Friday, 31 August 2018

E2B v1.A1k Beta now available

Changes from previous Beta are:

1.A1k Beta

  • New grub4dos \grldr
  • E2B_Editor.exe bugfix for duplicate keyboard entries in dropdown list
  • F8 in Main Menu changed so does not reload grub4dos
  • Win10_PromptUser_for_XML_settings.mnu sample menu added
  • Small change to SysInfo2.hta
  • Small changes to ZZSubMenuAll.mnu
  • New Dweb-livedisk-900_2018_persistent.mnu sample menu file

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

New eBook 'How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot' now available

For those of you who cannot wait (all two of you!), I have made an early Release Candidate version of my new eBook available here and is currently at the reduced price of $6 (it will probably go up to $7 or maybe $10 soon though ;-).

The current version of the PDF is rev.0.3 but it may be revised in the next week or so to correct any typos, so keep the link that is emailed to you by Payhip so that you can click on it again in a few weeks time to download a newer revision for free.

This new eBook assumes that you are familiar with E2B already or that you have read the previous eBook.

It does not cover XP installs.

It is not yet 'advertised' on the E2B website as I want to get some initial feedback first, if possible.

Hope you find it useful.


Monday, 27 August 2018

E2B grub2 menu system v0.09 Beta released

If you previously tried the E2B grub2 menu system but could not get it to work (e.g. no payload files were listed in the menus), then please try the new Beta9 versions.

You will need to replace the old UEFI_GRUB2_PTN2_Beta8.imgPTNLBAa23 file with the new UEFI_GRUB2_PTN2_Beta9.imgPTNLBAa23 file.



This menu system allows you to UEFI or MBR boot to a grub2 menu and then directly boot to a large selection of (mainly Linux) ISO files.

It may be more suitable for linux users because you do not need to defragment the ISO files.

Monday, 20 August 2018

E2B v1.A1i/j Beta now available

This 1.A1j version now includes revised versions of the two .mnu files:

\_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files\Windows\WIN10_Prompt_for_PCNAME_and_UNAME.mnu
\_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files\Windows\WIN10_Prompt_for_UNAME_auto_serial_COMPNAME.mnu

and also makes use of a new grub4dos batch file farxml.g4b (find-and-replace in XML).

farxml.g4b accepts three input parameters:

Sunday, 19 August 2018

E2B v1.A1h Beta now available with new default background

You can download E2B v1.A1h here. It includes the new default background file.

eBook #2 (in PDF format)

The first draft revision of the eBook #2 is entitled 'How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot' and mainly deals with the various scenarios for installing Windows 10 from E2B.
It goes into some detail about the Windows Setup stages and XML configuration files, as well as how to automate a Windows 10 build. Windows XP is not covered.

The eBook contents are listed below:

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Vote for the next default background for E2B v1.A1

It's that time of year when E2B has a default background change.

Here are some candidates:

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Quickly build a versatile WinPE ISO file with just a few clicks (AOMEI Windows PE Builder)

By using the AOMEI Windows PE Builder (free 30-day trial version), we can quickly build a useful 32-bit or 64-bit WinPE ISO in just a few minutes and with just a few clicks.

Note: I recommend building first the 32-bit ISO because the 64-bit version will not contain WoW64 and so will not be able to run 32-bit applications such as PortableApps (but you can add Desktop shortcuts to 32-bit and 64-bit apps in the \AIO folder using PEStartUp).

Also, because the WinPE has no added extra Windows components, some added portable applications (such as Chrome, Opera and Mozilla, etc.) may not run correctly (e.g. 'couldn't load XPCOM' error). The provided QtWeb browser Desktop link does work however.

Quick Instructions

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Bugfix in WinNTSetup v3.9.1

JFX's WinNTSetup.exe Windows utility can be used to install Windows directly from a Windows Install .ISO or .WIM or .ESD file.

You can format existing partitions first using the 'F' button, but if you want to delete\make partitions, you had to run Diskpart manually first.



WinNTSetup does also support command line switches too, so you could use it to automate a Windows install using a diskpart script and then run WiNNTSetup.exe with some command line parameters.

