SONY Virtual Expander

By | 2 Feb 2009

Virtual Expander is a software which is bundled with the following models:

The following information is based on the 1.x version since the 2.x was not available at the time I figured this out. But I guess it will work on that versions also.

How it works

Basically, VE is a compression tool. It lets you manually compress files and adds the extension .vem to them. This extension is associated with the VE Decompressor. So if you double-click a .vem-file, it will decompress it and launch it right after that.

While this works fine for single documents, it doesn’t work for a program consisting of many different files as only the file you click is automatically decompressed and not all together. Also it doesn’t recompress a file after use so it’s not really more comfortable than using a regular compression program.

The program activates itself if it detects a SONY USB drive based on its PnP-ID, like USB\Vid_054c&Pid_0241.

Hacking the tool

The latest version, VirtualExpander_v24.exe contains the following strings hardcoded in Unicode starting at position 0x39a2c (VendorID 054c = SONY):

  • USB\Vid_054c&Pid_0241
  • USB\Vid_054c&Pid_0242
  • USB\Vid_054c&Pid_0243
  • USB\Vid_054c&Pid_02a5
  • USB\Vid_054c&Pid_02a7

To make it work with ANY USB drive, just get the ID of your drive:

  1. go to Control PanelSystemAdvancedEnvironment variables
  2. add a new System variable DevMgr_Show_Details with the value “1”
  3. OK your way back to the Desktop
  4. open the Device Manager (make sure you closed the “System”-Control Panel before!)
  5. find your USB drive in the USB group and right-click → Properties
  6. find the ID on the new tab Details

Now use your favorite Hex-editor and overwrite one of the SONY IDs with the PnP-ID of YOUR USB drive. That’s all!

(The v1.3 has 3 IDs starting at position 0x31950.)

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