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UPXing Compatibility

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#1
Flasche

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I decided to make this thread for it seems that UPXing is a new field of compatibility for 9x. KernelEx (Kex stubs) seems to not allow certain new versions of programs that would normally run to work, or some that wouldn't run to begin with. (Vlc for example) To start of the list I will post what Apps we know that will work.
 
More info about it starts on another thread, with this post by loblo.

 

All credit goes to loblo and jumper for finding, and figuring out why this trick works.
 

Just to clarify, both KernelEx (and sometimes KexStubs too) and UPXing are mandatory for any of those programs to run.

 

More info on KexStubs here http://www.msfn.org/...lex-extensions/

 

Video Tutorial

Spoiler

 

UPX- http://upx.sourcefor...oad/upx391w.zip

UPX Fronted- http://download.sose...rontend-1.1.exe

GUiPeX- http://www.freepcstu...UiPeX_Setup.exe

LAST = Last version of software to work on 9x(Windows Me/98se)
ONGD = Newest version of software still works on 9x (after UPXing of course ;) )

Vlc 2.1.3/Nightly build (vlc-2.2.0-20140406-0027) = ONGD --- http://www.videolan....ad-windows.html 2.1.3 http://goo.gl/7EIu8h 2.2.0 nightly
 
PotPlayer 1.6.46541 = ONGD --- http://www.videohelp...tools/PotPlayer
 
LavFilters 0.61.2 (official) = LAST --- http://www.free-code...d=6135&s=819&r=

 
Gimp 2.8.10 = ONGD --- http://goo.gl/rMJNHl
 
CloudMe v1.8.0 = ONGD --- https://www.cloudme....nc/windows?dl=1 (read this first before trying http://www.msfn.org/...ity/?p=1081222)

 

Sherpya's "MPlayer on Windows" generic MPlayer.exe build = ONGD --- http://oss.netfarm.i...layer-win32.php

Redxii's "MPlayer-for-Windows" MPlayer.exe build = ONGD --- http://code.google.c...er-for-windows/


Edited by Flasche, 29 July 2014 - 08:33 PM.

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#2
loblo

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 KernelEx (Kex stubs) seems to not allow certain new versions of programs that would normally run to work, or some that wouldn't run to begin with. (Vlc for example) To start of the list I will post what Apps we know that will work.

 

Just to clarify, both KernelEx (and sometimes KexStubs too) and UPXing are mandatory for any of those programs to run.



#3
loblo

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And perhaps you could provide a link to the discussion where this originated as there is very useful information there, including especially an alternate method discovered by jumper which will certainly work for the files whose functionality  eventually breaks after UPX compression.

Later edit (by dencorso... :angel  notice, please, that the jump-back links to the right of the quote-boxes below do work as intended and jump to the thread they came from!):
 

This is great, loblo.

The first group all have 32-bit alignment in the .rdata section; the second group, 4-bit alignment. The first group all double-GPF when directly loaded with LoadLibrary, the second group don't.

Changing the reported alignment bits doesn't help, however. Also, the VLC 2.1.2 plugins all load without error no matter what the alignment.

Changing the .text section to be writable or UPXing the problem files both work.... UPXing is still the easiest/best work-around. :)


Interesting, I have set the .text section of all the VLC 2.1.3 files to be writable and it works as good as UPXing apparently.

It's very easy to do with NW PE Builder in case anyone's interested in using this method, no batch processing possible unlike with the UPX method however.

The files that don't have a problem don't have a writable .text section so it's still very mysterious to me what is going on but it sure is nice to have an alternate solution.

Edited by dencorso, 06 April 2014 - 05:17 PM.
Added a cross-thread back-quote (with another quote inside!). I apologise for adding materials to your post, though!


#4
Flasche

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Just to clarify, both KernelEx (and sometimes KexStubs too) and UPXing are mandatory for any of those programs to run.

 
I know! I was just simply stating that KernelEx alone or with stubs is not enough to get some newer programs running. If you want I can reword it.

