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Amiga Mods - Uncompressing .LHA Files

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Facts of Life

If you are a DOS or Win user and you find a file with an .LHA ending in our libraries, you might need LHA v 2.13 by Haruyasu Yoshizaki, or a comparable LHA compression utility, to uncompress the file for playing. Some versions of WinZip will decompress .LHA files but if you need it,  you can pick up LHA v 2.13 for free right here. It comes in the form of a self-extracting .EXE file, and docs are included.

Hola! Las Amigas!

It is very likely that a mod compressed as an .LHA file may also be a mod written on an Amiga computer. Before you download an .LHA file, be aware that the Amiga runs a non-Microsoft operating system, and many Amiga mod authors use a file naming convention that is different from the standard "eight letter period three letter" filename recognized by MS DOS and Windows. This means extra work for Intel PC users to hear some Amiga mods.

For example, a mod might be named mod.finemess on an Amiga and compressed into an .LHA with the name FINEMESS.LHA. When an Intel-PC user decompresses the mod, the name may translate OK as mod.finemess, but the file will need to be renamed to finemess.mod for DOS and Win players to recognize the correct file ending and actually play the mod.

Invisible Mods

Additionally, some Amiga authors create LHA archives that do not uncompress correctly to Intel PCs: the files inside these archives appear as "hidden file" type files once they are uncompressed, making them invisible to Intel PC applications.

Problems:

Some LHA uncompressing programs (including LHA v 2.13), assume that MS DOS cannot handle Amiga's extended file names at all. This was true with early versions of MS DOS, but these programs don't know or care what version of DOS or Win they are running on, so they will stop the extraction when they find a file inside with an extended file name. Some LHA compressing programs also stop if they see a file with the "hidden file" attribute (see above).

Solutions:

Use LHA v 2.13 to successfully decompress LHA files. MS DOS and all Win users should use the following command parameters, followed by the filename, when uncompressing files with an .LHA ending from the DOS command line:

LHA.EXE e/a/x FILENAME.LHA

The command parameter "e" tells LHA to extract, "a" tells LHA.EXE to extract no matter what attribute the files have, and the letter "x" tells LHA to allow for extended file names.

Your final extracted file may need to be renamed with the correct three letter file extension for a player to recognize and play the mod. If LHA says it has extracted files successfully but you can't see any files, the files may have come out as "hidden" file types. You may need to turn off the file's "hidden file" attribute. Consult your Windows Help or MS DOS operating system manual on how.

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Special Tip for Win 9x Users

If you run Win 95 or Win 98 and you want LHA v 2.13 to extract .LHA files automatically without going to DOS yourself, follow this additional tip to register .LHA files and LHA.EXE with the Windows Registry.

Special Tip for Mac Users

Mac Users! Having trouble with Zip and other PC or Mac formats? Try StuffIt Expander for Macintosh. StuffIt Expander is a FREE Expansion tool that expands compressed and encoded files and "gives you access to virtually any file you download from the Internet." 

The free StuffIt Expander for Mac handles these file types:

StuffIt (.sit, .sitx, .sea) v1.5.1 to 8.0.x, including encrypted archives; Zip (.zip) including encrypted archives; LHa (.lha, .lzh); BinHex (.hqx), all versions; TAR (.tar); MIME/Base 64 (.mime); AppleSingle (.as); Private File™ (.pf), Aladdin's encryption file format; UU (.uu, .uue, .enc), PC/Unix equivalent of BinHex (.hqx); GZip (.gz, .tgz); Compact Pro (.cpt); Bzip (.bzip, .bz, .bz2, .tbz); Arc (.arc); DiskDoubler (.dd); AppleLink Package (.pkg;) Unix Compress (.z, .taz;) A to B (.btoa); Rar (.rar); Disk images (.img, .smi), ShrinkWrap™ or Disk Copy™ images.

More Info - http://my.smithmicro.com/mac/index.html

BTW, there's a Windows version of StuffIt too.

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