What are Cabinet files?

If you have ever installed Windows Operating System on your PC/Laptop, you know that cabinet files (.cab) form a major part of this installation. However, often, we are not aware of what exactly these cabinet (.cab) files are all about.

In this post, i will try to share with you my knowledge about .cab files.

A cabinet file is a library of compressed files stored as a single file. Since very long, Microsoft has used .cab files in order to compress the files distributed on disks.

Cabinet Files

Usually, one of the files in the .cab file is the info (.inf) file, the info file is used to provide further installation information. The info file can refer to other files within the cabinet file or to a different URL itself.

Three compression formats are allowed for Cabinet (.cab) files:

  • DEFLATE
  • LZX
  • Quantum.

Unlike ZIP, ARC, LZH, TAR or other more generic compression formats, CAB files are a Microsoft invention that are generally used for storage of Microsoft-specific products.

You will likely see a number of different CAB files in the \Windows\Options\Cabs\ folder, including some used for storing drivers and various other things, including CAB files from third party software vendors.

If you are curious about the contents of a particular CAB file, you can use Windows Explorer or My Computer to view them. Simply browse the \Windows\Options\Cabs\ folder and double-click on whichever CAB file you’re interested in. Windows will automatically run the CabView program to allow you to view the contents of the selected CAB file.

If you have WinZip installed, the WinZip program will display the file contents instead of Windows’ CabView.

If would like to learn more about CAB files, you can find an enormous amount of information on the Internet as well as computer-related books.

Cheers

Vaibhav

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One Response

  1. […] Vaibhav Pandey–>Technofriends Team Did an interesting post today on technofriends.wordpress.comThe first bit is quoted here: […]

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