Thursday, 28 May 2015

Special Offer: USB 3.0 64GB Fast Removable Flash drive under £24 (UK Only) + fix for Lexar S25 JumpDrive!

Fed up with waiting for Easy2Boot to boot? Want to install Windows 8 from an E2B Flash drive really quickly? Want to boot to WindowsToGo 8.1 from a Flash drive and run Windows almost as fast as you can from an internal hard disk?
For UK users go here and enter the code EXT20 at the checkout to get one of these for just £23.99 (P&P free)! Note: MyMemory sometimes sell the same product on eBay for a cheaper price - also try Tesco Direct (£17 June-2016)!

SanDisk Extreme Cruzer USB 3.0 64GB with retractable connector.
10GB file write > NTFS  71 seconds

A cheaper alternative is the Lexar USB 3.0 64GB S25 JumpDrive. Horrible cheap plastic construction though! Like the SanDisk, it also has an activity LED. This did not work in two of the three USB sockets on my EeePC - LED did not flash when connected (all other types of USB drives worked in all USB sockets) - see below for how I fixed it!  10GB file write > NTFS  154 seconds  (half the speed of the SanDisk on writes!)  I would suggest the Lexar S75, which has a metal USB connector, would be more reliable!

Give your pet a USB Flash drive!

Have you got a cat or dog? Are you frustrated by the small amount of info you can add to it's collar ID tag or the tiny piece of paper inside the ID tube which always seems to get wet or fade with age even if you wrap it in cling film/Saran wrap first?

Why not attach a small spare flash drive which contains ALL of the pet's details (pet's name, your name, address (map + pictures of your house), all Tel. numbers (mobile and home), email addresses, Skype address, What'sApp account, Facebook account, Twitter account,  pet's favourite food, any allergies, dietary requirements, if pet is microchipped or not, birth date, sex, description, neutered or not, pictures of the pet and owners, name and address of vet, etc.).

The flash drive should be waterproof and small, something like the Verbatim Tuff-n-Tiny would do.

If it's for a dog, why not add Easy2Boot and a puppy linux ISO too! changes

I have signed up with Ezoic to manage the page layout and Adsense ad placement on that site. You may notice that the page layout of has changed. 10% of hits will return the old site pages and layout, all other hits will return various new, experimental layouts. Ezoic will then collect stats to see which layout people prefer, etc. The experiment may take a month or so, after which the 'winning layout' will become the 'normal' layout. Cookies are used to ensure the same user always sees the same layout.
The site may also seem slower for a few days whilst it caches all the different web pages, but bear with it and it should soon get better in both performance and appearance.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Testing E2B UEFI and MBR\BIOS automated Windows installs using XML answer files

E2B copies the contents of your chosen XML file into the 100K blank  \AutoUnattend.xml file before it boots from the ISO file.
When you run a Windows Install ISO from E2B on a Removable USB drive on a real system, Windows Setup\PE will automatically read the \AutoUnattend.xml file located at the root of the USB drive.

However, If you try to run a Windows 7/8/8.1 Windows install ISO under a VM (e.g. Virtual Box), you will find that you will need to type SHIFT+F10 and then run \_ISO\e2b\firadisk\LOADISO.CMD in order to get the ISO to load as a virtual disk. This is because the \AutoUnattend.XML file is completely ignored by Windows because it does not 'see' the USB drive as a 'Removable' drive.

The problem is that if there are any other settings in the XML file (e.g. Product Key or other automated settings), then these settings are not picked up by Setup because the XML file is never read. This means we cannot run a fully unattended Windows install using one of the unattended XML files that we can create using the Windows Answer File Generator and XMLtoE2B.

As I didn't have a spare UEFI system to test automated installs with, I worked out a way to use Virtual Box instead...

XMLtoE2B Demo available

I have added a Demo version of XMLtoE2B.exe to the Alternate Download Areas for anyone who wants to play with it. I have tested MBR\Legacy installs and Windows 8 UEFI\GPT installs using it.
A Licence file is available to anyone who has donated £10 or more - please contact me if you want one.

Instructions for using XMLtoE2B are at

Friday, 22 May 2015

XMLtoE2B work continues...

I am still working on the XMLtoE2B.exe utility. Now it allows you to load different Disk Configuration files so that you can automate UEFI/GPT installs.
I also added a 'No User Accounts (Administrator only)  checkbox - this deletes any Local User accounts set up by WAFG and sets the AutoLogon Account Name to 'Administrator'. This has the affect of enabling the Administrator account.

Still loads more testing to do...

