All flows gone after fresh install

Hello, i did a search first , but didnt find the answer.
I was trying to setup a reverse proxy and all of a sudden my flows where deleted.
I did a fresh install of OS, reinstalled nodered and mqtt.
made sure all updates where done
imported my back up and insured i had all the proper nodes inplace and re set up.
i came in today and noticed i had no dashboard so i went into the editor. and there is no flows again.
how do i see if there is a conflict causing my flows to be erased or what is causing this.

How do you start Node-red?
What files do you have in directory .node-red?

Node-RED uses flows_<hostname>.json as the default flows file.
Changing the hostname of your server will affect what files are loaded, so maybe the hostname is changed during reinstallation of your OS.
Check what *.json files are in your nodered directory.

i had backed up the complete flow and downloaded to my laptop
when i go in to fix i just import flows. I never dropped a file in just did it the safe way.
but for some reason its getting deleted from system.
not sure why and i really need to figure that out.

What OS and hardware are you running node red on? Are you using Docker?

Edit: also, is your node red server accessible via the Internet?

64 bit raspbian os. no docker , no server on it at the moment
just fresh install of os , node-red, mqtt.
how do i see if there is a conflict with a miss installed node

It won't be that.

Have you opened any ports in your router to allow access from the Internet?

Please post the contents of the file .node-red/package.json. that will show us the nodes you have installed.

yes on the ports. thats how i remote in
untill i can figure out how to reverse proxy correctly.
let me see about that file

im having troubles locating the file.

when i flashed the drive i had set hostname.
this time I'm not setting the hostname incase that caused issues

Do you mean you have opened port 1880? If so you have likely been hacked.

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well stupid for someone to just hop in and delete my stuff.
im redoing the os now.
is there a way to change the port from 1880

I would start by not opening up any port, until its fully secured.
Of course we don't know your setup - but this week has been rife with public Node RED instances being compromised

i had also secured the editor with login and password. on the last install. fyi

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More than most this week thankfully

but it was secured and i had everything disappear

Was it always secured? If not then did you completely rebuild the card? If not then you did not clear the infestation.

originally no.
but when using the raspbery pi imager, i completely erased the mainboard
but i was selecting a localhost name instead of leaving blank.
i have it secured for the editor. and i just completely erased sd card again and reinstalled again. this time i left "localhost" part alone.
i did during install secure the dashboard editor.
right now it seems ok. time will tell again.

If you really can only work remotely and you are not ready to go down the Cloudflare route we previously discussed. I recommend installing NGROK which is easy enough to set up - just noting that the default used at least to be not using TLS and password - there is an example secure configuration for NGROK that I posted on the forum a long time back.

Then you have little need to expose your Pi until you have set up all the security you need.

the sad thing is i have cloudflare , i was trying to set it up and ngrok also nginx
my mind is blown because most tutorials are for someone using docker,
and i am not , i tried to use docker but my mind at this moment is fride, and its mostly my own fault!

Don't use docker unless you have a good reason.