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Resolved Question

Unreadable zip archives

by Suweren / January 20, 2016 11:48 AM PST


I was very unlucky and it looks like I fell victim of a very nasty bug in archiving software. As a consequence I can't access some very important archives I have recently created.

Bug is described here in detail:

In short, there was a mistake in packaging of the archiving software and as a consequence it used wrong library to compress and open files in zip format.

Now archives are completely unreadable, Windows claims the compressed folder is invalid or empty. Extracting them in Linux produces 1 file at best - useless single file with the size of entire archive. I checked those files when they were created, and they opened as usual, so there was no way to know something went wrong. Now, with my old system gone, I simply can't recreate the bug and access them in any way. All my backups contain those inaccessable files as well.

Here I share with you one of the files:

I tried to repair them somehow, but using -F and -FF in Linux and DiskInternals ZIP Repair helped nothing, as it seems they are not corrupted. I tried also few other tricks, but nothing worked. My only hope now is that Google Drive was able to display archive structure with filenames and so on. Online extractors I know of failed me unfortunately.

If anyone is able to open and extract above archive, please let me know. There are only some funny pictures inside, but I also archived photos from 2 years of my life and few of my works that cannot be recreated in any way. Thanks for any help.


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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Suweren

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Seems OK in 7Zip.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2016 12:13 PM PST

On some Windows PC go get 7Zip from NINITE.COM like I did.

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Just an image of what's in 01. 7Zip did fine.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2016 12:20 PM PST
In reply to: Seems OK in 7Zip.
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Re-zipped. Try this. You have 2 hours. And 15 minutes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2016 12:48 PM PST
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by Suweren / January 20, 2016 12:48 PM PST

Big thanks for your help! I really got scared that everything is gone forever!

To clarify, I keep 3 copies of my all data, I just updated all of them with those faulty files just before reinstalling the system. I use archives not to save space but to avoid having thousands and thousands of files as my collection of interesting things is really numerable. I will drop this habit as it scared the hell out of me Happy

I have and use 7zip, but as this huge file inside the archive had no extension, I got somehow confused and failed to recognize it, probably under the fear of losing its contents Happy I misinterpreted it as a bugged crap that can't be opened...

Curse the person that made this stupid mistake in Ark archiver. We'll never know what he/she had in mind creating this two-step monster of an archive Happy

Big thanks once again, you all saved the day for me Happy

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Didn't look like a mistake from here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2016 1:00 PM PST
In reply to: THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Just some tar gzip package.

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(NT) PS. Dropbox link is now active
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2016 1:03 PM PST
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PS2. Dropbox item removed.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 21, 2016 11:19 AM PST

Glad you got it fixed.

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Re: corrupted zip-file
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 20, 2016 12:08 PM PST

Sorry to read of your loss. It's another example of the old adage that you have to keep several copies of a file you don't want to lose. Having only one that turns out to be unreadable, well, that's bad luck.

With the current price of disk space (both on your own external hard disk and in the clouid) it's easy and cheap to keep several unencrypted uncompressed copies around. No need at all for an archive file in some special format, even if trusted (in this care: unjustly) as zip.

Personally I use zip (or rar or 7z) only to make files for email (to send multiple files in one container or to compress really big files). Never to contain my original. No need at all for that, my hard disks are big enough. Yes, the image of my OS disk is in a proprietary Acronis format, but if fails (I used it once and it didn't fail) I know how to reinstall Windows and the applications and that's most it contains. Some info (like my favorites) I backup to my data disk and they go into the same backup scheme as my other data files.


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It doesn't look like a ZIP file here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2016 12:15 PM PST
In reply to: Re: corrupted zip-file

I'm not going to do a deep inspection here but from looking at the file and images with 7Zip it looks like a gzipped .tar file that someone renamed to .zip.

Still wonder why folk do that.

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