I recently downloaded a piece of software that came in a .ZIP archive, but the .EXE software inside of the archive had a password on it. The website that I would have gotten the password from closed a while ago.

Because the executable is password protected it cannot be extracted.

I'm on Windows 7 Home Premium, and I use winrar for my archives.

So, I guess my question is is it possible to crack a password for a file within an archive without extracting it?

  • 1
    sorry, is it the software that is password protected or the archive?
    – VBwhatnow
    Jul 12 '12 at 11:58
  • @VBwhatnow "it cannot be extracted." seems to indicate the archive.
    – Daniel Beck
    Jul 12 '12 at 12:12
  • 1
    you need rar cracker, but it is a very lengthy task and you have to have lot of patience
    – Deb
    Jul 12 '12 at 12:31
  • You need some multi-threaded bruteforce cracker. But it may take a while to crack. Maybe days...weeks. You need a lot of horsepower for this.
    – Apache
    Jul 12 '12 at 12:50
  • 2
    cRARk is an excelent tool for RAR cracking. Uses GPU to multithread attacks. Just not sure if it supports zip files. I do know that there is a version that supports 7-zip. Jul 12 '12 at 15:36

This is reputed to be the gold standard in archive extractors. Not particularly cheap, but they have a great reputation. Elcomsoft Advanced Archive Password Recovery.

The assumption I'm making here is that it's the archive which has the password. This is based on the fact that you say it cannot be extracted; if it were the .exe which were password protected you could extract it, you just wouldn't be able to act on the .exe. Secondly, programs inside password-protected archives are very common, and password protected .exe's are less so.

  • Thanks, I'll check this software next time I need to access a protected archive. Feb 20 '14 at 16:25

Download this zip cracker, this may help you, alternatively you can go to this site ehow.com, and follow the instruction.

  • 11
    You really should add more to this answer. Like for instance indicate any solution is not a guaranteed solution because of the nature of simply, trying every single possible password.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 12 '12 at 13:26
  • I agree with Ramhound. Most understand the "brute force" part, but every cracker has some particulars about how to set up the dictionary whether it's a string definition or an actual file it pulls from. Jul 12 '12 at 15:34

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