Tuesday, 15 January 2019

E2B v1.A8 is now released!

The new v1.A8.exe download is released and can be downloaded here.

It can also be used to update the DPMS version of E2B.

The E2B website will be updated with this new version in a day or so.

Note: If you updated to RC1 previously, you may find two copies of Memtest86 (MBR+UEFI) in the \_ISO\UTILITIES_MEMTEST folder, delete the Memtest86 (MBR+UEFI).imgPTN file and keep the Passmark Memtest86 (MBR_UEFI).imgPTN file.

I have also updated the two E2B eBooks. You can use the link in your confirmation email to download the new version(s) if you wish. The changes are very minor and just add that you may no longer need a WinHelper flash drive if your E2B drive is of the fixed-disk type.

List of changes since v1.A7:

Sunday, 13 January 2019

E2B v1.A8 Release Candidate 1 now available

v1.A8_RC1 is now available for testing.

E2B v1.A8 RC1
Press ENTER to Skip WIMBOOT if it causes a problem (e.g. <1GB RAM)

List of changes since v1.A7:

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Has anyone ever seen this error when using E2B?

One user gets this error after selecting any .imgPTN file...



I have never seen it so I would like to know if anyone else is having problems with .imgPTN files before I release the new version of E2B.

You can email me at steve (at) easy2boot (dot) com.

Friday, 11 January 2019

E2B v1.A8j Beta available

v1.A8j Beta has a few more tweaks and a new default background.

Ctrl+F8 hotkey now reloads E2B (useful if the menu stops working properly due to a bad payload failing to boot).

Almost ready for release...

Thursday, 10 January 2019

E2B eBook New Year sale ends Sunday 13th January 2019

The 'Getting started with E2B' eBook is currently available at a reduced price of only $5.

If you also purchase the 'How install Windows' eBook, you can get them both for $11.69 (inc. discount).

Click here for details.

I intend to update both eBooks soon to incorporate the new changes in E2B v1.A8. If you purchase them now, you can get up to 4 revised versions as they become available, by using the email link that will be sent to you at the time of purchase.

E2B v1.A8h Beta now available

v1.A8h - A few more tweaks. Ready for release soon, I think!

I am keen to fully release it because it means USB Hard Disks can now directly boot Windows Install ISOs without needing a WinHelper USB Removable flash drive - also testing them in a VM is now easy!


Wednesday, 9 January 2019

E2B v1.A8f/g Beta available

This Beta v1.A8f  has extra code so that typical All-In-One ISOs such as the Murphy Install ISOs will hopefully 'just work' when placed either a standard menu folder or one of the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxxx folders. This means you can run a 'Murphy's 24-in-One Windows Install ISO' and his scripts will run correctly.

Note: v1.A8g has a couple of bug fixes: (1) XP install using WinPE now can use WIMBOOT, (2) repair option when user hits ENTER when selecting Windows 8/10 install ISO now works, (3) .iso01 file extension fixed.

I have been experimenting with the startup files in WinPE but found there is a lot of bad, inaccurate and misleading information about the WinPE startup process on the web! I could not find a complete and accurate description or flowchart anywhere, even the Microsoft documentation was inaccurate (no surprise there then)!

I think I have now worked out how WinPE actually starts up and how the various files are used.

I have done quite a bit of testing using Windows Install ISOs...

The 'correct' WinPE startup process!

Sunday, 6 January 2019

E2B v1.A8e available

This version v1.A8e has a few more tweaks including a fix for Setup giving a 'We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one" error which prevents installing from a Windows ISO when booted from a standard folder.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

E2B v1.A8d updated

Version v1.A8d was updated on 2019-01-05 for language strings + other tweaks. Please download it again and update your E2B drive.

Version v1.A8e has a few more tweaks including a fix for Setup giving a 'We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one" error which prevents installing from a Windows ISO when booted from a standard folder. It turns out this error message which you see when selecting a drive to install to at the beginning of Setup, is due to Windows Setup identifying the Removable USB flash drive as the 'boot' disk or 'system' disk - Windows needs to install the boot files to the 'boot disk' of the PC but it refuses if it thinks that a Removable drive is the boot disk. The usual fix is to remove all other Removable media, including SD cards and other USB drives, then switch off (not restart) and on again.This is also the reason why sometimes you can install Windows using a USB hard disk, but when you reboot, you find that the boot files have been installed onto the USB hard disk instead of the internal 'first' hard disk - and the system will only boot to Windows if you boot from the USB hard disk!

