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jcarle

makecab compression issue

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If you expand a windows file then re-compress it using makecab, the compression ratio is half of what it was before. Anyone know of a way to increase the compression ratio of makecab? Or another utility that has better compression but still makes a valid windows compressed file?

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If you wanna use MAKECAB try this command...

MAKECAB.EXE /D COMPRESSIONTYPE=LZX FileToCompress

:hello:

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@jrzycrim: Thanks.

After taking the lead on what jrzycrim said, I found the optimal solution using makecab which I put into a batch file.

smallcab.bat

@echo off
makecab /D CompressionType=LZX /D CompressionMemory=21 %1 %2

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There's very little documentation on makecab and even less on lzx with makecab, so I had to dig a LOT to find this. But I'd say it was worth it. :D

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Makecab is part of Microsoft's Cabinet Software Development Kit and it includes documentation for makecab. I just never read the .Doc for makecab. Been using cabarc. :lol:

jdoe deserves credit too. ;)

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Sometimes I wonder if all of us put together know more about Microsoft's products the Microsoft does.

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i guess u were looking for a dos based app right?

otherwise power archiver also compresses in cab format...

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well, it sets the level of compression, 21 being best and I think 15 being lowest...kinda like winrar. If I remember correctly, its been a loooong time since I played with makecab, back when Barts Disks were still being updated...since he has moved to BartPE

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The Cabinet SDK is somewhat difficult to read, but well worth it if you are using and Microsoft Compression programs. There is much more to it than meets the eye upon first reading.

What may be of interest, particularly to RyanVM, is that CABARC has the ability to include directory structure, where as MAKECAB does not. On the other hand, MAKECAB can be tuned for faster access of files in very large CABs, and I am not sure about CABARC. In any event, though they both perform similar functions, I have found that there are not interchangable for my purposes.

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[color="#FF0000"]FOR MORE DETAIL CONTACT:
Sohit Sharma
+91-9810374740
sohit14all@gmail.com
Please send thanx if this information helped U... :blink: [/color] [b]

1. Overview
MakeCAB is a lossless data compression tool that can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Although it was originally designed for use by setup programs, it can also be used in almost any situation where lossless data compression is required.

MakeCAB has three key features: 1) storing multiple files in a single cabinet (“CAB”) file, 2) performing compression across file boundaries, and 3) permitting files to span cabinets. While existing products such as PKZIP, LHARC, and ARJ, support some of these features, combining all three does not appear to be common practice. MakeCAB also supports self-extracting archives, by simply concatenating a cabinet file to EXPAND.EXE.

Depending upon the number of files to be compressed, and the access patterns expected (sequential or random access; whether most of the files will be requested at once or only a small portion of them), MakeCAB can be instructed to build cabinet files in different ways. One key concept in MakeCAB is the folder. A folder is a collection of one or more files which are compressed together, as a single entity.

The cabinet file format is capable of supporting multiple forms of compression. At this time, MSZIP and LZX are the compression formats supported by Microsoft. Other compression formats are possible in the future.

The following sections provide case studies of several possible ways that MakeCAB might be used. These are only provided to stimulate your imagination -- they are not the only ways in which MakeCAB can be used!

1.1. Case 1: MakeCAB for Setup Programs
Since MakeCAB was designed with setup programs in mind, it has a great deal of power and flexibility to tradeoff compressed size against speed of random access to files. The primary impact of MakeCAB is to minimize the number of diskettes required to distribute a product, thereby minimizing the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS).

In order for MakeCAB to build the disk images for a product, a directive file, or DDF, which specifies the list of files in a product, and any constraints on which disks certain files should be located, must be created. The same directive file can even be used for all the various localized versions of a product, since directive files support parameterization.
Characteristics of a Setup Program
1) Minimizing disk count is very important, since it saves money in production costs
2) Files are accessed sequentially
3) Most files are accessed
MakeCAB Application
The distribution disks for a typical application product produced by MakeCAB might look similar to the following:

Figure 1: Distribution disk layout


SETUP.EXE is the setup program, and SETUP.INF is a file generated by MakeCAB which guides the operation of the setup program (which files are needed for which options, and on which disk and in which cabinet file a file is contained). All of the remaining product files are contained in the cabinet files EXCEL.1 through EXCEL.N (N might be 7, for example).

To produce this disk layout with MakeCAB, a DDF is prepared which lists all of the files forthe product, along with some optional MakeCAB settings to control parameters such as: 1) the capacity of the disks which are being used, 2) the naming convention of the cabinet files , 3) the visible (user-readable) labels on each disk, 4) how much random access is desired for files within a cabinet. The following is an example of a DDF that might be appropriate:

;*** MakeCAB Directive file example
;
.OPTION EXPLICIT ; Generate errors on variable typos

.Set DiskLabel1=Setup ; Label of first disk
.Set DiskLabel2=Program ; Label of second disk
.Set DiskLabel3="Program Continued" ; Label of third disk
.Set CabinetNameTemplate=EXCEL.* ; EXCEL.1, EXCEL.2, etc.
.set DiskDirectoryTemplate=Disk* ; disk1, disk2, etc.
.Set MaxDiskSize=1.44M ; 3.5" disks

;** Setup.exe and setup.inf are placed uncompressed in the first disk
.Set Cabinet=off
.Set Compress=off
.Set InfAttr= ; Turn off read-only, etc. attrs
bin\setup.exe ; Just copy SETUP.EXE as is
bin\setup.inf ; Just copy SETUP.INF as is

;** The rest of the files are stored, compressed, in cabinet files
.Set Cabinet=on
.Set Compress=on
bin\excel.exe ; Big EXE, will span cabinets
bin\excel.hlp
bin\olecli.dll
bin\olesrv.dll
;... ; Many more files
;*** <the end> ; That’s it

Now, you run MakeCAB to create the disk layout:
MakeCAB /f excel.ddf

MakeCAB will create directories Disk1, Disk2, etc. to hold the files for each disk, and will copy uncompressed files or create cabinet files (as appropriate) in each directory. The file SETUP.RPT will be written to the current directory (this can be overridden) with a summary of what MakeCAB did, and the file SETUP.INF will contain details on every disk and cabinet created, including a list of where each file was placed.

1.2. Case 2: MakeCAB for a 200Mb Source Code Archive
The Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) CD includes over 200Mb of source code. While uncompressed this is only 1/3rd of the CD, that is still too much space, so tight compression is desired. This is slightly different from the Setup case, however, since there is a front-end tool that allows users to select sample programs and expand them onto the hard disk.
Characteristics of a Source Code Archive
1) Minimizing space usage is slightly more important
2) Files are accessed somewhat randomly, though in groups
3) Only a small portion of the files will be accessed at any one time
MakeCAB Application
The cabinet files produced for the source archive need to be big enough to provide good compression, but not so big that random access speed is sacrificed. The challenge is to obtain a good tradeoff between compression and access time.

