Thursday, 9 February 2017

E2B v1.90a Beta has improved WinBuilder ISO support

As an alternative way to boot WinBuilder ISOs such as Gandalf WinPE WinBuilder ISOs, starting with E2B v1.90, you can also use a simple .mnu file.

The v1.90a Beta includes a sample WinBuilder_ISO.mnu file which you can copy and modify for each of your WinBuilder ISOs.

# WinBuilder sample .mnu file - example for Gandalf x86 64-bit WinPE 2016-11 version (requires E2B v1.90 or later)
# click on the Desktop Yellow Warning Triangle to find .ini file name for each WinBuilder ISO
# ISO filename must not contain spaces or it won't be loaded as Y: virtual CD!!!
# You must create the \WIN10PESE.ini file in root of E2B drive and fill it with 1000 characters of random junk
title Gandalf PE 64-bit WinBuilder ISO\n Boot a WinBuilder ISO
set ISOFN=Gandalfx64WindowsPE.iso
set IniName=WIN10PESE.ini
if not exist $HOME$/%ISOFN% echo ERROR: $HOME$/%ISOFN% NOT FOUND! && pause
if exist     $HOME$/%ISOFN% call /%grub%/QRUN.g4b force.isoWB $HOME$/%ISOFN%

So all you need are three files:
  • \WIN10PESE.ini - must be approx 1K (any contents)
  • \_ISO\WINPE\MNU\Gandalfx64WindowsPE.iso
  • \_ISO\WINPE\MNU\Gandalfx64WindowsPE.mnu - the .mnu file
This saves having to make a WB folder and a xxxxx.WB file although this method is still supported in v1.90.

The improved code in QRUN.g4b also checks that the filename does not contain spaces and removes the 20-character filename limit/bug that was in previous versions of E2B.

E2B v1.90a will be uploaded in a day or so to the Alternate Download Areas!

If using SysPrep and DISM\IMAGEX to deploy Windows, watch out for this trap!

If you boot to Windows PE and use some sort of script to install Windows OS's to systems using ImageX or DISM, you should check your NTFS Junction points!

So after you have deployed the image and it is booting to Windows nicely, simply drop to an Admin command shell and type  dir /aL

Check your Junctions!

You should see that the Junctions and Symlinks all point to the Windows drive.

If they do not, then you may get some weird problems when installing or running some programs, or with some internal Windows functions.

How to boot 'Gandalf's Win10PE x86 Redstone-11-07-2016_x64.iso' (or any WinBuilder ISO)

The Gandalf WinPE ISO Gandalf's Win10PE x86 Redstone-11-07-2016_x64.iso cannot be easily booted using Easy2Boot (or any similar system).

This is because the filename used by Gandalf contains spaces and there is a bug in the MountPEMedia.exe utility used by WinBuilder PE's - they will not load the .ISO file as the Y: drive if it uses a .ini file and the .iso file contains spaces in the filename.

If you use E2B v1.90+, then Gandalf and other WinBuilder-based WinPE ISOs will just work! Simply ensure that there are no spaces in the filename and that the file extension is .iso (not .isodefault).

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

E2B v1.89 released

  • New self-extracting exe file format for downloads (can be renamed to .zip for extraction)
  • MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd script now tests for >137GB drives and prompts you to select a partition size of 137GB for best compatibility (or MAX)
  • Make_E2B.exe red button automatically reduces partition size to 137GB if target drive is over 137GB (no user prompt) and always uses NTFS
  • German translation for E2B menu has minor changes (thanks to Frettt!).
  • Utilities - Measure BIOS performance, now reports results in seconds
  • SWITCH_E2B new version 1.0.14
  • NoF1F7F8F9F10 MyE2B.cfg file in Themes folder added (to configure a Menu without the menu items for F1-F10)
Download page here.

New version of WinNTSetup available from JFX

Using WinNTSetup, you can install from virtually any Windows Installer ISO from within a WinPE environment.

Version  (latest is now of WinNTSetup3 is now available from here from JFX on MSFN.

It has several bug fixes. You should now be able to run a diskpart script (using undocumented ctrl+shift+D command) to partition and format a drive and also it can now directly access a Windows ISO file to get at the install.wim or install.esd file without needing to extract it. The .iso file will be mounted by ImDisk when selected.

