I use an online file backup service (Backblaze) and recently got a new computer. Several files on my old computer were too large to move via my usb drive so I decided to download them from my backup service.

Specifically the files included 3 videos consisting of about 20GB.

However...when I proceeded to unzip them, I got the following error message:

Error message: 2.15 EB needed to unzip archive

I use a 250Gb SSD, and a 1TbHDD. I failed to pick up a 2.15 Exabyte Hard drive while picking out my new computer though.

How do I fix this?

  • 94
    "I failed to pick up a 2.15 Exabyte Hard drive while picking out my new computer though." Cheapskate.
    – Adam Davis
    Jul 3, 2015 at 4:23
  • 9
    When you wouldn't have said that the archive comes from a trusted source, I would have suggested that the zip archive might be a zip bomb. It is possible to hand-craft zip archives which are quite small when compressed but of ridiculous size when unpacked.
    – Philipp
    Jul 3, 2015 at 9:25
  • 26
    Respect to Microsoft though for including exascale-compatible devices in their design and test cases. Seems they have learned since the 640KB days. :)
    – Lunatik
    Jul 3, 2015 at 13:01
  • 13
    18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes ought to be enough for anybody! Jul 3, 2015 at 15:57
  • 7
    @AdamDavis: We'll be having a second round of laughs in a few decades (or less) when EB scale storage becomes feasible for the average user.
    – rovyko
    Jul 3, 2015 at 20:04

3 Answers 3


Use a different file archive tool (such as 7-Zip) to unzip the files.

Not all .ZIP features are supported by the Windows Compressed Folders capability. For example, AES Encryption, split or spanned archives, and Unicode entry encoding are not known to be readable or writable by the Compressed Folders feature in Windows versions earlier than Windows 8.


  • 3
    Some installations of Windows 8 won't open encrypted .zip files alleging [homeland] security reasons.
    – 174140
    Jul 4, 2015 at 10:43
  • @uprego One likely explanation is that encrypted zip files are often used to hide from virus scanners, and are rarely used legitimately.
    – user253751
    Jul 5, 2015 at 3:40
  • 7
    @uprego Where did you read that? Link please.
    – Steven
    Jul 5, 2015 at 17:44
  • Happened to a coworker some time ago, but I couldn't get to find a link for showing it.
    – 174140
    Sep 1, 2015 at 6:22

Download and the latest version of daemontools lite. Once it's installed, rightclick on the .zip file and select open with. Browse to where daemontools was installed. Once found, daemontools will create a virtual drive which contains the content of the .zip file - it will be created on next available drive letter.

  • 1
    Jim, it looks like you created a second user ID, which will interfere with your ability to manage your own posts and accumulate rep. See superuser.com/help/merging-accounts about getting your accounts merged. (Afterwards, you should just delete your previous answer.) Sounds like a good solution, BTW.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 11, 2015 at 23:57

Another option to "unzip" the file, is the use Daemon Tools and map the zip file as a virtual drive from where you can copy the content to desired location. This way you don't need space for both the .zip file and it temporary space when unzipping it using either WinZip, 7-Zip, WinRar.

  • 1
    Can you expand your answer to explain how to do this? Thanks.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 11, 2015 at 21:21

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