Sunday 20 October 2019

Weird USB problems with Windows 10 1903!

In the last week or so I have been experiencing very odd things with some of my USB drives under Windows 10 x64 1903.

Windows seems to think that the USB drive is corrupt. However, I can look at the drive sectors using RMPrepUSB and it will show what looks like a good MBR and PBRs. However, Windows cannot read the volumes and wants to format both of them!

Rebooting the system does not help.

If I run TestDisk, that also reports very 'wrong' results.

Windows Disk Manager shows the drive with two partitions but it refuses to let me assign a drive letter to them and asks me to 'refresh' Disk Manager (which does no good).

The strange thing is that the USB drive is OK when connected to another system.

The fix!

1. Download and run NirSoft USBDeview.exe (USB Device Viewer).
2. Highlight the USB drive
3. Right-click - Uninstall Selected Devices
4. Now unplug and reconnect the USB drive.
5. Reboot if required.

Magically, Windows now sees two good partitions and gives them both drive letters and all is sweet!

I also found that none of my Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB USB flash drives would be recognised by Windows (no 'ding' when inserted) when I plugged either of them into the 2nd USB 3 socket on the front of my PC (but all other USB sockets worked OK and other USB flash drives worked OK in all the USB PC sockets!).  Clearly it did not like 'Sandisk Extreme Pro' + USB port 2' as a valid combination! Using USBDeview also fixed this too (after finding the 'Sandisk Extreme Pro' device and uninistalling it and then rebooting).

Sunday 13 October 2019

Add Medicat 18.10 to E2B

Because Medicat uses incompatible and mixed versions of syslinux, the ISO may not work 100% by just extracting the files from the ISO. You can use Rufus to prepare a spare flash drive first. Rufus should update and fix any incompatible versions in the ISO as it installs it onto the USB drive. The alternative if to use the E2B MPI ToolKit on the ISO file to make a .imgPTN file.

Note that the Medicat WinPE is NOT intended to be run as a DVD/ISO (even if it could be made to fit) - the files MUST be extracted from the ISO. MiniWindows will not work correctly unless the files are extracted.

Once you have prepared the spare flash drive you can test that all menu items work and then make a .imgPTN file using the spare flash drive as the 'source' by dragging-and-dropping the spare USB drive icon\letter in Explorer onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop icon.

Note that Medicat has bugs even when you prepare it in the 'official' way using Rufus.

If you don't have a spare USB drive then just use the Medicat ISO as the source. The latest version of the MPI Tool Kit should prompt you to use syslinux '604' too.

When prompted by MakePartImage to AUTO-CORRECT - answer N, do NOT update the configuration files.

AFAIK the functionality is the same if you directly use the ISO file instead of a 'Rufus' flash drive as the source.

You can also UEFI64 boot from the .imgPTN file to MiniWindows x64.

Medicat - notes and bug fixes

Friday 11 October 2019

XMLtoE2B version 2.0.48 with bugfix

The previous version sometimes added an extra
line when adding an SDI_CHOCO section.

This new version should fix the problem.

Thursday 10 October 2019

Easy2Boot v1.B7b with bugfix for non-contiguous files hanging menu loading

I just came across a long-standing bug in grub4dos which has the affect of making E2B freeze when listing a non-contiguous ISO file, as shown below...

It is not supposed to hang!!!
Version 1.B7b avoids this bug by not showing the Volume and UUID details of the ISO which is normally listed under the menu and so avoids the issue.

By habit, I always make files contiguous after I copy them to the E2B drive, so I never noticed until now!  This issue must have been present since E2B v1.B0!

The grub4dos bug report is here.