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Microsoft Compression Formats

While making a Xpress Huffman compressor (for the Windows 8 bootmgr) I did a lot of research on different Microsoft compression formats. I have summarized my findings in the table below. If you have anything to add to or correct in the table below please tell me!

I plan to release source code for LZNT1, LZX, Xpress (Lz), and Xpress Huffman compression and decompression. My goal is to have faster and/or better compressors than the Microsoft provided ones.

Enlarge Table

Algorithm Appearance Basis Usage MSDN Availability
MSZIP 1994 deflate[1]
  • CAB files[1]
  • Dir. Repl. Serv. (LDAP/RPC/AD)[MS-DRSR]
Quantum 1994 LZ
  • CAB files
Not mentioned at all
LZNT1 1995 NT 3.51[2] LZSS
  • NTFS file compression[2][MS-FSCC]
  • Win 2000 hibernation file[3]
  • Active Directory[MS-ADTS]
  • File Replication Serv.[MS-FRS1]
  • Vista SuperFetch[4]
  • Vista and Win 7 bootmgr
LZX 1995[5] (1997) LZ77[5]
  • CAB files[1]
  • CHM and LIT files
  • Xbox Live Avatars
  • WIM*[6] (good)
2000 Win 2000 LZX
  • Windows Updates
  • MSP files
Xpress (LZ)
2001 XP[3] LZ77 &
  • XP and newer hibernation file[3]
  • Dir. Repl. Serv. (LDAP/RPC/AD)[MS-DRSR]
  • Windows Update Services [MS-WUSP]
  • Win CE
Xpress Huffman ? LZ77 &
  • Dist. File System Replication[MS-FRS2]
  • WIM[6] (fast)
  • Win 7 SuperFetch[4]
  • Win 8 bootmgr
RDC 2005 Ser 2003 R2 RSYNC
TLZ 2012? Win 8?[7] ?
  • Win 8 hibernation file?[7]
Not mentioned at all
  1. Microsoft Cabinet Format
  2. Optimizing NTFS
  3. Windows Hibernation File for Fun 'n' Profit
  4. Windows SuperFetch file format – partial specification
  5. Compression Resources - Glossary
  6. Windows Imaging File Format (WIM)
  7. R.I.P. Xpress - Welcome TLZ

New Server

I have a new server! It is now a VPS with Green Geeks instead of shared hosting with a different company. This means there should be much better performance and I should be able to add the boot skin sharing system now without going over my limits of bandwidth and space usage (however, it still needs to be finished so I won't release it right away). Also, comments have been re-enabled everywhere and ads have been added to every page.

Note: There have been a few minor issues with the site since migration. These mostly have to do with the transition to a new version of Habari that I made at the same time as changing the server. One problem made a bunch of links dead. Another problem was no comments for about a day (even though the comment form was there the submission would go nowhere). If you find any other problems, please tell me.

Server Issues

My hosting company emailed me today saying:

We regret to say that database 'jeffblog' is currently consuming excessive resources on our servers which causes our server to degrade its performance affecting all other customers database driven sites that are hosted on this server.


If your usage of database queries is not significantly reduced within three (3) business days, we will be forced to suspend your account, as our hosting accounts are not intended for such extreme usage of queries.

As a temporary remedy I have disabled posting and viewing of comments.

I have been getting >3800 pageviews a day on average for blog pages and the program has been run >15,000 times a day (and run an update check against my website) on average (but this doesn't touch the database).

I have been planning on getting a much better server (especially so I can host bootskin sharing) however I simply don't have the funds. I will be adding ads to the website so that I can pay for a better server. However I am always open to having donations. For having a program run more than 15,000 times a day and less than 5 people have donated all together! And you wonder why I don't update!

BatchResourceUpdater Updated

I have updated the BatchResourceUpdater program to fix a few bugs but mainly to integrate the latest copy of my PE file editing library. This is the same exact library now that Windows 7 Boot Updater uses in the next version, and it is released into the public domain! The only difference in the code is a single #define statement that is put into the BatchResourceUpdater!

Besides releasing a great piece of code, the BatchResourceUpdater program is now smaller, faster, and more reliable than before!

10/12/2011: Updated again to add support for RES files.

iTunes Info - New Project

I have just added a new project - iTunes Info - which allows you to control iTunes and displays iTunes information. It is highly customizable and has a nice looking glass interface. The source (released under the GPL) and downloads are available through itunes-info on Google Code.

This iTunes controller has a unique system customizability, allowing any number of actions being applied to events (either iTunes events or keyboard events) and any number of events having the same actions and the display content is highly customizable, pulling almost any available iTunes information.

I know most of the visitors to my site would prefer to see an update to the Windows 7 Boot Updater, but I have been slowly working on this program since I first released Windows 7 Boot Updater about a year ago, it is just now in a state able to be released. So it hasn't really gotten in the way. My work has been getting in the way much more.

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