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Instead of using Right-Click/Send To/Compress (Zipped) Folder.

I am using Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Although I would recommend using 7-zip as tj111 recommended, to use the built in folder compression use the compact.exe command. This is installed in the \windows\system32 folder on Windows XP. See compact.exe /? for command line reference.

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This is not the same as the "Send to Compressed (zipped) Folder" GUI option. Please see 1 and 2 for more. – user66001 Sep 22 '13 at 6:11

I would highly recommend 7zip for command-line archiving in windows. It is incredibly simple yet extremely feature rich, I have many a script that rely on it. Check out some CLI examples.

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I second that… – nik Aug 26 '09 at 15:36
Also, as tj111 says:… – nik Aug 26 '09 at 15:39
7zip is also significantly faster than the built in compressor. – grenade Aug 26 '09 at 15:54

I just saw this on

It's not built in to windows, but it's in the resource kit

C:>compress /?


COMPRESS [-R] [-D] [-S] [ -Z | -ZX ] Source Destination COMPRESS -R [-D] [-S] [ -Z | -ZX ] >Source [Destination]

Description: Compresses one or more files.

Parameter List: -R Rename compressed files.

-D Update compressed files only if out of date.

-S Suppress copyright information.

-ZX LZX compression. This is default compression.

-Z MS-ZIP compression.

Source Source file specification. Wildcards may be used.

Destination Destination file | path specification. Destination may be a directory. If >Source is multiple files and -r is not specified, Destination must be a directory.

Examples: COMPRESS temp.txt compressed.txt COMPRESS -R . COMPRESS -R *.exe *.dll >compressed_dir

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This does not create zip-compatible files. MS-ZIP is not the same thing. It compresses one file at a time, like gzip on Linux, instead of creating a single .zip file of the whole folder. – Nate Aug 26 '09 at 16:20
Exactly. As mentioned as comments 1 and 2 to the answer the above seems to be quoted from. – user66001 Sep 22 '13 at 6:13

using zip and unzip on the windows command line

however, this is not about the 'built-in windows file compression tool', you'll have to download 2 executables (zip and unzip, free)

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I use Info-Zip (open source zip/unzip command line utility) and in order to increase the speed of my windows searches, gzip the resulting zip files.

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