Sunday, 21 May 2017

Add Webconverger to E2B

Webconverger is a professional Kiosk Browser which you can run from a LiveCD ISO or as an installed OS on a hard disk or USB drive (it is based on Debian and FireFox).

If your E2B USB drive is a Removable drive (e.g. most USB Flash drives) then you can just directly boot from it as an .iso file from E2B (or use .isodefault to suppress the suggestion messages).

However, if your E2B USB drive is of the Fixed-disk type (e.g. USB HDD) then it will not boot correctly because the linux boot parameters include the cheat code bootfrom=removable so that it will only boot from removable media.

A simple way to remove the bootfrom=removable code is

Add Lenovo diagnostics to E2B

The linux bootable Lenovo Diagnostics ISOs can simply be copied to any E2B menu folder (e.g. \_ISO\UTILITIES). The diagnostics will only run on Lenovo-branded systems.



The linux-bootable-cd-41308857.iso is also UEFI 64-bit bootable.

Install the E2B MPI Tool Kit and then drag-and-drop the ISO onto the Windows MPI_FAT32 shortcut (I suggest you rename the ISO first because the CSM menu title has the same name as the ISO file).


Lenovo also supply UEFI-bootable versions of their diagnostics.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Hit by WannaCry? There is a decryptor now for XP and Win7.

If you or one of your users have a Windows XP or Windows 7 system and have been hit by the WannaCry ransomware virus, do not despair!


The first thing to do is to warn all users that if they are hit (and their systems are Win7 or XP),

do NOT turn off the system - do NOT reboot it - do not use it - just leave it alone!

The next thing to do is (as quickly as possible) download the decrypting software wanakiwi.exe onto a USB stick (don't use the infected system!), plug it in to the affected system and run it.

If possible, it would be better to make sure every computer had a copy of wanakiwi.exe already on their hard disk because connecting a USB drive may destroy the keys which are left in memory.

More info and an animated GIF of it in action on Windows XP and Windows7 here.

Although this has been demonstrated on a freshly infected system and wanakiwi was run as soon as the ransomware had completed encryption, I am not sure if any cases have been reported yet of wanawiki successfully working in a real life situation...

Can't boot to Windows but need some important files?


Scenario

  • You are given a Windows computer which will not boot to Windows any more.
  • You have tried to boot to Recovery Media/ISO and repair it, but it did not work.
  • The NTFS filesystem and memory seem to be OK (you ran memory test and chkdsk).
  • The issue seems to be that the Windows OS is broken.
  • The internal hard disk is pretty full, so you cannot install a second copy of Windows as there is not enough free file space.
  • The customer wants only a small number of certain important files recovered from the hard disk, but he doesn't know exactly where they were stored. The customer does remember a bit of the file name as does know that he used MS Word to edit the documents.
Your Mission (should you decide to accept it), is to backup those important files to an offline USB drive before you start messing around with the customers OS or the files on his hard disk.

Discussion

At this point, you could decide to take an image of the internal hard disk using any decent backup package. This is a very sensible thing to do, but it will take a while.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Install proxmox v4 from E2B

After a LOT of problems, I have managed to work out how to install the later versions of proxmox from E2B direct from the ISO file.

You will need to make a .mnu file.

See the bottom of this old post for details.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Add a BitLocker encrypted Windows 10 To Go OS to Easy2Boot

Windows 10 1703 (Build 15063) or later will mount all formatted partitions of a USB Removable media Flash drive.

This means we can not only boot from a flat-file installation of Windows 10 now, but because we can create a multi-partition USB flash drive, we can also encrypt the Windows volume using BitLocker.

Windows 10 will allow us to MBR-boot (not UEFI-boot) to encrypted volume either by entering a short password (e.g. 8 characters or more) or by inserting a USB flash drive containing a .BEK key file for the encrypted volume.

BitLocker requires a spare NTFS volume, so both partition images that we make for our E2B USB drive must be formatted as NTFS. This means we cannot UEFI-boot as we have no FAT partition.

Requirements

Monday, 15 May 2017

E2B v1.92l and MPI Tool Pack 074 now available

I am hoping to release this as v1.92 Full Release version in a few days!

Includes latest grub4dos 0.4.6a (hopefully with all bugs fixed!).

MPI v0.074 has improved detection of the isolinux version.

Alternate OneDrive Download Area

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Adding the HP PC Hardware Diagnostics 3-in-1 USB Key to E2B

The HP Vision Diagnostics ISO can be added to an E2B Removable USB drive if you use the .ISOPE01 file extension. It will boot straight to WinPE and you should briefly see the blue console shell window which will load the ISO as a virtual drive and allow it to find the drivers and diagnostic programs inside the ISO.