Thursday, 21 May 2015

E2B 1.68 (bugfix for 1.67)

Noam reported to me that the first menu entry in the MemTest menu (Ctrl-U -> Ctrl+M) does not work but just returns to the main menu.
It turns out this is a bug in 1.67 to do with using a .txt file with a payload file.
Please update to 1.68.
  • New grldr 0.46a,
  • auto win7/8/8.1 XML files added for fully automated installs.
  • 'Load_ISO (no prompt to Repair).XML' files added. 
  • LOADISNP.CMD added (does not prompt to repair system).
  • Bugfix to CountISOs.g4b. 
  • BugFix for .txt files stopping the menu entry from working (QAUTO.g4b and AUTOMN.g4b).

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Easy2Boot and automating Windows 7/8 installs using Unattend.xml files

I have had a few enquiries about automating Windows 7/8/8.1 installs using an XML file recently when using Easy2Boot and an unmodified Windows Install ISO from a USB drive, so I thought I would give a few pointers in this blog.

First you need to decide if you are going to install directly from an ISO or from a .imgPTN file (made from an ISO).

Note: E2B v1.82+ includes a new 'SDI_CHOCO' feature. This allows you to install drivers, applications and Windows Updates automatically.

Update: E2B v2 includes agFM which you can UEFI-boot to and directly run a Windows Install ISO and pick an XML file. This means you do not need to make an .imgPTN file. Also, a removable USB drive is not required, and USB E2B drive should work on most systems.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Easy2Boot 1.67 released

  • $NAME$ now supported in .mnu and .txt files
  • QAUTO.g4b and AUTOMN.g4b changed so .txt files with no \n (help) now end in \n to suppress g4d default help text. 
  • Only first line in .txt files are now used (others ignored). 
  • RMPartUSB and grubinst added so RMPrepUSB no longer needs to be installed to make a USB drive. 
  • Update_E2B_Drive.cmd updated to use xcopy if robocopy not available for XP systems. 
  • Fixed problem with spaces in pathnames in Update_E2B_Drive.cmd.
  • New grub4dos 0.4.6a can now write to small NTFS files (fixes long-standing bug/'feature') + blocklist command enhanced.

WIth the new version of grub4dos, small 'resident data' files now display the location of the resident data inside the $mft entry - e.g. screenshot above shows /menu.lst data contents are stored in the $mft resident record in relative sector 94 (and 95), from bytes 328 to 901.

Friday, 8 May 2015

E2B 1.67 Beta D with new grub4dos

yaya (a grub4dos developer) has fixed a long-standing problem with grub4dos with the latest 0.4.6a version (2015-05-08). E2B 1.67 Beta D uses this new version of \grldr.

In all previous versions, grub4dos could not write to small files on an NTFS volume. This was due to the way that NTFS stores the data of small files inside it's 'directory' record. This type of data is called resident data. Once the file exceeds the available space in the resident area (typically between 700 and 800 bytes) then it stores all the data in clusters outside of this area (the data space in the resident area is thus unused and used to store the used cluster information, if the file is larger than 800-ish bytes).

Older versions of grub4dos could not update the resident data area:
echo fred > file300bytes.txt
did not work with older versions of grub4dos, but now it does!

Note that grub4dos still cannot write more bytes than was originally contained in the file - i.e. you cannot overwrite a file containing 300 bytes with 301 bytes - the last byte will not be written.

You can detect these small 'resident data' NTFS files using the blocklist command:

f700 is a 700 byte resident file and does not list any used sectors.
f800 is an 800 byte files and lists two used 512-byte sectors.

Note that it is possible for a small file (e.g. 100 bytes) to be a non-resident file. This usually occurs when a larger, non-resident file has been reduced in length (e.g. a 900-byte file has been edited to be 100 bytes and saved as the same file).

The latest version of grub4dos shows the position of the resident data.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Download Windows 8.1 ISO from Microsoft

Microsoft have released a new tool (mediacreationtool.exe) which lets you download any version of Windows 8 (except Win8 with Bing) as an ISO or to USB drive.

Monday, 4 May 2015

E2B 1.67BetaC

A few tweaks to the scripts

  • Update_E2B_drive now uses Xcopy if Robocopy is not available (for XP users). Also problem with paths containing spaces now fixed.
  • Now includes RMPartUSB.exe and grubinst.exe so it is not necessary to download and install RMPrepUSB to make an E2B USB drive using Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd.
  • Latest version of E2B_Editor included.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Get the day of the week from grub4dos

The next E2B 1.67 Beta c will include the grub4dos batch file dow.g4b

dow.g4b takes 3 parameters:   year    month    day-of-month
and returns the grub4dos variable dow which is a number from 0-6 (0-Sunday, 1-Monday, etc.).
This means you can call it to test what day of the week it is.
For instance, you can call dow.g4b like this:

call /%grub%/dow.g4b   %@date:~0,4%    %@date:~5,2%   %@date:~8,2% 

and test dow like this:

# only allow use at weekends
if not "%dow%"=="0" if not "%dow%"=="6" halt

# don't allow at weekends, just shutdown!
if "%dow%"=="0" halt
if "%dow%"=="6" halt

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

E2B 1.67 Beta available

As well as recognising $HOME$ in .txt and .mnu files, E2B now will replace $NAME$ with the filename of the .txt or .mnu file.

