5-Extract and UnRAR Files

Step 5 has the following sections:

See Figure 1 which is referred to throughout this tutorial.

Introduction to Extract/UnRAR Files Top

Most large files are posted to a usenet group in chunks which are created using WinRAR. WinRAR is a compression program similar to the more commonly known WinZip. After downloading a set of RAR files you need to put them together into a file that you can use.

Decompressing the parts and reconstituting the original file is pretty straightforward. Once you have all the parts the decompression software pretty much does its job automatically.

However, if any of the RAR files is damaged or missing segments you need to either get replacements or repair (or recover) them before you can proceed further.

Read the NFO file and use the SFV file that accompanied the post to find out what files you need, and what you need to do to replace or recover missing or damaged parts.

NFO and SFV Files Top

These files are your instructions to help you determine what or how many parts make up a movie, TV program or other file post. READ THEM FIRST!

NFO Files

SFV Files

WinRAR RAR Sets Top

Referring to Figure 1, the parts are usually RARs created by WinRAR.

WinRAR creates a set of files of equal size with a smaller last file which basically contains the "left-overs".

This set of RAR files will be numbered sequentially. The first file in a RAR set ends with .rar and the following RAR files are numbered sequentially beginning with the second RAR file in the set is .01, the third RAR file is .02, etc as illustrated below:

1st file in set: filename.rar - 10 MB
2nd file in set: filename.r01 - 10 MB
3rd file in set: filename.r02 - 10 MB
4th file in set: filename.r03 - 10 MB
Last file in set: filename r.04 - 9.5 MB

Occassionally, the RAR file extension numbering is different. For example, the RAR set could start with filename.r00 instead of filename.rar. Don't worry, it will work just the same. You simply need a complete set of files in order to reconstitute the original file. The nfo file or sfv file posted will list the entire set of RARs posted.

To extract the file from the RAR set, you simply doubleclick on any of the RAR files and follow WinRAR's instructions. Alternatively, you can open WinRAR, and then open the folder with all the RARs and select them all and click Extract. It is very easy. If you encounter any errors it is likely that the RAR set has corrupt RARs which have damaged or missing segments.

Use PAR files or .rev files or WinRAR file repair to recover missing RARs and repair those RARs with missing or damaged segments (see below).

Repair Damaged and Missing Segments Top

If any of the segments for a RAR file in a RAR set are missing or damaged you will not be able to extract the file inside. As discussed in the previous Step 4: Download from Usenet there are any number of reasons why a posted file may have damaged or missing segments.

There are three ways to get replacements for missing or damaged messages:

There are two ways of recovering missing or damaged messages:

PAR Files Home - Top

PAR is short for PARity Volume Set. Essentially, PAR files are used to verify that a set of files are not corrupt and reconstruct the set of files providing that enough PAR files have been provided. The primary intention of the Parity Volume Set is to eliminate some repost requests in usenet groups.

First there was PAR, now there is PAR2 and PAR3. They all serve the same purpose, ie veryifying and recovering lost and damaged files but there are some significant differences in the way they do this. You can read more about these differences at sourceforge.net.

The basic concept for using PAR files follows.

PAR software:

Read more about PARchives on this site:


REV Files Top

You don't see .rev files often and that is probably a good thing because they take a long time to recover files. They do essentially the same thing as PAR files but are designed to be incorporated directly into WinRAR.

To use rev files to recover lost or damaged RARs, you attempt to open the set and highlight the set and click Repair which will create a recovery record. Then when you extract as normal, WinRAR will use the recovery to (very slowly) recover lost files.