By July 2003 our collection covered all the episodes of Power Rangers, but before and since then, many older encodes have been replaced with superior editions. However, since many people are too lazy to update, the good encodes are getting mixed up with the "bad", and it is often unclear what people should and shouldn't download. There are three systems in this document that contribute to alleviating this problem:


SFV - This system allows people to use one program to automatically check the validity of entire seasons of episodes at once

Zidrav - This program allows people to repair damaged copies of good encodes, using another person's correct copy to patch it from

CRC - This system allows people to check the validity of an individual encode





What is it?


We are trying to get updated files out to people, and do away with older encodes. We are using this automated system so that people can own (and serve) sets of correct encodes without having to go to boresome lengths to check every file.


This is very easy to do using the SFV filecheck system. This system will automatically check your collections, tell you which encodes are and aren't "correct", and give them the correct number and title.


Do please note that this process is optional; however, it is the quickest and most efficient method available of ensuring that your collection is up to date with everyone else's. There has been a deluge of new encodes lately and it's easy to have missed some of them.

We recommend that you use a program called hkSFV, as it does everything you need it to automatically. So the first step is to download the installer. When that is downloaded and installed, you're set to start immediately, so head to the front page of the encode guide, where you can download the latest SFV pack.


How do I use it?


Well, it's easier than it might seem. The pack is a zip file, which you can open using WinZip or, my recommended option, WinRAR. Inside is an SFV file for each data set; one for the primary encodes of each season, one for any secondary encodes of any season; one for each category of specials; one for each set of promos; and finally, one for the channel's CD rips.


Pick one from the pack to start with. I suggest Lightspeed Rescue, if you have it, as the current editions are all a similar size (106mb), so already you will have an idea as to how many of your encodes are current.


But before you start, be sure to finish reading this document! hkSFV will change your file organisation. This is for the positive, but be sure to fully understand before you begin.


To start the SFV checking your files, move it to the folder with your LR encodes (or whichever season you are using), and double-click it. It will open hkSFV and start working its tricks.


What exactly will it do?


In short, it will show you what is worth keeping/serving. It finds all the files you have that match those in the SFV file (i.e. what we are regarding as current encodes). Anything that doesn't get marked with a green tick icon, as shown in the above diagram, either contains errors or is an older encode that has been replaced with an upgraded version... or is just plain absent, of course.


Do be aware that any file matches the program finds, will be renamed to the channel standard filenames, as shown on the encode guide pages for each series. If you wish to use this file scheme, PLEASE DO NOT USE IT FOR ANY ENCODES NOT APPROVED BY THE LATEST SFV FILE. Sorry for the capitals, but it is very important that good and bad files are not mixed up. We only want this naming scheme used for good files. File should certainly never be labelled with an incorrect CRC (the 8-digit hexadecimal value in the square brackets in the filename).


What do I do with the results?


Well, it's up to you, really. We strongly encourage all servers to remove ALL episode encodes not green-ticked from the SFV file. This includes files that may have been approved with an earlier SFV pack, but have been replaced since. If people keep serving old encodes, it's harder for new ones to get around.


It is advantageous for those wishing to keep their collections up-to-date to use the channel's BitTorrents. Every new encode is released via BitTorrent, and it is very rare that a file will be downloaded through this system with errors, so you can be sure your file is not damaged from the very start.





Zidrav is a smashing little program that can be downloaded here. It allows for someone with a correct copy of a file to, with minimal data transfer, help another person to repair their damaged copy.


Things to take into account


This can ONLY repair file that have been corrupted during transfer. If the files are even slightly differently sized, the process will not work, so be sure you are patching the right file. It is impossible to patch the wrong file, but it is frustrating for person B (see below) if they are sent lots of .cdt files (again, see below) that all lead nowhere.


You can check that your encodes are originally the same by using the notes column of the encode guide. This column describes the status of opening sequences, ending sequences, on-screen logos, and of course you can also check things like the length of the video. If both people have all of these aspects matching, the file can quite possibly be repaired.


How to go about it


For the purpose of the example, we'll assume that Person A has had their copy of the file damaged during transfer, and Person B has a CRC-correct copy.