One main difference is that if set NOHELPER=1 in your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file, then WIMBOOT will not be used if there is not sufficient RAM in the system (Vista requires 800MB, Win8/10 requires approx 1.3GB).

NOHELPER is a variable which means that your USB drive is of the Removable type (hence E2B does not need to look for a WinHelper flash drive). It is usually set by the Make_E2B .exe or .cmd file when you make the E2B USB drive.

WIMBOOT will still be used if you place your Windows Install ISO in a normal E2B menu folder however.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

E2B v1.A8c/d Betas now available

This version v1.A8c  now has support for the .isoPELD and isoPELD1 file extension.

Also version v1.A8d now includes support for dual-architecture 32\64-bit Windows Install ISOs with WIMBOOT. Note: v1.A8d was updated on 2019-01-05 for language strings + other tweaks.

Using the .isoPELD file extension causes an ISO containing a \sources\boot.wim file to boot as usual, but then uses WIMBOOT and ImDisk to load the ISO as a Virtual CD\DVD (usually as drive Y:) so that the files inside the ISO are automatically available to WinPE. .isoPELD runs image #2 in boot.wim while .isoPELD1 runs image #1 in boot.wim. I have not actually found a use for these yet however!

This new Beta version also fixes some typos in all the Sample Disk1 XML files for use with VMs. It seems that Setup is case-sensitive and I had accidentally used...

<Diskid>1</DiskID>

instead of

<DiskID>1</DiskID>

which causes Setup to complain about a bad XML file at line xx in C:\AutoUnattend.xml!

By using VirtualBox+VMUB and the Disk1 XML files, you can now test out an automated install (including an SDI_CHOCO install). Note that you need to allocate 1.5GB or more of RAM to the VM.

See also the previous blog for other changes.

Brief instructions for testing an SDI_CHOCO installation under VBox

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

E2B v1.A8b/c Beta now available

This version v1.A8c should now automatically boot Windows Install ISOs (Vista to Server 2019, but not dual 32\64-bit ISOs) from any of the E2B menu folders.

The E2B USB drive does not need to be of the Removable type.

For example, just copy your Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10 install ISO to the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder.

\_ISO\MAINMENU\Windows 10 1809 64-bit UK NCQ.iso

The ISO does not need to be (very) contiguous, so you can prevent E2B from complaining if it is not contiguous and prevent it from showing the usual E2B messages and prompts by ensuring the name ends in 'NCQ.iso'.  You can instead use .isodef as a file extension to suppress E2B suggestions but E2B will expect the file to be contiguous and may complain if it is not!

The file name can contain spaces if you wish or you can make a matching .txt file for it in the usual way.

Note that for Win8, 8.1 and early Win 10 ISOs, you will need to input a generic installation Product Key when prompted by Windows Setup. You cannot specify an XML file (place the ISO file in one of the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx folders if you want to use an XML file and suppress the Product Key prompt).

Let me know if you find any issues...

Monday, 31 December 2018

E2B v1.A8a Beta available

Booting Windows install ISOs no longer requires an extra WinHelper USB flash drive!

If your E2B USB drive was a 'fixed disk' then previous versions of E2B required you to also connect a WinHelper USB Flash drive to the system because on all versions of Windows NT6 (Vista to Win10 1609) the \AutoUnattend.xml file had to be on a 'Removable' USB drive in order for Windows Setup to detect and use the XML file.

The alternative was to convert the ISO to a .imgPTN file.

This new version of E2B uses 'wimboot' which is part of the open source iPXE project here.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Add Manjaro Live UEFI-64 to E2B

If you convert a Manjaro ISO using MPI_FAT32 (MakePartImage) the resulting .imgPTN will not MBR or UEFI boot.

