20 FAQs for WinRAR


20 FAQs for WinRAR

How are files extracted with the help of WinRAR?

You can extract files using WinRAR in the shell mode by first opening the requisite zipped file in the application. This can be accomplished in one of several possible ways;

  • In the Windows Explorer or on the Desktop, press enter or double click an archive file. If WinRAR has been associated with RAR files during the setup which is the default configuration, the zipped file will be opened in WinRAR. You can also associated files with WinRAR after the installation has been done using the Integration settings dialog.
  • Double click or press enter on an archive file in the WinRAR window
  • Drag and drop a zipped file to the WinRAR window or icon. This should be done after ensuring that WinRAR is not displaying any zipped file otherwise the dragged and dropped file will be added to the currently displayed archive file
  • Run WinRAR from the command line prompt with a single parameter; i.e. the zipped file name

The contents of a compressed file are displayed when it is opened in WinRAR. You can select the files and folders that need to be decompressed. This can be accomplished by using the Shift + arrow keys or Shift + Left mouse button in Windows Explorer and other programs. You can also select files in WinRAR using the Space or Ins keys. Files using file masks can be selected using the Gray + and Gray – keys on the numeric keypad.

Once the files have been chosen, simply hit the Extract To button at the top of the WinRAR window or hit Alt+E, enter the destination location and click OK. The dialog box also offers tons of advanced options. You can get more information about these options in the section related to Extraction Path and Options dialog.

The operation statistics and progress are displayed in a progress bar during the decompression process. The Cancel button in the command window can be hit to break the decompression process. The application can be minimized to the System Tray by pressing the background button. If the extraction is completed without any errors, the application returns to the Windows Shell. However, in case an error crops up, a diagnostic window is displayed along with the error message.

How can RAR files be managed?

Comprehensive support is provided by WinRAR for RAR files which allows users to create and extract them with ease.

If you have WinRAR installed on your machine and downloaded a RAR file from the internet, you can double click or press enter on the archive file to open it in WinRAR, select all files, press the Extract To button, enter the destination path and press OK.

You can also right click on a RAR file in the Windows Explorer. If the Shell Integration has been enabled during installation, a popup context menu will appear with Extract To… option. Selecting it will result in extraction of the desired archive file.

The following error is displayed in case of an incomplete extraction: “CRC failed in file name. The file is corrupt”.

This error is displayed if the data contained in an archive file is corrupt or the file has been damaged after creation. If the recovery record of the file is available, it can be repaired.

There is also a probability that the file has been broken after creation owing to hardware failures such as those caused by an over-clocked CPU or unreliable memory.

In case, the file has been broken due to unreliable memory, the recovery record will not be helpful. The only possible way to see if the repair will be helpful is to apply the repair command to the file and find out if it works.

Also, ensure that you have the latest version installed from here. Each update is geared to enhancing performance and overcoming glitches in the previous version.

Is there any optimum archive and file size limit?

The size of a RAR or ZIP file along with any file within a RAR archive is restricted to 8,589,934,591 GB which is equivalent to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 bytes.

NTFS file system is required to create archive files larger in size than 4GB since support for such larger files is not provided by older file systems.

Typically, RAR archive format provides optimum performance with regard to heavy tasks involving large number of files and several gigabytes of storage space.

Is there any particular difference between command line WinRAR and WinRAR?

The distributive will contain WinRAR as well as the file rar.exe.

It is a 32-bit RAR version for Windows but it is compatible with the command line only which is a text mode interface.

This mode comes in handy when calling console RAR from BAT and CMD files and use in DOS prompt. Support for larger number of command line switches and commands is provided in this mode in contrast to WinRAR. However, it is not compatible with ZIP and other archive file formats.

The common aspects of the command line WinRAR syntax that have been addressed in the Command Line Interface section also hold for console RAR. However, we have not included information on the command line switches and commands which are only compatible with the console version. In-depth information of all RAR features is found in rar.txt file.

What is the registration process for WinRAR?

The easiest way to purchase a license is to place an order online.

The latest version of WinRAR can be downloaded from the website http://www.rarlab.com/ and the payments can be made through phone, fax, US check, wire transfer or via any major credit card. Once the order has been completed, an invoice screen is displayed that can be printed for bookkeeping.

The license key is then transmitted immediately via email.

The key file will be in accordance with the registration string in the order form.

Once the registration key file has been received, you should put it in the WinRAR folder.

For English users, this is typically “C:\Program Files\WinRAR”

For German users, this is typically “C:\Programme\WinRAR”

If the key has been compressed in a .RAR file, the key can be extracted from the zipped file in order to get the application registered.

Based on the facilities available at your local registration site, you can have the registration key delivered by email or by your local postal service on CD or disk.

