Monday, 4 July 2022

Don't miss the bargains on Amazon (12th July)

Amazon Prime Day is 12-13th July this year. There will be loads of special offers but only for Amazon Prime Members.

Membership costs $14.99 a month (£7.99 in UK) and you get free delivery and free Amazon Prime Video too.

Prices will be different in USA.

However, you get a free 30-day trial (#Ad), so sign up now and watch some movies, grab the bargains on July 12th/13th and then (if you really want to), cancel before the end of the month and it won't cost you a penny.

Sunday, 3 July 2022

You must check these four things on your computer at least once a year

If you have purchased a new computer, perhaps have built your own PC or have a PC/notebook which is over a year old, you should check these things now and at least once a year.

Introduction

Modern computers are able to monitor various temperatures, fan speeds and voltages throughout the system. You can easily download software to display these values (often the BIOS setup/configuration menu system will display them too). Using SMART, we can also find out about the health of our internal disk drives too.

If you have received a new or second-hand system recently, a typical problem is that during transportation, the CPU heatsink may have come loose. This would mean that your CPU will get too hot and when this happens, modern PCs will usually 'throttle back' and go slow to avoid permanent damage to the CPU. 

If you have a computer that is a few years old, the thermal paste between the CPU and the CPU heatsink may have dried out. Again, your CPU may be getting too hot.

Also, if your PC\Notebook is older than a year or so, it may have accumulated dust and cobwebs! This can seriously affect the air flow through the system and can thus cause the hard drives and CPU to overheat.

If you have overclocked your system, you will need to be particularly careful, because you are probably running it at at its maximum performance capabilities - any overheating may cause damage or a system crash!

Some monitoring programs which I recommend you to try are:

Saturday, 2 July 2022

How to fix Windows Startup program errors (e.g. HP printer drivers/programs)

 After uninstalling some programs from your Windows system, you may find that as soon as you log in to your Windows account, you see some Windows dialog boxes which are reporting missing programs or DLL files, etc.



This is usually because the Uninstaller has forgotten to remove all of the programs or services that it had originally installed and configured to run on startup. There are two types of mechanisms which could be causing this:

Thursday, 30 June 2022

agFM v1.81 released plus E2B Beta v2.14h (with DLC Boot 2022 v4.0/4.1 ISO support)

agFM v1.81 is now released and supports the latest DLC Boot 2022 ISO.

E2B v2.14h Beta is also available which also supports the June 2022 DLC ISO.



Monday, 27 June 2022

easy2boot.com now redirects to easy2boot.xyz

I have set up a redirect from the old .com site to the new WordPress easy2boot.xyz home page now and some of the old .com URLs will even redirect to the equivalent page on the xyz site!

Please let me know if you find any bad links!


Sunday, 26 June 2022

How to make $$$ for zero cost while you sleep!

Do you have some knowledge, information, know some 'secrets', hints and tips, great gluten-free recipes, good websites/blogs/social media sites/forums, etc. which may be valuable to others, then why not write some eBooks. Although I sell an eBook called 'How to make $1000 a month from the internet' for just $3 in my eBook store, I am going to show you how easy it is to sell eBooks world-wide for absolutely no cost and very little effort once it has been written and is set up for sale.

The great thing about eBooks is that it is passive selling. Once it is available for sale you just sit back - everything (sales, delivery, payment) is automatic and it is very simple to set up too!

If eBooks aren't your thing, musicians can sell their own music files, photographers can sell their photos and artists can sell their graphics downloads. You can make and sell courses and coaching products on a subscription basis too (typically using Zoom, setting milestones, etc.).

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Legacy-booting the RedHat Trial Beta RHEL 9 ISO (registration issue)

 A user reported that the trial version of RedHat RHEL 9 did not seem to work correctly when booted from an ISO file using E2B, agFM or Ventoy.

All seemed OK, except that the installer GUI did not seem to pick up the trial licence information and it required the user to register online using their RedHat login credentials before it would allow you to proceed...


To work around this issue, it was necessary to ensure that the legacy MBR Partition 4 Type number was not set to 0 so that the Linux OS would mount the ISO mapped to Partition 4 and would see the licence files.

E2B 2.14e Beta thus supports a new .iso83 file extension which works around this issue.

For more details see here and the Forum thread here.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Fix for the KINGS_OVERKILL USB drive not booting to the AMD files on Partition 3

I have updated the previous article with instructions on how to boot to the AMD test files on Partition 3 of the KINGS_OVERKILL USB drive.

So after fixing the problems, you can Legacy and UEFI-boot to the AMD graphics RAM test programs as well as the two nVidia RTX test images.

Please refer to the previous article here.

Adding the AMD files to an E2B drive

It is possible to add an image of the AMD large (60GB) ext4 Partition 3 to an E2B USB drive as a .imgPTNREP3 file (or a .imgPTN23 file but it would replace the E2B partition and you could not legacy boot from Partition 1).

Please contact me if you want a download link for my 63GB TEST_AMD_GPU_PTN3.imgPTNREP3 file (split into 17 x 2GB 7Zip files).

The method I used was as follows:

1. First ensure that the KINGS_OVERKILL USB drive will boot to Partition 3 correctly (Legacy and UEFI).

2. Use RMPrepUSB - Drive>File button to capture the whole of Partition 3 as a single file (a 60GB file!). Start P3, End P3, file start 0.

3. If your E2B USB drive is a large drive with 3 partitions, copy the image file you just made to E2B Partition 3 (NTFS) and name it something like TEST_AMD_GPU_PTN3.imgPTNREP3. As an alternative, you could just use Disk Genius to create a Primary Partition 3 on the E2B USB drive using the 3.pmf image file (not tested and you may have to fix up the fsck files as mentioned in the previous article!).

