC! This technique will work on Windows as well as Mac OS X.

Finally, if you are concerned about hard drive space, we offer a CD version of Voyager 4.5. This is functionally identical to the DVD version, but it doesn't contain all of the faint star data, PGC galaxy catalog, or high-resolution Milky Way and horizon images.


I'm trying to install Voyager or SkyGazer on Windows XP/Vista, and the installer gives me an error message that says: "Unable to Save File ... The System cannot find the path specified". Help!

You need to run the installer from an account with administrative privileges. Log off Windows and log on again as Administrator, or into another account with administrative priveleges. If you don't own the computer (for example, a computer in a school lab), you'll need to contact your system administrator or other friendly-neighborhood IT staff to get you administrative priveleges on the computer. Or find a hacker who can crack the computer's administrative password for you.


Can I register Voyager or SkyGazer on both my laptop and my desktop? Can I use the same serial number on a PC and Mac?

Yes, and yes. Our license agreement and copy protection lets you register a single Voyager or SkyGazer serial number on two (2) machines. They can be a Mac, a PC, both, or two of either. The Voyager 4.5 retail box includes both the Mac and Windows versions of the software, and the SkyGazer 4.5 CD-ROM contains both Mac and Windows versions as well.

If you need to install on a third machine, give us a call and we'll give you an additional registration for your serial number. You can reinstall and re-register the same software an unlimited number of times on the same machine. The purpose of our copy protection is simply to prevent rampant piracy of our software, not to make your life difficult.


I can't register my software! I get an error message when I try to register.

Our license agreement lets you register your software on two different computers for your own personal use. If you are trying to register on more than two computers, it will not work - see above. Under special circumstances, we can provide you with additional registrations; give us a call.

Beyond that - make sure you've entered your serial number exactly as it's printed on the sticker inside your retail packaging, or in your email receipt. All the 0s are zeros, not "ohs". All the letters are upper-case. Make sure you've included the dashes in the right places. Look for and remove any extra spaces before or after the serial number, or between the digits.

Occasionally, due to network delays over the internet, registration might not work the first time. if that happens, just try it a second time. If you are trying to register your software on a machine that does not have internet access, give us a call; we can register you over the telephone.

You also need to fill in all of the fields in the registration dialog, or Voyager will complain. Please provide your correct email address; you'll need that in order to get access to software updates.


I have a LabPack or site license to register Voyager or SkyGazer on many computers. Do I have to type in my serial number and registration information on every single computer?

No. But you will first have to type in your serial number and other registration information once, on the first machine. Then to register your other machines without having to type everything in again on each machine:

Find the "Registration.txt" file inside the Voyager 4.5 or SkyGazer 4.5 folder on the first machine.
Copy that same "Registration.txt" file to the Voyager 4.5 or SkyGazer 4.5 folder on the other machines.
On each of the other machines, launch Voyager 4.5 or SkyGazer 4.5. It will ask you to register (since the license key inside the "Registration.txt" file is only valid on the original machine). Click OK.

The information from the "Registration.txt" file should be pre-entered for you in the Registration dialog. Click Register. Registration should happen automatically over the internet, and the license key inside the "Registration.txt" file on each other machine will be updated for that machine.


I'm trying to update Voyager or SkyGazer, and I get an error message that says "Can't download the file!" What's going on?

The Minor Planet Center and/or Celestrak web sites may be down; these are where Voyager and SkyGazer get their asteroid/comet/satellite orbit data. If this happens (which is rare!), just try updating again later. You can also un-check the "Asteroids", "Comets", and "Spacecraft" options if you only want to download program updates.

You can also import asteroid/comet/spacecraft data files manually if for some reason Voyager's automatic updates function fails to download them. See the Voyager 4.5 downloads page for details (scroll to the bottom of the page). Please note that this option is not available in SkyGazer.


I'm trying to update Voyager or SkyGazer on Windows Vista, and I get an error message that says the software does not have authorization to write my update files. What do I do?

Run the program from an account with administrative privileges. To do this, log off Windows and log on again as Administrator, or log into another account with administrative priveleges. See above.

Also turn off User Account Control (Start menu > Control Panel > User Accounts > Turn User Account Control On or Off). This is something you probably want to do anyhow, as it greatly reduces the frequency of those irritating Vista "I need permission to use my own computer" warning messages.


I just installed (or updated) Voyager on my Mac, and the stars and/or horizon graphics are gone! I just see a flat, green horizon, and a few planets, but no stars. What's up?

Make sure the Sky Data folder is located within the same folder as the Voyager 4.5 application itself. Inside that Sky Data folder, you should find files called "Skymap.vdat", "NGC-IC.vdat", etc. Those files contain the star and deep sky data. If they are missing, or you do not have permission to read them, no stars will appear on the screen.

The horizon graphics files should be inside a Sky Images/Horizons folder within the main Voyager 4.5 application folder. If these files are missing, or you do not have permission to read them, that would explain why the horizon graphics are not visible.

If these files are missing, you might just try reinstalling (or re-updating) the software. Did you perhaps mistakenly install an update into a different folder than your previous Voyager 4.5 installation? Also check to make sure that all of these files/folders have both read and write permission, and that you are running the program from a user account that has administrative privileges.


Copyright February, 2011

Carina Software & Instruments, Inc