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Email has DAT file attachments

Posted on 2006-06-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have been experiencing a number of difficulties when sending attachments via e-mail. I keep getting the same complaint from respondents, that the attachment is a ".dat" file and cannot be opened.

Any ideas why?
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Question by:paulmac110
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Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 16933716
See: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/Q_20508615.html
Basically, you can open it with Notepad
Or if it has info that's delimited by comma, tab, etc., you can open it with Excel, or with Access if less than 64536 rows
But if the file format is not ASCII (if it has binary characters) then Notepad etc. won't show it correctly -- then you can use a hex editor (like the great 010Editor, or a free hex editor) to see its contents.
If the file is binary, then it could be a format used by any one of programs: http://filext.com/detaillist.php?extdetail=.DAT

You may have to change the file extension to get it working normally:
ranjan01 writes in the EE link above:
-->
"The best way is to ask whoever gave you the file what application should be used to open it."
Comment from guest:
In reference to the person who received an "email photo with .DAT". : For some reason, some Email programs change the file extension of a file attachment. If the person believes the picture is a "jpeg" , then save the attached 'DAT' file, but change 'DAT' to 'jpg' during the save. I've noticed one of my email programs is always changing the file extension of an attached file to 'DAT' - since I usually know what type of file I am receiving, It has been a simple fix to save the attached file with the 'correct' file extension.
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...The first commenter says that you should be able to save the file with the correct extension and make things work. If s/he is right, you should be able to:
  * Find the attached file. (How to do this depends on your operating system.)
  * Change its name to have the correct extension. (For example, if the files name is something.dat and you think its a powerpoint file, change it to something.ppt. If the file's name is something.jpg.dat, then you should probably make it something.jpg.)
 * Try opening it with an application that handles that type of file.
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Accepted Solution

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Frankco earned 252 total points
ID: 16933875
Hi Paulmac,

If you are using Outlook, or Entourage with a Mac, your email format settings are probably set to Outlook Rich Text. This changes the attachments to .dat

Just for your info, you can open a .dat attachment on a PC by getting this program, WMdecode.exe, from http://www.biblet.com.

Cheers,
frankco
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Assisted Solution

by:tbart
tbart earned 248 total points
ID: 16934383
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Expert Comment

by:lizardqueen007
ID: 16935915
Frankco is correct
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