Here is the NTFS Partition 3 on my E2B USB drive (the large file must be defragmented - I used Defraggler for this)...

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Run nVidia/AMD GPU graphics memory tests from an Easy2Boot drive

 I recently came across a YouTube video which booted from a large dedicated USB drive to run Nvidia and AMD diagnostics using MATS and MODS.

Note: To get the Kings_Overkill USB drive fully working - scroll down!


The USB he created comprised of three separate Primary MBR partitions with each partition containing a separate set of bootable files:

  • Partition 1: nVidia RTX 30xx Series And Before 5GB
  • Partition 2: nVidia RTX 20xx, GTX 16xx/10xx/9xx/7xx/6xx/5xx Series And Before 5GB
  • Partition 3: AMD RX4xx/RX5xx/RXVEGA64/R7/R9 Series/HD7xxx 60GB

I made a separate USB drive from the .rar files from the instructions in the video but for some reason the ext4 Partition 3 seems to be corrupt on my drive and would not boot at all :-(.

However I could legacy boot and UEFI64-boot OK to Partitions 1 and 2 of the new USB drive.

I wanted to add some sort of bootable images of these to my E2B drive so I used RMPrepUSB - File - Make grub4dos ISO file function to make a bootable ISO. However, the ISO file only worked when Legacy booting (it hung on a UEFI boot as did Ventoy).

Friday, 17 June 2022

XMLtoE2B.exe v2.0.52 with 'skip TPM check for Win11' now available

I have added a 'Skip TPM checks' button to XMLtoE2B.exe so that you can easily make an XML file for Windows 11 which will not check for a TPM, free disk space, CPU, RAM capacity or a SecureBoot.


The new .exe file is in the Alternate Downloads - Latest Betas folder here.
A slightly tweaked version has now been fully released.

Let me know if you find any issues!

See my earlier article if you don't know what this is.

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Kon-Boot 4.1 update released

A Kon-Boot 4.1 update is now available from U-Lead.


Kon-Boot is currently the only solution worldwide I am aware of that can bypass Windows 10/Windows 11 online account passwords and does not modify the Windows files (though you can use the E2B UtilMan hack to do a similar job).

 4.1 Main updates:
  • Updates for  Windows 10 / Windows 11

  • Fixed 0xc0000001 boot error issue on newest Windows 11 release

  • Updates for macOS Monterey 12.4

  • Updates for legacy BIOS loader

  • Installer updates



Note that the Kon-Boot EFI boot file is obviously not signed by Microsoft so Secure Boot to a Kon-Boot USB drive is usually not possible, however you can add the Kon-Boot files to an E2B drive and then Secure Boot to agFM and from that menu run Kon-Boot. See a previous blog for more details.

Installing Windows 11 offline and creating a local account - is it possible?

The Windows 11 setup procedure now insists that you are connected to the internet and that you must use an online account rather than a local account. However, there are some ways around this:

Setup + Ethernet connection to internet

Win11 Setup will see that you have an internet connection and ask for your account email address and password. However, if you enter an invalid password with Windows Pro or Home, it will fail and then allow you to create a local account. e.g. test@test.com or a@b.com with any password.

Setup + WiFi only

Win11 Setup will insist that you connect to a WiFi network if it cannot detect an internet connection via Ethernet. If you connect to the internet by WiFi by entering the WiFi SSD credentials, you can also use the same trick of using an invalid online account + password or if installing Win11 Home see the next section.

Setup + no internet

If you do not want to or you cannot connect to a WiFi router, you can use the oobe bypass method as in this Britec video.

The other alternative is that you use an unattend XML file which will automatically create a local account for you. You can edit the XML file before you start so it uses the user name that you want (and can also force it to install Pro even if it was OEM registered for Home). The XML file can also skip the TPM and other checks that Win11 insists on.

In E2B v2.14cBeta (Alternative Downloads - Latest Betas folder), I have added some XML files which you may find useful.

WIN11_LOCAL_ACCOUNT_USER1_SKIP_CHECKS.xml   (no product key - Setup will ask)
WIN11_LOCAL_ACCOUNT_USER1_SKIP_CHECKS_PRO.xml
WIN11_LOCAL_ACCOUNT_USER1_SKIP_CHECKS_HOME.xml

Only the default settings will be used. The install is almost fully automated.

You can make an XML file with your own settings using WAFG (and XMLtoE2B.exe - optional) if you wish (see here for more details). The same XML files can be used by E2B, agFM, grubfm and Ventoy.

For more information on fully automating Windows installations see eBook #2.


E2B v2.14dBeta now has XML files which will allow the user to create either a local OR an online account during Setup without having to specify the name of the user account within the XML file. It also bypasses the TPM checks.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

agFM update v1.80 available

 1.80 2022-05-13

  • Update Make_Latest_Ventoy_Partition_Image.cmd to allow debug CI versions of Ventoy to be used to make new Ventoy partition images. 
  • A few new sample .cfg files were added for Porteus+persistence and fossapup+persistence.

Updated eBooks now available

The eBooks below in red have been updated.

If you have already purchased an older version just use the link in the email that was sent to you from Payhip to get the new version for free. You do not need to pay to get the latest revision.

eBooks store is here. Most are $5 each.

