Tuesday 29 November 2016

E2B v1.87c Beta available with PassPass for XP up to Win10

Ner0 on reboot.pro has posted a way to patch Windows 10 in a similar manner to that used by Holmes.Sherlock's PassPass.

I have added some new code to the E2B version of PassPass (v1.7a) so that you can now patch Windows 10 to bypass the password entry. The new E2B version is in the Alternate Download Areas.

Sunday 27 November 2016

How to add secret, hidden menu entries to E2B

Paul wanted to prevent certain payloads from being listed in the E2B menu system so that the normal user would not be aware that they even existed.

He wanted a secret hotkey + password which would allow the hidden payloads to appear in the E2B menu system.

We can stop any file from being listed as a payload in E2B by using a .txt file and the iftitle test feature. For instance, we can test for the environment variable 'SECRET' and if it does not exist then the menu entry will not be shown...

iftitle [if exist SECRET] Windows 10 English International (32-bit)\n My Secret ISO

We can set the SECRET variable using a hotkey + password.

In the example below, if you type CTRL+F9 (in any menu) then a blank screen will appear with a password prompt.

You can then type the password SECRET  (in capital letters), and any hidden menu items will then magically appear in the E2B menus!

To make them disappear again, type CTRL+F9 again and press ENTER instead of entering the correct password or press F8 when in the Main menu to reload E2B. Or you could define a CTRL+F10 key to hide them all again more quickly (see below).

Here is how to set this up...

Friday 25 November 2016

Pentoo ISO with persistence on E2B

The pentoo FAQ says you can use changes=/dev/sdXY kernel cheat code to specify the persistence volume. This is incorrect!
It seems that we must use aufs=/dev/sdXY for pentoo.
As pentoo is based on gentoo, we can use a similar .mnu file for persistence with pentoo.

The .mnu file is shown below:

Thursday 24 November 2016

Add LibreELEC Live to E2B (Kodi)

You can add OpenElec Live to E2B by following my previous blog here.

You can follow a similar procedure to add LibreELEC to E2B (and also have UEFI-booting) as follows:

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Add CHKCPU to your E2B drive to display CPU Info

CHKCPU is available as a MD-DOS\FreeDOS compatible freeware program by Jan Steunebrink that will display details of your CPU.

I have created a FreeDOS image that will auto-run this utility and then run checkpci.exe to display the systems PCI IDs.
CHKCPU running under VBox

Monday 21 November 2016

Over 1000 E2B USB drives are made every day!

If you use the MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd script to create an E2B USB drive, the script will display the latest released version of E2B, so that you can see if there is a newer version and download it.

The script finds out what the current version is, by downloading a file called LatestE2B.txt from the www.easy2boot.com website. The file contains the current latest version number and it's release date.

A nice side-effect of this is that, as the Easy2Boot websites statistics report the number of 'hits' on that file, I can see that in the last 30 days, the LatestE2B.txt file has had over 31,000 hits. So this means that the script, on average, is being run 1000 times a day - and that is not counting the people that use RMPrepUSB to make E2B drives!

Why not make an E2B drive for your friends as a Christmas present? You can design the menu background to personalise it and add some linux distros with persistence, Gandalf WinPE, Lakka + games, Kodi (Xbox Media Centre), Cub Linux (a version of Chrome), various antivirus payloads in case of emergencies, android x86 with persistence, Tails for safe browsing, a Windows10ToGO VHD file, etc. etc. Check out this blog's 'Tutorials' page for all these and many other possibilities.

E2B 1.87b Beta available

v1.87b changes from v1.86:
  • Fix typo in SDI_CHOCO which caused scrolllock.exe and capslock.exe error messages. 
  • Improve linux fmt.sh scripts to install grub4dos to PBR and make partition active using parted.
Download from the Alternate Download Areas as usual.

If you make your E2B USB drive under linux, I highly recommend you ensure that the E2B USB drive has two primary partitions. The second primary partition can be any size and does not need to be formatted. This is useful because some computer BIOSes will not correctly boot the E2B USB drive as a 'hard disk' without the second partition being present.

Note that you can prepare both an NTFS or FAT32 E2B USB under linux and make the files contiguous under linux using defragfs (FAT32) or udefrag (NTFS) - see the linux page here. However, to make .imgPTN files (for UEFI-booting and installing Windows from a USB HDD, etc.), you will still need a Windows system to run the MakePartImage.cmd script.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Friday 11 November 2016

Add the Norman Rescue and Antivirus ISO to E2B (with persistence)

The XUbuntu-based Norman Rescue Disk ISO file (English+German supported) can be downloaded and added to your E2B USB drive (you can supply any junk email address to get the download).

However, when it first boots from the ISO file, it will download over 170MB of updates and virus definitions.

Thursday 10 November 2016

MPI Tool Pack 0.070 available

I have added a new script file \e2b\RestoreE2B_32_64.cmd to this new version.