If you have a E2B HDD, you will need to convert the ISO to a FAT32 .imgPTN file (or if you boot it as .isoPE01, you could use the SHIFT+F10 key and run \_ISO\e2b\firadisk\LoadISONP.cmd from the E2B USB drive to load the ISO file as a virtual DVD to allow the diagnostic files to be seen).

The HP PC Hardware Diagnostics 3-in-1 USB Key software however, does not come as an ISO file.

Here is how to add it (or the Vision Diagnostics ISO) to E2B.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Add DLC Boot 2016 and 2017 to E2B

'DLC Boot 2016 v3.2' .rar file (Build 160727) can be downloaded from the official dlcboot.com site.
As it contains copies of Windows and other licensed utilities, you should ensure you have the appropriate licences (or morals) before you use it however!

After unpacking the .rar file, you can run DLCBoot.exe from Windows as Administrator to either create a new bootable USB flash drive (use FAT32 for UEFI x64 booting) or a bootable ISO file or run any of the tools directly.

Run as Admin and click the CD icon to make a .ISO file

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

E2B v1.92k BETA now available (fixes problem when formatting as NTFS)

I had problems formatting a new USB drive using Make_E2B.exe today and discovered Windows 10 Creator is still causing RMPartUSB problems due to it recognising all partitions on a removable USB drive.

There is now a new version of RMPrepUSB and RMPartUSB (v2.1.739A) and the E2B download has also been updated. If you still get any problems making an NTFS E2B drive, please let me know!

Add ASCII art to E2B

If you have a text file which contains ASCII art, you can display it on the E2B boot screen by adding this line to your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file:

cat /%grub%/ASCII_E2B.txt && pause --wait=1 > nul

This will display the text file briefly as E2B boots...





The next version of E2B will contain the ASCII_E2B.txt file (but you have to add the line into your MyE2B.cfg file to see it).




If you are displaying lines longer than 79 characters, you will need to switch to 800x600 first to change from the initial boot screen resolution of 640x480 (80x30 characters).

graphicsmode -1 800 ;; cat /%grub%/ASCII_E2B.txt && pause --wait=1 > nul


Make your own ASCII art

Add netboot.xyz to E2B and PXE boot

If you want some of the payloads mentioned below (see list), but don't have room on your E2B drive for all of them and you will always boot on a system which has internet access, you can add the small kernel 339KB netboot.xyz.lkrn PXE boot file to your E2B drive and get all of them!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

E2B v1.92j available

Changes from 1.91B (changes from v1.92h are in bold)
  • Ukrainian language added (thanks to 'ruffian')
  • Small bugfix to XPWINNT.g4b to allow SVR2016 folder to be selected
  • New Make_E2B to add Ukrainian and Vietnamese language support
  • Check added in Make_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd to check Windows find command is working
  • Revised English F1.cfg help file
  • New version of RMPartUSB to format the 2nd small hidden partition to prevent Win10 Format pop-up dialogue box and also sometimes failing to format as NTFS
  • Bugfix to XP DPMS2 for AMD chipsets - was sometimes getting wrong PCI ID and hence wrong driver
  • New \_ISO\PimpMyDrive.cmd to add extra options to Main menu
  • UtilMan account hack XML and CMD files added to new \_ISO\docs\utilman folder
  • Delay added to linux fmt.sh scripts after parted command, 
  • WinLite10 Sample XML files added
  • \_ISO\mybackground.jpg will be used if \_ISO\mybackground.bmp is not present
  • \_ISO\docs\SysInfo\SysInfo2.hta added for convenient way to get system info under Windows
  • Commodore PET theme added into Templates and mythemes folder
  • New SanFrancisco Bridge default wallpaper
  • New \grldr grub4dos 0.4.6a 2017-05-05
  • Improved Utilities Menu - list files and dirs menus
  • Change to .cmd files to use PowerShell to run as Admin if available (MAKE_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd now only requires one UAC prompt)
  • SDI version updated
  • Vietnamese language added (thanks TN)
  • Strings.txt language files changed to add new 'List files' string

Saturday, 6 May 2017

E2B v1.92i available

This version has a new version of grub4dos (\grldr) which has a nice new vol command, so I have also tweaked the UTILITIES menu commands for  'ls (DIR)' and 'List BIOS Disks' to improve the text output and show the volume labels.