Edited by dencorso, 06 April 2014 - 04:45 PM.
Added a back-quote to the 1st post...

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  • follow no path                                 
  • all paths lead where
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#5
Flasche

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Latest Nightly build of vlc (vlc-2.2.0-20140406-0027) works. (2.2.0) http://goo.gl/7EIu8h


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  • follow no path                                 
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  • truth is here
 

#6
dencorso

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Congratulations loblo and jumper for the great findings! worship.gif
Good call starting this thread, Flasche! :thumbup
 
cheerleader.gif Anything that breathes yet another whiff of life into 9x/ME should be stimulated and having a central thread for this is the way to go! cheerleader.gif

However, this thread should be on the projects sub-forum, because a project it is!
So, with all due respect, I'm moving it there.

Keep on the great work, friends! :yes:
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#7
Flasche

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Congratulations loblo and jumper for the great findings! worship.gif
Good call starting this thread, Flasche! :thumbup
 
cheerleader.gif Anything that breathes yet another whiff of life into 9x/ME should be stimulated and having a central thread for this is the way to go! cheerleader.gif

However, this thread should be on the projects sub-forum, because a project it is!
So, with all due respect, I'm moving it there.

Keep on the great work, friends! :yes:

 

The better thing about this is imagine the things you could do with this XP when program support ends. If M$ cant kill 9x then by all needs they can't touch XP.


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  • seeker of truth                                                 "If you want to reach and discover the true meaning of order; You must go through chaos first."            344d0f9.jpg
  • follow no path                                 
  • all paths lead where
  • truth is here
 

#8
dencorso

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:hello: Of course they cannot! :w00t: 

 

:yes:  Long live 9x/ME!  :yes:  Long live XP!  :yes:



#9
loblo

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LavFilters 0.59.1 nightly build of 2013-12-16 = LAST --- http://roy.orz.hm/la...1216-210f2d6.7z
 

 

Latest official LavFilters 0.61.2 build running fine. Had erroneously stated no functional build above the quoted one because of a now resolved crash in kexbases.dll that was due to a bad entry I had in my Kxstub822.ini.


Edited by loblo, 11 April 2014 - 07:16 AM.


#10
Flasche

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LavFilters 0.59.1 nightly build of 2013-12-16 = LAST --- http://roy.orz.hm/la...1216-210f2d6.7z
 

 

Latest official LavFilters 0.61.2 build running fine. Had erroneously stated no functional build above the quoted one because of a now resolved crash in kexbases.dll that was due to a bad entry I had in my Kxstub822.ini.

 

 

Thanks for clarifying. Also sorry for late reply. Changing now.


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  • follow no path                                 
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  • truth is here
 

#11
DougB

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You can add to the list:

* Sherpya's "MPlayer on Windows" generic MPlayer.exe build: http://oss.netfarm.i...layer-win32.php  Current version (at time of this posting): r37182+g09725c1

* Redxii's "MPlayer-for-Windows" MPlayer.exe build: http://code.google.c...er-for-windows/  Current version (at time of this posting): svn-37183

For those who may not be familiar, MPlayer.exe is a command-line (!) media player with its own built-in codecs for common formats (but you can also download a separate MPlayer-specific pack of rarer codecs).  It has the reputation of being able to play almost anything (and that's been my experience as well).  

The user interface is primitive (keyboard/mouse/joystick control while the media is playing), but a number of GUIs are available as separate projects that load the MPlayer.exe file to do the playing (but i'm not commenting on those here).  I've found the MPlayer.exe file useful by itself in the following ways:

- As the target of a (right-click) "Send-To".  
- As the default (left-click) player.  
- Drag-and-drop file to a desktop shortcut.  

Many options are available via text configuration files.  (Hint: For the above uses, add: "really-quiet=yes" line in the CONFIG file.)  

- Doug B.
 



#12
Flasche

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You can add to the list:

* Sherpya's "MPlayer on Windows" generic MPlayer.exe build: http://oss.netfarm.i...layer-win32.php  Current version (at time of this posting): r37182+g09725c1

* Redxii's "MPlayer-for-Windows" MPlayer.exe build: http://code.google.c...er-for-windows/  Current version (at time of this posting): svn-37183

 

[...]

