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Why is Winzip Selfextractor exe not unzipping my file?

Posted on 2012-03-27
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Last Modified: 2012-04-02
Hi Experts,
I am not sure I understand Winzip Selfextractor now...The winzip wizard did appear very simple: create a selfextractor exe file with the same name as your zip file and if the zip file arrives in the same folder it unzips by itself. But it doesn't. Even if I doubleclick on the self extractor exe nothing happens. Apart from me feeling very dumb, what can I possibly be doing wrong following the self extractor wizard that nothing happens? Any ideas please?
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Question by:TicketMan
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37775334
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Author Comment

by:TicketMan
ID: 37775365
Thank you nobus for this link.

I have created the self extractor exe file nicely according Winzip website instructions and following the simple selfextractor wizard. I have (bought) a full license of the latest Winzip + SelfExtractor+Courier. I also turned of any software like anivirus that might interfere.
The self extractor does not work, not on a network drive nd not on my pc. I am puzzled. It should be so straightforward. Repeated the self extractor wizard a dozen times, to recreate  the self extractor file....
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37776071
and the link did not help?  did you try the method they suggest?
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Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 37776169
If you have WinZip, you don't really need your own zip files to be self extracting.

The wizard should take somefile.zip (which will already extract correctly using WinZip, et al), and turn it into somefile.exe which will extract the files that were originally in somefile.zip just by running the new exe file. I think by default it leaves the original zip file, too, but there should be an option to delete the original zip once the exe file is created.

The purpose of the self-extractors is mainly for distributing zip files... e.g. the recipient of the zip file does not need any archive program installed to extract the file. But windows has had .zip file extraction built in for years, making self-extractors superfluous... in fact, something to avoid since they can also be used to package and disguise malware (i.e. the distributor can *claim* it's a self-extracting zip when it's actually the virus/malware installer).

What part of the process is not working for you, exactly?
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Author Comment

by:TicketMan
ID: 37776344
Thanks Darr247.

Here's what I do (step by step):

I have a file called "Data.zip" in My Documents...
I open (run) the program "Winzip Self-Extractor" as I would open any other program in Windows 7.
Winzip Self-Extractor pops-up "Welcome to Winzip Self-Extractor!", I click [Next]...
The I select "Standard Self Extracting Zip File" and click [Next]...
I leave "Span Multiple removable disks" unticked, and click [Next]...
In the following screen I browse and select the "Data.zip" file in My Documents and click [Next]...
Now I keep clicking [Next] until I get to "Options":
I tick the box for "Default to overwrite files without prompting".
I tick the box for "Unzip Automatically"
And click [Next]
The I get a standard "Caution" message about posting to the internet.. Not relavant so I click [Yes] for "Continue".
It nows says "Ready to create..." I click [Next]
Now I tick the box "Test self-extracting ZIP file now" and click [Next]...
Now I select "No, I am finished" when it asks to create another one..
I click [Exit].
This closes the program "Winzip Self Extractor".

I now look in My Documents and see a new file "Data.exe" next to the "Data.zip" file.

I double click on "Data.exe" and for fraction of a second a pop-up window appears and dissappears. This goes so fast I cannot read what this dialog window is about.

Nothing happens in My Documents folder. The zip file is still there. The exe file is there. But nothing seems to have unzipped.

As a check if it was unzipped somewhere else to, I search my entire PC for a possible unzipped file but there is none.
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Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 250 total points
ID: 37776393
What files are in data.zip ?

Are you able to extract those files OK using winzip?


> I tick the box for "Default to overwrite files without prompting".
For testing purposes, UNtick that option.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 37776970
or move data zip to another location - before executing the self extractor - probably it works ok, and simply overwrites the existing one
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Accepted Solution

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TicketMan earned 0 total points
ID: 37777807
Hi Experts,

found it... and I can't believe myself for not reading the Self Extractor Wizard properly.

If you don't specify the folder to unzip it too (leave that field blank in the wizard) , it unzips into a default temp folder. I assumed it would unzip it into the same folder of the zip file (would make more to sense to me but hey...) Instead it unzipped it in my case into ...appdata\local\temp\

Somehow a desperate file search didn't pick that up and I made the wrong conclusion that nothing had unzipped.

The clue came from Nobus, I unticked the box "Default to overwrite files without prompting" and consequently it popped a question "a file already exists...overwrite?" next time round. With that I realised it unzipped it in a Temp folder.

You can change all the default settings of the folders in "Winzip 16.0" (not Self Extractor) under Settings => Options => Folders. I changed my default Unzip Folder to the My Documents folder to keep it simple.

Thank you for your help!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37780431
tx for feedback
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Author Closing Comment

by:TicketMan
ID: 37795135
Thanks Darr247. Unticking that "Default to overwrite files without prompting" for test purposes was helpful.
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