I have also tried to improve some of the .cmd scripts which require Admin access so that they will now use Powershell to request Admin access (if Powershell is available). I have tested it on XP, Win7 and Win10 so I hope that I have not broken anything! The main advantage is that the MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd script now only gives you one UAC prompt instead of two.

Let me know if you find any issues.

Running a .cmd script with Admin rights

If you are interested, I used this single line near the top of each .cmd file

if not "%1"=="am_admin" call powershell -h | find /i "powershell" > nul && if not "%1"=="am_admin" (powershell start -verb runas '%0' am_admin > nul & exit)

The extra code is added so that under WinPE and WinXP, it does not just abort with a 'bad command' error if 'powershell' is not understood.

It checks to see if PowerShell is present and if so, it runs itself again using runas, so the beginning of the script actually runs twice.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

E2B v1.92h Beta available (Release Candidate)

1.92 will be fully Win10 Creator update compatible (I hope), so I am keen to release it soon.

Changes from 1.91B are:

  • Ukrainian language added (thanks to 'ruffian')
  • Small bugfix to XPWINNT.g4b to allow SVR2016 folder to be selected
  • New Make_E2B to add Ukrainian lang
  • Check added in Make_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd to check Windows find command is working
  • Revised English F1.cfg help file
  • New version of RMPartUSB to format the 2nd small hidden partition to prevent Win10 Format pop-up dialogue box and also sometimes failing to format as NTFS
  • Bugfix to XP DPMS2 for AMD chipsets - was sometimes getting wrong PCI ID and hence wrong driver
  • \_ISO\PimpMyDrive.cmd to add extra options to Main menu
  • UtilMan account hack XML and CMD files added
  • Delay added to linux fmt.sh scripts after parted command, 
  • WinLite10 Sample XML files added
  • \_ISO\mybackground.jpg will be used if \_ISO\mybackground.bmp is not present
  • \_ISO\docs\SysInfo\SysInfo2.hta added
  • PET theme added into Templates and mythemes folder
  • New SanFrancisco Bridge default wallpaper

Please download and test it and let me know if you find any problems before I release it officially in a few days as version 1.92.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

E2B v1.92g BETA available

This version has a few small tweaks to Utilman scripts and a new default wallpaper.
The XML files for UtilMan now start with 'UtilMan - xxxxx.xml' so that they are listed together in the E2B XML menu list. If you see four Utilman XML files, delete the ones which do NOT start with 'UtilMan - '

Let me know what you think of the new default wallpaper... ;-)

P.S. A variety of 800x600 jpg wallpapers are available in the Alternate Downloads Area - Themes  folder at WallPapers800x600.jpg.zip. if you copy these to the \_ISO folder and use the Change Wallpaper_JPG.mnu file, you can try them out.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

XML file for WinLite10

WinLite10 v7.2 for Win10 1703 Build 15063


Alacran (on reboot.pro) has notified us of a few .cmd scripts available from 'sickdroid' (or Felix Wiegand) which can remove many non-essential Windows components such as Cortana, etc. during a fresh installation of Windows 1703.

You can automatically run the rmApps.cmd script during installation of Windows 10 as follows:

Commodore PET 40 year anniversary theme for E2B

The Commodore PET was first announced, and later released, in 1977 (40 years ago).

It was a complete All-In-One computer with built-in keyboard, monitor and storage media and was months ahead of the Apple II or TRS80 (Trash80!). In essence, it was an early Macintosh and was one of the first computers suitable for business use, rather than hobbyists.

On a side note, the PET never really took off in France for some reason (apparently 'pet' is slang for another word!). Later, Commodore released the VIC, which did not sell too well in Germany either, as it sounded like you were asking for a 'fick' which is German for something quite different!

At the time, my family ran a small 12th-Century hotel in Oxford, now made famous by my late friend Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse book 'The Secret of Annexe 3' (which was where he reviewed examination papers with his colleagues, ate, drank and sometimes stayed overnight). Colin even gave me a few first edition signed copies of various Inspector Morse books over the years, which I guess must be worth a few pennies now!

I had been interested in computers for many years, I had built and programmed my own, but I really wanted a new PET...

Now, payroll software for the PET was non-existent at that time, but in early 1978 I persuaded my father to buy me a new PET, on the promise that I would write a complete staff wages program for the hotel. I explained that this would save him hours of pouring over his H.M. Gov tax tables and Kalamazoo wages sheets every week!