The grub2 EFI boot file included with Manjaro, only seems to support the CD iso9660 file system and does not understand FAT32 filesystems.

If you use Rufus, you must use the 'dd' raw copy option and not the UEFI FAT32 or GPT options.

To fix this, find a Ubuntu or Mint x64 Live CD ISO file, and...

1. Switch the Manjaro.imgPTN file on the E2B USB drive so that the \EFI\BOOT folder is visible in Explorer.

2. Use 7Zip or some other program to extract the two EFI\BOOT\*.EFI files from the Ubuntu ISO.

3. Copy the two files into the \EFI\BOOT folder on the E2B drive.

4. For CSM Legacy booting, add these 4 lines to the end of the \menu.lst file (see \boot\grub\tz and the \boot\grub\locales\keyboards file for your country codes - e.g. en_US New_York us).

title Manjaro x64\n Manjaro Live

kernel /boot/vmlinuz-x86_64 misobasedir=manjaro misolabel=EASY2BOOT systemd.show_status=1 lang=en_GB tz=London keytable=gb

initrd /boot/amd_ucode.img /boot/intel_ucode.img /boot/initramfs-x86_64.img

boot

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Saturday, 22 December 2018

E2B eBook - special Xmas offer!

Christmas day and it's 3 p.m. - so you've opened all your presents, uncle Fred is snoring his head off (and you are vaguely wondering how he had any room for Turkey after having consumed so much sherry, wine and port), auntie Doris is making the room virtually uninhabitable due to eating too many Brussels sprouts and Dad is tactfully blaming the dog for the awful smells!

Everyone else is watching 'Suits' on Netflix (though Meghan Markle maybe worth watching again for the tenth time this year).

You will have to wait hours for the batteries of your new Xmas present, a 'Gatwick special' drone, to charge up before you can try it out over nearby Heathrow airport... and you are feeling very bored.

Well now is a perfect time to get to know how to use E2B properly. Why not add some DOS games, add a bootable version of KODI (OpenElec) or play 100's of retro games using your old USB games controllers (LAKKA) or boot to a full Windows 10 installation (WinToGo).

So, just for this Christmas period only, I have reduced the price of the E2B eBook How to make a multiboot USB drive using Easy2Boot to just $5 (but you can give more if you want to ;-) ).

Merry Christmas!

Steve

How was the Raspberry Pi made for only $35?

Having a background in PC design and test s/w, I found this ZDNET article interesting.

Friday, 21 December 2018

E2B v1.A7 now released

This new version is available from the Alternate Download Areas now (download link for OneDrive here).

It will be uploaded to the E2B website in a day or two.

E2B v1.A7 (changes from v1.A6):

Thursday, 13 December 2018

E2B v1.A7h Beta with Server 2019 support added

E2B v1.A7h Beta now has an extra folder added for Windows Server 2019 ISOs and .imgPTN files.

The Beta is available from the Alternate Download Areas as usual.

Please let me know if you find any issues. I hope to release v1.A7 before Christmas.

So if anything requires tweaking, now is the time to tell me!


Saturday, 8 December 2018

Add COMSS Russian/English AV+Utilities Boot Disk to E2B

The COMSS boot disk comss_boot_usb_2018_07.iso  does not seem to be bootable as a .ISO file, so I converted it to a FAT32 .imgPTN file and used Syslinux v6.03 (603) when prompted by MakePartImage.

Once the .imgPTN was switched to, in order to get F-Secure to boot, I also needed to rename the
\boot\iso\rescue-cd-3.16-73600\boot\isolinux folder  to...
\boot\iso\rescue-cd-3.16-73600\boot\syslinux.

Once that was done, most of the menu items seemed to work as expected.


Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Endless OS - an easy-to-use Linux-based OS for schools, businesses and everyone!

I just came across Endless OS. It seems to be very easy to use and install apps onto - you would hardly know it was Linux-based!

I downloaded the Basic ISO (eos-eos3.5-amd64-amd64.181116-185419.base.iso 1.8GB) and it boots fine on E2B as a LiveCD.


Booting from a .ISO file + persistence does not seem to be available, so when booting from the ISO as a LiveCD you will not be able to install any large apps, etc. so you may want the 'full' version, however even the Basic version seems quite useful.

