Monday 31 October 2022

VentoyPlugson.exe v1.0.81 for E2B drives now available

'Ventoy for Easy2Boot' is currently at v1.0.79.
The VentoyPlugson.exe utility has been slightly modified to work on an USB drive (not just official Ventoy drives) so that it will recognise any USB drive.

Sunday 30 October 2022

E2B and agFM updates

  • E2B latest version is now v2.18 2022-10-28
  • agFM latest version is now agFM v1.97 2022-10-29
  • 'Ventoy for Easy2Boot' is still at 1.0.79d 20220-09-13
You can download the latest version of E2B here. If you have v2.16 of E2B, you can run Make_E2B.exe and click on the Update E2B Drive to download and update to the latest versions without needing to manually download E2B.

E2B recent changes:

Saturday 29 October 2022

How to quickly identify what's in your old PC or Notebook (DOS SysInfo tools)

The Utilities menu in E2B will give you some details on PCI IDs (useful for finding the correct driver), BIOS-accessible disk drives and CPU Information...

E2B - UTILITIES - CPU Information

But if you are planning to install Windows or Linux onto an old PC or NoteBook, you can identify the hardware in a lot more detail bootable to an ISO such as the Hardware Detection Tool ISO file.

Thursday 27 October 2022

Boot pmagic_2022_09_04.iso from E2B\agFM\Ventoy with persistence

This version requires a 64-bit CPU and needs at least 2GB of RAM (and 4GB if not using save feature).

It is possible to boot Partition Magic 2022  from an ISO file and use the LIVE SAVE (persistence) feature which allows you to create a persistence file which is saved on exit and automatically loaded on boot.

My personalized purple Pmagic with persistence.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Add Gandalf’s Windows 10PE x64 Redstone 7 Spring 2022 Edition to E2B

Gandalf's WinPE is another popular Windows 10 x64 PE. It contains lots of programs and utilities but it is rather a heavyweight. The boot.wim file alone is 2GB and to run it you will need a 64-bit CPU and 4-5GB of RAM (depending on how you boot the ISO).

The boot.wim can take many minutes to load on some systems (depends on the BIOS USB 2/3 driver speed).

The download file is 'donationware' in that you must donate in order to be given a download URL, although if you Google enough, you can find a torrent link for a 5GB .rar download which can be unpacked to give a 10.8GB ISO file which supports UEFI64 and Legacy 64-bit booting.

I changed the filename to:
so that it would boot under E2B and agFM without prompting for options or showing a secondary menu.

Sunday 23 October 2022

Add PhilsComputerLab's DOSBENCHMARK test utilities to your E2B or Ventoy USB drive (and run Quake and Doom!)

Phil has provided some DOS-executables which you can use to benchmark and test legacy BIOS PCs. As well as CPU, VGA and sVGA benchmarks, it also has the trial versions of Quake and Doom which you can play!

Speedsys 4.78 run on Lenovo IdeaPad300 notebook

The main menu is shown below:

Monday 17 October 2022

Boot or Install ReactOS Live from E2B

If you want to try ReactOS (which is at Alpha status - so still very buggy!) you can download a .imgPTN23 file here which should boot to the LiveCD ISO.

ReactOS itself does not fully support USB 2/3 AFAIK, so you may need to attach a PS/2 keyboard and mouse if using a real system. 

Friday 14 October 2022

E2B v2.16 released

Changes in 2.16 are:
  • New - Support new .wimboot file extension (can use xxxxx_.wimboot.wim to make E2B boot using iPXE wimboot method instead of NTBOOT and bootmgr\BCD).
  • New - skip the prompt ‘Press ENTER to not use WIMBOOT’ if characters ‘WIMBOOT’ are in Windows Install ISO filename.
  • New - Ctrl+F7 hotkey to switch display to text mode. Use Ctrl+F8 to reload menu in default mode.
  • New - Alt+F7 hotkey to switch display to 1024×768 mode. Use Ctrl+F8 to reload menu in default mode.
  • New - \_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2022 folder added for Server 2022 ISOs/IMPTN files.
  • New - Add support for Ventoy Linux VHD/VDI .vtoy files. \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files\Linux Mint VHD_VDI (ventoy).mnu, \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files\Linux\ventoy_grub.cfg added. 
  • New - Check USB drive is not a GPT drive added. 
  • New - Can use set QMENU=1 in MyE2B.cfg for faster loading of E2B menus (but no ISO volume info in descriptions and no ‘not contiguous’ warnings given). Improve menu loading time if many files in menu folder.
  • New - Add “\_ISO\docs\Make_E2B_USB_Drive\Download and update E2B.cmd” – this script will download the latest currently released version of E2B (or latest Beta if available) and then update the E2B version on the USB drive, then proceed to download and update agFM and Ventoy for Easy2Boot and Ventoy Plugins.
  • Bugfix - SWITCH_E2B.exe fix not switching if partition 4 has start/size parameters but is Type 0.
  • E2B Menu F1 ENGlish help text updated, hotkey grub4dos utility updated, \grldr grub4dos version updated.

