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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Strange filename

    I can't think of where to direct this question, so here it lands. I have a .ZIP archive that contains a file named *.NFO The contents are just text (I can view it using the internal viewer in my archiver program). But, like sleeping on wet hair, I find that I can't do a thing with it - can't extract, rename, copy... nothing. I've tried using PKUNZIP to try to get to it, but to no avail. Gets me how it was even named *.something in the first place.

    Any ideas on how to get it out under another "proper" filename e.g. MY.NFO? Thanks.

    Alan

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Strange filename

    What archive program are you using? Unless the Zip file were password protected, I haven't run into a situation where a file can't be extracted, but I use Winzip - can you try it? Meantime, while you have the file onscreen with whatever it is you're viewing it with, can you highlight the text and copy it? What if you right-click on the filename - do you get any options for choosing another viewer like Notepad or whatever?

  3. #3
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    Re: Strange filename

    I don't think that the particular archiver choice would matter (see message). It's the name of the file inside the archive, which is *.NFO - and yes, the part before the "." is an actual asterisk. The problem, as I see it, is the same as trying to save a text file named *.txt. "*" is one on the non-allowable characters in a filename, but somebody has somehow managed to use it. And all other files in the archive behave OK - they all have "proper" names.

    Alan
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  4. #4
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    Re: Strange filename

    I don't know if this will help you but I found this information about the .nfo extention here and on this site. Time for <img src=/S/coffeetime.gif border=0 alt=coffeetime width=32 height=48> <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Strange filename

    Well, seeing as how an ol' bit-twiddler like me couldn't resist the temptation..... If it were me, I'd try opening the Zip file with a binary editor of some kind (after making a copy, of course) and see if I could find the character string in question. If so, one could change the " *.NFO " to something like " A.NFO " and save the file to see if it would then behave. It so happens that the binary editor I have is a piece of proprietary software for which I don't have authority to distribute so I can't offer to send you a copy. I'm sure there are others, but here's one you could try.

    Edited to add: After I wrote this, it occurs to me that doing what I suggested might result in a CRC check error, I don't know for sure. But I think I would still try it.

  6. #6
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    Re: Strange filename

    Hi Alan

    You mean you have something like this.
    ..........I renamed a small text file from within Ultimate Zip. I can read/extract it if I rename it with a text name and the original "txt" extension.

    Have a Great day!!!
    Ken
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  7. #7
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    Re: Strange filename

    Thanks Al. I have a hex editor, so that's no problem. As you say though, the main problem here would be altering the CRC and (possibly) rendering the archive unusable. I might give it a try on a copy though, then run it through PKZIPFIX to see if it can be "repaired" post editing. I'm not that worried about it - it's just something I came across doing a cleanout of old, long forgotten stuff. I suspect it came off one of those old shareware CDs, before the days of the magazine giveaways/ throwaways.

    Alan

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    Re: Strange filename

    Thanks SB. I know about the extension. I had quite a battle with it some time back, with the Windows program MSINFO32.EXE trying to tenaciously hijack the extension back from the viewer I assigned it to. The viewer is a neat little 8KB standalone for .NFO and .DIZ files, which shows all that ASCII art in full glory rather than as a mess of high ASCII characters... some of it is a real work of art too.

    cheers

    Alan

  9. #9
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    Re: Strange filename

    Hi Ken

    Yes, that's exactly the situation I've encountered. However, the new <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> archiver I've adopted, ZipGenius, which I've been so far quite impressed with, appears unable to rename it within the archive. The only "action" I can carry out is to view the contents using the ZG internal or hex viewer. Anything that might involve extraction generates the error message I've shown. This is a disappointment. I gave up on Ultimate Zip because of some quirky behaviour, but it appears ZG has some failings too. I will give your idea a go next week, on a work machine running Winzip. It's an old legacy file (don't even know what it belongs to) and it was the * that got my attention... still can't figure out how you can give a file the name "*.NFO" in the first place. <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>

    Alan

  10. #10
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    Re: Strange filename

    Hi Alan

    You can download UltimateZip for <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>.
    I was able to use it to create and revert the "*.NFO" as illustrated in my previous post.
    Perhaps you could use it to rename and expand your file.

    My current favorite "zip" program is IZArc which doesn't allow renaming the files within the archive.

    Have a Great day!!!
    Ken
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  11. #11
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    Re: Strange filename

    Thanks Ken. I followed your initial lead and opened an old copy of UZ from a defunct installation. To my pleasant surprise the uzip.exe program fired up with no complaints. It performed as you suggested, allowing me to do an internal rename, then view/ extract etc. This proved to be a useful exercise - I can keep ZG as my "associated" archiver, while UZ can remain as a fully functional "utility" application. Thanks for your help.

    Alan

    Edited - Looking more at this, I'd say that certain archive programs can do their renaming "internally", thus circumventing the DOS restrictions on filenames. I was able to rename a file inside an archive to *.ext without problems, using UZ. I would not have been able to do this in DOS (nor in ZG). The question remains as to why somebody would want to choose a filename like *.NFO in the first place.

  12. #12
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    Re: Strange filename

    Don't bit fiddle, that will break the checksums and make matters worse.

    A dood .zip extractor should allow you to pick just that file and rename it on output.

  13. #13
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    Re: Strange filename

    Using ZipCentral, I was able to do the following:

    1. I opened an existing .zip archive.
    2. renamed the file to *.nfo.
    3. Extracted the *.nfo file.

    File was extracted as _*.nfo.

  14. #14
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    Re: Strange filename

    Now that really adds confusion to chaos. Does this mean that ZipCentral was able to create a DOS filename containing the supposedly "forbidden" * character?

    Alan

  15. #15
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    Re: Strange filename

    I saw it do it.

    My very first exposure to PCs was more than 20 years ago when I was writing the ISO standard for floppy file structures.

    At that time, MS-DOS allowed one to create illegal things in the file system that one could not easily back out of.

    If done internally, doesn't suprise me that such games can be played.

    Sort of analogous to "hidden" bookmarks in Word.
    You can create them only with software, not at the user interface.

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