This means that a .mnu file can contain $NAME$ and all you have to do is make sure the .mnu file has exactly the same filename as the ISO that it uses.

e.g. before we had this type of .mnu which we had to edit, in order to use a different ISO file.

iftitle [if exist $HOME$/precise-5.4.3.iso] Puppy Precise 5.4.3\n Puppy with persistence (save on reboot/shutdown)
set ISO=$HOME$/precise-5.4.3.iso
if "%E2BDEV%"=="" set E2BDEV=hd0 && pause E2BDEV forced to hd0!
partnew (%E2BDEV%,3) 0x00 %ISO%
map %ISO% (0xff) 
map --hook 
root (0xff) 
kernel /vmlinuz pmedia=usbhd psavemark=1 fix=fsck 
initrd /initrd.gz 

It can now be re-written as:

iftitle [if exist $HOME$/$NAME$.iso] Puppy Precise ($NAME$)\n Puppy with persistence (save on reboot/shutdown)
set ISO=$HOME$/$NAME$.iso
if "%E2BDEV%"=="" set E2BDEV=hd0 && pause E2BDEV forced to hd0!
partnew (%E2BDEV%,3) 0x00 %ISO%
map %ISO% (0xff) 
map --hook 
root (0xff) 
kernel /vmlinuz pmedia=usbhd psavemark=1 fix=fsck 
initrd /initrd.gz

As long as the filename of the .mnu is identical to the filename of the .ISO file, you do not have to edit the contents of the .mnu file to use it on different ISOs - just copy it and change it's filename.

Monday, 27 April 2015

E2B v1.66 released

Basically same as v.1.65 with + a few Spanish/German tweaks and the E2B_Editor.exe added.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

E2B_Editor update (v1.0.53-v1.065)

More changes - I can't stop tinkering!
  • If you tick 'Other E2B options -  AUTONUM'  then the display now reflects the changes in the menu (i.e. numbers are removed from the menu)
  • Can now click on CENTREHD and bdwidth fields to auto-increment/cycle the values
  • v1.0.58 - mouse tooltip displays RGB value under cursor
  • v1.0.61 - CTRL+Z Undo added + help button
  • v1.0.65 - file + extension show in menu items (no file extension if EXTOFF=1)

Saturday, 25 April 2015

E2Bed now reads and writes UTF-8 .cfg files

                                               Checkout the accent over the Ú  in  MENÚ PRINCIPAL.
  • ANSI language sets supported (not Chinese/Japanese/Persian glyphs)
  • %@DATE% and %@TIME% now interpreted by E2Bed
  • Improved parsing of color commands
  • standard (console) color now supported
  • (config file path) - click on text to edit the .cfg file in Notepad
  • (image file path) - click on text to launch the file (view\edit) - depends on Windows file association for .bmp on your system
  • Extra dropdown list options added

Note that the grub4dos password will never be ticked after  loading a .cfg file (even if it has a password set or reset in it). Before saving the .cfg file you must tick the 'No grub4dos password' checkbox each time if you want that option.
Also note that the AUTONUM=0 will be ticked if your .cfg file contains any type of AUTONUM setting (it assumes you have set AUTONUM=0 even if it was set to something else!).

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

New E2B_Editor version available

Latest beta version now does not need the OCX file.
Can load any .cfg file or .bmp file.
Keep checking for the latest version!

OneDrive download area
Google Drive download area

Monday, 20 April 2015

Easy2Boot Menu Editor

If you are feeling adventurous, try the new E2B Menu editor (written in VB6).
A Beta version can be found in the E2B Alternate Download pages.
Note: the first version required COMDLG32.OCX control - there is a separate ZIP file to install and register this. Subsequent versions don't require the OCX.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Cheryl's Birthday problem and others

The 'Cheryl's Birthday' maths test for the top 15/16 year olds in Singapore - can you solve it?

Here is a link to the problem that's taken the world by storm and a video on how to solve it.

For the 'What colour hat am I wearing' puzzle - click here.

