Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Remove the Panda vaccine protection from the \AUTORUN.INF file (FAT)

Some people who use Panda AV or Panda USB Vaccine may find that the \AUTORUN.INF file on their E2B USB drive has been hidden and write-protected. Although it will not affect E2B, it does affect how the drive appears in Windows Explorer and how it is listed by grub4dos:

  • The \AUTORUN.INF file is not visible in Explorer (even if 'Show all files' is enabled)
  • You cannot write a new \AUTORUN.INF file or copy it over the top of the existing (hidden) one
  • Windows Explorer does not show the E2B icon or display the Volume Label of the drive - it just shows 'Removable drive' or 'Local Disk'
  • Grub4dos will not detect or list the file

What Panda appears to do is (on a FAT volume)
  • Set the 'Hidden attribute' on the file
  • Set one of the 'Reserved' attribute bits which makes Windows (and grub4dos) ignore it.

For a FAT volume, we can remove protection with this bit of (seemingly wrong!) code executed from the grub4dos command line once booted to E2B:

errorcheck off
if not exist /AUTORUN.INF fat del /AUTORUN.INF

This looks incorrect, but works because the grub4dos fat utility does not use the grub4dos filesystem driver and seems to ignore the 'reserved bit' that makes the file 'illegal'.

After this code is executed, the AUTORUN_.INF file can be renamed to AUTORUN.INF.

I have added a $Panda_RestoreAutorun.inf_FAT.mnu file to the Sample menus and also to the Alternate Download Area - mnu files folder. Just copy it to your \_ISO\MAINMENU folder to use it. You will only see it if there is no \AUTORUN.INF in the current volume.

iftitle [if not exist /AUTORUN.INF] Restore \AUTORUN.INF (FAT32 only)\n Undo Panda Vaccination and delete or unhide AUTORUN.INF
errorcheck off
if not exist (hd0,0)/autorun.inf /%grub%/fat del (hd0,0)/autorun.inf > nul
if exist (hd0,0)/AUTORUN_.INF /%grub%/fat ren (hd0,0)/AUTORUN_.INF AUTORUN.INF
if exist (hd0,0)/AUTORUN.INF echo (hd0,0)/AUTORUN.INF now restored!
if not exist (hd0,1)/autorun.inf /%grub%/fat del (hd0,1)/autorun.inf > nul
if exist (hd0,1)/AUTORUN_.INF /%grub%/fat ren (hd0,1)/AUTORUN_.INF AUTORUN.INF
if exist (hd0,1)/AUTORUN.INF echo (hd0,1)/AUTORUN.INF now restored!
pause Press a key to reload the Main menu...
configfile (md)0xa000+0x8000 || configfile /menu.lst

For NTFS volumes, it is a lot trickier as there is no grub4dos equivalent to the fat utility for the NTFS filesystem (see next blog post).

If you want to try directly editing the NTFS filesystem to fix the AUTORUN.INF file, check the post  by Vasily Ignatov  here.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Adding >4GB UEFI-bootable NTFS .imgPTN files to E2B

This page on the E2B site describes 5 methods on how to add UEFI-bootable .imgPTN files to E2B that contain >4GB files. i.e. how to UEFI-boot from an NTFS image file. This is useful if your source contains a >4GB Install.wim or Install.esd file.

I have recently added Method 5 to this page which describes how you can add a 2nd small FAT Primary partition to your E2B USB drive which contains Pete Batard's (Rufus author) UEFI-NTFS boot files (which I provide as an EFI_TOGO zip download file).

Sunday, 24 January 2016

E2B_Editor v1.0.82 available

I have fixed a few niggly bugs in the E2B_Editor utility and hopefully made it more intuitive to use.

One problem was that on a 1600x900 screen, it defaulted to the 'borderless', fixed position mode.

Let me know if you find any problems, otherwise it will be in the next release of E2B v1.77.

Download from the Alternate Download Areas as usual and copy it to your \_ISO folder on the E2B USB drive.

It is intended to be run from the \ISO folder of the E2B USB drive and any bitmap that is used should be on the E2B USB drive in the correct location already, so that the path of the wallpaper bitmap file that is saved to the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file will be correct.
e.g. if you load a bitmap file from the Windows Desktop, then the .cfg file that you save will have an entry like:
set MYWBMP=/Users/Steve/Desktop/new800.bmp
so it is obviously not going to work when you use it on your E2B USB drive!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Switch_E2B v1.09 available

Following on from previous blog posts about using two partition image files for UEFI-booting of Windows installers with >4GB files...

