Tuesday, 15 January 2019

E2B v1.A8 is now released!

The new v1.A8.exe download is released and can be downloaded here.

It can also be used to update the DPMS version of E2B.

The E2B website will be updated with this new version in a day or so.

Note: If you updated to RC1 previously, you may find two copies of Memtest86 (MBR+UEFI) in the \_ISO\UTILITIES_MEMTEST folder, delete the Memtest86 (MBR+UEFI).imgPTN file and keep the Passmark Memtest86 (MBR_UEFI).imgPTN file.

I have also updated the two E2B eBooks. You can use the link in your confirmation email to download the new version(s) if you wish. The changes are very minor and just add that you may no longer need a WinHelper flash drive if your E2B drive is of the fixed-disk type.

List of changes since v1.A7:

Sunday, 13 January 2019

E2B v1.A8 Release Candidate 1 now available

v1.A8_RC1 is now available for testing.

E2B v1.A8 RC1
Press ENTER to Skip WIMBOOT if it causes a problem (e.g. <1GB RAM)

List of changes since v1.A7:

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Has anyone ever seen this error when using E2B?

One user gets this error after selecting any .imgPTN file...



I have never seen it so I would like to know if anyone else is having problems with .imgPTN files before I release the new version of E2B.

You can email me at steve (at) easy2boot (dot) com.

Friday, 11 January 2019

E2B v1.A8j Beta available

v1.A8j Beta has a few more tweaks and a new default background.

Ctrl+F8 hotkey now reloads E2B (useful if the menu stops working properly due to a bad payload failing to boot).

Almost ready for release...

Thursday, 10 January 2019

E2B eBook New Year sale ends Sunday 13th January 2019

The 'Getting started with E2B' eBook is currently available at a reduced price of only $5.

If you also purchase the 'How install Windows' eBook, you can get them both for $11.69 (inc. discount).

Click here for details.

I intend to update both eBooks soon to incorporate the new changes in E2B v1.A8. If you purchase them now, you can get up to 4 revised versions as they become available, by using the email link that will be sent to you at the time of purchase.

E2B v1.A8h Beta now available

v1.A8h - A few more tweaks. Ready for release soon, I think!

I am keen to fully release it because it means USB Hard Disks can now directly boot Windows Install ISOs without needing a WinHelper USB Removable flash drive - also testing them in a VM is now easy!


Wednesday, 9 January 2019

E2B v1.A8f/g Beta available

This Beta v1.A8f  has extra code so that typical All-In-One ISOs such as the Murphy Install ISOs will hopefully 'just work' when placed either a standard menu folder or one of the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxxx folders. This means you can run a 'Murphy's 24-in-One Windows Install ISO' and his scripts will run correctly.

Note: v1.A8g has a couple of bug fixes: (1) XP install using WinPE now can use WIMBOOT, (2) repair option when user hits ENTER when selecting Windows 8/10 install ISO now works, (3) .iso01 file extension fixed.

I have been experimenting with the startup files in WinPE but found there is a lot of bad, inaccurate and misleading information about the WinPE startup process on the web! I could not find a complete and accurate description or flowchart anywhere, even the Microsoft documentation was inaccurate (no surprise there then)!

I think I have now worked out how WinPE actually starts up and how the various files are used.

I have done quite a bit of testing using Windows Install ISOs...

The 'correct' WinPE startup process!

Sunday, 6 January 2019

E2B v1.A8e available

This version v1.A8e has a few more tweaks including a fix for Setup giving a 'We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one" error which prevents installing from a Windows ISO when booted from a standard folder.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

E2B v1.A8d updated

Version v1.A8d was updated on 2019-01-05 for language strings + other tweaks. Please download it again and update your E2B drive.

Version v1.A8e has a few more tweaks including a fix for Setup giving a 'We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one" error which prevents installing from a Windows ISO when booted from a standard folder. It turns out this error message which you see when selecting a drive to install to at the beginning of Setup, is due to Windows Setup identifying the Removable USB flash drive as the 'boot' disk or 'system' disk - Windows needs to install the boot files to the 'boot disk' of the PC but it refuses if it thinks that a Removable drive is the boot disk. The usual fix is to remove all other Removable media, including SD cards and other USB drives, then switch off (not restart) and on again.This is also the reason why sometimes you can install Windows using a USB hard disk, but when you reboot, you find that the boot files have been installed onto the USB hard disk instead of the internal 'first' hard disk - and the system will only boot to Windows if you boot from the USB hard disk!

One main difference is that if set NOHELPER=1 in your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file, then WIMBOOT will not be used if there is not sufficient RAM in the system (Vista requires 800MB, Win8/10 requires approx 1.3GB).

NOHELPER is a variable which means that your USB drive is of the Removable type (hence E2B does not need to look for a WinHelper flash drive). It is usually set by the Make_E2B .exe or .cmd file when you make the E2B USB drive.

WIMBOOT will still be used if you place your Windows Install ISO in a normal E2B menu folder however.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

E2B v1.A8c/d Betas now available

This version v1.A8c  now has support for the .isoPELD and isoPELD1 file extension.

Also version v1.A8d now includes support for dual-architecture 32\64-bit Windows Install ISOs with WIMBOOT. Note: v1.A8d was updated on 2019-01-05 for language strings + other tweaks.

Using the .isoPELD file extension causes an ISO containing a \sources\boot.wim file to boot as usual, but then uses WIMBOOT and ImDisk to load the ISO as a Virtual CD\DVD (usually as drive Y:) so that the files inside the ISO are automatically available to WinPE. .isoPELD runs image #2 in boot.wim while .isoPELD1 runs image #1 in boot.wim. I have not actually found a use for these yet however!

This new Beta version also fixes some typos in all the Sample Disk1 XML files for use with VMs. It seems that Setup is case-sensitive and I had accidentally used...

<Diskid>1</DiskID>

instead of

<DiskID>1</DiskID>

which causes Setup to complain about a bad XML file at line xx in C:\AutoUnattend.xml!

By using VirtualBox+VMUB and the Disk1 XML files, you can now test out an automated install (including an SDI_CHOCO install). Note that you need to allocate 1.5GB or more of RAM to the VM.

See also the previous blog for other changes.

Brief instructions for testing an SDI_CHOCO installation under VBox

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

E2B v1.A8b/c Beta now available

This version v1.A8c should now automatically boot Windows Install ISOs (Vista to Server 2019, but not dual 32\64-bit ISOs) from any of the E2B menu folders.

The E2B USB drive does not need to be of the Removable type.

For example, just copy your Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10 install ISO to the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder.

\_ISO\MAINMENU\Windows 10 1809 64-bit UK NCQ.iso

The ISO does not need to be (very) contiguous, so you can prevent E2B from complaining if it is not contiguous and prevent it from showing the usual E2B messages and prompts by ensuring the name ends in 'NCQ.iso'.  You can instead use .isodef as a file extension to suppress E2B suggestions but E2B will expect the file to be contiguous and may complain if it is not!

The file name can contain spaces if you wish or you can make a matching .txt file for it in the usual way.

Note that for Win8, 8.1 and early Win 10 ISOs, you will need to input a generic installation Product Key when prompted by Windows Setup. You cannot specify an XML file (place the ISO file in one of the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx folders if you want to use an XML file and suppress the Product Key prompt).

Let me know if you find any issues...