Utility to dissect an exe installer file

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Mrs Peel
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Utility to dissect an exe installer file

Post by Mrs Peel » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:33 pm

Hi chaps,

I want to pull this exe installer to bits and see how their inf file is written:

http://www.synesis.com.au/downloads/she ... t1_6_1.exe

What utilities can you recommend for the job please? I'm going to have to learn how to do this sooner or later if I want to build my own addon packs, so guess it better be sooner LOL

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and recommendations.

:)

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Post by DisabledTrucker » Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:56 am

See my thread in Members Only about "Best Utility to use" it may help you out some...
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Mrs Peel
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Post by Mrs Peel » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:54 am

Not quite what I was looking for Trucker, but thanks anyhoo. I am looking for a utility that will actually deconstruct an exe file so I can extract whats inside it without having to install it - some kind of hacking thingee.

I've messed around with Resource Hacker a bit but that one doesn't let me take a peek at any of the installer bits etc

Cheers

PS: Check your PM ;)

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Post by DisabledTrucker » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:56 am

I've seen those too but I'd be careful of what you're asking for on here because Ryan has a rather strict policy about hacking on here...

PS: Back atcha..
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Post by Mrs Peel » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:10 am

Oh I wasn't meaning hacking in the illegal sense.... I just assumed that you guys had to dissemble a program first and then reconstruct it back into an addon pack. I take your point about Ryans policy and rightly so when it comes to shareware. But I only use freeware utilities and stuff that is open source, so would I need to get permission from the original authors before I make addons out of their stuff? Don't want to inadvertently break any rules of good conduct here LOL

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Post by DisabledTrucker » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:29 am

I don't know about getting the authors permission to make an addon for installing programs and stuff that's open source, but as far as how we make the addons what we usually do, or at least in the case of true addons is take the program and install it, usually you can watch how it's being installed using the software I mentioned the previously mentioned thread to watch those changes and then create the installer to do the same thing only difference is it will be done as you're installing windows instead of afterwards. A lot of programs can be made into simple silent installers just by using simple commands that can be called from the command line to install the program but you run into a lot that dont/wont allow for this and then you need to have a different way of doing it. Especially if they also add things like adware/spyware to an otherwise excellent product, you can then remove that and just install the software you're intending on using instead this way too. I didn't think you were referring to hacking in the illegal sense but I just wanted to make sure you knew about his policy about it, since you are somewhat new here...

Most installers though you can usually open by referring to the information over at Unattended.msfn.org there is an entire section there about how to open the installers to get the files out of them, the problem lies that some installers wont have what your looking for because the actual installation is done in the installer itself, therefore you need something like I mentioned previously to watch how it's installed, you can also remove it immediately after you've pulled everything you need for the installation out of the report file it creates.

The vast majority of programs can be opened by either 7zip or WinRAR which is what most people here use too...
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Post by Xable » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:29 am

Inctrl5 tells you what reg entries get added plus what files get added and where....

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Mrs Peel
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Post by Mrs Peel » Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:06 am

Ah OK that clarifies things for me a lot, thanks guys!

My past experience in this area has been an obsession with Portable Utilities and probably half the portables in my collection I have had to install them first and then use Dependency Walker to find out what the runtime dependencies are and copy those particular dll/ocx files to the root folder of the utility on my portable drive. It's a lot easier when installers spit out an install log and I know exactly what to go hunt for.

So if that's how you guys are doing it here then I guess I have already half way got my head around it. Next step..... learning how to write the supporting files to put them all back together again.

Gawd I love learning this kinda stuff and chanelling my hatred of windoze into creative ways to force it to do what I want LOL

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Post by DisabledTrucker » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:44 am

Mrs Peel wrote:Gawd I love learning this kinda stuff and chanelling my hatred of windoze into creative ways to force it to do what I want LOL
You're not alone in that! ;)
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Post by Mrs Peel » Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:06 am

Eureka!!!!!

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=62418

Hatip to Kel for passing on the link :D

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Post by Daemonforce » Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:26 am

DisabledTrucker wrote:Ryan has a rather strict policy about hacking on here...

