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Unpacking files

Postby no_dammagE » Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:00 pm

This is a small tutorial for those who have joined the filesharing scene short time ago.
A small description: this tutorial will deal with common compression types (except multimedia compression):
--- Here we go ;)

Once apon a time you noticed files with the zip extension somewhere on the world wide net (there are a lot of things except the web).
Let's introduce you to the ZIP and to similar ways to decrease your download time.

Compressing things exists since the homo sapiens can combine things. Everything what is compressable - beginning with your vacation shirts and ending up with our galaxy is compressable. Luckily digital data is also compressable.

Why is compression needed?
Remember: the question contains 50% of the answer :) Compression means reducing your download times since less data needs to be downloaded. The second advantage (underrated by a lot of users) of the most modern archivers is hashing. Even if you download archives off non-hashing(non-rebuilding) networks as OpenNap or DirectConnect, checking if everything is OK is possible with "packagers" as WinRAR or WinACE.

General definition is there, so I noticed a file type available on the net which is not known to my Windows.
There are 4-5 established compression algorytms:
* ZIP
* RAR
* ACE
* TGZ/TAR.GZ
* TAR.BZ2

Explanation:

ZIP is the In My Honest Opinion the most known compression algorithm on the whole Internet. At the same time it is the worst one. The advantage is that it can be uncompressed by almost every packer, the disadvantage is its performance. If you download a ZIP file, just use one of the packers listed below.
To handle these files you should use:
WinRAR
WinACE
WinZIP

RAR is one of the most established high-performance compression algorithms available now. Developed in Russia and accepted in the filesharing world. Most of the advanced packers can access RAR files.
To handle these files you should use:
WinRAR
WinACE

The ACE format is as powerful as RAR, in most cases the result is a fourth better than ZIP's one. Unfortunately less accepted than RAR, but very powerful.
To handle these files you should use:
WinACE
WinRAR

TAR.GZ/TGZ is the well-known Tarball, first an uncompressed TAR archive, then compressed with GZIP. The standard in the unix-world, but a lot of distributors use TAR or TAR.GZ to distribute their files, too. Don't be scared off, since the format is supported by the most important compression maintainers.
To handle these files you should use:
WinRAR
WinACE

TAR.BZ2/TBZ is a more powerful format than TAR/GZ (GZip), else read TAR.GZ/TGZ.
To handle these files you should use:
WinRAR
WinACE

.xxx/.rxx/.cxx/.zxx where x stands for a digit between 0 and 9:
A lot of releases in the filesharing world land in the newsgroups first. Due to technical restrictions there an uploaded file has a file size limit. To upload files bigger than that limit releasers split them into parts. The first two (.xxx and .rxx, but also partxx.rar) are RAR pendants, the c in .cxx stands for ACE and the last one is ZIP file format. Except the .xxx version just open an accompanying .rar/.ace/.zip file and uncompress the contents. If you have a .xxx (.000->.999) version, open the file with the least extension value (.000 or .001 - which one is lower and present) and proceed unpacking.


Conclusion: don't use WinZIP, forget it. Too outdated, too bloated. WinRAR and WinACE (but also great alternatives as 7-ZIP) will fulfill your desires. The unpackers (except WinZIP) will be able to at least uncompress your files.

WinACE and WinRAR are Shareware, please, buy one of them if you are using them instantly.

Some links:
http://www.rarlab.com - WinRAR, Shareware
WinRAR handles compresses into ZIP and RAR, uncompresses most common and uncommon formats as RAR, ACE, ZIP, Z and others.
http://www.winace.com - WinACE, Shareware
WinACE handles compresses into ZIP and ACE and some others, uncompresses most common and uncommon formats as RAR, ACE, ZIP, Z and others.
http://www.winzip.com - WinZIP, Shareware
Don't use it, it cannot handle anything except ZIP and CAB
http://www.7-zip.org/ - 7-Zip, Freeware/LGPL
7-ZIP can uncompress common windows and linux/unix file formats. A very good alternative.


PS: SlyckTeam, please, correct my f*ing bad English and post the mistakes as a PPS, else I'll never make my English final exams ;) (they are in one month)
Last edited by no_dammagE on Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Assyrian » Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:03 pm

great tutorial ND!! well done 8)

but do you know anything about this http://www.slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9805
away.
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Postby LxBeast » Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:06 pm

It's handy to refer to something like this when you see your first .RAR file and think wtf :?:

Then google it and find you need WinRAR etc.
I'm thinking of using 7-zip after using WinRAR for quite a while, opensource and handles all the major file types can't get much better :!:

Nice tutorial no_dammagE :)
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Postby aizurd » Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 pm

Conclusion: don't use WinZIP, forget it. Too outdated, too bloated. WinRAR and WinACE (but also great alternatives as 7-ZIP) will fulfill your desires.


winrar suits all my needs as it seems to work with everything i download. i havent come across a winace file in a while and i hope i dont as the last time i used it seemed to be very slow and not as fast as winrar.
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Postby Unbiased_Opinion » Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:21 pm

Great tutorial no_dammagE! :D

I looked over it, and didn't notice many spelling or grammer mistakes, so I would say no problem there. Also, I thought this would be appropriate to put in the Tech/Software Issues section, but most people who need help with this come to the General Help section anyways. :lol:

I will make this a sticky and let the higher powers decide if they would like to keep this in General Help and also link to it in Tech/Software Issues section or whatever. :wink: :lol:
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Postby puzzlepants » Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:48 pm

I can't imagine online life without WinRAR. Everytime I format my computer, it is one of the first programs I put on the computer (and crack, obviously).

