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(?) Corrupt Tar Archive

From Mohamed Ezz

Answered By Ben Okopnik

I have 'ftp'ed an 8MB tar archive file and cannot untar it. I did not do a checksum after the ftp because I know ftp should do this on its own. When I run: $ tar xvf myfile.tar I get:

tar: This does not look like a tar archive
tar: Skipping to next header
tar: 447 garbage bytes ignored at end of archive
tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors

My problem is I lost the files of which the archive is composed of, so I can't regenerate it. To make things worse, the archive file on the source machine (from where I did the ftp) was deleted. So the local archive is my only hope of retrieving my files.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


(!) [Ben] There might actually be some hope here! If an archive is tarred and gzipped, the above is exactly the error that will be returned when you try to untar it without un-gzipping. Try this:
tar xvzf myfile.tar
Note that the file really should have been called "myfile.tgz", if that's what it turns out to be.

(?) Hello Ben, That was it! Thank you so much. Excuse my ignorance about the extension. Ezz

(!) [Ben] No worries at all, Mohamed; glad I could help.
(!) [Mike] Actually, it makes us happy to learn a problem has been fixed. Thanks for letting us know.

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