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Extracting Archive Files

Zip Files( )

Zip files are file(s) compressed using pkzip, one of the simplest to use forms of compressed files. In use with media files, the compression factor is almost nil, running most normally around 4 or 5%.  The advantage cited most often to zip is that it allows multiple files to be placed within the single zip file, and often in ABME the zip file will have a password protecting the media file itself, preventing accidental viewing of adult material by minors ( or clueless newbies ).  This extra level of protection (for the poster, especially!) was referred to when the U.S. Congress was exploring the Internet before drafting the Communications Decency Act. They cited the use of these passwords as USENET's "making an effort" to protect against accidental viewing.  The debate over passwords continues with no consensus, although it always comes down to being the poster's prerogative.

A password maybe contained in a text file that is also inside the zip file.

1. Open the zip file using Winzip in Classic Mode (or another GUI extraction utility).  You should see that it contains two files.  One is the video which will have a plus sign (+) by its filename, indicating that it is password protected.  The other file will be an unprotected text file containing a message for you as well as the required password.

2. Highlight the text file and click View.  After you read the text file and get the password,

3. highlight the password protected file.  Click on Extract.  You will be prompted to enter the password, which is case sensitive.

4. Type it exactly the way it was shown in the text file, or paste it in.

5. Click and you're done.

 In Dos, using PKUnzip.exe, you will receive an error message, but the text file will be uncompressed.  Read it for the password, then run the unzip command again using the -s switch like this:
pkunzip -sPASSWORD

On a Mac, try using UnZip 5.32.

RAR ( movie.rar -.R01 -.S01 -.C01 and now -.part 011.rar )

The file type that is the most common USENET method of breaking down large files for posting on the net.  Used heavily in alt.binaries.movies, alt.binaries.cdimage, and other large file groups, Rar developed as the best means of posting files above 100 megs.  With the almost absolute certainty that files of this size would not make it complete to other servers, Rar breaks down the large file(s) into multiple smaller files, allowing the poster to repost endlessly the parts that didn't reach those downloading.  A file named MOVIE.MPG becomes MOVIE.r00, MOVIE.r01, MOVIE.r02, etc. For Files with more than 100 parts, the file after "r99" becomes "s00", then s01, and on. Like Zip files, the compression factor of Rar on media files is almost nil.
For a "Step by Step - How To" see the UnRaring Page

RarSoft, the maker of WinRar, has just come out with a new Rar format (WinRar3.xx). It is at least easy to spot - movie.part001.rar, movie.part002.rar, etc., but appears to be totally unuseable for anyone with WinRar 2.8 or older WinRar 2.9 seems to handle the format just fine.
Upgrade now as WinRar makes a play for world domination! Comments about WinRar3 from Polar Bear:

In the new v3.0b, the file-naming scheme has been changed; I quote the notes for the new release:

8. Default volume naming scheme is changed from volname.rar, volname.r00, ..., to volname.part001.rar, volname.part002.rar, etc. Switch -vn and "Old style volumes names" option in the archiving dialog allow to use the old extension based scheme.

So, if you see a bunch of files with names like

and so on ad nauseum (you can go up to 999 parts, apparently), the poster is not messing with your head. They're just using the new version of WinRAR
Most references that follow refer to WinRar2.xx but v3 and WinAce work much the same way.
Elements of a RAR post:
Depending on the compression system being used, there may be a MOVIE.rar or MOVIE.exe file also created.
Better posters will also include a  MOVIE.nfo file which contains the information about how many parts, and many UnRaring software systems can use this file to confirm that all parts are complete and uncorrupted.
How to
1. First, make sure you have obtained all the parts of the Rar'ed file.  The poster should have included this information within the the header [ MOVIE.mpg {info, info} (04/40) -- MOVIE.r04 ] This means you should have 40 or 41 ( MOVIE.r00 ) parts. DO NOT confuse the parts of a Rar file with the Parts as posted to usenet.  MOVIE.r04 may be 100,000 lines posted to usenet in 10,000 line parts!  Meaning you must first collect all 10 parts of MOVIE.r04 - MOVIE.r04 (1/10), MOVIE.r04 (2/10), etc.  Good news readers can do this part for you, but if not, check the info in DOWNLOADING for help.

2. Use a Rar utility to assemble the sections, recombining them into the completed MPG.  RAR - UnRAR, WinRAR or MacUnRAR, archive sites.

3. Once you've installed it, you should be able to join rar by clicking on the xxx.rar section, which will start your Rar program.

There is one other type of Rar file that needs to be mentioned, and that is the self extracting Rar file. This version has the above file structure, but also includes an ".exe" part with the file name before it.
To join this type:
1. Follow step one above, and include the ".exe" section when downloading.
2. Run a virus check on all of it.
3. Click on the ".exe" file, and it will self extract the vid from the parts.

The R30xx problem. Seeing reports that Windows File associations can sometimes stop at .R29l (no file associations with WinRAR and icon are generic). Since you can manually create associations for .R30 and up (Tools | Folder Options... | File Types | New), I suspect it's a bug in the WinRAR install routine. But the fix is trivial.
    1. Find WinRAR.exe,
    2. put a shortcut to it in your Send To menu (Documents and Settings | [whoever_you_are] | SendTo)
    3. Then use the right-click context menu for all the .R[nn]'s over 29 to open them with WinRAR.
Archive files above .R[nn] should be functional (are, in my experience), in spite of the generic icons and the lack of filetype associations with WinRAR in Windows Explorer.