This new version also now works with Microsoft ISOs that contain \Sources\Install.esd files and \x86\Sources\Install.esd and \x64\Source\Install.esd files.

For more details (and how to MBR-boot to WinPE to prepare a GPT disk for a UEFI installation of Windows - even using SDI_CHOC too) see here for the best way to use WinNTSetup from an E2B USB drive.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

E2B v.1.89e Beta available

Changes from previous Beta:

  • Utilities - Measure BIOS performance, now reports results in seconds
  • SWITCH_E2B.exe  v1.0.14
Brian contacted me about a problem he had with SWITCH_E2B.exe v.1.0.13 on his Windows 8.1 system. It reported a getFileExtents (GFE) error when first launched, and after pressing OK, it would not list any drives in the drive list.

It turns out that the GFE error was due to the getFileExtents.exe helper file not liking BitLocker C: drives (SWITCH_E2B.exe extracts it's files to a temporary folder on the C: drive and then checks that getFileExtents works).

The next issue was caused by one of the other USB drives that he had already attached to his Windows system. It had a drive letter of B: (A: and B: are usually reserved for floppy drives). He got a 'READ ERROR' and the drive list code aborted. The new version of SWITCH_E2B.exe does not abort (but will not list drives A: or B:). RMPrepUSB also does not like USB drives being drive A: or B: either!

Fix non-adjustable brightness on AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5000 series notebooks for Windows 10

If you have a notebook with Windows 10 that uses the AMD Radeon (Catalyst) graphics chipset, you may find that the default AMD video driver that is automatically installed by Windows does not support any brightness adjustment.

This means that the notebook battery will not last as long because it is always on full brightness.

This is a VERY common problem on Windows 10 notebooks with AMD graphics that have been re-installed, so you should always check that the brightness controls work after re-installing Windows or Windows drivers and for that matter, all the special control features (Fn keys, etc) on the notebook.

You can install the standard Microsoft Windows 10 VGA driver, but this reduces the maximum screen resolution (even though the brightness control does then work).

It turns out the solution is a simple registry fix.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Virtual Box 'VT-x is not available. (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX)' error

Most modern CPUs support VT-x. This allows VBox to run much faster.

You can use VBox+VMUB to boot directly from a USB drive within Windows.
Note that the USB drive will be seen as a SATA or IDE hard disk by the guest OS (not as a USB drive and not as a 'Removable' drive - so E2B Windows Installs from an ISO will not work correctly).

In order to enable VT-x, you need to have a VT-x capable CPU, then enable VT-x in the BIOS settings and make sure that no other software is 'grabbing' that resource (e.g. Hyper-V).

There is a good article on How-to Geek about this.

My VBox was working fine until I upgraded my system to Win10 Pro for £2.84 (see previous blog post)  and installed Hyper-V as a Windows 'Feature'. Then I got the dreaded Virtual Box 'VT-x is not available. (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX)' error message when trying to use VMUB.

It seems the only solution was to uninstall Hyper-V, so now it is all working again!

How to make a .VHD from a .imgPTN file (or how to copy all Windows files to a different drive)

Basically, I had a complete working Windows installation on a disk Volume and I just wanted to copy all files to another disk Volume...

Actually, I had created a new 16GB NTFS  .imgPTN file and installed WindowsToGo onto it.
The .imgPTN file booted to Windows nicely.

However, I wanted to convert the partition to a .VHD fixed-size (not dynamic) file so I could add it to my E2B drive and boot directly to it without having to 'switch' partitions - this would allow me to directly access all of the files on the E2B drive after I had booted from the VHD.

Since the WinToGo partition was located on a 500GB USB drive, I did not want to use a DisktoVHD conversion tool because I would end up with a 500GB .VHD file!

I could not find a way to simply copy the files from the USB drive to an empty VHD virtual drive. I kept running into permission issues, symbolic link issues, locked files and other access problems caused by Windows thinking the files were important OS files!

Even upgrading my Windows Home OS to Pro and using VSS didn't help.

After asking the good guys on, it was suggested I use Olof's strarc utility and it worked a treat!