As an alternative to using the MOVE_IMGPTN.cmd Windows script, Switch_E2B.exe v1.09 now detects the position of the two partition image files (e.g. FRED.imgptn and FRED) on an NTFS E2B drive and if they are in the wrong order for UEFI-booting, it will offer to attempt to re-order them for you.

It does this by copying the files up to 30 times and so it may take long time to do this, depending on the size of the files!

Since the file without the extension needs to be last one, this is the file that needs to be moved\copied. If this is a large file, it might take a while!

The re-ordering of the two files does not always work. If not, you can always try it again as it may work if you run it for a second time. Also, it may fragment the file (in which case you will need to run WinContig again and then try Switch_E2B again!

Note that this version shows you if a second partition image file is present that has no file extension.

It is available on the Alternate Download areas if you want to test it!

Let me know how you get on!

Note: SWITCH_E2B was only intended for use on NTFS E2B USB drives. The 'Restore E2B partitions' button should work on any drive, but switching to any .imgPTN file will only work on NTFS-formatted E2B USB drives - exFAT and FAT32 E2B drives will report an error.

Since the .imgPTN file needs to be first when using two partition image files and UEFI-booting on many systems, if SWITCH_E2B cannot move them, you could try just copying on the .imgPTN file, then defragging the whole partition (perhaps using Defraggler and WinContig?) and when all files are at the start of the volume, then copy over the 2nd file that does not have a file extension.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Netac U335 write-protected USB 3.0 flash drive for E2B

Today I got my new 32GB Netac U335 USB 3.0 Flash drive with a write-protect switch.

The write-protect slide switch is ringed in red.

The drive is not the fastest USB 3.0 drive I have ever seen (33MB/s read, 14MB/s write on a USB 3.0 port), but if you need a reasonably cheap USB drive with a write-protect switch then this would fit the bill.

Editing the MPI Tool Pack CSM menu (+ German version from Frettt)

The MPI Tool Pack only contains an English menu.lst file.

However, it does allow you to easily modify the files in the MPI Tool Pack to add your own menu.lst, background file and other files by using the CUSTOM folder.

When you run MPI, it starts by:
  1. Creates a file-backed RAM DISK
  2. Extracts the contents of the source (e.g. an ISO) to the RAMDISK
  3. Copies the contents of the csm folder to the  root of the RAMDISK
  4. Copies the contents of the CUSTOM folder to the root of the RAMDISK
  5. Processes the files on the RAMDISK to convert them for use with E2B, including modifying the menu.lst file, etc.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Problems UEFI-booting .imgPTN files - continued...

I have experimented some more with my Asus Z87 UEFI system and .imgPTN files, and it seems that the firmware will not provide the user with the UEFI boot option to UEFI-boot from an MBR-partitioned USB drive, if the partitions on that drive are out of order.

The Partition Table in the MBR (first sector) has 4 'slots' for 4 partition entries.

Each Partition Table entry has the following fields:
  • Drive number and Active/boot flag
  • Partition Type number (e.g. 0C = FAT32)
  • Start address of partition
  • Number of sectors in the partition
(there are also some parameters for old Cylinder/head/sector addressing).

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Problems UEFI-booting .imgPTN files!!!

Since about E2B v1.73, if the second partition is a small hidden type 21h partition that is placed there by RMPartUSB when you use RMPrepUSB or the MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd script, this partition is not removed when you switch to a .imgPTN file - this is only done if the extension is exactly ".imgPTN" or ".imgPTNAUTO".

This was done because some Legacy BIOSes would recognise  the USB drive as a floppy disk and thus fail to boot grub4dos and boot to the CSM menu unless a 2nd partition was present (e.g. some EeePCs).

Friday, 15 January 2016

Windows File Download problems - virus detected!

Windows 8/10 may not allow you to download files that it thinks are infected.