MPI Tool Kit v0.088 available

v0.088 2018-12-05
  • Add syslinux v6.03 option
  • Default to syslinux v4 instead of v3
  • Now uses 7z.exe instead of the 7zg GUI for unpacking (doesn't stop if 'extra data found' warning and seems to be faster)
  • Menu.lst updated and some small bugs fixed plus options to disable some menu entries
  • User can now add their own menu.lst file if using a GFX menu file
  • Forcibly auto-dismounts the .imgPTN file after a small delay
  • Sample MyCSM files updated
  • Bugfix in menu.lst for text mode MyCSM.cfg menu heading/footer to be displayed
  • Try to fix timing issue as occasionally can get 'access denied' errors when running LREPLACE.cmd and ssed.exe.
This new versions has had quite a few changes but should be faster and more reliable.

Please let me know if you find any issues.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Is your laptop running slow ever since you bought a replacement AC power adapter for it?

Did you know that some AC power adapter connectors for laptops have a 'smart' pin?
If this pin does not carry the correct voltage or signal, your notebook will run very slowly.

Friday, 30 November 2018

About E2B v1.A7g and using the 2nd partition on the E2B drive for payload files

If you have a large (>128GiB) USB hard disk, I recommend that you use the first partition (up to 128GiB in size) for E2B and use the second partition for other purposes such as for storing utilities, hard disk backups, documents, etc. Note that only  recent versions of Windows 10 (1703+) can access the 2nd partition if it is on a Removable (flash) drive.

However, you can place most payloads such as linux .ISO files, Windows VHD files, etc. on the second partition and add the PTN2_MNU.mnu menu file to one of the menu folders (e.g. add it to \_ISO\MAINMENU). The PTN2_MNU.mnu will take you to a sub-menu where all the files in the folder on the second partition will be listed and you can then boot to any one of them.

Note: Windows VHD files will only boot from partition 2 on a Removable USB drive if the VHD contains Windows 10 1703 or later. However, there should be no restriction if the USB is a hard disk.

The 128GiB USB BIOS bug
Note that due to some BIOSes (e.g. Asus EeePC's) having a bug in their USB driver, they are not able to access files past 128GiB on the USB drive. This bug is quite common, especially on older USB 2.0 only systems. This means that grub4dos will not be able to access the file if it has a sector address higher than 128GiB on the disk. This is why I suggest you do not use a USB drive larger than 128GiB - or at least keep the E2B partition below 128GiB in size.

If the file is beyond 128GiB on the drive (e.g. in a 2nd partition on a >128GiB USB drive) then grub4dos may be unable to access it.

E2B will warn you if the BIOS has this 128GiB bug as soon as it starts to load.

Sometimes, you can fix the BIOS bug by loading the grub4dos USB 2.0 driver which replaces the buggy BIOS driver (hold down the SHIFT key just as E2B starts to boot to load the grub4dos USB driver). However, the grub4dos USB 2.0 driver only works on older USB 2.0 systems and not with newer chipsets or USB 3.0.

Tip: If your system has this BIOS bug but does not have any USB 2.0 ports and you have a USB 3.0 E2B drive, then connect the E2B drive to a USB 3.0 port using a USB 2.0 cable - this may allow the grub4dos USB 2.0 driver to work because it will use the USB 2.0 connections instead of the USB 3.0 set of contacts.

Windows ISOs
You may have noticed that I said that you can place most payloads on the second partition - well  Windows Install ISOs were an exception, but not now!

I have tweaked E2B v1.A7g so that you can, if you wish, add Windows Install ISOs onto the second partition (all types of Windows ISOs - except XP ISOs).

Here is how the 'cheat' works...

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

E2B v1.A7f Beta available (and a bug found in robocopy!)

E2B v1.A7f Beta is here. The change is just in the new Backup .cmd script.

I failed to notice that the Backup_E2B_drive_to_MASTER.cmd backup script actually made a hidden folder on the Desktop instead of a normal, visible folder!

This was because I have 'view Hidden files' ticked in my Explorer options and so I didn't spot that the Desktop E2B_MASTER folder was actually changed to be a hidden folder by robocopy!

