ZIP/RAR Files

The Lexbe eDiscovery Platform (LEP) supports uploading files in a ZIP format.  There are many ZIP formats.  LEP does not support every ZIP format.  It is possible LEP will be unable to unzip a file that can be unzipped elsewhere for the reasons discussed below.  

What is a ZIP File?


The ZIP file is a popular data compression and archive format. It allows the user to gather numerous files and collect and archive them in one compound file with a ZIP extension. One advantage of the ZIP format is that it includes and retains folder structures.  Modern operating systems and a number of third party utilities support zipping and unzipping files.


When To Use ZIP File in LEP?


For Windows users: We recommend that WinRAR be installed and used for creating ZIP files as part of the upload, production upload, and load file process. Other ZIP creation programs may work, but we have not tested them and do not support them. Versions of WinRAR are available for Windows in application GUI utilities and as command line utilities. Free versions are available and registered versions cost about $35/user. 


We favor WinRAR for uploading and producing documents because it is consistent and includes robust error checking. It may be possible to create ZIP files that can be uploaded successfully and expanded using Windows built-in ZIP compression and other utilities, but we DO NOT recommend software other than WinRAR to avoid file extraction errors.


For MAC OS X users: See Support for MAC OS X for more information.


How to Create a ZIP file on Windows PCs

Options will vary somewhat by system.  Follow these general guidelines:
Select and right click on the file(s) you want to Compress and select Add to Archive option.
A window will pop up with various options. In Archive name field, type the name of the archive manually in a text box.
Select the archive format ZIP.
For compression method use Store.
Do not password protect (we use secure HTTPS encryption for transfer).
Do not split into volumes larger than 1 GB.
Test Archived Files.  Do not assume that a ZIP/RAR collection has been created properly.  Always test by unzipping and comparing the file size and count with the original.  If zipped and tested, there should not be a problem on upload.  Archives zipped by someone else, should be tested (unzip and re-zip with WinRAR) before upload.

Problems that can occur with ZIP files and ways to address:

Upload from a CD/DVD.  Do not upload from a CD/DVD.  This often corrupts files.  
Zero byte size files.  Files that are zero byte size are corrupt and can cause a ZIP archive to fail
File Name Length.  The Windows operating system limits the maximum size of a file name and its directory path to 260 characters. This seems like a lot, but can be exceeded easily with nested folder structures. If this occurs, it may be possible to zip up a collection on one system but not unzip it on another without errors.  To avoid or minimize this problem, unzip collections in a one character directory at the root directory of a system (e.g., c:/1).  It is also a good idea to keep folder names as short as possible.
Unsupported Characters. It is possible to create valid file and folder names in one operating system, create a ZIP archive of the files, and then be unable to unzip the archive without error on another system.  In particular, Windows does not support a number of characters for file names (including ' " * : < > ? \ / |) that are allowed in other operating systems. Use of these characters can cause problems and should be avoided. Windows does not support file names with nothing before the "." even though these are allowed in other systems (e.g., ".doc"). These should be avoided and/or renamed where necessary.
Unzipping Problems. Avoid highly nested folder structures with long folder names, if possible.  When unzipping a highly nested Zip file, try unzipping directly to the root directory (e.g., C:), as described above. Rename and shorten folder names before zipping a file/folder structure. 

Nested Folder Structure

LEP does not map to folders during document upload.  Best practice is to use Saved & Shared Filters to organize and work with sub-folder structures. If there is a nested folder structure in uploaded container files (e.g., Zip, PST), after upload the paths will be mapped automatically to the Source FilePath field in the application. 


What is RAR File?

RAR stands for Roshal ARchive, a proprietary archive file format. Unlike the similar and more popular ZIP archive format, RAR supports error recovery and file spanning, and provides potentially greater data integrity for ESI transfer and archiving.


How To Create A RAR file on Windows PCs

Options will vary somewhat by system.  Follow these general guidelines:
Select and right click on the file(s) you want to Compress and select Add to Archive option.
A window will pop up with various options. In Archive name field, type the name of the archive manually in a text box.
Select the archive format RAR.
For compression method use Store.
Do not password protect (we use secure HTTPS encryption for transfer).
Do not split into parts.
Test Archived Files.  Do not assume that a ZIP/RAR collection has been created properly.  Always test by unzipping and comparing the file size and count with the original.  If zipped and tested, there should not be a problem on upload.  Archives zipped by someone else, should be tested (unzip and re-zip with WinRAR) before upload.

Considerations:
Archives are part of single archive (split) and they cannot be separately extracted or renamed. They must be extracted as a group.
Before extracting make sure there is sufficient space.
RAR format is recommended because of better encryption, splitting ability, integrity of archive creation, and consistency of support.


Download documents compressed in a ZIP or RAR format 

Single ZIP or RAR. Once downloaded, use a program such as WinRAR to expand the file back to its original size. Double-click on a Zip file and it will open in Internet Explorer, just like a folder.  Double-click on any file inside the compressed folder to open and view the documents.

Multi-Volume ZIP or RAR. Once downloaded, extract the multi-volume zip files as follows:

Move all the split (parts) ZIP or RAR files to the same directory if not already in the same location (e.g. Documents->Folder->Production01192015):



Launch WinRAR and navigate to the directory where the split ZIP/RAR files are located.  Select the parts in sequence (Production_Part_1_of_3).  Right-click the selected parts and click “Extract Here” to keep all parts extracted to same folder:



Once extraction is complete, click OK.  Double-click on the extract folder to open the Briefcase or Production sub-folder directory:


Upload and Download Issues

Internet connection can affect both upload and download.  See Internet Connection Speeds for more information.  

Uploading ZIP or RAR Password Protected

Do not upload password protected ZIP or RAR files to a case.  The upload will fail.