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Self-Extractor Personal Edition - Operation

To make a self-extracting Zip file, you must start with a normal Zip file (.zip extension) that you have created with WinZip®, downloaded, etc. Then you can either

  • open the file with WinZip and click Self-Extracting EXE on the Tools tab, or
  • (XP users) open the file with WinZip and choose Make .Exe File from the Actions menu, or
  • right click the Zip file in My Computer or Windows Explorer and choose Create Self-Extractor (.Exe) from the WinZip Explorer context menu.

All of these actions will activate WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition unless you have specified a different program in the Make Exe field in the Advanced section of the WinZip Options dialog.

WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition dialog box contains the following fields:

Create self-extracting Zip file from

The name of the standard (not self-extracting) Zip file to turn into a self-extracting Zip file.

Default "Unzip To" folder

The default target folder for the unzip operation. If left blank the folder specified by the user's TEMP= environment variable is used.

Spanning Support

Removable disks such as diskettes have very limited storage capacity. Sometimes, self-extracting Zip files you create will not fit onto a single diskette. In this case, you can ask WinZip Self-Extractor to save one Zip file across multiple diskettes. This process of creating a Zip file that occupies multiple disks is called "spanning".

When you span Zip files across multiple disks using WinZip Self-Extractor, no special software is required during extraction. Your users are simply prompted to insert any additional disks in the multiple volume set at the appropriate time during extraction.

The following choices determine whether you want to make use of the spanning feature to create a single Self-Extractor on more than one removable disk, and which method to use.

  • No Spanning - WinZip will not create a .EXE that spans removable disks.
  • Safe spanning method - Selecting the Safe method causes WinZip Self-Extractor to put two files onto the first disk: a Zip file with the first portion of your compressed data, and a small .EXE file with the executable code that is required to extract your data. The second and subsequent disks contain Zip files with the remaining portions of your compressed data. The Safe method is the default, and recommended, method.
  • Old spanning method - In contrast, the Old spanning method puts a .EXE file on the first disk that contains both the executable code used to extract the compressed data and the first portion of that data. The second and subsequent disks contain the remaining portions of your compressed data in files that (even though they don't actually contain any executable code) have an extension of EXE. This is potentially dangerous because, if a user inadvertently tries to run the EXE file on the second or succeeding disks, random error messages, and even system hangs, can occur.

Note: The WinZip Self-Extractor cannot make use of unformatted disks. All of the disks that you use with WinZip Self Extractor must already be formatted.

Overwrite by default

This check box determines if the "Overwrite files without prompting" option in the self-extracting Zip file's dialog box should be checked by default.

Click OK to create the self-extracting Zip file. Be sure to test the self-extracting Zip file before distributing it.

Related Topics

WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition - Overview

WinZip Self-Extractor