Two students arrange to meet - both thought they had arrived at the correct time, but one was 29 minutes late - how come? Click here.

Want some more? Click here.

E2B v.1.65 and MPI Tool Kit 0.048 released

E2B v1.65 2015-04-16
  • New background
  • set CENTREHD=1 will now auto-centre menu headings. 
  • Menu hotkeys changed in all STRINGS.txt files
  • AUTOMENU feature added - can now press first letter of a menu entry to select it, 
  • Current language displayed in footer HELPTEXT (can be changed in MyE2B.cfg). 
  • grub4dos letters, e.g. p for password entry and c and e now only work if SHIFT is pressed at same time. 
  • Small speed improvement in counting Windows ISOs. 
  • New version of hotkey utility (thanks chenall!). 
  • New version of grub4dos 0.4.6a.
See previous blog posts for details.

The new MPI Tool Kit now centres the heading and payload description in the CSM menu and the \menu.lst is re-organised to help you make modifications more easily. It also now has hotkeys for F7/F9/F10 and first-letter menu hotkeys too. New grub4dos 0.4.6a is used too.

If you want your own background and menu for the CSM menu, just use the CUSTOM folder in the download to add any new or replacement files.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

E2B website now in Klingon

I had an email from a very cross guy called Khan today, asking me to provide instructions on how to make an Easy2Boot USB drive that are written in Klingon, as his Earth-English is not very good.

So Khan, please click HERE.

 (OK, not really)... ;-)

E2B 1.65d Beta available

  1. Chenall has fixed a few bugs in new grub4dos and the new hotkey utility.
  2. The Menu hotkeys have changed (they all use Ctrl key now).
    The Windows Install Menu is now Ctrl+I not W plus some others have changed!
  3. New wallpaper to signify change of hotkeys
  4. Grub4dos password entry now needs SHIFT key before pressing p. Same for c, b and e.
  5. Changed the way I detect Admin rights in Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd and QEMU_MENU_TEST.cmd.
  6. Grub4dos 0.4.5c/0.4.6a menu and USB driver menu moved from Main menu to Utilities menu.
As soon as chenall fixes and releases new grub4dos 0.4.6a I will release this new version.

Spot the changed hotkey assignments and new wallpaper!

Monday, 6 April 2015

E2B v1.65b with auto-hotkey feature

This new Beta has the updated grub4dos hotkey utility which chenall has kindly enhanced for us!

I have also improved the speed of the code that counts Windows ISOs.

Menu on my E2B drive used for testing, etc.

The new AUTOMENU hotkey jump feature is now enabled by default. e.g. press the f key and the Fedora menu #18 will be selected (but not run). Press the f key again and Fedora menu #19 will be selected.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Which is the best Portable app. Launcher for your USB drive?

It is often useful to have portable apps on your USB drive, so that you do not have to install any applications or drivers on the system that you are trying to use or fix.

Portable apps launchers are great, but most often you will need to run a launcher from a WinPE environment rather than a full Windows OS with .Net and WoW64 (the Windows-on-Windows 'thunking' which allows Windows to run a 32-bit application in a 64-bit OS).

Many of the portable apps themselves are 32-bit only apps (and thus require a full 64-bit OS or WoW add-ins), but what about the Launcher apps? If these require a full blown OS to run in with .Net, etc. then we cannot even run the Launcher app to choose a portable app!

Note: Check out PEStartup for a 32-bit and 64-bit alternative for WinPE OS's here. - A 'library' of all free portable apps with links. Useful for finding and adding portable apps to your launcher!

Friday, 3 April 2015

E2B v1.65a (Beta) supports centered headings

After making the YouTube video about configuring the menu and centering menu headings, I thought that maybe I should support automatically centered menu headings. This would save having to manually modify all the STRINGS.txt files just to have centred menu headings.

So E2B v1.65a will now centre Menu headings if you add


to the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg configuration file.

If the value is 1, then E2B will use the menuw  (menu width) setting to calculate where the centre point of the menu is. This would be the normal use for it. So if menuw is 65 then E2B will use 65 as the menu width for centering the headings.

However, you can specify your own value for CENTREHD. For instance if your menu width is 65 characters, but you want your menus to appear a little bit to the left of centre, use a CENTREHD value of say, 60 instead of 1.

The Beta is available in the Alternate Download areas. Let me know if you find a problem!

Tidbit: Freda, a female acquaintance of mine, named her red setter puppy Heathcliff because she is a big fan of Emily Bronte. However, it turned out not to be such a good idea, She takes it for walks on the Chiltern hills, and if it gets lost, she goes wandering all over the hills shouting 'Heathcliff, Heathcliff'! The other dog walkers look at her like she has just escaped from the local asylum!

