How to Edit an xml file


D

Dave C

I have been playing Win 7, Free Cell for months. I always intended to
retry a given game until I won. On game 2710, I inadvertently accepted
my First Loss.

I now know that my Free Cell stats are stored in an xml file. How
might I edit that file, to edit (delete) that one lose.

While surely minor, compared to many the REAL problems discussed here,
I am most annoyed at myself. I sure would appreciate any/all advice on
how to edit that file.

dave
 
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B

Bert

In Dave C
While surely minor, compared to many the REAL problems discussed here,
I am most annoyed at myself. I sure would appreciate any/all advice on
how to edit that file.
An XML file is simply an ordinary text file with a peculiar structure,
so any ordinary text editor will do, so long as you understand and don't
destroy the XML strucure while editing it.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

I have been playing Win 7, Free Cell for months. I always intended to
retry a given game until I won. On game 2710, I inadvertently accepted
my First Loss.

I now know that my Free Cell stats are stored in an xml file. How
might I edit that file, to edit (delete) that one lose.

While surely minor, compared to many the REAL problems discussed here,
I am most annoyed at myself. I sure would appreciate any/all advice on
how to edit that file.

dave
There are free xml editors available that structure the file display for
you, or you can just use a text editor, as Bert suggests.

I was gong to link you to XML Notepad, but when I try to look for a link
in its Help-About, it crashes :)

This is where a different part of the Help menu takes me:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/data/bb190600.aspx

I give up. Just Google for XML editors or use your text editor.
 
Z

Zaphod Beeblebrox

I have been playing Win 7, Free Cell for months. I always intended to
retry a given game until I won. On game 2710, I inadvertently accepted
my First Loss.

I now know that my Free Cell stats are stored in an xml file. How
might I edit that file, to edit (delete) that one lose.

While surely minor, compared to many the REAL problems discussed here,
I am most annoyed at myself. I sure would appreciate any/all advice on
how to edit that file.

dave
As I understand it, Free Cell stats are stored in:

C:\Users\<your user name>\Appdata\Local\Microsoft Games\Freecell\Freecellsettings.xml

To edit it, all you need is notepad or any other text editor.
Then, find the appropriate entry and modify it, then save.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

There are free xml editors available that structure the file display for
you, or you can just use a text editor, as Bert suggests.

I was gong to link you to XML Notepad, but when I try to look for a link
in its Help-About, it crashes :)

This is where a different part of the Help menu takes me:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/data/bb190600.aspx

I give up. Just Google for XML editors or use your text editor.
I looked on the above (not very) user-friendly page and got this:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=7973

I also have XML Explorer, which I can't fathom, so I can't recommend it.

The MS program works if you don't try Help-About :)
 
S

SC Tom

Dave C said:
I have been playing Win 7, Free Cell for months. I always intended to
retry a given game until I won. On game 2710, I inadvertently accepted
my First Loss.

I now know that my Free Cell stats are stored in an xml file. How
might I edit that file, to edit (delete) that one lose.

While surely minor, compared to many the REAL problems discussed here,
I am most annoyed at myself. I sure would appreciate any/all advice on
how to edit that file.

dave
If you successfully open, edit, and save a working copy of this file, let me
know. I've tried XML Notepad 2007, FOXE, Notepad, Notepad++, Word, etc., and
have yet to see one recognizable character in any of the MS Games XML files.
I've never much thought about it before, but your post piqued my curiosity,
just to see what's in it.

Impressive streak :) When I was working, I had a 2000+ winning streak after
an early loss (played on break and at lunchtime only <wink wink nudge
nudge> ), but not near what you have.
 
P

Paul

SC said:
If you successfully open, edit, and save a working copy of this file,
let me know. I've tried XML Notepad 2007, FOXE, Notepad, Notepad++,
Word, etc., and have yet to see one recognizable character in any of the
MS Games XML files. I've never much thought about it before, but your
post piqued my curiosity, just to see what's in it.

Impressive streak :) When I was working, I had a 2000+ winning streak
after an early loss (played on break and at lunchtime only <wink wink
nudge nudge> ), but not near what you have.
There's a little comedy here. While it is possible to use
encryption on XML, apparently in one case, it was just
BASE64 encoding.

http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Encrypted-XML.aspx

Paul
 
S

SC Tom

Paul said:
There's a little comedy here. While it is possible to use
encryption on XML, apparently in one case, it was just
BASE64 encoding.

http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Encrypted-XML.aspx

Paul
I tried an on-line decoder and got this error:

"The input is not a valid Base-64 string as it contains a non-base 64
character, more than two padding characters, or a non-white space character
among the padding characters."

