What is the filename extension of the archive you are trying to extract? Is it .gz or .zip? If you are using the right utilities, then chances are that your archive is corrupted, perhaps during a file transfer or download.
A 32-bit environment can be challenging and utilities may have trouble with the size of archive you are dealing with, like > 2 GB. You might want to check if you are using the latest version of the utilities. And btw, there is most likely no good reason to run a 32-bit Linux OS and software unless you are trying to install 32-bit Oracle Database.
tar without gzip:
tar -cvf archive3.tar test-dir (Copy)
tar -xvf /tmp/archive3.tar (Extract)
tar with gzip:
tar -cvzf archive3.tar.gz test-dir (Copy)
tar -xvzf /tmp/archive3.tar.gz (Extract)
-z - zip/unzip the file first
-c - copy the files from the folder
-x - extract the files from the tarball
-v - \"verbose\" (i.e tar tells you what files it's extracting)
-f - use the file in question (if you don't specify this, tar just sort of sits around doing nothing)