New E2B YouTube video - how to change the menu position, colours and headings

I have had a few requests by people to make a MyE2B.cfg for them and also a request on more info on how to change and/or center headings.
So here is a new (quite long!) video.
Hope you don't fall asleep watching it!

Monday, 30 March 2015

E2B 1.64 released

Just fixes two issues in 1.63

  1. Long-standing issue - If you run XP Setup, when it gets to the first 'Welcome to Setup' blue screen, it will change the Disk Signature of the internal hard disk that you are about to install XP to. If you then abandon the install by rebooting, the OS that you had on the internal hard disk may no longer boot (BSOD - 0xc000000e  inaccessible boot device).  This has now been fixed.
    Tip: It could be repaired by using 'bcdboot D:\Windows /s C:' after booting to a Windows Install ISO console window.
  2. The new version of  \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\E2B TXT Maker.cmd caused a problem if you try to make a .txt file for a Windows Vista/7/8/10 ISO file. The 'if exist' conditional code has now been removed because it is not needed in .txt files, because the .txt file is only used if the ISO already exists.
Files are available from here as usual.

To update your E2B USB drive, download and extract the smaller non-DPMS version to a new, empty folder and then run the UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.CMD script.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Add HitManPro to your Easy2Boot USB drive

A previous blog post here described how you can add and run HitManPro from an E2B USB Removable Flash drive (NTFS or FAT32). The E2B USB drive must be of the 'Removable' type - it won't work if your E2B  flash drive is of the Fixed-disk type (a USB HDD will not work either - Hitman will not auto-run when you boot to Windows).

HitmanPro needs to see a Removable USB drive which has some special code in the sectors at the very end of the USB drive (currently they use the very last 55 sectors).

I have written a grub4dos batch file HitManXfer.g4b (included in Easy2boot) which will transfer these sectors from a valid HitManPro USB Flash drive to the end of your E2B USB flash drive.

Friday, 27 March 2015

UEFI-booting Ubuntu\Xubuntu\Voyager with persistence

As a follow-on from my previous blog post, I thought you might like to see how to boot Voyager from a .imgPTN partition image AND have a persistence file too.

Add Voyager Live to your E2B USB drive

I came across the Xubuntu-derivative Voyager today.
It also includes 'Kodi Media Centre' in the hidden right-hand menu which is Xbox Media Centre (XBMC) and it ran fine booting from an E2B USB drive under VBox (set VBox Audio to ICH AC97 to enable audio) and I was quickly watching Al Jazeera (with persistence)!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Easy2Boot v1.63 released

Changes from v1.62
  • QRUN Auto-suggest feature  - now suggests a 'better' file extension, 
  • Make_E2B and Update_E2B cmd files now asks to create a MyE2B.cfg file for language/kbd support. 
  • New grldr grub4dos 0.46a version to fix NTFS bug with + improved USB 2.0 grub4dos driver.
  • \_ISO\isoboot.g4b supported for user's own version of isoboot.g4b.
  • QEMU test boot files added to root. 
  • FreeBSD, pfSense and GhostBSD memstick images now supported. 
  • Make_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd now will detect all drives if no USB drive found in system. 
  • XP 32-bit Mass Storage DPMS drivers updated for latest chipsets.
  • Sub-Menu Maker script file improved.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Add a Clonezilla Backup/Restore menu to your Easy2Boot USB HDD

If you have Easy2Boot on a large (e.g. 2TB) NTFS USB HDD, you can add a clonezilla ISO and a .mnu file to E2B. This allows you to quickly and easily make a backup of the first hard disk in all your systems (PCs, notebooks, tablets). You can then perform a 'bare-metal' restore at any later date.

The Tutorial 118 on the RMPrepUSB website gives you all the details. You don't have to save the backup images onto the E2B drive, you can connect a second USB HDD to act as the backup device and then keep it in a drawer, happy in the knowledge that you can restore any of your systems at any time in the future.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Easy2Boot DPMS now with updated XP 32-bit Mass Storage Drivers

E2B v1.63 Beta 5 ( has the latest XP 32-bit Mass Storage Drivers added + a few bug fixes to fix a few issues in the DriverPack. The new version will hopefully allow XP to be installed from an ISO file onto newer systems that have more modern chipsets - e.g. Z87/Haswell.

If you have any systems (new or old) that you can install XP onto to test it, please do so and let me know if there are any problems as there may be bugs in the new DriverPack files.

