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If I have an external .exe and I add it to my c# project as an Add Existing Item, how do i Run the .exe from the project?

Posted on 2012-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
If I have an external .exe and I add it to my c# project as an Add Existing Item, how do i Run the .exe from the project?
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Question by:cbrune
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 37755575
Use the Process class.
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LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 37755580
P.S.

Make sure you set the item's "Copy to Output Directory" to one of the options which copies the executable to the build directory; otherwise you'll have to pass the full path to the executable to the Process class.
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Author Comment

by:cbrune
ID: 37755592
can I make the .exe part of the whole .exe or do i have to still have it as an external .exe??
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LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 37755599
It's easier to make it external, but yes you can embed it within your executable.
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Author Comment

by:cbrune
ID: 37755607
how do i embed it?  i cant let my users have access to the external .exe..
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Author Comment

by:cbrune
ID: 37755609
that is my real question i guess
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by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 37755640
Is the embedded executable a .NET program, or a native program?
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Author Comment

by:cbrune
ID: 37755649
how do i do both??
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Accepted Solution

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käµfm³d   👽 earned 2000 total points
ID: 37755767
If it's a .NET executable, then you can use Assembly.Load to load the executable and execute it. For example:

System.IO.Stream notepad =
    System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetManifestResourceStream("ProjectsNamespace.ExecutableName.exe");
System.IO.BinaryReader br = new System.IO.BinaryReader(notepad);
byte[] fileBytes = br.ReadBytes((int)notepad.Length);
System.Reflection.Assembly loadedAssembly = System.Reflection.Assembly.Load(fileBytes);
System.Reflection.MethodInfo entryPoint = loadedAssembly.EntryPoint;
entryPoint.Invoke(loadedAssembly, new object[] { new string[] { string.Empty } });

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For a non-.NET executable, I think there is an Win API call to load the file directly into memory, but I'm not 100% on that, and I'll have to search for it. I do know that you could write the file out to disk and run it with the aforementioned Process class. You could write the file out to a temp filename (in the Temp directory). In this way, the name would be unique each time you wrote it out, and you could certainly delete the file when you were done with it. For example:

System.IO.Stream np = System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetManifestResourceStream("ProjectsNamespace.ExecutableName.exe");
string tempFile = System.IO.Path.GetTempFileName();
System.IO.BinaryReader npReader = new System.IO.BinaryReader(np);
byte[] npBytes = npReader.ReadBytes((int)np.Length);
System.IO.File.WriteAllBytes(tempFile, npBytes);
System.Diagnostics.Process npProc = System.Diagnostics.Process.Start(tempFile);
npProc.WaitForExit();
System.IO.File.Delete(tempFile);

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