It turns out that there is a long-standing bug in robocopy!

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Build your own Windows 10 ISOs and include the latest updates

If you want to build your own Win10 ISO with the latest MS updates rolled-in, check out this article from ghacks.net.

The uupdownloader_1.0.0.exe can be downloaded from here.

Make sure that you disable your AV and that you have plenty of disk space, a fast internet connection and a lot of patience though! It also helps if you whittle down the number of Editions that you want to modify (e.g. just choose Professional if that is all you are likely to use, to save build time).

I managed to build an ISO successfully (it took over an hour!) but I haven't tested it yet.

When I ran it again to make the same ISO again however, it seemed to want to download the UUP files all over again...

Adding 32-bit UEFI boot options to Strelec WinPE

The English build of Sergei Strelec WinPE only contains entries to boot to Win10 64-bit in the UEFI BCD - no 32-bit UEFI boot options are present for Win10 or Win8. However the 32-bit EFI boot file \EFI\boot\bootia32.efi is already present, so to support booting from 32-bit UEFI systems we just need to edit the BCD...

Friday, 23 November 2018

E2B v1.A7e available

This version v1.A7e just has two Robocopy .cmd scripts added which you can use to quickly backup the files of your E2B partition to a folder (E2B_MASTER) on your Desktop and then you can restore it to the same USB E2B drive or a different E2B drive using the Restore script.

Files which are already present are not re-copied so only the changes are updated.

The contents of the target USB drive will be a duplicate of what is in the backup folder. This means that if you have extra files on your USB drive which are not in the backup folder, then the extra files will be deleted from your USB drive - i.e. it will be an exact duplicate.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Adding DBAN with UEFI 64-bit support to E2B

The standard Legacy-boot DBAN ISO is currently version 2.3.0 and can be simply added to your E2B drive. Version 2.3.0 should not erase USB drives (unless you select them!) even if you select an 'autonuke' option from the boot menu.

The current version does not support UEFI booting but if you have a 64-bit UEFI system which does not support MBR\Legacy\CSM booting, you can  use the Beta UEFI DBAN ISO here. It does not support 32-bit UEFI systems though.

Note: On some systems (e.g. Lenovo IdeaPad 300) DBAN v2.3.0 does not boot and gives a
"cat: can't open '/proc/cmdline': No such file or directory"
error. This new version however does seem to boot OK.

UEFI Beta 2017 version
Tip: Once DBAN starts to boot, remove the E2B USB drive in case of accidental erasure!

Monday, 19 November 2018

E2B v1.A7d Beta now available


E2B v1.A7d now supports the .isoDPMS file extension. If you have an XP WinPE-based ISO such as DaRT5 or ERD2005, it probably will not be able to see SATA hard disks once it has booted because it lacks the correct SATA drivers. By booting it using the DPMS feature, the correct SATA\RAID\SCSI 32-bit XP driver should be automatically added. This saves having to create a new .mnu file based on the ERD5_DPMS.mnu found in the Sample mnu files folder.

List of changes since v1.A6:

  • .help files now don't display the first three UTF-8 bytes in a UTF-8 file
  • Support for multiple .help files with different background images using a .mnu file
  • Small bug fix to Update_E2B_Drive.cmd when an empty USB drive is selected
  • Small fix to Add_Bootmgr_to_E2B_drives.cmd if empty floppy drive in system
  • Small changes to Make_Ext.exe, Make_MyE2B.cfg.cmd, isoboot.g4b, QAUTO.g4b, QRUN.g4b (now does not warn if .help file is not contiguous)
  • Fix bug in SDI_CHOCO - the %BIT% variable is now available in MyStartup.cmd and MySetupComplete.cmd
  • Update WinContig.exe to latest version
  • Minor bug fixes to some .cmd scripts in case your Windows TEMP path variable has spaces or other funny characters in it.
  • .isoDPMS file extension supported for DaRT5\ERD ISO (will load 32-bit XP SATA\RAID\SCSI driver). You must have the DPMS version of E2B for this extension to work.
Download here or from the Alternate Download Areas as usual.