What is the process of splitting up an archive file into multivolume archives?

If the files are compressed, the volume size can be entered in the Split to Volumes field in the archive name and parameters dialog: general options to create multivolume archives.

The default settings allows a user to enter the volume size in bytes, but in case a lower case letter “k” is added at the end of the number of bytes, they are regarded by the application as Kilobytes (multiplied automatically by 1024). The uppercase letter “K” represents thousands of bytes and the bytes are multiplied by 1000. Similarly, “m” denotes megabytes and “M” represents million bytes.

You can also choose the size of the volume from the list associated with the item. Keep in mind that if the archive is being saved to a disk, you can select Autodetect from the list to let the application automatically select the volume size for each new part.

For multiple CDs, you can enter, for instance, 700m for 700MB CD. Multivolume archive is created with names such as volname.part001.rar, volname.part002.rar etc. The volumes are 700MB and the last volume may turn out to be smaller in size.

Once completed, the volumes can be burned to the CD.

Some burning programs come with a specially designed test mode, that lets a user figure the optimum capacity of CD blanks. So, users can enter the optimum size for the volume.

The extraction has to be started from the first volume. In the menu choose “Process all files in the volumes from the current”.

If volumes have been saved to non-removeable storage media such as a hard disk drive, all the volumes should be placed in the same folder before extraction or decompression is to be initiated.

The convert function available in WinRAR 3.10 should be used for zipping a single rar/zip/tar archive into multiple parts.

WinRAR Wizard Interface

The wizard interface has been engineered specifically for beginners and lets them carry out fundamental zipping and unzipping operations by virtue of a simple step by step process.

The Wizard button on the WinRAR toolbar needs to be hit to let the wizard be displayed. The default settings enable the button to be visible both inside and outside the archives but it can be disabled or enabled similar to other toolbar buttons with the Select Buttons options in the General Settings dialog box. You may select the Activate Wizard on Start in the General Settings dialog to run the wizard every time the application starts.

Brief information at the top is contained in the Wizard dialog regarding contents of the box and the possible actions that can be taken by the user. In-depth information can be obtained by hitting the help button.

Comparison of RAR and ZIP Archive File Formats

In contrast to the ZIP 2.0 standard archive file format, RAR archive file format comes equipped with tons of advanced features: easier to create multipart archives, solid compression including special formidable, multimedia and text modes, strong AES 256-bit encryption, recovery records to assist in repair of broken or damaged archive files, Unicode compatibility to process non-English file names and plenty of features.

The following error is displayed “Packed data CRC failed in the volume name. The volume is corrupt!”

Along with this message, you may encounter the following message “CRC failed in file name. The file is corrupt”. It can assist you in identifying the corrupt volume. This error message can come in handy if a large sized file has been split into multiple parts and only one volume has been broken after the creation of the multivolumes.

This message may be skipped or displayed based on the corrupt archive details. This message is always displayed if one or more volumes are damaged or broken.

Ensure that you have the latest version installed on your machine. If not, you can download the latest version of WinRAR from here. The latest updates come with plenty of enhancements and security patches.

What is the process involved in unzipping a volume to view the contents?

The archives can be extracted using the Keep Broken Files option from the Extraction Path and Options dialog box. However, most of the files will not work if they get damaged. You may give it a try though. An mpeg video may work, if you unzip the initial parts only.

The file header is required for most of the files. It is placed in the first volume of the file and contains information about the file whether it is a movie, text or audio file.

So, the best way is to download the first volume and unpack it with Keep Broken Files selected.

If you encounter “sample.r08”, unpacking only works if the multipart archive files are not solid. Information can be retrieved about such a file from the info function.

However, all movies are not played with the first part extracted. Some media players figure out the length of the movie file and if it is different from the header entry, an error is displayed. The same is the case with the pictures.

The files from a solid multipart archive file could not be extracted because one volume was broken. Can you help me?

Firstly, you should resort to using RAR recovery record when saving archive files to undependable storage media such as floppy diskettes. Generally, we do not recommend you to creating solid archives in such a scenario. You should resort to using the conventional or standard mode (non-solid) in such a case.

If you land upon a broken volume of a solid archive, make an attempt at repairing the file. The use of RAR recovery at the time of creation of an archive file can be helpful. You can check for the presence of the recovery record in the zipped file by using the show information command. Rename the recovered volume such as fixed.arcname.rar, to the actual volume name and make an attempt to decompress the archive again, beginning with the first volume.

Is it possible to switch to the old extension based naming scheme (*.rar, *.r00 to *.r99)?

The stock settings dictate that the RAR volumes are named such as “volname.partNNN.rar” where NNN is the volume number. The following options can be used to change to the old style extension based naming scheme, where the first volume file in a multipart cluster has the extension .rar, following parts are numbered from .r00 to .r99.