Maybe that's not it :)
 
M

Mike Barnes

SC Tom said:
I tried an on-line decoder and got this error:

"The input is not a valid Base-64 string as it contains a non-base 64
character, more than two padding characters, or a non-white space
character among the padding characters."
Doncha just *love* that sort of error message? Would it be so hard to
say which of those three problems it is?
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

I tried an on-line decoder and got this error:

"The input is not a valid Base-64 string as it contains a non-base 64
character, more than two padding characters, or a non-white space character
among the padding characters."

Maybe that's not it :)
OK, try ROT13 next.

:)
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Doncha just *love* that sort of error message? Would it be so hard to
say which of those three problems it is?
One could argue that it's better than *no* list of possible errors :)
 
S

SC Tom

Gene E. Bloch said:
OK, try ROT13 next.

:)
Nah, that ain't it :)

Here's a sample of it from Notepad:

"A¬èµ÷˱«?cWM×(Ó"f%LÔef2 á#¼LZÁ'`szãV"-L.¥²&iËåàXÑ
FëNãrpùHV?£öf'§Þ;& ' H\Ôÿõ`ïm%
ë.J£,Sï8ÛW#ÇÆï~¡ft¦'EWQT.ÕON<z¾¨¶6< 3C¥?¼P¡HÚÕLJs&*AT:(ZàÔj>F2ÂÛ~Fá2'?&£H+0>y¨kèt¡Ö¾ô S*êdõ?¯^CÎø£Á,G,AsQFkM!èOU$PNËÃÒY^µ^sä¦ø¼F¤ÙLzlݯq?õ,{!"3P"
Ò~hOßT4?-¢þÄ^""!¤,dcÁÔ@fªé}É@3T<.öX-9=>Î>Ö~Ó)¬Q?#ZMÅDmò£2.É©G?BãÊ^o"d2¸¨Â9ÜÚ'enT~k¬?SC5:¤H´'Y*üp.£<_bçê´ÇÎô-sFÆ''$
Râs"Zð¤1}OÔäÉp "Dâ":ÅNI[Ý!pës,-À¶EêÄR²£,-XOPíæÀTë=¡mPª8ñ©î9þêT"èÕ«W?¾KTo¼T*Q0
Bkkkó .Þ@ãøÁY_õÒ\%<@\:H&ÿ´×ÙË4ÊårSF (-Ëe
4Gt¼?«ÔÌjY÷>'/Õ0X­"Íu»YÕ?×'YÇ RàжX,R?r]]shÀÕ*5ð óÔ?àd¿oqÎ ×BQ Û
X'\¸åI+÷Z"joo§!Ã"¥>}ú@4j:::Äm ? q ÌZ°pÜ3`),ïì+~iÛ.¤H+ºÃ$&Ð,ÎQ+T!R+cz»j?Ó¡O%lôîÝ?aºdè"quvvÒ­¸Ä6\&o^õæ]ïÏ>HĤ!tÀ\sÐS¿ÛêDäF
Pf?ÆÑÇ,^
..]0LZqÉÉ,IQüîß×}Õ:ÕR"?ü]].âÃ0`?·jmmÅTÈð@[s?0>>>¡ïàôüðéG?A?¤.Mgî<ä©ðÿÉ,ßû~ÂÕÏÜÊUp
Å"ð}ºO¸á·?gÈMC><óo<J3'ToHGrn^Øb+·y?«
Tº¸à¨Î7B*ùà¡×zÿYQEÚ"gr"*î

I think it's Greek. Or, at least, it's Greek to me :)
 
P

Paul

SC said:
Gene E. Bloch said:
OK, try ROT13 next.

:)
Nah, that ain't it :)

Here's a sample of it from Notepad:

"A¬èµ÷˱«?cWM×(Ó"f%LÔef2 á#¼LZÁ'`szãV"-L.¥²&iËåàXÑ
FëNãrpùHV?£öf'§Þ;& ' H\Ôÿõ`ïm%
ë.J£,Sï8ÛW#ÇÆï~¡ft¦'EWQT.ÕON<z¾¨¶6<
3C¥?¼P¡HÚÕLJs&*AT:(ZàÔj>F2ÂÛ~Fá2'?&£H+0>y¨kèt¡Ö¾ô S*êdõ?¯^CÎø£Á,G,AsQFkM!èOU$PNËÃÒY^µ^sä¦ø¼F¤ÙLzlݯq?õ,{!"3P"
Ò~hOßT4?-¢þÄ^""!¤,dcÁÔ@fªé}É@3T<.öX-9=>Î>Ö~Ó)¬Q?#ZMÅDmò£2.É©G?BãÊ^o"d2¸¨Â9ÜÚ'enT~k¬?SC5:¤H´'Y*üp.£<_bçê´ÇÎô-sFÆ''$

