Re: Windows executables, was Free x86 C compiler wanted

Marco van de Voort <>
14 Apr 2007 20:44:24 -0400

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Related articles
Re: Free x86 C compiler wanted (glen herrmannsfeldt) (2007-04-11)
Re: Free x86 C compiler wanted (2007-04-13)
Re: Windows executables, was Free x86 C compiler wanted (Marco van de Voort) (2007-04-14)
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From: Marco van de Voort <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 14 Apr 2007 20:44:24 -0400
Organization: Stack Usenet News Service
References: 07-04-033 07-04-050
Keywords: Windows
Posted-Date: 14 Apr 2007 20:44:24 EDT

On 2007-04-13, <> wrote:
>> Also, I believe that at
>> least the later versions of DOS and most Windows will load EXE
>> files with a COM extension. That was done for FORMAT, for
>> example.
> DOS decided what an executable format actually was by reading a header
> in the program IIRC. The file designation COM, EXE etc. was only used to
> decide what was executable and what was data. I don't know when it was
> introduced but IIRC Windows 3.1 had a list of executable file types that
> could be edited by the user.

Afaik Windows still has this in principle. However I don't know what
the recent SP2 changes did to this. The list describes which file
extensions are to be handled by the system (the core shell), and the
system itself decides

A lot of the worm activity was related to this list (that listed among
others .pif .scr .vbs and many more), because this way one could
circumvent Exchange/Outlook restrictions on .exe, since the kernel
would also execute the .scr, AND outlook wouldn't display known

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