;*** MSDN Sample Source Code MakeCAB Directive file example
;
.OPTION EXPLICIT ; Generate errors on variable typos

.Set CabinetNameTemplate=MSDN.* ; MSDN.1, MSDN.2, etc.
.set DiskDirectoryTemplate=CDROM ; All cabinets go in a single directory
.Set MaxDiskFileCount=1000 ; Limit file count per cabinet, so that
; scanning is not too slow
.Set FolderSizeThreshold=200000 ; Aim for ~200K per folder
.Set CompressionType=MSZIP

;** All files are compressed in cabinet files
.Set Cabinet=on
.Set Compress=on
foo.c
foo.h
....
;*** <the end> ; That’s it



1.3. Case 3: MakeCAB over a network

Many times, a software developer will want to ship executables, libraries, or the like across an Intranet or the Internet. They need a small package and an easy way for users to extract data. For example, JavaTM developers may want to ship large libraries of classes, so that home and business developers can use those classes in their software.

EXPAND.EXE, which extracts files from CAB files, recognizes when it has been copied to the front of a cabinet file, and will automatically extract the files in that cabinet file (and any continuation cabinet files). Here is how this is accomplished:

1) Create a cabinet file (or set of cabinet files)
2) Prepend EXPAND.EXE to the first cabinet file (do not prepend EXPAND.EXE to any other cabinet files in the set)
3) Distribute the self-extracting cabinet (and any subsequent cabinets)

Example 1:
MakeCAB /f self.ddf ; Build cabinet file set self1.cab, self2.cab
copy /b expand.exe+self1.cab self.exe ; self.exe is self-extracting


1.4. MakeCAB Deliverables
The following table is a list of all the libraries and programs that are part of MakeCAB:


File Contents
MAKECAB.EXE Command-line tool to perform disk layout (uses FCI.LIB)
FDI.LIB File Decompression Interface library.
EXPAND.EXE Command-line tool to expand files (uses FDI.LIB)
FCI.LIB File Compression Interface library.

1.5. MakeCAB Goals
• Provide excellent compression ratio and decompression speed
• Simplify production of disk layouts for products
• Provide command-line tools and link libraries for all Microsoft platforms

2. MakeCAB Optimizing and Tuning

2.1. Saving Diskettes
For a product shipped on floppy disks, it is very important to minimize the number of disks shipped per product! As a back-of-the-envelope calculation, if each disk cost a dollar and one million units were shipped, then each disk saved would save $1 million. The following pseudo-code suggests a process you might follow as you strive to keep your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) to a minimum:

get initial product files;
while (have not yet shipped)
Compress file set using:
CompressionType=LZX
CompressionMemory=21
If near a disk boundary
Consider tossing files to save a disk (especially clipart & samples!)
If near shipping
Relax FolderSizeThreshold to
improve access time at decompress.
end-while
Ship it!


2.2. Tuning Access Time vs. Compression Ratio
MakeCAB introduces the concept of a folder to refer to a contiguous set of compressed bytes. To decompress a file from a cabinet, FDI.LIB (called by your SETUP.EXE and EXPAND.EXE) finds the folder that the file starts in, and then must read and decompress all the bytes in that folder from the start up through and including the desired file.

For example, if the file FOO.EXE is at the end of a 1.44Mb folder on a 1.44Mb diskette, then FDI.LIB must read the entire diskette and decompress all the data. This is about the worst access time possible. By contrast, if FOO.EXE were at the start of a folder (regardless of how large the folder is?), then it would be read and decompressed with no extra overhead.

So, why would one not always Set FolderFileCountThreshold=1? Because doing so would reset the compression history after each file, resulting in a poor compression ratio. MakeCAB provides several variables and directives to provide very fine control over these issues:

Variable/Directive More Compression;
Slower Access Time Less Compression;
Faster Access Time

CabinetFileCountThreshold Bigger numbers Lower numbers
FolderFileCountThreshold Bigger numbers Lower numbers
FolderSizeThreshold Bigger numbers Lower numbers
MaxCabinetSize Bigger numbers Lower numbers
.New Folder Don’t use Use often
.New Cabinet Don’t use Use often

The MakeCAB defaults are configured for a floppy disk layout, with the assumption that the most common scenario is a full setup that will extract most of the files, so these are the settings:

Variable/Directive Value

CabinetFileCountThreshold Unlimited
FolderFileCountThreshold Unlimited
FolderSizeThreshold Same as MaxCabinetSize
MaxCabinetSize Same as MaxDiskSize

For the MSDN source archive (>200Mb of sample source code, >30,000 files) that ships on a CD-ROM, the following values might be a reasonable tradeoff between compression and access time:

Variable/Directive Value

CabinetFileCountThreshold 2000 (Since we have to call FDICopy() on a cabinet and walk through all the FILE headers, we want this small enough so that isn’t too much overhead, but large enough to keep the number of cabinets down.)
FolderFileCountThreshold Unlimited (Let FolderSizeThreshold control folder size!)
FolderSizeThreshold 200K (Represents 600K-800K of source (assuming 3:1 or 4:1 compression ratio)
MaxCabinetSize Unlimited (Let CabinetFileCountThreshold control the cabinet size!)

Of course, if you are tight for space on your CD-ROM, you’ll probably boost the FolderSizeThreshold and CompressionMemory settings!


2.3. Piecemeal DDFs for Localization and Different Disk Sizes
MAKECAB.EXE was designed to minimize the amount of duplicate information needed to generate product layouts for different languages and disk sizes. A key feature is the ability to specify more than one DDF on the MAKECAB.EXE command line. For example:

acme.ddf Some standard definitions to control the format of the output INF file
lang.ddf Sets language-specific settings (SourceDir, for example)
disk.ddf Sets the diskette sizes (CDROM, 1.2M, 1.44M, etc.)
product.ddf Lists all the files in the product, and uses variables set in the previous DDFs to customize its operation

The following command line would be used to process this set of DDFs:

MakeCAB /f acme.ddf /f lang.ddf /f disk.ddf /f product.ddf





3. MakeCAB Concepts

The key feature of MakeCAB is that it takes a set of files and produces a disk layout while at the same time attempting to minimize the number of disks required. In order to understand how MakeCAB does this, three terms need to be defined: cabinet, folder, and file. MakeCAB takes all of the files in the product or application being compressed, lays the bytes down as one continuous byte stream, compresses the entire stream, chopping it up into folders as appropriate, and then fills up one or more cabinets with the folders.

Cabinet A normal file that contains pieces of one or more files, usually compressed. Also known as a “CAB file”.

Folder A decompression boundary. Large folders enable higher compression, because the compressor can refer back to more data in finding patterns. However, to retrieve a file at the end of a folder, the entire folder must be decompressed. So there is a tradeoff between achieved compression and the quickness of random access to individual files.

File A file to be placed in the layout..


3.1. Decoupling File Layout and INF Layout
MakeCAB has two “modes” for generating the INF file; unified mode and relational mode. In unified mode, the INF file is generated as file copy commands are processed in the DDF file. This is the default, and minimizes the amount of effort needed to construct a DDF file. However, this forces the INF file to list the files in the layout in exactly the same order as they are placed on disks/cabinets.

