Obfuscated Filenames in NZB Files and Usenet Newsgroups

Starting in early 2013 or so, Usenet posters began to obfuscate filenames. So instead of seeing a set of files like this in your NZB files or newsgroups:


…you now might see something like this instead:


While this is not a serious problem, it can be inconvenient if you are using an NZB downloader app that hasn’t been updated. What will happen is that after it downloads the files, it will try to unPAR them, but the operation will fail because it won’t be able to find the right files.

However, the PAR2 file will contain not only the correct filenames, but also MD5 hash codes which it can use to rename the files. SuperNZB v4.2.0 and higher can do that. If you want to continue using your old NZB program, you can handle the PARing and RARing processes yourself by using QuickPAR on Windows and MacPar Deluxe on the Mac. Both apps know how to rename obfuscated files. See this page for more info.

Note: In SuperNZB, if you move the PAR2 file up to the top of the Queue you will be able to watch the files get renamed as they are downloaded. Otherwise, the renaming won’t occur until the PAR2 is downloaded.

2 Responses to “Obfuscated Filenames in NZB Files and Usenet Newsgroups”

  1. Don Huppe says:

    I am trying to restore what I thought I was a backup of files from my PC (Dell) but when I try to retrieve it – it does not know how to open these files. When I researched the .nzb extension – I went to your site. I have subsequently reformated my hard drive and have downloaded the original image (system) that was on the computer when purchased.

    • admin says:

      This page is about a different kind of NZB file which has nothing to do with backups. I hope you can get your system restored okay.


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