One advantage of using WinNTSetup instead of Windows Setup is that you can install a UEFI-enabled version of Windows from an MBR boot, you can also install a 64-bit UEFI version of Windows onto the target hard disk even if you are booting from a 32-bit MBR system, e.g.

1. Boot to WinPE 32-bit (I use a Windows 10 install ISO on E2B and hit ENTER to run it in 'Repair' mode). You can also boot to WindowsToGo or some other WinPE instead.
2. Press SHIFT+F10 to get a command console window open (after selecting Country\Language)
3. Use Diskpart to wipe\partition the target system
4. Run WinNTSetup (32-bit version) from the E2B USB drive, select any ISO from the E2B drive (from any folder or partition), select the Windows Edition and target disk volumes and then install Windows. You can instruct WinNTSetup to install for UEFI or MBR booting or both (or ask it not to install any bootmgr boot code).

Note: You can also specify an XML file (e.g. SDI_CHOCO XML file) and tweak some Windows settings using WinNTSetup, but note that if you use an XML file, the Edition that is installed (Home, Pro, etc.) is determined by the setting in WinNTSetup and NOT the XML file - so make sure you set the Edition that you want to install in WinNTSetup's 'Edition' drop-down list before you click on the 'Setup' button!

Secret WinNTSetup feature!

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Special Offer - X-Way Forensics course for $30

For a 2-week period, Brett Shavers is offering us his X-Way Forensics course for $29.99.

Play the introductory videos (click on the Introduction link on the right-hand side of page for a 2nd video) to learn more.

Note: I have not personally taken the course myself. I am just bringing this special offer to your attention. If you have followed the course yourself, please let us all know what you thought of it.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

E2B v1.A1e/f/g Beta with new Windows All-In-One Install menu

This version now allows the user to add a \_ISO\WINDOWS\WINAIO folder which can be used to hold Windows All-In-One Install ISOs and .imgPTN files.

v1.A1g with improved language files + tweaks + Server 2016 hotkey changed from 6 to D. Some .hdr files now removed and MenuWinInstall.hdr added.



As using AIO ISO files can be unpredictable, if you find that they don't work, then you should convert them to .imgPTN files.

Note that the Menu entry and Menu Heading for the new WINAIO folder has been added to each of the STRINGS.txt files.

If you want to change these entries, create a new language folder and change the LANG variable to your new language (e.g.  ENG1).

If you have a translation for the new strings, please send a new STRINGS.txt file to me. The three new strings are:

# New for E2B v1.A1
$$STRhAIO=Windows AIO install
$$STRl0AI=^A Install Windows AIO    [A] (%CIO% present)\nInstall Windows All-in-One
$$STRl1AI=Install Windows AIO\nInstall Windows All-In-One

Please let me know if you spot a bug!

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

How to set the Computer Serial number as the ComputerName - Take 2!

This method has the advantage that you can check what the auto-generated ComputerName+SerialNumber is going to be before the install is actually started and can then  change it if required.

The Sample .mnu file 'WIN10_Prompt_for_PCNAME_and_UNAME.mnu' will allow the user to specify the UserName and ComputerName before the Windows Install ISO is run. It then copies your XML file to a BLANK.XML file and modifies it to use the new User and Computer Names that you have specified.

This is useful because you don't need to choose an XML file or an ISO file as they are already pre-defined in the .mnu file. You just boot, enter in the UserName and ComputerName that you want, and the rest of the build is fully automated. If you are using SDI_CHOCO, it even adds drivers and applications automatically too.

However, if you want the ComputerName to include the System Serial number (for instance), you would have to carefully type it in manually when prompted (assuming you knew what it was!).

I have now made a new version of this .mnu file so that it will automatically modify the XML file's ComputerName field with the System Serial number (e.g. PC-1234546) for you! It works in a very similar way to the WIN10_Prompt_for_PCNAME_and_UNAME.mnu, but two boots are required.

Tip: If you run \_ISO\docs\SysInfo\sysinfo2.hta from the E2B drive under Windows, it will list the DMI values held in the Mainboard of the system.

It works in 2 stages like this:

Changing the Windows ComputerName after installation (e.g. to contain the system Serial Number)

It is often the case that the System Admin wants the Windows ComputerName to reflect some aspect of the system itself, such as the system serial number or DELL Service Tag (7,10 or 11 characters) or perhaps the MAC address of the Ethernet adapter.