As a very quick preliminary test, try the Utilities - List matching XP DriverPack.ini entries  menu option - this should identify your systems Mass Storage (e.g. AHCI) controller and tell you what driver it will use from the DriverPack. If that works then go ahead and try a 2-Stage XP install from ISO and see if it works. If it cannot find a driver, please report the PCI ID to me by using the 'Show Mass Storage Controller PCI IDs' menu entry.

Don't forget to use a USB 2.0 port and not a USB 3.0 port for the E2B USB drive!

The new Beta is in the Alternate Download Areas as usual. Unfortunately, the E2B zip file is larger than before (38MB instead of 31MB), due to the extra drivers.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

MPI Tool Kit v0.045

Running .imgPTN Windows Install from a Virtual Machine

If you convert a Win7 Install ISO to a .imgPTN file and then boot in a VM to the .imgPTN file in E2B and run Setup from the CSM menu, there was a problem in that Setup would overwrite the boot code on the USB drive and thus both the E2B USB drive and the Virtual Hard Disk would not be bootable after a reboot!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

MPI Tool Kit 0.044a

Recently, there have been several instances when you cannot run the MPI_FAT32 or MPI_NTFS scripts because you need to enter a larger size than the calculated default size for the .imgPTN file.

This new version has a small change to the MPI_FAT32 and MPI_NTFS scripts.

Instead of running automatically with no user prompts, it now always prompts for the size of the .imgPTN file that it needs to create.

Normally, you will just press [ENTER] to accept the default size, but you can type in a different size instead.

Although this means it is now no longer fully automatic, I don't think pressing the [ENTER] key is too much of a price to pay for being able to override the default size.

If you wish, you can edit the .cmd files and add a * to the command that runs MakePartImage, in order to return it to its normal 'fully automated' mode.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Add Knoppix+Persistence to your E2B drive

Note: this must be done using an NTFS E2B USB drive rather than a FAT32 E2B drive, because usually the .imgPTN file will be greater than 4GB for a full Knoppix OS + persistence file.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Easy2Boot 1.63 Beta 3 now supports FreeBSD 9 and 10, GhostBSD and pfSense 'memstick' images

Versions 9 and 10 of FreeBSD will not boot as an ISO, but the 1.63 Beta 3 version of Easy2Boot and the new MPI Tool Pack v0.044 do support FreeBSD 9 and 10 and pfSense 'memstick' non-UEFI images.

E2B v1.A5 and later versions now support the .isoBSD file extension and can directly MBR-boot some BSD ISO files using a small .imgPTN partition image file - see here.

GhostBSD.img files are also in the memstick format and work too.

You will need to make a dummy .imgPTN file and then add and rename the memstick .img file to remove it's file extension, as described below...

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Adding FreeBSD, FreeNAS, PCBSD/TrueOS to Easy2Boot

Update: E2B 1.63 now supports FreeBSD, pfSense and GhostBSD .img files! See blog post here.

Recent versions of FreeBSD, FreeNAS, PCBSD/TrueOS ISOs do not 'just work' when copied to the E2B USB drive. However, if you can make a bootable FAT32 USB Flash drive that works correctly (e.g. using Unetbootin), then it is often possible to use the MPI Tool Kit's MakePartImage to make a .imgPTN partition image file directly from the working USB Flash drive.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

E2B v1.63 Beta 2 now available

Changes from v1.62

  • QRUN now suggests a 'better' file extension than .iso if appropriate (see previous blog post)
  • \_ISO\docs\Make_E2B_USB_Drive\Make_MyE2B.cfg.cmd - this will create language\keyboard settings in a new MyE2B.cfg file.
  • MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd and UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.cmd files now will ask if you want to create a MyE2B.cfg file for language/kbd support (if one does not already exist) by calling Make_MyE2B.cfg.cmd.
  • New grldr grub4dos 0.4.6a version to fix NTFS bug
  • Small tweaks to QRUN.g4b to use language file error messages for 'not contiguous' etc.
Download it from the E2B Alternate Download Areas at bottom of page here as usual.

P.S. RMPrepUSB v2.1.728 now available, includes grub4dos 0.4.6a latest version instead of 0.4.5c version - same as latest E2B.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Add Liberte Linux with persistence to E2B

Liberte Linux is a secure, reliable, lightweight and easy to use Gentoo-based LiveUSB/SD/CD Linux distribution with the primary purpose of enabling anyone to communicate safely and covertly in hostile environments. Whether you are a privacy advocate, a dissident, or a sleeper agent, you are equally likely to find Liberté Linux useful as a mission-critical communication aid.

The latest version is 2012.3 and supports MBR and 64-bit and 32-bit UEFI-booting.

