How to Determine File Format

Hello Experts

I have attached file that I'm unable to read as I don't what application is used to open the file, or the format of the file.

Can someone let me know how to determine the file type so that I can open it?

Cheers

Carlton
VANQ_TRIAD_COLLS_20180118
LVL 1
Member_2_7966113Asked:
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Andrew LeniartEE Senior Editor & Independent IT ConsultantCommented:
Some software that may help you can be found here;

https://www.raymond.cc/blog/what-file-is-that-how-to-identify-unrecognized-files-types-and-format/

Hope that helps.
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Member_2_7966113Author Commented:
Hi Andrew,

Just tried 'Smart File Advisor'... it didn't work at all.

Have you tried any of these applications yourself?

Cheers
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
How did you get that file ?
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bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
by checking the dump result of the given file, it looks like a sequence binary output file of an application, without file header.
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Member_2_7966113Author Commented:
Ramin,

It was sent to me as a .Zip file
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Member_2_7966113Author Commented:
OK, I couldn't get the software you recommended to work with the file

Any other suggestions?
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Bill PrewCommented:
I think that is likely just a generic data file out of some application, like an export, etc.

I can tell you from looking at it in hex, it's in EBCDIC format (not ASCII) so may have come from a mini/mainframe application.


»bp
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
Do you know the sender ?

Can you ask him/her to give you some information about that file ?
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Bill PrewCommented:
Converting to ASCII there seems to be a header portion at the top, then repeating records of text and binary data.

sshot-401.png

»bp
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Member_2_7966113Author Commented:
Bill

I can tell you from looking at it in hex, it's in EBCDIC format (not ASCII) so may have come from a mini/mainframe application.

You're spot on. I remember the person that sent it to me mention that the file was generated by an old skool mainframe application, but I can''t remember the application.

I would like to decode it so that I can run database queries on the decoded file

I hope that makes sense
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Bill PrewCommented:
You would need to know the file layout to have any chance of "decoding" and using the data.  Most of the character data can be "assumed" as far as content, but what it represented and where the fields start and end would have to come from the provider of the file.


»bp
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Member_2_7966113Author Commented:
Bill,

Very good point.

I think that was the answer I needed to know.

Cheers
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Member_2_7966113Author Commented:
Good answer Bill
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Bill PrewCommented:
Welcome, glad that was useful.


»bp
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I see that this question was already closed, and I admit to not reading all the messages in the thread, but based on the Title and the Question, I think that this Experts Exchange article may be helpful:

How to determine the type of file from its contents

Regards, Joe
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Bill PrewCommented:
Interesting article Joe, but in this case TrID came up with nothing.  Makes sense since this isn't a standard file of any pattern recognizable type, but rather likely an EBCDIC custom data file format.


»bp
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Thanks for that, Bill. I apologize for not reading the whole thread before posting.

And thanks to Ramin for the article endorsement — much appreciated!

Regards, Joe
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