Resource hacking is the process of being able to view,
modify, add, and delete a program’s stored resources. Most resources are stored within.exe (executables)
or .dll (dynamic link libraries). Editing a program’s resources offers many
uses. For instance, say you wanted to
customize the download dialog to add some cool image or animation to indicate
the download progress. This way you’re no longer stuck watching the progress
bar. You can also increase productivity
by making some dialogs bigger or adding new menus for shortcuts.
If you’re a modder, you could use resource hacking to make
your operating system match your case mod.
Take Geno’s Half Life 2 mod for example.
When you’re trying to show off your case mod, it would add a whole
different level if your programs were branded with your theme logo and some
screen shots in other places as he did.
You could even change the text in lots of places to give it a theme feel.
Resource hacking is also useful in hiding annoying
advertisements in your favorite programs.
While BoxGods does not advocate the practice of removing a program’s
advertisement, I feel it at least deserves a mention because of the annoyance
and potential security risk that those advertisements pose. There is a vast amount of possibilities for
resource hacking that will be opened to you for exploration. Now that you know a little bit about resource
hacking, let’s dive in so you can get dirty with some hands-on action.
There are several programs out there that are made for
resource hacking; coincidently my favorite program is called Resource
Hacker. It is a freeware program that,
despite not being actively developed anymore, is still one of the best I’ve
seen. Resource Hacker is the program
that I will mainly be using throughout this article--so go grab it at: here. You will find the download links toward the
bottom of the page. Install it anywhere
you like, and when that’s complete, open it up.
Now feels like the proper time for the obligatory warning
message. I’m sure you have heard this
before, but I really mean it this time.
You can easily screw up your operating system with resource hacking, and
in your endeavors, you probably will. I
know this because I did on several occasions while I was exploring. That is why it is imperative that you backup
all files you edit during this process so if you do screw something up, which
you will, you can easily replace the files with the backup. I will not be responsible if you make your
operating system un-bootable and you don’t know how to fix it.