Monday, 3 August 2020

agFM v1.56 now available

Anwar has discovered a bug where agFM (MBR grub2 only) can report a contiguous file as being non-contiguous.

agFM v1.56 - changes from v1.55 are...
  1. SAMPLE_startup_menu.txt revised - now only shows 'Restore E2B Partitions' menu entry when the backup partition is a valid MBR.
  2. Bugfix in agFM MBR code (grubfm.iso) to fix issue of some files reported as not contiguous (thanks to Anwar for reporting bug).
  3. Latest agFM build with various bug-fixes.
  4. Variable 'hires' (set hires=1) can now be set in your menu so that WinPE runs at highest screen resolution available (e.g. set in in startup_menu.txt). Setting this may cause virtual machines to default to their highest resolution but it should be OK to set the hires variable when booting from real systems.
  5. The wimboot code has changed - do not specify bcd, boot.sdi or bootmgr files in wimboot command list as they are not needed. MBR\Legacy also uses the wimboot command now.
The new v1.56 version of E2B agFM can be found here. Just unzip the file directly onto the second FAT32 partition to update from v1.55.

The Update download is still 1.55 and will be updated in a few days to 1.56.

Friday, 31 July 2020

UEFI Secure Boot is in chaos!

As you may be aware, the agFM grub2 boot files which are added to the second FAT32 partition when you make an Easy2Boot v2 USB drive uses a Kaspersky shim to load the a1ive grub2 kernel.

Because the Kaspersky shim is signed, it means  that it can load the grub2 kernel which can then effectively disable Secure Boot!

This allows us to boot an insecure grub2 kernel and we can do pretty much anything we like to the system, including booting to non-secure OS's!

This loophole was reported to Microsoft last year (if not before!) and Microsoft tried to fix it using a Windows Update KB which was rolled out to all Windows 10 systems earlier this year. The 'hotfix' added an entry into the UEFI firmware dbx 'blacklist' of the BIOS. Thus the signed Kaspersky shim file was blacklisted by the UEFI BIOS.

Unfortunately, the KB hotfix caused problems with many systems because the same signed Kaspersky shim was used by some OEMs as standard - so these systems suddenly refused to Secure UEFI-boot after the Microsoft Update was applied!

So Microsoft quickly reversed the KB Kaspersky hotfix part in the next hotfix removed the blacklist dbx entry from the UEFI BIOS again. So - assuming you could get your system to non-secure boot by disabling Secure Boot in the BIOS, you could do a Windows Update and then re-enable Secure Boot again. Of course, your system would still be vulnerable though.

Since then it seems Microsoft, Linux developers and grub2 developers have actually bothered to look at and analyse the shims and grub2 code which they are getting signed and have found a large number of other vulnerabilities too!  To me this raises a number of questions about the Microsoft Secure Boot signing process:
  1. What did Microsoft actually do when they signed Secure Boot files - just accept a huge amount of $$$ and sign any old boot file without bothering to fully analyse it?
  2. Why does everyone insist that Open Source code is so desirable when there has been gaping security holes in grub2 for years?
A recent number of these vulnerabilities have now been fixed in grub2, but updating systems is not going to be easy! We cannot simply blacklist all current and older versions of grub2 by adding entries to the UEFI dbx blacklist. This would prevent any OS on older drives, backups, old install media, USB drives, PXE servers, etc. from Secure Booting because they would still contain the old, blacklisted, grub2 signed UEFI boot files. See the 'mitigation' section of this article for more details.

For the complete picture, read the whole article here.

Note also that very new linux/grub2 OS's (install ISOs and updates) may have these new 'fixes' added and it may prevent them from UEFI Secure booting and in some cases even non-Secure UEFI booting then fails!...

July 30 Important Update

Some of the Linux distribution updates appear to be leading to unsuccessful reboots. The developers and distribution maintainers are working to provide new updates. The maintainers are recommending to avoid installing updates for grub2, shim, and other bootloader-related applications until new packages are available. Some of the issues to watch are listed below:

Monday, 20 July 2020

Easy2Boot eBooks (PDFs) are now all $5

The E2B eBooks are now all reduced to only $5 each again. If you have not yet read all of them then now is your chance!

  • E2B #1: How to make a multiboot USB drive using Easy2Boot
  • E2B #2: How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot
  • E2B #3: How to make a UEFI multi-boot Easy2Boot USB drive
  • E2B #4: UEFI-multiboot using the a1ive grub2 File Manager 
  • Getting started with grub4dos
There are some user comments\reviews on the E2B sites Guest Book page if you want to see what others thought of them.

Updates are free. Just use the download link that is emailed to you again to check for later versions.

Friday, 17 July 2020

re. Fixing faulty computers

This is just a quick blog post to say 'Hi'. I have been busy doing other things recently (like playing with my new IODD Mini SSD - Amazon link which is performing very well) so I have not been spending much time on E2B.

In my few moments of free time, I have been enjoying watching Adamant IT  repair shop YouTube videos which are quite entertaining. He has videos on 'live' repair and also 'live' PC builds as well as reviews, etc.

Although I have retired from repairing/building/developing PCs and Notebooks now, unless they have changed a lot in the last 6 years or so, I thought I would go through what I tended to do to diagnose and fix PCs\Notebooks.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Add Medicat 2020 to your Zalman\IODD disk

The Medicat 20.05 download comes as a .BIN file which contains a 512-byte header file which is only recognised by a few utilities such as OSFMounter and ImageUSB by Passmark.

Here is how to convert it to a VHD file which is suitable for loading via your Zalman\IODD device.

Note: For medicat.20.06.1.img - from here - I used BitTorrent and then just copied the .img file to my IODD\Zalman and renamed it to medicat.20.06.1.vhd. You can then mount it as a virtual drive.

Instructions for medicat 20.05  .bin file

Thursday, 25 June 2020

COMSS 2020-06 multiboot ISO now available (Ru/Eng)

The COMSS 2020-06 multiboot utility ISO is now available. There is a Lite version and a 'full fat' version. The initial menu prompts you to select either Russian or English at the start.

