Author Topic: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files  (Read 5024 times)

miturbide

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Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« on: 2012.04.19, 22:35:03 »
Hi

I contacted a software developer to open source some of his OS/2 software.

But he sent me a lot of .dat files. He told me that this packed files was made with BA/2, but he no longer has an OS/2 machine or that software to unpack them.

I tried Back Again /2000 4.10, and I'm getting some errors while trying to open this file. (check the screenshots)

If anybody can give me a hand explaining me how to unpack this files I will appreciate it.  I'm also attaching one .dat file if you want to try.

Regards
Martín Itúrbide
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DougB

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #1 on: 2012.04.20, 06:32:00 »
Quote
If anybody can give me a hand explaining me how to unpack this files I will appreciate it.

My guess would be that the file is from an older version of BA/2. Do you have an original date on the file (the one that I just downloaded has today's date)? That might help to identify which version of BA/2 to try. I have (but not installed) BA2KWS3. I also have a CD labeled BackAgain/2000, from 1999. I think that is version 2. I even have a Back Again/2 version 1.10 (on a diskette). I will attempt to install the older versions, on my test machine, tomorrow. Hopefully, I can find any registration that I might need.

Andi

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #2 on: 2012.04.20, 12:20:06 »
I seem to remember having problems reading older .dat files with BA/2 (tried different version) when the system date was too advanced. I set the date to something about year 2000 or 2005 and it worked. Maybe this was a licensing problem with my version but worth a try. I for myself do not use Back Again since many years....

DougB

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #3 on: 2012.04.20, 17:14:47 »
I tried BA/2 1.1, BA/2K 2.10, 3.00, and 4.10. BA/2 1.1 insists that it needs a matching *.CAT file. The rest all reject it with the error that you are seeing.

Is it possible that the files were FTPed, using ASCII mode?

miturbide

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #4 on: 2012.04.20, 18:10:23 »
Thanks for helping me out.

The .dat files I have has dates from 1998/01 to 1997/01.

I don't have any .cat archive included on those files. I'm not sure if the author has it anymore.

About if if the files were FTPed using ASCII mode, I really can not know. The files were sent to me via dropbox, but I don't know if they were expose to that on the past.

If anybody has any other idea please let me know.
Martín Itúrbide
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DougB

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #5 on: 2012.04.20, 18:24:53 »
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The .dat files I have has dates from 1998/01 to 1997/01

That probably means that they are from BA/2 1.x. BA2K 2.10 has file dates of 1999. I will see if I can figure out what BA/2 needs. It has been a long time since I tried using that version. There may be some way to use the raw files, or extract a *.CAT file from it. I will also try changing the date, but I am not hopeful that that will make any difference.

DougB

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #6 on: 2012.04.20, 19:08:17 »
Okay. possibly some progress. It seems that BA/2 1.1 can recover a catalog from the files. It also seems that the files might be taken from the specially formatted (by BA/2) diskettes. I formatted a diskette, and copied the sample file to it. Now, the catalog recovery tool reads the file, however, it seems that that file is part one of more than one, so it cannot find the end of the backup because I don't have the rest of it. It just asks for the next diskette.

E-mail me at dougb007 at telus.net and we can probably figure something out. A list of the files that you have, might help to determine what might be a complete backup set.

miturbide

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #7 on: 2012.04.20, 22:01:07 »
Thanks DougB.

Let me upload somewhere all the .dat files I have and I will write you tonight.
Martín Itúrbide
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DougB

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #8 on: 2012.04.23, 01:04:11 »
It appears that the files were created by BackAgain/2 version 1.x (probably 1.10). I have BA/2 version 1.10 installed. The files do not have any catalog files with them, so I need to recover the catalogs from the *.DAT files. I have tried many ways, but the closest I get causes an entry in POPUPLOG.OS2:
Code: [Select]
04-22-2012  11:23:00  SYS3171  PID 00c5  TID 0002  Slot 0083
C:\BA2\BACKUP.EXE
c0000005
1ec00832
P1=00000002  P2=00adfff4  P3=XXXXXXXX  P4=XXXXXXXX 
EAX=00000000  EBX=00152080  ECX=00152080  EDX=00000002
ESI=000100bf  EDI=00000000 
DS=0053  DSACC=f0f3  DSLIM=ffffffff 
ES=0053  ESACC=f0f3  ESLIM=ffffffff 
FS=150b  FSACC=00f3  FSLIM=00000030
GS=0000  GSACC=****  GSLIM=********
CS:EIP=005b:1ec00832  CSACC=f0df  CSLIM=ffffffff
SS:ESP=0053:00adfff8  SSACC=f0f3  SSLIM=ffffffff
EBP=00ae0004  FLG=00010212

BCBBPCRT.DLL 0001:00000832

To be sure that the install was good, I made a new backup of a directory on the system, deleted the *.CAT file, and used BA/2 to recover the catalog from the *.DAT file. That works, so I think I am using the proper procedure, and the install is good. I also tried the suggestion to set the date back (to 1998), but that didn't change anything.