This is the main interface:


Click the help button. After you recover from your disappointment, continue onwards!


Step 1:


This is performed by person A.


At the main interface, click on the Make checksum file button, and you will see this new window:


Click on the ... button next to Input File, and then navigate to your damaged file. Zidrav SHOULD automatically create the path for the Output .CDT file, but if not then you can specify one in the same way.


Click the Go button when you are finished, and the program will generate the .CDT file. This is basically an image of your damaged copy of the encode, which you must send to person B.


Step 2:


This is performed by person B.


At the main interface, click on the Make patch file button, and you will see the second type of new window:


Click on the ... button next to .CDT File in order to navigate to the .CDT file that you have received from person A. A path should be automatically generated for the Output .CDP file at the same time, if not then you can specify that manually. Next, click on the ... button next to Verified File and navigate to your correct copy of the encode.


Click the Go button when you are finished, and one of two things will happen. One is that you will get an error message telling you that the files have different origins (normally spotted by the filesize) and that the repair cannot take place. In this situation, person A will have to download the file from scratch in order to have a correct copy.


The second possibility is that the program will inform you that is it scanning the file, discover the corruption, and generate the .CDP file. This is a patch that you must send to person A.


Step 3:


This is performed by person A.


At the main interface, click on the Apply patch file button, and you will see the third type of new window:



You know the score by now. In the first box, navigate to the .CDP file you have been sent. In the second box, navigate to your corrupted copy of the encode. Click the Go button, and Zidrav will work its magic!


When the process is complete, check your encode with the SFV system, or simply check its CRC as specified below. Your file should match Person B's, and be correct for serving.





Every file listed in the encode guide has a CRC file. This 8-digit hexadecimal code is generated from the file, and can be used to check whether your copy of a file matched the one listed in the encode guide. Similar to the SFV system, but manual and using a different standard.




There are two good ways to do it. The first is to use another cracking little program called DSCRC.


To find it, visit DS Software's site, and scroll down a bit. It's there, we promise!


Simply save it to your hard drive. To check a file's CRC, simply drag it onto DSCRC.exe. After it has had time to process, you will be rewarded with a window showing you the CRC value, and offering you options to copy it to the clipboard or a text file.


If you like DSCRC, then you should keep it permanently in Windows. Place it somewhere on the hard drive that you will never have to move it from (perhaps a directory in Program Files). Then, right-click on a file of a type that you will CRC-check often (like an AVI), and select Open with... > Choose Program.... Tick where it says Always use the selected program to open this kind of file, then click the Browse button and navigate to DSCRC.exe. Repeat for each filetype, and in future it will appear in the Open with... menu.


mIRC script


Another good way of checking CRC is to use this simple mIRC script:


Be very sure that you know what you are doing before you attempt to do this. If you are not confident with editing mIRC's .ini files, then stick to DSCRC, which is the best option all-round anyway.


crc { var %cfile = $sfile($mircdirfserve/,Select File,Check CRC)) | if %cfile != $null { echo CRC of file $nopath(%cfile) ( $+ $iif($size($file($mircexe).size) != $null,$size($file(%cfile).size),$file(%cfile).size $+ B) $+ ): $crc(%cfile) } }


This is the code for the script. It needs to be entered into the aliases file of mIRC. However, before you do so, it is advised that you create a backup copy of your aliases file (it's in the …mIRC\system\ directory) in case there is a problem.


To add the code into your aliases file, click on the button on your mIRC toolbar (or simply press Alt+R), make sure you are on the Aliases tab, and copy it in at the bottom of the text window on a new line. Click the OK button.


To then check a CRC code, type /crc into a channel or chat window. It doesn't show for other users, so use any window you wish. A window will pop up in which you can navigate to the file you want to check. After you select the file, mIRC will freeze while it generates the CRC file, so don't panic. Function will return when the file is checked, the amount of time for which is proportionate to the size of the file.



All these methods may seem complicated at first, but a little practice and you'll be used to all of them. It really is worth the time and effort to fix up your collection, and SFV at least is a vital process if you intend to serve it.