New in version 2020-06:

Monday, 22 June 2020

Add the new 2020 Medicat to your E2B USB drive

The release of Medicat 20.05 is rather odd. It is intended that you make a Medicat 64GB or larger USB drive from it and it is not suitable for multibooting.

The new Medicat only supports 64-bit CPUs. It is based on Ventoy which requires two particular partitions in a specific order and the download is a PassMark .bin file which has a 512-byte header portion and so it cannot be treated as a VHD file or normal disk image file which we can use with a Zalman\IODD virtual drive emulator.

The main Medicat ISO is inside the image and contains the WinPE .wim file.
When Medicat boots, it will look for the USB drive and mount the USB drive as Y:.
It then expects to find program folders under Y:\Programs and the PortableApps programs under the Y:\PortableApps folder.

There are other ISOs within the image and Ventoy is used to boot them. We can extract these other ISO files from the .bin image and simply copy them to our E2B USB drive.

medicat 20.06 is a .img file. It does not have the 512-byte header and can be renamed to .VHD for use with a Zalman\IODD. However it does not boot correctly as a .vhd using E2B and so must also be converted as below if using it on an E2B USB drive.


Friday, 12 June 2020

E2B reaches 1/2 million downloads per year!

I just noticed today that since I started using Fosshub to host the E2B downloads in June 2019, the download counter for E2B has now reached over 500,000 downloads!

I can also tell that in the last 30 days, the Make_E2B.cmd file that is used to make a new E2B USB drive, has been run over 63,000 times (it downloads a file to notify the user of the latest version of E2B) and that the agFM UEFI files have been downloaded over 19,000 times in 30 days.

Boot any ISO from the IODD Mini USB SSD CD\DVD drive emulator


The IODD Mini #ad  SSD CD\DVD drive emulator is a solid-state version of the IODD 2531 and 2541.
You can see from the picture below that it is approx 9cm x 4cm in size and will easily fit in a pocket.

Note: This IODD Mini was supplied to me by IODD for evaluation and feedback.

In fact, the white 1m USB 3 cable (micro-B USB 3 to Type A USB 3) that comes with it, is larger and bulkier than the device itself.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Kon-Boot v3.5 now allows us to use larger E2B USB drives

If you buy a licensed version of Kon-Boot v3.5, you can now use it with large USB drives (previously we were limited to drives of 16GB or less).

This means you can now licence a 128GB or 256GB SanDisk USB E2B flash drive or even a 2TB USB Hard Drive.

Once you have installed Kon-Boot, you can backup the files, re-format the drive as an E2B drive and then copy back on the special encrypted EFI boot file made by the Kon-Boot .exe installer.

If you have already purchased a Kon-Boot licence and have activated it on a small USB flash drive (<16GB) then you cannot switch the licence to a different USB drive - you must purchase a new licence for each drive you want to use Kon-Boot with because the USB Vendor, Product ID and Serial Number of the USB drive is encrypted into the boot file the first time you make a Kon-Boot USB drive. The same USB drive values are recorded on their server for each licence number.

Details of how to add the licensed Kon-Boot UEFI boot files to an E2B v2 USB drive are in eBook #4.

You can instead just make a FAT32 .imgPTN or .imgPTN23 file from the files on the Kon-Boot USB drive. Make sure the volume name is KONBOOT once it is switched-in.

Note: E2B+agFM allows you to Secure Boot without needing to purchase the more expensive 'commercial' Kon-Boot licence. However, Windows 10 (UEFI) online account bypass support is only included with the full Kon-Boot commercial licence.

If you see this, the licence details does not match the USB drive ID!

Monday, 8 June 2020

agFM v1.55 available


  1. Remove HDCLONE menu from startup_default.cfg menu
  2. Improve 'Restore E2B partitions' detection menu entry so does not appear if no valid backup
  3. Update to latest a1ive grub2\grubfm version
To download and update run \e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd from the second agFM partition.


For simple ISO and VHD booting, this neat little USB 3 SSD AES256-bit encrypted drive is hard to beat! Just select the ISO\VHD on the display and boot. VHD files can be set to emulate a fixed or removable USB drive and you can write-protect it too if you wish. You can also set the whole SSD drive in the same way, so you can have a 512GB Removable USB 3 SSD drive or a write-protected 512GB Fixed disk or any combination thereof.

P.S. I just received an IODD Mini 512GB SSD drive from IODD for evaluation. So please let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover. So far I am impressed! It is quite small, fast and seems to work well.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

E2B v2.04 and agFM v1.54 released

E2B v2.04
1. Bugfix for Windows Install + UEFI agFM imdisk error
2. Danish keyboard scan file added
3. Strelec ISO direct boot (.isowin)
4. Support .isoventoy file extension
5. Update E2B now updates agFM partition

a1ive agFM v1.52
1. Support .isoventoy file extension
2. Update to latest grubfm version
3. WinPE ISO files have extra 'choose wim' boot option

a1ive agFM v1.53
1. Bugfix - Setup.exe restarts if parentheses (  ) in filename of Windows Install ISO - now fixed

a1ive agFM v1.54
1. Bugfix - .imgptn files not listed if Secondary Menu option enabled in F4 menu

Monday, 1 June 2020

E2B v2.04d fixes 'imdisk' bug when installing Windows from agFM

If you are using agFM v1.50 or later and are using a Removable USB drive for E2B, then you will find that the Windows Install from ISO function using agFM stops with an 'imdisk' error if you also use an XML file.

This is due to agFM actually using ImDisk to mount the ISO now (since v1.50) and so the E2B cmd file tries to install imdisk again.

If you are using a USB Fixed disk for E2B then you won't see this error.

This bug is fixed if you update to E2B v2.04d.

I will release E2B v2.04 very soon, so please let me know if you find any issues with it.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

E2B eBooks special offer ends tomorrow - SORRY - TOO LATE NOW!

Some of the eBooks were previously priced at $6.99, $7 and $10 but for the month of May the price was reduced to just $5 each. If you buy more than one eBook you get a 10% reduction on all eBooks in your Basket too.

