Subject Re: Novice question
Author Adam
--- In, "Soulja2000"
<soulja2000@y...> wrote:
> Hi there.
> I am a beginner using interbase compared to some of you guys. I don't
> use firebird but Borland Interbase version 5.6.
> My question is, is it possible to decrypt a gdb file on binary scale?

Hi Phill,

I wouldn't really title this a novice question, but rather a quite
advanced question.

It is possible to look at any file in binary. It's not generally a
good idea though especially if you are a beginner. If you are using a
copy of it I suppose it is not so dangerous, but otherwise it is
really playing with fire.

> I am not too sure on what kind of encryption gdb files use.

They don't use any "encryption", data is stored in "pages", each page
contains a header that identifies what is on it (data, index, blob
etc), and a few other things, and then the data itself. It does not
use any standard format like XML etc.

You can look at the and click on the Research link.
Episode 3 contains a lot of information, but you would want to be
pretty familiar with all of it.

> I wish to
> do this so when I recover corrupt databases, I can be sure of any data
> loss.

You could use a pre-existing tool which is probably cheaper and safer
to do than to try and write your own.

As an aside, we have about 300 sites with Firebird 1.5, and have
experienced database corruption on a single site and only once. The
corruption was at the row level and gfix corrected it without a blink.
Considering that same machine gave me a BSOD when I tried to copy some
log files using explorer, it didn't phase me too much. If you do not
have forced writes switched ON, then you can nearly guarantee
corruption everytime power is cut or someone ends a task busy doing

I would seriously investigate migrating to Firebird if you haven't
already. There are a few things to watch, certain ambiguous queries
that work (read: return something) in IB do not work (raise an
exception) in FB 1.5. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because IB
may not have been returning the field you thought it was. Apart from
that, and possibly one or two reserved words that may affect you,
there will probably be little or no change to the database or
application code, and you get a lot of bug fixes and performance
enhancements to boot.