Monday, 23 November 2015

Trouble with Windows 10 Threshold 2 ISOs and E2B?

A few weeks ago I downloaded an MSDN Windows 10 Threshold 2 preview of Enterprise and found that when the blue console (LOADISO) window ran (booting from a Removable E2B USB drive and using the .ISO file), ImDisk did not mount the ISO as drive Y:. This was repeatable but only that ISO gave a problem.

I reported this issue to Olof (the author of ImDisk), but a few days later when I tried to reproduce the problem I found that it worked OK and could not reproduce the problem!

A few days ago, an E2B user reported to me that he had MSDN and Retail versions of the latest Win10 Threshold 2 released ISOs and had encountered the same problem with all the new ISOs (older ISOs worked OK) using E2B v1.74.

I suspected that perhaps a different version of WinPE was being used in his ISOs (maybe because they were MSDN versions?) and updated ImDisk on E2B (v.1.75BetaC).

However, the same user then reported that the ISOs were now magically working with E2B v1.74 when he retested them!  A clear case of Deja Vu!

If you find a similar issue, please comment on this blog or contact me. There is something weird going on, but I am not sure where?

Friday, 20 November 2015

MPI Tool Kit 0.056 available for Windows 10 Threshold 2 systems

0.056 is the same as 0.055 but has the new version of ImDisk.
If you are using Windows 10 Threshold 2, you will need to download this and run .\ImDisk\imdiskinst.exe to install the new version of ImDisk to make the MakePartImage scripts work again.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

New ImDisk version for new Windows 10 release now available

Olof has released a new version of ImDisk.

I will update the MPI Tool Kit in a day or so. Meanwhile you can install the new ImDisk and then check that MPI works on the new 'Threshold 2' version of Windows 10.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

MakePartImage problems with Windows 10?

If you are using Windows 10 and now suddenly find that you get an error when running MakePartImage (MPI) and cannot create .imgPTN files any more, it is probably because Windows Update has updated you to the latest version of Windows 10!

The original Win10 version is 10240, but the new (large) update called Threshold 2 is Version 1511 Build 10586. You can check your version by using the [Windows+R] key chord and run WinVer.exe.

You can update to the new version or download an ISO from here. Microsoft will soon enable the auto-update to Threshold 2 on all systems.

Olof is working on a new version of ImDisk to fix this issue and I will release a new version of the MPI Tool Kit when the new ImDisk becomes available.

Update: New ImDisk version for Win10 1511 from Olof here.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Easy2Boot v1.75 Beta B available

  • .imgPTN files now supported in all \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx folders (except XP)
  • new .isoBF file extension supported (permanently patches an ISO to remove the bootfix.bin file and so suppress the 'Press a key to boot from CD\DVD' message)
  • new .vhdgrldr file extension supported (boots a vhd file which uses a grub4dos menu or PBR boot code)
For info on the two new file extensions, see this page.

The main change is that if you have converted a Windows Install ISO to a .imgPTN file, you can now add these to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx folders and they will be listed in the appropriate Windows sub-menu alongside any ISOs you may also have present. You do not need to have any Windows Install .ISO files present if you don't use them.

The only exception is that XP Install .imgPTN files are not supported and so should not be added to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder (they will not be listed in the Windows Install menu). If you have any XP Install .imgPTN files, you should add them to a 'normal' menu folder - e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\WIN.

You can use a .txt file for .imgPTN menu entries in these folder in the same way as you can for normal folders.

You can now place your .imgPTN Windows Install files in the \_ISO\WINDOWS folders as well as .ISO files

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Add Win-UFO (Ultimate Forensic Outflow) to your toolkit

The Win-UFO download is a single .exe file which asks you which location to install to when you first run it. Actually it does NOT install anything to Windows, it merely extracts files to the designated location. There is a PDF manual file to download and which I suggest you study first before using Win-UFO and some YouTube videos.
 Win-UFO is now associated with CAINE.

Friday, 6 November 2015

E2B v1.74 released (fixes the firadisk.cmd copy bug with XP ISO installs)

It seems I made a typo in the grub4dos batch file \_ISO\e2b\grub\DPMS\DPMS2.g4b in E2B v1.73 which means that when you try to install from an XP ISO, you will get a 'cannot copy firadisk.cmd' error reported at the start of the file-copy phase in text-mode Setup and need to 'Skip' the file.
This is fixed in v1.74.
Thanks to watsupson for reporting it!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Windows Defender is deleting SWITCH_E2B.exe!

