WindowsXP has built-in zip handlers. Double click a zip file and you're inside as if it were a folder. Drag contents out, copy & paste, etc. You can even create a file called and drop folders and files inside, creating your own zip without even feeling bad about having WinZip on your machine without a license.

Well, the problem is that the zip support sucks (no apologies to Frank DeFord). I've run into WinXP not recognizing valid zips (double-click to enter it and they appear empty in Windows Explorer) and I've had it make zips that were bogus (drop tons of files in and get something you can't unzip, not even with WinXP's zip handlers).

I've never had any trouble (knock on wood) with any of Info-Zip's freeware zip utilities. It's easiest for me to use the command line versions after adding zip and unzip to my computer's path, but there are GUI-interfaced versions as well. Giant zips are easily created and unzipped speedily. What's more, most of it is essentially BSD licensed, which I'm beginning to like more and more. UnZip is even billed as "The Third Most Portable Program in the World!"

Take a look, and kiss WinXP's buggy zip file handling and WinZip's nag screen goodbye, as I did years ago. (Actually, I first managed to get my workplace to buy me a license for WinZip. Incredible! Then I found Info-Zip's k3wl jive.)