Tuesday, 27 May 2014

MPI Tool Pack 035 available

Changes are:
  1.  First time you ran the CSM menu you would get a 'syslinux alternative boot' menu entry - now fixed by changing PBR.BIN file which contained the 'SYSLINUX' text string.
  2. Added new menu for NTFS+FAT32 dual partitions

If E2B is on a USB hard disk we can use:

  • Partition 1 = FAT32  - for clover+E2B files
  • Partition 3 = NTFS - for Windows files

When Setup/ WinPE boots, it will be able to access the files on the NTFS partition of the hard disk.

Change #2 allows you to easily make an NTFS partition image from any Windows Vista/7/8 ISO using large install.wim files, and boot to it via Clover in UEFI mode.  This is useful if you have E2B on a Removable USB Flash drive because Windows Setup can only access the first partition on a Removable UFD and so the first partition must be NTFS. Clover needs a FAT32 partition in order to boot, so this is on the 3rd partition.

To make the files you need to:

1. Drag-n-drop the Win7/8 ISO onto the MPI_NTFS Desktop shortcut
2. Drag-n-drop an empty folder onto the MPI_FAT32 shortcut
3. Copy the two files to your E2B USB drive and name the first one with a .imgPTNLBAa file extension and the second one with no file extension (the name should NOT contain a dot) using the same file name for both files - e.g.

\_ISO\MAINMENU\Win81_x64.imgPTNLBAa   - NTFS Windows Install image + MPI+Clover
\_ISO\MAINMENU\Win81_x64                          - blank image containing just MPI+Clover

When loaded by E2B you will have:
  • Partition 1 = NTFS = Windows Install files and MPI+Clover files
  • Partition 3 = FAT32 = MPI+Clover files
It will NOT be able to boot via the UEFI system firmware because the first partition is not FAT32, however it will boot to the grub4dos CSM menu and you can then boot via Clover (which will load from the FAT32 partition as it cannot 'boot' from an NTFS partition) to the \efi\boot\bootx64.efi Windows UEFI boot file and then install Windows in UEFI mode.

This method is very easy to set up as you don't have to swap files around between the two partitions or split the install.wim file if it is larger than 4GB. The downside is that Clover may not run on all hardware (as it is a 'replacement' UEFI BIOS and is quite hardware dependent) - in which case you cannot boot it via the UEFI system firmware.

I have outlined the 4 methods of adding large-file UEFI-bootable Windows installer images here. The most reliable\versatile method is Method 1 where we use a single FAT32 partition and split the install.wim into .swm files (if required).