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Windows 98 Extract Command

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Using the Extract Command from MS-DOS or an MS-DOS Windows DOS box

Index

More of the Story Getting to an MS-DOS box in Windows or Booting to MS-DOS
More of the Story Extracting Windows Files from an Unknown Cabinet File
More of the Story Finding Windows Files
More of the Story Extracting Windows Files from a Known Cabinet File
More of the Story Listing the Contents of Cabinet Files
More of the Story Copying Cabinet Files to a Hard Disk
More of the Story Other Optional Switches
More of the Story System File Checker Tool
More of the Story Using a Windows 98 or Windows Me Startup Disk to Access a CD-ROM and Extract Files
More of the Story Using the Ext.exe Tool to Extract Files
More of the Story How to Extract Protected Files in Windows Me

Getting to an MS-DOS box in Windows or Booting to MS-DOS

To start an MS-DOS session in Windows,

  1. Click Start | Run and type COMMAND then click okay.
  2. At the prompt {C:\>} type the commands listed below

To start a true DOS environment reboot your machine. While it is rebooting past the self test hold down the CTRL key. An MS-DOS menu will appear. Select COMMAND PROMPT ONLY and hit the enter key.

Alternatively, especially for Windows Me users, Click Start | Shut Down | ReStart in MSDOS Mode.

Extracting Windows Files from an Unknown Cabinet File

Extracting a Single File:

If you do not know which cabinet file contains the Windows file you want to extract, use the following command to search all the cabinet files in sequential order and then extract the file once it is found:

extract /a <cabinet> <filename> /l <destination>


For example, to extract the Unidrv.dll file from disks in drive A into the Windows\System folder on drive C, use the following command:

extract /a a:\win95_02.cab unidrv.dll /l c:\windows\system


The /a switch causes the Extract tool to search all the cabinet files starting with the first cabinet file mentioned on the command line (in this example, Win95_02.cab). Insert the disk containing the first cabinet file mentioned in the appropriate disk drive. You will be prompted to insert additional disks as they are needed. If you are extracting from a CD-ROM you must modify the <cabinet> parameter accordingly to reflect the actual location of the cabinet files.

NOTE: In Windows 98, you should use the Base4.cab file in command lines with the /a parameter.

If the Extract tool cannot find the specified Windows 95 file in any of the cabinet files, the file may be located in the Mini.cab, Precopy1.cab, or Precopy2.cab cabinet file. Use the following two commands to search these cabinet files:

NOTE: The first command searches the Precopy1.cab and the Precopy2.cab cabinet files. The second command searches the Mini.cab cabinet file. If you are extracting from a CD-ROM, you must modify the <cabinet> parameter in these commands accordingly.

Extracting Multiple Files:

To extract multiple files, use the same syntax as above, but use a wildcard designation for the <filename> parameter. For example, to extract all the Windows 95 files with a .txt extension from disks in drive A to the Windows folder on drive C, use the following command:

extract /a a:\win95_02.cab *.txt /l c:\windows


Note that if you are extracting from a CD-ROM, you must modify the <cabinet> parameter in this command accordingly.

Finding Windows Files

Finding a Single File:

You can use the Extract tool to determine which cabinet file contains a particular Windows file. When you use this syntax, the Extract tool searches the cabinet files but does not extract the file once it is found:

extract /a /d <cabinet> <filename>


For example, to find the Windows 95 Unidrv.dll file, starting with the Win95_02.cab file, using disks in the A drive, use the following command:

extract /a /d a:\win95_02.cab unidrv.dll


Finding Multiple Files:

To find multiple files, use the same syntax as above, but use a wildcard designation for the <filename> parameter. For example, to find all the Windows 95 files with a .txt extension using disks in the A drive, use the following command:

extract /a /d a:\win95_02.cab *.txt

Extracting Windows Files from a Known Cabinet File

Extracting a Single File:

If you know which cabinet file contains the file you want to extract, use the following syntax to extract the file:

extract <cabinet> <filename> /l <destination>


For example, to extract the Windows 95 Unidrv.dll file from the Win95_10.cab file on a disk in drive A to the Windows\System folder on drive C, use the following command:

extract a:\win95_10.cab unidrv.dll /l c:\windows\system


Extracting Multiple Files:

To extract multiple files from a cabinet file, use the same syntax as above, but use a wildcard designation for the <filename> parameter. For example, to extract all the Windows 95 files that have a .txt extension from the Win95_06.cab file on a disk in drive A to the Windows folder on drive C, use the following command:

extract a:\win95_06.cab *.txt /l c:\windows\system


Listing the Contents of Cabinet Files

You can use the Extract tool to list the contents of cabinet files without actually extracting any files. To display the contents of a cabinet file, use the following syntax:

extract /d <cabinet>


To display the contents of all the cabinet files in a cabinet chain, starting with the specified cabinet file, use the following syntax:

extract /a /d <cabinet>


For example, to display the contents of all the Windows 95 cabinet files using disks in drive A, starting with the Win95_02.cab file, use the following command:

extract /a /d a:\win95_02.cab


NOTE: The /a switch causes the Extract tool to list the contents of all the cabinet files in the cabinet chain, starting with the first cabinet file mentioned.

