How does the operating system handle self-extracting archives and UTI files?

  • Article ID: 108673
  • Updated: 17 Jul 2008


Product
SafeGuard PrivateCrypto 2.30.x

Client OS

Windows Vista, Windows Vista SP1, Windows XP SP2 Professional Edition

Server OS

None

Question

How does the operating system handle self-extracting archives and UTI files?

Answer

The operating system handles the files completely different. Here's why and how:

For example:

1.6 GB Self-Extracting Archive
If you open a 1.6 GB self-extracting archive (which is actually a Windows executable), the operating system has to read the (entire) executable in order to launch the application. This action can take some time if the file is up to 1.6 GB in size, especially if parts of the main memory have to be swapped to the hard disk first to free up some space for this huge application.


10 GB UTI-File
If you open a 10 GB UTI file, the operating system first needs to start the PrivateCrypto application which is approx. 2.5 MB in size. The application then opens the archive to retrieve detailed information about the contents. Although this operation depends on the size of the archive, it only has to read the archive's header (first couple of sectors) which is usually only a couple KB in size and therefore takes place fairly rapidly.


Therefore, opening a 1.6 GB self-extracting file requires much more data to be read as compared to an archive even ten times larger.


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