Friday, March 12, 2010

How to Extract CAB files from the Activesync Installer

A lot of times you want to be able to install all your applications directly from you SD card, but most applications don't make that easy. Most of the time all you get from the application vendor is the PC installer. To get the CAB file you can normally do the following:
Most applications make it easy to find the .cab file you need for a direct install on your pocket PC. They are usually located on your desktop PC in the following folders:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft ActiveSync\<appname>
  • C:\Program Files\<appname>
  • C:\<appname>

In most cases you can just copy and paste the cab file into to your storage card.

The trickier installation routines delete the CAB file after the installation, however the only way to install a program is through a .cab (or to copy an .exe) so every installer has to leave the .cab file on your harddrive for a small portion of time. For those installers here are the steps to getting the files:
  1. Connect your device
  2. Run the install for the program, click the appropriate yes's until,
  3. The Activesync message box for "install to default location" comes up--at this point don't click anything, let it sit
  4. Use the windows search or find feature(depending on what version of windows you are using) and search your local drives (including hidden and system folders) for *.cab it helps if you have an idea what the file name might be, or the date of the file, or what the temporary subdirectory it might be placed in is called, regardless that search will list all of the .cab files on your machine at that time.
  5. Copy and paste the .cab to your favorite storage location.


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