This 'Corona' special offer ends tomorrow when the price will go up from $5 each to $6.99 each.

P.S. There are a few reviews about the eBooks on the GuestBook page if you want to see if they might be useful to you (and I didn't pay them to write that - honest!).

Friday, 29 May 2020

agFM v1.51 for E2B officially released

See previous blog article for details.
To update, you can now run  \e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd.

For best results, you should also download the latest Beta of E2B.

agFM eBook #4 v1.13 is now available (updated today).

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

agFM v1.51v2 Beta now available

Download from Alternate Download site as usual.

This version adds the ability to use a file with a .imgptnREP3 file extension (file must be on partition 3).

Changes from 1.50 (v1.51v2 changes in orange)
  • New search (F) button added (e.g. search for file types such a .iso, .wim). 
  • Boot Windows ISO option now runs X:\Setup.exe so that Repair option is offered if no XML file is specified. 
  • Allow use of file extension override suffixes (e.g. Medicat v18.10 stable_.isowin.iso) so extension can be kept as .iso but it will immediately boot with no secondary menu. 
  • Support _.winntsetup.iso file extension suffix for booting to Windows PE from Install ISO and directly loading the ISO into WinNTSetup.exe. 
  • Danish language. 
  • Ventoy boot option for ISOs added
  • Bugfix for Auxilliary partition image file not detected as hfs type 0xAF (e.g. MacOS..imgPTN23+MacOS.), 
  • .imgPTNrep3 file extension now supported (file must be in partition 3). 
  • Add a check to prevent one .imgPTN* file from being used if a .imgPTN* file has already been switched in (thus preventing the backup MBR from being overwritten). 
  • The 'Restore E2B Partitions' menu entry in the startup_default.cfg menu is now displayed whenever the MBR partition table contains a 'switched-in' .imgPTN image.

The .imgptnREP3 file extension allows you to replace partition 3 with any other image file.

I extracted the 10GB 3.hfs file from a Niresh Catalina.dmg file and renamed it.
When it is switched in to replace partition 3, I can use the agFM menu to boot from it (use F3) - you should also be able to directly boot to it from a Mac using its Clover boot manager.

You can thus  UEFI-install any MacOS from one E2B drive.

Please feedback any issues/successes/failures!

Saturday, 23 May 2020

agFM v.1.51v with Ventoy now available

A1ive has now added Ventoy v1.0.10 to the main build of agFM.

You can download the latest beta v1.51v from here.

The advantage of Ventoy is that it can work from a write-protected drive (but agFM requires writeable media for some functions) and the ISO files do not need to be made contiguous. It may also boot faster. The disadvantage is that it is relatively young and may have quite a few compatibility issues.

I have found that Ventoy does not seem to like UEFI-booting under VirtualBox, so if you experience any issues with the Ventoy boot option for ISOs, please test it on a real system.

Please note: There are three 'SKUs' of Ventoy v1.0.10:

1. Official Ventoy release from Ventoy website
2. Ventoy as added to A1ive grubfm
3. Ventoy as added to E2B+agFM

If you experience any issues on a real system with Ventoy, please first test by renaming \boot\grubfm\config on the agFM partition so that the E2B+agFM modifications are suppressed and thus you are testing the pure a1ive version of Ventoy.

Before reporting any Ventoy issues it is best to make an official Ventoy USB drive and re-test the same ISO on that and then report the issue to Ventoy via Make sure you clearly state what version you have tested (Ventoy USB drive, or A1ive Ventoy (no config file), or E2B agFM Ventoy) and also how you booted (MBR or UEFI) + make\model of target system.

Friday, 22 May 2020

New agFM v1.51 Beta and E2B v2.04c Beta available

I have made some tweaks to agFM so that it can now directly boot Strelec, DLCBoot, HBCDPE, Bob Omb's PE, Gandalf PE and Medicat ISOs - no secondary menu is presented if you use file extension override suffixes.

agFM now understands some file extension override suffixes (similar to E2B feature) - e.g.  filename_.override.iso

The special suffix tells E2B\agFM to boot it as if it had that file extension. This allows the file to still keep it's .iso file extension which is needed by some WinPEs to make them work correctly.

· Medicat v18.10 stable_.isowin64.iso
· Bob Omb's WinPE_.isomap64.iso
· DLCBoot WinPE_.isohw.iso
· Windows 10 x64 Eng_.winntsetup.iso

Currently isowin, isomap, isodef, isodefault, isoagfm, isoloop, isohw, isope and winntsetup are supported - with or without the four special suffixes 64, 32, 3GB, 4GB.

agFM v.1.51 
  • New search (F) button added (e.g. search for file types such a .iso, .wim from current folder). 
  • Boot Windows ISO option now runs X:\Setup.exe so that the Windows Repair option is offered if no XML file is specified. 
  • Allow use of file extension override suffixes (e.g. Medicat v18.10 stable_.isowin.iso) so extension can be kept as .iso but it will immediately boot with no secondary menu. 
  • Support _.winntsetup.iso file extension suffix for booting to Windows PE from Install ISO and directly loading the ISO into WinNTSetup.exe.
This should be used with E2B v2.04c Beta.

Check the Alternate Download site for these new versions (see top-left sidebar).

Full details are in eBook #4 on agFM v1.12 which I have just updated so you can download the new versions now.

Monday, 18 May 2020

E2B v2.04b Beta includes Danish language and keyboard + better Strelec ISO support

v2.04b Beta now includes the Danish language as an option.