To be prompted to download it anyway, you need to change the Internet Properties setting:

You cannot download any file if the "File download" option is disabled in the Internet security settings. Follow these steps to check the Internet security settings:

E2B v1.76 RC1 available

  • SWITCH_E2B v1.0.6 with FlashBoot and WinToGo+.imgPTN support.
  • .isoBF fixed (did not work in 1.75!). 
  • Zorin 9 persistent sample .mnu files added. 
  • Fix for Zorin 9 in isoboot.g4b. 
  • New AuroraBin default wallpaper. 
  • Improve LZMA Encode/Decode scripts. 
  • Fix bug - if user deleted some of the Windows sub-folders  (e.g. \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP) then the other Windows sub-folders were not enumerated. 
  • Fix 'Trouble!' message if installing XP and >1 internal drive in system. 
  • New grub4dos 0.4.6a version \grldr. 
  • Add warning if Write-protected E2B USB drive found. 
  • Improve MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE to detect Removable USB drives and set NOHELPER=1 in MyE2B.cfg for faster boot if using a Removable E2B drive.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Persistent .mnu file for Elementary OS

Elementary OS is a free download (you just enter 0 for Custom amount to pay - took me a while to figure that out!). If you actually like and use it though, please make a donation as requested.

Elementary OS with changed background (using persistence .mnu file)

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Write-Protect your E2B USB drive

There has been a discussion on recently about how to write-protect a USB drive.

It is not advisable to hardware write-protect an E2B USB drive because E2B needs write-access to the MBR (to modify it) as well as needing to modify other files (e.g. \autounattend.xml, etc.). Some WinPE's and linux's (via ISOBOOT) may be able to boot from a write-protected E2B drive though. I intend to investigate this further at a later date, to see just what is possible if the whole E2B USB drive is hardware write-protected.

So the use of the write-protect switch on the Netac USB 3.0 U335 flash drive, for instance, is not a recommended option when booting from an E2B drive (although once it has booted to an OS from the flash drive, you could remove the USB drive - flip on the WP switch - and then re-insert it again and hope that it did not have enough time to get infected!).

Friday, 8 January 2016

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Display an animated picture in grub4dos

We can display bitmaps fairly quickly in grub4dos if we load them into memory first. This could allow us to display an animation sequence on first boot of E2B (move over Walt Disney!).

The lines below can be added into a \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file to show 3 bitmaps in a loop until a key is pressed by the user. It is assumed that the bitmaps have a black background and are each exactly 800x600 in dimension.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Automatically use a different menu wallpaper for E2B

Change background based on the day of the week

Add the lines below to your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file (the first line should always be !BAT). Ensure that you have seven different .bmp.gz files in the \_ISO folder named Aurora0.bmp.gz to Aurora6.bmp.gz.

Friday, 1 January 2016

E2B v1.76BetaF with GFX Boot menu maker script now available

I have added some files to E2B that will allow you to easily make and alter your own GFX Boot menus. It does not use a GUI, but is very easy to use.

For more details see the E2B GFX Boot page.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

GFX Boot menu editor

Easy2Boot includes one example of a GFX Boot menu (\_ISO\docs\Templates\GFXMenu) which you can try out.

You can change the GFX menu by editing the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file and change the set GFX=message line (the file must be in the \_ISO folder).

If you want to design your own GFX Boot menu, I have added a download link for GFX-Boot Customizer utility by SBond here to make a GFX-BOOT.GFX file to the GFX Menu page on the E2B website.

Make a Windows 10 To Go Removable USB Flash drive (MBR and UEFI)

Windows To Go allows you to boot from a USB drive, but Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 will not allow you to boot from a 'flat file' installation on a Removable USB drive.

You can MBR boot Win 10 from a Removable USB Flash drive if you use a VHD to contain the Windows system files however.

But what about UEFI-booting? We cannot have more than one partition visible to Windows on a Removable USB drive, but for UEFI, we need a FAT32 partition which is not able to hold the large VHD file.

