Self Extracting Archive Creator (iexpress.exe) Anyone used it?

Posted on 2006-05-28
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
Hi experts.
I discovered the above very useful standalone program file in C:\Windows\System32.  It is capable of creating self-extracting .exe files (although no choice of compression ratios), and optionally offers much the same options as WinRAR in that it can run a command after unpacking, and also adds functionality of a post-run install process.

The best part is the ability to create .CAB files, but again doesn't offer any other choices unlike the console-mode "Cabinet Maker" SDK tools Cabarc.exe and Makecab.exe.

In addition, it allows you to load and save a directive file (*.SED).

I'm puzzled about why it exists as a standalone program file though.  I know it was installed by Windows XP Pro on my system, because I see it in the i386 directory of the CD (iexpress.ex_), but there are no associated help files (*.hlp or *.chm), and no references to it that I can see in the other Windows Help files.

Has anyone else used this utility program?
Do you know if is it called and used by any of the other management or maintenance programs?
Has anyone tested to see if it compresses cab files that are fully compatible with those on Windows installation CD's?
Is it just a GUI front-end for a command-line driven program like MAKECAB or CABARC.EXE?

I've had some failures in the past using those command-line programs, where the new archive was reported as incompatible or non-standard (or something similar), hence my curiosity.

Question by:BillDL
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    Nope, but since I already use winrar. I did know that xp has unzipping tech built in.
    There has been some buzz on this occasionally, I guess just the most serious programmers want to mess with these.

    WinTasks Process Library
    In the recesses of your computer, 20-30 invisible processes run silently in the background

    The Windows XP Layout
    Key Windows XP Executables
    The range and number of files included in the Windows XP folder structure are enormous. Most of these files are drivers, DLLs, or some type of configuration storage. Driver, configuration, and DLL files sustain the operating environment. However, most of the executable (.exe) files and the MS-DOS utilities (.com) are quite useful. You can launch them from the Start menu or other standard GUI launch site (when applicable), or you can launch them from Windows Explorer, My Computer, or a command prompt or through the Run command from the Start menu. The following sections list the files you can launch manually and briefly describe each utility or application.

    Main Windows Root Folder
    The following executables reside in the main Windows root folder:

    EPLORER.EXE (Windows XP Explorer). Used to interact with the file systems hosted by Windows XP. It is also the program responsible for creating the Start button and associated objects. If you ever lose the desktop, the Start button, and the taskbar, you can usually restore them by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete, selecting Task Manager from the pop-up menu, and starting Explorer back up with the Run command, accessed by choosing File, New Task (Run) from the menu.

    HH.EXE (HTML help). Opens an HTML-based Help window.

    NOTEPAD.EXE (Notepad). Used to edit text files.

    REGEDIT.EXE (Registry Editor). A 16-bit Registry-editing tool that you can use to search the entire Registry at once.

    TASKMAN.EXE (Task Manager). Used to view active applications and processes and view CPU and memory performance.

    TWUNK_16.EXE (Thunking Server). Allows 16-bit DOS applications to make 32-bit calls.

    TWUNK_32.EXE (Thunking Server). Allows 32-bit DOS applications to make 16-bit calls.

    WINHELP.EXE (Windows Help). A 16-bit Windows Help reader.

    WINHLP32.EXE (Windows Help). A 32-bit Windows Help reader.

    The following list of executables resides in the Windows\System32 folder:

    ACCWIZ.EXE (Accessibility Wizard). Used to configure the different accessibility options of your system.

    Heaps More please read on>>
    LVL 38

    Author Comment

    Thank you guys.
    Dark_King, those are three excellent linked pages.  All of them are most helpful and directly relevant.
    Merete, the 5 "sample" pages from the book "Microsoft Windows XP Power Pack" by Stu Sjouwerman are packed full of just the type of information that I find the most useful and like to have available as a reference.
    LVL 38

    Author Comment

    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    cool. :D

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