If you want to boot to a Strelec ISO, try the extension .isowin. This should allow you to boot to the two Win10 WinPEs using the Easy2Boot menu system or using the agFM menu system.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Easy2Boot v2.03 released

  • a1ive grub2 File Manager.mnu and Enable or Disable UEFI Booting.mnu added to \_ISO\MAINMENU folder.
  • The three letters 'MBR' will be ignored if present anywhere in any file extension. This can be used to prevent agFM from listed these files. Useful if the files do not support UEFI-booting and only boot via the E2B menu system.
  • New version SWITCH_E2B.exe to fix small bug which affected the appearance only (not function). 
  • New default background
  • Update_E2B_Drive.cmd now will update agFM files if present. 
  • Internet ping test changed in MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd script in case ipv4 blocked. 
  • agFM Sample Mnu files folder added with examples files, 
  • WinContig files updated
  • Keyboard scan code files updated
  • KeyCheck.g4b test script added (type KeyCheck from grub4dos console and press down keys to get BIOS key status codes (e.g. NUM LOCK, CAPS LOCK, CTRL, etc.)
  • XP Step 1 now warns user if not enough memory to load XP ISO file into RAM
  • Example commented code added to SDI_CHOCO.cmd for detecting UEFI or MBR boot

64-bit Scraper cold-boot attack now available!

So the head of SMERSH switches off his password protected and BitLocker-protected PC and walks out of his office to go home for the night.

Stealing the hard drive will get you nowhere because it is encrypted.

But you quickly break into his office - remove the DIMM RAM sticks and plonk them into a flask of liquid Nitrogen and then go back to your secret base. After a few minutes you have collected all the bytes that were in that RAM into a file on your USB drive. Now you can analyse the file to find out what passwords and images, etc. were in his RAM just at the point he shut it down. For instance you could use PHOTOREC to find jpeg images or perhaps use some of the investigative tools in Kali Linux to find passwords or the BitLocker key?

Later you will return the DIMM sticks and no one will be any the wiser. If the BitLocker key or any passwords were found in memory, you could try them out and gain access to the encrypted hard drive too.

Up to now this was only possible for a maximum of 4GB because the 'scraper' code only worked as 32-bit code. However, Basel has now also compiled a 64-bit version for us which seems to work nicely!

My original blog was here and I have updated the original RMPrepUSB Article 124 to include a menu for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions that he has kindly provide - great work Basel!

So now even BitLocker will not protect you Colonel Niktin!

YouTube video of a Cold Boot Attack here.

P.S. A funny thing happened in the park this morning ...
The local park had just opened for the first time for ages (it had been closed due to Corona) and my brother took his collie dog there for a walk as he used to do in the pre-Corona days.
Once there, the dog had a great time and then she saw an old friend - a whippet that she loves to chase and play with. Then suddenly the whippet runs along and puts his foot in a rabbit hole or something and 'SNAP!' goes his right hind leg - broken!
Everyone came to his rescue and even a wheelbarrow was fetched by someone to transport him back to the car park and get him to the vets. No one blamed my brother or his dog - it was just a freak accident.
So my brother goes back to his car and there a middle-aged lady bends down to make a fuss of his collie dog when the lady stumbles, falls over and hits her head on a large stone on the ground. She was unconscious for quite a few seconds and took some more time to slowly come to her senses.
So after that, my brother drove home very slowly and carefully with his dog and they are both staying indoors all day just in case anything else happens! You couldn't make this up!

P.P.S. The vet set the dog's broken leg but unfortunately it later got infected and so had to be amputated. The dog has now been re-named as 'tripod'.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

New large font theme for agFM (and discovery of a bug in grub2 themes)

I was experimenting with some grub2 themes yesterday (to use a large font for partially sighted users) and I wanted to create a menu which had a different theme.

However, I noticed a strange problem - sometimes one icon would be missing from the menu list!

Friday, 8 May 2020

agFM v1.50 is now available

agFM v1.50 now can directly boot from DLCBoot ISOs such as DLCBoot2019_v3.6.iso.  Change the extension to .isowin for immediate booting on selection in the agFM menu.

So that it also works with E2B, you can use a filename ending in _.isohw.isowin.

This version also includes a version of grub2 with an enhanced echo command which allows you to easily output coloured text (see previous blog for details or eBook #4 which I have just updated to v1.11).

You can update agFM by running the \e2b\Update agFM\Download and Update agFM cmd file.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Add your own Help menu to agFM

If you have made your agFM MBR+UEFI-bootable USB stick, you might want to add some instructions for your users - or to act as a reminder for yourself on how to use the USB stick in case you forget in a few months time.

You could add a 'Help' menu entry to your Start-up menu and it could display help in the form of a jpg/bmp/png. For instance, you could write the help information in Word or PowerPoint, add your Logo or other graphics and diagrams, and then use a screen capture to save it as a 1024x768x24 colour .jpg file. Then you could simply display the jpg.

Another option would be to display text - perhaps in different colours too.

The following is an example help.cfg file which is saved in UTF-8 format (using Notepad) to preserve non-English glyphs. Note that if you use the text mode for your menu system (mymenu=3) then you should only use English ASCII characters, the background colours are restricted and graphics files (jpg/png/bmp) cannot be displayed.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

agFM v1.49 and E2B v2.03c are now available

agFM v1.49 has enhancements and it can now boot directly to Sergei Strelec ISOs. WinPE support has been improved. The extension .isowin (or .isowin64) may now also work for some WinPE ISOs - check the List of Tested Payloads (bottom of page) or eBook #4 (updated just now to v1.10) for the correct file extension to use if you want to skip the secondary menu.

UEFI64 booting should be a bit faster now too.

E2B v2.03c has also had a few changes too including a new default background.

Please feedback any comments.

Keep safe and don't forget to subscribe,

How to boot 64-bit Linux ISOs on a 32-bit UEFI system (such as the Asus T100)

Some systems such as the Asus T100 Transformer notebook range are a bit of an odd fish!

They have a 64-bit CPU but because they have limited SSD storage (e.g. 32GB or 64GB), the manufacturers use a 32-bit version of Windows. This means that because Microsoft insist that OEMs ship with Secure UEFI enabled, the manufacturers have to use 32-bit UEFI firmware.

In the case of the T100, the firmware does not support Legacy\MBR mode (no CSM option) so we usually need to find UEFI32 OS's.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

'Corona special offer' on E2B eBooks - now only $5 each

Some of the eBooks were previously priced at $6.99, $7 and $10.

I have now reduced the price so they are all only $5 each - you can also get a 10% discount on all of the eBooks when you purchase more than one (add one to the Basket and then you will see the others). Why not put down that game controller or 'Joy Stick' (well, that's what my wife calls it), and become a wizard of the USB stick instead?

