Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Switch_E2B Windows application

I am now at the Beta stage of testing the Switch_E2B.exe 32-bit Windows application.

The idea is that this App will be added to the E2B and MPI Tool Pack so that the application is always on your E2B USB drive (whether the USB drive is in 'E2B mode' or 'CSM mode') and ready for you to run under Windows.

The app will be at the \_ISO folder in the E2B download and in the \e2b folder in the MPI Tool Pack download (though you can move it anywhere you like - even your Windows Desktop).

You can then connect the USB drive to a Windows system and run the Switch_E2B app. directly from the USB drive, to either select a .imgPTN file, if the E2B drive is in 'E2B Mode',  or  restore it back to 'E2B Mode', if the drive is in CSM Mode (i.e. if a .imgPTN partition image has already been 'flipped in').

Here is a screenshot of a Beta version.

For instance, if your USB drive is already in 'CSM Mode', you can connect the USB drive to a Windows system and run the app directly from the USB drive, then you can use the 'Restore original E2B partitions' button to bring it back to E2B Mode. Then the .imgPTN files that are on the USB drive will be listed in the main form (you can view the E2B USB drive in Explorer also). Now you can double-click on a different .imgPTN file and switch the E2B drive to a different image partition file before ejecting the USB drive and connecting it to a UEFI-system.

In other words, you don't need to run QEMU or MobaLiveCD.exe or boot it on a real system in MBR mode in order to select a .imgPTN file, so it is quicker and more convenient (as long as you have a Windows system handy)!

The app needs to be run in Admin mode and also requires the 'helper' utility getFileExtents.exe to be in the same folder because it is used by Switch_E2B.

If anyone wants to test it out, please use the Contact Me form.

The usual warnings about Beta versions and 'potentially destroying MBRs' etc. apply, though I have used it on my system many times and I have added many checks to ensure that 'Drive 0' is blocked! I haven't yet tested it under WinPE (msvbvm60.dll and the PE scripting component will probably be required) or Windows XP.

Leave feedback via the 'Reactions' buttons if you think this will be a useful addition and worth continuing development on. The two files will add 200K bytes to USB drive, though I haven't yet tried to reduce it's size.

Any suggestions for a better name are welcome too!