Example of a Unified DDF:

;** Set up INF formats before we do the disk layout, because MakeCAB
; writes Disk and Cabinet information out as it is generated.
.OPTION EXPLICIT ; Generate errors for undefined variables

.Set InfDiskHeader="[disk list]"
.Set InfDiskHeader1=";<disk number>,<disk label>"
.Set InfDiskLineFormat="*disk#*,*label*"

.Set InfCabinetHeader="[cabinet list]"
.Set InfCabinetHeader1=";<cabinet number>,<disk number>,<cabinet file name>"
.Set InfCabinetLineFormat="*cab#*,*disk#*,*cabfile*"

.Set InfFileHeader=";*** File List ***"
.Set InfFileHeader1=";<disk number>,<cabinet number>,<filename>,<size>"
.Set InfFileHeader2=";Note: File is not in a cabinet if cab# is 0"
.Set InfFileHeader3=""
.Set InfFileLineFormat="*disk#*,*cab#*,*file*,*date*,*size*"


.set GenerateInf=ON ; Unified mode - create the INF file as we go

;** Setup files. These don't need to be in the INF file, so we put
; /inf=NO on these lines so that MakeCAB won't generate an error when
; it finds that these files are not mentioned in the INF portion of
; the DDF.

.set Compress=OFF
.set Cabinet=OFF
setup.exe /inf=NO ; This file doesn't show up in INF
setup.inf /inf=NO ; This file doesn't show up in INF

;** Files in cabinets
.set Compress=ON
.set Cabinet=ON

;* Put all bitmaps together to help compression
a1.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
b1.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
c1.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
d1.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
a2.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
b2.bmp ; Bitmap for client2.exe
c2.bmp ; Bitmap for client2.exe
d2.bmp ; Bitmap for client2.exe
shared.dll /date=10/12/93 ; File needed by client1.exe and client2.exe
client1.exe ; needs shared.dll
client2.exe ; needs shared.dll

;*** The End


In relational mode the DDF has file reference lines to specify the exact placement of file information lines, including the ability to list the same file multiple times. This feature is important for INF structures which use section headers (e.g. “[clipart]”, “[screen savers]”) to identify sets of files for particular functionality, and for which the same file may need to be included in more than one section. For example, a product may have several optional features, all of which require a DLL file named “shared.dll”. Rather than having “shared.dll” stored multiple times (once for each section which uses the file), a waste of disk space, a single copy of the file can be stored, and then referenced by all of the sections which require it.

A relational mode DDF is similar to a unified mode DDF, with the exception that a “.set GenerateInf=OFF” line must be inserted before the product’s files are listed (as shown below). Once all of the files have been listed, the INF file generating portion of the DDF begins, and a “.set GenerateInf=ON” line must be inserted, followed by the section definitions.
Example of a Relational DDF:

;** Set up INF formats before we do the disk layout, because MakeCAB
; writes Disk and Cabinet information out as it is generated.
.OPTION EXPLICIT ; Generate errors for undefined variables

.Set InfDiskHeader="[disk list]"
.Set InfDiskHeader1=";<disk number>,<disk label>"
.Set InfDiskLineFormat="*disk#*,*label*"

.Set InfCabinetHeader="[cabinet list]"
.Set InfCabinetHeader1=";<cabinet number>,<disk number>,<cabinet file name>"
.Set InfCabinetLineFormat="*cab#*,*disk#*,*cabfile*"

.Set InfFileHeader=";*** File List ***"
.Set InfFileHeader1=";<disk number>,<cabinet number>,<filename>,<size>"
.Set InfFileHeader2=";Note: File is not in a cabinet if cab# is 0"
.Set InfFileHeader3=""
.Set InfFileLineFormat="*disk#*,*cab#*,*file*,*date*,*size*"


;
; *** Here is where we list all the files
;
.set GenerateInf=OFF ; RELATIONAL MODE - Do disk layout first

;** Setup files. These don't need to be in the INF file, so we put
; /inf=NO on these lines so that MakeCAB won't generate an error when
; it finds that these files are not mentioned in the INF portion of
; the DDF.

.set Compress=OFF
.set Cabinet=OFF
setup.exe /inf=NO ; This file doesn't show up in INF
setup.inf /inf=NO ; This file doesn't show up in INF

;** Files in cabinets
;
.set Compress=ON
.set Cabinet=ON
;* Put all bitmaps together to help compression
a1.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
b1.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
c1.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
d1.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
a2.bmp ; Bitmap for client1.exe
b2.bmp ; Bitmap for client2.exe
c2.bmp ; Bitmap for client2.exe
d2.bmp ; Bitmap for client2.exe
shared.dll /date=10/12/93 ; File needed by client1.exe and client2.exe
client1.exe ; needs shared.dll
client2.exe ; needs shared.dll
;
; *** Now we’re generating the INF file
;
.set GenerateInf=ON

;** Feature One files
.InfBegin File
[feature One]
;Files for feature one
.InfEnd
client1.exe
shared.dll /date=04/01/94 ; Override date
a1.bmp
b1.bmp
c1.bmp
d1.bmp

;** Feature Two files
.InfBegin File

[feature Two]
;Files for feature Two
;Note that shared.dll is also required by Feature One
.InfEnd
client1.exe
shared.dll
a2.bmp
b2.bmp
c2.bmp
d2.bmp

;*** The End

The generated INF file would look something like this:
[disk list]
;<disk number>,<disk label>
1,"Disk 1"

[cabinet list]
;<cabinet number>,<disk number>,<cabinet file name>
1,1,cabinet.1

;*** File List ***
;<disk number>,<cabinet number>,<filename>,<size>
;Note: File is not in a cabinet if cab# is 0

[feature One]
;Files for feature one
1,1,client1.exe,12/12/93,1234
1,1,shared.dll,04/01/94,1234
1,1,a1.bmp,12/12/93,573
1,1,b1.bmp,12/12/93,573
1,1,c1.bmp,12/12/93,573
1,1,d1.bmp,12/12/93,573

[feature Two]
;Files for feature Two
;Note that shared.dll is also required by Feature One
1,1,client1.exe,12/12/93,1234
1,1,shared.dll,10/12/93,1234
1,1,a2.bmp,12/12/93,643
1,1,b2.bmp,12/12/93,643
1,1,c2.bmp,12/12/93,643
1,1,d2.bmp,12/12/93,643

Notes:
(1) In "relational" mode, only the last setting of a particular InfXxx default parameter variable (both standard parameters like InfDate, InfTime, etc. and custom parameters) in the layout portion (i.e. the first part) of the DDF is respected.
Example:
If you did ".set InfDate=12/05/92" at the start of the layout portion, and then did ".set InfDate=01/01/94" in the middle of the layout portion, the latter value would be used for the entire INF file.

(2) Any parameters on a reference line will override parameters on the corresponding file copy line.
Example:
;* layout portion
bar /x=1
...
;* INF portion
bar /x=2 ; INF file will have value 2

(3) In "relational" mode, each file copy command in the layout portion of the DDF must be referenced at least once in a reference command in the INF portion of the DDF. Any files that are not referenced will cause an error during pass 1. The /inf=no parameter must be specified on any file copy commands for files which are going to be omitted from the INF file (such as SETUP.EXE and SETUP.INF).