BEWARE: The latest definitions update for Windows Defender seems to think SWITCH_E2B.exe is a malicious file and promptly deletes it!
VirusTotal does not find any problems with it and, of course, it is not malicious!
You may find that this file has suddenly disappeared, now you know why!
Thanks to Steven L for pointing this out!

New Gandalf WinPE, XP SP3 install ISO and Dream Boot CD 2015

This post covers:

  • New Gandalf Windows 10 64-bit WinPE ISO
  • Windows XP 'Gold 2016' install ISO
  • Dream Boot CD 2015 (DLCD) ISO

Monday, 2 November 2015

FYI - new Kaspersky Ransomware decryptor software

Kaspersky have recovered the full list of over 14,000 encryption keys used by the criminals responsible for CoinVault and Bitcryptor ransomware. They have now updated their decryptor utility to include all of these keys. This means that if a system has been encrypted and held to ransom using this type of encryption, you should now be able to decrypt you drive! The 'How-to' guide is here.

However, it apparently does not work against CryptoWall 3.0 ransomware.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Inateck FE2007 - is this the ideal Hard Disk USB 3.0 drive caddy for your Easy2Boot USB drive?

If you follow this blog, you may have read that I was not entirely happy with the Inateck FE200 drive caddy that I purchased a few months ago (previous blog post here),

After some email correspondence from Inateck, they sent me the FE2007 for evaluation.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Add UberStudent to Easy2Boot

The UberStudent ISO, uberstudent-4.1-xfce-64bit.iso does not seem to boot just as an .ISO file.
If you have a removable E2B USB drive, it will boot OK if you use the .ISOPE01 file extension (you can also use a fixed-disk E2B USB drive + an E2B WinHelper USB drive).

However, if you convert the ISO file to a FAT32 .imgPTN file it boots OK from both fixed and removable types of USB drive and you can install from it too.

Friday, 23 October 2015

E2B v1.73 released

v1.73 is now on the two Alternate Download Areas.
I will update the MPI Tool Pack with the new Switch_E2B.exe and also update the downloads on the main website in a few days.
I have changed SWITCH_E2B.exe to version 1.0.0 and added a Help button (no change in functionality).
Please let me know if you spot a problem!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

E2B v1.73 Beta G

Beta G has the new \grldr grub4dos 0.4.6a version which fixes the previous issue #84 bug that was in E2B v1.73 Beta E. non-ANSI characters should now appear correctly (e.g. ú or é).

full v1.73 Beta version history here.

Add antiX 15 with persistence to Easy2Boot

The sample .mnu file Antix_13.2_Persistent.mnu shows you how to set up root or home persistence, but not both.

Here is a brief outline of how I made a root+home persistent antiX 15 installation on my Easy2Boot NTFS USB HDD

Sunday, 18 October 2015

E2B v1.73 BetaE/F (RC) version available

v1.73 Beta E is now considered a 'Release Candidate' RC version.

For a full history of v1.73 Betas, see the previous blog post here.

Unless any bugs are found, this will be the v1.73 full release version in a few days.

Please, let me know if you find any problems (steve at easy2boot dot com).

I will also upload a new version of the MPI Tool Kit which has Switch_E2B added.

Bug in BetaE!

Fabien reported a bug he noticed with french accented (i.e. UTF-8) characters in v1.73BetaE (displays a space or graphics character before each non-ANSI character) - it turns out to be a bug in the new grub4dos 0.4.6a version.  v1.73BetaF uses the previous grub4dos version (\grldr).
This bug is noticeable if you set a language in your MyE2B.cfg file, but you don't see the problem if you use the 'Change language' .mnu file!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Switch_E2B v0.1.58 Beta available (please do not use v0.1.56)

v0.1.56 had code added to restore LBA1 (the backup MBR that is copied there when you install grub4dos). This can lead to problems, so please don't use v0.1.56

The algorithm was:
If E2B backup sector 30 was invalid and sector 60 was invalid and the file MBR.BIN contained invalid contents, then use LBA1 if it has valid contents.