The latest versions of the eBooks are:
  • E2B #1: How to make a multiboot USB drive using Easy2Boot v2.21
  • E2B #2: How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot v1.9
  • E2B #3: How to make a UEFI multi-boot Easy2Boot USB drive v1.02
  • E2B #4: UEFI-multiboot using the a1ive grub2 File Manager v1.23
  • Getting started with Ventoy v1.09  (for Ventoy 1.0.76)
  • Getting started with grub4dos v1.01
  • How to make $1000 a month from the Internet v1.08  - now only $3

Some of the eBooks product pages have reader reviews under the descriptions at the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

XMLtoE2B v2.0.51 is now available

XMLtoE2B.exe is a small Windows utility that helps you to make a Windows Install XML file to fully automate a Windows install from an E2B USB drive or from a grubfm\agFM\Ventoy USB drive.

Using multiple SDI_CHOCO config sets, you can automate the online or offline installation of drivers, applications and Windows updates. If a new Windows ISO is released by Microsoft, simple copy the new ISO file to your E2B USB drive!

An updated version of XMLtoE2B is now available. If you have a licence file for the old version, it will also work with the new version.

Note that without a licence file you will not be able to save XML files. If you have purchased 3 or more E2B eBooks then please contact me for a complimentary licence (provide name and email address).

Version changes

v2.0.51 2022-06-07

  • Check if ComputerName is same as UserName (illegal)
  • Change website URL to easy2boot.xyz
  • Change Win10 buttons to 'WIn10/11'.

For details on how to use XMLtoE2B to easily and quickly modify your XML files for automated Windows installs, see here

eBook #2 contains detailed exercises on how to set up fully automated Windows installs.

Note: New Beta is v2.0.52 (.exe file only) and includes a 'Skip TPM checks' tick box for Win11 XML files.

Saturday, 4 June 2022

E2B DPMS 2.14b Beta available (with Toshiba Satellite C55D-C XP32 disk driver fix)

A user had a problem installing XP 32-bit onto a 2015 Toshiba Satellite C55D-C  laptop containing a 128GB M.2 SATA SSD card. XP Setup did not detect the internal SSD even though it appeared to detect, identify and load a mass storage driver for the PCI Id PCI/VEN_1022&DEV_7801&SUBSYS_F8451179 correctly.

It seems the driver in the DPMS driver pack was not correct and so E2B DPMS v2.14b Beta now contains what I hope is the correct driver which appears to now work on the users Tosh laptop.

The new E2B DPMS v2.14b now uses the AMD AHCI Compatible RAID SB8xx/SB9xx (WXP-RAID) driver,  so if  you cannot detect a hard drive (but could with a previous version of E2B), please let me know that I have broken something!

The download is available from the Alternate Download sites here (Latest Betas folder).


Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Ventoy 1.0.75 now released with an improved Secure Boot EFI update plus other fixes

You can add partition images of the latest Ventoy release to your E2B USB drive (see here for details) or if you have a Ventoy USB drive, you can update it using the Ventoy download's Update button (and then add E2B if you like for extra legacy support).

IMPORTANT: If you have already switched in a Ventoy .img file you MUST NOT use the Ventoy utility to update it - otherwise it will destroy the E2B USB data and you will not be able to switch E2B\agFM back in! Instead, restore the USB drive to an E2B\agFM drive first, then re-make the new Ventoy .img files as directed (see here for details) .

If you had problems with Ventoy Secure Boot on some systems, the new version may fix that.

Monday, 30 May 2022

RMPrepUSB v2.1.746 released

This updated version contains a small update to RMPartUSB to fix a problem with some Model strings reported by some USB drive M.2 enclosures.

Download from Fosshub here (the.exe is a self-extracting exe file but it may cause false-positive antivirus warnings).

Saturday, 28 May 2022

E2B v2.14a Beta available

A small bug has been found in RMPartUSB which causes a problem when trying to create an E2B USB drive using the Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd script on a certain specific M.2 USB enclosure.

The download is here. The only change is RMPartUSB.exe and the version number of E2B is now 2.14a.



Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Easy2Boot v2.13 is now released

The Webnode hosted site easy2boot.com is now out of service from today onwards and so easy2boot.xyz is the only site that you should use from now on. 

The E2B .cmd scripts in v2.13 have now been updated so that only the .xyz site is accessed for the latest files when making or updating an E2B USB drive.

The changes in E2B v2.13 are outlined below

2.13 2022-05-11 

  • Fix issue of AtlasOS Install ISO not working with XML files. 
  • Show NOT CONTIGUOUS under menu in Windows Vista-Win11 menu.
  • Add ability to type in any extension when alternative extension suggested - e.g. type .isomem instead of Y/N/I/A. 
  • Fix so does not use WIMBOOT if ISO is non-standard (e.g. AIO ISO). 
  • Add Win11 XML file to bypass TPM/RAM/Secure boot checks. 
  • Add .txt file in win10/11 folders on how to create a new local account. 
  • Support latest versions of Zorin with persistence using .isopersist and a casper-rw persistence -rw file
  • Make_E2B.exe small change if no USB drive detected. 
  • Downloads now only fetch files from easy2boot.xyz website (not easy2boot.com). 

agFM is now updated to v1.79 but it is essentially the same as v1.78 except that old .com download URLs in some .cmd scripts have been removed to make downloads faster.

If you have problems updating agFM then run "\_ISO\docs\Make_E2B_USB_Drive\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd" from the USB drive after updating it to E2B v2.13.