Here is how to set up a non-GPT Removable Windows To Go Flash drive so it will MBR and UEFI-boot:

Note that if you use an x64 version of Windows, you will only be able to UEFI-boot from it on 64-bit UEFI systems. If you have a 32-bit UEFI system, use a 32-bit version of Windows.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Christmas Edition E2B v1.76BetaE available

  • SWITCH_E2B v1.0.6 with FlashBoot and WinToGo+.imgPTN support. 
  • .isoBF now fixed (did not work in 1.75!). 
  • Zorin 9 persistent .mnu files added. 
  • Fix for Zorin 9 in isoboot.g4b. 
  • AuroraSanta default wallpaper. 'Dustbin' wallpaper in \_ISO\e2b\grub folder if you want it!
  • Improve LZMA Encode/Decode scripts. 
  • Fix bug - if user deleted some of the Windows sub-folders then the other remaining Windows sub-folders were not enumerated and so no Windows Install menu entry was present in the Main menu.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :-)

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

How to make large files contiguous on an E2B USB drive

As you know, most files on the E2B USB drive need to be contiguous (one exception to this is the Windows Installer ISO files).

The easiest way to make all files contiguous is to click on the \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd batch file which runs WinContig.

Tip: If you don't use the CONTIG.ISO temporary file (only used by E2B when files are non-contiguous), then just delete it. This will add an extra 500MB of free space.

BUT - Do you ever find that one or two large files cannot be made contiguous by WinContig?

You may find that, even though there is enough free space on the drive to make a copy of the file, WinContig (and Defraggler) cannot make the file contiguous. This is because the 'free space' is scattered all over the drive volume instead of being all in one 'chunk'.

Motasem discovered this yesterday and contacted me for advice. Here is how you can fix the problem...

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Why not customise your E2B - be inspired by Laura's (German) E2B themes!

Laura recently contacted me to submit a few E2B Menu screenshots to the E2B Gallery page.

Her web site is in German (although she is Spanish) and can be found at It contains loads of lovely example E2B menus (including custom CSM menus) and she has offered her help and will answer any questions you may have!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Boot from a linux disk image with grub4dos\Easy2Boot

I came across the HDDGURU wipemydisks disk image yesterday (wipemydisks1.1.img). This is a complete linux disk image with a bootable MBR and partition table and was designed to be written to a USB drive using dd or a disk imaging program (e.g. RMPrepUSB - File -> Disk).

I wanted to try to add this to Easy2Boot and so experimented with a way of booting to it.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

New Switch_E2B.exe v1.0.6 available

There have been some recent changes to Switch_E2B.exe

  1. Bugfix - When E2B switches to a .imgPTN file, it changes the Disk Signature bytes (four bytes starting at 1b8h in the MBR) to be the same as the start LBA position of the .imgPTN file. This ensures the 'new' partition arrangement also has a new disk signature. Switch_E2B.exe did not change these Disk Signature bytes. This meant that if you had a BCD inside your .imgPTN file which used the disk signature to identify the USB disk, if you switched to the .imgPTN file using Switch_E2B.exe, it would not boot to Windows due to a mismatched BCD and Disk Signature. This has now been fixed in Switch_E2B.exe.
  2. If you made a FAT32 E2B USB drive using flashboot, Switch_E2B would not recognise it.
  3. If you had a large E2B USB HDD which contained thousands of files, it could take Switch_E2B a long time (20+ seconds) to search the whole volume for all .imgPTN files. The new version only searches under the \_ISO folder by default. To search the whole drive volume, you now need to untick the 'Only search \_ISO folder' checkbox.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Get Windows 10 for free!

The new Windows 10 Threshold 2 release allows you to use a Win7 or Win8 Product Key to perform a clean install of Windows 10 and activate it.

If you have an unused 'Retail' Windows 7 Product Key (perhaps you ordered a Win 7 Install DVD + Product Key a few years ago) then you can use the same Win 7 Product Key to install Windows 10 (on the same system).

Note: This will probably not work after 2017-12-31 - see here.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

SWITCH_E2B v1.0.4 available (compatible with FlashBoot)

It was reported to me that SWITCH_E2B did not work on E2B USB flash drives that had been formatted using FlashBoot, so I have now made version 1.0.3 available for those of you that use FlashBoot with E2B. If you use FlashBoot, you can update your E2B drives and your MPI installation ( the MPI .\csm\e2b folder) with the new version of SWITCH_E2B.exe.

Update: v1.0.3 only worked if the volume name was kept as 'FLASBOOT'.
v1.0.4 should now work with any volume name.

If you often find yourself needing to USB boot from older systems a lot (e.g. repair shop), you should check out FlashBoot!