P.S. The Halloween 'surprise' code has been removed from this version.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Fix for occasional 'freezing' in Chrome browser when editing web pages (Windows 10 64-bit)

I use the WebNode online page editor to the edit pages of the Easy2Boot site.

For a long time now I have experienced a problem of 'freezing' for between 5 - 200 seconds after the first few edits which is very annoying. If I wait long enough, the cursor 'comes back' and I can continue using the mouse and keyboard - during the 'freeze' period I can use other Windows tasks such as other browser panes or other apps, I just cannot continue editing in the browser page I was using. If I save the page and then re-open it for editing, the freezing seems to stop for a few minutes before it starts again.

I noticed that the CPU fan was spinning faster when this freezing occurred and so I used Task Manager to find out what was using the CPU. I noticed that when the freezing occurred, the CTFLoader task was using over 50% of CPU resources, but when the freezing stopped, CTFLoader went down to about 2%. I also found that by using right-click - End Task in Task Manager on CTFLoader, the freezing could be stopped and I could resume typing in that browser tab.

So CTFLoader seemed to be causing the issue. SFC /scannow showed no problems however.

Then I read a post on reddit here which described how to solve it by stopping the 'Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service'. Since my PC did not have a touch panel and I do not use handwriting input services on the PC, I disabled and stopped the Service.

Win+R > services.msc >  'Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service' service > right click > properties > click STOP and change Startup type to Disabled. Then click OK. A reboot is only necessary if you find keyboard input no longer works in some apps (e.g. Edge).

Now all is good. I still get occasional freezing, but it only lasts a few seconds now instead of minutes!

P.S. I am not sure if this is relevant, but I do have Office 2007 installed on my PC but the freezing occurs before I use any Office 2007 applications.

[UPDATE] Well the 'freezing' has not completely disappeared whilst using the webnode web editor, however I have found a simple fix - when it freezes,  I just need to select a different Chrome Browser tab and then re-select the webnode browser tab.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

XMLtoE2B v2.0.47 released

You can download XMLtoE2B v2.0.47 (updated) from here.

This includes a blank .diskcfg file - load this file to allow the user to select the install disk\partition instead of automatically wiping a disk.

I think this is near to release, so please let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions.








Monday, 12 November 2018

New XMLtoE2B v2 Beta

XMLtoE2B.exe is a Windows 32-bit utility that can modify an XML file for use with E2B Windows Setup.

Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted the source files of the current v1.0.39 version so it has not been possible to maintain it.

However, I have been spending many days working on XLMtoE2B version 2.

XMLtoE2B v2

The new version has a few extra options such as:

Monday, 29 October 2018

E2B v1.A7b Beta available (with special surprise 'Easter Egg')

Download of v1.A7b Beta is here. Only some very minor bug fixes since v1.A7a.

See E2B Version History

This Beta version contains a special, hypnotic 'Easter Egg' surprise... so be sure to boot your E2B drive  on a real PC (the hypnosis does not work properly if using QEMU or Virtual Box) on the 31st of October!!!

P.S. If you can't wait till the 31st, then just press the 'h' key on your keyboard as soon as E2B starts to boot if you want to be hypnotised today! You can also press F8 from the Main menu and then very quickly press 'h' to see it again.


Tuesday, 23 October 2018

About guitar amplifiers and fixing my old Marshall MG15DFX guitar amp (effects not working)

I do have a very nice Vox AC30 CC1 valve amp (no longer made). Although this sounds great when cranked up, it is not very good at practice volumes, and being full of valves, it does make funny noises, chirps, farts, etc. It's also very heavy to move around.

VOX AC30CC1 valve amplifier

I had recently heard good things about the new Boss Katana guitar amplifiers, so I decided to buy a Boss Katana 50...

