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How to open a .DLL or .EXE file in Resource Editor

Resource Tuner lets you open Windows executable files such as .EXE, .DLL, Screensavers (.SCR), OCX Controls, and several others. Once inside, you can change the icons, cursors, dialogs, buttons, sounds, animations and other elements of the user interface used in a particular program by editing and replacing resources in the executable file.

However please be advised that you can't get to everything in a binary file. You will not be able to modify the actual program code in any way: resources are separated from the program code. That is, you can only make significant changes to the interface of the program while leaving the code untouched.

For more serious changes (though this may not do you any good unless you have a good understanding of programming functions), check out PE Explorer. For viewing and editing the raw binary data contents of the DLL file, use Flex Hex Editor.

Open an EXE or DLL file in Resource Tuner

Resource Tuner contains a number of methods for opening files. To open a file for browsing or editing resources, click the toolbar button or select File > Open [CTRL+O]. The dropdown menu next to the toolbutton gives you quick access to recently open files. This list can be also accessed from the File > Recent Files menu option. The number of files in the list can be controlled from the Customize dialog.

Open file in Resource Tuner

You can open a file in Resource Tuner by right-clicking it in Windows Explorer and selecting Open with Resource Tuner from the context menu:

Open with Resource TunerAlternatively, you can drag and drop a file from the Windows Explorer onto the Resource Tuner icon or running Resource Tuner.

You can also open a file from the command line.
Usage:  restuner.exe <filename>

It is recommended to perform all file operations with copies of the originals and then only after you have moved the copies to a separate directory other than the parent or home directory of the executable. The benefits are obvious and the not so obvious ones are OLE embedded executables then can still call some of their other DLLs or methods from DLLs in the parent directory.

Resource Tuner provides three functions that are automatically performed when opening a file: unpacking files compressed with UPX, error checking, and precompiling resources.

If Opening a File Produces an Error

If opening a file produces an error, that file is most likely damaged, packed or compressed. To continue working with this file requires a more powerful tool, such as Heaventools PE Explorer.

1. Error: This file is likely damaged, packed or compressed.

There is a good chance the executable has been compressed to appear smaller. Since our software detects and unpacks only files compressed with UPX, you have to go through the trouble of manually unpacking this compressed exe before you can view or change it.

This is not viewed as a bug. We are not going to defeat the security attempts of other software authors. And we cannot support decompressing few hundred packers and protectors available on public.

2. Error: This is an NE Executable. Not supported!

Our software works with 32-bit PE files only. An NE (short for "New Executable") file is a 16-bit application intended to run on ancient Windows 3.xx. The other notable executable types that run on MS platforms are "MZ" (DOS), "NE" and "LE" - but those 16-bit formats are all obsolete.

We have no intention of supporting 16-bit files.

3. Error: This is NOT an EXE or DLL File

Resource Tuner does not care about a particular file extension whether your file is .exe, .dll or .txt. You can rename your file with any file extension or even leave it without an extension: when opening a file, Resource Tuner performs reading and analyzing of the file header within the file.

With all of that being said, if Resource Tuner says your file is NOT a dll file, this is the naked truth. Don't let extensions trick you.


Then you need a binary hex editor: FlexHex editor. Use it for inspecting binary output, editing the raw data contents of a file, examining the structure of proprietary closed-format data files or old data in unknown formats, quick fixing executable or data files, creating binary files for test runs, and more.


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