Saturday, 30 April 2022

E2B v2.13c Beta now available

v2.13c Beta is here

 Changes from 2.12

  • Fix issue of AtlasOS Install ISO not working with XML files. 
  • Show NOT CONTIGUOUS for info under menu in Windows Vista-Win11 menus.
  • Add ability to type in any extension when alternative extension suggested – e.g. type .isomem instead of Y/N/I/A.
  • Fix to automatically not use WIMBOOT if ISO is non-standard (e.g. AIO ISO).
  • Add new Win11 XML file to bypass TPM/RAM/Secure boot checks
  • Add .txt file in win10/11 folders on how to create a new local account
  • Fix Support latest versions of Zorin with persistence using .isopersist and a casper-rw persistence -rw file
This version also allows you to simply enter the file extension that you want to try (such as .isomem or .isopersist) without having choose from a list after pressing I.


To update, just unzip the download, run the Make_E2B.exe file and click the Update E2B button. You can delete the extracted files from your Windows drive afterwards.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Fix for Microsoft Office hyperlink error messages - e.g. 'Your browser is up to date'

Have you started seeing this annoying issue whenever clicking on a link in a Microsoft Office document (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)?



This can occur with various versions of Office and seems to have just recently hit my Windows 10 system just this week (Office 2007).

Monday, 18 April 2022

eBook updated - How to make $1000 a month from the Internet v1.07


The eBook 'How to make $1000 a month from the Internet' has now been updated to fix quite a few typos that I found plus some other small revisions, etc. - it is now at 
v1.07.

If you have already purchased an older version just use the link in the email that was sent to you to get the new version for free.

There are more eBooks here.

The latest versions of the other eBooks are unchanged from last month and are:
  • E2B #1: How to make a multiboot USB drive using Easy2Boot v2.21
  • E2B #2: How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot v1.9
  • E2B #3: How to make a UEFI multi-boot Easy2Boot USB drive v1.02
  • E2B #4: UEFI-multiboot using the a1ive grub2 File Manager v1.23
  • Getting started with Ventoy v1.08  (for Ventoy 1.0.71)
  • Getting started with grub4dos v1.01

Friday, 8 April 2022

How to boot to a hundred different payloads from just one ISO!

The netboot.xyz project has come a long way in a few years and many more payloads are now supported.



You can Legacy or UEFI-boot to the netboot.xyz.iso on your E2B USB drive and then it will download from the internet and  run a wide variety of payloads (Linux, Utilities, etc.).

This is most suitable for people who have fast internet via Ethernet (e.g. company offices, etc.).

32-bit and 64-bit payloads are supported, including Fatdog, Manjaro, Kali, Ubuntu, Parrot, Peppermint, Pop OS, Tails, Tiny Core Linux (for quick boot to Linux), Voyager, Zorin, Boot Repair, Clonezilla, DBAN, gparted, Kasperksy, RescueTux, Super grub disk, Rescuezilla, Ultimate Boot CD and many more including Linux installers.

See FAQ for full list.

Just add the ISO to your E2B USB drive.

See here for a previous netboot article.


Friday, 1 April 2022

Costs are going up - here are some tricks I use to save and make money and some tips

Times are hard! In the UK the cost of electricity and gas has almost doubled, vehicle fuel is up by 50% and the Retail Price Index is up 6% and still rising. Savings interest rates are stupidly low but mortgage/borrowing rates are rising.

Theo the cat

Energy costs

As I work from home and live on my own (if you don't count my cat Theo who has his own fur coat) then to save on my heating bills, I turn the central heating thermostat down to 18°C and I only heat a few rooms. I also wear two 'arctic-rated' Damart thermal vests under my shirt and jumper together with thick corduroy trousers - this saves on fossil fuel expenditure and helps save a bit of the planet.

Sunday, 13 March 2022

Easy2Boot v2.12 released + new eBook revisions

E2B v2.12 is now released and contains a few small bugfixes.

I have also updated most of the eBooks.

The latest Ventoy versions can boot payload files on any disk\partition. The Ventoy eBook now contains an added chapter for setting up a Linux ISO file + persistence on another partition (e.g. USB Partition 3 or a system hard disk).

FREE updated revisions are available for all previous eBook buyers using the link in the email receipt that was sent to you when you first purchased the eBook(s) or you can buy the eBook PDFs here (or Ventoy Kindle).

The latest versions are:
  • E2B #1: How to make a multiboot USB drive using Easy2Boot v2.21
  • E2B #2: How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot v1.9
  • E2B #3: How to make a UEFI multi-boot Easy2Boot USB drive v1.02
  • E2B #4: UEFI-multiboot using the a1ive grub2 File Manager v1.23
  • Getting started with Ventoy v1.08  (for Ventoy 1.0.71) - Amazon Kindle edition here #Ad
  • Getting started with grub4dos v1.01
  • How to make $1000 a month from the Internet v1.06

Thursday, 10 March 2022

How to edit PNG Alpha transparency levels (e.g. for a grub2 theme)

Recently I needed to edit some PNG files which were used in a grub2 theme (tutorial).

Many grub2 themes use a semi-transparent 'styled box' as a grey background on which the grub2 menu text entries are displayed.

In this example, menu_s.png, menu_sw.png and menu_se.png have been changed and so the bottom of the box is a slightly different colour and is opaque. You can see the clouds in the background wallpaper underneath the centre section.


Some themes draw a line across the bottom of the menu by making the top line of pixels in these three .png files a different colour - e.g. white...



Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Are you looking for a good website or blog host?

If you have read my eBook 'How to make $1000 a month from the Internet' you will see that I recommend that you set up your own website and/or blog and that you do not use the free hosts .

