Restorator 2007 U2
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Review & Alternatives
"Windows applications resource viewer + editor"
How would you like it you could change the whole layout of your applications, or even graphics from Windows interface? With Restorator 2007 this is actually possible. This incredibly useful program allows you to get into the inner parts of windows resources and components of programs, known as PE files. The most common extensions from those PE files are .exe, .dll, .rc, .res and .dcr. Altering these files means that you can change text, images, sounds and other kinds of data in applications.
There is nothing out of the ordinary during setup. The steps are few and the installation process finishes fairly quickly. No 3rd party software is installed either.
Officially, it is stated that the supported operating systems are Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP and Vista, but the program can run smoothly in any machine running Windows 7.
It’s been a while since Restorator’s last update was released; therefore it’s reasonable that the user interface is not very modern. However, that doesn’t mean that it is complicated or hard to use. On the left side is the resource tree, where the components of open files are displayed as collapsible items. The window on the center has two tabs, Resource Viewer and File Browser. In resource viewer you can take a closer look at the resource files and in File Browser you can explore the files located in your hard drive.
Editing PE and RES files can be useful in many ways. For instance, you can translate a program into a different language, as well as export images, translate the containing text and then import them back to the program. Secondly, developers will find this software extremely helpful, as with it they can analyze an application’s data as deep as they wish. If in a file you want to delete resources or add your own, you can do that too.
The resource viewing modes are three: the default viewing mode, where you can see all the available data as they should normally appear (for example you can listen to audio or look at images), the hexdump mode, which displays everything in raw data, and finally is the RC Resource Mode to view the resources in standard RC format. You are able to work with the resources directly from the hard drive if you wish by using the extract function.
You can edit files that are already in use, e.g. system files, as Restorator will replace them at next system boot.
ResPatcher is a feature in Restorator which gives you the ability to share the customizations you made with others by creating a small executable and launching it whenever you want the changes to be applied. If in a file you want to delete resources or add your own, you can do that too.
Finding particular resources located in the hard drive is not easy, since you have to go through a lot of files and folders in order to find what you’re looking for. That’s why Restorator has this feature implemented. You can perform a search in the hard drive (or in specific locations) and set the search criteria, which are not few at all.
Executing Restorator using command line parameters is possible as well.
It’s a shame really that it’s no longer being updated. It has a lot of potential and could become an exceptional tool for everyone to use.
ResEdit, PE Explorer, Anolis Resourcer, Resource Tuner are some of the most popular PE editors, with PE Explorer and ResEdit being the best out of those. Resource Hacker is aÂ good alternative too, but it was discontinued after 2011.
Restorator is an interesting and unique software, to say the least. It can be used for infinite purposes; from improving Windows’ visual environment to personalizing, fixing and enhancing in general your favorite applications. It’s a must have softie for anyone who has even a small amount of curiosity, and mainly creativity.
What's new in this version: bug fixes
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