Saturday, 16 June 2018

Having trouble 'Safely Removing' NTFS USB Hard drives with the latest Windows 10?

I have been using 'Disk Ejector' from QuickandEasySoftware (free).

You can copy it to your Desktop or to the E2B USB drive.


How to prompt for and change the ComputerName and UserName in an Easy2Boot XML file

By using an XML file, we can automate the installation of Windows 10 in Easy2Boot.

The XML file can have a preset UserName and ComputerName, or it can be configured to only have an Administrator account or prompt for the User Name during the install.

For instance, an XML file for SDI_CHOCO could be picked by the user and a fully unattended and automated Windows 10 install would then proceed.

However, it would be useful if we could use the same automated XML file each time we installed it to a different system, but could prompt the user for the desired ComputerName and UserName before we start the installation.

We can do this by using grub4dos to modify the XML file before we boot to the ISO...

Friday, 15 June 2018

E2B v1.99 now available


At last E2B v1.99 is now available!

Note: I have just quickly updated the 2018-06-15 download to v1.99 2018-06-16 - the more recent version just has improved help in Make_E2B.exe and a new sample mnu file added.



Note: The new eBook is written for use with E2B v1.99.

Changes from E2B v1.98 are:

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Bob Omb's WinPE10 64-bit v.3.1


Bob's latest release of WinPE 10 64-bit (v3.1) can now work either as a .ISO file in E2B or as a .imgPTN file.

If you boot it as an ISO, it will auto-detect the TheOven_Startup.cmd (if present on your E2B drive) and run PEStartup (see here for details).

Tip: End the filename with the letter Q to suppress E2B's QRUN prompt - e.g. Bob_Omb's_v3.1_64q.iso. Do not use spaces in the filename because WinBuilder ISOs don't work correctly if there is a space in the name. The file extension must be .iso.

Instead, you can create a .txt file using the \_ISO\TXT_Maker.exe file. This allows you to have spaces in the menu entry (e.g. 'Bob Omb's WinPE10 64-bit'). The ISO must not have any spaces and must end in .iso. You can also use the '64-bit' option in TXT_Maker so that the ISO will only be listed in the menu if run on a 64-bit system.

UEFI

If you convert the ISO to a FAT32 .imgPTN file, you will be able to MBR or UEFI-boot to it and also have some persistence. I suggest you increase the suggested size when you make the .imgPTN file, to allow you to add your own portable apps, shortcuts, etc.

Friday, 8 June 2018

E2B v1.99h Beta available


  • This version has the latest version of grub4dos 0.4.6a 2018-06-08
  • Also a Sample .mnu file Run_ISO_With_Alarm.mnu added (sounds an alarm before running ISO) has been added.
  • PimpMyDrive.cmd now adds a 'Play a tune' menu to the Main menu.
  • Alarm.g4b added to \_ISO\e2b\grub folder so just issuing the command 'alarm' will sound an alarm.
This is probably the last Beta before release as E2B v1.99 full release, so let me know if you find any issues.

As before, if you have animated graphics displaying and you also simultaneously play a tune, the tune may play slower than it should unless you stop the animation (press F2 to toggle animation on and off). Any key press will stop the tune from playing.

Download from Alternate Download areas or direct link here.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Intel Processor Diagnostic Tools

This Intel Windows 64-bit (and 32-bit) tool will identify your CPU and stress test the CPU cooling solution in your system.

You first need to install the software onto Windows before running it.



Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool (May 2018)

Other tools

Other Intel tools can be found here.

The bootable CPU Identification tool and CPU Frequency ID tool are Windows .exe utilities which make a bootable DOS floppy (wow - it's so useful to have a bootable floppy disk these days!), or a .imz floppy disk image file from which you can extract a bootable .ima file using 7Zip.

However, if you download the files (various languages are available), you can use 7Zip to extract the .com file directly from the .exe download (e.g. extract BPFREQIDE.com or BPROCIDE.com) and simply copy the .com file to your E2B USB drive (e.g. \INTEL folder).

Then you can boot to the FreeDOS floppy image which is already on your E2B drive (DOS Menu) and run the .com files from FreeDOS (e.g. \INTEL\BPROCIDE.com).

This screenshot is from Virtual Box, so ignore CPU results!

Intel® Processor Frequency ID Utility Installation Guide - Bootable Version (2004)

Sunday, 27 May 2018

E2B v1.99g Beta is now available (in .zip format)

The new download is available from the Alternate Download Areas as usual, but only in .zip format because it should be regarded as a Beta version.

These are the additional changes since v1.99f:
  1. Non-contiguous files are now flagged when enumerating files (press SPACEBAR twice quickly to pause the file listing). If the files listed are not contiguous, they will be displayed in the list with the text *** NOT CONTIGUOUS *** appended.
  2. Non-contiguous .imgPTN files are flagged on the menu entry itself (because they won't work!). The menu entry will have the text (ERROR: NOT CONTIGUOUS) appended.
  3. Force_Windows_Safe_Mode .cmd files added. This allows you to change the BCD of the current system (see below).
  4. C't magazine Desinfect 2018 sample .mnu file added (see below).