Here is what I did:

Saturday, 4 February 2017

How to upgrade to (or get) Win 10 Pro for £2.84p!

I wanted to copy a full Windows installation from a USB drive to a VHD, but I was being constantly frustrated by Windows 10 locking some of the files in the \Windows folder on the USB drive. This was preventing me from copying many of the Windows files on the USB drive to the VHD, even though I had booted to Windows 10 Home from my hard disk and Windows shouldn't even be locking the files on the USB drive!

Now there are several solutions to copying 'locked' files, but none of them were successful because I was running Windows 10 Home and I suspected that the problem might be connected the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and Hyper-V not being supported in Windows Home. I could have resorted to booting to WinPE, mounting the VHD using Diskpart and then copying over the files, but this would be inconvenient if I had to do this many times in a day.

So, I decided to upgrade my Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro and spend the £2.84p required (and hang the expense!).

Here is how I did it...

Friday, 3 February 2017

Add LibreElec 'Krypton' KODI to E2B

The new Kodi 'Krypton' version is available as a LibreElec Beta build here.

I used LibreELEC-Generic.x86_64-7.95.1.img.gz
You can follow the instructions in a previous blog to get it working with persistence on your E2B drive.

LibreElec Krypton booted from E2B on my IdeaPad 300

You may need to use a real system (not VBOX) and a USB 2.0 port to get it to work!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

UEFI-booting a Windows Installer with a large (>4GB) Install.wim files using Easy2Boot

If you are trying to boot to a Windows Installer via UEFI, then you will need to use a FAT partition to hold the boot files because UEFI will only boot from a FAT partition (the EFI boot partition on a GPT disk is formatted as FAT).

The easiest thing to do, is to simply convert the whole ISO to a FAT32 partition image by dragging-and-dropping the ISO file onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut to make a .imgPTN file.

The resultant .imgPTN file should then be UEFI-bootable and MBR-bootable (though for Win7 x64 UEFI booting, you need to tweak the files a bit - see here for details).

Large Install.wim or Install.esd files

The problem comes when you meet a Windows Installer ISO that contains a file that is over 4GB in size (for instance \Sources\Install.wim or \Sources\Install.esd). If you try to make a FAT32 .imgPTN file using MakePartImage, it will fail when it tries to copy the very large file to the FAT32 volume!

The best (most compatible) way to UEFI-boot is to have a USB drive containing a single FAT32 partition. However, the maximum file size for FAT32 is 4GB.

The solution is to split the Install.wim or Install.esd file into smaller files.

The new Split_WinISO.exe Windows utility will do this for you. Just feed it the ISO and it will make a .imgPTN file for you (or a new ISO with split WIM files).

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

E2B v1.89b/c Beta now available

I have added a few tweaks to the v0.0.3 Make_E2B.exe GUI:
  • Button added to run MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd script - you can use this if you want FAT32 or configure the MyE2B.cfg file in a different way.
  • MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd script now tests for >137GB drives and prompts you to select a partition size of 137GB for best compatibility
  • Make_E2B.exe button automatically reduces partition size to 137GB if target drive is over 137GB (no user prompt)
  • E2B version number now displayed in title bar
  • Remove dependency on COMDLG32.OCX (OCX is not present in Win8/10 standard OS) 
  • 'Extract E2B' button now creates a folder on your Desktop automatically (e.g. .\E2B_v1.89b)
  • v1.89c - you do not need to connect a USB drive first.
  • v.189c - German translation for E2B menu has minor changes (thanks to Frettt!).

Please try it and let me have your feedback.

The other E2B files have not been changed from v1.88.

Download from Alternate Download Areas as usual.

If you have tried it and it works, please tick the Interesting reactions box below.
if you found a problem, you can quickly send me feedback from here.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Easy2Boot v1.89a Beta now available with Make_E2B.exe Windows GUI utility

It seems that some strange people have a pathological aversion to the Windows command shell or maybe cannot read English text and type Y or a number on a keyboard (??) and so they do not like running the E2B .cmd script files to make a USB drive.

So I have written a small Windows GUI called Make_E2B.exe which will run the scripts for them!


