Archive context menu - extensibility and WIM

WIM archives can be created in 7z when the destination archive extension is ".wim".

WIM archives record correctly, the windows NTFS file attributes and many other things. Of most importance, they record Hard Links, Reparse Points, etc all correctly. Which is of great value if one uses a ".vhdx" model, combined with samba NAS servers, and mklink (etc) symlink techniques.

DOpus can open and unpack ".wim" files and, like 7z.exe, I suspect it's archive plugin uses the same code-base and so already has WIM support by directly calling the Window's WIM libraries that are freely available.

It would be GREAT to be able to "check" a ".wim" box in the "Archive Context Menu" list in DOpus. It would also be "GREAT" to add one's own commands to that menu to enable customizing the flags and sequences used by the "archive plugin".

Of important note: When "unarchiving a WIM" it can be critical to be able to do so with "admin" privileges to enable restore. So, like launching other commands, it would be equally important to enable "admin .wim" unarchive.

DOpus is AWESOME and this would be a really valuable feature for backup and restore of directory nodes.

I realize, knowledge about WIM and 7z and how to use and create such archives and their importance for symlink (etc) backup and restore is hard-to-find and not-well-understood.

So, here is a simple command line example of how to create a WIM with symlinks using 7z.

Given a folder named "foo", and assuming we are in a cli-shell cd at "..\foo" the following command line can archive its NTFS structure correctly using:

"7z a foo.wim foo"

We have support for basic operations using WIM archives, but if you want to do more esoteric things then I think it makes sense to make a button or context menu item that runs 7z.exe or 7zFM.exe with the arguments you need.

If you need help creating the button/menu, just ask and give details of where you are stuck.

One more reason to support creation of WIM archives natively is that it does not throw away 'alternative data streams' [1] - which Opus now may use for labels, so it could be of the interest of every user of that functionality to have easy access to an archive format like that.