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What is the .CAT File Extension?


.CAT File Extension Description:

CAT files, or Catalog files, have the file extension .cat. These files are considered as one of Microsoft's security measures. Microsoft distributes CAT files within updates and drivers to ensure file and data protection.

Catalog files are used to determine that a given set of files within the operating system belong to the same logical group. It basically catalogs files within their rightful place.

Files in the .cat format are made up of multiple data that store in file and page hashes, to determine and ensure the validity of the system and non-Microsoft files. Hashes of a Microsoft driver and the information relevant to it are stored in a .cat file. Each .cat file has a digital signature that is used for validating the integrity of the stored content.

Files with the .cat extension are called when users download application components from the Internet, to avoid multiple instances of trust dialog boxes. Trust dialog boxes are security warnings that inform users before any software installation. The trust dialog box identifies the software component distributor and verifies the publisher's authenticity.

CAT files are supported by a service called Internet Component Download, which is provided by Internet Explorer 5 and its higher versions. This service allows the 'popping out' of the trust dialog box for the operating system's security.

Catalog (.cat) files have other benefits aside from PC protection. One is that it makes Internet software installations simpler and less confusing for users. Since trust dialog boxes are controlled, it only has to appear once. This, then, lessens the number of keystrokes necessary for software downloading.

When a digital signature of a CAT file is corrupted, the entire page and the file hashes within are considered invalid. All versions of Windows operating system updates are digitally signed and are cross-validated against a security catalog (.cat) file.

Author: Microsoft Corporation
Author URL: http://www.microsoft.com
Related Applications: n/a
Common Path: n/a

Recommendation:

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Do you have errors with .CAT files?

What Causes .CAT files Errors to Occur?

.CAT files errors are potential severe Windows file errors and can be caused by a damaged program registry that should be repaired right away to protect against even further damage in other applications and/or devices. Dangers include system device failure, blue screen errors and fatal program crashes.

What are the Symptoms of .CAT files Errors?

.CAT files errors bring on numerous symptoms, including but not limited to: computer freezes on shut down or start up, softwares halt, diminished personal computer speed, case speaker beeps, trouble opening files, slow system behaviour and application installation problems.

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