Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a 46GB tar file containing an .img of an old partition. Unfortunately, it produces a 0-byte file when un-tar'ed.

The tar file was produced on linux, I'm on windows now. I have tried WinRAR, and tar (from unixutils).

Note: It was actually originally a tar.bz2, but apparantly bzip2 defaults to deleting the original archive when decompressing, so now all I have is the tar file.

Anyway, what can I do about it?

share|improve this question

Can you untar it on Linux? If you don't have a convenient Linux machine, perhaps you could set up one on a virtual machine to try. I'm sort of assuming this backup is worth the effort.

Some older tools don't necessarily work properly with files greater than 4 GB in size. You may be running into this problem; it might be worth trying recent tools to see whether that helps.

share|improve this answer
  1. Try to untar it on filesystem which can support size > 4 GB.

  2. Run 'file x.tar' to see if it is acutally tarred or tar bzipped or something else.

  3. You wrote bzip2 deleted original file. That means you should have .tar.bz2 and not .tar. Am I missing something here?

  4. Uncompress on latest Linux, I have faced problems when files dont get uncompressed on windows but work fine on linux.

share|improve this answer
1: This was on NTFS. 3: decompressing the tar.bz2 with bzip2 left me with only a .tar. I will try 2 and 4 with a livecd tonight. – Blorgbeard Jul 15 '09 at 23:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.