However, if you accidentally clicked on the 'Restore E2B partitions' button and had a grub4dos drive selected which was not an E2B USB drive, it would restore LBA1 automatically. This is usually OK as long as you did not re-partition the drive since the time that you installed grub4dos to the MBR on that drive. If however, you did install grub4dos onto the drive and then re-partitioned the drive, the LBA1 grub4dos backup would no longer be valid and Switch_E2B would write the old MBR sector to the MBR, thus losing your new partitions!

Thanks to DevaDev for reporting this when he tried it on a non-E2B USB drive!

v0.1.58 now just informs you if LBA1 is a valid MBR, but it does not restore it for you, in case you are using Switch_E2B on a non-E2B drive by mistake

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

E2B v1.73 Betas available

Changes from v1.72 are:

Beta B
  • Fix XP 32-bit IDE driver problem for HP TX1320es (in DPMS version only - see FAQ 'ERROR: CANNOT FIND /IDECOI4IN.DLL' for details). 
  • English F1 Help menu improved. 
  • Make_e2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd default now NTFS, and UEFI tip added. 
  • More Win10 generic Product keys added (old Enterprise key was Eval key not release key). 
  • \_ISO\SWITCH_E2B.exe added. 
  • Swedish language added (thanks to DavidS).
  • Dutch language added (thanks to JeroenM).
  • Arabic option added to Make_e2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd (only the menus are in Arabic, text prompts are not translated).
  • Change to .imgPTN partition switching - If  file extension=".imgPTN" and ptn#2=hidden type 21hex then it will not be removed when switching partitions to CSM menu. This is to enhance bootability with some BIOSes (use any other extension if you don't want this action - e.g. .imgPTNa or .imgPTNauto) - same action for SWITCH_E2B.exe.
  • Fix XP install DPMS error message  'DRIVERPACK.INI: ERROR: Could not copy FIRA/firadisk.sys' when using grub4dos 0.4.6a (not seen if using grub4dos 0.4.5a).
  • New token string in STRINGS.TXT for Utilities menu - $$STRmmbp=Measure BIOS USB Performance. For most languages this will still appear in English until the language files are updated.
Beta C
  • New ImDisk version (ISO installs - old version did not work with later Win10 versions) - e.g. Win10 Enterprise en_windows_10_enterprise_10565_x64_dvd.iso did not mount ISO as Y: (note: build 10565 appears to have a bug in that it does not 'see' the ISO mounted on Y:).
Beta C1
  • Fix small bug in Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd so can select Swedish, Dutch or Arabic!
Beta D1
  • New Switch_E2B v0.1.58 (fixes bug in 0.1.56 which could restore the wrong MBR if used on a non-E2B grub4dos drive)
Beta E
  • New grub4dos \grldr (0.4.6a)
Beta F
  • Same (older) grub4dos as BetaA-D as bug in grub4dos 0.4.6a 2015-10-12 grldr
Beta G
  • new bugfixed 0.4.6a \grldr

Saturday, 10 October 2015

SWITCH_E2B almost ready for release!

Thanks to testing and feedback from some early Beta testers, I think SWITCH_E2B is almost ready for release.

The latest version is available (not password protected) in the Other Files folder on the Alternate Downloads sites as usual.

I will add the new version into the next release of E2B and the MPI Tool Pack soon (depending on feedback).

Please test with as many different .imgPTN files as you can.
Any comments, bug reports, please let me know at steve (at) easy2boot dot com.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

SWITCH_E2B new version available

The latest Beta version is now available. It should work under WinPE, and even from a RAM Drive now.

Details about the utility can be found here. Once released, it will be included in the next version of E2B and the MPI Tool Pack downloads.

