locked exe file

This is a discussion on locked exe file within the C Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I have a locked .exe file....is there a way to view to code? I cant right click on it and ...

  1. #1
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    locked exe file

    I have a locked .exe file....is there a way to view to code?
    I cant right click on it and click open with notepad for example....how do i view this code if its a .exe file.

    It opens up in command prompt....

  2. #2
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    The code inside an .exe file is in assembly, not C.

    C code (portable, human friendly) is compiled by a C compiler into assembly. Assembly is platform specific, meaning the exact same C code will produce different assembly code on different platforms. Which a big reason to use C.

    Also, assembly is not so easy to understand. You can examine an .exe for assembly, which contains other OS stuff as well, I dunno how on windows. But there is no C source there to look at.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Actually the code in an .exe is machine code, not assembly language
    (Unless the exe is just a wrapper for an interpreter or JIT-compiler, like .net/autoit/etc. But that's beyond the scope of this post)
    The process goes: c code -> (compiler) -> assembly code -> (assembler) -> machine code

    You can disassemble a compiled binary to get the corresponding assembly listing. (Not necesserily the same code as produced by the compiler because of optimizations)
    And I'm not trying to be rude here; but if your best idea is trying to open an .exe file in notepad then you won't be able to understand the output from said disassembler.
    On a side note; there are also a few decompilers around. But noone that works perfectly, and getting back the original c code is impossible.

  4. #4
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Mike View Post
    Actually the code in an .exe is machine code, not assembly
    Probably why I found the "assembly" so hard to understand
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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