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*.dat files that are text

by Luveeyore / April 5, 2005 4:27 PM PDT

I have some *.dat files that I know are in text format that I can not open. I need to open them for some information that is in them. Anyone care to enlighten me how to open them so I can read them?

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Use Notepad
by ChuckT / April 5, 2005 4:55 PM PDT

You can just open up Notepad and drag any file you want right into the opened window. You don't need to change any of your associations.

Notepad, in WinXP, can be used to open up very large files of any type. Some earlier versions of Windows had ~60k limitations as to how much they can handle.

The one problem with very large files, that are not line length limited, are that sometimes the time to open the file is delayed while Notepad figures out where the line/window ends are. That should not be a problem, at all, if the .dat files you have are just text.

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*.dat files that are text files
by Luveeyore / April 5, 2005 6:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Use Notepad


When I open this file w/Notepad in WinXP the text is still not readable. When I was running Win98 I remember being able to open .dat files. Although now w/XP it seems to be a challenge. Any other techniques or suggestions?

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If after opening a file with Notepad ...
by Kees Bakker / April 5, 2005 7:07 PM PDT

you don't see clearly readable text, it's NOT a plain text file, whatever you think about it and whatever reason you have to think so.

Tell more. Where does the file come from? What program made it?


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.dat files that is text
by Luveeyore / April 6, 2005 12:45 AM PDT

The program that made the file is Yahoo IM, that is how i know it is a text file. It is an archive of a chat; although Yahoo won't see the archive so in turn it will not open it. Is there a way to force Yahoo IM to see it and open it?

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I don't believe that is only text
by ChuckT / April 6, 2005 3:53 AM PDT

(We are prevented from using YMsg here at work, so I am speaking from my recollection of my last time looking at those YMsg files).

I use YM at home and I have seen those History files of past messages. They are not just plain text. There is plenty of aux codes and info that is unreadable as text. Just because YM allows you to see the text, does not mean that is all that is there.

Even by opening the .dat file with Notepad, you should see some text there somewhere. However there could be a huge percentage of undecipherable characters there as well. You might be able to make some sense of it, but things like the recorded time and date will probably be encoded and unreadable.

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YM Archived chats as .dat
by Luveeyore / April 6, 2005 7:24 AM PDT

Well when I do open the archived chat in Notepad I do some text although it is foreign to me. The text is jumbled together w/the unreadble jargin.

Do you know of any program that could decipher it that is YM?

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Program called PEEK
by TONI H / April 6, 2005 9:53 AM PDT

Once you download it and unzip it, right click the INF file and choose INSTALL. It will add a right click PEEK to your menu choices immediately, so you can right click the .dat file, choose PEEK, then choose from three formats.....use STANDARD first to see if it shows you the majority of the text in readable format.

I don't think I could live without the little program. Lost it years ago in a format.....and somebody else in these forums found a link to it for me again. Now it's permanently on a cd along with other life savers I've accumulated over the years.

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YM IM's how to open all old .dat files
by Luveeyore / April 7, 2005 10:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Program called PEEK

Okay, I have Peek installed on my system and tried it but it still does not give me anything readable. It gives me text, but the text does not make any words.

Any other suggestions??

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When it opens in Notepad, use WordWrap
by TONI H / April 7, 2005 9:18 PM PDT

so that all 'text' wraps to the size of the window Notepad uses (maximize the window for more 'on screen' real estate for ease of reading).

You will probably need to scroll through it to find the readable text and get beyond the html information that notepad can't translate into words (such as graphics, ads, smily faces, etc. that YI uses automatically while you are communicating). I get this from the AIM messages all the time as well as email .dbx files, etc. that I try reading with Peek. Eventually you should be able to get to the areas that are true text areas of the message.......

Once you locate what you want, you can copy and paste those areas to another instance of Notepad or Wordpad at the same time (put the two program windows side by side to each other for faster copy/paste), then you can save the new file with the text only.


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Since most DAT files are not text...
by Edward ODaniel / April 8, 2005 2:47 AM PDT

it will be hard to convince you but here is one way to verify the contents.

1. Open a command prompt

2. Enter the following command
TYPE "Drive:\Path to\your\data.dat" | MORE (change everything within the quotes to reflect your actual path and data file name and INCLUDE the quotes)

3. Press the enter/return key and the contents of the file will be printed to your screen one screen at a time. Keep pressing the enter/return key until the end of the file is reached. You may hear some dings and dongs and other strange noises but nothing is getting damaged.

4. If you don't see any text then there is none (as plain text) as the file is binary and possibly encrypted. About all that will make any text in that file is the applicaion that created it.

MOST files with a DAT extension are NOT text files.

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RE: Since most DAT files are not text...
by Luveeyore / April 9, 2005 3:50 AM PDT


Thanks for your reply... I tried that and DOS won't open the .dat file in command prompt. It kicks me back out to NotePad. I am begining to think that I will never get the info off of this file...


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It would tend to do that IF...
by Edward ODaniel / April 9, 2005 12:06 PM PDT

you failed to enter the command which is TYPE followed by the drive and path to the file followed by the PIPE symbol and then the command MORE.

Full command being EVERYTHING BOLDED with just the path changed to reflect your own:
TYPE drive:\path\to\the\file.dat | MORE

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If it actually is a YM archive then opening it is easy...
by Edward ODaniel / April 8, 2005 3:00 AM PDT
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DAT file archives in YM
by misty897 / April 8, 2005 6:32 PM PDT

I've been trying to figure out how to read the archive DAT files for almost a month. I've used YM for years and this is the first time i've ever had the archives save as a DAT file. Is it something new with the latest version or just something through XP? anyway, I saw your post about going through yahoo help and it worked. SO if anyone else is wondering just try that. Thanks:)

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DAT file archives in YM
by Luveeyore / April 9, 2005 3:52 AM PDT


That is the preferred way to open the archived chats. Although if you delete them in the archive viewing window is when you run into the problem that I am having.

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Try This.........
by bkhntr1 / April 9, 2005 9:44 AM PDT
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