Tuesday, 23 February 2021

eBook #3 How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot new revision available

I have now updated eBook #3

How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot_v1.8.pdf

If you want the latest version, please use link in your original Payhip email receipt to download it.

Updates are free!

How to Install Windows using Easy2Boot (v1.8 2021-02-23)

Contents

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Easy2Boot v2.08 is now released

Changes from v2.07:

1. Bugfix - Windows ISO Repair option sometimes doesn't work
2. Bugfix - Fix Make_E2B cmd script aborting when XP Home used as host OS
3. Add E2B 'Disable Kaspersky shim' menu option to disable Insecure boot feature
4. Trad Chinese language improved
5. New file 'Test_file_access_speed.lua' added to UTILITIES menu for agFM menu system

If you run Make_E2B.exe and click on the Update E2B drive button, it will update both E2B and agFM to the latest release versions. 

To update Ventoy, double-click on:
\e2b\Update agFM\Update_to_latest_Ventoy_version.cmd 
which is on the 2nd partition (requires internet access)

Friday, 19 February 2021

How to UEFI64-boot to the AntiVirusLiveCD ISO

The AntiVirusLiveCD ISO only supports 64-bit CPUs and Legacy\MBR booting. MBR-booting on a system with a 32-bit CPU causes a 'not 64-bit CPU' error message to be displayed. 

When I downloaded the AntivirusLiveCD-36.0-0.103.0.iso file, I found by using 7Zip, that it did not contain a \EFI folder or any boot image which contained any .efi boot files. So the ISO does not support UEFI-booting. 

Even though the ISO does not contain UEFI64 boot files, it is possible to first UEFI64-boot to grub2 and then load the linux kernel and initrd ramdrive files under grub2. As long as the kernel does not rely on any Legacy BIOS calls, it should still boot OK.

I examined the AntivirusLiveCD-36.0-0.103.0.iso's \boot\isolinux\isolinux.cfg file:

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

How to fix a website browser display problem

When using a web browser, you can sometimes find that the browser is not displaying a particular website 'correctly'.

I quite often find that Chrome will sometimes insist on displaying a website page on my PC as if it was a mobile device and insists on using the mobile  'm.xxx' URL site address rather than the desktop site URL. It can also display a dark theme (which I personally don't find easy to read) or display the site using a different theme or layout than is displayed on other devices or browsers. 

If I am browsing on a mobile device, the Chrome hamburger menu icon will often give me the option for 'Desktop site', but when using a desktop PC/notebook, this option is not available even if the mobile version of the website is being displayed by the browser.

Here are some things that I try:

  • Try a different browser
  • Try the Incognito tab
  • Delete/edit cookies for site
  • Deep-dive using F12

My first attempt to fix this is to try a different browser such as Windows Edge or Opera.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Ventoy for Easy2Boot v1.0.35 now available

 1. Download the modified version from here

2. Drag-and-drop the .zip file onto the USB Partition2 \e2b\Update agFM\Add_Ventoy.cmd file.

Allow the new files to overwrite the old version of Ventoy.

If there is a problem and you want to go back to the latest release version, run \e2b\Update agFM\Update_to_latest_Ventoy_version.cmd.


Ventoy for Easy2Boot

Please note: This is NOT the official Ventoy - it has been modified to work with E2B, so please don't report problems to Ventoy/LongPanda unless you can reproduce the problem on a real official Ventoy USB drive made with the Ventoy2Disk application provided.

If you have downloaded and tested the new version (UEFI and Legacy) please tick the 'It worked for me' checkbox.


Sunday, 14 February 2021

agFM v1.70 available plus eBook #4 updated rev. 1.20

 I have now updated agFM to v1.70. It is available from the Alternate Downloads sites and should also be live if you run the \e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd script. 

