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Err Msg: Could Not Decode This Setup (.cab) File...

This article was previously published under Q140901
When you try to install Windows 95 or Windows 98, or install a componentthat requires copying files from the original Windows disks or CD-ROM,you may receive an error message similar to one of the following messages:
  • Setup has detected the following decoding error: "Could not decode this setup (.CAB) file." Setup will attempt to recover from this situation, click OK to continue.
  • Setup (.cab) file error Setup has detected the following decoding error: Setup has detected a corrupt setup (.cab) file. Setup will attempt to recover from this situation.
When you click OK, Setup either proceeds or generates the same errormessage again.

When you are installing Windows 98 Second Edition, the error message reads:
Setup cannot copy all of the files from your Windows 98 CD. Clean the Windows 98 CD with a soft cloth, return it to the CD-ROM drive, and then click OK. If you receive this message again, read the CAB Errors section of the Setup.txt file. This file is in the Win98 directory of your Windows 98 CD.
This behavior can occur for any of the following reasons:
  • Your CD-ROM drive is not functioning properly. The CD-ROM may vibrate too much for the laser to accurately read the data. With the higher spin rates of modern CD-ROM drives, slight damage to a CD-ROM can affect the CD-ROM drive's ability to read a CD-ROM properly.
  • Your computer is over-clocked. Extracting files from the Windows 95/98 cabinet files is memory intensive. If your computer is over-clocked beyond the default settings, it can contribute to decoding errors. Computers that are not over-clocked but are having a cooling problem can also experience decoding errors.
  • Your computer has bad or mismatched RAM or cache. For example, you are using EDO and non-EDO RAM, or you are using different RAM speeds. Even if Windows seems to be running without problems, the additional stress of extracting files and accessing the disk may contribute to decoding errors.
  • Your computer has Bus Mastering or Ultra DMA enabled in the BIOS and in Device Manager. The data may be moving too quickly for the system to keep up.
  • You are using a third-party memory manager.
  • There is a virus on your computer.
  • A plug and play device cannot be detected correctly.
  • Your Windows 95/98 CD-ROM or disks are damaged.
  • Your computer's CPU is overheating as a result of faulty CMOS settngs, a malfunctioning CPU fan, or improper heat dissipation. For example, the heat sink on the CPU is not correctly cooling the CPU.
  • The internal or external cache on the processor or main board is going bad. This is most noticeable when Setup has this problem during file copy phase.
  • You have Norton Autoprotect enabled.NOTE: If this is the case, clear the Norton Autoprotect check box in the Startup group item in Msconfig and contact Symantec about a fix.
To resolve this error message, follow these steps. If one step does notresolve the problem, try the next step.
  1. Remove the CD-ROM from the CD-ROM drive, rotate it one-quarter to one- half a turn, reinsert the CD-ROM into the drive, and then click OK.
  2. Use real-mode CD-ROM drivers. If you are unable to locate the real-mode CD-ROM drivers for your CD-ROM drive, try using the CD-ROM drivers on the Windows 98 Startup Disk. The Windows 98 Startup disk provides support for most types of CD-ROM drives, including integrated device electronics (IDE) and small computer system interface (SCSI) CD-ROM drives. Run Windows Setup from MS-DOS.
  3. Try to slow down your computer. To slow down your computer, use any or all of the following methods:
    • Change your computer's CMOS settings. Bus mastering, external/internal cache, RAM settings/timings, and other settings contribute to the speed at which your computer runs. For information about how to change these settings, consult the documentation that is included with your computer.
  4. Copy the contents of the Win95 or Win98 folder on the CD-ROM to an empty folder on your hard disk, and then run Windows Setup from that folder. If you are unable to copy the Win95 or Win98 folder on the CD-ROM to you hard disk, the CD-ROM may be damaged.
  5. Restart your computer. For Windows 95, press the F8 key when you see the "Starting Windows 95" message, and then choose Step-By-Step Confirmation from the Startup menu.