(4) In "relational" mode, UniqueFiles must be ON, because the destination file name is used in the INF portion of the DDF to refer back to file information.

4. MAKECAB.EXE

MAKECAB.EXE is designed to produce the final distribution files and cabinets for an entire product in a single run. The most common way to use MAKECAB.EXE is to supply a directives file that controls how files are compressed and stored into one or more cabinets.

4.1. MAKECAB.EXE Syntax

There two primary forms of MAKECAB.EXE usage. The first is used for compressing a single file, while the second is used for compressing multiple files.

MAKECAB [/Vn] [/D variable=value ...] [/L directory] source [destination]
MAKECAB [/Vn] [/D variable=value ] /F directives_file [...]
the parameters are described below

Parameter Description
source A file to be compressed.
destination The name of the file to receive the compressed version of the source file. If not supplied, a default destination name is constructed from the source file name according to the rules defined by the CompressedFileExtensionChar variable on page 23. You can use /D CompressedFileExtensionChar=c on the command line to change the appended character.
/D variable=value Set variable to be equal to value. Equivalent to using the .Set command in the directives file. For example, a single directive file could be used to produce layouts for different disk sizes by running MakeCAB once with different values of MaxDiskSize defined: /D MaxDiskSize=1.44M. Both standard MakeCAB variables and custom variables may be defined in this way. If .Option Explicit is specified in a directive file, then variable must be defined with a .Define command in a directive file.
/L directory Specifies an output directory where the compressed file will be placed (most useful when destination is not supplied).
/F directives_file A file containing commands for MAKECAB.EXE to execute. If more than one directive file is specified (/F file1 /F file2 ...), they are processed in the order (left to right) specified on the command line. Variable settings, open cabinets, open disks, etc. are all carried forward from one directive file to the next (just as if all of the files had been concatenated together and presented as a single file to MakeCAB). For example, this is intended to simplify the work for a product shipped in multiple languages. There would be a short, language-specific directives file, and then a single, large master directives file that covers the bulk of the product.
/Vn Set debugging verbosity level (0=none,...,3=full)
4.1. MAKECAB.EXE Directive File Syntax

Before diving into the details of the syntax of the directives file, provided here is an example of what the Excel directives file might look like:

;*** EXCEL MAKECAB Directive file
;
.Set DiskLabel1=Setup ; Label of first disk
.Set DiskLabel2=Program ; Label of second disk
.Set DiskLabel3="Program Continued" ; Label of third disk
.Set CabinetNameTemplate=EXCEL*.CAB ; EXCEL1.CAB, EXCEL2.CAB, etc.
.Set MaxDiskSize=1.44M ; 3.5" disks

;** Setup.exe and setup.inf are placed uncompressed in the first disk
.Set Cabinet=off
.Set Compress=off
bin\setup.exe ; Just copy SETUP.EXE as is
bin\setup.inf ; Just copy SETUP.INF as is
;** The rest of the files are stored, compressed, in cabinet files
.Set Cabinet=on
.Set Compress=on
bin\excel.exe ; Big EXE, will span cabinets
bin\excel.hlp
bin\olecli.dll
bin\olesrv.dll
...

Here are some additional notes on the general syntax and behavior of MakeCAB Directive Files
1. MakeCAB will place files on disks (and in cabinets) in the order they are specified in the directive file(s).
2. When ever a filename or directory is called for, you may supply either a relative (e.g., foo\bar, ..\foo) or an absolute (e.g., c:\banana, x:\slm\src\bin) path.
3. Optimal compression is achieved when files with similar types of data are grouped together.
4. MakeCAB is controlled in large part by setting variables. MakeCAB has many predefined variables, all of which have default values chosen to represent the most common case. You can modify these variables, and you can define your own variables as well.
5. The value of a variable is retrieved by enclosing the variable name in percent (%) signs. If the variable is not defined, an error is generated. If you want an explicit percent sign, use two adjacent percent signs (%%). MakeCAB will collapse this to a single percent sign (%).
6. Variable substitution is only done once. For example, .Set A=One [A is “One”]; .Set B=%%A%% (B is “%A%”); .Set C=%B% (C is “%A%”, not “One”).
7. Variable substitution is done before any other line parsing, so variables can be used anywhere.
8. Variables values may include blanks. Quote (“) or apostrophe(‘) marks may be used in .Set statements to capture blanks. If you want an explicit quote(“) or apostrophe(‘), you can intermix these two marks (use one for bracketing so that you may specify the other), or, as with the percent sign above, you can specify two adjacent marks (“”) and MakeCAB will collapse this to a single mark(“).
9. All sizes are specified in bytes.
10. There are a few special values for common disks sizes (CDROM, 1.44M, 1.2M, 720K, 360K) that can be used for any of the predefined MakeCAB variables that describe the attributes of a disk (MaxDiskSize, ClusterSize, MaxDiskFileCount). MakeCAB has built-in knowledge about the correct values of these attributes for these common disk sizes.
11. MakeCAB does not check for 8.3 filename limitations directly, but rather depends upon the underlying operating system to do filename validity checking (this will allow MakeCAB to work with long file names.)
12. MakeCAB makes two passes of the directive file(s). On the first pass, MakeCAB checks for syntax errors and makes sure that all of the files can be found. This is very fast, and reduces the chance that the second pass, where the actual data compression occurs, will have any problems. This is important because compression is very time consuming, so MakeCAB wants to avoid, for example, spending an hour compressing files only to find that a file toward the end of the directive file(s) cannot be found.


4.1.1. Command Summary

The following table provides a summary of the MakeCAB Directive File syntax. Directives begin with a period (“.”), followed by a command name, and possibly by blank delimited arguments. Note that a File Copy command is distinguished from a File Reference command by the setting of the GenerateInf variable.
Syntax Description
; Comment (anywhere on a DDF line)
src [dest] [/inf=yes|no] [/unique=yes|no] [/x=y ...] File Copy command
dest [/x=y ...] File Reference command
.Define variable=[value] Define variable to be equal to value (see .Option Explicit)
.Delete variable Delete a variable definition
.Dump Display all variable definitions
.InfBegin Disk | Cabinet | Folder Copy lines to specified INF file section
.InfEnd End an .InfBegin section
.InfWrite string Write “string” to file section of INF file
.InfWriteCabinet string Write “string” to cabinet section of INF file
.InfWriteDisk string Write “string” to disk section of INF file
.New Disk | Cabinet | Folder Start a new Disk, Cabinet, or Folder
.Option Explicit Require .Define first time for user-defined variables
.Set variable=[value] Set variable to be equal to value
%variable% Substitute value of variable
<blank line> Blank lines are ignored
4.1.2. Variable Summary
Standard Variables Description
Cabinet=ON | OFF Turns Cabinet Mode on or off
CabinetFileCountThreshold=count Threshold count of files per Cabinet
CabinetNamen=filename Cabinet file name for cabinet number n
CabinetNameTemplate=template Cabinet file name template; * is replaced by Cabinet number
ChecksumWidth=1 | 2 | ... | 8 Max low-order hex digits displayed by INF csum parameter
ClusterSize=bytesPerCluster Cluster size on diskette (default is 512 bytes)
Compress=ON | OFF Turns compression on or off
CompressedFileExtensionChar=char Last character of the file extension for compressed files