I also strongly recommend that you always use a WordPress (Linux-based) host server and that you do not go for any host which attempts to suck you in with free offers or very cheap deals. The reason is that after a year , when you come to renew your subscription, you will realise that their full annual rate is much more expensive than the others. Also, you will realise that in order to get certain features working on your site, you will need to purchase a more costly 'premium plan' and that you are now 'locked in' (having spent hundreds of hours on the design and content of your website).

Also, with a free host site, you are not in control. They can easily turn round one day and say 'we are sorry to announce that from next month we are closing this service' and you are stuffed!

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Invest now!

Whether you have purchased my ebook 'How to make $1000 a month from the Internet' and made some money from a side hustle for very little initial cost or you have some savings sitting in a bank account which is earning a paltry 0.7% interest at best (or 0.01% as some banks like Barclays and NatWest are offering - wow - thanks guys!) - why not invest it in stocks and shares?

Even if your savings are earning 2% a year, you are losing money when you take inflation and the rising cost of living into account!

Due to the Ukraine crisis, now is a perfect time to invest in the stock market as prices are low.

Introduction to ETFs

ETF screener to help you pick the right ones for you out of the 1000+ available.

I recommend a USA or Global ETF. For instance the SWDA ETF currently at 5925p (top global companies only) charges 0.2% annually and has almost tripled in value in 10 years (+75% in last 5 years). Quite a difference from the bank rate, isn't it?


As with all shares, the trick is to buy low.

Have you been 'jobfished' by Madbird&Co? You could be working for free!

The people on reputable job market sites like fiverr will agree to do a specific task for a specific price. Payment is made up front to fiverr by the customer so that you will always receive the agreed amount from fiverr on satisfactory completion of the work.


A recent BBC Radio 4 and BBC 3 TV program detailed a scammer who took advantage of the Covid lockdown to entice people to work for him from their own homes for up to 6 months for free (just empty promises). Although his company was registered at UK Companies house (something which anyone can do for less than £20), the company Madbird&Co. appears to comprise of just one man and a bedroom!

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

'Getting started with Ventoy v1.07' revised edition with extra info on booting ISOs from Partition 3

I have added an extra section to the chapter on booting from payloads that are situated on Partition 3 of a Ventoy USB drive. The examples included are for a Linux-based StorageCraft ISO and a Ubuntu 64-bit ISO and it uses the F6 Extended grub2 menu facility of Ventoy.

As usual, all my eBook updates are free - just use the link that was sent to you in the original Payhip purchase confirmation email.

Amazon Ventoy Kindle version.

Getting started with Ventoy (v1.07 - 2022-02-02)

Contents:
Chapter 1 - Introduction .. 5
Chapter 2 - Glossary of terms ... 6
Chapter 3 - Make a Ventoy multiboot USB drive .... 8
GPT or MBR? ... 8
Ventoy partitions .. 8
Is your USB drive larger than 128GiB? ...... 9
4K sector disks (Advanced Format Storage) ... 9
Typical Ventoy Legacy\MBR partition arrangement .. 11
Secure Boot ... 12
Using the Ventoy installer. 14
Beware of fake flash drives!...... 14
Recommended USB drives .. 14
Exercise 1: Make a Ventoy drive under Windows ...... 15
Troubleshooting Ventoy installation and updates ..... 15
Exercise 2: Make a Ventoy drive under Linux ...... 17
Re-format Partition 1. 19
Updating Ventoy ... 20
Chapter 4 - Using the Ventoy USB drive ... 21
Exercise 3: MBR-boot to the Ventoy menu... 22
Exercise 4: Add an Ubuntu ISO.. 24
Exercise 5: Add more Linux ISOs. 28
Chapter 5 - Using the Ventoy menu .. 29
Ventoy menu keys ..... 30
Ventoy Menu Function keys ... 31
Special Ventoy keys ... 31
Debug mode .... 33
Exercise 6: Grub2 mode ...... 34
Troubleshooting summary...... 36
Chapter 6 - Add more payload files... 37
Exercise 7: Add a Windows 10 Install ISO ..... 37
Exercise 8: Add the Parted Magic ISO..... 39
Exercise 9: Add PassMark's MemTest86 memory test ..... 40
Chapter 7 - Hide some files/folders from Ventoy ... 43
Chapter 8 - The Ventoy user configuration file (ventoy.json)... 45
Ventoy.json syntax rules: .... 46
JSON Syntax checker..... 48
VentoyPlugson. 48
Multimode. 54
Chapter 9 - Ubuntu with persistence ... 55
Exercise 10: Ubuntu 64-bit ISO with persistence ... 55
Exercise 11: Kali 64-bit ISO with persistence ... 63
Chapter 10 - Windows Installs using an XML file .. 65
Exercise 12: Install Windows 10 Professional onto any computer. 67
Exercise 13: Platform specific XML file ... 70
Chapter 11 - Install Windows 11 to systems with no TPM ... 72
Exercise 14: Install Windows 11 on old hardware...... 73
Chapter 12 - Add WinPE ISOs...... 77
Strelec WinPE ...... 77
Exercise 15: Add the Strelec WinPE ISO.. 78
Hirens Boot CD WinPE ...... 79
Exercise 16: Add HBCD_PE ISO.. 79
Other useful WinPE ISOs... 80
Chapter 13 - Add AntiVirus ISOs.. 81
Chapter 14 - Add Chrome OS ISOs (CloudReady and FydeOS) ... 82
CloudReady (UEFI64 only). 82
FydeOS ... 82
Chapter 15 - Add Windows .wim files (wimboot plugin).... 83
Exercise 17: Add support for booting .wim files... 83
Chapter 16 - Add Windows .VHD files (Win VHD plugin) .. 84
Exercise 18: Add support for .VHD files .. 84
Chapter 17 - Boot from other drives/partitions/files (grubfm) ... 85
Exercise 19: Add grubfm and boot ISOs from any drive or partition.... 85
Boot from Partition 3 using Ventoy...... 88
Exercise 20: Add StorageCraft Recovery Environment Cross Platform to Partition 3 ..... 88
Chapter 18 - Add rEFInd to UEFI-boot from any disk/partition ... 91
Exercise 21: Add rEFInd.img...... 91
Chapter 19 - Change the default Ventoy menu theme ...... 94
Exercise 22: Add a 'Seven-of-nine' theme..... 97
Exercise 23: Random themes .. 100
Exercise 24: How to make your own Ventoy theme ...... 101
Chapter 20 - Specify the exact menu entries (Image List plugin)... 102
Exercise 25: Exclude legacy-only ISO files in the UEFI menu. 102
Whitelist menu .... 105
Chapter 21 - Replace the menu filenames with text (Alias plugin)...... 106
Chapter 22 - How to display grub2 menu icons (Class plugin). 107
Chapter 23 - Display payload tips to the user (MenuTip plugin) ... 109
Chapter 24 - Add your own grub2 menus (Extension plugin). 112
Exercise 26: Make a simple ventoy_grub Extended menu ... 119
Chapter 25 - Auto-select Memdisk mode for some payloads (Auto-memdisk) ...... 121
Chapter 26 - Add passwords (Password plugin).. 122
Chapter 27 - Other Ventoy features. 124
Chapter 28 - How to recompile the Ventoy source code ... 125
Chapter 29 - Add Easy2Boot (Legacy) to Ventoy ... 126
Chapter 30 - Important BIOS bugs and features that you really need to know about! ... 129
Chapter 31 - Bootable devices (USB 3 devices are best!). 131
IODD Mini...... 132
Chapter 32 - So how does UEFI-booting actually work then? ... 133
UEFI booting...... 135
EFI Shell. 136
Chapter 33 - Secure Boot.... 137
About UEFI Security (PK, KEK, DB and DBX) .... 138
Platform Key (PK). 138
Key Exchange Key (KEK) .... 138
Whitelist Database (DB) .... 138
Blacklist Database (DBX) ... 139
Machine Owner Key (MOK)..... 139
How Secure Boot works.. 139
Secure Boot and Mok Manager... 140
How to disable Secure Boot .. 141
Chapter 34 - Grub2 configuration file syntax...... 143
Words .. 143
Reserved words. 143
Quoting ... 143
Variable expansion .. 143
Locale strings. 144
Comments... 144
Simple commands ... 144
Compound commands.... 144
Built-in Commands .. 145
Chapter 35 - grub2 troubleshooting. 146
Linux ISO boot issues ...... 147
Theme errors - 'alloc magic is broken'...... 147
Corrupt screen/bad screen resolution...... 147
Chapter 36 - Useful links..... 149