This special offer will only be for a limited time so grab 'em while they're hot!

P.S. There are a few reviews about the eBooks on the GuestBook page if you want to see if they might be useful to you (and I didn't pay them to write that - honest!).

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

How to get Batocera working on your Easy2Boot USB drive

Batocera is a linux-based games emulator + KODI.


It can be downloaded as a .img.gz file and it is an image file which is intended to be written to a flash drive or SD card.

Here is how to get it working on your E2B drive:

1. Download the Desktop/Laptop version (x86 or x64) - I downloaded the x64 64-bit one.
2. Use 7zip to extract the vfat.img file
3. Drag-and-drop the vfat.img file onto the MPI Desktop shortcut (NOT the MPI_FAT32 shortcut).
When prompted by MPI, use the default answers (FAT32) but specify a Volume Name of BATOCERA. Syslinux 5 can be used when prompted. It won't hurt to increase the size of the image when asked either.
4. Run Make_Ext.exe on your E2B drive to add a new file named BATOCERA and create a large ext3 file with a Volume Name of SHARE.
The size can be 300MB or more (depending on what extra games or videos, etc. for KODI that you might want).
5. Copy the vfat.imgPTN file to the \_ISO\LINUX folder of your E2B drive.
6. Rename it to BATOCERA.imgPTN.
7. Copy the BATOCERA file to the same folder
8. Now run Make_This_Drive_Contiguous.cmd
9. Run SWITCH_E2B.exe and switch in the new files - accept the default of 0x83 for the partition type. Ignore the Windows complaints about the ext3 partition which it cannot access!
10. Now edit the \batocera-boot.conf file in the root of the new partition and change the autoresize setting from true to false:
# resize the internal partition if needed (disabled automatically once done)
11. Finally, double-check that the volume name is BATOCERA by right-clicking on the USB drive in Explorer (the 'vfat' one) and choosing Properties. If it says EASY2BOOT then change it to BATOCERA.

Now you can MBR\Legacy boot or UEFI-boot.

If you have E2B+agFM and it has three partitions, you can keep the second partition accessible, however you will need to rename the batocera.imgPTN file to give it a .imgPTN23 file extension and you will need to place the batocera file on the third partition.

Ptn1: \_ISO\LINUX\Batocera.imgPTN23
Ptn2: (agFM files)
Ptn3: \Batocera

Note: If you just use the .imgPTN23 file extension but do not move the Batocera file to the third partition, then it will not UEFI-boot.

Note: agFM v1.47 has a problem with .imgPTN files - use a newer version!

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

agFM v1.47 download now released

Just a quick note to say that agFM v1.47 (now 1.48 - discovered a bug in 1.47!) is now released which has the latest version of a1ive's grub2 with newer language files. You can update using the .cmd file in the \e2b folder.

The SAMPLE_startup_menu.txt file has also been updated slightly to include a fourth menu style (set mymenu=3). This sets a basic terminal (console) text mode. It has been found that using graphics modes can cause keyboard lockup issues on some systems (e.g. MacBook Pro) due to a long standing grub2 bug. The console mode does not suffer from this issue (it also loads faster), however it does not display any icons or wallpaper, only supports English (because no fonts can be loaded) and it is not as pretty!

I have also updated eBook #4 for agFM - it is now at version 1.9. Download the latest PDF using the link in the Payhip email that you should have received after purchase.

P.S. If you are a Windows 7 or 8 user, I have made available for download a batch file which will delete are re-make the second agFM partition of your E2B USB drive automatically. See the agFM page for more details. Note: It does NOT work under Windows 10.

Free eBook - Learn how to use and hack with Kali Linux

This link provided by ghacks - limited number.
eBook is 2019 version and 85MB.
You need to give a lot of your details though...

Learn about the latest ethical hacking tools and techniques in Kali Linux 2019 to perform penetration testing from scratch.
The current rise in hacking and security breaches makes it more important than ever to effectively pentest your environment, ensuring endpoint protection. This book will take you through the latest version of Kali Linux and help you use various tools and techniques to efficiently deal with crucial security aspects.
Through real-world examples, you’ll understand how to set up a lab and later explore core penetration testing concepts. Throughout the course of this book, you’ll get up to speed with gathering sensitive information and even discover different vulnerability assessment tools bundled in Kali Linux 2019. In later chapters, you’ll gain insights into concepts such as social engineering, attacking wireless networks, exploitation of web applications and remote access connections to further build on your pentesting skills. You’ll also focus on techniques such as bypassing controls, attacking the end user and maintaining persistence access through social media. Finally, this pentesting book covers best practices for performing complex penetration testing techniques in a highly secured environment.
By the end of this book, you’ll be able to use Kali Linux to detect vulnerabilities and secure your system by applying penetration testing techniques of varying complexity.
  • Get up and running with Kali Linux 2019.2
  • Gain comprehensive insights into security concepts such as social engineering, wireless network exploitation, and web application attacks
  • Learn to use Linux commands in the way ethical hackers do to gain control of your environment
Free offer expires 5/6/2020.

Monday, 27 April 2020

agFM v1.46 released

The new 1.46 version has a few changes/improvements:

  1. New agFM boot files (+ Ventoy support)
  2. Some partition references changed to use (e.g.)  hd0,1 instead of hd0,msdos1. This allows the E2B version of agFM to be used on non-legacy partition drives such as gpt drives. Note that some functions such as .imgPTN and .isodef (partnew) won't work on GPT drives and I don't support GPT drives!
  3. The variable grubfm_startbat can now be used to define a different start.bat file which is run at the start of Windows Setup. This just provides a way to 'hook' in a custom batch file and will not be of value to most users.
  4. SAMPLE_startup_menu.txt re-organised
  5. \grldr and \boot\grub\menu.lst file added to allow a system to MBR boot to the agFM partition and then load agFM (grub2).
  6. Some README files added to \boot\grubfm folder
  7. Load agFM startup menu.cfg copied to root of agFM folder to allow user to re-run the startup menu.
  8. Enable or Disable UEFI booting.mnu file added to \e2b folder (for copying to \_ISO\MAINMENU of partition 1 if required).
Item 5 above means that you may now be able to MBR-boot to agFM from the second partition (e.g. using the BIOS boot menu).

