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Opening a .dat attachment

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by AntAltMike, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    I recently was sent an e-mail by a doctor detailing likely surgical expenses (elective, I'm not dying yet), but my computer says:
    Windows can't open the attached file, which I have downloaded. it instead gave me the choices of using the internet to find a program to open it, or I cpould select one manually.I chose the first choice, and it took me to this page:

    Windows can't open this file




    I chose the first choice, and it took me to this page:

    http://shell.windows.com/fileassoc/0...ir.asp?EXT=dat




    Clicking the Free File Viewer option took me to a site called freefileviewer.com

    At the top of the page was the name: FreeFile Viewer, and to its right it shoed a Norton "Secured" label was checked, then



    I am suspicious of the "free" file opener. because the referral wasn't from windows.com but rather shell.windows.com and I see no reason for this program supplier to make this service available to me without them getting something from me in return.

    Can I safely import a reader from Free FIle Viewer? Is there some other more conventional way to get a .dat reader for my PC? I presently have Word Office Suite 2007, and OpenOfficeOrg 3.X installed
     
  2. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Is the attachment winmail.dat? If so, there's nothing usable in there for you.
     
  3. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    My first instinct would be to reply to the email and tell them you can not read the attachment and ask them to send it in another format.
     
  4. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, I was just thinking of doing that. In fact, back when I didn't know what an attachment was, I used to tell people to copy the body of their attachment and to simply paste it onto an e-mail.

    I have another laptop that is a decade or more old and is on Wiondows XP that I might start using just for importing things that i am apprehensive about. There are a lot of services offering free technical manuals for prodiucts they didn't furnish, but they require that I first download their "free reader". I think I'll do that on my slug computer.
     
  5. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Cnet.com has a free .dat file viewer. I have downloaded free stuff from them several times without problems.
     
  6. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    wonder if open office can open it..
     
  7. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    I use Open Office and I looked at the file types when you choose "open" and I did not see the .dat type in the list.
     
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    If you have a business version of Awfuce, Outluck should be able to open it.

    I use a utility from EOLSoft called Winmail Opener to deal with this particular Micro$oft malfeasance.

    For background, this is usually a result of a broken (or wrongly configured) Exchange server that fails to convert the proprietary Microsoft storage format to anything that is RFC compliant before it goes out.

    It is best not to use Microsoft tools for things that need to be standards compliant. They put their special brand of stink on most everything they do.
     
  9. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    .DAT is a widely used extension for various applications. You need to look very specifically for solutions to the winmail.dat issue.

    See post #8 for one possible solution.
     
  10. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    I went there and got a royal jerking. I tried to download the winmail reader, and when I got to the page where it offered me preselected super installation options where they took over my tool bar, search default, etc, I unchecked all of them and hit next or whatever but I got the cryptic "can't download, try again" message, so when i tried again, I got the preselected installation options offering that I again unchecked, and it gave me the no-can-do, try again message, so the third time around, I clicked an alternate download button but from there it skipped over the screen with the installation options, then it flipped me from the Mozilla browser I was using to my Explorer 10 screen, where the toolbar had been changed and a bubble in the upper left said, "now click finish to finish the intensive installation that you don't want" (or something like that) and it wouldn't let me click anything else, so I restarted the computer without "finishing" the installation. I still can't read a .dat file but when I accessed my Explorer 10, its tool bar now has some new options and most of the Explorer screen said that if I clicked "here" I could get Explorer 9 which I declined to do.

    Somewhere along the sequence, it tried really hard to get me to download some kind of Reg cleaner to help speed up ,my computer, which I endeavored to decline but who knows, maybe it is possible for someone to assign "accept" to a "decline" button. I hardly ever use Explorer. so I might never know for sure how much it has been screwed up, but as I said in my previous post, I am going to simply contact my doctor's office and have them reformat the attachment.
     
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Use the link near the bottom of the CNET page to do a direct download (without all the fireworks of the CNET installer).

    The link is carefully disguised with the phrase "Direct Download Link".
     
  12. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Dang it. Sorry about that. They did not used to do that.

    Try opening the Control Panel and look for the program / toolbar that you see at the top of your page that you did not want and Uninstall them if they are there.
    Don't just randomly uninstall things as some programs that you do use and want have some tag along programs with weird names sometimes.
     
  13. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    I think that was the one that worked but also opened Pandora's box.
     
  14. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Fergedddaboutit.... the dat files are frequently messy, and if things are done correctly, you never see them.
     
  15. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Winmail.dat is included with ETF formatted emails. Did they actually say they were sending an attachment? I never open any attachment that I'm not specifically expecting.
     
  16. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    It has to be their attachment, because the critical information they were supposed to send me and had foreshodowed in the title of the e-mail was not included in the bidy of the e-mail
     
  17. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    They probably forgot to actually attachment, you should have seen two.

    Actually, to be honest, that kind of thing shouldn't be in a normal attachment and needs to be encrypted, but I'm no expert on HIPAA.
     
  18. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Well, no, Mike, it actually doesn't have to be the attachment, and most likely is not. I'd e-mail back and ask for a re-send.
    Good luck!
     
  19. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    It actually DOES have to be the attachment, because otherwise, they did not send me the critical price information that they said in the title they were sending me and there would be no way for me to consummate this $10,000 plus elective surgery.
     
  20. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Otherwise....

    Which could include:

    They attached it, but it became unattached in transit.
    They didn't attach it.
    It got mangled in transit.

    So, I wouldn't spend any more time on the .dat file unless you enjoy sleuthing. Recontact them and have it re-sent.

    Best of luck.
     

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