Solid archive is an archive packed with a special compression method, which treats several or all files within the archive as one continuous data stream. WinRAR supports solid mode only in RAR archiving format, ZIP archives are always non-solid. Use Create solid archive option in archiving dialog or -s command line switch to enable solid archiving.
Solid archiving significantly increases compression when adding a large number of small, similar files. But it also has a few important disadvantages:
Solid archiving is preferable if:
Usually files in a solid archive are sorted by extension. But it is possible to disable sorting with -ds switch or set an alternative file order using a special file, rarfiles.lst.
Volumes and self-extracting archives (SFX) may also be solid.
See also: switch -s, switch -ds, rarfiles.lst
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