Revealing Hidden Secret “Debug” Menu to Cheat in Built-in Microsoft Games in Windows Vista and 7

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SUMMARY: This article will help you in enabling a hidden secret "Debug" menu in all built-in Microsoft games (Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, FreeCell, Minesweeper, Mahjong, Chess, Hearts and Purble Place) present in Windows Vista and 7 which can be used to cheat in games. You can instant win, enable autoplay, sneak peak behind cards, curtain, mines, etc. An ultimate menu to cheat Windows games.

We have shared lots of unique tricks in past like adding program shortcuts in Desktop context menu in Windows 7, adding cascading menus in Desktop context menu in Windows 7, customizing Windows Explorer Command bar in Windows 7 and many more which were first posted exclusively here at AskVG and then got featured by many other well known websites including Lifehacker and Microsoft. You can find all such exclusive tricks in our popular articles page.

Now its turn of another cool trick which has not been posted or discovered by anyone else yet. We are the first who are going to share this amazing trick.

Almost all of us Windows users have played built-in Microsoft games like Solitaire, Minesweeper, Chess, FreeCell, etc and many of us are aware of some secret key combinations like "Alt+Shift+2" to instantly win in Solitaire, "Ctrl+Shift+F10" to instantly win in FreeCell, etc.

Did you ever wonder where did these secret methods come from? These secret tricks were brought from a hidden secret "Debug" menu which was accidentally left in Microsoft Games present in a very old testing build of Windows NT which was made available for download to MSDN and TechNet subscribers by Microsoft.

After that incident, Microsoft completely removed the hidden "Debug" menu from all built-in Windows games but when Microsoft upgraded the UI and features of these games in Windows Vista, they put the secret menu back. BUT it was not available in games, it was hidden. Windows 7 games also contain this secret "Debug" menu but again its hidden.

But after using a trick mentioned in this tutorial, you'll be able to reveal this secret "Debug" menu in all built-in Microsoft games in Windows Vista and 7. Thanks to AskVG reader "Tedd" for identifying this trick.

As the name suggests, the hidden "Debug" menu is used by developers to check the functionality of games. They can instant win, lose, enable autoplay mode and can do many more things in a game using this secret menu. And guess What? We can use this secret menu to cheat in all games. ;)

To enable this secret "Debug" menu, we'll need to edit a .MUI file associated with all Microsoft games in Windows using our favorite tool Resource Hacker.

Actually all built-in Microsoft games EXE files have a .MUI file associated with them which is used to show menus, dialog box, text messages, etc in games.

All Microsoft games are installed in following directory in Windows:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\

Here C: is the system drive where Windows is installed. If you installed Windows in any other partition, replace C: with that partition letter.

When you'll go to the above mentioned folder, you'll see one separate folder for each game. Now open any game folder for example, we are opening Solitaire folder. Now you'll see another folder "en-US" in this folder. "en-US" folder is found in English language versions, if you have a different language version of Windows, replace en-US with your own localization string like fr-FR, etc.

"en-US" is the folder which contains .MUI file which we'll edit in Resource Hacker to enable secret "Debug" menu.

Edit_EXE_MUI_File_Resource_Hacker.png

Each game folder contains "en-US" folder which contains .MUI file. You'll need to edit .MUI file for all games separately which you want to enable secret "Debug" menu for.

Solitaire: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Solitaire\en-US\Solitaire.exe.mui

Spider Solitaire: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\SpiderSolitaire\en-US\SpiderSolitaire.exe.mui

FreeCell: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\FreeCell\en-US\FreeCell.exe.mui

Minesweeper: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Minesweeper\en-US\Minesweeper.exe.mui

Hearts: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Hearts\en-US\Hearts.exe.mui

Mahjong: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Mahjong\en-US\Mahjong.exe.mui

Chess: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Chess\en-US\Chess.exe.mui

Purble Place: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Purble Place\en-US\PurblePlace.exe.mui

And if you don't know about "Resource Hacker" tool, first go to following tutorial to download it. The tutorial will also help you in learning how to use this awesome tool:

All About Resource Hacker in a Brief Tutorial

One you download and install the tool, run it and open .MUI file of your desired game. In our example, we are going to open Solitaire's MUI file "Solitaire.exe.mui" which is present in "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Solitaire\en-US" folder.