NOTE TO RAR POSTERS:  Please note that it makes little sense to post Rar files in multi-message sections unless you are using a tool like Pecks or PPK2000.  Rar was designed to prevent reposting anything but the missing or corrupted part.  Using the example above, why post 100,000 lines when you could be posting just 10,000?

Rev Files for WinRar

rev files work almost exactly like par files do. but to use them all you have to do is download as many pars as you need and double click one. More about REV files from Rob M:

The rev files (which are par knock-offs) are no where near as good as par files as they can't fix rars like SmartPAR can. I would recommend foregoing recovery records and rev files and continue using PAR files, instead. BTW, I "used" WinRAR 2.0 beta 2 in alt.binaries.sounds.jpop to recombine a few minimoni videos and the .rev files failed to get the job done. When I tried to use the rev files, they only offered to replace missing files, so, I moved the two corrupt rar files elsewhere and then replaced the "missing" files and the rev files created two new copies that were also corrupt. Likely, SmartPAR would have fixed them.

Ace Files
Every once and awhile, just to make sure the faqs are alive and well, someone throws a new diddie into the mix, and ace files are just that. Ace is the same type as rar, and all the rar stuff applys, but ace files are the compression / division scheme of ... tada "WinAce".com, not "" or "". Damn, I bet you wish you'd known that before reading this rant. Download the software here.

Split Files 

SPLIT FILES: xxxxx.001, xxxxx.002, etc.  While not truly a compression scheme, one type of posting that appears from time to time.  These files were split for posting using a file splitter, and can be rejoined with the same tool. If the split file post starts with xxxx.000, then it was created with either JAS or MasterSplitter. The ".000" file contains a crc checking system, and is not that important to a properly posted set that should have Par or SFV files with it. HJSplit seems to work just as well.
WARNING - if the below does not work - you may have encountered a new "format" called yEnc. Check here for more details.

How To in Windoz:

1. Download all the parts.
2. Download and install a file splitter like HJSplit ( I know, I know it says "split" but it will join them back as well).
3. Click on the great BIG button "JOIN". See the "Files to join - unknown" ?
4. Click on the word "unknown" - a directory search box opens.
5. Go to the directory where you downloaded the files. You should be able to see any file there with a *.001 extention.
6. Double click on the file "xxxxxmpg.001"
7. Click on the BIG button "START". When the program finishes, you should have both all the parts, and a file called "xxxxx.mpg".
Hint - I run my copy straight from the zip file it came in, no need to unpack.

How To with Macs:
Much the same as above, but use a shareware program called "ChunkJoiner" for the Mac that apparently works pretty well. Also, Also MacUnRar. Virtual PC works, even though VPC4 has trouble quitting under OS9

How to for Linux see Linux

Other Compression
Here are the file types to watch for and where to find the required decompression software.  More will be posted if and when they become common in ABME.
arj and .jar - Windows - use WinARJ, found in Archive Sites

SIT - Mac - Stuffit Expander, Mac or Windows

If none of the above are what you're looking for - and the Par / Sfv below aren't, you might want to check Other Formats - a hodge podge of formats and their solutions.

Archive "Check" & "Repair" 

Sfv (Simple File Verification) files are a simple clean cut way of quickly and reliably confirming the "uncorrupted" condition of your download. Just download QuickSFV and the "*.sfv" sent with the post. Run it, and it will quickly advise you of any missing or corrupt files. Sfv can be used with any file - rar, avi, mpg, anything.


Thanks goes to "fred r " for catching us up here:
Par files are Parity volumes. The .PAR file is called the index file.  It contains checksum data for each file in rar archive set and the parity set. The checksums are used to identify files with errors.  The parity set (.P01-.P??) uses Reed-Soloman Code to allow recovery of any missing rar files.  You only need as many parity files as missing rar files you wish to recover.
Let's say, I have 20 rar volumes (foobar.r00 to .r18 + .rar). With the appropriate program I can create a parity volume set for those files.
With a setting of 10 files per parity volume, 3 files will be created:
This is a parity volume set.  You need to have any ten of .r00-.r09, .P01, .P02 in order to reconstruct .r00-.r09.  This is the magic of the Reed-Soloman code.  If you are missing .r04, and someone else is missing .r05 and .r06, and I am missing .r01, we can all be filled with .P01 and .P02.  This helps reduce the amount of reposting.. This works with every other type of file too. So you can consider the Pxx files as "jokers". You have to get at least one of these files. Then you can restore the other

As a flat statement, I downloaded  a 21 part (10 meg each) Rar archive and it's corresponding 5 volume Par files. I then removed 5 rar files (R02, R03, R04, R05, and R06) files. Using SmartPar or FSRaid I managed to create the missing 5 and ended up with an prefect unblemished movie. So for me it was a draw ( the five files equaled the used bandwidth of the 5 files I removed ) but - anyone and everyone could have replaced any of their own missing files with the same posting. Hence, less total space used for the largest number of people receiving a complete posting.

What do I have to do? Read the simple "How-to Smart Par", of course!

For Macs, you're best bet if not on OS X is to use Virtual PC, even though VPC4 has trouble quitting under OS9! See The Mac UNPar page if you need help with MacPar

What, another Par type? Yup, and it's really an improvement. Read the what and howto here.

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