PS: Back atcha..
Ryan doesn't have any hacking policies. He just doesn't want his ass handed to him for hosting or directly referencing illegal/questionable content. (Almost)Every community is like this to avoid legal troubles. If you see a place that doesn't follow a rule like that, odds are it's so underground that no one has even heard of it(or it's about to be). The whole RyanVM addon pack functions under questionable operation equal to that of nLite and maybe BartPE, but I really can't find any legal problem with it. It isn't using illegal contents and as far as I can tell as an OEM System Builder, bundling an operating system with additional software packages isn't what I would call "reverse engineering." He's in the clear as long as he watches what everyone is doing to make sure the files and documentation doesn't cross any legal boundaries, but he shouldn't even have that kind of problem anyway. :)
Mrs Peel wrote:Oh I wasn't meaning hacking in the illegal sense.... I just assumed that you guys had to dissemble a program first and then reconstruct it back into an addon pack.
Actually it's relatively simple compared to what I do to Windows. I piece things together, but Ryan makes it a point to make sure everything added is completely registered in every way with the Windows preinstaller. I really need to be doing this too.
Mrs Peel wrote:I take your point about Ryans policy and rightly so when it comes to shareware. But I only use freeware utilities and stuff that is open source, so would I need to get permission from the original authors before I make addons out of their stuff? Don't want to inadvertently break any rules of good conduct here LOL
Open source is open source. As long as you're not trying to sell it, I don't believe there would be a problem. Some license restrictions apply to this.

In any case I suggest you look for PE Explorer. That actually helped me accomplish stuff where Resource Hacker and ResEdit miserably fail. I think you'll like it. It's a pain to figure out at first. It's sort of like a Corel application back in 1996.
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Post by smashly » Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:01 am

I know this is no great miracle pack of little utils , but some of the utils in it are handy when playing in windows. I keep it on my memory stick so I can quickly do a basic edit or track of what's going on.

Edit: Due to Systernals legalities , removed link.. doh.

Cheers
Last edited by smashly on Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by RyanVM » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:46 am

Well said, Daemonforce :)
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http://www.ryanvm.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2357

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Post by RogueSpear » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:01 pm

I've found with some types of installers one of the best ways to get the files is to just run the installer and then take peek in the temp directory. But if you want to get them all neat and nice with the registry entries to boot, a application dedicated to repackaging existing installs will be your best bet. InstallShield AdminStudio and Wise Package Studio being the two most prominent.

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Post by RogueSpear » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:11 pm

Regarding legalities, EULAs, and all that stuff.. I've never asked someone permission ahead of time before repacking their software. With the sheer number of titles that I've repacked, it would become a part time job in and of itself.

I never put out anything that's cracked or pre registered however. If it's GPLed, I include the GPL (well I do now anyway). I've released very few titles that are not flat out free. Winamp and WinRAR are the only two that come to mind and both are sans reg info. The way I look at this is like this - if I want to tinker and modify my Toyota Prius in ways that Toyota never thought about, I will.

The last point would be that I don't hide behind anything. Anyone who has downloaded my program AutoRIS or any of my scripts has ready access to my birth given name. If they want to do a whois on my domain, they have my name. I'm easy to locate to say the least, and if asked to cease and desist, I would do so immediately.

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Post by spooken » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:34 am

Someone mentioned this on MSFN forum some time ago and I stumbled upon it last year. Click here
The 2 programs used actually keep track of everything and make a script for unattended installation. I've not tried it though. If someone tries it, mind telling the rest of us how it goes?

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Mrs Peel
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Post by Mrs Peel » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:17 pm

Uh-oh, did I happen to mention I am a little autoit-phobic :oops:

That looks like a very handy post tho, so thanks for sharing. Copied it to my local hard drive for a day when my tired old brain is capable of absorbing more advanced scripting information hehe ;)

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Post by spooken » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:38 am

Mrs Peel wrote:Uh-oh, did I happen to mention I am a little autoit-phobic :oops:

That looks like a very handy post tho, so thanks for sharing. Copied it to my local hard drive for a day when my tired old brain is capable of absorbing more advanced scripting information hehe ;)
What do you mean? Is autoit not good for making unattended installation? I've yet to try it, so I don't know.

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Post by Acheron » Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:23 pm

I'm also not an AutoIt fan. By simple running keystrokes users can brake unattended installation by switching Windows.
It's also a cosmetic thing. Seeing all those Windows flashing on install :?

However I do use AutoIt for some automation to launch applications hidden without DosPrompt.

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