Monday, 22 October 2018

E2B v1.A7a Beta available

v1.A7a Beta has the following changes:

  • Bugfix - .help files now don't display first three UTF-8 bytes in UTF-8 file if no colour value on first line.
  • Support for background images and multiple .help files using a .mnu file.
  • Small bugfix to Update_E2B_Drive.cmd when used to copy files to an empty USB drive.
  • Small bugfix to Add_Bootmgr_to_E2B_drives.cmd if empty floppy drive in system.
see http://www.easy2boot.com/configuring-e2b/help-text-file/ for details on .help file support.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

E2B v1.A6 released (yet another bugfix + new help text file feature)

I just found yet another bug - the AUTO folder menu is not working in the last few versions, so I have fixed it in v1.A6 (not many people use the AUTO folder anyway)!

I have also added a new help file feature. You can now have a menu entry to display plain or UTF-8 text files - just give the text file a .help file extension.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

E2B v1.A5 released (bugfix for Win7 Install ISOs not working!)

I have just discovered that a change I made to the VistaMn.g4b batch file in E2B v1.A1 and later versions causes Win7 (and Vista) to not run correctly (you get a 'No key file found' message), so I am releasing E2B v1.A5 now to fix this bug.

Please consider v1.A1 - v1.A4 buggy and update to v1.A5!

Changes in v1.A5 are:
  • Bugfix for Win7 ISO installs (bug was introduced in v1.A1 through to 1.A4).
  • Bugfix for AUTO file extension suffix not working with .imgPTNAUTO files.
  • QRUN.g4b now displays tip to user to use .imgPTN23 if a 2nd partition is detected on the E2B drive.
  • Added support for .isoBSD file extension.
  • bsd.imgptn is now included in \_ISO\e2b\grub folder for .isoBSD file extension.
  • Now only .gz files which end in.uni.gz (font files), .ima.gz or .img.gz are recognised.
  • DOS KEYB TSR utility added to DOS floppy boot image (e.g. can now type KEYB FR for french keyboard under FreeDOS).

MPI Tool Pack v0.087 now released


  • ::0.085 - 2018-10-11 - add support for German menu, new grldr version, more language files can be easily added, latest Switch_E2B.exe added, menu.lst file changed to use key strings for multi-language support.
  • ::0.086 - 2018-10-14 - bugfix to RestoreE2B_32_64.cmd, change blank line colour in menu.lst to 0000 from 0122 (was green, now black\transparent).
  • ::0.087 - 2018-10-15 - EFI.IMG file is now automatically extracted and then deleted.
Download here.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Add FreeNAS installer and GhostBSD ISOs to E2B


Most BSD-based ISOs can be added to E2B (v1.A5c or later) by using the new .isoBSD file extension.

However, FreeNAS and GhostBSD ISOs are 'special'!



Here is how to add these ISOs to E2B.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

E2B v1.A5b/c/d Beta with support for BSD ISOs

BSD-based ISOs are hard to boot using E2B because BSD does not like the overlapping partitions caused by mapping the ISO file 'inside' the E2B partition.

Most BSD ISO files however can be booted to E2B by using two partitions:

ptn1: FAT32 .imgPTN file containing grub4dos (made using an empty folder)
ptn3: the untouched original BSD ISO file

More details of this method are at the bottom of the page at www.easy2boot.com/add-payload-files/freebsd/

Instead of having to make the .imgPTN file for each BSD ISO, I added extra code to QRUN.g4b so that it recognises the new file extension of .isoBSD. This means that you can boot to most BSD ISO files now just by changing the file extension of the ISO to .isoBSD and it will automatically use a small FAT bsd.imgptn file for the ptn1 partition.

The new .isoBSD file extension is recognised by E2B v1.A4c Beta and later versions.

1. Update your E2B drive to  E2B v1.A4d.

2 Change the file extension of your BSD-based ISO file to end in .isoBSD and copy it to your \_ISO\LINUX folder (or any standard menu folder).

3. Run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS (run as admin).cmd.

To add another BSD-based ISO, simply add it to the E2B drive and change the file extension to .isoBSD.

Note that the default CSM menu entry will be to boot BSD, but as soon as the BSD menu entry is chosen, the default menu entry is set to #0 Restore E2B partition, so that when you next MBR-boot after running BSD, it will switch partitions back to E2B and load the E2B menu system again automatically.

Only MBR-booting is supported and it does not work with all types of BSD ISOs - see  www.easy2boot.com/add-payload-files/freebsd/ more for details.