Imagine having to download an entire CD of a movie on newsgroups without having them divided up...
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Postby Unbiased_Opinion » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:15 pm

Also no_dammagE, if you are feeling up to it (or perhaps someone else) hyperlinks to each compression software would make the guide even better. :wink:
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Postby aizurd » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:23 pm

I can't imagine online life without WinRAR. Everytime I format my computer, it is one of the first programs I put on the computer (and crack, obviously).


same here mate, winrar is always one of the first programs i install and then download a crack for it before the trail period runs out.
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Postby SlyckChuck » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:25 pm

This would make a great addition to the Slyck guide section! Nice goin N-D!! 8)
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Postby _eAgLe_ » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:31 pm

Nice article no_dammagE

ln_solitude wrote:This would make a great addition to the Slyck guide section! Nice goin N-D!!


What he said :P
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Postby BigWillyStyle42 » Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:10 pm

7-zip is definitely quite a find. I've been using it for about a year now and I love how I don't have to install 2 or 3 different programs to handle any compressed files I receive. And I find that its integration with the right click menu is superior to that offered by WinZip.
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Postby resueman » Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:58 pm

no need to crack winrar. anyway 7-zip i think i tried it but im to used to winrar.
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Postby Cory » Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:06 am

I think .rar has really won out as the "standard" (if there is any such thing) compression format. I think that little guide you wrote up is very good no_dammagE. The only thing missing is a link to WinRar
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Postby miner » Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:41 am

i used 7-zip for about 2-3 weeks before i got into newsgroups and it seemed just fine for everything i came across. however, usenet is another story. 7-zip just couldn't do everything that winrar can.
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Postby no_dammagE » Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:01 am

Thanks for the feedback, community, I'll update my tutorial now (I forgot *.00x files and links ;) )
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Postby HouseCrowd » Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:59 am

Excellent work no_dammagE!! :D

I was tempted to move this to the software/tech section, but I think it's probably is best left here, since compressed/archived files is something all filesharers will come across at some point or other.
Last edited by HouseCrowd on Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SlyckRay » Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:04 am

may i convert this into a full fledge guide on our site? all credit going to you of course!
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Postby SlyckChuck » Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:07 am

Excellent idea Ray!! 8)
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Postby no_dammagE » Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:19 am

This post is distributed under the Gnu Document Licence ...
That means you don't need to ask me about converting it to a story ;)
Windows? Blah. Linux? Blah. BSD? Blah.
Just make sure you have a computer licence and I can open your fsckin files.
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Postby AnTiDeatH » Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:34 pm

Geeze u call this small my post is small:P
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Postby in_hiding » Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:12 pm

Great work, but I'm still going to criticize... hopefully contructively! :-)
  • The Title
    IMHO, the title 'Unpacking Files' needs to change; completely green noobs probably don't realise that what they need help with is 'unpacking' files.

    Maybe change it to something more general/newb-friendly like 'Dealing with unusual files', and then tell them those weird files are compressed and need to be unpacked.
  • More Info
    It would be impractical to include details on every possible file type in a guide like this, so add a link to http://www.filext.com where they can look up any file extension.
  • Formatting
    Make use of bold, underline, bullets, quote indents, colours, font sizes etc to break it up & make it easier on the eye. That way a newb won't go "Arrrghh, miles of text: I can't deal with this!"
  • Wiki
    Suggestion (for this and all Slyck FAQs): How about setting up a wiki for this kind of info? That way anyone can contribute to guides/FAQs like this, instead of forcing one person to do all the work, editing etc.
    SlyckyWiki, anyone? :P
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Postby tm, » Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:58 am

One other excellent archiving utility is PowerArchiver http://www.powerarchiver.com/ and many people prefer it to Winrar as all-purpose archiver, as it supports many different formats.

Although it can do a lot of things that Winrar can't, the one thing that it does not support is disk image files (such as .iso) - which Winrar does, but dedicated image-file utilities such as UltraISO support to a much greater extent.

Although I like 7-Zip as a open-source software, I found it to be rather buggy at times, and limited in what it could do, and 7-Zip was not quite up to the overall level of quality of WinRar or PowerArchiver.
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Help for the stupid

Postby goldenfox134 » Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:02 am

Hello,ive just downloaded a dvd film(668mb),my first as well,how on earth do you piece it together,ive got the programmes rar and quickpar but i end up with a bin file etc,that i cant open.heres what files i have

XXX,CD1.PARTS01 right through to XXX,CD1.PART43 these are WINRAR archive

then

XXX.CD1.sfv(which it says is a checksum file)
then it contuines
XXX.CD1.vol000+01.PAR2
XXX.CD1.vol001+02.PAR2
XXX.CD1.vol003+04.PAR2
XXX.CD1.vol007+06.PAR2
XXX.CD1.vol013+10.PAR2
XXX.CD1.vol023+19.PAR2
XXX.CD1.vol042+37.PAR2
XXX.CD1.vol079+40.PAR2
XXX.CD1.vol119+40.PAR2

XXX.CD1.par2(this file was at the very top,not sure what that means)

Hope somebody can give me a helping hand
thanks Robert
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Postby zappauk2003 » Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:39 am

If you end up with a bin and cue file then it is just an image file. Burn it using Nero or Alcohol 120%.

Usually it is only SVCD files that are distributed as image files.
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Postby goldenfox134 » Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:43 am

yes,i do get the bin and cue file,which file should i burn?(besides whats burning mean)

Cheers
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