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Tiny PE

Creating the smallest possible PE executable

This work was inspired by the Tiny PE challenge by Gil Dabah. The object of the challenge was to write the smallest PE file that downloads a file from the Internet and executes it.

In the process of writing increasingly smaller PE files for the challenge I learned a lot of interesting details about the PE file format and the Windows loader. The goal of this document is to preserve this knowledge for future reference. In this, I have followed the example of the famous Whirlwind Tutorial on Creating Really Teensy ELF Executables for Linux.


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Tiny PE

Creating the smallest possible PE executable

The file no longer loads on Win7, and never worked on x64.

The smallest possible compatible files are 252 bytes long for 32-bit and 268 bytes long for x64.

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