CompressionType=MSZIP Compression engine
DestinationDir=path Default path for destination files (stored in cabinet file)
DiskDirectoryn=directory Output directory name for disk n
DiskDirectoryTemplate=template Output directory name template; * is replaced by disk number
DiskLabeln=label Printed disk label name for disk n
DiskLabelTemplate=template Printed disk label name template; * is replaced by disk number
DoNotCopyFiles= ON | OFF Controls whether files are actually copied (ACME ADMIN.INF)
FolderFileCountThreshold=count Threshold count of files per Folder
FolderSizeThreshold=size Threshold folder size for current folder
GenerateInf=ON | OFF Control Unified vs. Relation INF generation mode
InfXxx=string Set default value for INF Parameter Xxx
InfCabinetHeader[n]=string INF cabinet section header text
InfCabinetLineFormat[n]=format string INF cabinet section detail line format
InfCommentString=string INF comment string
InfDateFormat=yyyy-mm-dd | mm/dd/yy INF date format
InfDiskHeader[n]=string INF disk section header text
InfDiskLineFormat[n]=format string INF disk section detail line format
InfFileHeader[n]=string INF file section header text
InfFileLineFormat[n]=format string INF file section detail line format
InfFileName=filename Name of INF file
InfFooter[n]=string INF footer text
InfHeader[n]=string INF header text
InfSectionOrder=[D | C | F]* INF section order (disk, cabinet, file)
MaxCabinetSize=size Maximum cabinet file size for current cabinet
MaxDiskFileCount=count Maximum count of files per Disk
MaxDiskSize[n]=size Maximum disk size
MaxErrors=count Maximum errors allowed before pass 1 terminates
ReservePerCabinetSize=size Base amount of space to reserve for FCRESERVE data
ReservePerDataBlockSize=size Amount of space to reserve in each data block
ReservePerFolderSize=size Amount of additional space in FCRESERVE for each folder
RptFileName=filename Name of RPT file
SourceDir=path Default path for source files
UniqueFiles=ON | OFF Control whether duplicate desintation file names are allowed


4.1.3. InfDisk/Cabinet/FileLineFormat Syntax and Semantics

The InfDiskLineFormat, InfCabinetLineFormat, and InfFileLineFormat variables are used to control the formatting of the “detail” lines in the INF file. The syntax of the values assigned to these variables is as follows:

1) The “*” character is used to bracket replaceable parameters.
2) Two “*” characters in a row (“**”) are replaced by a single “*”.
3) A replaceable parameter name may be one of the standard ones defined by MakeCAB, or it may be a custom parameter. The value used for a parameter is found in the following order:
a) If a parameter is specified on a File Copy or File Reference command, the specified value is used.
B) If a variable InfXxxx is defined for this parameter, its value is used.
c) The parameter is a standard paramater, and its defined value is used.
4) Braces "{}" may be used to indicate portions of text plus exactly one parameter that are omitted if the parameter value is blank. For example, “{*id*,}*file*,*size*” will generate the following strings, depending upon the values of id, file, and size:

id file size Output String
foo.dat 23 foo.dat,23
17 foo.dat 23 17,foo.dat,23
17 23 17,,23

4.1.4. INF Parameters

The following table lists the standard parameters that may be specified in INF line formats and on File Copy and File Reference commands. The Disk, Cab, and File columns indicate which parameters are supported in the InfDiskLineFormat, InfCabinetLineFormat, and InfFileLineFormat, respectively. In addition, the File column also indicates which parameters may be specified on the File Copy and File Reference commands.

Parameter Disk Cab File Description
attr Yes File attributes (A=archive, R=read-only, H=hidden, S=system)
cab# Yes Yes Cabinet number (0 means not in cabinet, 1 or higher is cabinet number)
cabfile Yes Cabinet file name
csum Yes Checksum
date Yes File date (mm/dd/yy or yyyy-mm-dd, depending upon InfDateFormat)
disk# Yes Yes Yes Disk number (1-based)
file Yes Destination file name in layout (in cabinet or on a disk)
file# Yes Destination file number in layout (first file is 1, second file is 2, ...); the order of File Copy Commands controls the file number, so in relational INF mode the order of File Reference Commands has no affect on the file number.
label Yes Disk user-readable label (value comes from DiskLabeln, if defined, and otherwise is constructed from DiskLabelTemplate).
lang Yes Language (i.e., VER.DLL info) in base 10, blank separated if multiple values
size Yes File size (only affects value written to INF file)
time Yes File time (hh:mm:ss[a|p])
ver Yes Binary File version (n.n.n.n base 10 format)
vers Yes String File version -- can be different from ver!

Just as custom INF parameters can be defined by using the .Define and .Set command (e.g., .Set InfCustom=default value), the .Set command can also be used to override the values of these parameters. This is most obviously useful for the date and time parameters, as it provides a simple way to “date stamp” all the files in a layout; and for the attr parameter, this provides a way to force a consistent set of file attributes (commonly used to clear the read-only and archive attribute bits).

4.1.5. Command Details
;
A comment line.
A comment may appear anywhere in a directive file. In addition, any line may include a comment at the end. Any text on the line following the comment is ignored.
source [destination] [/INF= YES | NO] [/UNIQUE=YES | NO] [/x=y [/x=y ...]]
A File Copy Command; specifies a file to be placed onto a disk or cabinet. If GenerateInf is OFF, then lines without leading periods are interpreted as File Copy Commands.

source is a file name, and may include a relative or absolute path specification. The SourceDir variable is applied first, if specified.

destination is the name to store in the cabinet file (if Cabinet is On), or the name for the destination file (if Cabinet is Off). The DestinationDir variable is used as a prefix.

/INF=YES | NO controls whether destination must specified in a Reference command in the INF section of the DDF. If YES is specified (the default), then destination must be specified in at least one Reference command. If NO is specified, then destination does not have to be specified in any Reference command. This paramter is used only if Relational INF mode is selected (see the GenerateInf variable), as Unified mode does not support Reference commands.

/UNIQUE=YES | NO controls whether destination must be unique throughout the layout. Specifiying this parameter on the file copy command overrides the default setting controlled by the UniqueFiles variable (which defaults to YES). If Relational INF mode is selected (see the GenerateInf variable), then UniqueFiles must be YES.

/x=y permits standard and custom INF parameters to be applied to a file copy command. These parameters are carried along with the file by MakeCAB and used to format file detail lines in the INF file. In addition, the /Date, /Time, and /Attr parameters also control the values that are placed in the cabinet files or on the disk layout (for files outside of a cabinet). This permits a great deal of flexibility in customizing the INF file format. A parameter “x” is defined to have the value “y” (which may be empty). Quotes can be used in “y” to include blanks or other special characters. If a parameter “x” is also defined on a File Reference command, that setting overrides any setting for “x” specified on the referred to File Copy command. See “INF Parameters” on page 15 for a list of standard parameters.

