File compression when using archivers is used, as a rule, in order to reduce the file size. But sometimes even this procedure is not enough to achieve the required minimum value of the archive received. To solve this problem, it is recommended to divide the archive into several parts. Why use such compression? For example, you need to do this when you need to send a large archive by e-mail or put it on multiple external media. With the help of the archiver you can split the file into equal parts of the specified size or you can configure the process of automatic partitioning of the archive. This method is very convenient to use when backing up with the placement of backup copies of data on multiple media. As soon as the place on one of them ends, the following parts of the archive will automatically be written to the next storage medium. The archive, divided into several parts, is called a multi-volume archive.
How to create a multi volume archive
There are many programs with which you can split the archive into several parts. Here we will look at two commonly used methods for creating multi-volume archives – using the WinRar archiver and using the Total Commander program.
How to split the archive using WinRar
The WinRar archiver is installed on most computers. Create a multi-volume archive using this tool, it will not be difficult.
- Specify the files whose archive should be divided into parts. Select them all, right-click and select “Add files to archive” in the menu that appears.
- In the window that appears, select the “General” tab. Specify the name of the archive, select its format (rar, zip). In the “Split to volumes, size” box, specify the sizes of the individual parts of the archive and click “OK”.
At the end of the partitioning process, all parts of the archive will appear in the specified location. In this way, you can break not only the newly created archive, but also the existing one.
How to split the archive with Total Commander
The multifunctional tool Total Commander can be used, among other things, to create multi-volume archives. It’s very easy to do this.
- In the left or right half of the program window, select the desired file (or archive). In the top menu of the program, go to the “File” section and find the “Split File …” item.
- In the window that appears, select the folder where the parts of the broken file will be placed and the size of these parts. Click «ОК».
All parts of the archive will be placed in the specified folder.
How to unpack a multivolume archive
Beginners are sometimes lost seeing a multi-volume archive with many files. The question is how to open it? Which file should I open first and which program should I do? In fact, unpacking an archive consisting of several parts is even easier than packing it.
- Open WinRar and go to the folder with a multi-volume archive, which you need to unpack. There you will see several files that end in part1, part2, part3 and so on. For the zip archive, such files will end with z01, z02 and so on.
- To unpack a multi-volume archive, double-click on the first of such files.
- If the folder contains a regular archive, without the numbers at the end, you should unpack it.
To make the process of opening a multivolume file successful, you need to have all the files in the multi-volume archive present in the folder. After the file is unpacked and saved, it is recommended to delete all the archive elements.
Self-extracting multi-volume archive
If you are not sure that the person who will use your multi-volume archive has the necessary tools or the necessary level of preparation in order to easily compile this archive and unpack it, it is recommended to use a self-extracting multivolume archive. You can do this using the same WinRar program.
To create such an archive, you should perform the same manipulations as for creating a normal multi-volume archive, but in the “Archiving options” block select the option “Create SFX archive”.
After clicking the “OK” button you will receive an archive split into several files, one of which has an exe extension. It is this file that should be opened when unpacking such an archive. To do this, just double-click on it with the mouse. If you send someone such a self-extracting multi-volume archive, do not forget that all parts of the archive, and not just the part with the exe extension, will be required to open it.
Please note that the self-extracting archive can be opened without the use of special programs, while the creation of the archive requires the use of special archivers.
In conclusion, there is a little information about another type of archives, which is called a “solid archive”. This method of archiving is used infrequently, but at the same time, it can be useful in certain circumstances. For example, this type of data archiving is used when a large number of small files of the same type exist on the computer.
The contents of this archive are considered as an inseparable data stream. The archiver at packing each file entering into archive uses the information of the previous file. The fewer files included in the archive, and the more they are, the higher the compression ratio. Of course, if the files are similar in structure. A correctly formed solid archive can be several times smaller in size than a regular archive.
Multivolume archives can also be solid. In order to create a solid archive, open the program WinRar and go to the folder with the files that you need to enclose in one solid archive. Select all files with the mouse and click the “Add” button.
In the opened window select the necessary conditions and in the “Archiving options” block select the option “Create solid archive”. After clicking the “OK” button the archive will be generate.
It should be noted that a solid archive has its drawbacks. If one of the files included in the archive is corrupted, you cannot open all the files that follow it. If you need to unzip one of the archive files, this will take much longer than normal archives. The matter is that in this case it is necessary to unpack all the files facing the right one. Thus, adding, deleting and modifying files in a solid archive are not recommended. The further the archive file is from the beginning of the archive, the more time it will take to unpack it, since the archiver has to analyze all the archive files that are before it.