E2B drives prepared using FlashBoot should boot on a wider variety of systems, especially older systems with early (buggy) USB BIOSes that try to boot USB drives as a floppy disk or USB ZIP drive instead of as a hard disk.

If a BIOS boots from a USB Flash drive as a floppy/ZIP drive instead of a hard disk, this causes grub4dos to fail to boot. If you use RMPrepUSB\RMPartUSB to format the USB drive, it adds a second small hidden partition and this often helps to avoid the 'boot as floppy' problem - but not always!

If you prepare your USB Flash drive with FlashBoot, you may find that it will boot on some of these older systems that would not boot from a 'normal' E2B drive.

However, there are some drawbacks to using a drive that has been formatted with FlashBoot:
  1. You have to format the USB drive as FAT32 with FlashBoot (NTFS is not supported). So this limits your maximum file size to 4GB. FlashBoot is not limited to creating 32GB partitions however and will work with both large USB hard disks and removable flash drives.
  2. You cannot reboot to the CSM Menu once you switch into any .imgPTN partition image. You can boot to the E2B menu, switch to a .imgPTN menu and then run the CSM Menu, however you cannot reboot to the CSM menu (a fresh boot) because the code in the MBR is specific to FlashBoot and it expects a partition to be present which contains FlashBoot boot code and not the 'normal' .imgPTN image partition that has been switched in.
FlashBoot is a commercial product (25 Euros), but you can try it for free for a limited period and see if it works on your 'difficult' old systems before you buy the full version.

P.S. You can also try out the Emergency Boot CD (EBCD) .ISO download too!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

E2B v1.75BetaH available with Windows Server 2016 support + bugfixes

In E2B v1.75BetaH I have added a new \_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2016 folder for the upcoming Server 2016 release. It uses the 'Win8 install' grub4dos batch file and so allows you to specify a Product Key or XML file in the same way as for Win8 ISOs.

Please test it out and feed back any comments (steve at easy2boot dot com), as I intend to make this the new v1.75 release version soon.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Trouble with Windows 10 Threshold 2 ISOs and E2B?

A few weeks ago I downloaded an MSDN Windows 10 Threshold 2 preview of Enterprise and found that when the blue console (LOADISO) window ran (booting from a Removable E2B USB drive and using the .ISO file), ImDisk did not mount the ISO as drive Y:. This was repeatable but only that ISO gave a problem.

I reported this issue to Olof (the author of ImDisk), but a few days later when I tried to reproduce the problem I found that it worked OK and could not reproduce the problem!

A few days ago, an E2B user reported to me that he had MSDN and Retail versions of the latest Win10 Threshold 2 released ISOs and had encountered the same problem with all the new ISOs (older ISOs worked OK) using E2B v1.74.

I suspected that perhaps a different version of WinPE was being used in his ISOs (maybe because they were MSDN versions?) and updated ImDisk on E2B (v.1.75BetaC).

However, the same user then reported that the ISOs were now magically working with E2B v1.74 when he retested them!  A clear case of Deja Vu!

If you find a similar issue, please comment on this blog or contact me. There is something weird going on, but I am not sure where?

Friday, 20 November 2015

MPI Tool Kit 0.056 available for Windows 10 Threshold 2 systems

0.056 is the same as 0.055 but has the new version of ImDisk.
If you are using Windows 10 Threshold 2, you will need to download this and run .\ImDisk\imdiskinst.exe to install the new version of ImDisk to make the MakePartImage scripts work again.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

New ImDisk version for new Windows 10 release now available

Olof has released a new version of ImDisk.

I will update the MPI Tool Kit in a day or so. Meanwhile you can install the new ImDisk and then check that MPI works on the new 'Threshold 2' version of Windows 10.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

MakePartImage problems with Windows 10?

If you are using Windows 10 and now suddenly find that you get an error when running MakePartImage (MPI) and cannot create .imgPTN files any more, it is probably because Windows Update has updated you to the latest version of Windows 10!

The original Win10 version is 10240, but the new (large) update called Threshold 2 is Version 1511 Build 10586. You can check your version by using the [Windows+R] key chord and run WinVer.exe.

You can update to the new version or download an ISO from here. Microsoft will soon enable the auto-update to Threshold 2 on all systems.

Olof is working on a new version of ImDisk to fix this issue and I will release a new version of the MPI Tool Kit when the new ImDisk becomes available.

