Great Free PE Editor for Internal Manifests (and a Tutorial) Print E-mail
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, December 2, 2010 10:40am

Have you ever need to view, update or add an internal manifest in an EXE?  Here is a tool that is Free, User Friendly, supports 64bit and is kept up to date.

ResEdit is a great little tool for examining and maintaining internal manifests.

Here are the features that make it uniquely well suited for this task:

  • It is a single EXE (no install required).
  • It is easy to find the internal manifest.
  • It is easy to figure out how to add a manifest if one does not exist (in some free advanced PE editors you must do some complex navigation through the application to accomplish this).
  • It is available in 32 and 64 bit versions.
  • It is kept up to date (some of the easy to use free PE editors were built for XP and haven't been updated since).
  • It is free (donationware).

One unusual aspect to using the application is the need to double-click items in the tree navigation pane - I am very used to single clicking nodes to examine their data - but ResEdit requires a double click.

There is one other small catch that can be a challenge to navigate through on your own.  If you view an existing manifest, the window displaying the manifest is editable, so you can change the manifest and the application seems to understand that the contents of the manifest were altered.  However, when you save the EXE, the manifest changes are not saved and no errors or warnings are generated to notify the user.

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The work around to this is to remove the existing manifest and then recreate the manifest by loading a complete one from disk that matches what you are looking to do.  This works well with our manifest templates you can find in the toolkit section.

You can download ResEdit here.

Here is a tutorial to help:

CSI-Windows.com_ResEditStep1

Step 1 – Remove existing manifest if one exists.

 

CSI-Windows.com_ResEditStep2

Step 2 – EXE with no manifest (this is also how it would look if an EXE simple does not have a manifest at all).

 

CSI-Windows.com_ResEditStep3

Step 3 – Select menu choice to add a manifest.

 

CSI-Windows.com_ResEditStep4

Step 4 – Answer “No” to the question about generating a manifest because it will insert an “asInvoker” manifest that you cannot edit.  Your only way to change the manifest is to select a file that contains exactly what you wish to embed.

 

CSI-Windows.com_ResEditStep5

Step 5 – Select a manifest.  You may have to change the extensions being filtered by the Open dialog.

 

CSI-Windows.com_ResEditStep6

Step 6 – Select the desired manifest file.

 

CSI-Windows.com_ResEditStep7

Step 7 – Ensure that the manifest has the desired settings.

 

CSI-Windows.com_ResEditStep8

Step 8 – Save the EXE with the new / updated manifest.