Râs"Zð¤1}OÔäÉp "Dâ":ÅNI[Ý!pës,-À¶EêÄR²£,-XOPíæÀTë=¡mPª8ñ©î9þêT"èÕ«W?¾KTo¼T*Q0

Bkkkó .Þ@ãøÁY_õÒ\%<@\:H&ÿ´×ÙË4ÊårSF (-Ëe
4Gt¼?«ÔÌjY÷>'/Õ0X­"Íu»YÕ?×'YÇ RàжX,R?r]]shÀÕ*5ð
óÔ?àd¿oqÎ ×BQ Û X'\¸åI+÷Z"joo§!Ã"¥>}ú@4j:::Äm ? q
ÌZ°pÜ3`),ïì+~iÛ.¤H+ºÃ$&Ð,ÎQ+T!R+cz»j?Ó¡O%lôîÝ?aºdè"quvvÒ­¸Ä6\&o^õæ]ïÏ>HĤ!tÀ\sÐS¿ÛêDäF

Pf?ÆÑÇ,^
.]0LZqÉÉ,IQüîß×}Õ:ÕR"?ü]].âÃ0`?·jmmÅTÈð@[s?0>>>¡ïàôüðéG?A?¤.Mgî<ä©ðÿÉ,ßû~ÂÕÏÜÊUp
Å"ð}ºO¸á·?gÈMC><óo<J3'ToHGrn^Øb+·y?«
Tº¸à¨Î7B*ùà¡×zÿYQEÚ"gr"*î

I think it's Greek. Or, at least, it's Greek to me :)
Well, maybe it's a heavy weight flavor.

"How to: Encrypt XML Elements with Asymmetric Keys"

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms229746.aspx

At least they've thought about ways to hide stuff.

I don't think it's ASCII85. The alphabet looks too rich.

Paul
 
S

Stan Brown

I have been playing Win 7, Free Cell for months. I always intended to
retry a given game until I won. On game 2710, I inadvertently accepted
my First Loss.

I now know that my Free Cell stats are stored in an xml file. How
might I edit that file, to edit (delete) that one lose.
Any text editor. Even Notepad should be able to do the job.

Don't double-click the file. Open your editor of choice, and do
File » Open in the editor menu, or drag the file into the editor's
client area.
 
D

Dave C

As I understand it, Free Cell stats are stored in:

C:\Users\<your user name>\Appdata\Local\Microsoft Games\Freecell\Freecellsettings.xml

To edit it, all you need is notepad or any other text editor.
Then, find the appropriate entry and modify it, then save.
First, a Sincere Thank You, to the many responders. My question is FAR
less important than most other requests on this board.

Certainly I followed up on the various suggestions. I D/L'ed installed
the XML Notepad 2007, as well as another XML editor (Altova XMLSpy
2013) I found on the net. Neither xml editor allows acces to that
file. I have verified that the File Properties are not restricted from
editing. Both editors give me two, most similar error messages:

Sorry file c:\users\ ... \games \freecell \freecellsettings.xml
cannot be opened.

Can't load binary file c:\users\ ... \games \freecell
\freecellsettings.xml

Note: Above, I have truncated the the full file directory info. For
sure I did locate the applicable Frrecell file.

I sure would aprreciate further advice, as to how I can open and edit
that Freecell file, in an xml editor.

Thanks
 
D

Dave C

Any text editor. Even Notepad should be able to do the job.

Don't double-click the file. Open your editor of choice, and do
File » Open in the editor menu, or drag the file into the editor's
client area.

Apologies!!

I thought I had updated, to the most recent posts in this newsgroup.
You will note that my reply today was in response to a much earlier
post. I have now read all of the subsequent posts.

BTW: I did open the xml file with Notepad, as well the noted other
two xml specific editors. Notepad did NOT give me any error messages
and it DID open the file. Alas, there were NO identifiable entries
displayed, such that I could edit the file. A non-technical person
might call the display gibberish?

As others have noted, there must be some encoding, that precludes
viewing and editing. For certain I have no idea how to proceed, and
edit that file.
 
P

Paul

Dave said:
First, a Sincere Thank You, to the many responders. My question is FAR
less important than most other requests on this board.

Certainly I followed up on the various suggestions. I D/L'ed installed
the XML Notepad 2007, as well as another XML editor (Altova XMLSpy
2013) I found on the net. Neither xml editor allows acces to that
file. I have verified that the File Properties are not restricted from
editing. Both editors give me two, most similar error messages:

Sorry file c:\users\ ... \games \freecell \freecellsettings.xml
cannot be opened.