Update: New ImDisk version for Win10 1511 from Olof here.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Easy2Boot v1.75 Beta B available

  • .imgPTN files now supported in all \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx folders (except XP)
  • new .isoBF file extension supported (permanently patches an ISO to remove the bootfix.bin file and so suppress the 'Press a key to boot from CD\DVD' message)
  • new .vhdgrldr file extension supported (boots a vhd file which uses a grub4dos menu or PBR boot code)
For info on the two new file extensions, see this page.

The main change is that if you have converted a Windows Install ISO to a .imgPTN file, you can now add these to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx folders and they will be listed in the appropriate Windows sub-menu alongside any ISOs you may also have present. You do not need to have any Windows Install .ISO files present if you don't use them.

The only exception is that XP Install .imgPTN files are not supported and so should not be added to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder (they will not be listed in the Windows Install menu). If you have any XP Install .imgPTN files, you should add them to a 'normal' menu folder - e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\WIN.

You can use a .txt file for .imgPTN menu entries in these folder in the same way as you can for normal folders.

You can now place your .imgPTN Windows Install files in the \_ISO\WINDOWS folders as well as .ISO files

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Add Win-UFO (Ultimate Forensic Outflow) to your toolkit

The Win-UFO download is a single .exe file which asks you which location to install to when you first run it. Actually it does NOT install anything to Windows, it merely extracts files to the designated location. There is a PDF manual file to download and which I suggest you study first before using Win-UFO and some YouTube videos.
 Win-UFO is now associated with CAINE.

Friday, 6 November 2015

E2B v1.74 released (fixes the firadisk.cmd copy bug with XP ISO installs)

It seems I made a typo in the grub4dos batch file \_ISO\e2b\grub\DPMS\DPMS2.g4b in E2B v1.73 which means that when you try to install from an XP ISO, you will get a 'cannot copy firadisk.cmd' error reported at the start of the file-copy phase in text-mode Setup and need to 'Skip' the file.
This is fixed in v1.74.
Thanks to watsupson for reporting it!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Windows Defender is deleting SWITCH_E2B.exe!

BEWARE: The latest definitions update for Windows Defender seems to think SWITCH_E2B.exe is a malicious file and promptly deletes it!
VirusTotal does not find any problems with it and, of course, it is not malicious!
You may find that this file has suddenly disappeared, now you know why!
Thanks to Steven L for pointing this out!

New Gandalf WinPE, XP SP3 install ISO and Dreams Boot CD 2015

This post covers:

  • New Gandalf Windows 10 64-bit WinPE ISO
  • Windows XP 'Gold 2016' install ISO
  • Dreams Boot CD 2015 (DLCD) ISO

Monday, 2 November 2015

FYI - new Kaspersky Ransomware decryptor software

Kaspersky have recovered the full list of over 14,000 encryption keys used by the criminals responsible for CoinVault and Bitcryptor ransomware. They have now updated their decryptor utility to include all of these keys. This means that if a system has been encrypted and held to ransom using this type of encryption, you should now be able to decrypt your drive! The 'How-to' guide is here.

However, it apparently does not work against CryptoWall 3.0 ransomware.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Inateck FE2007 - is this the ideal Hard Disk USB 3.0 drive caddy for your Easy2Boot USB drive?

If you follow this blog, you may have read that I was not entirely happy with the Inateck FE200 drive caddy that I purchased a few months ago (previous blog post here),

After some email correspondence from Inateck, they sent me the FE2007 for evaluation.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Add UberStudent to Easy2Boot

The UberStudent ISO, uberstudent-4.1-xfce-64bit.iso does not seem to boot just as an .ISO file.
If you have a removable E2B USB drive, it will boot OK if you use the .ISOPE01 file extension (you can also use a fixed-disk E2B USB drive + an E2B WinHelper USB drive).

However, if you convert the ISO file to a FAT32 .imgPTN file it boots OK from both fixed and removable types of USB drive and you can install from it too.

