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Binary file, transferred by mistake in ascci mode thru ftp

Posted on 2004-04-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have quite important information inside a .RAR archive inside a ftp, but the file by mistake was uploaded in ascii mode and deleted from local disk. The only copy left is on the ftp in ascii (corrupted), Do I have any possibility or procedure to try to get my data back?

I guess, if I understand how exactly the data becomes corrupted when it is transferred in ascii mode instead of binary, maybe I can figured out how to develop a tool or script to undo the data file. Even doing multiple attempts or probes like a bruteforce utility trying to get a password.

I apologize if there is any syntax error, since english is not my native languaje.

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:CrYptic_pua
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11 Comments
 
LVL 67

Assisted Solution

by:sirbounty
sirbounty earned 20 total points
ID: 10826245
Ew - I hope someone has an answer for you...
otherwise, I'd say your only option is to try to recover the data from the source...

Try one of these:
 Winternals has some great products -
   Disk Commander http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/index.asp (part of the admin pak)
   File Restore http://www.wininternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/filerestore.asp?pid=fr

Or perhaps one of these will help:
  Easy Recovery from http://www.ontrack.com/freesoftware/
  File Recover 2000 http://www.filerecover.com/
  Drive Rescue: http://63.141.194.5/rescue/index.html
  File Rescue 2.5 Web: http://www.file-rescue.com/
  PC Inspector file recovery http://www.webattack.com/get/pcinspector.shtml
  Restorer 2000: http://www.restorer2000.com/
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LVL 69

Accepted Solution

by:
Callandor earned 105 total points
ID: 10826333
I don't think using the ascii version is going to help: http://web.nwe.ufl.edu/writing/help/remote/ftp/binary_ascii.html
Basically, translation to ascii forces bytes to readable characters and that is not a reversable process, because the bytes are actually changed.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Luniz2k1
ID: 10826344
Do this, since you uploaded it in ASCII, download it in ASCII from the ftp, then resend it to the ftp in binary.
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Author Comment

by:CrYptic_pua
ID: 10826348
Yeah... I know that recovery stuff, but the pc where originally was the information, for some extensive reason that I will not explain, is no longer available.

Thanks anyway for the try :)
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Luniz2k1
ID: 10826361
Nevermind, once it's changed to ASCII, that is it.
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Author Comment

by:CrYptic_pua
ID: 10826479
I know what you said Callandor, but I hope that may exist some utility that tries to repair (undo) the process, maybe even creating multiple random modifications of the file trying to restore the original one, until it eventually does, like a bruteforce password cracker.
I do explain myself?
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10826558
Brute force might work, but how would a program know that it got the translation right, since the result is binary?  I think the problem is too large and complex for any sizable file.
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Author Comment

by:CrYptic_pua
ID: 10826742
The data file is a packed .RAR , so the program can figure out when the translation is ok maybe checking the CRC or something similar with a winrar library.
I tried to calculate the posibilities, and as you said is really too large and complex but I really want to recover the data back.

I read in some place that ascii transfer just uses 7 bits out of 8, so for each byte of my file I have lost 1 bit for each byte, is this correct?
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10826868
That is correct.  Are you going to try to recreate the original file by guessing what the 8th bit should be, or ignoring it?
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Author Comment

by:CrYptic_pua
ID: 10827302
Ignoring it was futile, no way the data can be readable...maybe creating a routine that probe every combination of the bit eight for each byte some day wala! the data is back .... can this, at least in theory be posible?

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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10827599
Well, a bit can only be one of two states, so that's not difficult, but how do you know which state it should be, and then you have to do this for each byte?
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