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Upcoming Amazon Echo offers

Hi
Just a heads-up, apparently there is an Amazon Echo Sale coming up starting 26th May.

Use the links below after 25th May to get $10 and $15 off.

Echo Dot (affiliated link to Amazon.com)



Echo  (affiliated link to Amazon.com)

I have an Echo (in the kitchen) and an Echo Dot (in the bedroom) and find them really useful for...

1. Reminders ' Alexa - remind me to call Fred at 3pm' (I also get an alert on my phone)
2. Play radio or music 'Alexa - play BBC Radio 4'
3. Radio Alarm clock 'Alexa - set an alarm for 8am every day and play BBC Radio 4'
4. Calculations - 'Alexa - what's 297.2 minus 167.6' and 'Alexa - what's 127 dollars in pounds?'
5. Shopping list 'Alexa - add yoghurt to my shopping list' (can see list on phone when I go shopping)
6. News - 'Alexa - give me a flash briefing'
7. Music - 'Alexa - play Blue by Joni Mitchell' (Amazon Prime or Spotify account required)
8. Queries - 'Alexa - what are Asimov's 3 laws of Robotics'
9. Vanity or scary - 'Alexa - who is the fairest of them all?' and 'Alexa - open the pod bay doors'
10. Internet calls - 'Alexa - drop in on mum'  (immediately connects me to mum's Echo at her house so I can hear what's going on - e.g. snoring!)

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

E2B eBook now available!

A new eBook is now available as a downloadable PDF file here for just $5 (payable via PayPal or card).

Future revisions will be available free to previous buyers.

Let me know what you would like me to cover in another eBook if I missed it out in this one.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

E2B v1.99f Beta (includes feature to play tunes!)

yaya, one of the main developers of grub4dos, has done a lot of work to add a 'beep' command to grub4dos. It can play synchronously (in background) or asynchronously (waits until end of play before continuing execution).

E2B v1.99f (was 1.99e) includes this latest \grldr file (grub4dos 0.4.6a) which has the new beep command.

Now you can load the E2B Main menu and simultaneously play the Mission Impossible or Tetris background music (or any tune you like)! Your system must be fitted with an internal speaker (or buzzer) - Virtual Machines will not make any noise, you must use a real system.

Instructions to update your E2B drive

Friday, 18 May 2018

Installing Windows Embedded POSReady 2009

The POS2009 ISO is a bit different from normal XP ISOs in that it has no 2nd stage boot and it requires a 'flat-file' structure and \i386 folder on the installation media to be present during the 2nd boot.

There is a ReadMe file at \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files\Windows\POS2009_ReadMe.txt on the E2B drive which can be used to install POS2009 to an IDE hard drive.

E2B v1.99 contains revised instructions for guidance on how you can install to SATA\RAID\SCSI disk too.

The ReadMe file in v1.99 is shown below:

Windows 10 font confusion

This problem took me a while to solve today.

I had a file called MissionImpossible.g4b which did not seem to get recognised by grub4dos.

It turned out it was a typo problem and because Windows Explorer shows virtually identical characters for capital I and lowercase L (l), I did not spot it!!!  see below...

Can you tell the difference between I and l in the Windows font?


Good choice of font Microsoft - but give me function and clarity over aesthetics any day!

With some fonts I have problems distinguishing the number 1 from a lowercase l? Now it seems I also need to look out for uppercase I's as well!

Unfortunately Windows 10 has no facility to change the default font (unless you hack the Registry).

Anyone know how to have a legible font in Win10 without having to hack the registry?

P.S. In case you are wondering, the next version of E2B (and grub4dos) will be able to play annoying tunes through the PC internal speaker (if fitted) whilst the animated icon is displayed on the menu! I am testing/debugging it now.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Windows Forensic course for only $25 - Hurry!

If you would like to take a course on Windows Forensic investigation and the Windows Forensic Operating System (WinFE) by Brett Shavers, then you can sign up here for a sale price of only $25 (normal price $95) but be quick - less than 2 days to go!

There is an intro video on the same page (in the Contents list on right hand side of the page) so you can see what the course covers.


About the course
This course is specific to the Windows Forensic Operating System. Everything you need to build and use a WinFE is included in this course (except your personal license for Windows that is needed to build a WinFE) . You'll learn why WinBuilder was chosen as the preferred method, how previous methods are now outdated, and how other methods are not as well suited as the latest Mini-WinFE build. In fact, the latest build application is focused on during this course.

You'll learn various methods of using a WinFE, whether it is for civil matters, criminal cases, or educational uses. Customize your WinFE specific to your needs and see how a customized WinFE boot disc may handle the vast majority of booting the evidence computer forensically over other boot systems such as Linux Live CDs.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

MPI Tool Pack v0.082 available

MPI Change History v0.082

  • grub4dos \grldr updated to latest version
  • Small change to csm\menu.lst for KonBoot menu
  • Menu.lst now warns if no UEFI boot files are found
  • Chandra's Split_WinISO.exe utility is now included for making split WIM files when a Windows Install ISO has >4GB install.wim/esd files.
  • Add 'set default menu and timeout' menu entry to CSM menu
  • Change to  add clover menu for (hd0,2) EFI boot files
  • Update to latest Clover 64-bit+plist.conf
  • Improve FreeBSD menu (now works with Nas4Free)
  • Add boot as floppy drive A: to DOS menu entry to \menu.lst

Download here from the Alternate Download Areas. Please let me know if you spot a problem.

