OS is Windows 7, 64-bit, although that’s probably irrelevant.

I’m having trouble finding a file I was hiding from myself. It was an RTF file and compressed into RAR; then I renamed it and removed the extension and I put it randomly on my HDD. It was a few months ago. I tried almost everything I know and searched for almost everything.

I also tried file recovery so I can recover the original RTF file, but I didn’t find it (although I had over 10 copies of that file).

  • Search for files with no extension that start with the RAR file signature "Rar!". Maybe also limit the search to files within a certain date range.
    – martineau
    Feb 25, 2013 at 20:02
  • @martineau well i did that and it didn't work cause the file is already with no extenetion ! Feb 25, 2013 at 20:26
  • @ernie its not a duplicate at all just needs someone Patience to help me and read what i said Feb 25, 2013 at 20:27
  • 2
    @user202226: I meant look for files with no extension -- no .xxx anything the end of the file name -- that have the characters "Rar!" at the beginning of their contents.
    – martineau
    Feb 25, 2013 at 21:24
  • 1
    @ernie (and other voters): I agree with the OP –– this is not a duplicate. The other question is about how to find all files with no extension, and then search through them for a keyword or pattern. This question is about how to find one particular file whose name and location the OP has forgotten (where the only things he knows are that it is a RAR file with no extension, created “a few months ago”). That said, I believe that the Martineau/Chris solution is the answer, and we should move on to other business. Feb 26, 2013 at 3:21

2 Answers 2


Do what Martineau said: search for
1) files with no extension
2) Whose first 4 characters within the file are Rar!

Or load up a linux live CD and use the find command like I described here.

  • 2
    Not upvoting, because Martineau should really be the one to post this.
    – cpast
    Feb 26, 2013 at 3:22
  • @cpast, apologies for trying to expound upon martineau's comment, however, the real way would be to use the find command and imho, my answer there is pretty good.
    – Krista K
    Feb 26, 2013 at 20:19
  • 1
    I see your point. However, right now, it's easy-ish to miss that link; could you maybe copy some of the content from there into here?
    – cpast
    Feb 27, 2013 at 3:40

If you've removed the file extension and need to look in the content of a binary file you probably want to try using a 3rd party search tool. There's a few listed here:


RTF should compress pretty well so searching for a:

  • small file (less than 100k)
  • with no extension, ie regex: ^[^.]+$
  • created within the last few months
  • with rar! in the content

shouldn't be that hard (although it might take a little time).

  • thanks , i tried that with the rar! in the content but nothing came up , and i don't really know how to use the regex Feb 28, 2013 at 10:01
  • @badboyilprimo to use the regex try something like Agent Ransack. In the Options tab switch the 'File name' to 'Regular expression' then search for ^[^.]+$ in the File name field.
    – snowdude
    Feb 28, 2013 at 14:54

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