Downloads in the 'Other Files' folder at:
v 0.1.30 is a self-extracting, auto-run exe which extracts the two files to a temporary file before running it. This solves a problem concerning running it from the USB drive when in CSM mode.
v 0.1.32 - bugfix for WinPE. A warning is given, but you can continue to use it.
v 0.1.33 - detects if running WinPE if TEMP drive is X: or A: or B: and suppresses warning
v 0.1.35 - bugfix for restoring LBA30/60.
v 0.1.37 - includes msvbvm60.dll in SE exe (will run under vanilla x86 PE now), mousepointer hourglass displayed during switch.
v 0.1.39 - small changes to drive list, etc.
v 0.1.40 - fix for remounting drive after partition change under WinPE issue
v 0.1.41 - cosmetic changes to layout, icon, etc. horizontal scroll bar for file list box implemented.
v 0.1.45 - keep same partition in drive list box after switching, improve Admin rights test.
v 0.1.47 - reduce delay from 3 sec to 2 sec after switch. If extension is .imgPTN and dummy Type 21hex partition at table entry #2 then entry #2 is not deleted when switching to CSM mode. This is because some BIOSes will not MBR-boot from a USB drive if they only see one partition. If you don't want the 2nd partition in CSM mode, use .imgPTNa file  extension (or any .imgPTN* extension except .imgPTN).
v 0.1.48 - bug-fix -  if spaces in temporary path then get FileExtents fails.
v 0.1.49 - show form before searching for files, reset horiz tab when changing drive.
v 0.1.52 - .imgPTN+Type21 logic changed slightly
v0.1.55 - use LBA1 grub4dos backup sector if LBA30/60/MBR.BIN all corrupt.
v0.1.58 - removed LBA1 recovery as could restore an old, outdated partition table!
v1.0.0 - Added Help button.

Please let me know if any problems (steve (at) easy2boot dot com).

Any comments/suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Switch_E2B new Beta version

Latest Switch_E2B is in
Google Drive download area
OneDrive download area

in Other Files folder.
email me at steve (at) easy2boot dot com  for an unzip password (not required on later versions)

Note: Password provided on understanding that I cannot be held responsible if it destroys your disk partitions! (but no bad reports so far...)

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Switch_E2B Windows application

I am now at the Beta stage of testing the Switch_E2B.exe 32-bit Windows application.

The idea is that this App will be added to the E2B and MPI Tool Pack so that the application is always on your E2B USB drive (whether the USB drive is in 'E2B mode' or 'CSM mode') and ready for you to run under Windows.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Linux Mint LMDE 2 "Betsy" with persistence .mnu for Easy2Boot

I have added a new .mnu file to the Alternative Download Area for Betsy LMDE.

The file is called lmde-2-201503-mate-32bit_Persistent.mnu in the MNU folder.

Because it is based on Debian, you will need to create an ext2 file with a volume name of 'persistence' (not casper-rw) and then create the persistence.conf file - instructions are in the .mnu file.

See previous blog for more details about making a persistence file here.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Add FreeDOS USB disk .img files to Easy2Boot

You can 'build' your own bootable FreeDos USB drive using RMPrepUSB, add any files you like, get it all working, and then use the MPI_FAT32 tool to make a .imgPTN file from USB stick.

However, some ready-made USB image files containing FreeDOS can be downloaded from here.

These are intended to be either PXE booted or directly written to a USB drive as an image using dd or some direct-write utility (e.g. RMPrepUSB - File>Drive). However, we can boot directly from them using the .mnu file below in Easy2Boot:

Friday, 25 September 2015

Add a full Arch Linux OS to Easy2Boot

Here are the steps to add a full install of Arch Linux to an Easy2Boot USB drive.

We will create an empty partition file (ARCH) and then use Virtual Box + DavidB's VMUB to install to the partition file.

Use the latest MPI Tool Pack (v.0.054 2015-08-21 or later). This includes CSM menu support for grub2/syslinux installations on the 3rd partition.

I used archlinux-2015.09.01-dual.iso for the test below.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Install ProxMox from E2B

I have updated the ProxMox instructions in a previous blog because the instructions only appear to work from a FAT32 USB drive.

To add ProxMox to an NTFS E2B USB drive, we need to create a FAT32 .imgPTN file.

The ammended blog post is here.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

How to stop scam phone calls!

Nearly every day this week, at around 1pm, I get a call from a 'TalkTalk ISP help desk' scammer who says that I have a problem with my computer and she asks me to install and run TeamViewer so they can take over my computer and 'fix' the problem. They promised me £200 compensation too! I know this is a common scam - see here and here. I also get calls from the 'Microsoft Windows department' for the same 'problem'.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Add a DOS-based BIOS update program to E2B

Some older BIOS update programs such as AWDFLASH.exe are DOS-based and you need to boot to MS-DOS or FreeDOS to run them.

How can we do this from E2B?

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Easy2Boot v1.72 now available

I have just uploaded v1.72
    New plain background! Smaller file size and loads faster too!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Windows Black Belt troubleshooting videos

Want to learn some neat tricks on how to gain full Admin access to a Windows system and be able to work with full user rights?

