Virtual Expander is a software which is bundled with the following models:
- USM-E Plus (v1.03)
- USM-D Plus (v1.03)
- USM-JX (v2.3)
- USM-H (v2.4)
- USM-J (v2.4)
- USM-L (v2.4)
- USM-LX (v2.4)
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
Hacking the tool
The latest version,
VirtualExpander_v24.exe contains the following strings hardcoded in Unicode starting at position
054c = SONY):
To make it work with ANY USB drive, just get the ID of your drive:
- go to Control Panel → System → Advanced → Environment variables
- add a new System variable
DevMgr_Show_Detailswith the value “1”
- OK your way back to the Desktop
- open the Device Manager (make sure you closed the “System”-Control Panel before!)
- find your USB drive in the USB group and right-click → Properties
- 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