The PDF eBook #4 for agFM has also been updated to rev. 1.20 to match agFM v1.70 (contents list below). Later revisions of all E2B eBooks can be downloaded for free using the original download link that you received in the email when you first purchased it from Payhip.

agFM v1.70 2021-02-14

  • Recognise the .binacpi file extension (e.g. to run DSDT.bin files).
  • Add Enable\Disable Kaspersky shim EFI menu entry.
  • rEFInd EFI booloader/manager by Rod Smith added (EFI boot manager) added.
  • SAMPLE startup menu files now include new entries to run rEFInd.
The latest Beta version of Easy2Boot is v2.08e. The Beta history for v2.08e is:
2.08a - add \_ISO\MAINMENU\DisableKasperskyShim.mnu
2.08b - bugfix in Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd drive creation script due to XP Home not having tasklist.exe
2.08c and d - bugfix for Win7 Repair option (did not swap hd0 with hd1), did not wait 3 secs on wimboot prompt on Dell PC - thanks to Jose C for reporting the issue
2.08e - improve Trad Chinese language file, E2B ignores .lua files, Test_file_access_speed.lua added to UTILITIES folder for agFM menu system (test file access speeds under agFM)

and I suggest you also update your E2B files to this latest version too as it adds new features and bugfixes.

eBook #4: UEFI multi-boot using the a1ive grub2 File Manager

Contents:

Friday, 12 February 2021

How to fix intermittent errors when booting from a USB drive

Around 1998 we got introduced to USB 1.0. The pure data bit rate could reach an amazing 12Mbits/s (approx 1MByte/s in real life). Then we got USB 2 at the start of the new Millenium which gave us up to 60MBytes/s (much faster than slow-spinning CDs!). 

Later still (after 2008) we got USB 3, 3.1 and 3.2 with up to 2.4GBytes/s and very recently we have USB 4 (based on Thunderbolt 3) and are promised speeds of up to a staggering 40GBytes/s.

The names which were given to these different technologies (and seem have been randomly assigned with little forethought) are:

  • USB 1 - Low Speed
  • USB 1 - Full Speed
  • USB 2 - High Speed
  • USB 3 - Super Speed
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 Super Speed
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 Super Speed+
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1x1
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2x1
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2x2
  • USB 4 Gen 2x2
  • USB 4 Gen 3x2 - USB4 routing for tunnelling of USB3.x, DisplayPort 1.4a and PCI Express traffic and host-to-host transfers, based on the Thunderbolt 3 protocol
So what started out as 1MB/s wired protocol has ended up as having a 40+GB/s Input/Output transfer protocol zipping along at radio frequencies!

Now when considering booting from a PC or Notebook, the BIOS/Firmware driver is responsible for USB I/O communication. Most computers which have USB 3 ports, have both USB 3 and USB 2 drivers embedded in the firmware. However, these BIOS drivers will probably not be fully featured like full-blown Windows or Linux drivers. Hence, they may not fully implement the Super Speed protocols and error handling may be limited.

The transfer protocols used by the driver will determine how fast I/O access is and thus how fast we can boot from the USB drive. Moving large blocks of data using a high-speed USB block-transfer protocol under Windows can give us those high speeds, but the BIOS firmware is probably using a more primitive and slower protocol to access the USB drive.

Another point to keep in mind is what BIOS code is used. If we Legacy\MBR-boot from the USB drive it will use the real-mode IBM-compatible BIOS USB driver, but if we UEFI-boot then a completely different UEFI USB driver will be used by the BIOS.

Because the BIOS\Firmware knows what USB chipset is present, it is possible for the BIOS developers to make sure that the USB speeds are optimized. However, most BIOS developers just use generic USB 2/3 drivers to add into their Firmware whilst others may spend some time and effort tweaking the USB BIOS code (e.g. Apple).

Gotcha's

Sunday, 7 February 2021

11 useful Antivirus ISOs all in one download

 In a fairly recent article, Jayro (the developer of Medicat) has provided a separate 7GB .zip file download of useful antivirus ISOs.

You can extract the contents to a Ventoy USB drive or to the root of an E2B USB drive (except for the two autorun files).

If you don't want to use Ventoy (because it will overwrite the \ventoy\ventoy.json file) then just copy the ISO files to the \_ISO\ANTIVIRUS folder.