It is logical if you unzip an archive file using the plain MS DOS, which does not allow more than one dot in the file name.

Graphical User Interface for WinRAR

You can enable the Old Style Volume Names option in the Archive name and parameters dialog: advanced options.

WinRAR and RAR command line mode

You can switch to another extension based naming scheme using the –vn switch.

Can you describe the process of archiving files with WinRAR?

Run WinRAR by double clicking or hitting the enter key with the WinRAR icon selected. You can run it from the Windows Start Menu under Programs, then WinRAR and then run the WinRAR item.

A list of files and folders in the current folder are displayed when the WinRAR is running. Access the folder which contains the intended archive file. Pressing the Ctrl+D keys enlist the disks below the toolbar or you can click the small disk icon in the bottom left corner to change the existing disk. Press BS, Ctrl+PgUp, small “Up” button below the toolbar or double click the folder named “..” to go to the parent folder or directory. Hit the Enter key or Ctrl+PgDn or double click on that folder to enter that folder. You can configure the root disk folder as the current folder using the Ctrl+ button.

Once you have accessed the folders with the desired files, select the files and folders, which you are going to archive. This can be accomplished using Shift + arrow or the mouse as in Windows Explorer and other Windows programs. You can also use Space or Ins keys to select files. “Gray +” and “Gray -” keys on the numeric keypad allow a user to select files in a cluster using file masks.

With one or multiple files selected, click on the Add button at the top of the WinRAR window, press Alt+A or select the “Add files to archive” command in the commands menu. Enter the destination path in the displayed dialog box or simply accept the default name. You can select the archive file format, compression level, volume size and other archiving criteria. Click on the OK button when you are ready to create the archive.

While the compression is being carried out, statistics will be displayed. If you intend to stop the compression process, click on the Cancel button in the command window. You can press the Background window to minimize WinRAR to the system tray. Once the compression has been completed, the command window disappears and the new archive file emerges as the currently selected file.

You can also add files to an existing RAR file using simple drag and drop operation. Choose the intended archive in the WinRAR window and double click on the file. RAR will read the archive and the contents will be displayed. Files can be added to the archive by dragging them from another program and drop them to WinRAR.

Example 01: Add files to an archive file


RAR ‹command› [ -‹switches› ] ‹archive› [ @‹listfiles›… ]

[ ‹files›… ] [ ‹path_to_extract\› ]

Use command a to add files to an archive.

Example A:

Create or update existing archive myarch, by adding all files in the current directory

rar a myarch

Example B:

Create or update existing archive C:\Backupmyarch, by adding all files in the directory C:\Settings and C:\Work and in all sub-directories of both directories. (Switch -r : Recurse subdirectories)

rar a -r C:\Backupmyarch C:\Settings C:\Work

The following error is displayed “Unknown method in file name!”

Versions of WinRAR older than 2.90 do not come with enhanced compression techniques that are incorporated in WinRAR 3.0 and the higher versions.

This error is displayed if a RAR 3.0 archive file is being unzipped by RAR 2.8 or older version or a ACE 2.0 archive file is being decompressed by RAR 2.8 or older.

This error can be resolved by updating your WinRAR/RAR to the latest released version.

What is meant by a RAR file?

RAR is the inherent archive file format of WinRAR zipping and unzipping program.

Similar to other archive files, RAR files contain data which is stored in the shape of one or multiple compressed files. Once a RAR file has been downloaded from the internet, its contents can only be revealed and accessed after being unzipped by WinRAR.

I have somehow ended up losing my password. Is there any way I can get it recovered?

There are no alternative options available to hack through a RAR encrypted file so the only possible method to find out the password is to test all the possible combinations of characters.

Keep in mind that if you lose your password, you will not be able to get the compressed files decompressed. Even the author of the files is not able to get the encrypted files decompressed if the password is lost.

Is there any optimum number of files that can be added to an archive file?

The number of files that can be added to an archive file relies on the amount of memory and the length of the file names. Approximately, 128 bytes of memory per archive file are needed in the case of RAR archive. For instance, we recommend you to have at least 128 MB of memory if you are intending to archive millions of files. We have carried out successful tests of managing more than 10 million files with ease.

The following error message is displayed “Invalid or corrupt authenticity information”

This means that the archive file has been created using the –av switch which adds information about the author of the file and the file itself. However, this information turns out to be wrong or corrupt. This error may portray that archive data is damaged or the file is broken or a corrupt or illegitimate rarreg.key was employed to add authenticity information.

Ensure that you have the latest version installed on your machine. To download the latest version, click here. The latest versions are always adorned with the latest updates.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply