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 to the Alternate Download Area
    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

Check for 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.

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.

If you simply add the bitdefender-rescue-cd.iso file to E2B, you will have to download the latest updates each time (if an internet connection is available) and you will not be able to UEFI-boot.

The sample bitdefender-rescue-cd_persistent.mnu menu file included with E2B only works for older BitDefender ISOs which do not use grub.

New BitDefender ISOs

If you want to have persistent updates, MBR and UEFI-booting, you can choose one of the two methods below to make a .imgPTN partition image file...

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:

Monday, 27 July 2015

Quickly install Windows 7\8\10 To Go onto an Easy2Boot USB drive using WinToUSB

The free version of WinToUSB can quickly install a full version of Windows from a Windows Install ISO onto a USB drive. We can use it to make a Win7ToGo .imgPTN or .VHD file on our E2B USB drive.

Here are the steps in outline for an MBR-bootable version of Win7ToGo (also works for Win8 and 10).

You can use VBox+VMUB instead of a real system for booting Windows, if you prefer.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

E2B v1.72BetaG

The latest Beta of E2B has a few tweaks to cope with the latest changes in grub4dos 0.4.6a.
E2B v1.72BetaG does NOT contain this latest version of grub4dos.

The latest grub4dos 0.4.6a versions have a few new features (and bugs!):

  1. Support .jpg files for splashimages (wallpaper/background images)
  2. New setmenu command to position the menu (with or without border)
  3. Change to color command (colour for 'Notes' can be defined separately)
  4. New  echo -v command which displays the version number

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Ready-made WinPE ISOs (from Gandalf)

If you are looking for ready-made WinPE ISOs (with UEFI-boot support too), check out the Gandalf's WinPE builds of WinPESE8.1 (Google for 'Gandalf WinPE').

Win8.1U1SE_x86 updateable (UEFI+MBR bootable) - This PE had external Portable Apps and Programs folder, allowing you to add more programs.

There is even a dual-boot x86/x64 ISO (64-bit UEFI + 32&64-bit MBR booting)...

The dual-PE ISO has an external Portable Apps folder, so you could add more apps into it.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Using Easy2Boot with UEFI-only systems


Many people have asked me 'how can I boot to E2B and select a UEFI payload, if I only have one UEFI-only system'?

This blog post attempts to describe a solution.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

MPI Tool Pack now has Clover 32-bit support (v 051)

I have added the 32-bit Clover files to the MPI Tool Pack so if your payload .imgPTN file has 32-bit UEFI boot files, you can UEFI-boot from the CSM menu.

A system with a 64-bit CPU will list both Clover 32-bit and 64-bit boot entries.
A system with a 32-bit CPU will list only the Clover 32-bit boot entry.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Fast USB 3.0 drive caddy for SSDs

A few years ago I needed a USB 3.0 drive caddy for 2.5" HDDs, so I bought a cheap ICY BOX  IB-233ST
This ICY does have screws but you can just use the rubber sheath to hold it together - this allows for quick changing of drives without having to fiddle with tiny screws and find a tiny screwdriver!

However, when I fitted an SSD drive into it, I was only getting sequential rd/wr speeds of 150-200MB/s.

After doing a bit of research, I bought this screwless Inateck drive caddy (FE2005S)

Adding WinPE/WinBuilder ISO files to Easy2Boot (WinPE-Yol.iso, Dium_2.0.iso, etc.)

WinPE-Yol.iso (Google for it!) and Dium_2.0.iso are two French WinPE ISO's built using WinBuilder (ChrisR's Win8PESE project here).

Dium-2 booted from a .imgPTN file

WinPE-Yol booted from a .imgPTN file

Monday, 13 July 2015

Add 'Boot Repair Disk' ISOs to your E2B multi-boot drive

I came across a reference to Boot-Repair-Disk a few days ago which was something new to me.
It includes gparted and FireFox, and is very quick to boot too.

It says that it will 'automatically' fix boot problems on both linux and Windows systems:

Here is THE Rescue Disk that you should keep close to your computer !

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Partition Guru Pro giveaway - hurry!

Free offer for this s/w worth $80. Useful for partition/data recovery, etc.
See here for extra features that you get with the Pro version.

Right-Click on a file to show a cluster list and see if it is contiguous.

As soon as you install, Register it quickly before the offer expires (you do not have to use your real email address if you prefer not to!).