NOTE: You must define a variable InfX if you are going to use /X=y on a File Copy (or File Reference) command. If no such variable is defined, then /X=y will generate an error. This behavior ensures that there is a default value for every parameter, and makes it easier to catch inadvertent typing errors.

If the destination is not specified, its default value depends upon the Cabinet and Compress variables, as indicated by the following table, using BIN\EXCEL.EXE as a sample source file name. Note that the variable CompressedFileExtensionChar controls the actual character used to indicate a compressed file. Note also that the DestinationDir variable is prefixed to the destination name before it is stored in the cabinet file.

Compress = OFF Compress = ON
Cabinet = OFF EXCEL.EXE -- uncompressed, not in a cabinet. EXCEL.EX_ -- compressed, not in cabinet (actually, this is a cabinet with a single file!)
Cabinet = ON EXCEL.EXE -- uncompressed, in a cabinet. EXCEL.EXE -- compressed, in a cabinet

Examples:
.Set Compress=OFF ; Turn off compression
.Set Cabinet=OFF ; No cabinet file
setup.exe /inf=no ; Setup is put on disk 1, won’t be in INF
setup.inf ; Classic chicken & the egg problem

.Set Compress=ON ; Turn compression on
readme.txt ; Placed on disk 1 as README.TX_
.Set Cabinet=ON ; Turn cabinet file creation on
bin\excel.exe ; Placed in cabinet as EXCEL.EXE
msdraw.exe msapps\msdraw.exe ; Placed in cabinet as MSAPPS\MSDRAW.EXE
a.txt dup.txt /unique=no ; Another dup.txt is allowed
b.txt dup.txt /unique=no ; And here it is
destination [/x=y [/x=y ...]]
A File Reference Command; specifies that information for a file (previously specified in a File Copy command) is to be written to the File section of the INF file. This command is only supported in Relational INF mode. If GenerateInf is ON, then lines without leading periods are interpreted as File Reference Commands.

destination is the name of a file previously specified in a File Copy command as the destination in the layout (not the source!). Therefore, UniqueFiles is required to be ON.

/x=y permits standard and custom INF parameters to be applied to a file reference command. These parameters are merged with any parameters specified on the referenced File Copy command, with parameters on the File Reference command taking precedence.

A parameter “x” is defined to have the value “y” (which may be empty). Quotes can be used in “y” to include blanks or other special characters. . See “INF Parameters” on page 15 for a list of standard parameters.

NOTE: You must define a variable InfX if you are going to use /X=y on a File Reference (or File Copy) command. If no such variable is defined, then /X=y will generate an error. This behavior ensures that there is a default value for every parameter, and makes it easier to catch inadvertent typing errors.

Examples:
.Set GenerateInf=OFF ; Relational INF mode; file layout
setup.exe /inf=no ; Setup is put on disk 1, won’t be in INF
readme.txt
shared.dll /special=yes ; Custom parameter

.Set GenerateInf=ON ; INF section of DDF
.InfWrite [Common]
readme.txt
.InfWrite [One]
shared.dll /special=no ; Override parm on file copy command
.InfWrite [Two]
shared.dll ; Use /special value from file copy
.Define variable=[value]
Define variable to be equal to value.

To use variable, surround it with percent signs (%) -- %variable%.
Using an undefined variable is an error, and will cause MakeCAB to stop before pass 2.
value may include references to other variables.
Leading and trailing blanks in value are discarded.
Blanks may be enclose in quote (“) or apostrophe (‘) marks.
Explicit percent signs (%), quotes (“), or apostrophes (‘) must be specified twice.

NOTE: If .Option Explicit is specified, then you must first use .Define to define any user-defined variables before you can use .Set to modify them. For standard MakeCAB variables, .Define is not permitted, and only .Set may be used on. If .Option Explicit is not specified, then .Define is equivalent to .Set.

Examples
.Define lang=ENGLISH ; Set language
.Define country=USA ; Set country
.Define SourceDir=%lang%\%country% ; SourceDir = [ENGLISH\USA]
.Define join=%lang%%country% ; join = [ENGLISHUSA]
.Define success=100%% ; success = [100%]
.Define SourceDir= ; SourceDir = []
.Define contraction=“don’t” ; contraction = [don’t]
.Define contraction=don’’t ; contraction = [don’t]
.Define someSpaces= hi there ; someSpaces = [hi there]
.Define someMore=“ blue dog “ ; someMore = [ blue dog ]
.Delete variable
Delete a variable definition.

You may only delete variables that have been created by .Define or .Set commands. Standard MakeCAB variables may not be deleted.

Examples:
.Set myVariable=raisin
.Delete myVariable ; Delete myVariable
.Dump
Display the entire MakeCAB variable table.

This command can be used to aid debugging of complicated (or not so complicated) MakeCAB directive files. Note that the dump will be displayed during pass 1 and again during pass 2.

Examples:
.Dump ; Dump variable table to stdout
.InfBegin DISK | CABINET | FILE
Start a block of one or more lines to write to the specified area of the INF file.

The lines in the block will be copied unmodified to the specified section of the INF file, so no MakeCAB variable substitution will be performed. Similarly, MakeCAB will not strip comments.

Use .InfWrite, .InfWriteCabinet, or .InfWriteDisk if you need variable substitution.

Examples:
.InfBegin disk ; Text for disk section of INF file
;This is a comment for the disk section. MakeCAB will not process
;this line, so, for example, %var% will not be substituted.
.InfEnd
.InfEnd
Terminate an .InfBegin block.

Examples:
.InfEnd ; Close an .InfBegin block
.InfWrite string
Write string to the file area of the INF file.

Note that lines will have MakeCAB comments removed and variable values substituted. If you want to avoid this processing, use the .InfBegin File command. Leading whitespace is normally removed, but you can override this by placing whitespace in quotes (see examples below)

Examples:
.InfWrite [A Section Header] ; Text for file section, this comment
; will not appear.

.InfWrite ;<disk>,<file> ; MakeCAB strips off the comments, so this
; command just writes a blank line!

.InfWrite “;<disk>,<file>“ ; Get that comment in the INF file

.InfWrite “ “%someVar% ; Get leading space on the INF line
.InfWriteCabinet string
Write string to the cabinet area of the INF file.

Note that lines will have MakeCAB comments removed and variable values substituted. If you want to avoid this processing, use the .InfBegin Cabinet command.

Examples:
.InfWriteCabinet 40%% off your favorite furniture ; %% collapse down to
; one %, because MakeCAB does variable
; substitution on the string.
.InfWriteDisk string
Write string to the disk area of the INF file.

Note that lines will have MakeCAB comments removed and variable values substituted. If you want to avoid this processing, use the .InfBegin Disk command.

Examples:
.InfWriteDisk The Rain in Spain falls Mainly on the Plain
.New Disk | Cabinet | Folder
Force a disk, cabinet, or folder break.