Liberte will automatically make a persistent file at \otfe\liberte.vol if an empty \otfe folder exists in the root of a FAT32 writeable storage medium. It does not seem possible to boot from the ISO with persistence however, so we must use a .imgPTN file:

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Easy2Boot v.1.63 Beta 1 suggests an alternative file extension!

I have added some more code to QRUN.g4b which looks at the file extension and the file name and will suggest an alternative file extension if it thinks that it will work better. You are only prompted if E2B thinks that it will not run correctly as a .ISO file.

As you can see, the file in the screenshot above is called ERDCommander2005.iso, but QRUN has suggested that using a file extension of .isomemwinv might be better for this ISO file.

The user must type Y within 5 seconds in order to run the ISO as if it had a .isomemwinv file extension, otherwise after 5 seconds, E2B will continue to boot the file as a .ISO file (and in this case it will fail to successfully boot!).

This feature means that naive users will be warned if they need to rename the file extension. It also means that for quick testing, you don't need to rename the file extension yourself if you forget, as you will be prompted by QRUN anyway.

Currently, it will suggest a better alternative file extension for:

  • Windows ISOs
  • WinPE ISOs
  • XP/Bart/MiniXP/MicroXP/Windows Legacy ISOs
  • WinBuilder ISOs
  • Hirens\DLCD\Falcon 4 ISOs
  • Partition Magic ISOs
  • TrueCrypt ISOs
  • Puppy Linux ISOs
  • macpup linux ISOs
  • WDE ISOs
  • winflp ISOs
  • POS 2009 ISOs
  • ubcd4win ISOs
  • ubcd ISOs
  • haiku anyboot .image files
As it looks at the name of the payload file, it will only work if you have the correct strings in the filename - e.g. 'WIN' or 'POS'+'2009' or 'XP' or 'winbuild' . These are not case sensitive.

Please let me know if you think I could add any more or it does not suggest a correct alternative.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Minimal QEMU files for Easy2Boot

If you need to boot to Easy2Boot under a VM on a system that does not have RMPrepUSB or a VM Manager such as  Virtual Box or VMWare already installed, you can keep a copy of MobaLiveCD.exe on the E2B drive.

MobaLiveCD.exe will boot to QEMU (a CPU and system emulator) and then boot the QEMU virtual machine from the E2B USB drive.

As an alternative, you can download and unzip the file from the E2B Alternate Downloads Area to your E2B USB drive (it must be on the USB drive and not your internal hard disk) and then double-click on the BootUSB.cmd file to boot from the USB drive under QEMU. This should only be used to boot to the menu system or select .imgPTN files however as it does not create a virtual hard disk, does not lock the drive like RMPrepUSB does, and uses a fixed memory size of 500MB.

I may add this QEMU folder into the E2B download file, if anyone thinks this is useful, as it is only an extra 1MB.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

E2B - easily make more sub-menus with the new version 1.62

\_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\E2B SUBMENU Maker.cmd

The E2B has 7 'normal' sub-menu folders ANTIVIRUS, BACKUP, DOS, LINUX, UTILITIES, WIN, WINPE. To make a new submenu entry folder, create one and then drag-and-drop the new folder onto the Make SubMenu.cmd file to make a Main menu entry for it (it creates the required .mnu file in the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder for you).

Note: with the latest version uses \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\E2B SUBMENU Maker.cmd , you can double-click on this file and it will prompt you for the name of the folder and create it for you (it still supports drag-and-drop too).

Easy2Boot v1.62 released at last!