This is useful if you have switched in a .imgPTN23 file which does not contain grub4dos or the CSM menu. For instance, you can boot to agFM from the E2B menu. switch in a .imgPTN23 file (no checks are made as to what the new partition contains) and then from the agFM menu you can boot from a file on the new partition #1 or run a grub2 grub.cfg file from partition #1.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

How to fix the issue of the BIOS not listing an MBR\Legacy boot option to boot to the E2B menu

If your E2B USB drive now has a FAT32 partition with UEFI boot files in the \EFI boot folder, you may find that some systems will not offer you the choice to Legacy from your E2B USB drive (even though you have enabled CSM) - the only option is to UEFI-boot (or set the BIOS options to disable UEFI-booting) which may not be what you want to do on some occasions. You may need to run a Legacy payload using E2B.

Where is the Legacy boot option?
These buggy BIOSes do not present a Legacy-boot (unless you can change the BIOS options to disable UEFI-booting which sometimes is not possible).

We can however rename the \EFI folder on the 2nd FAT32 agFM partition and this will cause the BIOS pop-up boot menu to list the Legacy-boot option.

agFM v1.45 is now available

agFM v1.45 now supports non-USA keyboards - e.g. German QWERTZ keyboards or French AZERTY keyboards, etc.

To update, use the "\e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd" file.

By pressing F4 you can now set the keyboard type as well as the language.

The developer a1ive has done some great work in getting grub2 to support different keyboards. This is the first time that grub2 can support different keyboards and is reliable!

eBook 4 has also been updated with details of how to configure a language and keyboard type on startup.

P.S. If you have set the 'seven' or user 'slax' theme, then when you press F4 you will see a missing icon for the keyboard menu entry. To fix this, update the seven folder to the latest version (one icon gkb.png has now been added).

Friday, 24 April 2020

The unpleasant truth about Corona!

The Corona virus is highly infectious and can be passed on without the vector (the person spreading the infection) showing any symptoms at the time.

The other reason why this virus is so scary is that, unlike influenza, it can be fatal even to some young, fit and healthy individuals.

So, when considering any population (e.g. an island or a country or a state), the only way that the infection can be stopped is either a significant proportion of that population develops an immunity OR we quarantine EVERY INDIVIDUAL IN THE COUNTRY until there is no further sign of infection. If a population has been locked down in this way however, it only takes one 'foreign' visitor to re-infect the whole country again!

I say a 'significant number', because if an infected person arrives into the country from somewhere-land, they will only be able to pass on the virus if they come into contact with another person who is not already immune. So if 70% of the population are immune, then the virus is not likely to infect anyone else as long as the visitor is quarantined as soon as they show any symptoms (or at least only infect 1 or 2 others at most who are also quickly quarantined).

So, for the sake of argument, let us say that the critical point is when 70% of the population develop immunity, then we can all go back to living virtually normal lives and the virus should die out as it can only survive for approximately 72 hours (or just a few minutes if you stick them in a microwave!).

So how do we get a population which is 70% immune? 

Monday, 20 April 2020

How to easily customise all your WinPE ISOs - add your own Wallpaper, Portable Apps and Desktop shortcuts

So I have my E2B+agFM USB drive and it can Legacy and UEFI64-boot on (almost) any system, including Secure Boot.

The WinPE payloads on my USB drive include:

  • Bob Omb's WinPE
  • Medicat
  • DLCBoot 2019 (must use .cfg or .grubfm file)
  • Gandalf'sWin10PE
  • Hirens Boot CD PE
  • Sergei Strelecs Win8\10 PE (.imgPTN23)
  • and a few others

E2B Menu

agFM (UEFI64) menu

However, now some of these old Win PEs have applications which are a bit outdated.
Also, I would like to add more shortcuts to the Desktop for apps which I use frequently.
I would like to add some portable apps too.
Having one or two apps auto-start would be nice as would changing the wallpaper.
But the ISO cannot easily be changed - right?



By using the 'PE Startup.exe' written by the author of AIOBoot, I can boot to any of these WinPEs and instantly change all these things and add Portable Apps too.

Here is a screenshot of my Gandalf Redstone3 desktop (looks a bit different, doesn't it!):

To do this, you need to add the PEStartup files from Tutorial 143 on my website.
Extract the files to the root of the agFM FAT32 partition (or the 3rd partition if you have one). It would be better to use the 2nd FAT32 partition because it should always be present even when using .imgPTN23 files.

Quick Instructions

agFM v1.44 released

  • Latest grub2\agFM version
  • Fixes bug when ISO files which don't have a .iso file extension won't UEFI-boot (e.g. xxx.iso would boot but some xxx.isodef would not).
  • Additional types recognised, e.g. .isodef64
To update, run \e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM.cmd.

E2B v2.03a Beta is available

E2B v2.03a (Beta) just has a small tweak to QRUN.cmd so that any file which has the three letters 'MBR' (not case-sensitive) anywhere in it's extension can be used.

For example: any file with the file extension .isodef32MBR will be booted as if it had an extension of .isodef but will only be listed on systems with 32-bit CPUs (i.e. exactly the same as if it had a .isodef32 file extension).

.isoPEMBR == .isoPE

Note however, that you can't add 'MBR' into the file extensions of files which are under \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxxx folders as then they won't be seen by E2B. This trick only works in the standard E2B menu folders.

So what's the point of simply ignoring the three letters 'MBR' in a file extension?

Well, it means that the agFM file system will not list the file. So if you want to prevent any payload file from being listed in the agFM menu (e.g. when UEFI-booting to the agFM menu), then you simply add 'MBR' to the file extension.

This means that files which do not support UEFI-booting will not be listed in the agFM menu - e.g. DOS ISOs, DOS floppy images (.ima), old HBCD ISOs, etc.

