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How to open and read binary files?

30902 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2013 4:51 PM by rccharles RSS
franquo Calculating status...
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Jun 2, 2012 8:52 AM

How do I open and read Binary files?

eMac, Mac OS X (10.4.11), FireFox, Safari browsers
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,845 points)
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    Jun 2, 2012 10:52 AM (in response to franquo)

    Get HexEdit and open that file for a look...

     

    http://hexedit.sourceforge.net/

  • old comm guy Level 4 Level 4 (2,230 points)
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    Jun 2, 2012 1:31 PM (in response to franquo)

    Simplest way is to use Terninal and use the hexdump command.  Open a terminal session, then use the following command:

     

    hexdump -C file-path  | more <return>

     

    Easiest way to fill file-path is to type the command to that point, then drag the icon for the file to the Terminal window, then add the " | more " command and then hit the return key.  You will get the first byte number, 16 bytes of the contents of the file in hex and the 16 ASCII characters that might be represented by the bytes.

    TiBook G4 1GHz/ G5 2 GHz DP GF Ultra 6800, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,845 points)
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    Jun 3, 2012 10:43 AM (in response to franquo)

    Binary files will be a lot of gibberish...

    HexEdBinFile.jpg

    But wondering if you're trying to "see" what is in them, or are the executable files from say OS9 days or such?

     

    If that's the case, try Unarchiver 2.6 will do all that Stuffit does & more, REQUIREMENTS

    Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later...

     

    http://wakaba.c3.cx/s/apps/unarchiver

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,695 points)
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    Jun 4, 2012 7:50 AM (in response to franquo)

    Why are you trying to read these files?  From where do they come?  Is there a reason you think you should be able to read them?  Many binary files are encoded applications or even Windows programs and there's no reason you should be able to read them or would even really want to.  Other may contain useful data but are usually intended to be opened with a specific application you do not have which is why they are appearing as generic binary files.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,695 points)
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    Jun 5, 2012 2:50 PM (in response to franquo)

    Did you  look on The Unarchiver's web site where it has a link to older versions? http://theunarchiver.googlecode.com/files/TheUnarchiver3.2_legacy.zip

     

    The best thing to do is ask your friends what programs they used to produce these files, or at least what format files they are producing.  Otherwise it's like being shown a car and given a bundle of 200 keys with no idea to which one to use, or even if any of them work with that car.

     

    Using The Unarchiver will likely not do anything because it too will not know what format files are involved, and they may not even been in an archived format.  If they sent you a Word file without telling you (a favorite of Windows users to do  -- it drives me crazy when they could have just sent them in plain text), The Unarchiver won't open them.  If it's a picture file then using Hexedit will just show you a bunch of unintelligible stuff as shown in an earlier post, though you may see a line of text providing a hint.

     

    As I said earlier, often .bin may be an executable program which needs another program to actually interpret it.  That's what Java is trying to do.  Still, it may think it can execute the file, but it is highly unlikely somebody would send you an executable program (and if they did I would not trust it).  For all you know it may be a Windows virus.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,845 points)
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    Jun 8, 2012 2:52 PM (in response to franquo)

    OK, good luck!

  • arki0 Calculating status...
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    Aug 7, 2013 2:19 AM (in response to franquo)

    If you are trying to use .bin images just download daemon tools light and mount the image with it http://www.daemon-tools.cc/products/dtMacLite

    works just fine for me

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,155 points)
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    Aug 7, 2013 4:51 PM (in response to franquo)

    What program did they use on the file? Well where did they get the file?  What do they expect you do do with the file?

     

    the unix file command will tell you something about the file

     

    Macintosh-HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal

    # press return to run the command.

     

    mac $ file  far.bash

    far.bash: Bourne-Again shell script text executable

    mac $ file s

    s: Bourne-Again shell script text executable

    mac $ file cons.zip

    cons.zip: Zip archive data, at least v1.0 to extract

    mac $

     

    The easiest way to proced is to type

    file

    be sure to type a space after the word file.

    the drag the file you are insterested in to the terminal.  drag & drop

     

    press return

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