Cabinet Files

Cabinet Files are files with the extension .cab that store compressed files, usually for distributing software.

What are Cabinet Files?

Files with the extension .cab that store compressed files, usually for distributing software. Cabinet files can contain multiple files in a compressed state, or a single compressed file can be spread over several cabinet files.

During installation of software, the setup program decompresses the cabinet files and copies the resulting files to the user's system.

Cabinet files can be digitally signed using a Microsoft technology called Authenticode. This allows setup files to be downloaded safely over untrusted networks such as the Internet.

Cabinet files are compressed using a compression algorithm called MSZIP, which is based on the Lempel-Ziv algorithm.

Cabinet files can be digitally signed using a Microsoft technology called Authenticode. This allows setup files to be downloaded safely over untrusted networks such as the Internet. Cabinet files are compressed using a compression algorithm called MSZIP, which is based on the Lempel-Ziv algorithm.

NOTE

Cabinet files in Microsoft Windows 95 were located in the Win95 directory on the source CD, and most were represented as a series of large files named Win95_1.cab, Win95_2.cab, and so on. Windows 98 uses a different naming convention and names many of its smaller cabinet files by function rather than by the order in which they are used during setup. Naming by function makes the extraction of files easier, which in turn makes the setup process smoother.

TIP

In Windows 95, if you want to extract specific operating system files from a cabinet file (for example, to replace a missing or corrupt file), you have to use the command-line utility called extract. Using Windows 98, you can simply double-click on a cabinet file using Windows Explorer to view its contents in a new window, double-click on the specific file you want to extract, and specify the destination folder to send it to. You can also use the System File Checker tool to extract files without knowing which specific cabinet file they are located in.