Splitting Files

Introduction: Splitting Files

When you come across a situation where you need to fit a single file into removable media not capable of accommodating that large a piece of data, you can consider splitting the file.

An example of such a situation is when you need to write a DVD ISO image onto CDs (for any reason... like no dvd writer or whatever) or maybe onto a usb mass storage device with lesser space than the concerned file.

Note that this doesn't necessary require the file to be a video file; it can be anything: an ISO file, or a cabinet file, or what-so-ever.

WARNING: This method cannot be used for splitting Operating System Installation files; because this method requires an operating system to work on.

Although there are many custom softwares available available for the job, a better idea would be to use softwares that you already have or those which are easily available, like WinZip or WinRAR.

NOTE: You might, I mean, you will find a typo here and another there, but they are pretty obvious, I mean what was supposed to be there in place of the typo, so please overlook them... :)

Step 1: What You Need

You may use any of the following Compression softwares:

1. WinRAR (not very reliable)

2. 7-Zip (reccomended)

3. WinZip 11.2 pro (my personal favorite)

This is an optional software that you may need to convert DVDs to CDs

MagicISO v5.5

Step 2: Converting DVDs Into CDs

For this you will be needing MagicISO.

This is probably the easiest step of this instructable.

Insert a DVD.

Cancel any auto run activity.

Open MagicISO, and click the icon make image from this cd. (its a cd sitting on a cd drive icon)

Choose the output location, set ISO as the image format and press ok.

You will now have a DVD .iso image.

You can now write this onto CDs by splitting the large image into smaller fragments, which easily fit on cds. The procedure of splitting these files is given subsequently.

Step 3: Using WinRAR: Step 1

WinRAR is the most most popularly used compression and archiving software. And it splits files, too.
Well, at least its supposed to.

So this is how you do it:

First of all, check if standard cd option is checked:

Open WinRAR > Options > Settings
Choose the Compression tab, click on the define volume sizes button, and make sure the 700MiB CD option is chosen. Infact, choose all the options. And in case you need a custom size, Add it in the user defined volume sizes. Press ok to confirm your settings.

Ok, add the file you need to split, and in the archive name and parameters dialog box, after specifying the name and the location, make sure of the following:

in the archive format, RAR is chosen
Compression Method, STORE is chosen

Now, if you are lucky , the split into volumes, bytes option will be active, and you can choose the size you want, and press ok.
Now what I mean by "if you're lucky" is that many-a-times, you may find this option grayed out. In fact, when I was splitting a trial file for taking the screenshots for this instructable, I was rather surprised to find the option active; most of the times you find it inactive and grayed out. That is the reason why in the previous step I said that using WinRAR is not a very reliable option.

I gave this thing a trial run, first by making an 2727 MiB ISO file, and then tried to split it. And as mentioned above, miraculously the split into volumes, bytes option was active and not grayed out. (The first time I tried this thing out, I had a file around 850MiB, and I don't know if this darned thing was overconfident that it could compress it into <700MiB or what, but the option was grayed out; this time, I dunno what happened; maybe it freaked out at 2727mibs of data!!) So I chose the standard 700 MiB CD option and then pressed ok to confirm the action, as you may see in the screenshot.

Step 4: Using WinRAR: Step 2

This really isn't a step, just a screenshot, basically. But no harm reading this, either.

One really weird thing that I noticed while using WinRAR was that in this the compression ratio was 99%, i.e. it was compresson @ 99%, which means it was expansion @ 101%.
in simple language it means the size of the output is going to be slightly larger than the original one, which is sort of strange coming froma compression software.

When the job is done, you find four .rar files in the target location. Write them onto cds or whichever media you wish and your splitting job is done.

I tried this thing out with a 2.66GiB ISO file, trial.iso, and I ended up with four archives, all of them called trial.rar.

WARNING: Do not rename the split archives!!

You may consider adding the WinRAR installer along in the last cd, just in case. You may also add a text document conatining the instructions to reassemble the split archives, which I am giving in the next step.

Step 5: Using WinRAR: Reassembling the Split Archives

The first archive is the first one to be extracted from. The first Archive is the one which is at the top left corner.

Open and extract its contents onto a location. When prompted for, you may provide the location of the next archive; for instance, you may change the disc, select the next archive, and press ok.

Note that, if this works, this is a very easy and fast method to split files, repeat, if it works. it didn't work on the first run, and this will definitely not be my first choice for splitting files.

Step 6: Using 7-Zip: Step 1

This is the way I recommend you to use, for more than just one reason. unlike the other two softwares, this is one is an open source software, and can be downloaded free, from the link I've given in step 1.
Secondly, this is a a compression software, basically, with an average compression ratio of a 140%, which is better than both WinRAR and WinZip, except for WinZip v.10.2 BETA's Most Portable algorithm (which, by the way, is now obsolete) which has an average compression ratio of a 145%.

Open 7-Zips File Manager, browse for the file you need to split, and click on the add icon.

In the dialog box that opens, select the name and location of the of the target zipped file, in the the Archive format field, choose zip, since that is a universal format, select compression level to store, and in the split to volumes, bytes option, choose the option you wan, and press ok.

I, again used my 2727MiB trial.iso file, and this split it pretty neatly.

Step 7: Using 7-Zip: Step 2

On test running this software with my 2.66GiB iso file, tial.iso, I ended up with four archives: trial.001, trial.002, trial.003 and trial.004.

As obvious it is, none of these are recognizable formats by windows, but they can be accesses through 7-Zip, so chill. you may now write these archives onto cds or any other medium you like.

