hacking tools and other utilities
here are 2 groups of tools:

freeware hack tools;
programs, editors for hacking, altering the windows files or other PE files.

other freeware tools;
programs, editors, extractors, tweakers... utils for changing the hidden windows settings, editing icons, editing contextmenus, extracting resources and more.
hack, resource tools
resource hacker
Resource HackerTM is a freeware utility to view, modify, rename, add, delete and extract resources in 32bit Windows executables and resource files (*.res). It incorporates an internal resource script compiler and decompiler and works on Win95, Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2000 and WinXP operating systems.

With ResEdit, skin/logon/shellstyle designers have a simple way to alter alpha mask bitmaps in a resource file. ResEdit auto-converts 32 bit BMPs to PNGs and back so you can edit the 8 bit alpha mask in your favorite editor. Good for LogonUI.EXE files. Also has a text and hex editor. Now with support for Adding and Deleting Resources. Using the new Resource feature authors can create resource only files that can be used as icon sets or localization dlls. Cursor groups and Icon groups now supported. Using colorize you can color all images in a file, all images of a type, all images in a group, or just a single image. Edit and insert String tables for multiple languages. And the ability to update version info.

XN resource editor
XN Resource Editor is a free, powerful, fully featured resource editor and PE module explorer for Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

CFF explorer suite
The CFF Explorer was designed to make PE editing as easy as possible, but without losing sight on the portable executable's internal structure. This application includes a series of tools which might help not only reverse engineers but also programmers. It offers a multi-file environment and a switchable interface.
Also, it's the first PE editor with full support for the .NET file format. With this tool you can easily edit metadata's fields and flags. If you're programming something that has to do with .NET metadata, you will need this tool. The resource viewer supports .NET image formats like icons, bitmaps, pngs. You'll be able to analyze .NET files without having to install the .NET framework, this tool has its own functions to access the .NET format.

Binary (hexadecimal) editor for Windows

cygnus hex editor free edition
The fastest and easiest hex editor is now available for free! SoftCircuits has made a version of its Cygnus Hex Editor available to the public as a free hex editor. There is no charge and no catch. Simply download the program and start using it today.

hacker's disassembler
HDasm is a very fast and comfortable free disassembler. A good successor of the W32Dasm.

other tools
Replacer is an easy to use system file replacer for Windows 2000 and XP. It safely replaces protected or in-use system files.

PEiD detects most common packers, cryptors and compilers for PE files. It can currently detect more than 600 different signatures in PE files.

notepad 2
Notepad2, a fast and light-weight Notepad-like text editor with syntax highlighting. This program can be run out of the box without installation, and does not touch your system's registry.

icon extract
The IconsExtract utility scans the files and folders on your computer, and extract the icons and cursors stored in EXE, DLL, OCX, CPL, and in other file types. You can save the extracted icons to ICO files (or CUR files for cursors), or copy the image of a single icon into the clipboard.

resource extract
ResourcesExtract is a small utility that scans dll/ocx/exe files and extract all resources (bitmaps, icons, cursors, AVI movies, HTML files, and more...) stored in them into the folder that you specify. You can use ResourcesExtract in user interface mode, or alternatively, you can run ResourcesExtract in command-line mode without displaying any user interface.

just color picker
simple color picker with zoom function.

IcoFX is an award winning freeware icon editor. It is an all-in-one solution for icon creation, extraction and editing. It is designed to work with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Macintosh icons supporting transparency.

Daphne is a small (system tray) application for killing, controlling and debugging Windows' processes. You can kill a process by dragging the mouse over the windows, by right-clicking the process in the main process list, or by typing its name with the "Kill all by name" command. You can set a any window to be always on top, to be transparent, to be enable, et cetera. Although Daphne was born just to kill windows process. You can think of Daphne as a task manager replacement.

Lets you control which items appear on your context menu. ContextEdit will allow you easily control which items appear on your context menu--the menu that appears when you right-click on an item in Windows Explorer.

This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more. Version 2.10 requires Windows XP Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2003.

shell object editor
This program is an editor for shell objects. You can create new shell objects and delete them when you don't need or want them any longer. What is a shell object? The "My Documents" folder is a shell object. It is a special shell object, a shell folder. Shell folders are not real folders on your hard disk, they only refer to real folders. They are a kind of "hard links", a special type of shortcuts.

Winspector is a Windows application that allows you to look at the messages being sent in the system. When developing your own applications you can see the messages and you can inspect them, but you can't do the same with other running applications. With Winspector you can.