'Great!' you may say, but how do I hide files from the E2B menu system? For instance, what if I have an ISO which does not support MBR booting at all and only UEFI-boots?

Well, you simply don't place it in an E2B menu folder. For instance, if you have a Linux ISO which does not MBR-boot, put it in a folder named \_ISO\LINUX\UEFI. If it only UEFI64-boots then use a .iso64 file extension or .isodef64 so that no secondary menu is shown.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

E2B v2.02 released

v2.02 is now live and is just a small update to E2B.

  • Latest WinContig.exe (small bugfixes wont affect 99.9% of users)
  • Add support for .isoagfm extension (same as .isodef)
  • Update new ChocBox.cmd and ChocolateStore.exe (now requires .Net 4.8)
  • Bugfix in Make USB cmd - if  user specifies 32GB FAT32 then it failed to format it.
If you want to install offline Chocolatey packages using the offline SDI_CHOCO install process, you will need to make the packages using ChocolateStore. However, it no longer worked because .Net 4.8 is now required to download the package files. The developer has just updated the executable, so now we are back in business.

In case you didn't know, once you have set up a Windows SDI_CHOCO configuration on your E2B drive, you can quickly install Windows with the correct locale/language/country options, Windows components, add extra missing drivers (auto-detected and installed), install applications (online or offline Chocolate) and your own app packages and tweak the final settings. During installation it actually speaks to you to let you know what's going on at each stage (if you have speakers connected).

Get the latest eBook revisions for free!

In case you didn't realise it, if you have purchased any eBooks, you can get the latest versions for free!

Just click on the download link sent to you by Payhip and you can download the latest version.

Up to 5 downloads per eBook are allowed, but if you need more, just let me know. The four E2B eBooks have all been updated just recently.
  • eBook #1: Getting started with Easy2Boot v2.17.pdf
  • eBook #2: How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot v1.6.pdf
  • eBook #3: How to make a UEFI multi-boot Easy2Boot USB drive v1.00.pdf
  • eBook #4: UEFI-multiboot using the a1ive grub2 File Manager v1.6.pdf
  • Getting started with grub4dos_v0.95.pdf

agFM 1.43 now available

v1.43 changes:
  • Special extensions (e.g. .iso3g, iso64, imgptn2364pwd) are now not listed in the agFM menu list if the criteria does not match
  • Fix for partition 4 needing to be erased after selecting an ISO using partnew\easy2boot option.
  • True Hide\Unhide .cfg files in \e2b\Sample agFM Menu files\MISC\
  • Latest grubfm
  • .iso323gb, .iso3gb, .iso4gb, .iso644gb extensions now recognised
  • F1 now displays total memory in system
  • if using 'pwd' string in the extension, you must set pwd variable in your user startup menu (e.g. set pwd="Hi Steve") - beware of incorrect keyboard scan codes if using AZERTY or QWERTZ keyboards!
To update, just run \e2b\Update agFM\Download and Update agFM.cmd.

File extension suffixes:

The order is critical for agFM:  23 AUTO 32\64 3GB\4GB pwd

The supported extra file extensions exist as files in the \boot\grubfm\types folder.

For example, if you have

  • \_ISO\LINUX\Ubuntux64.iso64
  • \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10\Windows 10 64-bit.iso64

then they will not be listed if you boot on a 32-bit system.

If you have

  • \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10\Windows 10 64-bit.iso4GB

then it will only be listed on a system which has 4GB or more of RAM.

  • \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10\Windows 10 32-bit.iso32 
will only be listed on a system with a 32-bit CPU.

Let me know if you have any problems.

Friday, 17 April 2020

agFM v1.42 available

agFM v1.42 adds these changes:

v1.42 2020-04-16 
  • Latest grub2 with new partnew command option and stat -r command
  • True Hide and True UnHide .cfg files to protect partitions 1 and 2 (experimental)
  • support .imgPTN extensions with 23, auto, 32\64, pwd, 3GB\4GB (must be in that order). Not all combinations are supported.

The website download will not be updated for a day or two.

supported .imgptn* extensions.


These files will be still listed in the agFM File Manager menu system but will not run if the system conditions do not match.

If you have '64' in the file extension then it will not load on a system with a 32-bit CPU.
If you have 3GB in the file extension then it won't load if the system has 4GB or more of memory.
If you have 4GB in the file extension then it won't load if the system has less than 4GB.
If you have 'pwd' in the file extension then you will need to enter a password. The password is set in your user startup menu - e.g. set pwd="secret123".

The True Hide and UnHide .cfg files are experimental. The True Hide will cause the NTFS ptn1 and the FAT32 ptn2 partitions to be inaccessible. You should still be able to UEFI-boot or MBR boot however. If you UEFI-boot to a True-Hidden drive, press F2 to get to the agFM menu and run the Unhide cfg file. Do not use these unless you are well experienced!
  • True Hide Ptn1 and Ptn2.cfg
  • True Unhide Ptn1 and Ptn2.cfg
True Hide protects the partition from being accessed\infected. You can still boot from a hidden partition and then unhide the partitions when you want to boot a (Windows) payload.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

a1ive grub2 File Manager v1.41 available

v1.41 2020-04-15 

  • Bugfix to allow non-contiguous Windows Install ISOs to run
  • Latest grub2/agFM from a1ive
  • A few French language corrections
Just run the update .cmd script from the agFM partition e2b folder to update.

Monday, 13 April 2020

a1ive grub2 File Manager v1.40 now available

To update run "\e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM.cmd" from the USB drive.

  • New initial startup menu
  • Latest agFM grub2
  • Improve French
  • Add "\e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd" for improved update experience so no 7z.exe and 7z.dll errors on update, etc.

The new startup menu is "\boot\grubfm\startup_default.cfg".  It has no timeout set and is in English.

If you create or have your own "\boot\grubfm\startup_menu.txt" file then the default startup_default.cfg file will not be used.

The new startup menu just lists the non-empty menu folders in \_ISO\ so the user can quickly access any of the files in each folder. If you have switched in a .imgPTN file, then the 'Restore E2B Partitions.cfg' file will also be listed.

