Author: SJadmin

RAR Training Courses is the home of the  RAR Secrets Course, launching this month!

Have you ever needed, or wished, that you could somehow go beyond using WinRAR.exe and more easily learn how to create, customise or improve your own applications?

Let me introduce you to RAR.exe, the older brother to WinRAR that will provide you with a much larger set of commands and switches than are available to us with WinRAR.

You can start this very useful learning process to use RAR.exe in Windows Command Line, with the free RAR Cmnd Line RCL course, as it is the introductory section of the full course which is available here as a 12 part email series! The in the new year you will be invited to click the Free Login at the top of this page to join our Free RCL Members Group and discuss the basics of using RAR for Windows.

Then you will have to option subscribe to follow on from that that basics course, with our low cost, advanced RAR Secrets Course, that guides and teaches you how to make best use of many of RAR.exe’s 100+ Commands and SwitchesRSC will take you well beyond the RAR.exe basics to create and use your own more useful Batch files. Plus you can then complete this advanced course by learning and using many of the Windows based very useful Powershell scripts, that are provided for you to create a wide range of very useful RAR based projects for everyday and occasional use, for business or for your own use. This RAR Secrets Course has now been updated with 30 training sessions with over 5 1/2 hours of video training lessons. To learn more about it go to: here.

Soon to be included in the advanced RAR Secrets Course will be our RSC Members Private discussion group that will be available here in early 2024.

When do I use RAR?

What is RAR and when should I use it?

RAR enables you to use its many powerful functions as it is the original Windows DOS text mode version that predates WinRAR, and its regularly updated versions are still in everyday use worldwide, as its many extra functions enable it to go way beyond WinRAR’s more limited functions.

RAR is available in downloadable customised versions for Windows, Linux, Mac and Android phones plus FreeBDS Operating Systems (OS).

Why would I want to use RAR?

Because it provides direct access into your OS, there is a much wider range of possible commands and switches available for both advanced users and those of us who are willing to learn how to make good use of RAR. As each of these text mode functions will provide us with more detailed and finer control than is possible with a graphical interface such as Windows.

When would I use RAR?

With RAR.exe you will have full use of the many powerful “low level” functions inside your OS (Operating System).

So have you ever been a bit frustrated using WinRAR.exe, when its commands don’t quite do exactly what you require?

Then I suggest you try looking up the extensive list of RAR commands and switches that are available inside Help (at the top right of each WinRAR window), as well as the rar.txt document that is supplied with WinRAR.

In there you are sure to find at least one command for what you want to do.

But unless you are already quite familiar with the wide range of those commands and functions, you will find there is a learning curve to overcome.

How can I learn to use RAR.exe?

You could start learning by trial and error by working through the RAR functions, but that will take quite a chunk of your time to become proficient with using RAR.exe, so keep reading for more!

Here’s an overview:

In Windows if you first open the Command Prompt, Cmd, then you can enter one or more of RAR.exe’s commands and switches on one line. But you must remember to make a .txt copy of that file so you can reuse and modify those functions. So to make RAR.exe easier to learn, you are invited to join our Free RAR Command Line Secrets course Here.

Then there is a higher level and little known ‘secret’ to using RAR!

Once familiar with Command line, you can take it to the next level by including programming functions such as If … Then, on multiple lines, using Windows .bat files with RAR.exe.

By renaming that .txt file to .bat, you can then add a wide variety of Windows BATch file commands to create multi line mini-programs that are now capable of a much wider range of uses.

You can then go deeper than by using Windows Powershell as it makes using RAR far even more powerful by enabling us to create a wider range of useful mini apps.

Powershell is a far more capable programming utility than .BATch files, so that you can use it to automate regular, tedious, or time consuming tasks to use from inside Windows.

Powershell includes a command line shell and an advanced scripting language, making it extremely useful for those of us that need to get even more done with RAR.exe.

How do I start?

