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Tech Software:
Freebyte Zip is a Simple to Use Freeware Archiving Utility That Also Runs on the Dos Command Line
 
Posted 23 months ago on 11/17/2017 and updated 9/16/2018
Take Away:

This article describes how to use the Freebyte ZIP free archiving utility software.

KB102803

Most people who need a software utility for archiving files typically go with a well known application like “Pkzip or Winzip”. While these programs are very good, they must ultimately be purchased. You may be able to get 30-day trial versions or get them for free if you buy some other product. But where do you go if you want a free zip file archiving program with no strings attached? I have found one and it’s called “Freebyte ZIP”.

I have used this handy application for my own purposes to archive multiple files for email transmission. It’s simple to use and it works well. To download it, go to “http://www (dot) freebyte (dot) com/fbzip/” and click on one of the 3 links near the bottom of the page. After the “fbzpack.exe” file is in your download directory, just double click on it. An extraction dialog screen will show with the current directory set as the folder to receive these 3 files: “FBZip.bin, FBZip.exe and readme.txt”. Next, just click the “Start” button and it’s done.

As soon as the file extraction is complete, the program is ready to run. Just double click on the FBZip.exe application with the “leaping dolphin icon” and the program will start quickly. This is unusual for a Windows application, because it typically has to be deployed through an install shield that updates various folders on the hard drive as well as the system registry. Freebyte ZIP is entirely contained within one executable file. This is an advantage when you really think about it, because it’s not vulnerable to an installation that went wrong or a screwed up Windows system registry.

After the program has begun, the first screen you will see is the main program screen in the background with another screen in front of it titled “Starting Freebyte ZIP”. You will have 4 choices: Create a new zip archive, Open an existing zip archive, Ignore this screen and Exit. The first 2 choices are already on the menu bar of the main program screen. There is a “Help” area on the menu bar that displays general information about the application as well as an “Options” area that lets you associate all zip files with Freebyte ZIP. Directly beneath the menu bar is a row of function buttons which duplicate the tasks contained under the menu bar.

Upon clicking the “File” area, you will see the following tasks: “New zip archive, Open archive, Close archive(grayed) and Make self extracting archive(grayed)”. After clicking the “New zip archive” option, a file dialog box appears and you must key in the name of the zip file to be created and what folder it will be stored under. Next, a new dialog screen appears titled “Add files or folders to zip archive”. Here you select files and/or folders to add to the new zip file. You can also specify a password to restrict access if you like and that can also be reset. There is a drop down box to specify the compression level of the zip file to be created. By default, “store files from all subfolders” is checked. A set of radio buttons allows you to “Store relative path of files”, “Store absolute path of files” or “Do not store any path information”. Notice that after a zip file has been created or opened, the “Close archive” and “Make self extracting archive” selections become enabled on the pop up menu under the “File” area. Closing the current zip file obviously removes it from the main program screen. Creating a self extracting zip archive will encapsulate the currently displayed zip file contents into an executable file of the same zip file name. Upon double clicking it, this executable will empty out the contents of the archive in the same way “fbzpack.exe” dispensed the 3 program files as mentioned above.

The contents of the zip file are displayed beneath the row of function buttons. For each file contained within the currently displayed archive, you will see the following parameters: filename, date, time, size, compression ratio, packed, attributes and path location.

Upon clicking the “Action” area on the menu bar, you will see the following tasks: “Add files or folders, Delete selected file(s), Extract file(s), View Files and Select All”. “Add files or folders” is the same screen that comes up after you create a new zip file. “Delete selected file(s)” removes a file you highlighted in the contents area beneath the row of function buttons. “Extract file(s)” lets you extract all or selected files to a folder of your choice. “View Files” allows you to view a selected file. “Select All” lets you select all the files in the currently displayed zip file.

Freebyte ZIP can also run in DOS on the command line. I have never used this myself, but for all you “old schoolers” here it is:

Command-line options

-e: extract files

-a: add files

-p: use path information when extracting files (create directories if necessary)

-p: store path information when adding files

-r: recurse subdirectories when adding files

command-line:

fbzip.exe [options]

* The list of absolute paths can contain file names, directories and wild-cards.

* If does not exist, it will be created on harddisk.

Examples of how to maneuver Freebyte ZIP on the DOS command line are detailed in the readme.txt file that comes with the application. Please visit my website to learn more about my computer repair and my PC fix recommendations.


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