 

Thank you for sharing.


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#13
LostInSpace2012

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This is good topic Flasche... I just have some questions and suggestions. Maybe helpful, maybe not.

More info about it starts on another thread, with this post by loblo.

All credit goes to loblo and jumper for finding, and figuring out why this trick works.

Just to clarify, both KernelEx (and sometimes KexStubs too) and UPXing are mandatory for any of those programs to run.

First off,

I checked in the Windows9x Member Projects forum and I didn't see a topic or thread titled "Kex Stubs" or "UPXing." Furthermore, the link you provide for more info merely goes to a post in the KernelEx compatibility list.

My suggestion, and I mean this nicely, is to add a link to some kind of introductory post concerning setting up, installing, or running "KexStub." Personally I have no clue how to run anything with a KexStub or even what it is. I'm intrigued about trying these things out, but I don't know where to start. Same goes for UPXing. People keep throwing these terms around, but they don't take into account new users to this forum, or slow people like myself, who wouldn't know where to begin to look.

In order for other people (like new members) to figure this stuff out, can I suggest that you link to topics that describe how, what, where, and why regarding KexStubs or UPXing. I'm only bugging you about this, because your thread seems to be the best place to address this information.

Otherwise this information is scattered too many places around here.... and I wouldn't know where to begin :-) You can make this simpler for newbies by adding links to this stuff.

Since you have already begun the process of consolidating the programs that are compatible (I commend you for doing that), would you also be able to put together some tutorial or something as well?

The way I look at it is this: I'm assuming people are coming here for all sorts of ways to keep Win9x running. First, there is the Last Versions thread, which is kind of like the baseline, absolute minimum of software that people should look at. You can also include my Mini List into this category. Secondly, there's the KernelEx Thread. This is for people who want to go beyond the standard limits of Win9x. Following that, there are the helpful KernelEx Comapitability topics... which are essentially required reading for anybody using KernelEx. Lastly, your UPXing and KexStub compatability list, which seems to be the most up-to-date topic on this subject. Just for the sake of being thorough, links to the above topics would be helpful. That way, I wouldn't have to check as many places for information, I can just bookmark YOUR topic and be done with it... assuming you add in the necessary links, of course. This is all just a polite suggestion though :-)

P.S. Maybe there is an introductory thread for KexStub and UPXing somewhere, if so, adding a link to them at the top of this thread wouldn't hurt. :-)

P.S. 2 I didn't mean to leave off any other important topics, like Running Win9x with > 1 GB RAM or CPU Limit Broken, or Revolutions Pack or Win98 Se Service Pack... or anything else.

^ You might as well add links to that stuff too, THEN, you'll have the ultimate up-do-date, mega list. LOL.

Edited by LostInSpace2012, 27 August 2014 - 03:25 AM.


#14
Flasche

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This is good topic Flasche... I just have some questions and suggestions. Maybe helpful, maybe not.

 

Thank you

 

I checked in the Windows9x Member Projects forum and I didn't see a topic or thread titled "Kex Stubs" or "UPXing." Furthermore, the link you provide for more info merely goes to a post in the KernelEx compatibility list.

 

That link simply is there just to show credit to the people whom discovered this trick to allow certain newer programs to run.

 

My suggestion, and I mean this nicely, is to add a link to some kind of introductory post concerning setting up, installing, or running "KexStub." Personally I have no clue how to run anything with a KexStub or even what it is

 

Information about kexstubs is here http://www.msfn.org/...lex-extensions/ . To be fare you don't need KexStub for some of these like vlc, but you need it for others. Think of KexStubs as a minor update for kernelEX (Like kernelEx 4.5.2.1 at least in my opinion)

 

 

Same goes for UPXing. People keep throwing these terms around, but they don't take into account new users to this forum, or slow people like myself, who wouldn't know where to begin to look.