Once you open the file in Resource Hacker, expand "Menu" tree and you'll see 3 sub-menus:

  • 102
  • 103
  • 122

Actually all games .MUI files will have similar menus. Among all these menus, one menu is used by the game to show menus in menubar. Other menus present in .MUI files contain the hidden "Debug" menu as shown in following screenshot:

Reveal_Hidden_Debug_Menu_Windows_Games.png

As you can see, menu "103" contains the secret "Debug" menu which contains lots of secret sub-menus like Force Save, Force Win, Autoplay, etc.

To enable the "Debug" menu, we'll need to copy the code of "Debug" POPUP from 103 menu to 102 menu. We'll copy the code starting from POPUP "Debug" and starting curly brace '{' to closing curly brace '}'. Now paste the code in 102 menu just before the closing curly brace '}' present at the end as shown in following screenshot:

Reveal_Hidden_Debug_Menu_Windows_Games2.png

That's it. Now click on "Compile Script" button and save the file. Now launch the game and you'll be able to access the hidden secret "Debug" menu.

Secret_Solitaire_Debug_Menu.png

One more bonus trick! There is also an extra menu present in all games .MUI file which contains 2 extra sub-menus to directly change or customize background, board, etc which you generally change using Appearance or Options window. In our Solitaire example, menu 122 contains this extra menuitem. What we'll do, we'll copy its code from 122 menu and paste in 102 menu just like we did for hidden "Debug" menu. Just copy the code starting from POPUP "Change Card Deck" to the closing curly brace '}' present just before MENUITEM SEPARATOR as marked in following screenshot:

Reveal_Hidden_Debug_Menu_Windows_Games3.png

Again click on "Compile Script" button and save the file. Now launch the game and you'll be able to customize Card Deck and Background directly using Game menu.

Secret_Solitaire_Menus.png

Believe me this hidden "Debug" menu is really fun to use. You can instantly win a game if you get stuck or you can enable Autoplay and computer will start playing the game for you.

That's not all. Other games like FreeCell's "Debug" menu allows you to see all Hands, Minesweeper's "Debug" menu allows you to see all mines present in the game, Purble Place's "Debug" menu allows you to see the image behind tile and toggle curtain so that you can see the character which is hidden behind curtain.

Minesweeper's Secret "Debug" Menu:

Secret_Minesweeper_Debug_Menu.png

Purble Place's Secret "Debug" Menu:

Secret_Purble_Place_Debug_Menu3.png

To enable hidden "Debug" menu in your desired game, you just need to edit its .MUI file, find the correct menu which is used by the game to show menus when you play the game and then paste Debug menu code using the same steps as mentioned above.

I know its really hard to find out the correct menu present among so many other menus in .MUI file and then paste the correct piece of code. That's why, I'm going to edit .MUI files for each game and will upload them here at AskVG for your convenience. So that you'll not need to modify the files manually, you'll just need to download already modified .MUI file and replace the existing file in your system with the downloaded one and you'll be able to enjoy hidden secret "Debug" menu. Simple, isn't it?

You can download the modified MUI files for all games along with detailed instructions using following links:

Download MUI File to Enable Hidden Secret "Debug" Menu in Solitaire Game

Download MUI File to Enable Hidden Secret "Debug" Menu in Spider Solitaire Game

Download MUI File to Enable Hidden Secret "Debug" Menu in FreeCell Game

Download MUI File to Enable Hidden Secret "Debug" Menu in Minesweeper Game

Download MUI File to Enable Hidden Secret "Debug" Menu in Hearts Game

Download MUI File to Enable Hidden Secret "Debug" Menu in Mahjong Game

Download MUI File to Enable Hidden Secret "Debug" Menu in Chess Game

Download MUI File to Enable Hidden Secret "Debug" Menu in Purble Place Game

NOTE: If you don't see the "Debug" menu after replacing the file, do as following:

1. Click on "Start button -> All Programs -> Accessories". Right-click on "Command Prompt" and select "Run As Administrator". If you are prompted to enter password, enter the password and continue. You can also open Command Prompt in Administrator mode by typing "cmd" in Start Menu Search box and press "Ctrl+Shift+Enter".

2. Now type mcbuilder and press Enter. Wait for a few seconds to finish the command process and then restart your system. Now you should get "Debug" menu without any problem.

We'll really love to read your valuable comments about this trick. Did you find it useful? Will you enjoy cheating the games? Please feel free to share your opinion...





Posted by: | Categories: Resource Hacker, Windows 7, Windows Vista


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