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

E2B v1.72BetaE now has (very!) minimal Arabic language support

E2B v1.72e has a \_ISO\e2b\grub\ARABIC language folder.

It only has a few menu headings and menu entries translated to Arabic (using Google translate!) and they are probably all wrong!

If you wish to correct them, the instructions on how to edit the files are in the \_ISO\e2b\grub\ARABIC\ReadMe.txt file.

The 'source' UTF-8 files that you need to edit are the STRINGS_ARABIC.txt and F1_ARABIC.cfg files.

You need to edit these and then convert them using Fribidi to a STRINGS.txt and F1.cfg file (use the Reverse.cmd file provided - just drag-and-drop a 'Arabic' file onto the Reverse.cmd file).

As a starting point, you could try this \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file (save as UTF-8):

set RTL=1
write 0x8308 0 > nul
set bdwidth=0
if "%LANG%"=="" set LANG=ARABIC
set HEADING=ﺔﺷﻼﻔﻟﺍ ﺯﻭﺪﻨﻳﻭ
set HBTM=3642
set FCOLOUR=0106
set HELPTEXT=ﺑﺮﻧﺎﻣﺞ [F7]   ﻧﻮﺭﺗﻮﻥ [F8]   ﻧﻮﺭﺗﻮﻥ [F9]   ﻧﻮﺭﺗﻮﻥ [F10]

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Setting E2B sub-menu defaults and timeouts

I have had enquiries from two different people in the same day about how to set a timeout to auto-run an entry in a sub-menu!

You can set a menu default (and optional timeout value) for each standard E2B sub-menu folder by using a .mnu file.

I have added yet another page to the E2B site here to describe the various options.

E2B 1.72BetaB with support for Arabic, Hebrew, Urdu, etc.

E2B 1.72BetaB+ has added support for RTL languages (but no STRINGS.txt language files yet!)

BetaC fixes Windows sub-menus not being right-justified + few other small niggles.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015


I have added a similar function to the ENUMWAIT function which pauses the list of payload files just before the menu is displayed.

Now, you can press the SPACEBAR during file enumeration of any menu and it will pause at the end of enumeration (without ENUMWAIT needing to be set in MyE2B.cfg).

You can now easily see the order that files and folders are enumerated in, and thus the order that they will appear in the menu.

Friday, 26 June 2015

E2B v1.71 released

Small tweaks since 1.70.

v1.71 2015-06-26
  • Typo\bugfix for PTN2_Menu.mnu and renamed. 
  • Make_this_drive_contiguous.cmd will now run on any drive it is on (if \_ISO\docs\WINCONTIG folder is also present on the drive), so can use it on another partition on an E2B USB HDD drive by copying it to the other partition. 
  • XP Step 2 bugfix - if installing XP to 2nd HDD it would not boot correctly. 
  • JustBrowsing_with_config.mnu file added + few others
  • German Strings.txt small tweaks. 
  • Payload enumeration now displays source directory correctly when listing payload files. 
  • 'set ENUMWAIT=1' in MyE2B.cfg will cause file enumeration to pause before displaying the menu - useful to see what order files are enumerated in for menu order.
  • MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd tells user if disk is Fixed or Removable type and warns if Fixed that they will need a 'Helper' USB drive for Windows installs.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

How to have multiple, fully-installed linux OS's on the same Easy2Boot USB drive

Please note: I recommend using VBox+VMUB rather than a real system to perform the installation onto the E2B USB drive because it will be safer (and Mint seems to have a problem if a hard disk is present in the system!).

This method allows you to boot to any number of 'fully installed' linux OS's from the one E2B USB drive (i.e. linux will keep all changes and updates, etc. as it is not running from the ISO or a filesystem in memory but is fully installed onto the USB drive).

I used Mint but many other linux installers should work.

WARNING: You should only attempt this if you are familiar with .imgPTN files and installing linux. If you choose the wrong linux install options you could destroy the contents of your E2B drive! If you are not using a Virtual Machine, you could destroy the contents of your system disks too!

In this process we will add a Linux Install .imgPTN file (or LiveCD+Install .imgPTN file) to your E2B USB drive and then install that version of linux to a new 'virtual' partition on the same drive.

We do not need to re-partition the E2B USB drive.