Friday, 23 October 2015

E2B v1.73 released

v1.73 is now on the two Alternate Download Areas.
I will update the MPI Tool Pack with the new Switch_E2B.exe and also update the downloads on the main website in a few days.
I have changed SWITCH_E2B.exe to version 1.0.0 and added a Help button (no change in functionality).
Please let me know if you spot a problem!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

E2B v1.73 Beta G

Beta G has the new \grldr grub4dos 0.4.6a version which fixes the previous issue #84 bug that was in E2B v1.73 Beta E. non-ANSI characters should now appear correctly (e.g. ú or é).

full v1.73 Beta version history here.

Add antiX 15 with persistence to Easy2Boot

The sample .mnu file Antix_13.2_Persistent.mnu shows you how to set up root or home persistence, but not both.

Here is a brief outline of how I made a root+home persistent antiX 15 installation on my Easy2Boot NTFS USB HDD

Sunday, 18 October 2015

E2B v1.73 BetaE/F (RC) version available

v1.73 Beta E is now considered a 'Release Candidate' RC version.

For a full history of v1.73 Betas, see the previous blog post here.

Unless any bugs are found, this will be the v1.73 full release version in a few days.

Please, let me know if you find any problems (steve at easy2boot dot com).

I will also upload a new version of the MPI Tool Kit which has Switch_E2B added.

Bug in BetaE!

Fabien reported a bug he noticed with french accented (i.e. UTF-8) characters in v1.73BetaE (displays a space or graphics character before each non-ANSI character) - it turns out to be a bug in the new grub4dos 0.4.6a version.  v1.73BetaF uses the previous grub4dos version (\grldr).
This bug is noticeable if you set a language in your MyE2B.cfg file, but you don't see the problem if you use the 'Change language' .mnu file!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Switch_E2B v0.1.58 Beta available (please do not use v0.1.56)

v0.1.56 had code added to restore LBA1 (the backup MBR that is copied there when you install grub4dos). This can lead to problems, so please don't use v0.1.56

The algorithm was:
If E2B backup sector 30 was invalid and sector 60 was invalid and the file MBR.BIN contained invalid contents, then use LBA1 if it has valid contents.

However, if you accidentally clicked on the 'Restore E2B partitions' button and had a grub4dos drive selected which was not an E2B USB drive, it would restore LBA1 automatically. This is usually OK as long as you did not re-partition the drive since the time that you installed grub4dos to the MBR on that drive. If however, you did install grub4dos onto the drive and then re-partitioned the drive, the LBA1 grub4dos backup would no longer be valid and Switch_E2B would write the old MBR sector to the MBR, thus losing your new partitions!

Thanks to DevaDev for reporting this when he tried it on a non-E2B USB drive!

v0.1.58 now just informs you if LBA1 is a valid MBR, but it does not restore it for you, in case you are using Switch_E2B on a non-E2B drive by mistake

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

E2B v1.73 Betas available

Changes from v1.72 are:

Beta B
  • Fix XP 32-bit IDE driver problem for HP TX1320es (in DPMS version only - see FAQ 'ERROR: CANNOT FIND /IDECOI4IN.DLL' for details). 
  • English F1 Help menu improved. 
  • Make_e2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd default now NTFS, and UEFI tip added. 
  • More Win10 generic Product keys added (old Enterprise key was Eval key not release key). 
  • \_ISO\SWITCH_E2B.exe added. 
  • Swedish language added (thanks to DavidS).
  • Dutch language added (thanks to JeroenM).
  • Arabic option added to Make_e2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd (only the menus are in Arabic, text prompts are not translated).
  • Change to .imgPTN partition switching - If  file extension=".imgPTN" and ptn#2=hidden type 21hex then it will not be removed when switching partitions to CSM menu. This is to enhance bootability with some BIOSes (use any other extension if you don't want this action - e.g. .imgPTNa or .imgPTNauto) - same action for SWITCH_E2B.exe.
  • Fix XP install DPMS error message  'DRIVERPACK.INI: ERROR: Could not copy FIRA/firadisk.sys' when using grub4dos 0.4.6a (not seen if using grub4dos 0.4.5a).
  • New token string in STRINGS.TXT for Utilities menu - $$STRmmbp=Measure BIOS USB Performance. For most languages this will still appear in English until the language files are updated.
Beta C
  • New ImDisk version (ISO installs - old version did not work with later Win10 versions) - e.g. Win10 Enterprise en_windows_10_enterprise_10565_x64_dvd.iso did not mount ISO as Y: (note: build 10565 appears to have a bug in that it does not 'see' the ISO mounted on Y:).
Beta C1
  • Fix small bug in Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd so can select Swedish, Dutch or Arabic!
Beta D1
  • New Switch_E2B v0.1.58 (fixes bug in 0.1.56 which could restore the wrong MBR if used on a non-E2B grub4dos drive)
Beta E
  • New grub4dos \grldr (0.4.6a)
Beta F
  • Same (older) grub4dos as BetaA-D as bug in grub4dos 0.4.6a 2015-10-12 grldr
Beta G
  • new bugfixed 0.4.6a \grldr

Saturday, 10 October 2015

SWITCH_E2B almost ready for release!

