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Thread: Looking for a low memory usage .exe packer

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    Looking for a low memory usage .exe packer

    I'm looking for .exe Packer that has a very little memory footprint.
    I've tried UPX and Mpress bot both increase the memory footprint (according to task manager) from 2.2mb to 3.7mb. any alternative that show less memory overhead ?

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    Member nikkho's Avatar
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    To my knowledge that is a problem on how Windows handles loading executables, and not relevant to the packer itself.

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    Member jibz's Avatar
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    You could try looking at PECompact, I know it has some options not available in other compressors. I can see a /TrimMemory option, perhaps that does something related.

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    Sometimes I will be impossible to avoid the overhead. Normally Windows doesn't load the entire EXE file at start. It only loads a small portion of it and then loads more pages to memory as needed. Also it can swap memory back to disk. This doesn't work with packed executables. The decompressor has to decompress everything at start and the memory isn't swappable, so the operating system can't do any optimizations that reduce memory usage.

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    Member just a worm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piotr Tarsa
    Normally Windows doesn't load the entire EXE file at start. It only loads a small portion of it and then loads more pages to memory as needed.
    Are you sure about that? That's how Linux does it. But according to my knowledge Windows does no such lazy loading. Or at least it's the first time I heared that about Windows.
    Last edited by just a worm; 5th April 2015 at 00:11.

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    I'm pretty sure about that. Someone could do an experiment. In some C/ C++ source code, make a static global array of tens of megabytes with uncompressible data and a main method that only prints "Hello world" and waits for a key press. Then execute it and after printing "Hello world" but before pressing key measure the memory usage. Then compress executable and repeat previous step.

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    just a worm (5th April 2015)

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    Member just a worm's Avatar
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    Um yes. It looks as you are right. I just tested it. Thank you, that's interresting. And I am sorry for interrupting the discussion.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by just a worm; 5th April 2015 at 06:40.

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    jibz (5th April 2015)

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    Member m^2's Avatar
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    You could use a special-purpose packer that discards dead code (i.e. for different architecture) and initialisation code from RAM once it's determined to be unneeded.

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