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Old 04-27-2006, 01:45 PM   #1
Seyfert
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Can't open .dat file


I've got a .dat file and I'm not sure how to open it. The file came with an email that said to use tar -cvf, but when I use that command, I get this error message:

tar: Cowardly refusing to create an empty archive
Try `tar --help' for more information.

I've also tried -xvf and -zxvf. How do I open the file?

Thanks for your help

Wendy
 
Old 04-27-2006, 01:56 PM   #2
Fadoksi
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Hmm. Did that email come from trusted people? I've never heard that .dat is a tar archive :S
 
Old 04-27-2006, 01:56 PM   #3
pljvaldez
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I would try opening it with something like OpenOffice Calc. Usually *.dat files are some sort of comma or space deliminated data...
 
Old 04-27-2006, 02:00 PM   #4
Seyfert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fadoksi
Hmm. Did that email come from trusted people? I've never heard that .dat is a tar archive :S
Yes, the file is from a trusted source. I'll try the other command before I bang my head on the wall.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 02:04 PM   #5
pljvaldez
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You might email the source and ask them what program generated the .dat file. Might give you more insight into what kind of data you're looking at.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 02:14 PM   #6
Seyfert
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Thanks for your help. I did email the source back to let him know what trouble I was having. Hoefully, he'll send something I can use.

He had orginally sent it as a .gz file, but I couldn't open that either. The error message said something about the compression format. He removed the .gz and sent it again, so maybe the problem is on his end.

Thanks again.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 02:22 PM   #7
pljvaldez
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Was it a tar.gz or just .gz? I think plain .gz files have to be gunzip file.gz
 
Old 04-27-2006, 02:37 PM   #8
Seyfert
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It was a .dat.gz file and I tried several ways to open it. gzip -d, gunzip and something else. Nothing worked.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 02:42 PM   #9
johndoe0028
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Yeah... .DAT is just a lump of data...
 
Old 04-27-2006, 09:24 PM   #10
AwesomeMachine
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Post This data has to be made by something.

Every file has to be created with something. That is the thing which opens the file. If someone cannot tell you how they made a file so you can open it then you should not open it.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 10:43 PM   #11
chrism01
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You can try running the 'file' cmd on it to see if it can guess the format. It's usually good.
I agree though with prev posters; ask the creator what/how he/she created it. (& treat with caution)
 
Old 04-27-2006, 11:48 PM   #12
farslayer
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MS Outlook attaches .dat files to emails as well, they are basically useless to anything other than an outlook email client.

http://www.gpc.edu/~jbenson/resource/winmail.htm

http://www.pchell.com/support/winmaildat.shtml
 
Old 04-28-2006, 01:28 AM   #13
chrism01
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As johndoe0028 implied, .dat is a generic extension, could have been created by almost anything, inc non-commercial ie home written sw...
 
Old 04-28-2006, 03:00 AM   #14
duffmckagan
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Just my two cents to the discussion. I'm not sure if it is gonna be helpful at all.

VCDs have .DAT Files in the MPEGAV Folder too.

.DAT Extensions (from VCD Players) don't play in Linux Media Players.

Renaming the File to .mpg works fine.

But this is useful only if the concerned file is a Video File.
 
Old 04-28-2006, 01:34 PM   #15
Seyfert
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Hey everyone,

I just wanted to thank you all for your input. It is wonderful that you are all so helpful and nice to know I have a place to come to when I need some assistance.

As a follow-up on the file, the problem was on the other end. The database admin thinks it was the FTP process. He put a .zip extension on it, sent it in binary mode then suggested I just use -> unzip filename.zip. That worked. WOO HOO.

Thanks again for all your help.
 
  


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