Does all this sound too difficult for you? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I can provide you with answers to your questions with either ,or both, of my two RAR courses:

The RAR Command Line course was originally the introductory first hour of the full course (see below). This free 12 part online course is for WinRAR users who are interested in creating their own line of code with RAR.exe and Windows Cmd line.

This course starts from the beginning with you becoming familiar with many of the most used commands and switches available in RAR.exe by using many examples to enable you to start using them Windows Cmd (Command Line) to create single line code projects.

That course content was originally the introductory part of the full 6 hour video based course, and is now free to anyone to get the introduction to what is possible with the full RAR Secrets Course. Then in the new year, this website will provide new RAR.exe users with their free Members discussion area from this sites top Menu.

The RAR Secrets Course

The full 5+ hour online RAR Secrets Course, launched in November 2023, is recommended for all more experienced RAR.exe, and WinRAR, users who want to extend their knowledge with is 30 video lessons without having to DIY.

During this course you will become familiar with the extensive RAR Commands and Switches and will learn how to use the many examples to create many useful multi-line code starting with .BATch files.

The course then moves on to understanding how to efficiently use Windows PowerShell, so that you can then customise and create your own much more useful ‘mini-apps’, to your exact requirements.

So to subscribe to this course, click here. Then by providing your full name and best email you will have a years access to this very useful course!

Then in the new year (after this site is upgraded) all RSC members will receive an additional bonus to join us in their RSC Private Members area.

Selwyn Arrow, WinRAR How To

P.S. The latest version 6.23 of both WinRAR and RAR is always available here, for you to download.

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Lost WinRAR Registration Key?

Help, I’ve Lost My WinRAR Registration Key!

The one question or request I get most often goes something like this: “please send me a copy of my WinRAR Registration Key as my computer has crashed, or been upgraded, and I didn’t make a backup of it”.

The answer to that question depends on several factors, the most important being, where and from whom did you buy it from? As I am not the only authorized WinRAR (and RAR) distributor, and as these requests tend to come from all over the world, it is quite possible that I did not supply it to them, even though I have been providing WinRAR & RAR licences since version one in 1994 .

First I do a search through my WinRAR sales registration database for individuals, companies or organisations that have purchased online through (from 2007 to now), or my records (all the way back to 1994). If they have bought it from me and have provided enough information to correctly identify them, then I simply package it up and email it to them, as it’s all part of the service that WinRAR distributors provide.

But it gets interesting when I have no record of their WinRAR registration purchase under the information they provided. As of course I do not have information from all the other WinRAR distributors around the world.

So my question to them is; do you know where you purchased your license from? If that distributor is still in business then they are the first place to contact for a copy of your WinRAR license.

Failing that all I can do is suggest that you email the International WinRAR distributors: support(at) and provide them with as much information about your registration, including:

the approximate date it was registered

your name

company (if applicable)

email (at that time)

the string of characters used for your registration (av code phrase).

What information should help them provide you with a replacement registration key for which there will be a small charge.

In case you haven’t guessed by now, the important message in this blog is: Always be sure you immediately and securely back up a copy of ALL registration information you receive. If you don’t, then you may have to purchase another key! Or even need to pay a fee to replace it!


RAR Beginnings

RAR version 1.0

Back in the time before the internet appeared, I had already been running BBS’s (Bulletin Board Systems) for 10 years. These were spread around the world thanks to an ad hoc network called FidoNet. We used 300bps (bits per second) hand built modems to connect to other BBS’s, local via telephone and overseas by toll calls. Each BBS had one or more file areas where you could upload or download documents and public domain programs etc. The vast majority of that data was distributed worldwide in archive files.

So all those years ago in January 1994, RAR version 1.0 was released and archiving was changed forever, as up until then each and every text of downloadable file was individually compressed as a zip file.

RAR.exe was created by a brilliant software programmer, Eugene Roschal, who released version 1.0 of RAR (Roschal ARchiver). A project he had been working on with using advanced mathematics for a while, as he had used that as his university doctoral dissertation and had released the local Beta version in late 1993.

