?
Solved

Need Two Functions: EXE to String, String to EXE

Posted on 2005-03-01
13
Medium Priority
?
362 Views
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
In my previous question, I said:

 I Need To:
(1) Open an exe
(2) Turn the bytes into text
(3) Save Byte Text as text file
(4) Open Text File
(5) Turn it back into bytes
(6) Re-save as executable with new name

***I need the new executable to run exactly as the original with NO changes.***

Then, a member called Rettiseert gave me this and it worked flawlessly:


 Private Sub ExeToTxt(ExeName As String, TxtName As String)

    Dim B As Byte
    Dim FLen As Long
    Dim I As Long
   
    Open ExeName For Binary As #1
    Open TxtName For Append As #2
   
    FLen = FileLen(ExeName)
   
    For I = 1 To FLen
        Get #1, I, B
        If Len(Hex(B)) = 2 Then
            Print #2, Hex(B);
        Else
            Print #2, "0" + Hex(B);
        End If
    Next
   
    Close #2
    Close #1
   

End Sub

Private Sub TxtToExe(TxtName As String, ExeName As String)

    Dim B(0 To 1) As Byte
    Dim FLen As Long
    Dim V As Byte
    Dim I As Long
   
    Open ExeName For Binary As #1
    Open TxtName For Binary As #2
   
    FLen = FileLen(TxtName)
   
    For I = 1 To FLen Step 2
        Get #2, I, B
        V = Val("&H" + Format(Chr(B(0))) + Format(Chr(B(1))))
        Put #1, , V
    Next
   
    Close #2
    Close #1


End Sub



Now you can use something like:

ExeToTxt "c:\program.exe", "c:\program.txt"
TxtToExe "c:\program.txt", "c:\NEWprogram.exe"

========================

But! Now what I want is ExeToString and StringToExe. It would be the same as above, but instead of saving the file, I would be able to hold the "binary" text in a String variable, like this:

Public Sub TestExeString()

        Dim ExeString as String

        ExeString = ExeToString("c:\program.exe")
        SaveExeFromString("c:\NEWProgram", ExeString)

End Sub



0
Comment
Question by:timothyspriggs
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 7
  • 6
13 Comments
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:Ark
ID: 13435951
See my post on previous thread
0
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:Ark
ID: 13436316
Hi
To view code in action:
Open Notepad, copy/paste following text and save as Form1.frm

'=======8<========Form code start=======8<===========
VERSION 5.00
Begin VB.Form Form1
   Caption         =   "Form1"
   ClientHeight    =   3555
   ClientLeft      =   165
   ClientTop       =   855
   ClientWidth     =   6585
   LinkTopic       =   "Form1"
   ScaleHeight     =   3555
   ScaleWidth      =   6585
   StartUpPosition =   3  'Windows Default
   Begin VB.TextBox Text1
      Height          =   2835
      Left            =   300
      MultiLine       =   -1  'True
      ScrollBars      =   3  'Both
      TabIndex        =   0
      Top             =   120
      Width           =   6075
   End
   Begin VB.Menu mnuFile
      Caption         =   "File"
      Begin VB.Menu mnuOpen
         Caption         =   "&Open..."
         Begin VB.Menu mnuOpenHex
            Caption         =   "&Hex dump"
         End
         Begin VB.Menu mnuOpenExe
            Caption         =   "&Executable"
         End
      End
      Begin VB.Menu mnuSaveAs
         Caption         =   "&SaveAs..."
         Begin VB.Menu mnuSaveHex
            Caption         =   "&Hex dump"
         End
         Begin VB.Menu mnuSaveExe
            Caption         =   "&Executable"
         End
      End
      Begin VB.Menu sep
         Caption         =   "-"
      End
      Begin VB.Menu mnuExit
         Caption         =   "&Exit"
      End
   End
End
Attribute VB_Name = "Form1"
Attribute VB_GlobalNameSpace = False
Attribute VB_Creatable = False
Attribute VB_PredeclaredId = True
Attribute VB_Exposed = False
Dim sHexDump As String
Dim sFileName As String