It uses 32-bit and 64-bit versions of MBRFix.exe. This means that you can boot to either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of WinPE and switch back the USB drive to the original E2B partitions. Previously, you had to use a 64-bit version of WinPE that included WoW64 support (e.g. ChrisR's WinBuilder builds) so that it could run RMPartUSB which is a 32-bit program.

e.g. Now you can...
1. Switch to .imgPTN version of WinPE
2. UEFI-boot to 64-bit WinPE
3. Run \e2b\RestoreE2B_32_64.cmd

and now access the files on your E2B volume (including WinNTSetup.exe and Windows ISOs, etc.).

It uses Diskpart to find the Physical Disk number from the drive letter and does not rely on WMI, VB script or powershell or WoW64 - see here for details.

P.S. I found some typos in E2B SDI_Choco files which caused a '\DRIVERS\scrolllock.exe not found' and '\DRIVERS\capslock.exe not found' prompt. This is now fixed in E2B v.1.87a Beta.

Sunday 6 November 2016

Restore the E2B partition under 64-bit WinPE

If you use .imgPTN partition image files to boot to WinPE, you sometimes may want to return the E2B USB drive partitions back to it's original 'E2B' state (without having to boot into CSM\MBR mode), so that you can access the files on the E2B partition whilst running WinPE.

Saturday 5 November 2016

E2B Grub2 Menu system Beta 5 available

UEFI_GRUB2_PTN2_Beta5.imgPTNLBAa23 is available from the Alternate Downloads Area - Other Files folder.

The main difference between this version and the previous version is that for UEFI-booting to grub2, it uses a 64-bit shim for Secure Booting.

Making files contiguous on an NTFS volume under linux

Recent versions of E2B contain a 32-bit version of the binary executable for 'UltraDefrag' for linux (udefrag).

This can be found in the \_ISO\docs\linux_utils folder.

You will need to use chmod to make it executable first. More details are here.

To run the 32-bit version of udefrag under Ubuntu 64-bit:
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386
(change to _ISO/docs/linux_utils folder)
sudo chmod 777 *
sudo udefrag -om /dev/sdX1  (where sdX1 is your NTFS USB partition - e.g. /dev/sdb1)

I got the udefrag file from here (tools.zip). There is also a post here which may help.

I am afraid my linux skills are virtually non-existent, so if anyone would like to provide me with a compiled, 64-bit version of udefrag, I will add it to E2B for others to use.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Weird UEFI-boot behaviour from my Asus Z87A mainboard

I was trying to boot a UEFI grub2 payload yesterday when I discovered something odd.

I was using an IODD 2531 Hard disk enclosure fitted with an SSD. I had loaded the grub2 menu system .imgPTN file using Switch_E2B.exe so it had the grub2 .EFI boot files present.

I then connected the drive to my Lenovo IdeaPad 300 and pressed F12 to get the Boot Selection menu. A UEFI boot entry was then displayed, so I selected that option and it booted to the grub2 menu - no problem!

Next, I did the same thing but using my Asus Z87A PC. To my surprise, the BIOS refused to list the IODD 2531 as a UEFI-bootable drive! There was an MBR-bootable option for the USB drive, but there was no UEFI boot option listed. This was very strange because I had UEFI-booted in this way dozens of times before from the same PC in the same way.

When I examined the Master Boot Record using RMPrepUSB - Drive Info - 0, I found that I had these partitions:

ptn #1 : FAT32 with EFI boot files
ptn #2 : NTFS with payload files
ptn #3 : Type 0x83 ext3 partition
ptn #4 : (empty)

Now ptn #3 was not supposed to be there. It was only there because it was left over from a previous experiment and because the grub2 .imgPTN file was switched in, it left partitions 2 and 3 alone, so that both were still present.

So I deleted ptn #3 and tried it again in the Z87A PC. This time the BIOS listed a bootable UEFI option for the IODD 2531 and it could now UEFI-boot.

So it seems that the mere presence of the Type 0x83 ext3 partition prevents the Z87A firmware from detecting the USB drive as UEFI-bootable!


It seems that most UEFI BIOSes do not like MBR partitions which are out of order.
If a non-zero partition type is present and the Start Sector value is lower then the previous partition table entry, then it regards the whole disk MBR as invalid.

So in the above case, the start sector of partition 3 was before the start sector of partition 2.
Changing the partition 3 type to 0x00 fixed the issue and linux could still access the ext partition.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

PC Rescue ToolKit Live CD by Bertrand Goio

Rescue ToolKit by Bertrand Goio is Linux-based rescue and diagnostic - RTK-3.iso (password=live).

The author has now replaced this toolkit with the PC Rescue Tool (Italian keyboard by default).
Just add it to your E2B USB drive and check it out.
It also has 64-bit UEFI boot files and so should work if converted to a FAT32 .imgPTN file too.

Package List is here.

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Add salix+persistence to E2B

Following from a request from kasep, here is how to boot salix with persistence from E2B.

Salix with Persistence (folder STEVE was created)

From various experiments, I could not get salix to recognise an ext3 persistence file when mapped to partition 3 of the E2B drive. It seems that salix specifically looks for a 'persistent' file in the root of a FAT32 or ext3 volume with a volume name of  'LIVE'.

So, we need to convert the .ISO file to a FAT32 .imgPTN file. Here is how I did it: