Self-Extractor Miscellany

Miscellany: a mixture of various things

Customizing the WinZip Self-Extractor dialog box

Self-Extractors for Software Installation created by WinZip Self-Extractor include options for improved automation and customization for software installation, including the ability to specify text for the self-extractor's dialog box. The WinZip Self-Extractor Wizard guides you through these customization options when you create a Self-Extractor for Software Installation. The dialog box text for a Standard Self-Extractor is not customizable.

For both Standard and Software Installation Self-Extractors, you can create a greeting box that is displayed when the self-extractor is executed. You can also specify text for the "About" box shown when the user clicks "About" in the self-extractor's dialog box and specify the icon shown in the self-extractor's dialog box.

Note: The WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition dialog box is not customizable.

How to create self-extracting Zip files from a command line

The ability to create a self-extracting Zip file from the command line is a feature of WinZip Self-Extractor. This feature is not supported in WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition included with WinZip itself. Complete documentation regarding available options is available in the Operation section of the WinZip Self-Extractor help file (Online Manual).

Please note that WinZip Self-Extractor works with existing Zip files and does not create Zip files itself. A Zip file utility, such as WinZip, is needed to create Zip files.

Can self-extracting Zip files be digitally signed?

Self-extracting Zip files created with WinZip Self-Extractor and WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition (included with WinZip) can be digitally signed. The code signing technology is not included with either WinZip Self-Extractor or with WinZip, however. It must be obtained from a separate entity such as Microsoft. WinZip Computing uses or has used Authenticode for its own distribution of self-extracting Zip files.

More information can be obtained from the Microsoft MSDN Signing Code with Microsoft Authenticode Technology page.

Setup programs

The "standard" solution for installing software from a CD (or to be used within a self-extractor for software installation) is a SETUP program. Microsoft includes a "free" one with the Windows SDK, and others can be purchased from several competing vendors.

PROVANTAGE, a mail order software company, sells several installation utilities. You can get a list of these utilities by opening their web page and then searching on Installation Utilities.

"Expected Zip file header not found" error

If you try to create a self-extracting Zip file and an error message displays which reads Expected Zip file header not found, it is likely that your Zip file includes the 64-bit Zip file format extensions. These extensions are used if there are more than 65,535 files in the Zip file or if the Zip file itself or any file contained in the Zip file exceeds 4GB in size.

Neither WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition nor WinZip Self-Extractor 4.0 can create self-extracting Zip files when a 64-bit Zip file header is encountered.

If you have any questions about this information, please submit a Technical Support ticket.

Related Articles:
What is a Self-Extracting Zip File?
Differences: WinZip Self-Extractor and the Personal Edition
WinZip Command Line Support Add-On
Where to download WinZip Self-Extractor
What are the requirements for WinZip Self-Extractor 4.0?
WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition

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