Let me know if you like it. If you prefer to have no startup menu and just see a list of all the partitions as before, then just make an empty "\boot\grubfm\startup_menu.txt" file.

Note that the F1-F6 hotkeys will still work in this menu even though the small icons are not displayed.

If you want to 'tweak' this menu, just copy the startup_default.cfg file to startup_menu.txt and then edit the startup_menu.txt file.

Do NOT edit the startup_default.cfg file or the config file because the next time you update, they will be replaced!

Excellent new Decomputo YT video series in Spanish

In the past Decomputo has provided some excellent videos on E2B. Here is his latest one on E2B v2.

He promises more to come...

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Are you French, Korean, Japanese or Vietnamese? Please help!

The a1ive grub2 File Manager menu system is now available in more languages, thanks to some users adding translations in Crowdin. However, we still need your help.

Please refer to the previous blog for details of how to add a translation.

Friday, 10 April 2020

ChocBox.cmd script seems to be broken!

The ChocBox.cmd script allows you to make Chocolatey offline packages for the SDI_CHOCO install process.

This allows you to install Chocolatey packages without needing an internet connection.

You could run ChocBox.cmd (after installing chocolatey) on a Win10 system and it would download and make the package files.

It seems to be a powershell SSL issue and the ChocolateStore developer does not seem to be active, so I am a bit stuck!

UPDATE: The dev has fixed ChocolateStore.exe. Please update to E2B v2.02a Beta if you want to use ChocBox.cmd.

Hack into any Windows User Account from a UEFI Secure Boot

A cheaper (i.e. free, but less convenient) alternative to Kon-Boot, is to use the well-known UtilMan.exe hack to create a new Admin account.

Easy2Boot contains two XML files which allow you to semi-automate the hack process which works even on Windows 10 systems. It will backup the hacked files for you and automate the creation of a new ADMIN account. By using a different XML file, it will also undo the hack.

This should work on UEFI32, UEFI64 and MBR\Legacy systems.

Since we can usually Secure UEFI64 Boot to the agFM menu system, this means we can even hack a Secure Boot-enabled system (as long as the Kaspersky efi shim is not blacklisted in the target systems DBx UEFI firmware list!).

All we need is a WinPE or Windows Install ISO. I use a standard Windows 10 Install ISO because it will have the latest chipset and USB drivers in it and I can use the same ISO to re-install or repair Windows if I need to.


  1. E2B+agFM USB drive
  2. \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10\Windows10_x64.iso  (any WinPE\Win ISO should work)


We first need to reboot the Windows target system and configure it so that it will restart in Safe Mode on the next boot.

This is for two reasons:
  1. To ensure that Windows is not in a sleep (fast boot) or hibernate state.
  2. To boot to Windows in Safe Mode which temporarily disables Windows Defender and so prevents it from un-doing the UtilMan.exe file hack.
This can be done without needing to log in to any Windows account on the target system.

Once the Windows target system is set to boot into Safe Mode on the next boot, then we just need to UEFI-boot to E2B+agFM and select the Windows\WinPE ISO and the Load UtilMan - Hack Windows XML file...

After the files have been patched under WinPE, you will then reboot to Windows and type [WinKey]+U after booting into Safe Mode and then type 2 quickly...

Besides creating a new Admin account, it also launches the Window Control Panel password app. to allow you to change any account password.

For full step-by-step instructions, see the UtilMan Hack page on the E2B website.

P.S. The way to avoid this hack is to set a BIOS password, do not allow USB booting in the BIOS options or/and use BitLocker.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

How to UEFI64 Secure Boot to Kon-Boot and break into a Windows account without needing a password

The good thing about Kon-Boot is that is does not change any files on the target system disk - it is all done in memory.

However, the current Kon-Boot licensing system restricts you  into making licensed bootable USB Flash drive of only 16GB or less. This means that we cannot simply add the EFI boot files to a large 128GB Easy2Boot+agFM USB drive because the Kon-Boot EFI boot file is locked to the particular  <16GB USB drive that it is originally licensed to on first installation.

This 16GB limitation is apparently applied because some BIOSes will not successfully MBR-boot to grub4dos if the USB drive capacity is larger than 16GB. This was true on some very old systems about 20 years ago, but AFAIK, it is not required for systems that are in service today. So the limitation makes no practical sense to me, except to prevent more sales of Kon-Boot licences so that it can be installed onto larger USB drives including large Easy2Boot USB Flash drives and USB hard-disk drives! In fact, what is more important, is that they should create a second Primary partition on the USB drive because there are still systems about which require this for MBR\Legacy booting!

Since Kon-Boot v2.7 one purchased license allows user to install on one and only one selected USB pendrive. Meaning the newest version will be installed only on this one selected USB pendrive (newest Kon-Boot files will be generated only for this device and they will not be visible in the installation package). For usability purposes, older versions of Kon-Boot will be allowed to be installed on a separate USB pendrive.
In short the BIOS part version can be older, the UEFI kon-boot part gets updated and locked to the USB drive on installation.

Kon-Boot does not, per se, support Secure Boot...

However, we can make a 16GB  E2B+agFM USB Flash drive which can Secure Boot and break into Windows without needing a user password (as long as they don't use a Domain account and have USB Booting enabled in the BIOS settings).

I have included full details of how to make a Secure Boot version of Kon-Boot on an E2B+agFM USB drive in version 1.4 of eBook #4. So just use your confirmation email link to download the new version of the PDF.

Tip: You know it has worked if it takes 1-2 minutes to boot to Windows after this message!

If it boots very quickly then it hasn't worked (check there were no error messages displayed).

If you get a red 'Guru meditation' text screen, then you are not using the correct USB drive that you originally licensed - see FAQ.

P.S. I find that using a hacked Windows system can sometimes cause security issues with some apps and browsers, etc. So whether I use Kon-Boot or the UtilMan XML hack in Easy2Boot, once I get into Windows the first thing I do is make a new Admin account and then reboot (and undo any hack if required). I then have full admin access on an unhacked (unmodified) Windows system. The new Admin account can be removed after I have finished fixing the system or retrieving files, etc.