Thursday, 10 October 2013

Make a 'secret' Easy2Boot USB Flash drive

Krishna wanted a USB Flash drive with Easy2Boot on it, but he wanted it to appear as a normal flash drive if anyone looked at it in Windows. This was mainly to prevent others from seeing and changing the E2B files and 'breaking' it.

The way this can be done is quite simple actually, and I have added a section to the E2B Tutorial here to explain how to do it. Basically you just make an E2B USB Flash drive in the normal way but create a smaller partition to leave room for the other partition. Then, when E2B is all working correctly, add the second partition using the spare space on the drive and then use RMPrepUSB to swap over the two partitions (using Ctrl+O). Now Windows will only see the second partition and you cannot access the E2B volume.

The USB Flash drive will still boot to E2B just fine though!

To gain access the the E2B partition, just run RMPrepUSB to swap the partition order back again.

E2B also allows you to add a master password to prevent it from being run by just anyone and you can also 'encrypt' many of the files in E2B by compressing them so that they are not easily read by curious users using Notepad. You can also change the file attributes of all E2B files to Hidden+System to further obscure them if you wish!

P.S. Note that if you are booting E2B to Vista/7/8 or WinPE, then those OS's will also not be able to access the USB E2B partition. This means that Vista/7/8 Installs from ISO will not work. Also any PE 2/3/4 (e.g. Hirens Mini Win7) will not be able to see any files on the E2B 2nd partition, so you will need to place those files and folders (e.g. \DLCD) on the non-E2B visible partition.

Note: Add a menu entry to E2B which will swap over the 2 partitions so that Win Installs and Hirens, etc. will work and you won't need an extra USB Flash drive, see here for details.