File spanning
File Spanning is a term used to describe the ability to package a single file or data stream into separate files of a specified size. It also implies the ability to re-combine the package files back into the original file or data stream.

This is useful when saving large files onto smaller volumes or breaking large files up into smaller files for network messages of limited size (email, newsgroups). It also allows the creation of parity file
Parity file
Parity files are files that are created to accompany data files, and are used to preserve data integrity and assist in data recovery. They are useful when data files are transmitted or stored on less-than-perfect media such as newsgroup messages, satellite transmission, or optical disk...

s such as parity archive (PAR) to verify and restore missing or corrupted package files.

Sometimes the file spanning process is hidden as a secondary operation such as with file archivers. In this case, many smaller files are first packaged into a data stream and then repackaged into a multi-file archive.

File Spanning Software

Hundreds or thousands of file spanning utilities are available for nearly every OS and platform. Below are a few examples:
  • PKZip
    PKZIP is an archiving tool originally written by Phil Katz and marketed by his company PKWARE, Inc. The common "PK" prefix used in both PKZIP and PKWARE stands for "Phil Katz".-History:...

    WinZip is a proprietary file archiver and compressor for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, developed by WinZip Computing...

  • RAR/WinRAR
    WinRAR is a shareware file archiver and data compression utility developed by Eugene Roshal, and first released in autumn of 1993. It is one of the few applications that is able to create RAR archives natively, because the encoding method is held to be proprietary.-Developer:The current developer...

  • PAR/Parchive
    Parchive is an open source software project that emerged in 2001 to develop a parity file format, as conceived by Tobias Rieper and Stefan Wehlus...

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