December 24, 2002

Installing Flash .CAB

In October's Archival posting, I noted Macromedia Shockwave and Flash Player archives. While the Shockwave archive hosts standalone installers for all platforms, the Flash Player archive presents raw .CAB files for the Win IE ActiveX platform with no directions on how to use these files.

I've put together some simple instructions on how to install these archived Flash ActiveX controls so you can troubleshoot and test your legacy performance and/or plug-in detection schemes.

How to register Flash OCX (ActiveX) controls from the raw .CAB files.

1.) You'll first need to uninstall the Flash Player ActiveX control—you can either download and run the Flash Player uninstaller for Windows or follow the directions in the technote aptly named "How to remove the Macromedia Flash Player ActiveX control".

NOTE: the uninstaller will remove all versions of Flash Player from your hard drive. However, if you are testing across browser platforms anyway then this will save you some time.

2.) Make sure Internet Explorer is closed.

3.) Determine which WinOS you are using. The typical path to the Flash Player OCX is:

C:\Windows\System\Macromed\Flash on Windows 95, 98 or WinME;
C:\WinNT\System32\Macromed\Flash on Windows NT or 2000;
C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash on Windows XP.

The remaining instructions assume a WinXP OS. Be sure to change the path in the following steps to match your WinOS.

4.) Extract the .CAB files to the following location:

5.) Open a command prompt and enter:
cd \WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash

6.) Now enter and accept the command that registers the new control:
regsvr32.exe swflash.ocx

7.) The Flash OCX is now registered and should be available to IE.

To double-check that things are working properly, go to:

Scroll down to see the Flash movie. Ignore all entreaties to upgrade to the latest version. Once the Flash Player test movie loads, right-click on it to expose the contextual menu; check the last menu entry to see which version you've installed.

That's all there is to it!

Note that OCX releases of Flash Player prior to version 6 are named swflash.ocx; Flash 6 and later releases are now named flash.ocx to get around a problem with the way Flash Player 5 was bundled in WinXP.

Thanks go to Geoff Bishop for supplying the appropriate registry mojo.

Posted by Lewis Francis at December 24, 2002 11:43 AM

can u give me plugin flash.ocx

Posted by: JO at March 19, 2003 12:18 AM

Sadly, Macromedia's Flash Player Archive currently contains none of the Flash 6 player releases, and Macromedia requested that Julie London take down her unofficial archive as it apparently violated Macromedia's Player EULA. sigh. Sorry Julie, I was getting ready to hook you up with my personal library of Mac plug-ins.

If you'd like Macromedia to post a more complete archive, then please leave your comment on how the archive can be improved in the form provided on the lower right-hand side of the tech note and also post your requests and comments to Macromedia's online wish-docs e-mail form.

Posted by: Lewis Francis at March 19, 2003 7:26 PM


When I type in:
C:WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash>regsvr32.exe swflash.ocx
at the command prompt it says "the system cannot find the path specified".

When I go into Windows explorer and goto C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MACROMED\FLASH I can see two files swflash & swflash.ocx, so I presume the .CAB file extracted correctly.

I am no expert in the world of the command prompt, so if you can offer any advice it would be greatly appreciated.


Posted by: Mark Stone at May 2, 2003 12:06 PM

Hey Mark,

I've rewritten the instructions to require less reading-between-the-lines and hopefully to be easier to follow for folks who are not frequent command-prompters.

Love to hear from anyone who still has problems with the new instructions, or suggestions for improvement.

Posted by: Lewis Francis at May 15, 2003 9:48 PM
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