Sunday, 30 January 2022

Quickly add Medicat 21.12 to Easy2Boot using a batch file

The current Medicat download is designed to make a Ventoy USB drive and you can just extract the contents of the large MediCat.USB.v21.12.7z onto your E2B USB drive and use 'Ventoy for Easy2Boot' to boot the files or agFM menu system.


However, if you want to use the payloads with the E2B menu system then you will need to extract each of the .iso and .wim files from the .7z package and individually copy them to the E2B menu folders (or use a .cmd script - see below).

Sunday, 9 January 2022

eBook 'Getting started with Ventoy v1.06' is now available

 The 'Getting started with Ventoy' eBook has now been updated to version 1.06.

Since the new VentoyPlugson.exe configuration application will not recognise a standard Easy2Boot USB drive, if you want to use the new browser-based application to make or change your ventoy.json configuration file, you can only use it on an E2B USB drive if you first 'convert' the E2B USB drive to an 'official' Ventoy USB drive.

The VentoyPlugson web app is for configuring Ventoy.

The eBook now contains a new section on how to use the VentoyPlugson.exe application on an Easy2Boot USB drive.

All my eBook updates are free - just use the email link that was sent to you by Payhip when you made the original purchase.

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Add rEFInd to Ventoy to allow you to UEFI64-boot from any file/partition/disk

I have added instructions here on how to add the rEFInd image file to agFM and/or Ventoy so that you can UEFI64-boot from any EFI file on any partition in the system (not just the Ventoy main USB partition).


Note that using the 'Install rEFInd' icon (dark blue square with down-arrow), you can install rEFInd onto any disk in the system.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

agFM v1.76 released

This version just has a small bugfix to the batch file:
 \e2b\Update agFM\Make_Latest_ventoy_Partition_Image.cmd which makes the Ventoy images described see here. The old cmd file was downloading Ventoy 1.0.62 instead of 1.0.63.

To update agFM run \e2b\Update aFM\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd from partition 2 of your USB drive.

1.76 2021-12-28 – fix \e2b\Update agFM\Make_Latest_ventoy_Partition_Image.cmd so always downloads latest version.