Note that some of the ISOs do not support UEFI (Avast, Sophos,AVG and Comodo do not even contain EFI boot files). Jayro has disabled UEFI boot in the Ventoy configuration file because many of the others are problematic when attempting to UEFI-boot from them. Only DrWeb, Eset and MalwareBytes seem to UEFI64 boot using agFM.



Updated:

~ I actually downgraded the 2018 Malwarebytes Bootable WinPE to a 2016 version for added stability, it boots up WAY faster, uses much less RAM, and has a smaller file size. Has a startup sound with audio instructions to get you started. This older version is only temporary, until I have the time to build a proper one that's more up to date.

~ Minimum memory requirements have been reduced at the bottom of this changelog, to better reflect the memory needs of the included WinPE WIM files. Minimum RAM requirements below has dropped from 3GB down to 2GB, but you'll still want 4GB or more for comfortable usage. Luckily most modern PCs and laptops come with no less than 4GB these days.

~ Malwarebytes virus definitions to v2020.12.08.03

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Add Medicat v21.01 to your E2B USB drive

 Medicat 21.01 is in the form of zip files for use with 7Zip and Ventoy. You are supposed to extract the contents to the first partition of a previously-made Ventoy USB disk. Instead, you can just copy all the files (except \autorun.inf and \autorun.ico) to the root of your E2B first NTFS partition and only use Ventoy to boot to Medicat. This will add lots of folders to the root however and you may overwrite the contents of your \ventoy folder which will affect your existing Ventoy theme and menu settings (if you have any).

Remember to disable your AntiVirus first (and check that it does not 'quarantine' any files on the USB drive once you have completed the copy and re-enabled your AV).


Medicat v21.01 zip file contents

Then simply boot to Ventoy from the E2B USB drive.

Note that copying the Medicat files will also add the \ventoy folder to the first E2B NTFS partition which includes a ventoy.json file. This will change the Ventoy theme and also change the menu entry names. You may find it educational to look at the ventoy.json to see what it does because a few ISO mey require special settings.

I found that quite a few of the menu entries had problems UEFI-booting on my Lenovo IdeaPad - maybe you will have better luck...

The alternative would be to selectively pick only the ISO or WIM files that you want, and add them into the existing E2B menu folders. This means you don't need to boot to Ventoy.

In most cases you do not need to add any of the other files (some may require the ventoy.json if anything 'special' needs to be done to run the ISO - so you may need that too).

Medicat Mini Windows

To add the Medicat WinPE, we need the file:
\Boot_an_Operating_System\[UEFI]_Mini_Windows_10.iso

Copy it to the \_ISO\WINPE folder (for instance). You will also need to copy the following files and folders to the root of the E2B NTFS partition #1 as they are required by Medicat Mini Windows 10 too (the Mini_Windows_10.iso only contains boot files and the boot.wim file):

\Start.exe
\CdUsb.Y
\autorun.cmd (optional)
\PortableApps
\Programs
\System (optional)

To save a key press or two, you can rename the extension to .isodef if you don't want to use Ventoy.

Issues?

  • AntiVirus - MalwareBytes: UEFI64 does not seem to boot using Ventoy. Boots OK using agFM menu system and choosing .isowin or .isomap options however.

  • Some other Windows ISOs also seem to have problems. Try .isomap option in agFM.

  • Ventoy has problems with some payloads if testing using VirtualBox+VMUB but on a real system it works OK.

  • If you have intermittent problems when booting large ISOs, etc. then try a USB 2 port or connect a USB 2 extension cable to the E2B USB drive so that only USB 2 speeds are used instead of USB 3 speeds.

  • If you are using a USB 3 SSD device and experience problems, try using a USB Flash drive or USB spinning Hard Drive instead - I have seen some issues when booting some Linux distros (e.g. Slax) from a USB SSD (the USB drive is not detected by the kernel and  fdisk -l does not list the USB drive)!
  • To boot using agFM, you may require > 4GB of RAM in the system.
Recommended for E2B: SanDisk Extreme Pro 3.1 (#ad)