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.


Before you start, disable ALL your antivirus programs. Note that you may have to also disable Windows Defender because Windows may default to using it if you disable your 3rd party AV program.

You will have many problems if you do not fully disable your AV!

The files will require approx 10GB of free space on your E2B drive just for Medicat WinPE + applications.

1. Download the Medicat file. This is usually in the form of small zip files and you need to run 7zip on the first one to extract the large .bin file.

2. Download and install Passmark OSFMount.

3. Run OSFMount and mount the medicat .bin file:
  • Mount new - (select the large Medicat bin file) - Next
  • Select All - Next
  • Mount

If you have a .img file, you can use 7zip instead of OSFMount.

4. Copy the ISO at "\Boot_an_Operating_System\[EFI]_Mini_Windows_10.iso" to your E2B USB drive (e.g. to \_ISO\WINPE folder). This is the main Medicat WinPE ISO.

Tip: For quicker selection within E2B and agFM, change the file extension to .isodef.

5. Run \Make_this_drive_contiguous.cmd to make it contiguous.

6. Now copy the \Programs and \PortableApps folders to the root of your E2B first partition. These are large folders and your AV will complain loudly and often if it has not been disabled!

7. Copy these files to the root of your E2B first partition:
\Start.exe   (the PortableApps executable)

8. (Optional) copy any additional .ISO files over to the E2B USB drives first partition. Note that files beginning with 'BIOS' are not UEFI-bootable. Copy them to a suitable menu folder on the E2B USB drive as usual.

9. In OSFMount, you can now use 'Dismount all and Exit'.

You can now boot to the E2B grub4dos menu or the agFM UEFI menu and select one of the ISOs.

In use, I found it is best to run \Start.exe under Windows to update and add any PortableApps before you boot to MediCat. If you accidentally corrupt any of the Medicat programs (e.g. MalwareBytes), you will need to re-copy the appropriate \Programs\xxxx folder onto the E2B drive after mounting the .bin file in OSFMount again.

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