Saturday, 28 January 2017

MPI Tool Kit v0.072 is available

Apart from small changes to the MakePartImage script (only affects text messages) and the \menu.lst file (for Acronis 2016 and 2017 conversion to .imgPTN), the \grldr grub4dos file and \e2b\SWITCH_E2B.exe have been updated.
If you wish to update to this version, unpack the download onto your Desktop and double-click on the CreateDesktopShortcuts.cmd file to update the MPI Desktop shortcuts for v0.072. If you have modified the old CUSTOM folder, you will also need to copy this across to the v.0.072 folder too. You can then delete the old MPI folder.

Friday, 27 January 2017

E2B v1.88 now available

v1.88 is now released and can be found in the Alternate Download Areas as .zip files (you can update a DPMS or non-DPMS version of your E2B drive just by using the smaller non-DPMS version - just run the UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.CMD file from the download).

I will add the self-extracting .exe files and .7z files in a few days, as well as update the E2B website with 1.88 version.

See previous blog for a list of changes. Please comment if you spot a problem.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

E2B v1.88m Beta now available

I hope to release v1.88m as 1.88 Full Release version in a few days.
Please try it and let me know if you find any problems.

Changes from 1.87 are:
  • Add Server 2012 R2 Std Eval Product Key file
  • Update of Wincontig
  • Update SDI executables
  • Can now use .isofira or .isofira01 for Strelec WinPE ISOs
  • MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd now only works on the USB root (\) folder and all folders under \_ISO. Any user folders under the root (e.g. disk backups, applications, etc.) will not be made contiguous when the script is run.
  • MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd can now be run from your E2B USB drive to make a new E2B drive.
  • Later version of grub4dos 0.4.6a
  • New jpeg-based default purple background for 2017
  • Some changes to QRUN.g4b
  • Spanish language updated and a few other language files improved
  • Pi_pixel_x86_Persistent.mnu sample mnu file added for PIXEL iso
  • Gandalf sample .mnu files added, 
  • Boot_Recovery_WIM.mnu sample menu added (boot from any systems winre.wim)
  • Fix for case where grub4dos 0.4.5c tries to load jpg as wallpaper (jpg not supported by 0.4.5c),

Download is available from the Alternate Download Areas.

Read more:

Sunday, 22 January 2017

How to fix 'BSOD: STOP 0x000000A5 - not fully ACPI compliant' issues

If you are trying to boot to a Windows payload that is based on BartPE, Windows XP, 2003 or Vista, you may occasionally see this BSOD screen when booting to these types of payloads on some systems:
ACPI  0x000000A5 BSOD!
Often the simple fix is to press the F7 key repeatedly just as it starts to boot to PE. This F7 trick worked a treat when I tried to boot to PCUnlocker and Active Password Changer (via MediCat and a large .imgPTN file) on my Lenovo IdeaPad 300 notebook!

In many cases, you will see a text message to press F6 - this is your cue to go crazy on the F7 key!

Before you do this however, you need to check the BIOS settings to see if there is any 'special' setting for the Fn function keys if you have a notebook. For instance, on my Lenovo IdeaPad 300, there is a 'HotKey Mode' in the Configuration page of the BIOS Settings menu. If this setting is Enabled (which is the default!), then you have to press Fn+F7 in order for the keyboard to generate the F7 scan code.

Other incantations to try
If no end of hammering the F7 (or Fn+F7) key seems to work for you, here are some other things to try which has apparently worked for other people:
  • Check the BIOS settings, set USB to USB 2.0.
  • Set all BIOS OS compatible settings to Legacy and XP/Win7 and not Win8/10 or UEFI. 
  • Reset the BIOS settings to default and then try the above BIOS settings.  
  • If you have an LPT option in the BIOS for a parallel printer port, try it set to LPT=Enabled as well as ACPI & PnP=Enabled and APM=Disabled.
  • Try disabling ACPI in the BIOS.
  • Try changing any CPU options in the BIOS (Safe Execution, VxD, etc.).
  • You can also try an older version of the BIOS (newer versions may have been made compatible for Win8/10 only).
  • If you have ever added extra RAM to the system, restore the memory to it's original configuration and size (and test the memory with a memory test program - the problem may be due to bad or mismatched memory!).