As in the case with WinRAR, and even more so in this case, don't forget to add the 7-zip installer along, because I'm not sure if any other software can read the 00x format. Also, do provide the reassembling directions, which are not as straight forward as in the case of WinRAR, which I am providing in the next step. And do not rwname any of the files.

Step 8: Using 7-Zip: Reassembling the Split Archives.

Unlike WinRAR, you first need to to copy all the archives, onto your hard disk, in the same location, as in a folder .Make sure that they all ARE oin the same folder, else this will not work. Once you've got all the archives onto your hard disk, double click on the first archive (in my case it was trial.001). Windows does not recognize this format, and asks you to select a program. Select 7-Zip file Manager. in case it is not there on the list of programs, browse for it in the directory or folder in which you instaled 7-Zip. Choose 7-Zip File Manager, and press ok.

Your job is done, since you already copied all the archives to a location, you will not need to change discs, thats already done. After you've reassembled your file, you may delete the archives from your hard disc, as you no longer need them.

Job Done!!

I recommend this way for splitting your files, if you are looking for an economic version. The only only glitch in this way is that you need to first copy all the archives onto your hard disc, and then select 7-Zip file manager to read them. But that's not much of an issue. So if you're gonna use this mehod, its not gonna burn a hole in your pocket, since both other sofwares need to be purchased. Also, this is a light download, and the installer can easily fit in with it occupying less than 1MiB of memory. So if you are looking for economy, this is the option for you!!

Step 9: Using WinZip: Starter Notes

Before proceeding with this step, I guess I should let you folks no that I work with WinZip 11.2 pro. If you've got an older or the standard version, then some features may be absent, although most probably you shouldn't have problems, since the newer and the pro versions just give you an upgrade of compresion and encryption algorithms, so the chance of options being absent is but rare.

Secondly, you may have configured WinZip to appear in the wizard interface. I suggest you move on to the classic interface (actually, it won't work this way; you HAVE to switch to the cassic interface.) It looks more like WinRAR, though better, and its easier to work with, way better than the hectic wizard interface. To do this,

Open winzip, Choose Options, choose the misc tab, and select next time open using classic interface. Restart WinZip. At the time of exit it will ask you to choose one of the options what you wanna do. Choose the that says open using classic interface... or something like that; i mean choose the classic interface option, close it and open it again.

Although a simpler way would be to choose WinZip Classic from the Wizard mode... :P

Anyway, now that you're done, we may proceedto he actual stuff.

Step 10: Using WinZip: Step 1

Open WinZip, in the classic interface. Click on New to create a new Zip file. Create it and press ok.

Now click on the Add tab and select the file you want to split. In the Add file tab, there are a host of options, below the file list. In the split zip file, choose the size you want to split the file into. Now, click on the change compression button, choose the "let me choose..(blah blah blah)..." radiobuton, and specify the compression as none.

Press ok and then press add.

Now the splitting will start.

Step 11: Using WinZip: Step 2

On a test run on my trial.iso file, winzip split it into four files: trial.z01, trial.z02, trial.z03 and trial.zip.
Please note that all but the last archives are in the .z0x format (x being the no of the archive, ie 1st, 2nd and on) , which is not understood by the computer. It doesn't need to be so, either. In fact, you have got nothing to do with it. The last archive is in the .zip format, which the computer can open, and this is what you arr going to start with. In other words, this is kind of installation disc. You may now write these onto cds, or any other media of your choice.

As in the previous two cases, do not rename any of the archives, add the version of winzip which you used to split the file, and the instructions to reassemble it, as given in the next step.

Step 12: Using WinZip: Reassembling the Archives

Reassembling a WinZip split file is unlike anything before. 'Cuz to start with, in this case, you begin with the last archive, which I call the installation archive. Its pretty simple: Load the zip file onto your hard disk. Open it, and click on the extract button. Specify the location, and then extract. The computer will now promp you for the the location of the the first archive, like for instance the cd drive. Select it, and press ok. then on, it will prompt for the discs one by one, until it extracts from all the archives into one single output file.

Simple, smart, systematic, sophisticated...

And may I add coll, too.

In addition to these, the reason why this is my preffered way of spiltting files is that WinZip is an easily available software (most people have it and use it), and unlike WinRAR, it didn't let me down on the first run. Plus, despite WinRAR's simplicity, its possible that you may have to face a minor issue in WinRAR while reassembling the file.

So that's about it.. for splitting files!!

Step 13: The End

That's about it... for this instructable...

Hope it is of use to you.

If you like it, you may leave a comment...

good day to all!!


Be the First to Share


    • Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge

      Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge
    • Super-Size Speed Challenge

      Super-Size Speed Challenge
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest

    7 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 8

    Thanks for this instruction. I was struggling with various methods that weren't working, and this did the trick!


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 8

    Gee, thanks! Glad this instructable came in helpful for you! :)


    5 years ago on Step 8

    How did you get your windows like that its super cool!! And this was very useful even 4 years later



    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    As you can see, I have in fact included 7zip in the instructable.
    And as far as the compression ratio goes, I usually prefer not to compress my files, coz the files I have to deal with usually, don't really get compressed by 15-20MB or more, and when you're dealing with file sizes in GBs, that doesn't make much of a differences, while actually eating up your system resources and time.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't see it at the time of the posting, almost two years ago.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, I somehow managed to miss your comment, so it went unanswered for all this while. The 7-zip was always there (it was one of the first, and still one of my preferred archiving tools around.)

    I just received a comment recently, so that's when I saw your comment. Sorry for the late reply. :)