Watch Win 8.1 TechEd video.
  • Use Intel vPro for remote control.
  • Boot from a Win8.1 Install DVD to hack repair a system by replacing \Windows\System32\sethc.exe.
  • Use robocopy to copy system files that Windows won't even allow an Admin account user to copy due to ACL problems (time @0:41:0)
  • Use Sysinternals psexes -sid cmd.exe to get full access rights (@0:42:0)
  • Debug problems by looking at threads not processes using Sysinternals Process Explorer (procexp)  (@0:45:0)
  • Use TAKEOWN.exe or robocopy /B to access 'difficult' files (@0:54:0)
  • Use iCacls /SetIntegrityLevel
  • Check your admin level using whoami /groups (@0:55:30)
  • Info on using Windows RE (recovery environment) (@1:0:0)
  • How to use MSconfig.exe,  Sysinternals Autoruns.exe, 
  • Turn on highly detailed error messages (@1:06:00)
  • Logon without logging on! (@1:08:0)
There is also a Windows 10 Black Belt session.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Add a Debian Live ISO with persistence to Easy2Boot

You can download the latest Debian Live ISOs from here.

I used debian-live-8.1.0-amd64-mate-desktop.iso and added persistence by using a .mnu file.

The new .mnu file will be added to the E2B v1.72 Sample mnu files folder , but can be downloaded from the Alternate Download (Google Drive and One Drive) areas (look under 'mnu files').
OneDrive download area
Google Drive download area

The .mnu file should work for most Debian Live ISOs if you change the name of the ISO inside the .mnu file (occurs twice).

Clean install of Windows 10 without needing to first do an Upgrade install

I found the instructions on today.

I have not tried it but it looks useful!

Quote from shown below in case it disappears.

Tip: Before you run this operation, make sure to backup the existing Windows installation so that you can restore it should things go wrong.
Here is what you need to do to clean install Windows 10 on a computer system, without needing to run the Win10 Upgrade first and then wipe and re-install.
  1. You need a Windows 10 DVD or ISO image. If you don't have one get it from here. Download the tool from Microsoft's website to create the ISO image. Make sure you pick the right architecture and version.
  2. Burn the ISO, mount it or extract it.
  3. Navigate to the folder \Windows\x64\sources or \Windows\x32\sources and drag&drop the file gatherosstate.exe to the desktop.
  4. Run the file from the Desktop. It creates GenuineTicket.xml on the desktop. This file is needed, so copy it to a USB drive or other location.
  5. Run a clean install of Windows 10 afterwards on the system using the ISO. Make sure you skip the product key.
  6. Once you are done and in Windows 10, copy the file GenuineTicket.xml to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\ClipSVC\GenuineTicket. The folder is hidden by default. If you cannot see it, select File > Options > View > Show hidden files, folders and drives in File Explorer.
  7. Reboot the PC.
The next time you boot into Windows 10 it should be fully activated. You can verify that easily with a tap on Windows-Pause. This opens the System Control panel and the system's activation status at the bottom of the page.

Tip: Copy the gatherosstate.exe file to your E2B USB drive and add these instructions into a .txt file on the E2B USB drive. Then you can use this process on any Win7/8 system.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Easy2Boot v1.72BetaL2 available

This version checks the version of bootmgr when you boot from a VHD file to check it is not the Windows 10 version + a new grldr grub4dos version.

It also has a new E2B default background wallpaper which should load a lot faster than the old one. Let me know if you like it by ticking the 'funny' reactions checkbox, as it is rather different from previous E2B wallpapers (or tick 'Interesting' if you prefer the old wallpaper)!

Alternate Download Areas:
OneDrive download area      Google Drive download area

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Easy2Boot and VHD BSOD 0xc00000bb boot problem

I have just found that the Windows 10 version of bootmgr is incompatible with NTBOOT for directly booting VHD files in Easy2Boot.

I have posted the problem on here.

If you have used a Windows 10 system to make an Easy2Boot USB drive, you may find that the version of bootmgr will give a BSOD 0xc00000bb error if you try to directly boot from a VHD.

To fix this, replace the version of bootmgr in the folder \_ISO\e2b\grub\DPMS\NTBOOT.MOD with an older version.