Private Function FileHexDump(ByVal sExeFileName As String) As String
   Dim arr() As Byte
   Dim sText As String, sLine As String, sHeader As String
   Dim fn As Integer
   sHexDump = ""
   fn = FreeFile
   Open sExeFileName For Binary As #fn
       ReDim arr(LOF(fn) - 1)
       Get #fn, , arr
   Close #fn
   sText = Space$((UBound(arr) \ 16 + 1) * 79)
   On Error Resume Next
   For i = 0 To UBound(arr) - 1 Step 16
       sLine = ZeroPad(Hex(i), 8) & " | "
       For j = 0 To 15
           sLine = sLine & ZeroPad(Hex(arr(i + j)), 2) & " "
           If Err Then sLine = sLine & "   "
       Next j
       sLine = sLine & "| "
       For j = 0 To 15
           If arr(i + j) < 32 Then
              sLine = sLine & "."
           Else
              sLine = sLine & Chr(arr(i + j))
           End If
       Next j
       sLine = sLine & vbNewLine
       Mid(sText, (i \ 16) * 79 + 1, 79) = sLine
   Next i
   sHeader = "Address  |"
   For i = 0 To 15
      sHeader = sHeader & " " & ZeroPad(Hex(i), 2)
   Next i
   sHeader = sHeader & " |       ASCII " & vbCrLf & String(78, "=") & vbCrLf
   FileHexDump = sHeader & sText
End Function

Private Function ZeroPad(strValue As String, intLen As String) As String
    ZeroPad = Right$(String(intLen, "0") & strValue, intLen)
End Function

Private Sub Command1_Click()
End Sub

Private Sub Form_Load()
   Text1.Font = "courier"
   Text1.Text = "Please load file"
End Sub

Private Sub Form_Resize()
   If WindowState = vbMinimized Then Exit Sub
   Text1.Move 0, 0, ScaleWidth, ScaleHeight
End Sub

Private Sub mnuExit_Click()
   Unload Me
End Sub

Private Sub mnuOpenExe_Click()
   Dim s As String
   Dim nFile As Integer
   If sFileName <> "" Then
      s = Left(sFileName, InStrRev(sFileName, ".")) & "exe"
   End If
   s = GetFileName(s, "Executables (*.exe)|*.exe|All files (*.*)|*.*", "Open executable")
   If s <> "" Then
      sFileName = s
      sHexDump = FileHexDump(sFileName)
      ShowText
   End If
End Sub

Private Sub mnuOpenHex_Click()
   Dim s As String
   Dim nFile As Integer
   If sFileName <> "" Then
      s = Left(sFileName, InStrRev(sFileName, ".")) & "txt"
   End If
   s = GetFileName(s, "Text files (*.txt)|*.txt|All files (*.*)|*.*", "Open hex dump")
   If s <> "" Then
      sFileName = s
      nFile = FreeFile
      Open sFileName For Binary Access Read As #nFile
           sHexDump = String(LOF(nFile), " ")
           Get #nFile, , sHexDump
           ShowText
      Close #nFile
   End If
End Sub

Private Sub ShowText()
   If Len(sHexDump) > 60904 Then
      MsgBox "File too big to be shown in Text box." & vbCrLf & "Truncated to first 12K"
      Text1.Text = Left(sHexDump, 60904) & vbCrLf & "Truncated..."
   Else
      Text1.Text = sHexDump
   End If
End Sub

Private Sub mnuSaveAs_Click()
   mnuSaveHex.Enabled = Len(sHexDump)
   mnuSaveExe.Enabled = Len(sHexDump)
End Sub

Private Sub mnuSaveExe_Click()
   If sHexDump = "" Then
      MsgBox "Nothing to save!", vbCritical, "Save error"
      Exit Sub
   End If
   Dim nFile As Integer
   Dim s As String
   If sFileName <> "" Then
      s = Left(sFileName, InStrRev(sFileName, ".")) & "exe"
   End If
   s = GetFileName(s, "Executables (*.exe)|*.exe|All files (*.*)|*.*", "Save executable", False)
   If s <> "" Then
      sFileName = s
      s = MakeExe
      If Dir(sFileName) <> "" Then Kill sFileName
      nFile = FreeFile
      Open sFileName For Binary Access Write As #nFile
         Put #nFile, , s
      Close #nFile
   End If
End Sub