Monday, 20 December 2021

E2B v2.11 released

 v2.11 is now released. It is the same as v2.11d Beta.

v2.11 2021-12-19

  • Bugfix – file extension overrides xxxxxx_.isodef.iso not working in 2.10
  • Add sample ReloadVentoy.mnu menu for when adding E2B to a Ventoy USB drive (and _ISO\docs\Sample mnu files\Ventoy\ventoy_grub.cfg file sample file for \ventoy folder)
  • Update Launcher.exe, latest RMPartUSB.exe
  • Update language strings
  • Update .cmd files to use windows find.exe in all places in case user has changed Windows default path

Saturday, 11 December 2021

Add E2B to your Ventoy USB drive

If you have switched over to using Ventoy as your main USB multiboot tool but you still need your trusty  E2B USB drive for some Legacy boot tasks such as to boot to DOS images, Legacy booting some Linux ISOs which Ventoy doesn't support, install Win98/Win2K/XP, auto-install Windows legacy with drivers+apps (SDI_CHOCO), run PassPass, etc. then why not add E2B to your Ventoy USB drive as well?

It is very easy to do and I have added a new page with instructions here.

Tip: Use E2B v2.14 or later.


Note that .imgPTN files are not supported when using a Ventoy USB drive.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Why not start a 'side-hustle' during the holidays?

Instead of watching your favourite box-set again during the holidays, why not use the time to set up a 'side-hustle' or two instead? With the Omicron virus around, you won't be going out much anyway...


Get this T-shirt here. Try the coupon code FINISHLINE and you may get 25% off this week!

So with a little bit of effort why not earn extra income from the internet. In many cases, this can be set up as a 'passive income' source - i.e. once you set it up, it will continue to earn you money for many years and you don't have to do anything else except count the money every month!

For instance, I set up a RedBubble 'shop' in just one day yesterday (and I have ZERO skills when it comes to graphics design as you can probably tell!). RedBubble will sell your designs for you. Your designs are printed onto a wide range of their products on demand and it costs nothing to start.

E2B sticker for your laptop/PC from as little as £1

E2B Classic Mug from £8-ish with coupon code.

Can you work out the message on my plain black T-shirt below (for maths geeks only - and it is for sale -  tip: try the coupon code FINISHLINE before Dec 8th and you may get 25% off!;-)?

Thursday, 2 December 2021

eBook 'Getting started with Ventoy' v1.05 now available

My PDF-based eBook 'Getting started with Ventoy' v1.05 has now been updated for the latest version of Ventoy.

Ventoy v1.0.62 now includes the new VentoyPlugson web-based app so you can easily make and tweak your ventoy.json file.

You can get the updated eBook for free using the link that was previously in your confirmation email from Payhip when you first bought the book.

If you haven't already purchased the eBook then please visit my store here (multibuy discount will be applied at checkout if you buy more than one).

Ventoy v1.0.62

1. VentoyPlugson —— A GUI plugin configurator. Notes
2. Add default_file option in theme plugin. Notes
3. Add F5 Tools --> Theme Select menu to switch between themes. Notes
4. Automatically fix volume abnormal status when do non-destructive install in Windows.
5. Optimization for FreeBSD boot process.
6. Optimization for Ventoy2Disk.sh
7. languages.json update


Saturday, 27 November 2021

agFM v1.75 released (bugfix for Windows ISOs not booting in Legacy mode)

I accidentally introduced a Legacy Windows ISO problem in agFM v1.73 and v1.74.

In an attempt to fix a grub2 bug involving the loopback command which caused a problem on some PCs, I changed the windows iso code to load some required uncompressed files instead of compressed .xz files. Unfortunately, although this worked for UEFI mode, it seems it does not work for Legacy mode (for some strange reason - must be a grub2 bug?).

I have therefore changed back the grub2 code to load the compressed .xz files if grubfm is booted in Legacy mode. 

i.e this code

loopback wimboot (${user})/boot/grubfm/wimbootxz;

loopback install (${user})/boot/grubfm/installxz;

works in UEFI mode but for some strange reason not in MBR\Legacy mode!

Thursday, 18 November 2021

eBook 'Getting started with Ventoy' v1.04 now available

 I have made some small updates to my eBook 'Getting started with Ventoy'.

You can get the new version by using the original link in the confirmation email that was sent to you when you first purchased it.

If you haven't got it yet, it is available here (with 10% discount on total if you buy more than one).

Friday, 12 November 2021

E2B v2.11c Beta is now available (but needs some English strings translated)

The latest Beta of E2B is now available: v2.11c.

Some of the .mnu files for UEFI/agFM/Ventoy support in \_ISO\MAINMENU folder were 'hard-coded' to English. In the new Beta 2.11c I have now put the menu titles into each of the language files (however they are still in English):

Sunday, 7 November 2021

E2B UEFI File Manager agFM v1.74c Beta.zip with new Ventoy partition image support available

It was previously possible to make partition images of Ventoy and then replace Partition 2 of the E2B USB drive with the Ventoy partition image, however in Ventoy v1.0.57 onwards, extra checks have been added into Ventoy and it now checks for Ventoy grub2 boot code in the MBR of the drive. This means that new versions will no longer work as partition images. :-(

However, I have modified the script and .cfg files so that it now also replaces the grub4dos boot code with the Ventoy grub2 boot code. The result is that we can now make Ventoy partition images again and boot to them and Ventoy still thinks the drive is an 'official' Ventoy USB stick.

Note that this exercise is only for someone who knows where their towel is and don't try it if you have not made a backup of your E2B drive just in case something goes wrong!

Instructions

Friday, 5 November 2021

New Beta version of E2B with bugfix and latest E2B+grub4efi Beta

 I found a bug in the latest release version of E2B v2.10 - file extension overrides no longer work.

e.g. a filename of Ubuntu_.isodef.iso should automatically use the .isodef extension, or  win10pe_.isope01.iso should use the extension of .isope01 but in the latest version it doesn't work.

The new Beta version of E2B with a bugfix for this is v2.11a.

The Beta download folder is here.

