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Executable Binary Files

Executable binary files are files which contain computer code in binary format. Typically such files contain computer binary machine codes in a format which is readily available to be loaded into memory and executed by CPU without any modifications.

Examples of such binary files are DLL, DRV, SYS, COM, EXE and certain BIN files.

  • DLL – dynamic link library binary files
  • DRV – driver binary files
  • SYS – operating system binary files
  • COM – executable binary files MS-DOS format
  • EXE – executable binary format

Technically it is possible to interpret binary executable file using HEX editors but such job could be very tricky and time consuming. That’s why typically in order to understand what is inside binary file disassembler is ran on it in order to generate disassembly dump. This dump will contain layout of different blocks of executable file, function map and data sections. All code in disassembly dump will be converted to human readable assembly instructions. Having disassembly dump significantly simplifies working with binary executable file even if developer still needs to look at it in HEX editor. Disassembly dump contains binary file offset for each instruction or data block which could help user to find precise place where that code came from in the original binary file.

Executable binary files could be generated by hand but the process is very tricky and time consuming since file has to be in very precise format in order to get executed correctly. That’s why developer typically use compilers and linkers which convert textual instructions into binary code which could be understood by computer.

It is advisable not to download executable binary files from the internet especially from untrusted sources. Any executable file could contain malicious code which can infect the computer and make further damage while infecting other computers.

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BIN Quick Details
Binary File
  • application/mac-binary
  • application/macbinary
  • application/octet-stream
  • application/x-binary
  • application/x-macbinary
Opens with
  • MultiEdit32
  • Notepad
  • FAR
  • Any Hex Editor