Sunday 7 December 2014

Easy2Boot v1.61 released

Changes from v1.60 are:

  • .mnu files for Windows Install ISOs menu entries in the Main menu can now be added by the user which can specify both the .ISO file AND the .XML file to use. See the $$AddWin2Main.mnu sample menu. This means a Windows Install ISO will boot without the user needing to choose a specific XML or Key file.
  • New grub4dos version
  • Menu heading positions have been altered - menu headings are now left-aligned instead of being centred. STRINGS.txt files updated.
  • HEADPOS variable is now easier to use (can place the menu heading on any line just by changing HEADPOS). See here for details.
  • Help Footer text at the bottom of the screen is no longer padded out by HPAD, so now HBTM determines it's absolute position in the menu. See here for details.
  • \_ISO\docs\mythemes and \_ISO\docs\Templates files updated
  • \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg file updated (for HEADPOS, HBTM)
  • Italian language files added (thanks to Fabrizio)
  • German language STRINGS.txt improved (thanks to Frettt).
  • FreeDOS bootable floppy disk image changed (some FreeDOS utilities added)
  • Some superfluous files deleted from \_ISO\e2b\firadisk folder
  • Support for .isonousb and .imgnousb/.imanousb file extensions added - see here for details
  • Sample .mnu files added: DOS_ISONoUSB.mnu and DOS_IMAnoUSB.mnu, CentOS7_FAT32_ISO.mnu, Fedora20_FAT32_ISO.mnu
  • isoboot.g4b added to boot some non-contiguous linux ISOs, See here for details.

If you are using a MyE2B.cfg file and your own background, you may find you need to change the HEADPOS and HBTM values in your MyE2B.cfg file.


If an ISO is not contiguous, E2B will try to copy the contents of the ISO to \_ISO\CONTIG.ISO which is 500MB in size by default. If this fails for some reason (e.g. CONTIG.ISO has been deleted to save space or the ISO is bigger than the size of CONTIG.ISO) then E2B will now use the isoboot.g4b batch script to attempt to boot directly from the linux ISO file by loading it into memory and using linux 'cheat codes' to boot it. This may not work for all versions of linux and it will only boot to the default 'live' version (no full boot menu is displayed).

The linux ISOs that are currently supported by isoboot.g4b are: ubuntu, linuxmint, fedora (not NTFS), kali, opensuse, systemrescue, knoppix, debian, tails, gparted, centos, arch (user will be prompted for 32-bit or 64-bit boot, if dual ISO detected), zorin, pclinux (not NTFS), avg, porteus, slax, slackware, makulu, antix, crunchbang, acronis and paladin.

Note that E2B looks at the name of the ISO file (e.g. 'kali' must be somewhere in the filename of a kali linux ISO for it to be recognised as a kali ISO), so if possible, do not change the .iso filename after downloading it.
Tip: If you have a linux ISO based on debian but it is not in the list above, try adding the string 'debian' into it's filename and see if it works.

If you find any problems with isoboot.g4b direct ISO booting, please let me know. You should only see it in action if you have one of the linux ISOs listed above and it is over 500MB. Note that if it is over about 3.5GB then it may not work, because it has to be loaded into contiguous memory by grub4dos and this is not supported by grub4dos.

You can test isoboot.g4b by adding the $$BootNonContigISO.mnu sample menu to the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder - this menu will list all .iso files in the MAINMENU folder and let you pick one to boot to using isoboot.g4b.

isoboot.g4b is really a 'last ditch' attempt to boot a linux ISO. This method of booting has the same problems as XBOOT, SARDU and other similar multiboot utilities, in that is will be very version specific and does not display the boot menu to allow you to select how you want to boot the linux distro.

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