  • Once you install linux, the MINT OS file should not be copied or moved, because it contains boot parameters that are specific to the file's position on the E2B USB drive. WinContig will not change it's position (but a defrag would). This issue can be solved however, by using a bespoke menu entry (see bottom of page for details).
  • We cannot have a Swap partition in this install. Linux is installed onto a single partition only but see the bottom of this post for a workaround.
  • Only MBR-booting is supported.
I used a linux Mint 17 Mate 32-bit ISO and an E2B USB HDD, but the process should work for many linux installers as long as they will install to just a single ext2/3/4 partition.

Monday, 22 June 2015

E2B: Add Desinfect 2015 with updates

I have made a new mnu file for Desinfect 2015 with persistent updates.

Making the .mnu was simple, but I just couldn't get the updates to work. I could copy them from the 'master' flash drive partition to the ext2 filesystem on the E2B drive, but when I booted to Desinfect 2015 from the Easy2Boot drive, Desinfect always complained that the signatures were outdated and refused to use them or update them (updates went to RAM not the USB drive)!

It turned out that I was not copying ALL of the files because I was using the linux command:

sudo cp -purv /media/desinfect/desinfSIGS/* ss

what I should have used was

sudo cp -purv /media/desinfect/desinfSIGS/. ss

spot the difference!!!  linux is sooooo user friendly (not)!

The important file that was not copied was the empty file  .desinfect2015, which explains why Desinfect 2015 thought the signatures folder was not the correct one!

The amended instructions for 2014 and 2015 are in the updated old blog post here.

Access ext2/3/4 partitions from Windows

I actually installed ext2fsd on my Win8.1 64-bit Windows system so that I could look at the contents of the Desinfect 2015 'master' flash drive more easily. Because, I was using a Removable flash drive, I had to use RMPrepUSB - Ctrl-O to move the type 83 ext4 signatures partition (#3) to the first position in the partition table. Once that was done, the ext4 signatures partition was available to me in Windows Explorer and I then noticed the .desinfect2015 hidden file!

P.S. Any donations to Easy2Boot are welcome ;-)

E2B: How to install debian from an ISO

Some linux install ISOs, such as debian-based ISOs, will boot to a Live OS fine using Easy2Boot straight from the .ISO file.

However, if you want to install linux from the ISO, some linux installers specifically look for a CD-ROM drive rather than looking for the installation source files, or they do not automatically mount the 4th partition, which E2B has mapped to the ISO file by grub4dos, and so the installer cannot find the source files.

Often, however, there is a simple solution. When installing linux onto another device, you just need to specify the source device. E2B changes partition #4 so that it points to the ISO file that we are booting from. So we just need to specify that partition as the 'cdrom'!

Here is an example using debian-8.1.0-i386-CD-1.ISO.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Password protect specific Windows Install ISOs

You can easily password protect normal, standard menu entries in a variety of ways on an E2B USB multiboot drive (e.g. just add 'pwd' to the end of the file extension - Ubuntu.isopwd).

But recently a user wanted to protect certain specific Win7/8 Install ISOs with specific passwords, so I have added a few examples of ways to do this to the 'E2B Security' page on the E2B website.

After selecting a specific Win7/8 ISO you can prompt the user for a specific password...
If the password is wrong, they will be returned to the Windows Install menu.
Note: this 'bunny' wallpaper is my current menu wallpaper - don't ask me why!

'Don't put your laptop on your lap!'

I recently read an interesting post from the 'Life of MDW' blog here, which was about why you should NOT call a notebook a 'laptop'.

When I worked at RM (which sold computers to schools), we always called them notebooks, however, despite this, the teachers always called them laptops!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Add JustBrowsing+config file to E2B

The August 2014 version of JustBrowsing allows you to save the browser settings in a config file.
The file must be saved on a mounted volume which has a volume name of JUSTDATA.
'maddog' asked me to make a .mnu file for it...

Here is the .mnu file for Easy2Boot which allows you to have these settings persistent on each boot.
Depending on the ISO, you will need to change the name of the iso file in two places and maybe edit the title text too...