    For Windows 98, press and hold down the CTRL key after your computer completes the Power On Self Test (POST), and then choose Step-by-Step Confirmation from the Startup menu. For more information about Windows 98 startup, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    178548 No "Starting Windows 98" Message at Startup
    Press Y at each prompt except the following prompts:
    Process your startup device drivers (CONFIG.SYS)?
    Process your startup command file (AUTOEXEC.BAT)?
    If this resolves the issue, isolate the conflict with a terminate-and- stay-resident (TSR) program or real-mode device driver using the Step- by-Step Confirmation function.
  6. Check your computer for a virus using virus-detection software.
  7. Run Windows 98 Setup using the following command:

    setup /c This switch bypasses running SMARTDrive.
  8. Using an MS-DOS based text editor (such as EDIT.COM), view the contents of SETUPLOG.TXT (located in the root of your boot drive). Look for the line which refers to the cabinet file (.CAB) that was accessed and manually extract all the files from that cabinet file to an empty folder on the hard drive, then copy any remaining files from the Win98 folder on the CD-ROM to the same folder on the hard drive.

    Usually, there are many duplicate entries in SETUPLOG.TXT that may resemble the following:
              CAB-Ben->CloseCabinet on ERROR 11      SUMB:Setup (.CAB) File Error:Setup has detected the following      decoding error 'Setup has detected a corrupt Setup (.CAB) file.'.      Setup will attempt to recover from this situation. Click OK to      continue.:OK      DCE:C:\WIN95\SYSTEM\PRECOPY\\BASE5.CAB=2      DCE:remaining=0      CAB-Ben->CloseCabinet on ERROR 8      SUMB:Setup (.CAB) File Error:Setup has detected the following      decoding error 'Setup has detected a corrupt Setup (.CAB) file.'.      Setup will attempt to recover from this situation. Click OK to      continue.:OK      DCE:F:\WIN98\\WIN98_37.CAB=13      DCE:remaining=0   						
  9. If you are still receiving a decoding error in Windows 98, you can manually extract all the Windows 98 files from the Windows 98 cabinet files on the CD-ROM to your hard disk, and then run Windows 98 Setup from the hard disk. It requires approximately 300 MB of hard disk space to extract the Windows 98 files. You can use the Ext.exe utility to extract the Windows 98 files. This utility is located on the Windows 98 startup disk and in the \Oldmsdos folder on the Windows 98 CD-ROM. To manually extract the Windows 98 files, follow these steps:
    1. Insert your Windows 98 Startup disk in the floppy disk drive, and then restart your computer.

      NOTE: If you do not have a Windows 98 Startup disk, you need to obtain one from any Windows 98-based computer. To create a Windows 98 Startup disk on a functional Windows 98-based computer, follow these steps:
      1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
      2. On the Startup Disk tab, click Create Disk, and then follow the instructions on the screen.
    2. At the command prompt, type ext.
    3. When you are prompted for the location of the cabinet files, type the path to the folder that you created in step 4.
    4. When you are prompted for the files to extract, type *.* to extract all files.
    5. When you are prompted for the location to which the files are to be extracted, type in the path to the folder you created in step 4. Setup is designed to look for the existence of a file before it is extracted from the cabinet file.

      Note that this does not extract the files in the and cabinet files.
    6. After all the files have been extracted, run Setup from MS-DOS in the folder that contains the setup files.
NOTE: You may need to remove plug and play devices from your computer to troubleshoot any plug and play conflicts.
Windows 98 Setup attempts to recover from the decoding error by re-seekingthe CD-ROM and attempting to extract the files to a different location.Setup tries up to 128 times to re-seek on a random location on the CD-ROMto start the file copy process again. This is logged in the Setuplog.txtfile and you may notice CD-ROM and hard disk activity, but very littleprogress during Setup. If Setup is unable to extract the files after 128retries, the decoding error message is displayed again.

Note that this behavior can also be caused by a dirty CD-ROM. You may wantto try cleaning the CD-ROM and then running Windows Setup again.
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Article ID: 140901 - Last Review: 05/07/2007 21:34:06 - Revision: 1.3

  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
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