Monday, 1 May 2017

E2B v1.92f with revised UtilMan hack

E2B v1.92f has a slightly different and easier implementation of the UtilMan hack now.

Steps 3 and 4 have been reversed and there is much less typing for the hacker!

Basically the process is now:

1. Boot to E2B Win 10 ISO and choose Hack Windows (UtilMan.exe).xml to patch the .exe files.

2. At Windows login screen press WIN+U and type 2 [ENTER] to make the ADMIN account.

Now play around as you like!

3. At Windows login screen, press WIN+U and type 3 [ENTER] to delete the ADMIN account.

4. Boot to E2B Win 10 ISO and choose UnHack Windows (restore UtilMan.exe).xml to unpatch the .exe files.

I have updated the previous blog post to describe the steps in more detail.

P.S. It seems MS have broken SFC now so it is unable to repair utilman.exe and sethc.exe! For the last 4 weeks or so, SFC has not been able to repair some files and complains about corrupt source files, i.e. it does not recognise the files in its own WinSXS folders - probably because they were not updated by the recent Windows updates - but hey, it only affects millions of people all over the world and Microsoft cannot possibly afford to validate it's own software or respond to bug reports!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Hack any Windows OS - UtilMan scripts now added to E2B v1.92f

Note: This blog post has been changed to match E2B v1.92f and later versions of E2B! v1.92f is now even easier to use than v1.92e!
For updated details, go to the Easy2Boot website page here.

As you may know, if you have not encrypted your Windows OS with BitLocker, it is quite easy to get into your OS by using the trick of replacing UtilMan.exe and\or SetHC.exe with Cmd.exe.

Once you have done this, you can hit WINKEY+U or press the SHIFT key five times to bring up a Windows cmd shell box with full admin rights! You can then create a new Admin account and log into Windows.

This is especially useful if you have a system handed in for repair and the client does not know or remember any of the Admin account passwords.

To semi-automate this process and save some typing, E2B v1.92e now contains a new \_ISO\docs\utilman folder which contains four .cmd script files.

Friday, 28 April 2017

E2B v1.92c Beta available (with PimpMyDrive.cmd!)

v1.92c has a few, very small changes and also a new file has been added - \_ISO\PimpMyDrive.cmd.
[Edit] I found a few issues with Win10 Creator and the second small partition which caused the Make_E2B.cmd to pick the wrong partition to copy the files to and so 'freeze', so v1.92d fixes this. There is a new version of RMPartUSB, RMPrepUSB and Make_E2B.exe too!
This script must be run from the E2B drive. It copies a selection of Sample mnu files to the \_ISO\MAINMENU\PIMP folder.

Note that the Change Theme menu requires the current \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file to be overwritten - so take a backup of the MyE2B.cfg file first (the script will take one backup for you)!



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

SysInfo2.hta - an hta Windows script to quickly collect System Information

Some years ago I developed a .hta script in VBScript to collect system information. This was used on thousands of systems by field engineers and customers alike, so that they could quickly send a report back to the office techs for further diagnosis and investigation.

You can run SysInfo file on any Windows system that allows .hta files and VBScript to run.

If you download and unzip it, make sure Properties - UnBlock is ticked or Windows may prevent you from running it.

I have slightly revised it now for Windows 8 and 10 and also tweaked the email facility so that you can send the report, using your gmail account, to yourself or to someone else.

You can easily modify it to display your own company name in a heading, etc.



RMPrepUSB v2.1.737 and 738 for Windows 10 Creator now available


If you tick the RMPrepUSB option Boot as HDD (C: 2PTNS) then RMPartUSB will create a second 31.5KB partition at the end of the drive. The type is 21hex which no previous Windows OS has ever recognised... until now!

This 2nd partition is only present because some BIOSes will boot a single-partition Removable USB drive as a floppy disk instead of a 'hard disk' and thus you just get a 'black screen - flashing cursor' when you try to boot from the drive. The presence of a 2nd primary partition ensures that even these BIOSes will boot from the Removable USB drive as a 'hard disk' hd0 instead of fd0.

Under all previous versions of Windows, this 2nd partition was not detected by Windows and was not given a drive letter.

However, in recent versions of Windows 10, Microsoft has changed the way Windows detects primary partitions on Removable drives such as Flash Memory devices (and without actually telling anyone!). Now we can have multiple partitions on USB flash drives - we can even boot WindowsToGo 10 Creator version from a flat-file (non-VHD) Removable flash drive now!

