Purpose of WEXTRACT.EXE?

January 11, 2005 at 09:05:45
Specs: Win 98, Intel Pentium II 192 mB

I have an install icon named DCOM98 on my desktop. This is a Microsoft product and the program name is “WEXTRACT.EXE”. I have searched on the net for readable information about this program, but all information are so full of technical terms and abbreviations that make them cryptic to me. I cannot remember why and how this icon came to my desktop. Can anybody on this forum tell me what is the purpose of this program?

See More: Purpose of WEXTRACT.EXE?

Report •

January 11, 2005 at 09:33:48

Looks like a file to fix problems with Win98 shutdown.

Report •

January 11, 2005 at 09:38:36

My first response is not correct. This is a program to extract windows CAB files. WEXTRACT.EXE- Win32 Cabinet Self-Extractor

Report •

January 11, 2005 at 10:30:28

Tnx much. But what are Windows CAB files? Are they important in order to run Win satisfactorily. I can probably remove the icon and the program without causing accident to my Win or associated software?

Report •

Related Solutions

January 11, 2005 at 10:44:07

.cab files ar compressed files which contain setup files etc. You'll find them on your O/S CDROM's. Picture it as a ZIP file. In fact, if you have winzip, you can click on a .cab file and see the contents.

Sometimes (actually most often) the files inside of a cab file are further compressed. For example, a .dll or a .exe file may be listed as .dl_ or .ex_. This is where the extract utility comes in. You can't just use winzip to extract the file as it would still be in it's own compressed state, ie; .dl_ or .ex_ when "unzipped" by winzip. You run the extraction utility to "pull" it from the .cab file into it's full expanded state.

Report •

January 11, 2005 at 10:54:23

My first response is not correct as well as far as; "Sometimes **(actually most often)** the files..."

I just did a random check of some of the cab files on my 98SE CDROM and most are in fact "full" files.

Report •

January 11, 2005 at 11:02:20

OK. Starting to understand. Just another question - please have patience with me...
If Win should start to behave strange, will this wextract.exe be able to repair corrupted files? As by now, when my Win runs OK, I will not do any harm if I remove the icon from my desktop and use the "add/remove" to remove WEXTRACR.EXE from the list of loaded programs?

Report •

January 11, 2005 at 16:37:30

Win98 has a very good GUI tool to extract .cab files found by going to Start, Run and typing SFC, hit the Ok button.

With SFC (System File Checker) you can extract a single file to replace a corrupted system file. It will also register that replacement file with SFC.


Report •

January 11, 2005 at 16:39:19

Also note that WEXTRACT.EXE is not found on my Win98 PC.
Nor do I find it on my Win98 CD.


Report •

January 11, 2005 at 22:11:31

wextract is not part of 98se.

So I guess the answer to the OP is: delete the icon if you like.

Beyond that...

Yes, the files inside a 98 CAB are not compressed. Oddly, the uninstalled files for 2k/xp (and maybe NT4) and DOS 6.22 are compressed.

One indicator is that uncompressed files will have the form:


while compressed files will have the form:


98se, and maybe all 9x, comes with a command line extractor: extract.exe, which is kind of a clunker.

This batch makes it much easier to use:

for %%C in (*.cab) do extract /y %%C %1

What I would like to know is a way to add a files to a CAB.




If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.

Report •

January 12, 2005 at 00:33:35

Thanks to all of you. Even though I have worked with computers since the seventies, I'm no computer wizard. I don't know which files resides in wextract.exe, and I don't know how to replace corrupted files and when.
I think it's best for me to have this file at hand though, as I understand that it is full of useful software. Thanks much for useful information.

Report •

January 12, 2005 at 01:11:16

I suspect what is going on here is that Kjell is looking at the DCOM98 install package and noting that it's properties show that it is a Wextract.exe self extracting executable even though he fails to spot or mention the self extracting part? Take a properties look at any MS update, it will show the same type of info. These packages are made with iexpress which uses wextract to splice itself onto the compressed installation files which is part and parcel the update itself. Thus it's properties include the wextract.exe file tag.

Second guess is that Kjell downloaded the DCOM98 self installing package to the default download directory which is the Desktop folder. Kjell probably got that file here. Why, I can't possibly know.

The purpose of DCOM is to assure secure communication between various aspects of the computer. We have ActiveX, Java, VBscript, JavaScript and so many others it boggles the mind - they all need to/can access secure areas that left unguarded, would be a hackers dream come true. DCOM is that guard. (I don't understand it all either, but that's my best take on it)

You can install it if you want to, it won't make much difference since when you install ie 5, you also installed DCOM95 which is pretty much the same critter as DCOM98 anyway. BUT if your current DCOM files are a mess, installing/reinstalling DCOM98 will straighten the mess right out. My advice is that it can't hurt - install it, I did.

has a link to SDK CAB kit which has a lot of info on cab files, but I don't recall offhand a way to add to an existing cab file. One could repackage the cab to include some other files easy enough though. Post more info on what you want to do there exactly or was that close enough?

Files inside 98 cab files are compressed, extract an entire cab and note the difference between the cab size and bytes used in the folder extracted to - 3 to 1? Example shown with munged extension notably used for (yes, NT4 also) installation files where each file is compressed using a proprietary program only the installer program can use? Anybody extract one of this type successfully other than using the installation program? I didn't try very hard, but no luck here.

Report •

January 12, 2005 at 01:40:23


Good stuff.

Yes, you're right. The files in the CABs are compressed about 3:1.

Earlier I just did a careless check and did not notice that WinZip reports the original size and "?" for compression.

I'm a little fuzzy about your last few lines. Are you asking about working with the file.ex_ types?

If so, the answer is that you use expand.exe.


If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.

Report •

January 12, 2005 at 05:08:53

The only files I have been able to add to a .cab file are allowed under the programs .ini file. (Scanreg.ini.)

This allows adding other files to the RB00*.cab files, ie;

; Additional system files to backup into cab as follows:
; Filenames are separated by ','
; dir code can be:
; 10 : windir (ex. c:\windows)
; 11 : system dir (ex. c:\windows\system)
; 30 : boot dir (ex. c:\)
; 31 : boot host dir (ex. c:\)
;Files=[dir code,]file1,file2,file3
;Files=[dir code,]file1,file2,file3

That's all I have on this topic.

Report •

January 12, 2005 at 10:47:19

Hello everyone,


I use PowerZip to add files to the .cab's. Works great.

Best Regards,

Report •

January 12, 2005 at 10:58:31

Well geez, there ya go. Simple and directly to the point, as always. Thanks Mesich.

Report •

January 13, 2005 at 05:04:27

Thanks, yes right on the nose. I had never heard of expand.exe before, will hunt it down.

Thanks for that tip as well, cab file info is so well protected by MS I feared that it wasn't possible. With arc and zip yes, but cab was a problem until you dropped by.

Report •

January 13, 2005 at 05:22:54

Hello everyone,

Hi Dan,

Thank you for the kind words. :-)

Hi Melee

It is my pleasure to share when I can.

Best Regards,

Report •

January 13, 2005 at 22:20:36


For your expanding enjoyment:


Report •

Ask Question