Older versions 2, 3 and 4 all work OK,

1. bootmgr 10-07-2015 395268 CRC32=45B6D6D7   - WINDOWS 10 version  INCOMPATIBLE!
2. bootmgr 22-08-2013 427680 CRC32=87783488
3. bootmgr 25-07-2012 398156 CRC32=4B1A74EF
4. bootmgr 14-06-2014 404250 CRC32=CB810D1B

Monday, 24 August 2015

Windows Answer File Generator site now has Windows 10 support

I just noticed that the WAFG site now has a Windows 10 page, so you can generate your own Windows 10 Unattend.xml answer files (and then use XMLtoE2B.exe to convert them for use with E2B).

Don't forget to say thanks by donating to the WAFG site if you find it useful!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Add a global hotkey to Easy2Boot

You can define global hotkeys to do various things by adding hotkey commands to the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file. Some examples are given in the \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg file.

Do you have a favourite ISO file that you always like to boot to in Easy2Boot?
Why not set up a global hotkey for it so you can boot to it from any E2B menu?
What about booting Hirens or WindowsToGo or WinPE, using a hotkey from any menu?

For instance, set up the F11 hotkey to always run an Ubuntu Live ISO (or any ISO file) from any menu, by adding the line below to your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file:

(bd)/%grub%/hotkey [F11] "(bd)/%grub%/qrun.g4b force.isodefault  (bd)/_ISO/MyUbuntu.iso ;; boot" > nul

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Why you should always check for download file corruption!

It is not uncommon to download a large file only to find that it is corrupt. Sometimes the problem is immediately obvious, but sometimes it can leave you scratching your head for hours, before you finally realise that your source file was corrupt!

It is also not uncommon to find that when a large file is copied to a USB drive, the copy did not work correctly and leaves you with a corrupt file. 'Fake' USB drives can also cause this type of symptom.

Downloading a Zip/7Zip/Rar compressed file is usually safe because when you unzip it, you will be warned if it is corrupt, but if you download a .ISO file you should always double-check it!

For instance, I have found file corruption in a large \sources\install.wim caused a problem with Windows failing to boot after a fresh install, but Setup did not complain that the install.wim was corrupt!

Friday, 21 August 2015

MPI Tool Kit v0.054 available (BitDefender/grub2 bugfix)

Due to a weird issue with one of the files on my system, whenever I used the MPI Tool Kit to convert the BitDefender Rescue CD ISO to a .imgPTN file, it always worked (for me!). However, as no one else would have this 'undeletable' file on their system, it turns out that converting a BitDefender ISO (and probably many other grub2 ISOs) to a .imgPTN file probably did not work for anyone else!

I compared a working .imgPTN file with a non-working one and the problem turned out to be due to the \boot\grub\i386-pc\command.lst file being a binary file (despite having a .lst file extension!), but it was getting corrupted by MPI because it was processed as a text file!

MPI changes some strings (e.g. UUID and volume label, etc.) in some text files, using ssed.exe (a version of sed) .

To fix the problem, I needed to find out if each *.lst file was a text file or a binary file and ignore any binary files.

This proved to be quite tricky as Windows does not seem to have a way to detect if a file is a binary file or not (that I could find).

In the end, I used ssed.exe to find and replace any 00 hex bytes in the file with the characters "ZZXXZZ" and then used the Windows find.exe utility to see if any substitution had taken place.

::check for binary file
ssed   "s/\x0/ZZXXZZ/g" "%~1" > sed1.txt
find "ZZXXZZ" sed1.txt > nul
if not errorlevel 1  echo %~nx1 IS A BINARY FILE && goto :quit

Not elegant, but it works!

If you are having trouble getting BitDefender or other grub2 ISOs to work as .imgPTN files, please download the MPI Tool Kit v 0.054 and then run the CreateDesktopShortcuts.cmd script to update your shortcuts to point to the new version.

This version also has improved MBR recovery in case you accidentally trash your E2B drive (for example by accidentally installing grub2 to the MBR and the following sectors). A backup copy of the MBR is now made to the file \e2b\MBR.BIN as soon as you boot to the CSM menu. Once you restore the MBR from this file (by using BootIce or RMPrepUSB - File->Drive), you can re-install grub4dos to the MBR using RMPrepUSB and your E2B USB drive should be operational once again.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Add a full Kali (or multiple linux) installations to your Easy2Boot USB drive using Virtual Box

By using Virtual Box with DavidV's VMUB utility, it is possible to have multiple linux installations on a single E2B USB drive by creating image partition files (.imgPTN files).