P.S. MediCat can be used on E2B if you convert it to a FAT32 .imgPTN file. It does contain illegal copies of some software though, so make sure you hold licences for any software it contains!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

E2B 1.88l (with bugfix for previous 1.88 versions)

Flaming Floe has reported a problem when installing Win7 from an ISO with the latest v1.88k version. The AutoUnattend.xml file is not correctly cleared and so appears corrupt when Windows Setup loads it. This bug will probably affect most Windows Install ISO runs, but not all systems will show the symptoms and some will appear to work (and others will give an Unattend error).

After investigation, is seems that there is a bug in the new 2016-12-24 version of grub4dos (\grldr) that is used in v1.88k.

E2B v1.88l now uses a previous version of grub4dos (2016-12-23) which I think is OK.

I have reported the bug here.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Tips for making files contiguous on your E2B drive

Unless your E2B USB drive has become almost full at one stage in it's life after formatting it, the \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd script should run WinContig fairly quickly and without any problems. Obviously, having a fast USB 3.0 E2B drive helps though!

Here are a few tips:

  1. Never download from the internet directly onto your E2B USB drive. This can cause the file to be heavily fragmented (even if you have lots of contiguous free space on it). You will find it best to always download files onto one of your internal drives first and then copy the file to your E2B USB drive. That way you also have a backup too!
  2. Do not use 'special' fast-copy programs like robocopy or TeraCopy, etc. to copy files to your E2B USB drive. These often open multiple threads which results in fragmented files. This just means WinContig will then have to defragment them on the USB drive and so it just takes much longer overall!
  3. Only start one copy session at a time. You can select multiple files and then drag-and-drop them onto the E2B drive, but don't start another copy session until the first one has finished. Not only can this cause file fragmentation, but it often takes longer too when copying to a USB drive.
  4. You can only defragment a file if there is enough free space on the USB drive to hold a second copy of it. A 6GB file will require at least 6GB of free space (in a single chunk).
  5. If your E2B USB drive has become nearly full at one stage and WinContig is not able to defragment a large file even though there is enough free space for the defragmented file, try using Defraggler - Action - Advanced - Defrag Freespace. This will consolidate the free clusters into one nice run. However, you should first delete any large fragmented files before you run it. This action can also fragment some files that were previously unfragmented, so the next run of WinContig will need to defragment them again. Then try adding your large file(s) again and finally run WinContig again. Defraggler will also show you a nice map of the used clusters and fragmented files (Analyze). You can also right-click on any single file in Explorer and use the Defraggler option to 'Defragment' it.
  6. If using an 8GB NTFS E2B drive, it may not be able to hold a contiguous 4GB+ file. This is because the directory table ($MFT) will be at the 3GB position on the drive and so a 4GB+ file may have to be split if other files are also present. See here for more details and a way to work around this issue (or you could just buy a bigger USB drive!).
  7. Finally, don't buy USB 2.0 drives. A USB 3.0/3.1 drive should always be faster, even on a 2.0 USB port and they are backwards compatible. I highly recommend the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 range.
If you have any other tips, leave a comment below.

P.S. As chi zhang says in the comments below, if you have a nearly full USB drive which is quite slow, it is often faster to just remake the USB drive again - then all the files will be contiguous because the drive will be reformatted. See here for more details.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Which is best, the SanDisk Extreme Pro or the cheaper SanDisk Extreme (you may be surprised!)?

Hurray! My new SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.0 128GB flash drive just came this morning.

Extreme Pro 128GB $70
Extreme 128GB $60

I have now run a few tests on it and compared it directly with the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 64GB flash drive.

I tested the Pro using Crystal DiskMark and then filled to entire drive with junk data and then repeated the test. This ensured that the flash controller had to perform a read-erase-write cycle on every write when running any further tests. However, there was no difference between benchmarks after I had filled it with junk data and then re-formatted it. This indicates that the USB controller always does a read-erase-write cycle on every write (so not an SSD controller).

The Crystal DiskMark results are shown below:

Monday, 16 January 2017

Find and boot to a Windows recovery.wim file (e.g. winre.wim)

Alex had a problem...

