Microsoft KB Archive/175132

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MGET Command Returns Unintelligible Characters from IBM Host


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows 95


When you use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) tool included with Windows 95 to send the MGET command to an IBM Host FTP server, the server may return extended or unintelligible characters. For example, you may receive the following characters from the server:

   ftp> bin
   200 Representation type is Image
   ftp> mget txt*
   mget ptpaeptp=ptp=ptp(? Y
   Error opening local file ptpaeptp=ptp=ptp(
   ptpaeptp=ptp=ptp(:Invalid argument


This behavior can occur when you set the FTP tool to Image mode (binary).


This issue is resolved by the following updated file for Windows 95 and OSR2, and later versions of this file:

   FTP.EXE  version 3.51.1057.6  dated 3/12/97  38,032 bytes 


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Windows 95 and OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2). An update to address this problem is now available, but is not fully regression-tested and should be applied only to systems experiencing this specific problem. Unless you are severely impacted by this specific problem, Microsoft does not recommend implementing this update at this time. Contact Microsoft Technical Support for additional information about the availability of this update.

This issue is resolved in Microsoft Windows 98.


IBM Host (mainframe or mini-computer [S/38 or AS/400]) uses Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC) as the character representation scheme, whereas personal computers use American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) characters. EBCDIC is an 8-bit code and ASCII is a 7-bit code.

When you set the FTP tool to Image mode and send the MGET command as in the above example, the NLST command is sent to the IBM Host FTP server in binary format. The IBM Host FTP server has no way of knowing if the client making the request is an ASCII or EBCDIC client. It returns the list of files using EBCDIC, which is its default encoding scheme. Personal computers do not understand EBCDIC, so extended or unintelligible characters are displayed.

For additional information in this issue as it affects Windows NT, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q164542 MGET to an IBM Host FTP Server Returns Garbage Characters

For additional information about Windows 95 updates, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q161020 Implementing Windows 95 Updates

Additional query words: garbage

Keywords : kbenv kbnetwork kbtool win95
Issue type :
Technology : kbWin95search kbWin95

Last Reviewed: December 15, 2000
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