# Create file \justbrowsing-rw in root of E2B USB drive using RMPrepUSB - Create small 5MB Ext2 FS  Volume Name = JUSTDATA
# Place the iso file and this file in \_ISO\MAINMENU\MNU  (or some other menu folder at 3rd level - e.g. \_ISO\LINUX\BROWSER)

iftitle [if exist $HOME$/justbrowsing_20140808_chrome.iso] JustBrowsing with Config file\n Settings are saved in a configuration file

set ISO=$HOME$/justbrowsing_20140808_chrome.iso
set PERS=/justbrowsing-rw

if "%E2BDEV%"=="" set E2BDEV=hd0 && pause E2BDEV forced to hd0!
if exist CD echo WARNING: Cannot use partnew command! && pause && configfile (bd)/menu.lst
#enable parttype output
partnew (%E2BDEV%,3) 0x0 %ISO%
# make empty table entry in 3rd position in ptn table
debug 1
parttype (%E2BDEV%,2) | set check=
debug off
set check=%check:~-5,4%
if "%check%"=="0x00" partnew (%E2BDEV%,2) 0 0 0
if not "%check%"=="0x00" echo WARNING: PTN TABLE 3 IS ALREADY IN USE! && pause
debug 1
if not exist %PERS% echo WARNING: %PERS% persistence file not found! && pause
errorcheck off
if "%check%"=="0x00" partnew (%E2BDEV%,2) 0x0 %PERS%
errorcheck on
/%grub%/QRUN.g4b %ISO%

I will add the final version of this to next Beta release.

Google Drive falsely reports that some .7z files are infected!

I recently changed from using .zip files to .7z files (using the 'Ultra' compression setting) because .7z LZMA compression made much smaller files (e.g. 30MB .zip reduced to under 20MB if I use .7z + 'Ultra' compression) and thus made it quicker to download for everyone.

However, Frettt (who translated the German Strings.txt file in E2B) pointed out to me today, that if he attempted to download the Easy2Boot_V1.70DMPS.7z file from Google Drive, it reported it as 'Infected'!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

E2B - bug in PTN2_Menu.mnu sample menu file!

Jason has just reported an issue when he tried to use the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files\E2B Menus\PTN2_Menu.mnu file in his \_ISO\MAINMENU folder so he could run payload files from the second partition of his E2B drive.

We found a typo in this sample .mnu file which causes it to just reload the Main menu!

E2B v1.70 has the correct version of this menu file which should be as shown below (correction shown in red):

# EXAMPLE .MNU FILE FOR 2ND PRIMARY PARTITION  (max for E2B is 2 Primary ptns or 1 Primary+multiple logical ptns) - see also PTN_LOG1_Menu.mnu
# You can add payload files under \_ISO on partition 2 and they will be included in the menu
# EDIT lines 1 and 3 to match the name of your partition (hd0,1) and  folder (/_ISO)
# Add this file to the /_ISO/MAINMENU folder
# 2nd Primary partition is (hd0,1), 3rd Primary = (hd0,2), fourth primary = (hd0,3), first Logical partition = (hd0,4), second Logical partition = (hd0,5), etc.

iftitle [ls (hd0,1)/_ISO/ > nul && if "%GFX%"==""] ^Ctrl+2 PARTITION 2 Payload Files Menu [Ctrl+2]\n Run payload files in Partition 2 \\_ISO folder
set LBACKMENU=(bd)/%grub%/menu.lst
(bd)/%grub%/QAUTO.g4b .automenu (hd0,1)/_ISO
debug 0
configfile (md)0x3000+0x50

# For GFX menu (delete if you don't use GFXBoot menu)
iftitle [ls (hd0,1)/_ISO/ > nul && if not "%GFX%"==""] PARTITION 2 Payload Files Menu\n Run payload files in Partition 2 \\_ISO folder
set LBACKMENU=(bd)/%grub%/menu.lst
(bd)/%grub%/QAUTO.g4b .automenu (hd0,1)/_ISO
debug 0
configfile (md)0x3000+0x50

I am sorry if this caused anyone problems trying to get this menu to work!

In E2B, the Main menu is kept in memory at (md)0xa000 - this is used when you press F8 from within any sub-menu to quickly re-load and display the Main menu. The most recent menu that was enumerated is stored at (md)0x3000. So 'configfile (md)0xa000+0x50' will load the Main Menu, whereas 'configfile (md)0x3000+0x50' will display the last menu that was enumerated which could be the Main menu if you have just booted to E2B, or if you have just run a menu entry from say the \_ISO\DOS folder, then (md)0x3000 will contain the DOS menu.