The main problem is that the Serial Number of the target system cannot be determined until after Setup (WinPE) has booted.

I wanted to try to alter the ComputerName during an automated SDI_CHOCO install using Easy2Boot and a Windows 10 ISO + XML file...

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

E2B v1.A1d Beta available

Download v1.A1d

Here are changes from v1.A0 (italic font = new changes added since v1.A1c Beta)
  • Added 'WARNING: Some types of AV software can cause ChocBox.cmd to run extremely slowly' to chockbox.cmd. 
  • Improve Adjust_E2B_Menu.mnu sample menu file - the user can change menu settings, etc. from within a single menu.
  • Added \_ISO\docs\Multiple Backgrounds folder - read the ReadMe.txt file and use the ready-made files included. 
  • Menu wallpaper files which are automatically used as wallpaper file can now have .jpg file extension as well as .bmp, e.g. \_ISO\WIN10.jpg, \_ISO\DOS.jpg.
  • PimpMyDrive.cmd now adds Adjust_E2B_Menu.mnu - some of the other menus are now not added to make the Main menu tidier.
  • Sub-menu files \_ISO\xxxx.g4b, .bmp and .jpg are now automatically used if they are present (e.g. \_ISO\ANTIVIRUS.jpg will be automatically used when the AntiVirus menu is loaded)
  • SUB_MENU_Maker.cmd file also added to into the \_ISO folder for user convenience (same file as \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\E2B SUBMENU Maker.cmd).
  • PatchMe script updated to suppress the 'A20 Debug' message on bootup.
  • .bat, .xml and .bak files are now ignored if they are in a menu folder.
  • .jpg and .bmp files can be placed in menu folders and they will be loaded as background wallpaper when selected by user from the menu.
  • .f24 and .uni.gz font files can be placed in menu folders and they will be loaded as new font when selected by user from the menu.
  • Few very minor bug fixes.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Make your own E2B 'Launcher' utility

Linasoft's AutoPlay Menu Builder can be used to create your own 'Launcher' executable. You can use an existing template and then make changes to it - perhaps change the language, etc. or add more items.

Although originally intended to create auturun.exe + autorun.inf files for use with CDs that would auto-run when inserted into a computer's CD-ROM drive, it is a useful application to create your own 'Launcher' utility for E2B too (it makes a Windows .exe executable).

Here is a screenshot my current E2B Helper:

Sunday, 5 August 2018

E2B eBook progress report

The 'How to make a multiboot USB drive using Easy2Book' eBook has proved far more popular than I ever imagined!

I thought that it might have interested only 10-20 people at most, but since mid-June I have now sold over 100 copies which really surprised me, but it's very nice to know that all my efforts were worth it! The 130pp book took me over 3 weeks from start to finish (sometimes with a 12-hour day and some weeks were 7-day weeks!). After writing the first draft, I carefully followed all the exercises myself to look for any problems in the instructions and I also added screenshots and diagrams. Glen kindly proof-read many drafts and final revisions and since then I have updated and improved the PDF - the latest version is now v2.3.

However, I have had very little feedback on the eBook, so maybe nobody has actually read it yet or they fell asleep trying to read it!

Version 2.3

If you still have the original receipt email from Payhip, you can re-download a later revision of the PDF for free (contact me if you have problems).

If you would like a version in ePub (.epub) form for your eBook reader device, please contact me. I do have a .epub file of v2.3 but it is not quite as nice as the PDF due to the limitations of the epub format.

eBook #2?

I am now thinking about writing another E2B eBook and there are a number of possible topics, three of which are listed below.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

E2B v1.A1b and c Beta now available

v1.A1c

  • Adjust_E2B_Menu.mnu has been improved so it is now loaded as a separate menu.
  • PimpMyDrive.cmd now adds Adjust_E2B_Menu.mnu to the PIMP folder.
  • E2B now automatically looks for menu wallpaper files for each sub-menu (see below). Now you can just add .bmp or .jpg files and they will automatically be used for the background image for that menu - no .mnu files are required.