Thanks to testing and feedback from some early Beta testers, I think SWITCH_E2B is almost ready for release.

The latest version is available (not password protected) in the Other Files folder on the Alternate Downloads sites as usual.

I will add the new version into the next release of E2B and the MPI Tool Pack soon (depending on feedback).

Please test with as many different .imgPTN files as you can.
Any comments, bug reports, please let me know at steve (at) easy2boot dot com.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

SWITCH_E2B new version available

The latest Beta version is now available. It should work under WinPE, and even from a RAM Drive now.

Details about the utility can be found here. Once released, it will be included in the next version of E2B and the MPI Tool Pack downloads.

Downloads in the 'Other Files' folder at:
v 0.1.30 is a self-extracting, auto-run exe which extracts the two files to a temporary file before running it. This solves a problem concerning running it from the USB drive when in CSM mode.
v 0.1.32 - bugfix for WinPE. A warning is given, but you can continue to use it.
v 0.1.33 - detects if running WinPE if TEMP drive is X: or A: or B: and suppresses warning
v 0.1.35 - bugfix for restoring LBA30/60.
v 0.1.37 - includes msvbvm60.dll in SE exe (will run under vanilla x86 PE now), mousepointer hourglass displayed during switch.
v 0.1.39 - small changes to drive list, etc.
v 0.1.40 - fix for remounting drive after partition change under WinPE issue
v 0.1.41 - cosmetic changes to layout, icon, etc. horizontal scroll bar for file list box implemented.
v 0.1.45 - keep same partition in drive list box after switching, improve Admin rights test.
v 0.1.47 - reduce delay from 3 sec to 2 sec after switch. If extension is .imgPTN and dummy Type 21hex partition at table entry #2 then entry #2 is not deleted when switching to CSM mode. This is because some BIOSes will not MBR-boot from a USB drive if they only see one partition. If you don't want the 2nd partition in CSM mode, use .imgPTNa file  extension (or any .imgPTN* extension except .imgPTN).
v 0.1.48 - bug-fix -  if spaces in temporary path then get FileExtents fails.
v 0.1.49 - show form before searching for files, reset horiz tab when changing drive.
v 0.1.52 - .imgPTN+Type21 logic changed slightly
v0.1.55 - use LBA1 grub4dos backup sector if LBA30/60/MBR.BIN all corrupt.
v0.1.58 - removed LBA1 recovery as could restore an old, outdated partition table!
v1.0.0 - Added Help button.

Please let me know if any problems (steve (at) easy2boot dot com).

Any comments/suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Switch_E2B new Beta version

Latest Switch_E2B is in
Google Drive download area
OneDrive download area

in Other Files folder.
email me at steve (at) easy2boot dot com  for an unzip password (not required on later versions)

Note: Password provided on understanding that I cannot be held responsible if it destroys your disk partitions! (but no bad reports so far...)

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Switch_E2B Windows application

I am now at the Beta stage of testing the Switch_E2B.exe 32-bit Windows application.

The idea is that this App will be added to the E2B and MPI Tool Pack so that the application is always on your E2B USB drive (whether the USB drive is in 'E2B mode' or 'CSM mode') and ready for you to run under Windows.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Linux Mint LMDE 2 "Betsy" with persistence .mnu for Easy2Boot

I have added a new .mnu file to the Alternative Download Area for Betsy LMDE.

The file is called lmde-2-201503-mate-32bit_Persistent.mnu in the MNU folder.

Because it is based on Debian, you will need to create an ext2 file with a volume name of 'persistence' (not casper-rw) and then create the persistence.conf file - instructions are in the .mnu file.

See previous blog for more details about making a persistence file here.