File Extension BIN
File extension BIN is most commonly associated with a binary encoded file, and is a widely used format on several platforms including Windows, Mac, UNIX and Linux.
In Windows, BIN files are most commonly associated with generic data files or CD and DVD images, the latter of which can either be mounted and read like a CD-ROM, or burnt to disc. On the Mac, BIN files are used to transfer files, particularly over the Internet. Mac files often comprise of multiple files and folders, known as forks. The use of a single BIN file enables both the data and resource forks to be kept together to maintain file integrity. Linux and UNIX operating systems also use BIN files, which may be executed themselves or compiled as part of a program.
As BIN files are generic binary files, it can be difficult to determine which application should be used to open them. This is especially true as the majority will contain little or no clues if opened in a text editor, and much depends on the location of the file as to what application it belongs to.
In Windows, BIN files tend to either be used to store data by an application, which may be anything from driver information to application updates, or more usually to store the contents of a CD or DVD-ROM. In the case of the latter, they will usually be accompanied by a File extension CUE file which states the contents of the BIN file, and can be opened by burning software such as Nero or Roxio. These can then be used to either burn the contents of the BIN file to a disc or convert it to another self-contained format such as File extension ISO. Alternatively, a BIN file may be mounted using an application such as Daemon Tools. This will create a virtual CD/DVD drive and allow the contents of the file to be viewed and accessed directly. Under Linux and UNIX, BIN files are typically executable, and may be run directly from the shell prompt. This may run or compile an application stored within the BIN file.
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