I am suspicious that the files have been corrupted somehow, but I hate to give up that easy. Anybody got any ideas?

herwigb

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #9 on: 2012.04.23, 08:17:39 »
I tried with Object Backup from OD (this is a "light" version of BackAgain 4.0) and got similar result - the files appears to be recognized as valid .DAT file, as soon as you try to recover the .CAT file, you get an error.

Do we eventueally have a binary versus text download issue somewhere in the chain?
Kind regards,
HerwigB.

DougB

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #10 on: 2012.04.23, 17:10:28 »
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Do we eventueally have a binary versus text download issue somewhere in the chain?

I suspect that it may have happened, at some time, or another. I don''t think that the recent activity was the cause though, because the two ZIP files that are included in the whole package, are okay. If it is true,that it was a text up/download, at some time, I don't think we will get anything useful out of the DAT files, unless somebody knows how to reverse the damage.

I think that BA/2(K) only checks the file extension for validity. It appears that you can take any file, put a DAT extension on it, and the program will attempt to find useful data in it.

I have a few more things to try, but I am not hopeful.

DougB

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #11 on: 2012.04.25, 07:34:14 »
I give up.

I can make a new backup, with BA/2 1.10, delete the catalog file, and recover it, with no problem. Trying to recover data from that backup, using BA/2K 4.10 gives me the errors that martin describes at the beginning of this thread, so it seems that the files need to be recovered, using the version of BA/2 that created them (and, I am doing it properly). The file dates are 1997/98, so it would be BA/2 v 1.0, or 1.10 that created them. I do not have BA/2 1.0, so I can't try that. I did try v2.10, 3.10, and 4.10, and got the same results as Martin did. It appears that the DAT files are damaged somehow (or they are not BA/2 backup files).

If anybody has any other ideas (or BA/2 1.0), please contact Martin, or post here.

I will leave it up to Martin to discuss the contents of the two ZIP files, that do have valid data in them.

herwigb

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #12 on: 2012.04.25, 08:43:37 »
While I also don't have a solution, I did a hex glance at the files, to look for typical patterns found in binary files that were corrupted by a text vs binary download. These patterns are NOT present in the files - so I'd say that my previous assumption is wrong quite likely.

The files *might be* in fact ok, so it looks like you really need the appropriate version to recover the catalogs and restore them.
Kind regards,
HerwigB.

wimpie

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #13 on: 2012.04.30, 09:59:31 »
I found BA2PR201.ZIP on the "IBM PRESENTS OS/2 WARP SOFTWARE HITS SECOND EDITION 1995". This is Back Again/2 Professional Edition v2.01a Demo. With this version it is possible to restore the *.CAT files from the *.DAT files. However, I could not restore the actual backups. Fortunately it contains also a standalone restore utility with which I was able to restore the backups even without requiring any *.CAT files.

RESTORE /R F=G G:\OS2STUFF

is the command line to use and you are prompted "To select a Backup Set to Restore".  G:\OS2STUFF contains my *.DAT files. F=G restores to drive G rather than to drive F as may be dictated (but alas not shown) in the Backup Set that you choose.

Wim.
« Last Edit: 2012.05.01, 15:52:56 by wimpie »

miturbide

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Re: Back Again/2000 - open .dat files
« Reply #14 on: 2012.05.10, 00:13:44 »
Thanks for trying to open the files.

This files belonged to Gary L. Robinson. He sent me his OS/2 source code backup and some are on .dat format.

There was some zip files from which I had released as open source:
- ZipZap
- MailRUN

But he used to be developers of this software too. I was hoping to open that .dat files and release the source code of:
- Stats
- NetChat
- ClipBoard Text Utility
- Desktop Wizard
- Prompt!
- CmdHere

If anybody has any luck or ideas please let me know.

Thanks
Martín Itúrbide
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