Convert self extracting exe to zip file

Jul 22, 2009 at 8:58 PM

I created a self extracting exe file and a computer that runs the exe does not have Framework 2.0 installed and can not run the exe.  How does one convert the self extracting exe to a normal zip file?

Jul 22, 2009 at 9:04 PM

The self-extracting EXE is a normal zip file and should be readable by any ZIP tool.  You may have to rename the file.  For example, if you want to read it in Windows Explorer as a Windows Compressed Folder, then rename the file from "foo.exe" to "" and it should just work.


Jul 22, 2009 at 9:47 PM

Need help.

Renaming from EXE to ZIP worked but when windows tried to extract a file from the ZIP file, I got the below error message

From: Cheeso []
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 3:05 PM
To: Colby Norton
Subject: Re: Convert self extracting exe to zip file [DotNetZip:63232]

From: Cheeso

The self-extracting EXE is a normal zip file and should be readable by any ZIP tool. You may have to rename the file. For example, if you want to read it in Windows Explorer as a Windows Compressed Folder, then rename the file from "foo.exe" to "" and it should just work.

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Jul 22, 2009 at 10:24 PM

The error was that I was using "best compression" and windows could not handle it.  I then used another ZIP tool called WinZIP version 11 and it extracted just perfectly.  What are the compression levels that are compatable with windows? Best Compression is not one of them.  Thanks  Colby



Jul 22, 2009 at 11:01 PM

Your suggestion is the first time I've heard that BestCompression is not compatible with Windows Compressed Folders.  How did you come to that conclusion?  Did you test other compression levels and find that Windows is able to open zip files as Compressed Folders, when those zip files are produced with those other compression levels?  I doubt it, because all compression levels produce a valid DEFLATE format.   If a tool can inflate one deflate stream, it should be able to inflate any valid deflate stream.

I think it is more likely that Windows Compressed Folders is not flexible enough to open a zip file that is also an SFX file.


Jul 22, 2009 at 11:32 PM

ok I've just run some tests and Windows Compressed Folders can handle any compression level on my machine. 

I did not yet test opening an SFX with Compressed Folders. 


Jul 22, 2009 at 11:37 PM

You are correct.  The error message was "Compression: Unknown" when I just renamed the EXE to ZIP file and hence "best compression" did not work.  I then changed the code to create the native ZIP file and all worked.  Again thanks for your help.

Jul 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM
Edited Jul 23, 2009 at 12:01 AM

I've just tested SFX with Compressed Folders and confirmed that Windows Compressed Folders will not open a DotNetZip SFX file, regardless of compression level.  This is not due to a bug in DotNetZip or in the SFX it produces.  It is due to a lack of flexibility in Windows Compressed Folders.