Private Sub mnuSaveHex_Click()
   If sHexDump = "" Then
      MsgBox "Nothing to save!", vbCritical, "Save error"
      Exit Sub
   End If
   Dim nFile As Integer
   Dim s As String
   If sFileName <> "" Then
      s = Left(sFileName, InStrRev(sFileName, ".")) & "txt"
   End If
   s = GetFileName(s, "Text files (*.txt)|*.txt|All files (*.*)|*.*", "Save hex dump", False)
   If s <> "" Then
      sFileName = s
      If Dir(sFileName) <> "" Then Kill sFileName
      nFile = FreeFile
      Open sFileName For Binary Access Write As #nFile
         Put #nFile, , sHexDump
      Close #nFile
   End If
End Sub

Private Function MakeExe() As String
   Dim aStrings() As String
   Dim aExe() As String
   Dim s As String
   Dim i As Long, j As Long
   aStrings = Split(sHexDump, vbCrLf)
   ReDim aExe(UBound(aStrings) - 2)
   For i = 2 To UBound(aStrings)
       s = Mid(aStrings(i), 12, 48)
       If s <> "" Then
          For j = 0 To 15
              aExe(i - 2) = aExe(i - 2) & Chr(CLng("&H" & Mid(s, j * 3 + 1, 2)))
          Next j
       End If
   Next i
   MakeExe = Join(aExe, "")
End Function
'=======8<========Form code end=======8<===========
'Clear notepad, copy/paste following text and save as Module1.bas

'=======8<========Module code start=======8<=========
Attribute VB_Name = "mOpenSave"
Option Explicit

Private Type OPENFILENAME 'Open & Save Dialog
    lStructSize As Long
    hwndOwner As Long
    hInstance As Long
    lpstrFilter As String
    lpstrCustomFilter As String
    nMaxCustFilter As Long
    nFilterIndex As Long
    lpstrFile As String
    nMaxFile As Long
    lpstrFileTitle As String
    nMaxFileTitle As Long
    lpstrInitialDir As String
    lpstrTitle As String
    flags As Long
    nFileOffset As Integer
    nFileExtension As Integer
    lpstrDefExt As String
    lCustData As Long
    lpfnHook As Long
    lpTemplateName As String
End Type

Private Const OFN_OVERWRITEPROMPT = &H2
Private Const OFN_HIDEREADONLY = &H4
Private Const OFN_HELPBUTTON = &H10
Private Const OFN_ENABLEHOOK = &H20
Private Const OFN_ENABLETEMPLATE = &H40
Private Const OFN_PATHMUSTEXIST = &H800
Private Const OFN_FILEMUSTEXISTS = &H1000
Private Const OFN_EXPLORER = &H80000
'OFN_EXPLORER OR OFN_FILEMUSTEXISTS
Private Const OFN_OPENFLAGS = &H81000
'OFN_OPENFLAGS OR OFN_OVERWRITEPROMPT AND NOT OFN_FILEMUSTEXIST
Private Const OFN_SAVEFLAGS = &H80002


Public Const MAX_PATH = 260
Private Declare Function GetOpenFileName Lib "comdlg32.dll" Alias "GetOpenFileNameA" (pOpenfilename As OPENFILENAME) As Long
Private Declare Function GetSaveFileName Lib "comdlg32.dll" Alias "GetSaveFileNameA" (pOpenfilename As OPENFILENAME) As Long