 

You're statement here actually sparked an idea for me. I'll make a tutorial video :w00t: of how to use UPX to run vlc 2.1.3. This will be good for me, so I can relearn what I learned in video editing, so I can practice for my YouTube hobby career.

 

 

Same goes for UPXing. People keep throwing these terms around, but they don't take into account new users to this forum, or slow people like myself, who wouldn't know where to begin to look.

 

What UPXing does is compress the files of the program, so kernelEx can then run it. Of course you could Hex edit the program, but UPXing, is by far the fastest, and easiest option.

 

 

Since you have already begun the process of consolidating the programs that are compatible (I commend you for doing that), would you also be able to put together some tutorial or something as well?

 

Answered ;)

 

 

The way I look at it is this: I'm assuming people are coming here for all sorts of ways to keep Win9x running. First, there is the Last Versions thread, which is kind of like the baseline, absolute minimum of software that people should look at. You can also include my Mini List into this category. Secondly, there's the KernelEx Thread. This is for people who want to go beyond the standard limits of Win9x. Following that, there are the helpful KernelEx Comapitability topics... which are essentially required reading for anybody using KernelEx. Lastly, your UPXing & KexStub compatability list, which seems to be the most up-to-date topic on this subject. Just for the sake of being thorough, links to the above topics would be helpful. That way, I wouldn't have to check as many places for information, I can just bookmark YOUR topic and be done with it... assuming you add in the necessary links, of course. This is all just a polite suggestion though :-)

 

You are right there.

 

 

Maybe there is an introductory thread for KexStub and UPXing somewhere, if so, adding a link to them at the top of this thread wouldn't hurt. :-)

 

The more info link is the introductory. Its were UPXing was found out.

 

 

I'll update the initial post soon.With a Link to the Kextstubs thread, Where to download upx (and show two of the prefered gui's for it) then that little tutorial video.


Seeker Of Truth by E. E. Cummings                                                                                           Quote (Me)

  • seeker of truth                                                 "If you want to reach and discover the true meaning of order; You must go through chaos first."            344d0f9.jpg
  • follow no path                                 
  • all paths lead where
  • truth is here
 

#15
LostInSpace2012

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thanks, man! oh and thanks for the link to KEXT: DIY extensions it wasn't pinned, or it was a few pages back, guess I didn't see it. But I will add that link to my thread as well. Thanks. P.S. Good luck on your YouTube career :-) If I somehow learn Windows ME Movie Maker, I might "direct" some of my own videos. :-)

#16
Flasche

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thanks, man! oh and thanks for the link to KEXT: DIY extensions it wasn't pinned, or it was a few pages back, guess I didn't see it.

 

Kind of so so. Really it was there, but very unnoticeable. The link to the kext page was on the signature of jumper's posts. (At the bottom, says kexter)

 

Design feedback requested:
IHAtool - IpHlpApi tester; call various functions and report results
--status-> framework is solid; 22 api's fully supported; preview release coming soon
ComDlg32 wrapper - ComDlgEx meets IpHlpApi wrapper
--status-> PrintDlgExW working in latest SumatraPDF 8^)
Future projects: ImportPatcher40 - dialog interface; Kexter - IP40+Ktree+Kexstubs

 

 

P.S. Good luck on your YouTube career :-) If I somehow learn Windows ME Movie Maker, I might "direct" some of my own videos. :-)

 

Thanks. I look forward to it ;)


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  • seeker of truth                                                 "If you want to reach and discover the true meaning of order; You must go through chaos first."            344d0f9.jpg
  • follow no path                                 
  • all paths lead where
  • truth is here
 

#17
Flasche

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Video uploaded to youtube. Being put in spoiler at top. Here is the video if you are impatient

 

Spoiler

Edited by Flasche, 11 May 2014 - 07:22 PM.

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  • seeker of truth                                                 "If you want to reach and discover the true meaning of order; You must go through chaos first."            344d0f9.jpg
  • follow no path                                 
  • all paths lead where
  • truth is here
 

#18
LostInSpace2012

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thanks for the tutorial, Flasche.

