VGAPaint 386 PCX Self-Extracting Picture

From Just Solve the File Format Problem
Jump to: navigation, search
File Format
Name VGAPaint 386 PCX Self-Extracting Picture
Extension(s) .pcx
Released 1996

VGAPaint 386 PCX Self-Extracting Picture (referred to here as PCX-SFX) is an unusual raster graphics file created by VGAPaint 386, an image and animation editor for DOS. For more information about VGAPaint 386, refer to VGAPaint 386 Animation.


A PCX-SFX file is almost a PCX file, but the first two bytes are different, and it contains executable code in some otherwise-unused bytes.

The format seems to have a very narrow use case. A PCX-SFX file is not an executable file; it is essentially a fragment of machine code that could be incorporated into a computer program.

The documentation says that this feature "Saves the current picture in a special self-extracting format. To uncompress, load the file into a memory buffer the necessary size +1024, then call it in 32-bit protected mode."


PCX-SFX files start with bytes eb 0e 01 08, and (at least for v1.4) have e8 00 00 00 00 58 83 e8 15 60 8d b0 at offset 16.


Note: Using a hex editor to change the first two bytes from eb 0e to 0a 05 should be sufficient to convert the file to a valid PCX file.

Personal tools