Can't load binary file c:\users\ ... \games \freecell
\freecellsettings.xml

Note: Above, I have truncated the the full file directory info. For
sure I did locate the applicable Frrecell file.

I sure would aprreciate further advice, as to how I can open and edit
that Freecell file, in an xml editor.

Thanks
Arrgh!

OK, I dug out the Windows 7 laptop, played a game of Freecell
(don't know how, quit and accepted a loss).

OK, brought the freecellsettings.xml back to my WinXP machine
for analysis.

Loaded it in a hex editor. It isn't an XML file that I can see. It
is a two part file, consisting of a binary PNG at the front,
followed by unicode text. Didn't anyone scroll to the end
of the file ? Unicode text in Windows, uses two bytes per character.

Snip the file, leaving hex 89 followed by the letters PNG.
That's the beginning of a PNG file.

This is what is contained in the PNG file I got as a result.
This is magnified by a factor of four, for those with poor eyesight.
It's actually 256x192. Now, why it was important to record this, I'll
never know.

http://imageshack.us/a/img541/4653/test3o.png

There is a PNG spec here, if anyone is interested.

http://www.w3.org/TR/PNG/

I left the text at the end of it (which is past the IEND segment
of the PNG), as it doesn't hurt anything. In other words, with a
hex editor, you snip until you find 137 80 78 71 13 10 26 10 decimal.
137 decimal is 89 hex. Capital P is 80 decimal. (search for "man ascii"
in Google.) So <splat> PNG, four characters, is the header of a PNG file.
Depending on your image editor, you don't need to precisely snip off
the end, to see the PNG. The image loader will ignore input past
the IEND thing.

We need to remove the PNG file, then analyse the rest of it. The rest
is in unicode. And Notepad should handle it. The end of the PNG is near
IEND, followed by four other characters.

OK, long story short, while keeping your eye on the IEND thing
(which is near the end of the PNG), look for

hex 0xFF, hex 0xFE, then unicode looking like <.R.o.o.t.>

You want to keep the 0xFF and 0xFE preamble. Snip everything before
that. Save that as test.xml say. Load in Wordpad. You will see

<Root>
<Stats>
<Version>0</Version>
<GamesPlayed>1</GamesPlayed>
<GamesWon>0</GamesWon>
<MaxWinStreakLength>0</MaxWinStreakLength>
<MaxLoseStreakLength>1</MaxLoseStreakLength>
<CurrStreakLength>1</CurrStreakLength>
<WonlastGame>false</WonlastGame>
</Stats>
<Options>
<Version>2</Version>
<PlaySounds>true</PlaySounds>
<PlayAnimations>true</PlayAnimations>
<RandomAppearance>false</RandomAppearance>
<AutoLoad>false</AutoLoad>
<TurnOffTips>false</TurnOffTips>
<AutoSaveGameOnExit>false</AutoSaveGameOnExit>
<FirstPlay>false</FirstPlay>
<CurrDeckSkin>2</CurrDeckSkin>
<CurrBackground>0</CurrBackground>
</Options>
</Root>

This is actually unicode, so every character is represented by two bytes.

The only question that remains, is whether the garbage between the
end of the PNG IEND and the beginning of the 0xFF 0xFE unicode
preamble, is a checksum or not.

Hacking the rest of it, is left as a joyous exercise for the
reader.

So it's not "quantum cryptography", it's just obfuscation.
Cut the file in two, edit the text trailer, reassemble.
If it is protected by a checksum, there are some bytes between
IENDxxxx and 0xFF 0xFE that I cannot account for. Make a backup
of the file, before loading your hacked one.

At the very end of the file, I see 0x00 0x0a 0x00 0x00 0x00,
and you probably can't create that with a text editor. When
reassembling the file and bolting it back together, check
that the postamble is correct. I don't know why there is a
Unicode zero down there. A text editor shows that character
as a square. If saving out the file happens to remove it,
you can put that back with the hex editor.

Have fun,

Paul
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

At the very end of the file, I see 0x00 0x0a 0x00 0x00 0x00,
and you probably can't create that with a text editor. When
reassembling the file and bolting it back together, check
that the postamble is correct. I don't know why there is a
Unicode zero down there. A text editor shows that character
as a square. If saving out the file happens to remove it,
you can put that back with the hex editor.
I use this hex editor:

http://mh-nexus.de/en/

And that was pretty good detective work, Paul!
 
C

Char Jackson

I use this hex editor:

http://mh-nexus.de/en/

And that was pretty good detective work, Paul!
Ahem, didn't we collectively discuss this very same topic a few months ago
in this group? I clearly remember pointing out that the actual xml resides
at the end of the file. Oh well, I guess if it's worth discovering, it's
worth discovering again. ;-)
 
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