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Three new ways to make or save money (but be quick!)

Here are some ideas to get approx. £40 in less than an hour (no risk) and save up to 30% on Christmas gifts or purchases and save £££s on your weekly supermarket shopping bills for ever!

Monday 10 October 2022

E2B v2.16j available with E2B update script

v2.16j - Add "\_ISO\docs\Make_E2B_USB_Drive\Download and update E2B.cmd" - this script will download the latest currently released version of E2B (or latest Beta if available) and then update the E2B version on the USB drive, then proceed to download and update agFM and Ventoy for Easy2Boot and Ventoy Plugins.

If an E2B Beta is available you can download and install that version, otherwise it will download the currently released version.

You can download any E2B version and drag-and-drop the .zip file onto the Download and update E2B.cmd script and it will use that file instead of downloading one.

The script will then go on to download and install the latest current release of agFM and Ventoy for Easy2Boot (you will be asked if you want to update first).

Note: If you abort the script during operation, it may leave some temporary files on your Windows system. You can delete them by simply running the script again and answer No at the first question.

Thursday 6 October 2022

Easy2Boot v2.16h Beta available

I have made a slight improvement to speed up the enumeration/loading time of an E2B menu folder.

In addition, if you add

set QMENU=1

into your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file it will also speed up the menu load time (but the ISO volume name and the contiguous file status will not be checked or displayed).

The E2B grub4dos+grub4efi Beta version has also been updated if you want to experiment and UEFI-boot to a UEFI E2B menu system.

I am thinking of releasing E2B 2.16 soon so please let me know if you spot any issues.

Beta downloads are in the Alternate Download Areas as usual - Latest Betas folder.

E2B Change History

Tuesday 4 October 2022

New Linux VHD\VDI video

I have added a new YouTube video to demo how to make VHDs or VDIs containing fully installed Linux OS's and boot to them from E2B\agFM\Ventoy.

You can also boot to the .VTOY file using your own grub2/grub4dos/rEFInd menu system - see the vdiskchain github project for details.

You can add "VTOY_LINUX_REMOUNT=1" as a kernel parameter to add to the boot parameters. 

I have also updated the 'Getting started with Ventoy' eBook to include a chapter and Exercise on how to make a .vtoy Linux file and how to add the VTOY_LINUX_REMOUNT=1 into the grub.cfg  of the Linux VHD\VDI permanently.

The latest 2.16 Beta of E2B supports .VTOY files. The current latest agFM also supports .VTOY files (as well as the current 'Ventoy for Easy2Boot' 1.0.79).

Beaware of this VentoyPlugson issue!

I have noticed a problem with tab pages in Ventoy's VentoyPlugson web-based app.

Basically, there is no indication of whether or nor a 'mode' section exists in the ventoy.json file.

This is important because if for instance a 'control_uefi' section exists within the ventoy.json file AND YOU UEFI-BOOT then the settings in the first tab page named 'control' will be ignored and only the settings in the 'control_uefi' page will be used. However, if there is NO 'control_uefi' key defined in the ventoy.json file then the settings in the 'control_uefi' tab will be ignored and the settings in the 'control' tab page will be used.

The problem is the web application does not indicate whether a 'control_mode' section exists or not - so it is not clear which tab page will be used by Ventoy!

I discovered this when I found that the VTOY_LINUX_REMOUNT setting did not appear to work in legacy mode but did work in UEFI64 mode. It turned out my ventoy.json file had these settings:

        { "VTOY_WIN11_BYPASS_CHECK": "1" },
        { "VTOY_LINUX_REMOUNT": "1" }
        { "VTOY_DEFAULT_MENU_MODE": "1" }

This means that when I legacy booted, the VTOY_LINUX_REMOUNT setting did NOT take effect because Ventoy used the settings in the 'control_legacy' section and ignored the settings in the 'control' section.