Use the latest MPI Tool Pack (v.0.054 2015-08-21 or later). This includes CSM menu support for grub2/syslinux installations on the 3rd partition.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Is your E2B USB drive too slow?

Easy2Boot needs to enumerate all the files in and under the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder when it first boots and also needs to count the files in the \_ISO\WINDOWS folders. Some people find that, on some systems, the wait to display the E2B Main Menu is too long.

Possible causes:

Monday, 17 August 2015

Hurry - EaseUS ToDo Home Backup free for 48 hours (normally $29)

I have never used it, but the offer is here. You must provide a valid email address to get the key (it takes 5 minutes or so for the email to arrive).
Late note: My activation did not work and it said it had already been used  :-(  Others seem to be having the same problem so it may be fixed later...

Offer expired! Check HERE for more offers.

There is a ToDo Backup Free version

Add BitDefender Rescue ISO to E2B

BitDefender provide a free bootable ISO for scanning and cleaning viruses from systems (details here). This is a very useful tool to add to your E2B USB drive.

Recent versions of the BitDefender AntiVirus rescue ISO use grub and support UEFI x64 booting.

Monday, 10 August 2015

E2B v1.72BetaK available

SteveL found some problems with 1.72BetaJ and the latest grub4dos

  • If 1024x768 bmp used, pressing F8 to reload menu caused screen corruption.
  • If use the code line
    cat --locate=\x02 --replace=\x00 --skip=0x2073 --length=1 /grldr > nul
    in \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg to suppress boot-up messages, it caused payload files to not be detected and thus not added to the Menus.
These issues have been fixed with a new version of \_ISO\e2b\grub\menu.lst.

Friday, 7 August 2015

E2B 1.72BetaJ now available

This version has the latest version of grub4dos 0.4.6a 2015-08-07.

Yaya appears to have fixed the .jpg display problem so that we can use standard 95% quality .jpg files (e.g. as created by MSPaint) as background images.

Please try it and let me know if you find any problems,

The latest version of E2B_Editor will allow you to load .jpg files as a wallpaper as well as .bmp files.

If you want to convert your \_ISO\MyBackground.bmp file to a smaller .jpg file, just load and save it using MSPaint (but keep the filename+extension the same - i.e. MyBackground.bmp or MyBackground.bmp.gz).

P.S. Progressive jpg's, as used by some websites, contain both low-res and hi-res images and are not supported. If you re-save them using MSPaint then they should work OK with E2B/grub4dos.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

How to check your CPU cooler using software

Is your heatsink correctly seated onto your CPU? Is the cooling system up to the job?

How would you check that it is correctly fitted and is working correctly?

Many people fall into the trap of measuring the CPU temperature to check that their heatsink and heatsink fan are working correctly. There are many software utilities that will check the internal CPU temperature, such as CPU-Z or RealTemp. For Intel CPUs there is also the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility but this needs to be installed (.Net and drivers) and the system must be restarted.

Intel Extreme  Tuning will run a stress test and show you if thermal throttling is occurring (in my case this happened once 100 deg C was reached).

E2B v1.72BetaH available

1.72h has the latest grub4dos 0.4.6a version which includes support for .jpg wallpaper files, right-aligned menu support and the new setmenu command.

If you want to try using a .jpg file for a background wallpaper, make sure you save it using 100% Best Quality setting or the picture will display with defects (fixed in 1.72BetaK)!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Download and add Windows 10 ISOs to Easy2Boot

You can download Windows 10 'Retail' install ISOs from Microsoft and install them using Easy2Boot.

1. First go to the MS page and download and run the Download Tool (choose the 32-bit or 64-bit MediaCreationTool.exe, depending on what version of Windows you are currently running).

Sunday, 2 August 2015

How to copy your E2B USB drive to another USB drive

If you have your E2B USB drive working nicely and you want to make other bootable E2B USB drives from it, then you can use the MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd script.

Why can't I boot Easy2Boot on some old systems?

If you use Easy2Boot on a wide range of different and older systems, you may find that some of them won't boot, even though they look like they should support USB-booting.

This problem is usually caused by the BIOS on the system.

Here is a checklist of things to try: