In the past we have told you How to Open or View RAR Files. RAR files are similar to Zip files, however they use a different proprietary compression algorithm which is why they cannot be opened by Windows or by using WinZip.
In order to open RAR files you will either require to download WinRAR software from RAR Lab here http://www.rarlab.com/. Though the software is paid, you can continue using even after the time limitation is over.
In addition to that you can also use a Freeware 7Zip, which has the ability to open, browse and extract files from a .RAR file. You can download a 7Zip from here.
You can also use a website to Open zip and RAR files online, however the above software are free to use and do the job so you might not even require to use the online option.
In future you can also use a software called OpenWith to find out which application can be used to open unknown files.
I have Windows 7 on one of my computers, however, I spend the majority of my time using Windows XP, both at home and at work. Recently, I saw a very nice Win7 theme and I wanted to use the wallpapers on my WinXP netbook. This made me dig into how Win7 themes are made and how they work.
You can find the official Windows 7 themes at Microsoft:
There are plenty of other places to get Windows 7 Themes, and we’ve written about some of them. As an example, let’s take a look at a theme we posted about recently.
Here’s the FIFA 2010 World Cup Windows 7 Theme by EA Sports.
When you download the theme in Windows XP, you’ll see that there is no program associated with it to open the file. So how can you open it up?
There are at least two ways, first lets try the easy method. Rename the file and add the extension .CAB to the end of it.
Now you’ll see that Windows XP recognizes this file type (hopefully). Double click it and the CAB file will open in an Explorer window.
Copy the JPG files into your My Pictures folder or some other place and you can use them as wallpapers. Sometimes, there are also cursor and sound files that you can use if you wish. As far as I know, there isn’t much you can do with the THEME file you’ll find in a Windows 7 themepack.
If you can’t open up the CAB file because Windows doesn’t recognize it, you can use a third party program to open it. I recommend 7zip. Once it’s installed, you can right click on any themepack file and extract it to a local folder.
Now you know about as much as I do about Windows 7 themepack files. Be sure to tell me if you know a little bit more about these files that you think is useful. (comment below)
If you have gotten your hands on a VOB file somehow, chances are they have been copied/extracted from a DVD. VOB stands for DVD Video Object and is the core file of a DVD containing the actual movie data, an MPEG movie stream and the supported audio.
To play the VOB files, you need to have a DVD player that supports VOB format. However, if you have the Windows Media Player (version 12 or higher) or VLC Media Player, it is good enough to play the file. Note that you will see a prompt telling you that it is an unsupported format, don’t worry about it and just play it anyways. It will play just fine.
If you want to obtain the VOB file from a DVD for some reason, just open the DVD in Windows Explorer instead of playing it through a media player. The VOB file would most likely be under the VIDEO_TS folder. Some other files that you will also see in the folder are IFO and BUP. The IFO files are the information files containing meta data about the DVD and instructions for the DVD player on how to handle the disc. The BUP file is simply a backup copy of IFO files.
If you want to convert VOB file to AVI or a similar format, aviNET is a great tool to do that.
Previously reviewed WobZip, allows you to open archived files online. WobZip provides a good way to open archived files without having to install any additional software on your PC.
WobZip supports a huge list of archived files including 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZHCHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS. In addition to that, you can also unzip or uncompress URLs directly.
We have also covered ArchView, a similar service to preview zip and RAR files online. What’s more? You can also preview zip and RAR files on your desktop without having to download them. This will help you save some bandwidth and help you make a decision on whether or not you want to download a zip file.
.M3U files is a common standard used in creating MP3 Playlists’. An M3U file is basically a plain text file that stores the location of different media that the mediaplayer should play. It is not the media file itself but rather a pin-pointing mechanism for them.
An M3U file simply tells the player where the real song track is located and in what order is the song list to be played. Originally, Winamp was the first player to support this format, but slowly with time, M3U has become the de facto format for media playlists. Mostly all desktop media players now support M3U playlists, and you can play and create playlists from within the application.
