Is it possible to edit desktop software without the source code?

10 replies
I have a program that runs on your desktop that I want to change. I outsourced the creation of this software years ago but do not have the source code anymore because of circumstances outside my control.

If I need to edit this software program, is there a way to do it? It's written in Delphi I think.
#code #desktop #edit #software #source
  • Profile picture of the author bestfriend
    Hi Gary,

    Theoretically it's possible, changes can be made on complied software. But AFAIK, this may be almost hard as impossible depending complexity of the changes you want to be made. Maybe you can outsource it again with a lower cost now, having new features and the source code.
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  • Profile picture of the author sylarrr
    Yes, it is.

    Is it easy?
    No, its not.

    Why?
    Because when computer programs are compiled into binary (ones and zeros), then all the "unnecessary" (to a PC) is fetched out: comments, method, class and variable names which have a meaning etc. so implementing new functions and editing existing ones is nightmare.
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  • Profile picture of the author KirkMcD
    Since it's in Delphi, you'll be able to decomplie it to get the forms back, but that is about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Huynh
    Thanks guys. I just wanted to change one image in the software.
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    Living the internet lifestyle!
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    • Profile picture of the author doylesoft
      Text, like Text in Menu Bars or Text inside of forms like labels and Option buttons, etc. is referred to as 'Resources.' Icons and Graphics are also resources.

      Do a Google search for 'Resource Hacker.' Tools and tools like it will read the resources from a binary, allow you to re-write the resources and re-compile the binary.

      Quick. Easy. Simple. : )

      Good luck.
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      Brandon Doyle
      http://doylesoft.com Simple, effective, and affordable software. Knowledge Base software.

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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Morgan
        Originally Posted by doylesoft View Post

        Text, like Text in Menu Bars or Text inside of forms like labels and Option buttons, etc. is referred to as 'Resources.' Icons and Graphics are also resources.

        Do a Google search for 'Resource Hacker.' Tools and tools like it will read the resources from a binary, allow you to re-write the resources and re-compile the binary.

        Quick. Easy. Simple. : )

        Good luck.
        This is probably your best bet, even with a decompiler you'll need a resource editor.

        Just remember that you should keep the NEW image the same size as the old one. Not only is your executable using the old images, but it likely has some reference to sizing that will be really difficult to change. So you could have a different image but the program still tries to scale it to the original size. Something to keep in mind.
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        Jeremy Morgan, Software Developer / SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author lwbco
    This will probably do what you need:
    (i have to mangle the URL so i can post a link, stupid forum rules)
    Code:
    angusj.com / resourcehacker /
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  • Profile picture of the author onlinecasinodeck
    Originally Posted by Gary Huynh View Post

    I have a program that runs on your desktop that I want to change. I outsourced the creation of this software years ago but do not have the source code anymore because of circumstances outside my control.

    If I need to edit this software program, is there a way to do it? It's written in Delphi I think.
    Yah, it is possible but you will need a de-compiler to reverse engineer the
    software.
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  • Profile picture of the author Israel Ramos
    you can edit only resources (bitmaps, strings, forms, etc) without source code, except if the .exe is compressed with some app like aspack, upx, etc.

    unless you are a hacker :p and do reverse engineering to get the assembler source code and modify the behavior of the app
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  • Profile picture of the author shantanu
    u can use the resource hacker to edit or change al codes of softwares which are open source software but remember it is illegal in any case.
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