A Small Open Source Win – and Windows Fail

I needed to zip together a largish number of photos to upload to a server, from my Windows XP machine. Last night I started the process about 2100 by selecting the photos in the directory with Ctrl-A, then right-clicking “Send to compressed (zipped) folder”, and letting it run. I started doing other work and forgot about the compression. This morning at 0730, I noticed it was still running!

I clicked Cancel to stop the process, and looked at the zip file so far. Or, tried to. It was corrupt and would not open. I figured that the Windows built-in zipper was having problems.

I used to own WinZip (I had bought a license), but stopped downloading and using it when they went commercial a couple years ago. I used 7-Zip for the school machines and it worked well. So I downloaded and installed 7-Zip in about a minute flat.

I selected the 322 files again, right-clicked and saw 7-Zip on the context menu, and told it to “Add to [filename].zip”. It started working. I watched it for a minute, and figured it would run for a while, as the 322 photos were about 6MB each. I told it to run in the background, and minimized it. It ended up running about three (3) minutes.

So now I have a zip of the 322 files that is about 1.86GB in size, and it didn’t take all night to create. 7-Zip is far more robust than the built-in Windows zip tool, and it far less expensive than WinZip. Great tool.

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