0x01.0 - the start...
So, you've just got a brand new internet connection thingie installed and it can handle up to 1 meg/sec download. But offcourse, no good PC without good software, but you know, good software is very expensive... And on a beautifull sunday morning you see something called Warez. Behold our kingdom and you start drewling a bit untill ur mom comes raging in your room asking for you to put the garbage out. After helping your mom out, the PC and fast inet connection is all yours... And so is the free software.
0x02.0 - packaged files.
As you might know, these software packages are sometimes pretty big in size. To try and reduce the big-file-downloads, the releasers of the package will often use some techniques to reduce the load. Techniques as compressing, archiving and splitting. Read-on if you dont understand these words..
0x02.1 - formats & tools.
If you've been around more than 1 year on the net, you prolly allready know all this but for the knew people I added this anyways...
The basic use of your Windows Operating System is the use of many different files and file-types. One of the most used file-types on the net is ZIP. File-types are also called 'formats'.
ZIP A zipped file is a file thats been archived and compressed.
RAR RAR files are commonly used for archiving files; which is putting a large number of files in one file. Compressing is optional. File-splitting is optional.
ACE About the same as a RAR file, just an other format and another application.
I explain this to you because these file-types and coresponding programs are often, you can even use always here, used when you want to download Warez. The programs you download are almost always archived, compressed or bundled in one of the above formats. Keep reading if you didnt knew this
Ok so, now we know the formats of the files were gonna deal with, now the programs.
As you prolly figured out allready, these files arent created by Windows or by hand. Theyre made using specialy designed applications. Ill show you what applications you can use.
WinRAR : My personal favorite. Handles all of the above stated formats and alot, alot more. If you ask for my opinion, I think this is the only program you'll ever need.
WinZIP : This is a specially designed application for handleing ZIPPED files. If you like this one, take it.
WinACE : Another multi-file handling tool. Personal opinion: good for splitting files, way too big for every-day use for decompression.
I'd say: make your choice. I recommend WinRAR because of it's simplicity and effectiveness. But hey, I'm not forcing you. Just read some info on the sites and make ur choice.
Oh yea, one last thing: you'll notice these are all Evaluation versions. I suggest you crack them. Look for a good crack for the right version on: www.cracks.am.
0x02.2 - multi-part archives.
? These files are archived in multiple parts (with one of the applicatiosn mentioned above). Which means the software was zipped or rarred and divided into files of a smaller size then the whole thing together. How do you handle this?
>>> Download all the files to one directory.
>>> Check if all files are there. You can do this by looking at the extensions: *.00, *.01, ... If one's missing, download the missing file again (there are more sofisticated ways to do this but this is the simplest).
>>> Check if the files are about the same size. For example: the *.04 file must be the same size as the *.05 file, unless the 5th file is the last one.
>>> If theres a file with the extension *.RAR, double click it and u can start unpacking the stuff.
>>> If theres no *.RAR, but an *.ACE, do the same, its just an other format.
>>> Once you unarchived the package, you should have a directory full of files from an instalation or program. But its also possible there are, with the archived files, some other things:
- If the software pack is a Warez Group (MYTH, CLASS, Fairlight (FLT), ...) release, check if there's an EXE file with the package called Install.exe. If it's there, you can use that to unpack the files.
- If there's no exe in the package, the files are prolly just ready to be copied to your directory of choice // or ready to be installed.
IMPORTANT : please dont forget to read the NFO file. Its very important. It usually contains all further information needed for you to successfully install the software. You can open it with NFO-file viewers or in Notepad (set font to: terminal, 6 or 9 pts).
Normally, you're all done now and ready to start using the software.
? Ok, do I hear protest? Yes I do. It goes: "Hell, I downloaded a multi-part package but it has NO RAR OR ACE OR ZIP OR ANYTHING!!!! Just files with extensions called *.001; *.002, ..."
Your right. Although the situation is quite different from the situation above, it's really not so different when you look closer. Those files are just unarchived the same way:
>>> Select the first file (*.001).
>>> Right-click it and select 'Extract here...'
Watch the progress bar go! You see, its just the same method. You might notice theres only 2 or 3 files decompressed: ISO or CUE and BIN files. Thats fairly normal. Well talk about handling them in topic 0x03.0...
0x02.3 - one-file downloads.
Ok so the stuff u downloaded was none of above. Conclusion: you downloaded one big file. This happens quite often when you download things from fast-working FTPs.
What you need to do now:
>>> If the file is archived (.rar, .ace, .zip, ...), just unarchive it.
>>> If the file u unrachived is some weird *.ISO or *.CUE file, go to 0x03.0.
>>> If not, just continue the procedure as stated in 0x02.2.
0x03.0 - a clear view on images.
So when youre reading this, u prolly have some files called *.ISO or *.CUE. Offcourse you want to install the software as fast as possible. But, theres a little problem here. Those extensions... What the hell are they... Alienized files? No. Secret CIA files? Nope. You can stop guessing. Ill tell you: those files are image files.
0x03.1 - what are images?
Image files are big files filled with data. Yea, you can say its a sort of archived file. But theres something special about them: they are meant to written on a disc. They were made by special programs so they could be used to write on a CD-R with a writer and specially designed software.
0x03.2 - ISO files.
ISO is the most used image-format on the net. It has become a standard to any commercial cd-writing software to support image-writing capabilities, more specific ISO images.
Conclusion: ISO is just an extension for a specific type of image -file. But how do you install your software? You have 2 ways of dealing with this:
1) Use the file for what is was created: writing it to a CD-R.
2) Extracting the contents of an ISO to a certain directory.
First: how to write them to a CD-R...
>>> Download some CD-R writing software (if you dont have it allready).
>>> Install and crack it.
I recommend Nero Burning Rom. You can download it from WareZone in the Apps section.
>>> Go buy some CD-R's
>>> Fire-up Nero and you can start burning. Im not going to explain you how to use Nero. Read the help file about image writing and you should be fine. You can also use the wizard which is loaded automatically when you boot Nero.
Second: what to do if you dont got a CD-writer....
>>> Download some Image handling software.
I recommend WinISO.
>>> Fire-up WinISO, load your image file and extract it. Again I wont explain how to use WinISO. Check for help files or tutorials on the net, they should give you all the answers you need.
0x03.3 - CUE & BIN files.
CUE and BIN files always come together. The BIN file is comparable with an ISO and the CUE file is just a check, but it is required for any program to write this file correctly. Sometimes, theres an SFV file included. Again this is just a check-up about the file integrity.
You can burn and extract these files the same way i explained in 0x03.2.
0x04.0 - CD Emulation.
Ok, so here's another way to handle ISO images if you don't have a cd-writer.
You can create a virtual cd drive. What's that? That's something you'll see as a new disk drive in your Windows Explorer. This disk drive represents the contents you would see if you would burn the ISO image to cd!
How to create a virtual cd drive? Download DaemonTools !
Additional help on www.daemon-tools.com