Public Function GetFileName(Optional ByVal sFileName As String, Optional ByVal sFilter As String, Optional ByVal sTitle As String, Optional bOpen As Boolean = True) As String
   Dim OFN As OPENFILENAME
   Dim ret As Long, i As Long
   Dim sExt As String
   With OFN
       .lStructSize = Len(OFN)
        For i = 1 To Len(sFilter)
            If Mid(sFilter, i, 1) = "|" Then
               Mid(sFilter, i, 1) = vbNullChar
            End If
        Next
        sFilter = sFilter & String$(2, 0)
        .lpstrFilter = sFilter
        .lpstrTitle = sTitle
        .lpstrInitialDir = App.Path
        .hInstance = App.hInstance
        .lpstrFile = sFileName & String(MAX_PATH - Len(sFileName), 0)
        .lpstrFileTitle = String(MAX_PATH, 0)
        .nMaxFile = MAX_PATH
   End With
   If bOpen Then
      OFN.flags = OFN.flags Or OFN_OPENFLAGS
      ret = GetOpenFileName(OFN)
   Else
      OFN.flags = OFN.flags Or OFN_SAVEFLAGS
      ret = GetSaveFileName(OFN)
   End If
   If ret Then GetFileName = TrimNull(OFN.lpstrFile)
End Function

Public Function TrimNull(startstr As String) As String
   Dim pos As Integer
   pos = InStr(startstr, Chr$(0))
   If pos Then
      TrimNull = Left$(startstr, pos - 1)
      Exit Function
   End If
   TrimNull = startstr
End Function
'=======8<========Module code end=======8<=========
Start new VB project, remove default Form1 and add these two files
Run project

0
Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:timothyspriggs
ID: 13443811
Ark,

Okay I see what you are doing and it is nice work. We are almost there... BUT...

Well, I did a hex dump with your code and it turned a 60KB exe into a 308KB hex dump. In contrast,  rettiseert's code only doubled the size to 120KB. I understand that by necessity your code does more formatting by turning bits into pure string, but unless I am mistaken, the killer character in a pure bit string is the null (if there are others let me know). So, why couldn't we take  rettiseert's string, find nulls, and replace them with a token (maby a "~"). We could do the same with any other Non-ASCII character and give it its own token. Then we would have a pure ASCII string. Later when we are returning to exe, we would just replace those tokens with their byte counterparts and save. Wouldn't that keep the ExeToString function from inflating the original code so much. We should end up with a string that is more compareable to  rettiseert's string in size while retaining your function's extensibility.

Let me know,
Tim
0
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:Ark
ID: 13445901
Hi
Exe file is an array of bytes, which can be represents as ASCII string. The problem is - bytes less then 32(SPACE) have no accociated printable characters. Any other character (including "~" and others) are valid bytes and may present inside exe, so we can not determine if "~" is original or replaced char.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:timothyspriggs
ID: 13446279
Ok, perhaps this then:

I have a Regular Expressions wrapper that I can use for an example here, though I know that it can't be used for this application, I think it could shed some light on what I am saying.

In my RegExp wrapper, I allow users to write {*} to represent "any number of any chracters". Of course, this isn't an actual expression, but you would be hard pressed to get an end-user to remember a complex series of characters. Naturally, at some point in this chaotic universe, someone may want to actually write "{*}" and mean it literally. In that case, I allow them to write "{{*}}". Simplistic, I know. But it shows what I mean. Of course, doing this requires a butt-load of logic that otherwise might not have to be there, but in this case I will sacrifice performance a little to satisfy a useability requirement.

In the case of turning a byte array into a string, I would be willing to sacrifice a little performance on each end (encode/decode) in order to reduce file size. So, a few questions, once answered, should tell me whether what I want to do is reliable.

1) How many characters in a given byte array are characters that will break the string?
            In other words, I know that a null character breaks the string for purposes of displaying
            the string in a text box or notepad. Are there others?

2) Is it possible, upon arriving at one of those characters, to put in a replacement token instead of that character?
           For instance, instead of a Null character, put <BUGS BUNNY> (or something shorter -- haha)?

3) When re-compiling the byte array, is it realistic to replace the token with the corresponding Byte character?
           So, when looping, and you find <BUGS BUNNY>, you replace it with VBNull or VBNullString

4) Most importantly, will this reduce the resulting file size? or are there so many non-ASCII characters that the resulting file will be the same size or bigger?


Once I know the answers to these question, I will close this question and pop you the points. You have been great, I only wish there were more than 500 points to give.