E2B v1.62

Changes and additions since v1.61
  • New grub4dos versions 0.4.6a (default boot) and  0.4.5c
  • Clearer 'Not-Contiguous' file warning when booting directly from payload files
  • Revised Spanish language files (and small changes to German)
  • Patches for silent grub4dos startup in SampleMyE2B.cfg added. 
  • \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities .txt and .mnu maker.cmd batch files updated (can test for 32 or 64-bit CPUs). 
  • \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\Make SubMenu.cmd added - just drag-and-drop a new \_ISO\XXX folder onto it, to make a Main menu entry for it (creates the required .mnu file in the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder for you).
  • grab.g4b utility added (can copy screen text to a text file - useful for reporting issues). 
  • CRC feature - if you hold down the Left-CTRL key (think 'Ctrl=Crc') whilst selecting a payload file (not a .mnu file) and keep it held down for a few seconds after pressing ENTER to boot to the payload file, E2B will calculate and display the CRC32 value of the file before it runs the payload file. For instance, if an ISO file does not seem to boot correctly, you can find it's CRC32 value and compare it with the CRC32 value of the original file. Note that this feature only works with files that run using QRUN.g4b  - so this CRC32 feature does not work with .mnu menu entries and Windows Install ISOs in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xx folders.
  • Run ISOBOOT - If you hold down a SHIFT key whilst selecting a (linux) ISO file (think 'Shift to isoboot') and keep it held down for a few seconds after pressing ENTER to boot to the payload file, E2B will run it using only isoboot.g4b - in this way you can test out the E2B isoboot feature even if your ISO file is contiguous. Note that isoboot is a 'last resort' attempt to boot a non-contiguous linux ISO - it probably won't work for old or non-standard linux ISOs and quite a few others too!
  • Monthly PIN code - use the MyE2B.cfg file to request a 4-digit pin number from the user before it will load the E2B Main menu. The user PIN code required automatically changes every month, so you will need to tell the users\technicians the new PIN code each month (prevents theft/misuse). A small Windows utility can be provided which displays the  monthly PIN numbers. The seed value can be changed so that your E2B version will have a unique set of PIN numbers. If security is compromised, just re-issue a new version with a different Seed value.
  • WinContig added to E2B USB drive - just double-click on \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd to make all files on the USB drive contiguous - no need for RMPrepUSB.
  • XP Winnt.sif ISOs supported - patches "oempreinstall=yes" line in winnt.sif file so that E2B can install some XP versions (e.g. Micro XP Pro 1.11b.iso). 
  • The payload file extensions are now not shown in menu entries by default (only their file names). Can be overridden in MyE2B.cfg (set EXTOFF=)
  • Re-organised \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files folder
  • PassPass added to Sample mnu Files folder.

File extension support

  • suffixes pwd, 64 and 32 supported - e.g. Ubuntu.iso64 will only appear in the menu on a 64-bit system. MsDaRT8.isope01pwd will ask for a password before you can run it
  • MyE2B.cfg file can contain menupwd setting to specify a different password needed to run any payload file from the menu that ends in pwd - e.g. XYZ.isopwd. 
  • .dmg, .hfs, .dmgHFS and .HFSptn for Hackintosh installer images - e.g. Yosemite-Zone.dmg supported (MBR boot)
  • .isomacpup file extension added for macpuppy ISOs
  • .haiku file extension - Haiku 'anyboot' image support - just copy haiku.image files and rename the extension to .haiku.


  • Parted magic ISO support added
  • If using 0.4.6a, the ISO files do not need to be contiguous if using ISOBOOT. i.e. no need to load the ISO into memory first.

New sample .mnu files

  • Parted Magic + persistence mnu file
  • Arcabit mnu file
  • Fix for knoppix boot from non-contiguous ISO file in isoboot.g4b
  • macpup sample .mnu file added for saving sessions on exit
  • True partition Hide/Unhide sample menu file added. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Easy2Boot v1.62I now available

This version uses the new grub4dos 0.4.6a grldr version just released by chenall\yaya today and fixes the bug for the partnew command. Unless anyone reports any problems, this version will be released as the new 'official' v1.62 version in a few days. Please update your E2B drives and try it.

OneDrive download area

Google Drive download area

P.S. There is a new MPI Tool Pack download available - this just adds support for Acronis True Image .imgPTN files and allows you to boot a 'registered' version as well as the free\demo version.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Adding large grub4dos ISOs containing multiple smaller ISOs

If you have a large grub4dos-based (DVD) ISO which boots to a grub4dos menu and then loads other ISOs which are inside the main ISO file, although this may work as a DVD disk, it probably won't work if you try to boot it as an ISO from E2B.

If you examine the ISO file and it contains a \menu.lst and there are lots of smaller ISO files inside in various folders, then you probably have such an ISO and it will probably just hang if you try to run it as an ISO from E2B.

There is an easy way to get it to work however, just convert it to a .imgPTN file using MakePartImage and copy the .imgPTN to your E2B USB drive (make sure it is contiguous).

Acronis 2014 grub4dos ISO with multiple ISOs converted to a .imgPTN file

Just drag-and-drop the ISO onto the MPI_FAT32 desktop shortcut and answer Y (yes) when prompted to combine the menu.lst file inside the ISO with the CSM menu.lst file.

The new menu entries which have been added from the menu.lst in the original ISO should now hopefully run fine!

P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to this blog for more news and updates.

Monday, 9 February 2015

E2B v.1.62 Beta H now available

This uses the latest grub4dos 0.4.6a version (0.4.6a is not quite perfect yet as it still has some bugs which I have worked around in this version).
It now tests any payload file (that is run using QRUN) and warns you if the payload file is not contiguous. Please try it!

OneDrive download area
Google Drive download area