Making sure your application reaches the end user intact requires powerful archiving tools to prevent data loss and corruption. CAB Explorer is a lightweight, portable utility that allows for the easy extraction of CAB archives, as well as for the creation of such files.
Create CAB files with ease
A cabinet file, or CAB for short, is a type of archive that features support for lossless data compression. It can also contain embedded digital certificates, which are sometimes necessary for preserving the integrity of the archive.
CAB files are often embedded in self-extracting programs, such as installers and setups; for instance, MSI installers usually depend on one or multiple CAB files during deployment.
Decompressing a cabinet file can be easily achieved through Windows’ File Explorer, as well as several other third-party tools that deal with archives. However, creating a CAB file from scratch requires a truly dedicated utility such as CAB Explorer.
Lightweight and easy to use
The program is extremely intuitive and easy to use, being brought in a portable archive, which means an installation process is not required. The upper advantage of being a portable application is that you can carry it around on a removable device, leaving the registry untouched when it’s running.
In order to extract the contents of a CAB file, simply launch the application, import the archive and decompression is one step away.
Good but not really a pro
On the other hand, if you want to create a cabinet file from scratch, simply locate the 'Compress' command inside the 'Actions' menu and launch it. At this point, you are required to select the file to be included in the archive, followed by a quick save operation.
The downside, which we found to be very annoying, is that a newly created CAB file can contain only one file – adding multiple files is not possible, no matter the effort you put into it.
We tried every combination of commands in order to force the program to create a multi-file archive, but without success.
To end with
In conclusion, CAB Explorer would have been a good solution for managing cabinet files, provided that it could create archives out of multiple files. Unfortunately, this is a minus that cannot be ignored. However, if this is all you need or simply want a tool to extract CAB archives, it's worth a try.