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I have come across File -> Create EXE file... option in IDA. I thought one couldn't use IDA for patching. I have tried playing with it. However, it gives me the following error: This type of output files is not supported.

What is this option for? What is possible usage of it?

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This option has limited value.


IDA produces executable files only for:

  • MS DOS .exe
  • MS DOS .com
  • MS DOS .drv
  • MS DOS .sys
  • general binary
  • Intel Hex Object Format
  • MOS Technology Hex Object Format

-- IDA Help file


While this is the most promising menu option, it unfortunately is also the most crippled. In a nutshell, it doesn't work for most file types...

-- The IDA Pro Book, Chapter 14

That chapter goes into more detail why this option is not very useful. For starters, IDA doesn't parse and save contents of sections such as .rsrc, and doesn't have a way to rebuild import/export tables back into their original format.

Read this book. Not just for this question, it's a good and useful read.

  • Got the book. It's great read. Thanks for the pointer. – PSS Jun 25 '13 at 15:56

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