If you have an M3U file on your computer, you should be able to play it with any music player installed on your system. On Windows, just right click the file > Select Open As’ > Select the player you wish to play it with.
As made obvious, M3U files can’t be burnt to CDs and other devices as such because they just point to the original media. When transferring you songs from your computer to another device, make sure you transfer the real files instead of M3U playlists.
Starting with Windows XP, Microsoft added support for users to browse zip archives. However there are several different types of archives including .rar, .7z and so on. If you are a Linux user, you might also be aware of tar archives.
Tar archives are files usually created in Linux environments, if you have downloaded a file with .tar extensions, you can easily open it with several softwares.
The Tar folder shell extension, makes is much easier to open and browse .tar files from within Windows explorer. Once you install the software, you can browse .tar files just like any other folder on your computer.
Techie Buzz Verdict
Tar folder shell extension allows you to open and view the content of files within a .tar file without having to extract them. This can come in pretty handy when you want to only copy a few files from the archive or want to browse the files before you decide to extract them.
The application is freeware, once installed it will automatically integrate itself into the Windows explorer.
Ratings: 3/5 (Very Good)
Download Tar Shell extension
.zipx files is a new advanced compression technology used by a popular archiving software called WinZip. Zipx files offer much better compression than the traditional zip compression and compresses files to make them much smaller.
In order to open .zipx files you will need to download and install a trial version of WinZip, PowerArchiver or Stuffit Deluxe.
All of these softwares are paid, however you can install WinZip and continue using it for free for a long time. Please note you will have to download WinZip 12 or higher in order to open .zipx files.
Sharing huge files over the internet is quite a pain if you have limited bandwidth connection. Many users split large files into smaller parts and then share them on the Internet.
These large files can then be easily downloaded in parts and later rejoined to create the actual file.
Usually in many cases there might be several pieces of files called as filename.001, filename.002, filename.003 and so on. There may be any number of files but the extension will always be incremental so the next file in the above series may be .004 and so on.
In order to join the files you will require to download HJ-Split. HJ-Split is a portable software. Once you have downloaded it you can double click on the executable to launch it.
To join the .001 and other files in the series, select Join from the HJ-Split options and select the input file (this will always be the .001 file). Select the output directory and click on start to join the files into a single one.
After you have joined the files you can safely delete .00x files.
XPS files is a new way in which Microsoft Office 2007 and above store the documents in. XPS files are basically zip archives which contain the files that make up the document.
XPS files contain XML markups for each page the text, embedded images and so on.
XPS files can usually be opened by any software that can open zip files. Extracting the content may not actually show you the documents in a proper format.
Microsoft has a handy tool called XPS viewer which will allow you to open and view XPS file. You can also view the XPS files by opening them in Internet explorer.
If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7 the XPS viewer is already installed so you can simply open the file in the XPS viewer or drag it to internet explorer to open it.
Download XPS Viewer
Sometimes you may come across files that have weird extensions .img and .ima are couple of them, first of these files may not be regular image files, but actually image copies of a drive or folder.
Img/Ima files are very similar to ISO files, however many backup softwares use .img and .ima format to store information.
According to Wikipedia a IMG file format can be any of these things;
- A CD or DVD image file, essentially equivalent to an ISO file. On such a file, simply changing the extension from IMG to ISO can make it usable as the latter by most programs.
- An archive format used for creating a disk image of floppy disks and HDDs. This allows for digital storage, transmission, and replication of floppy disks and HDDs. Files created using this format typically use the “.IMG” file extension.
- A file in the Macintosh Disk Image format.
- A graphics image format used in various ways by many different graphics software packages.
To open a .img or .ima file or mount it as a virtual drive you can use a software called Magic Disc, you can learn about how you can mount img files in this tutorial on mounting ISO files as a virtual drive, though the tutorial talks about ISO files, .img and .ima files can also be mounted in a similar way.