Note that the latest grub4dos releases are not used by E2B. Some new bugs and incompatibilities have been introduced and also the old grub4dos utilities such as wenv and fat and hotkey no longer work with the new grub4dos versions and you have to replace them with new compatible versions. So although the latest grub4dos versions have a few new features (e.g. allowing menu titles and menu help text to be in multiple colours), I still use a February 2020 version of grub4dos in E2B.


E2B for UEFI

I have also updated the E2B+grub4efi experimental version which uses the latest version of 'grub4dos for UEFI'. It is now version v2.10i. For instructions on how to use this grub4efi version see the previous blog article here.

Note that grub4efi (grub4dos for uefi) is still buggy. It crashes if you try to use the map command on iso files too often and it does not support wimboot so I have to use grub2\agFM to boot to WinPE and wim files! Because of this, I don't see grub4efi as being very useful so this Beta is for experimental use only and is just for the curious.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

'Ventoy for Easy2Boot' v1.0.57 available

You can find the latest 'Ventoy for Easy2Boot' v1.0.57 here.

P.S. v1.0.57 is now live and will be downloaded when you make a new drive or update your drive.

After downloading it, drag-and-drop the file onto the \e2b\Update agFM\Add_Ventoy.cmd file on the 2nd partition.

It seems to work OK but please let me know if you find any problems.

P.S. Seems to be a problem with h and m (help and checksum) menus in the first release! If you have already downloaded the 1.0.57 version, please download the new 1.0.57b version which has a fix (ventoy-1.0.57b-windows.zip).

Please do NOT report any issues to the Ventoy github or ventoy.net forum unless you can also reproduce the problem on an 'official' Ventoy drive - an E2B drive is not totally 100% compatible with an official Ventoy drive!

Friday, 29 October 2021

Ventoy rev.1.02 eBook is now available (for Ventoy 1.0.57)

I have revised the 'Getting started with Ventoy' user guide/manual for the small changes in the menu system in the latest version of Ventoy. Just use the link in the confirmation email that you were sent to download the latest version for free!

If you haven't got it yet, then you can get the PDF file from my eBook Store.



P.S. You can now get 10% off the total basket when you buy more than one eBook ;-)

See https://www.ventoy.net/en/doc_news.html for more details of latest Ventoy version changes.


Sunday, 24 October 2021

Add Easy2Boot to your Ventoy USB drive

It seems that LongPanda has now put extra checks into Ventoy so that it now checks the MBR for grub2 boot code. This means that being able to make and add 'Official Ventoy' images as described here has now been updated! You can also use 'Ventoy for Easy2Boot' which is included in E2B.

Add E2B to Ventoy

Ventoy is improving all the time and it is now pretty good at booting most payloads, however it does not support Legacy installs of  Windows 95/98/Me/XP/2000 and it's DOS and legacy ISO support is a bit weak. You may also find that E2B may work with some Linux payloads where Ventoy fails (but make sure the ISO files are contiguous as required by E2B!).

The good news is that you can easily add legacy E2B (not agFM) to an existing Ventoy USB drive as follows:

Friday, 22 October 2021

New Ventoy eBook is now available - 'Getting started with Ventoy'

I have been slaving away over a hot keyboard for weeks now writing an introductory eBook (PDF) on Ventoy and it is now finally finished!



You can get this new manual/user guide now for only $5 from Payhip here (10% discount if you buy more than one eBook).

Even though it is written specifically for Ventoy users, it also applies to 'Ventoy for Easy2Boot' which is a slightly modified version included with Easy2Boot.

As with all my eBooks, all future revisions are free - just keep the original confirmation email and download any later revisions if they appear (you can subscribe too).

This new eBook is up to date and can be used with the latest Ventoy v1.0.56 which was released today.

Please let me have any feedback (good or bad!).

P.S. The developer LongPanda provides Ventoy for free and also constantly maintains it. You can make a donation to support LongPanda and Ventoy here.


eBook: Getting started with Ventoy

If you would like to learn more about Ventoy and how to use the ventoy.json configuration file, learn what are the best options to use when creating your Ventoy drive, learn how to boot ISO and other payload files from Partition 3 of the Ventoy drive, run Linux files with persistence, automate the installation of Windows, install Windows 11 to a non-TPM system, create your own themes, etc. then it's all here!

Getting started with Ventoy (v1.00 - 2021-10-22)
Contents:
Chapter 1 - Introduction ...  5

Friday, 15 October 2021

Easy2Boot v2.10 is now fully released

 I have updated the easy2boot.xyz, easy2boot.com and FossHub sites with the new v2.10 of E2B.

I received no feedback (good or bad!) from the pre-release, so I hope its OK.

Here are the changes:

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Which is the best Clonezilla-based backup ISO?

 If you have a large E2B USB drive (up to 2TB), then you can easily boot from a backup ISO file and save the backup onto the same E2B USB drive (or any other connected drive or network drive).

The E2B USB drive can be made using the 'Gear wheel' button on Make_E2B.exe so that the MBR partitions are as follows:

Ptn1: 127GiB NTFS
Ptn2: 1GiB FAT32
Ptn3: NTFS (remaining space)
Ptn4: (must be unused for E2B use)

We keep Pnt1+Ptn2 size below 128GiB because some Legacy BIOSes are buggy and will not access sectors beyond 128GiB on USB drives. If you are not concerned about these Legacy BIOSes (which can even be found on quite recent BIOSes) then you do not need to limit the Ptn1 size.

The following ISOs can boot on Legacy and UEFI64 systems using E2B\agFM\Ventoy.