The File Extension dilemma

Many a times you came across files either with no extension or modified extension types and trying to open them in Windows platform asks you to choose from programs you would like to view file in and you end up in confusion either choosing some ad-hoc program with further displays error messages or abandoning entire process at all.


Practice to Change File Extension

There is a general practice that some people follows while exchanging files over some network and the need to change their file extension types is due to network restrictions of sharing some file types. But if such a file is just before you and you like to determine if this file belongs to which file extension then you surely requires it to open in some editor program, the most efficient being is HEX.


The HEX View

Opening any anonymous extension type file in HEX will sure you on encoding the file follows at the time of its authoring thus enables you to choose right program to open and view it properly.


The Actual File Extension Issue

Say if you have some video file with .avi extension and your media player is unable to open it because it can't find the right codec to play that file then before getting down to convert it in some other file format or fixing it do ensure if that file is really an AVI file or it's just a change of file extension that abandons you playing in its recommended program.


File Behind The Curtains

Every file created has gone through some encoding process decoding for which is known only to its dedicated program, the recommended one to play that file. And that's why there are different programs to run files with different file extension types. Encoding a file means imparting it some signature bytes known only to programs meant for reading that file. Thereby; encoding defines data structures required to build a certain file and decoder is its referring program (the program which plays the file) which understands those data structures and thus is able to read structured file data.


Employ HEX Editor to Reveal File Header Signature Bytes

Opening File in HEX reveals signature bytes unique to that file type. Signatures are just like fingerprints of file that can't be forged unless the file is genuinely converted to some other file type with different data structures and this can't be done by just changing file extension type. Thus opening any file in HEX enables you know the file type the file at your hand actually belongs.

HEX View Resources


File Issue Resolved

By knowing actual file extension type of your file just press F2 of your keyboard and change the last three characters after filename following "." to the genuine extension matching your file headers to the list of header types given above.

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