-- Tim
0
 
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

by:
Ark earned 2000 total points
ID: 13446657
Hi
As for Null char (Chr(0)) - this is windows(ANSI) string terminator. All ANSI strings in memory must ended with Chr(0). You probably heared "Null-terminated string" term. When displaying text with null chars, some text editors/viewers replace Null char with another char (Notepad, for example, replace it with spaces, hex viewers - with dots). But there are more non-prinatble characters (from 0 to 31). So you can not "Scan or print manually" these characters. If you need readable exe content and file size is the key - rettiseert's code is what you need.

Private Function FileHexDumpShort(ByVal sExeFileName As String) As String
   Dim arr() As Byte
   Dim sText As String
   Dim fn As Integer
   Dim i As Long
   fn = FreeFile
   Open sExeFileName For Binary As #fn
       ReDim arr(LOF(fn) - 1)
       Get #fn, , arr
   Close #fn
   sText = Space$((UBound(arr) + 1) * 2) '2 characters for each byte
   On Error Resume Next
   For i = 0 To UBound(arr)
        Mid(sText,i*2+1,2)=ZeroPad(Hex(arr(i)), 2)
   Next i
   FileHexDump = sText
End Function
0
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:Ark
ID: 13446662
Oops,
 FileHexDump = sText
Should be
 FileHexDumpShort = sText
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:timothyspriggs
ID: 13452569
Ark,

I went ahead and gave you the points here, but I have a couple more quick questions:

(1) Where is the function "ZeroPad()"? Couldn't find it in any of your code.

(2) Though I assume the above code will work once you give me ZeroPad(), Did you have a HexDumpToExe() to go with it?

Thanks,

Tim
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:timothyspriggs
ID: 13452618
Ark -- I will open a new question so you can get the points for your effort.

0
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:Ark
ID: 13454816
'Purpose - add leading zeroes to string (usually hex)
'using - Debug.Print ZeroPad("7", 2) Return "07"
'Debug.Print ZeroPad("1F", 8) Return "0000001F"

Private Function ZeroPad(strValue As String, intLen As String) As String
    ZeroPad = Right$(String(intLen, "0") & strValue, intLen)
End Function

Private Sub HexDumpToExe(ByVal sHexDump As String, ByVal sExeFileName As String)
   Dim arr() As Byte
   Dim fn As Integer
   Dim i As Long

   Redim arr(Len(sHexDump/2) - 1)
   For i = 1 To Len(sHexDump) Step 2
        arr(i) = CByte(Mid(sHexDump, i, 2))
   Next i

   If Dir(sExeFileName) <> "" Then Kill sExeFileName  
   fn = FreeFile
   Open sExeFileName For Binary Access Write As #fn
       Get #fn, , arr
   Close #fn
End Function
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:timothyspriggs
ID: 13454863
Thanks, Ark.

I have opened a new question worth 500 Points, so if you comment to it I can give you the points.

-- Tim
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:timothyspriggs
ID: 13454867
0

Featured Post

VIDEO: THE CONCERTO CLOUD FOR HEALTHCARE

Modern healthcare requires a modern cloud. View this brief video to understand how the Concerto Cloud for Healthcare can help your organization.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

When designing a form there are several BorderStyles to choose from, all of which can be classified as either 'Fixed' or 'Sizable' and I'd guess that 'Fixed Single' or one of the other fixed types is the most popular choice. I assume it's the most p…
Article by: Martin
Here are a few simple, working, games that you can use as-is or as the basis for your own games. Tic-Tac-Toe This is one of the simplest of all games.   The game allows for a choice of who goes first and keeps track of the number of wins for…
Get people started with the process of using Access VBA to control Outlook using automation, Microsoft Access can control other applications. An example is the ability to programmatically talk to Microsoft Outlook. Using automation, an Access applic…
Get people started with the utilization of class modules. Class modules can be a powerful tool in Microsoft Access. They allow you to create self-contained objects that encapsulate functionality. They can easily hide the complexity of a process from…
Suggested Courses
Course of the Month11 days, 16 hours left to enroll

752 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question