#19
Flasche

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thanks for the tutorial, Flasche.

 

Anytime LostInSpace


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  • seeker of truth                                                 "If you want to reach and discover the true meaning of order; You must go through chaos first."            344d0f9.jpg
  • follow no path                                 
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  • truth is here
 

#20
Nomen

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Ok, so I need this explained to me. Why would I want to compress a program to run it? I can already run VLC, so what would compressing it with UPX do? And why UPX? Why not some other compression format?

#21
Flasche

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Ok, so I need this explained to me. Why would I want to compress a program to run it? I can already run VLC, so what would compressing it with UPX do? And why UPX? Why not some other compression format?

 

Please read this topic starting from here http://www.msfn.org/...13#entry1072080


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  • seeker of truth                                                 "If you want to reach and discover the true meaning of order; You must go through chaos first."            344d0f9.jpg
  • follow no path                                 
  • all paths lead where
  • truth is here
 

#22
jumper

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Ok, so I need this explained to me. Why would I want to compress a program to run it? I can already run VLC, so what would compressing it with UPX do? And why UPX? Why not some other compression format?



It's not the compression, it's the write privilege on the .text section (the first two sections in a UPX-compressed file are both writable):

Changing the .text section to be writable or UPXing the problem files both work.... UPXing is still the easiest/best work-around. :)



I plan to add an option to ImportPatcher to automatically fix the app and all dependencies.

edit: more clarity

Edited by jumper, 23 May 2014 - 04:29 PM.

Design feedback requested:
IHAtool - IpHlpApi tester; call various functions and report results
--status-> framework is solid; 22 api's fully supported; preview release coming soon
ComDlg32 wrapper - ComDlgEx meets IpHlpApi wrapper
--status-> PrintDlgExW working in latest SumatraPDF 8^)
Future projects: ImportPatcher40 - dialog interface; Kexter - IP40+Ktree+Kexstubs

#23
Flasche

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It's not the compression, it's the write privilege on the .text section:

 

Thank you for clarifying.


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  • seeker of truth                                                 "If you want to reach and discover the true meaning of order; You must go through chaos first."            344d0f9.jpg
  • follow no path                                 
  • all paths lead where
  • truth is here
 

#24
Drugwash

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Just a heads up: CloudMe 1.8.1 has been released on May 12 and still works with the UPX method.

Not sure if I mentioned it already in the other thread, but I already have VC9 and VC10 runtimes (patched) in the System folder, so I moved those that came with CloudMe out of its folder. The VC11 runtimes should stay. This may be important if the unpatched runtimes won't work even after UPX-ing.

 

I also wrote a small AHK script that automates the UPX packing of the files, if anyone cares. It saves a log and attempts to set KernelEx compatibility for unloadable libraries (this may not work). With a few small changes it could be made to pack files in any folder. The upx.exe must be in the same folder with the script and it's highly recommended to run it from a short path, such as C:\upx, C:\Temp or similar.

AHK Basic (ANSI) can hopefully be found here.

Spoiler

Edited by Drugwash, 20 May 2014 - 04:23 PM.


#25
jumper

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For the last week, I've been testing CloudMe_182. It suffers from the same problem as vlc-2.1.3-win32.7z and slightly more. In addition to needing the .text section protection changed to allow writing, it also needs the .rdata section changed as well.

Upx391 didn't like the CloudMe_182 PE files, so I finally wrote a tool called gccfix to do the patching. It is very quick and processes individual files or whole directory structures. gccfix patches in-place, so backup first or keep the original installer or archive.

Attached Files


Design feedback requested:
IHAtool - IpHlpApi tester; call various functions and report results
--status-> framework is solid; 22 api's fully supported; preview release coming soon
ComDlg32 wrapper - ComDlgEx meets IpHlpApi wrapper
--status-> PrintDlgExW working in latest SumatraPDF 8^)
Future projects: ImportPatcher40 - dialog interface; Kexter - IP40+Ktree+Kexstubs




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