To provide some background to that time, the Personal Computer IBM style, was then all of 12 years old. When it first appeared in August 1981, it ran at the then dizzying speed of 4.77MHz (that’s less than 0.0016% of todays 3GHz + multiprocessors!). Its 8088, or Z80 processor, communicated via 8 bits (todays 64-bit processors have taken over from 32-bit). Their price started from US$1,565 and came ‘complete’ with 16 to 256MB of RAM, a 11.5″ green screen (16 colors was extra), one 160KB 5 .25″ diskette drive, and Microsoft DOS.

Despite (slightly) faster processors, DOS was still king in 1993, particularly among enthusiasts. Even though Windows 1, 2 and then 3.0 had been around since late 1985, as Windows didn’t even begin to go mainstream until after Windows 3.1 was released in April 1992 and then Windows 95 arrived – in 1995.

At that time there was no publicly available free Internet as we know it today, as that was still several years away and only businesses (and some enthusiasts) could afford CompuServe’s ground-breaking dial up service. So for computer enthusiasts around the worlds BBS’s (Bulletin Board Systems) were the best (and lowest cost) option, often using hand built modems to connect via telephone and toll calls.

At first BBS’s were just available locally, that is until 1983 when Tom Jennings released FidoNet software. So at last local BBS’s could swap data, including forum chats and software apps, country wide, and globally, with other likeminded groups. So that by the 1990’s we had a worldwide hobbyist BBS network in full swing.

For this, a dedicated computer was required to run each BBS, usually 24 hours a day, along with its own dedicated telephone line. All the toll calls to exchange the local data interstate, nationally and internationally had to be paid for by someone, usually by individual hobbyists, local computer clubs and groups, or better still by sponsors allowing us access to their nationwide, and preferably international toll links after hours.

As you might have guessed by now, I was definitely involved in the New Zealand BBS scene from very early on, due to my background as a telecom technician for over 20 years at that time. So by then I was well and truly hooked on computers and communications, and had been writing about BBS possibilities since 1981. So I became the first Sysop (System Operator) of the New Zealand Microcomputer Club BBS ‘NZ MICRO’, FidoNet 3:772/1. Then in 1992 I started my own computer troubleshooting business and started ARROW BBS, FidoNet 3:772/185.

So what has that historical digression got to do with RAR and WinRAR? Well BBS’s needed a more efficient archiver than Pkzip etc. to send all of our data from place to place after archiving into large topic files. But toll calls and even local calls were an ongoing cost, in most areas (but not in New Zealand as local calls were free!), so were usually paid for by the BBS owners, though sponsorship definitely helped. While transferring all that data (very slowly) through the ad hoc BBS network meant that the BBS, and its telephone line, was not available for local callers – so a dedicated phone line was also essential.

So Eugene Roschal’s answer to reducing the data transfer costs was to compress the data to make it smaller and therefore quicker to send. Previously ARC and then PKZip archivers had been used but they only archived individual messages and files. So when RAR.exe arrived with Eugene’s uniquely optimised code it meant that our groups of files were now much smaller due to his unique compression algorithm. Even better, he had designed his text compression code specifically for use with the multiple text BBS forum files. As until then, each text ‘chat’ file had to be individually compressed with Pkzip, and of course each of those compressed files needed  their own individual indexes. But RAR could archive thousands of text or program files and only require a total index, so saving disk storage space, and of course much reduced transmission time. Combine that with its more efficient program file compression, and of course RAR became an instant hit!

In January 1994, RAR v1.0 was released and only a week or so later I found it among the shared files on Arrow BBS, I immediately purchased my business license (by snail mail). And was promptly invited by the then international distributor for RAR, Ron Dwight (1944 – 2002), an American living in Finland, to join their international team of distributors as the New Zealand and Australia distributor for RAR, as I ran my own computer support company.

Then a year later WinRAR for Windows was released in mid 1995, so WinRAR soon became even more popular as users then did not need to become familiar with using Microsoft DOS, or MS-DOS, even though WinRAR only provided a subset of RAR.exe’s Commands and Switches.

These are examples of my “BBS online adverts” for RAR!