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VB.Net binary reader of a QuickBooks binary file

by Mountain Computers Inc., Publication Date: Saturday, February 19, 2022
View Count: 175, Keywords: VB.Net, Read Binary, Quickbooks, Signature, Hashtags: #VB.Net #ReadBinary #Quickbooks #Signature



had to write a quick piece of code to read the first 1024 bytes of a QBW file to see the recovery code marker signature. it was MAUI now its something else; depending I guess on the QB version. had to use a fixed font called Consolas for windows 10 since other sans serif's did not work as expected in formatting for readability. 
 
tip: to create some fast example text, launch word for windows, on a blank like type =rand() and press enter key. i did the 0 through 9 and A through F for the data.txt and data.dat is a copy of a QBW binary.
 
working on the API to access the QBW in a few. that will be fun.  If you go out of bounds on the Bytes to Read and the Chr() function you will have to add some catch error handling and look at the debugger. I wanted something quick and fast to read a header. I adjusted the code to read more and handle a few of the uncertain hex and val and chr values in the byte read.
 
That was interesting and quick to create. see the REF1 at the bottom for reference to MAUI.
 

 

 
Imports System.IO

Public Class Form1
    Private Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        ListBox1.Items.Clear()
        If My.Computer.FileSystem.FileExists(TextBox1.Text) Then
            Debug.Print("file exists")
            Label3.Text = "Yes"
            Call CheckQBWfile()
        Else
            Debug.Print("file does not exist")
            Label3.Text = "No"
        End If
    End Sub

    Private Sub CheckQBWfile()

        Try
            Using reader As New BinaryReader(File.Open(TextBox1.Text, FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read))
                ' Loop through length of file.
                Dim buf As String = ""
                Dim buf2 As String = ""
                Dim pos As Integer = 1
                Dim length As Integer = reader.BaseStream.Length
                Dim qbwposition As Integer = Val(TextBox2.Text)
                While pos < qbwposition
                    Dim value As Integer = reader.ReadByte
                    buf = buf & Hex(value).PadLeft(2, "0") & " "
                    Select Case value
                        Case 32 To 127
                            buf2 = buf2 & Chr(value)
                        Case Else
                            buf2 = buf2 & "."
                    End Select
                    If pos Mod 16 = 0 Then
                        ListBox1.Items.Add(Hex(pos - 16).PadLeft(8, "0") & ": " & buf & " | " & buf2)
                        buf = ""
                        buf2 = ""
                    End If
                    pos += 1
                End While
            End Using
        Catch
            'do nothing
        Finally
            'do nothing
        End Try
    End Sub

    Private Sub Form1_Load(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
        Label1.Text = "Filename:"
        Label2.Text = "File Exists?"
        Label3.Text = "?"
        Label4.Text = "Bytes to Read:"
        ListBox1.Font = New Drawing.Font("Consolas", 12, FontStyle.Regular)
        TextBox1.Text = "data.dat"
        TextBox2.Text = "1024"
        Button1.Text = "Read File"
    End Sub
End Class


 
REF: https://www.file-recovery.com/qbw-signature-format.htm
 
more to come...
 

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