The means that now, if you use RMPrepUSB or RMPartUSB to format a drive with the Boot as HDD option ticked, the new Windows 10 will now 'see' the 2nd partition as an unformatted volume and prompt the user to format it!

v2.1.737 now formats the 2nd partition as a small FAT12 volume. Windows will give it a drive letter and you can even store files on it (though it is only 11.5KB in size after formatting!). Note that if you connect the same USB drive to a pre-Windows 10 Creator version of Windows, you will not see the 2nd partition though!

The download page is here.

I found a problem in that RMPartUSB would get confused because it would see two drive letters after partitioning the drive and sometimes chose the wrong drive letter to format as NTFS. v2.1.738 now fixes this (it ignores the small partition).

Please report any issues ASAP.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Easy2Boot v1.92b available

E2B v1.92b BETA is now available from OneDrive here.

Changes from v1.91B are (changes from 1.92a in bold):

  • Ukrainian language added (thanks 'ruffian')
  • small bugfix to XPWINNT.g4b to allow SVR2016 folder to be selected
  • new Make_E2B to add Ukrainian lang, 
  • check added in Make_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd to check Windows find command is working, 
  • revised English F1.cfg help file, 
  • new RMPartUSB to format the 2nd small hidden partition to prevent Win10 Format pop-up dialogue box
  • bugfix for XP DPMS2 sometime getting wrong PCI ID and hence using the wrong driver
An E2B user contacted me to say that XP installs from ISO did not detect his internal hard disk on his HP G62 AMD notebook. I bought a G62 notebook from eBay, found the issue and fixed it.

If anyone in the UK wants a silver HP G62-a17SA, Win 10 Home 64-bit, AMD Athlon II P320 2.10GHz, 320 GB 7,200 rpm HDD, 4GB RAM, HDMI, Enet, webcam, WiFi, DVD R/W, USB 2.0 x 3, good battery, with WPS Office, very nice and clean, very few scuffs (looks almost unused), for £150 ono - let me know!


You can update your current E2B DPMS USB drives using this new Beta version.


The next BETA will include the latest version of grub4dos which hopefully has all the niggly bugs fixed now.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Install Windows 7 from USB using a USB 3.0 port

Windows 7 does not contain USB 3.0 drivers, so when you boot from a USB drive from USB 3.0 port, Windows Setup will not be able to access the USB drive and you will get a 'Missing CD\DVD drive device driver' message box.

However, by combining a Windows 10 boot.wim with Windows 7 install.wim, it is possible to install Windows 7 from a USB drive connected to a modern USB 2.0 or 3.0 port.

I have written a short 'Tutorial #139' describing how to do it.

This method means that all types of USB controllers should work (as Win10 contains USB 3.0 drivers) and you don't have to mess about adding USB drivers to the Windows 7 boot.wim file.

However, you will have to add the USB 3 drivers to the Windows 7 OS once you have booted to Windows 7, but by then you should have web access and can download them (if available). Otherwise, you can always boot to the Win10 boot.wim and use XCOPY to copy the driver folder from your USB drive onto the Win7 hard disk.

You can use the same Win7+Win10 procedure to modify an ISO and add it to E2B, or you can use MakePartImage to convert a working USB Flash drive to a .imgPTN file and add that to E2B.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

System Rescue CD 2017-04-12 released

The systemrescuecd-x86-4.9.6.iso has been updated recently.

Description: SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. It comes with a lot of Linux system utilities such as GParted, fsarchiver, filesystem tools and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It can be used for both Linux and windows computers, and on desktops as well as servers. This rescue system requires no installation as it can be booted from a CD/DVD drive or USB stick, but it can be installed on the hard disk if you wish. The kernel supports all important file systems (ext3/ext4, xfs, btrfs, reiserfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs), as well as network filesystems such as Samba and NFS.



If you add it to E2B it will 'just work'.

If you want to use the persistence feature ('backstore'), refer to my previous blog post here.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

StarTech S2510BU3ISO Hard Disk Enclosure with ISO (DVD) Emulation for $20

The StarTech S2510BU3ISO Hard Disk enclosure is similar to the Zalman and IODD enclosures in that it can emulate a USB DVD drive by loading an ISO file.

Press the MODE button and the LED changes from HDD to ISO1,
 then press again for ISO2 then again for ISO3 and then back to HDD.

Friday, 14 April 2017

E2B v1.92a with Ukrainian language now available

'Ruffian' has sent me the language files for the Ukrainian language and this has been added into v1.92a which is available on OneDrive.

If you are from Ukraine Ви можете, як це, так? ;-)

Ukrainian Menu