This is used to complete the current disk, cabinet, or folder, and start a new one.

Examples:
.New Disk ; Start a new disk
.New Cabinet ; Start a new cabinet
.New Folder ; Start a new folder
.Set variable=value
Set variable to be equal to value.

To use variable, surround it with percent signs (%) -- %variable%.
Using an undefined variable is an error, and will cause MakeCAB to stop before pass 2.
value may include references to other variables.
value may be empty, in which case variable is set to the empty string.
Leading and trailing blanks in value are discarded.
Blanks may be enclose in quote (“) or apostrophe (‘) marks.
Explicit percent signs (%), quotes (“), or apostrophes (‘) must be specified twice.

NOTE: If .Option Explicit is specified, then you must first use .Define to define any user-defined variables before you can use .Set to modify them. For standard MakeCAB variables, .Define is not permitted, and only .Set may be used on.

Examples
.Set lang=ENGLISH ; Set language
.Set country=USA ; Set country
.Set SourceDir=%lang%\%country% ; SourceDir = [ENGLISH\USA]
.Set join=%lang%%country% ; join = [ENGLISHUSA]
.Set success=100%% ; success = [100%]
.Set SourceDir= ; SourceDir = []
.Set contraction=“don’t” ; contraction = [don’t]
.Set contraction=don’’t ; contraction = [don’t]
.Set someSpaces= hi there ; someSpaces = [hi there]
.Set someMore=“ blue dog “ ; someMore = [ blue dog ]


4.1.6. Variable Details

The standard MakeCAB variables are listed below. These variables are predefined, and each of them have default value, which is used if you do not set the variable from the command line (/D var=value) or prior to the time you explicitly set the variable with a .Define or .Set command in a directive file.
You can create your own variables as well, using the .Define command if you specify .Option Explict, and the .Set command otherwise.
Cabinet=On | Off
Turns cabinet mode on or off.
Default: .Set Cabinet=On ; Cabinet mode is ON

When cabinet mode is On, the following applies:
1) Files are stored in a cabinet, whose name is taken from the CabinetNameTemplate variable
2) If the compressed size of a file would cause the current Cabinet to exceed the current MaxCabinetSize variable, then as much of the compressed file as possible is stored in the current Cabinet, that Cabinet is closed, and a new Cabinet is created. Note that it is possible for a large file to span multiple Cabinets!
3) If the compressed size of a file (or set of files, if the files are small) would cause the current Folder to exceed the current MinFolderSize variable, these files are the last ones added to the current Folder, a new Folder is started for any subsequent files. Note that if the current Folder cannot fit in the current Cabinet, as much as possible of the Folder is stored in the current Cabinet, and the remainder of the Folder is stored in the next Cabinet. This means that it is possible for several files to be continued from one Cabinet file to the next Cabinet file!

When cabinet mode is Off, the following applies:
1) Files are stored in individual files
2) If the destination file is not supplied, the default name is controlled by the compression mode (see the Compress variable)

Examples
.Set Cabinet=OFF ; Files not in cabinets...
.Set Compress=OFF ; ...and no compression.
setup.exe ; Setup program is simply copied to disk.
.Set Cabinet=ON ; Use a cabinet...
.SET Compress=ON ; ...and compress remaining files.
CabinetFileCountThreshold=count
Sets a goal for the maximum number of files in a cabinet.
Default: .Set CabinetFileCountThreshold=0 ; Default is no threshold

count is a threshold for the number of files to store in a cabinet. Once this count has been reached, MakeCAB will close the current cabinet as soon as possible. Due to the blocking of files for compression purposes, it is possible that the cabinet will contain more files than specified by this variable.

If count is 0, then there is no limit on the number files per cabinet.

Examples:
.Set CabinetFileCountThreshold=100 ; Shoot for 100 files per cabinet
CabinetNamen=filename
The cabinet file name for the specified cabinet.
Default: ; By default none of these variables are defined

If this variable is not defined for a particular disk, then MakeCAB uses the CabinetNameTemplate to construct the cabinet name.

Examples:
.Set CabinetName1=one.cab
CabinetNameTemplate=template
Sets the cabinet file name template.
Default: .Set CabinetNameTemplate=*.CAB ; 1.CAB, 2.CAB, ...

This template is used to construct the file name of each cabinet. The "*" in this template is replaced by the cabinet number (1, 2, etc.). This variable is used only if no variable CabinetNamen exists for cabinet n.

NOTE: Be sure that the expanded cabinet name does not exceed the limits for your file system! For example, if you used “CABINET*.CAB”, and MakeCAB had to create 10 or more cabinets, then you would have cabinet names like CABINET10.CAB, which is 9.3, which is an invalid name in the FAT file system. Unfortunately, MakeCAB would not detect this until it had already created 9 cabinets!

Examples:
.Set CabinetNameTemplate=EXCEL*.DIA ; EXCEL1.DIA, EXCEL2.DIA, etc.
.Set CabinetNameTemplate=*. ; 1, 2, 3, etc.
ChecksumWidth=1 | 2 | ... | 8
Sets the maximum number of low-order hex digits displayed by InfFileLineFormat csum parameter.
Default: .Set ChecksumWidth=8 ; Default is all 8 hex digits (csum is a 32-bit value)

The presence of the csum parameter in the InfFileLineFormat variable causes MakeCAB to compute a 32-bit CRC for each file and write that checksum to the INF file. While leading zeros are not written out, the presence of these checksums can significantly increase the size of the INF file. You can use ChecksumWidth to restrict the size of the checksum written to the INF file. If a value less than 8 is specified, then MakeCAB will mask off the high-order bits of the 32-bit checksum to produce a value for the INF file that is at most the number of hex digits specified.

Examples:
.Set ChecksumWidth=4 ; Only display the low order 4 hex digits
ClusterSize=bytesPerCluster
The cluster size of the distribution media.
Default: .Set ClusterSize=512 ; 1.44M and 1.2M floppies have 512-byte clusters

This is used by MakeCAB to round up the sizes of files and cabinets to a cluster boundary, so it can determine when to switch to the next disk.

You can use a standard disk size from the following list, and MakeCAB will supply the known cluster size for that disk size:

1.44M
1.25M (Japanese NEC 3.5” drive capacity)
1.2M
720K
360K
CDROM

Examples:
.Set ClusterSize=1.44M ; Use known 1.44M floppy info
Compress=ON | OFF
Turn file compression on or off.
Default: .Set Compress=On ; Compression is on

While compression is usually on, you generally turn if off for the first few files on disk 1 (SETUP.EXE, for example). This applies regardless of the Cabinet setting, so it is valid to store one or more uncompressed files in a Cabinet File.

Examples:
.Set Cabinet=OFF ; Files not in cabinets...
.Set Compress=OFF ; ...and no compression.
setup.exe ; Setup program is simply copied to disk.
.Set Cabinet=ON ; Use a cabinet...
.SET Compress=ON ; ...and compress remaining files.
CompressedFileExtensionChar=char
Last character in file name used when compressing an individual file.
Default: .Set CompressedFileExtensionChar=_ ; Default is an underscore ("_")

If Cabinet=OFF and Compress=ON , then MakeCAB will compress an individual file. While the compressed files is stored in a Cabinet File, it has only a single file. To maintain some consistency with existing setup compression products, the default compressed file name is constructed by taking the source file name and replacing the last character of the file extension with the setting of this variable.

