How to Extract a Win32 Self Extractor

Written by lee prangnell
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Microsoft's Win32 Cabinet Self-Extractor file is a ".cab" file. A ".cab" file is a proprietary compression format, similar to ".zip" and ".rar" file extensions. Cabinet files are used by Microsoft for applications such as Windows Updates and software installation applications. You can use the command line application "Extract" to decompress a ".cab" file. This command must be executed in a Command Prompt.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click on the "Computer" icon on your Windows Desktop, and then double-click on the "C" drive. This will direct you to the root folder of your main system hard disk drive.

  2. 2

    Right-click inside the "C" drive, click on "New," click on "Folder," and then rename the folder to "extract." Double-click on the new "extract" folder.

  3. 3

    Locate your Win32 Cabinet Self-Extractor. Select this file, and drag it to the "Extract" directory on your "C" drive. Rename the file to "cabinet."

  4. 4

    Click on the Windows "Start" button, and type "Command Prompt" in the search text field. Click on "Command Prompt," which should be the first item in the search results. This will open a Windows Command Prompt.

  5. 5

    Type the following command without quotation marks: "extract /e /a /l c:\extract c:\extract\" then press "Enter" on your keyboard. This will extract the entire contents of the Win32 Cabinet Self-Extractor to the "c:\extract" directory.

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