The download is named 'Beta' but it is the full released version of 0.082 which I will simply rename and fully release next week if no one reports any issues.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Install Win98 from E2B

PhilsComputerLab has just produced a nice YouTube video showing how to install Win98 onto an old Legacy computer (with IDE drive and <1GB RAM) using a Win98 ISO and an E2B drive.


Several people have commented that they do not want to remove files from the ISO to reduce it's size.

Here is a way of adding a full Win98 Install payload to E2B by using a .imgPTN file.

Useful PDF from Microsoft of Windows Command Line commands

Click here to download the Microsoft PDF for the A-Z list of command line commands.

English direct download here.

You may learn something new!

E2B v.1.99d BETA available

When I first added the .imgPTN feature to E2B, I was not sure what partition configuration to use in order to make it bootable on a large range of different UEFI BIOSes.

So I included a wide range of file extensions such as .imgPTNLBAa23, .imgPTNna23, etc. etc.

However, no one has reported any issues and I personally have not had to use any other file extension except for .imgPTN and .imgPTNLBAa23.

So E2B v1.99d has a slight change in that the file extension .imgPTN23 will now be identical to using the file extension .imgPTNLBAa23. i.e.

In versions of E2B before 1.99d, .imgPTN23 did not set the partition as active or use large LBA parameters but in version 1.99d it does. SWITCH_E2B.exe however did use LBA and set the partition active, so E2B now does the same as SWITCH_E2B.exe.

This means that there are now just two file extensions to worry about for 99% of the time: .imgPTN for most purposes or .imgPTN23 if you want the 2nd partition to remain available after switching.

E2B v1.99d is available from the Alternate Download Areas as usual (see side bar).

P.S. The other .imgPTNxxxxx variations will still work in the same way and you do not need to change the file extension of any of your .imgPTN files for this new version.

Progress on the E2B eBook

I have almost finished writing most of the content for the E2B eBook but there is still a lot of work to do yet.

It now has over 100 pages and over 40 'Exercises'.

It will be available as a PDF because this allows a hyperlinked Contents table and you can read it on pretty much any device. I have come to the conclusion that the eBook ePub format is just too limiting for this type of book.

I haven't yet decided on what platform I will use to sell it. I looked at using Lulu.com, but it does not allow me to to easily include a hyperlinked Contents page and has other limitations, so I am now looking at payhip.com which do not provide a purchase site like Lulu does, but just a 'sales page' for each product. However it will accept virtually any PDF format and it will watermark the pages with the buyers email address before making the download available.

Please let me know if you want any more topics added (though some more advanced topics will probably go into a second eBook).

I haven't decided on a price yet, but $6.99 is my initial thought so far, does this sound OK? There may be voucher codes for discounts available later too.

Here is a screenshot of the Contents so far.

Friday, 4 May 2018

E2B v1.99c Beta available

Differences from v1.99b are:
  1. Update_E2B_Drive.cmd now has 2 second tolerance on file times (/FFT switch added)
  2. CONTIG.ISO is not copied when using red button in MAKE_E2B.exe GUI to make a new E2B drive.
  3. Make_CONTIG.ISO.cmd added.
If you want a CONTIG.ISO file you should use the Make_E2B_USB_drive button in the GUI instead of the big red button.

The 500MB CONTIG.ISO is still in the download, it is just not copied across when using the red button.
There is also now a .cmd script to quickly make a CONTIG.ISO file at "\_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\Make_CONTIG.ISO\Make_CONTIG.ISO.cmd".

The new version can be found in the Alternate Download Areas as usual.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Should I remove CONTIG.ISO from Easy2Boot?

As you may know, \_ISO\CONTIG.ISO is a 500MB blank file which is included in the Easy2Boot download.

The CONTIG.ISO file is only used when a payload file is not contiguous but when E2B needs it to be contiguous. E2B will then copy the entire original payload file to the CONTIG.ISO file. This can take some time and it is done each time you boot to that same payload file.

I never actually use this feature and I suspect most Windows users do not use it either.

When you first make an E2B drive, this large file needs to be copied over to the USB drive and this can take several minutes on slow pen drives. The file also takes up 500MB of space on the USB drive which is never used as long as you always run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd first.

So, my proposal is to remove the CONTIG.ISO file from the E2B self-extracting download file in the next version of E2B (v1.99c).

However, the .zip E2B download file (which is used by linux users to prepare an E2B drive) will still contain a 500MB CONTIG.ISO file.

If a Windows user still wants to use the CONTIG.ISO feature, they simply have to create a \_ISO\CONTIG.ISO file (I can provide a small batch file which will create a file of any size).

Please let me know if you think this is a bad idea ASAP, otherwise I will remove the CONTIG.ISO file in the next version.