Examples:
.Set CompressedFileExtensionChar=$ ; SAMPLE.EXE => SAMPLE.EX$
; SAMPLE.EX => SAMPLE.EX$
; SAMPLE.E => SAMPLE.E$
; SAMPLE. => SAMPLE.$
; SAMPLE => SAMPLE.$
CompressionType=MSZIP
Select compression engine.
Default: .Set CompressionType=MSZIP ; Default is MSZIP compressor

MSZIP is the default compression type supported by Microsoft. This version of MakeCAB.EXE also supports the LZX compression method, which can achieve higher compressions ratios.

Using MSZIP compression and FolderSizeThreshold=1 will generate a cabinet file approximately the same size as a PKZIP-compatible compression engine. LZX compression requires more time, but LZX decompression is typically faster.

Examples:
.Set CompressionType=MSZIP ; MSZIP compressor
DestinationDir=path
Path prefix to store in cabinet file for each file in the cabinet.
Default: .Set DestinationDir= ; Default is no path prefix

path is concatenated with a path separator (“\”) and the target file name on File Copy Commands to produce the file name that is stored in cabinet file. EXTRACT.EXE will use this file name as the default name when the file is extracted.

Examples:
.Set DestinationDir=SYSTEM ; Following files get SYSTEM prefix
bin\ARIAL.TTF ; Name in cabinet is SYSTEM\ARIAL.TTF
.Set DestinationDir= ; No prefix
bin\ARIAL.TTF ; Name in cabinet is ARIAL.TTF
DiskDirectoryn=directory
The output directory name for the specified disk.
Default: ; By default none of these variables are defined

If this variable is not defined for a particular disk, then MakeCAB uses the DiskDirectoryTemplate to construct the disk directory.

Examples:
.Set DiskDirectory1=disk.one
DiskDirectoryTemplate=template
Set the output directory name template. One directory is created for each disk of the layout.
Default: .Set DiskDirectoryTemplate=DISK* ; Default is DISK1, DISK2, etc.

As MakeCAB processes a directive file, it will create one or more disk “images”. Rather than using some specific disk format, however, MakeCAB simply creates one subdirectory for each disk and places the files for each disk in the appropriate directory. If a “*” exists in this variable, then it is replaced with the disk number. If no “*” is specified, then all files are placed in the single directory specified by this variable.

This variable is used only if no variable DiskDirectoryn exists for disk n.

Examples:
.Set DiskDirectoryTemplate=C:\EXCEL6\DISK* ; Put files in separate dirs
.Set DiskDirectoryTemplate=C:\EXCEL6 ; Put all files in C:\EXCEL6
.Set DiskDirectoryTemplate= ; Put all files in current dir
DiskLabeln=label
The user-readable text string for the specified disk.
Default: ; By default none of these variables are defined

This label is stored in cabinet files that contain files that are split across disk boundaries, to simplify prompting for the appropriate disk to insert into the drive. For example, if EXCEL.EXE started in 1.CAB and finished in 2.CAB, and a user asked to extract EXCEL.EXE from 2.CAB, EXTRACT.EXE can retrieve the printed label for the disk containing 1.CAB (say, Excel Program Disk 1) and tell the user to insert that disk and try again.

If this variable is not defined for a particular disk, then MakeCAB uses the DiskLabelTemplate to construct the disk label.

Examples:
.Set DiskLabel1=”Excel Setup Disk 1”
.Set DiskLabel2=”Excel Setup Disk 2”
DiskLabelTemplate=template
Set the printed disk label. Used if individual DiskLabeln variables are not defined
Default: .Set DiskLabelTemplate=“Disk *” ; Default is “Disk 1”, “Disk 2”, etc.

Sets the default user-readable disk label. If a “*” exists in this variable, then it is replaced with the disk number. This variable is used only if no variable DiskLabeln exists for disk n.

Examples:
.Set DiskLabelTemplate=“Excel Disk *”
DoNotCopyFiles=On | Off
Controls whether File Copy Commands actually copy files.
Default: .Set DoNotCopyFiles=Off ; Files are copied

This option is intended to be used when Cabinet is OFF and Compress is OFF, as a means of generating an INF file very quickly. It has no affect when Cabinet is ON or Compress is ON.

Examples
.Set DoNotCopyFiles=ON ; Make MakeCAB create the INF file quickly
FolderFileCountThreshold=count
Set the threshold on the number of files to store in a folder.
Default: .Set FolderFileCountThreshold=0 ; Default to no limit on count of files in a folder

Sets the threshold file count for the current folder. When this threshold is exceeded, then the current folder is closed. If any more files are to be processed, they will go into a new folder.

If Cabinet is OFF, this variable is ignored.

If count is 0, then there is no limit on the count of files in a folder.

Examples:
.Set FolderFileCountThreshold=50 ; No more than 50 files per folder
FolderSizeThreshold=size
Set the threshold size for the current folder.
Default: .Set MinMaxFolderSize=0 ; Default to the maximum cabinet size

Sets the threshold size for the current folder. When this threshold is exceeded, then the current folder is closed. If any more files are to be processed, they will go into a new folder. MakeCAB attempts to limit folders to the size specified by this variable, but in most cases folders will be a bit larger than this threshold.

If Cabinet is OFF, this variable is ignored.

If size is 0, then the threshold is the same as the maximum cabinet size.

Folders are compression/encryption boundaries. The state of the compressor and cryptosystem are reset at folder boundaries. To access a file in a folder, the folder must be decrypted and decompressed starting from the front of the folder and continuing through to the desired file. Thus, smaller folder thresholds are appropriate for a layout where a small number of files needs to be randomly accessed quickly from a cabinet. On the other hand, larger folder thresholds permit the compressor to examine more data, and so generally yield better compression results. For a layout where the files will be accessed sequentially and most of the files will be accessed, a larger folder threshold is best.

Examples:
.Set FolderSizeThreshold=1M ; Aim for 1Mb folders
GenerateInf=ON | OFF
Controls Unified vs. Relational INF generation mode.
Default: .Set GenerateInf=ON ; Default to "unified" INF mode

If GenerateInf is ON when the first file copy command is encountered, then Unified INF mode is selected. In this mode, file detail lines are written to the INF file as file copy commands are processed, so the order of file lines in the INF is exactly the same as the order of the files in the layout.

If GenerateInf is OFF when the first file copy command is encountered, then Relational INF mode is selected. In this mode, file copy commands are processed, but INF file generation is delayed until GenerateInf is set to ON, and File Reference commands are used to select information on files in the layout to be placed in the INF file.

Unified mode is easie

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[quote name='jcarle' post='173891' date='Aug 22 2004, 08:57 AM']Sometimes I wonder if all of us put together know more about Microsoft's products the Microsoft does.[/quote]
I don't know about that, jcarle :).

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