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EXE is the common filename extension for denoting an executable file (a program) in the OpenVMS, DOS, Microsoft Windows, ReactOS, and OS/2 operating systems. A filename extension is a suffix to the name of a computer file applied to show its format. ... A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer. ... OpenVMS[1] (Open Virtual Memory System or just VMS) is the name of a high-end computer server operating system that runs on the VAX[2] and Alpha[3] family of computers developed by Digital Equipment Corporation of Maynard, Massachusetts (DIGITAL was then purchased by Compaq, and is now owned... This article is about the family of closely related operating systems for the IBM PC compatible platform. ... Windows redirects here. ... ReactOS is a project to develop an operating system that is binary-compatible with application software and device drivers for Microsoft Windows NT version 5. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Besides the executable program itself, many EXE files contain other components called resources, such as bitmaps and icons which the executable program may use for its graphical user interface. In Microsoft Windows, resources are read-only data embedded in an EXE or DLL files. ... GUI redirects here. ...


The DOS executable file format differs from the COM executable, which is limited to slightly less than 64 KiB in size and since it lacks relocation information, can only contain one code segment. The DOS executable header contains such relocation information, which allows multiple segments to be loaded at arbitrary memory addresses, and support executables larger than 64 KiB. The DOS executable format is the executable file format used for . ... In MS-DOS and compatible DOSes, and in 8-bit CP/M, a COM file is a simple type of executable file. ... According to the International Electrotechnical Commission a kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage. ... In computing, a code segment, also known as a text segment or simply as text, is a phrase used to refer to a portion of memory or of an object file that contains executable computer instructions. ...


There are several main EXE file formats. A file format is a particular way to encode information for storage in a computer file. ...

  • DOS executable: These can only be identified by the ASCII string "MZ" or the hexadecimal 4D 5A at the beginning of the file (the "magic number"). These executables can be run from DOS, and most Windows versions can execute them using a sort of emulation. "MZ" are the initials of Mark Zbikowski, one of the developers of MS-DOS.
  • 16-bit New Executable: Introduced with Multitasking MS-DOS 4.0, these can be identified by the "NE" in ASCII. These cannot be run by any other version of DOS but can be run by all Windows and OS/2 versions [citation needed].
  • Mixed 16/32-bit Linear Executable: Introduced with OS/2 2.0, these can be identified by the "LE" in ASCII. This format is not used for OS/2 applications anymore, but instead for VxD drivers under Windows 3.x and Windows 9x, and by some DOS extenders.
  • 32-bit Linear Executable: Introduced with OS/2 2.0, these can be identified by the "LX" in ASCII. These can only be run by OS/2 2.0 and higher [citation needed]. They are also used by some DOS extenders.
  • 32-bit Portable Executable: Introduced with Windows NT, these are the most complex [citation needed] and can be identified by the "PE" in ASCII. These can be run by all versions of Windows NT, and also Windows 95 and higher, partially also in DOS using HX_DOS_Extender. They are also used in BeOS R3, however the format used by BeOS somewhat violates the PE specification as it doesn't specify a correct subsystem [citation needed].
  • 64-bit Portable Executable: Introduced by 64-bit versions of Windows, these are PE files with a CPU type corresponding to a 64-bit instruction set such as x86-64 or IA-64. These can only be run by 64-bit editions of Microsoft Windows, such as Windows XP 64-Bit Edition or Windows Server 2003 64-Bit Edition, running on machines with the CPU type specified in the file.

Besides these, there are also many custom EXE formats, such as W3 (a collection of LE files, only used in WIN386.EXE), W4 (a compressed collection of LE files, only used in VMM32.VXD), DL, MP, P2, P3 (last three used by Phar Lap extenders), and probably more [citation needed]. Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... In computer programming, the term magic number has multiple meanings. ... Mark Zbikowski aka Mark J. Zbikowski aka Zibo is a Microsoft Senior Software Designer. ... The NE, or New Executable, is a new executable format that was introduced with OS/2 and Windows, and that was also used later in DOS 4. ... In Microsoft computing, a VxD is a virtual device driver. ... The Windows 3. ... DOS extender is the name invented in the 1980s for a technology to allow programs started from MS-DOS, which ran in Real mode, to actually run in protected mode. ... The Portable Executable (PE) format is a file format for executables, object code, and DLLs, used in 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows operating systems. ... Windows NT (New Technology) is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ... Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ... HX DOS-Extender is a free DOS extender with built-in Win32 PE file format support. ... BeOS is an operating system for personal computers which began development by Be Inc. ... The AMD64 or x86-64 is a 64-bit processor architecture invented by AMD. It is a superset of the x86 architecture, which it natively supports. ... In computing, IA-64 (short for Intel Architecture-64) is a 64-bit processor architecture developed cooperatively by Intel Corporation and Hewlett-Packard (HP), and implemented in the Itanium and Itanium 2 processors. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... Phar Lap was a software company specializing in software development tools for the MS-DOS/PC-DOS operating systems. ...


When a 16-bit or 32-bit Windows executable is run by Windows, execution starts at either the NE or the PE, and ignores the MZ code. On the other hand, DOS cannot (except using HX DOS Extender for PE files only) execute these files. To prevent DOS from crashing, all Windows executable files must start with a working DOS program called a stub. [citation needed]. Normally this program simply displays the simple message "This program cannot be run in DOS mode" (or similar), but there are a few dual-mode programs (MZ-NE or MZ-PE) (such as regedit) have a usable DOS section [citation needed]. The Windows registry is a directory which stores settings and options for the operating system for Microsoft Windows 32-bit versions, 64-bit versions and Windows Mobile. ...


In Microsoft Windows, a user can expect that double-clicking on an exe file will open a program, unless it is incompatible or broken. This is useful in avoiding computer viruses. If a user receives a file that claims to be a picture or document, but it has the ".exe" extension, it is likely to be a virus or Trojan horse that the sender is trying to trick them into running. This does not mean that all .exe files are viruses or trojans, just that many viruses and trojans are .exe files. Windows redirects here. ... A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. ... In the context of computing and software, a Trojan horse, or simply trojan, is a piece of software which appears to perform a certain action, but in fact, performs another. ...


See also

This is a list of file formats organized by type, as can be found on computers. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Executable compression. ...

References

Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...

External links


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