I use Resource Hacker Application for Reverse Engineering purposes, I've cracked 3 softwares by using this software, but it doesn't grab all .EXE, .DLL files.
sometimes It says, This is not a valid Win32 executable file, but I've provided it a valid Win32 File.
Any Solution please, Thanks in advance


2 Answers 2


According to the developer of Resource Hacker, this product is discontinued (and hasn't been updated since Sep 2011):

I have been overwhelmed by the interest in Resource HackerTM, the emails of thanks, encouragement and suggestions. It's been downloaded many millions of times. However, I've moved on to other things and have no plans to continue its development. Please don't ask for the source code, I'm not releasing it, nor is it for sale. Colin Wilson has written an open source Resource Editor which may interest those looking for source code. Otherwise, Anders Melander has also created another excellent Resource Editor which is still being developed.

While this is not a direct answer as to why Resource Hacker can't work with some PE files, you may follow the author's suggestion to try out the open-source XN Resource Editor or Anders Melander's free Resource Editor.

If you can reproduce the same issues in Colin Wilson's open-source XN Resource Editor, it may be much easier to inspect (via Delphi's debugger) and find the root cause.

  • 2
    Curious -- why might a programmer wish to "mothball" source code like that? If the programmer has decided it's a dead end, why not at least sell or give the source code out? I'm purely just curious, and not questioning a programmer's ability or right to do such. Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 0:49
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    I'm only guessing, but (1) he may use commercial components in the application which would make it difficult to release full source (2) he may think his own code isn't written or documented well enough (3) he might think the other open-source implementations are superior to his own.
    – Mick
    Commented Jun 2, 2013 at 14:48
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    The link above for XN Resource Editor is now a dead URL (dead domain, in fact), but Stefan Sundin created an unofficial mirror page, with the source in GitHub (and still receiving new commits as recently as 2019-01).
    – FeRD
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 17:13

Parsing PE files correctly is hard and there are almost always ways to make tools crash or refuse to work, while the Windows loader still executes the program normally. See e.g. Pimp My PE, Undocumented PECOFF

A loop in the resource tree structure might be enough to crash Resource Hacker.

Although these papers are mainly about malicious files, this applies for non-malicious ones as well, if the owner wanted to protect them or if he just happened to use a compiler or packer that violates the PECOFF specification or certain conventions.

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