How to sign your .cab files

(see highlighted section below for the specifics of creating a Test certificate) 


·         Generate a .cab (using Cab SDK):

o   Simple command line approach:              

§  make sure desired mshc file exists (copy to) in same folder as makecab.exe (simplified command line for this example)

§  cd into directory where makecab.exe lives, example: C:\cabsdk\BIN

§  issue command line: makecab.exe <mshc file name> <desired cab file name>


·         Sign a .cab (using locally generated certificate – only used for local signed cab testing):

o   For local testing, create your own certificate from your local machine (requires the tool to create the certificate to be installed as part of Windows SDK):


§  Install Windows SDK

o   Create local certificate:

§  Makecert.exe -sk myNewKey -r -n “cn=Test Sign Cert,ou=certificates,O=Tst” -ss my myNew.cer

§  certutil.exe -f -addstore personal myNew.cer

o   Sign the .cab:

§  Signtool.exe sign /i “<whatever your cert name is, the “cn=” name in above line>” <content name>.cab


·         Signing with a certificate obtained from Certificate Authority:


o   Make sure you have a cert to use for the signing and the private key

o   At a command prompt, cd into directory where signtool.exe lives

o   signtool.exe signwizard

o   In the signwizard UI:

§  Select cab file

§  Select custom option – this will enable you to select your cert

Comments (3)

  1. sooraj says:


    I tried putting .msgc and .msha files in a cab file, signed it and deployed it using install shield. Then i tried to run the below command from command prompt:

    HelpLibraryManagerLauncher.exe /product "VS" /version "100" /locale en-us /brandingPackage MESFoundationClassReference.mshc /sourceMedia MESFoundationClassReference.msha /silent

    It doesnt work. It ways executed succesfully in command prompt. Please help me in identifying the issue with this command or any step I miss.

  2. Hello Sooraj – Only the .mshc file should go in the .cab. The .msha file should remain a separate file.

    Additionally, it is required that the .msha file specifically be named "HelpContentSetup.msha" – no other file name will be recognized.

    Then your HelpLibManager parameters should look like:

    HelpLibManager.exe /product VS /version 100 /locale en-us /sourceMedia <path to .msha>helpcontentsetup.msha /silent

    The .msha file will specifiy the name of your .cab file – the name of the .cab file should also match the name of the .mshc file inside it.

  3. sassy says:

    Excuese me plz any one tell mi how to use cabinet file in IBS s/w using normal code or web based code

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