If WinRAR can’t recover it, nothing can

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  • Post Category:Technology
  • Post last modified:15 September 2019

I was given a 90MB ZIP file with videos in it, and it took me a three hours to get it over a fluctuating data connection of 12Kbps to 24Kbps at off-peak hours (around 1am to 4am).

After I got the file, it won’t open normally on either Windows Explorer and 7zip. As if all the time I spent on getting the file were not enough.

I then tried to get and install ZIP recovery software. Those trial editions were okay until they charge you before you can recover the files.


I would want to buy a single key, but how much is a key?

Php1,000? No thanks, that’s my allowance for a week or two. I’m not going to spend it on a single file over a single night (or day).

In this time and age, there are better, free alternatives such as WinRAR’s repair tool (which is way better than the rest that I have found). At least WinRAR lets me get the files even for a trial version.

I do get that software companies need to earn, but the thing is this: what if there is a large supply of IT professionals who can do the same thing they are doing?

The number of students taking IT-related courses — based on my shallow estimates — goes from “a lot” to “A LOT”; and if they were taught to even check the specs of the corrupted ZIP file in class, chances are they will eventually graduate, make their own companies and take the jobs of those who eventually started doing so, exaggeratedly speaking. (Thank goodness we have different fields in Information Technology.)

If people find my hypothesis true (I truly appreciate if there’s one or two who can prove me right or wrong) then we are doomed to have a market of pros who keeps getting concentrated and concentrated for the next years to come.

What I’m saying is this — five years from now these ZIP recovery software should not make sense anymore. Those “serial keys” that we are paying for like Php5,000 will cost half in the next decade. I don’t know about product valuation, but I do sense the need of product re-evaluation.

Back to the topic, WinRAR was able to recover most of my files except for that one darn video on the list. I tried numerous ZIP recovery software and it did the same thing — the rest wanted me to pay. Again, WinRAR was able to do it — and I was just using a trial version of it!

There’s this one software though that told me that the video in question is corrupted in the first place — they recovered it “partially” — which then brings me to this conclusion: If WinRAR can’t repair your corrupt ZIP archive, nothing else can. This is not even an endorsement for WinRAR, but a personal experience brought by yet another moment of wasting hours on a strenuous, stressful task.

I should’ve just told my friend “I need the last video separately.”

One last time, I will tell you that the info that I told you are from my predictions. If these predictions are right or wrong, tell me — or let’s wait for five years before we open this again up for discussion.