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How to resume a previous download file from another client?

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Nearly all bittorrent clients can resume a download started by any other client.

I. The first issue is the file extension, and this applies (so far) to torrents started with either BitComet or µtorrent. As of this writing it doesn't affect others, but it could in future versions and other clients, so pay attention. It can be a problem to determine whether a download has completed or not if you're not paying attention to the client. For that reason, both of these clients offer an option in their settings, to add an extension to an incomplete download. BitComet adds ".bc!" onto the end of the filename, while µtorrent adds ".!ut" to it.

They are useful so that when you look at your download directory, it's easy to spot which files haven't completed because they have these extensions added.

With the option enabled:

Some_downloaded_file.rar <- This file has completed downloading

Some_other_downloaded_file.rar.bc! <- This file has not completed downloading

If you don't enable that option, the file has its normal extension and isn't changed:

With the option disabled:

Another_download.zip <- Don't know whether this has completed downloading or not.

If you have previously enabled the option, then the extensions of the incomplete files will appear to be "wrong" to your alternate bittorrent client. It will look for myfile.zip but there's only myfile.zip.!ut so the second client thinks there's no previous file to resume.

That means you must change the extensions back to their proper names, by using Windows Explorer to remove the extra extension.

II. The partial download must be in the correct place. Your new bittorrent client will have a default download directory, which is where it places the files it's in the process of downloading. If you have an incomplete file, it must be in that default download directory, or the new client won't know it's there. The easiest way to do this is to make sure your new client's default is the same as your old client's was.

(One important exception to this - if your default download directory was in the C:\Program Files" tree, now is a great time to move it out of there. Data files should not be stored in that path, and newer versions of Windows will give you an increasing amount of trouble if you do that. So MOVE all those files to a different path, one that you will remember, and set that path as your default download directory. If you change back to the old client, make sure to change it's default path to point to the new directory. Do this even if you don't do anything else. BitComet users take special note.)

III. Make certain that the new client "sees" the partial download. After you add the task (the .torrent file) to the new client's download list, but before you start it downloading, tell the client to perform a manual hash-check of the file. This will have the new client check the existing contents, make sure that they're correct, and resume the download where the old client left off. The hash check may take quite a while to complete, this is normal. If it does not, or the client says afterwards that the torrent is 0% complete, then something is wrong with the download directory. It's either pointing to the wrong place, or you put the partial download in the wrong place.

Once the hash check is complete and the task is showing the same completion percentage as the old client, simply start the task and it will resume where the old client left off.

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