Copying Cabinet Files to a Hard Disk

Although you cannot make copies of the original Windows 95 floppy disks using the utilities that are included with Windows 95, you can use the Extract tool to copy cabinet files from a CD-ROM or floppy disk to your hard disk. To do so, use the following syntax:

extract /c <cabinet> <destination>


For example, to copy the Win95_02.cab file from a disk in drive A to the Windows folder on drive C, use the following command:

extract /c a:\win95_02.cab c:\windows


NOTE: You cannot use the /a and /c switches at the same time. Therefore, you cannot copy all the cabinet files using a single command.

Other Optional Switches

For a complete list of the command-line switches for the Extract tool, type "extract" (without quotation marks) at a command prompt.

System File Checker Tool

Windows 98 includes a System File Checker tool. You can use this tool to verify the integrity of your operating system files, to restore them if they are damaged, or to extract compressed files from the Windows 98 CD-ROM. NOTE: To use System File Checker to extract a compressed file from the Windows 98, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click System Information.

  2. On the Tools menu, click System File Checker.

  3. Click "Extract one file from installation disk," type the name of the file you want to extract in the "Specify the system file you would like to restore" box, and then click Start.

  4. In the Restore From box, type the path to the Win98 folder on the Windows 98 CD-ROM, type the destination folder in the Save File In box if necessary, and then click OK.

  5. Click OK, click OK, and then click Yes when you are prompted to restart your computer.

NOTE: If you do not specify a source cabinet (.cab) file in the Restore From box, System File Checker first searches for the file you are extracting in the specified folder (outside of a cabinet file). System File Checker then searches all cabinet files, sorted by MS-DOS directory order, in the specified folder. System File Checker extracts the first instance of the file it finds. To determine the order in which System File Checker searches cabinet files, type "dir" (without quotation marks) at a command prompt in the specified folder.

Using a Windows 98 or Windows Me Startup Disk to Access a CD-ROM and Extract Files

When you install Windows 98 or Windows Me, you are prompted to create a Windows 98 or Windows Me Startup disk. A feature included in the Windows 98 or Windows Me Startup disk is support for CD-ROM drives. This may be of benefit if you need to extract a file from the Windows 98 CD-ROM but you are unable to use System File Checker (for example, if your computer does not start properly).

NOTE: The Windows 98 Startup disk provides support for most types of CD-ROM drives, including IDE and SCSI CD-ROM drives, but it may not support your particular CD-ROM drive.

A Windows 98 Startup disk is required to perform the steps in the following sections of this article. If you do not have one, you can create one using any Windows 98-based computer to which you have access. To create a Windows 98 Startup disk, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double- click Add/Remove Programs.

  2. Click the Startup Disk tab, click Create Disk, and then follow the instructions on the screen.

How to Start Your Computer with CD-ROM Support and Then Extract Files:

To start your computer with CD-ROM support and then extract files, use the following steps:

  1. Insert the Windows 98 or Windows Me Startup disk in drive A, and then restart your computer.

  2. When the Microsoft Windows 98 or Windows Me Startup menu appears, choose Start Computer With CD-ROM Support.

  3. Insert the Windows 98 or Windows Me CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive. NOTE: Windows Me installs the cabinet files, by default, in the following directory: \Windows\Options\Install. If these files are on your computer, you do not need your Windows Me CD-ROM at this step, you can extract the files needed from the \Windows\Options\Install directory.

  4. To extract files at the command prompt, you can use the information provided earlier in this article, or you can use the Extract Command Line Helper tool. To use Extract Command Line Helper, type "ext" (without quotation marks) at the command prompt, and then follow the instructions on the screen.

Using the Ext.exe Tool to Extract Files

The Ext.exe tool builds a command line for the Extract.exe tool. It is located on the Windows 98 or Me Startup disk.

To extract a file from a .cab file, run the Ext.exe program from your Windows 98 or Me Startup disk, and follow the instructions on the screen to extract the file you want.

How to Extract Protected Files in Windows Me

Since Windows Me has a feature called System File Protection, extraction is different for these files. See the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article for information about how to extract protected files in Windows Me.

Q265371 How to Extract and Replace a Protected File in Windows Me

 

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