Often a Windows system cannot boot (not even to the recovery mode), but the recovery partition on that system will contain the correct WinRE.wim file that can be used to repair that OS.

He wanted to be able to boot to Easy2Boot and then boot to the WinRE.wim recovery file that was on the internal hard disk. That way, he could be sure he was using the correct version of the recovery .wim file for that system. Also, his E2B drive did not need to contain all of the possible Windows install ISO versions that there are in the world!

E2B can directly boot to an NT6 .wim file; you just need to specify the full path of the .wim file.

The problem is that different Windows systems keep the .wim file in different folders.

To further compound the issue, on his Windows 7 systems, the directory name often varied on different systems, e.g.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

You need to be an experienced techie to make an E2B USB drive, don't you?

Watch this video by young Marcus for your answer (and give him a 'like' too)!

Add the recent Gandalf PE builds to E2B

The latest Gandalf PE builds from are (at the time of writing):

Gandalf’s Win10PE x64 Redstone build 14393 version 11-10-2016

Gandalf’s Win10PE x86 Redstone build 14393 version 11-07-2016

Using a partition image (UEFI+MBR)

You can add these to your E2B drive is to convert each ISO to a .imgPTN file using the MPI_FAT32 shortcut provided by the MPI Tool Kit. It should then MBR or UEFI-boot.

For the x64 ISO you will need to increase the suggested size to 5100MB.
For the x86 ISO you will need to increase the suggested size to 4300MB.

Tips: If you want as small a .imgPTN file as possible, extract the contents of the ISO to an empty folder on your desktop and then drag-and-drop the folder onto the MPI_FAT32 shortcut.
Use a file extension of .imgPTNauto so that it goes directly to the CSM menu and also add a timeout 3 line to the \menu.lst file inside the image.

Direct MBR-boot from ISOs (MBR only)

E2B v1.90 and later supports direct booting of WinBuilder-based ISOs.

1. Ensure the .ISO file has no spaces in the file name
2. Keep the file extension as .ISO (do not use any other extension)
3. (optional) If you want to suppress the QRUN suggestion prompt, ensure the filename ends with the letter q or Q - e.g. Gandalfx64_q.iso.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Animated Flags for E2B available

I have uploaded an file to the Alternate Downloads - Other files folders.

UK wavy flag at top-right

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Add Raspberry Raspbian\Pi Pixel x86 with persistence to E2B

The PIXEL ISO (Debian+PIXEL for Intel x86 CPUs) will boot if you copy the ISO to your E2B drive. It is designed to run on old, low-spec systems and be easy to use.

However, to be able to use the persistence option, you need to create a pixel-rw ext4 file and then create a persistence.conf file within it.

Here is the .mnu file for it.

E2B v1.88h/i available

Previously the \MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd file was deleted from the E2B USB drive when a new one was made, in order to prevent the user from formatting his/her E2B drive.

I have now modified the script so that it checks for the case where the source drive has also been selected by the user as the target drive.

This means that if you or a friend wants a copy of your E2B USB drive, you can simply run the \MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd file from your E2B drive and make an identical copy (complete with all payload files) onto another USB drive.

You will also need to copy any of your own user folders in the root of the source E2B drive to the target drive afterwards. For instance \MyFolder would not be copied to the target drive, only the \_ISO folder is copied.

Check the Alternate Download Areas for the new version.

Note: v1.88h had a bug in MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd. Please use v1.88i.

If copying a E2B Removable Flash drive to a USB hard  drive , you should remove the NOHELPER variable from within the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file on the USB HDD or else Windows Install ISOs when used with an E2B WinHelper Flash drive will not work!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

E2B v1.88g Beta available

Changes from 1.87 are:
Changes from previous Beta version 1.88e are in bold
  • Add Server 2012 R2 Std Eval Product Key file
  • Update of Wincontig
  • Update SDI executables
  • Can now use .isofira or .isofira01 for Strelec WinPE ISOs
  • MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd now only works on the USB root (\) folder and all folders under \_ISO. Any user folders under the root (e.g. disk backups, applications, etc.) will not be made contiguous when the script is run.
  • Latest version of grub4dos 0.4.6a
  • New jpeg-based default purple background for 2017 - should load faster.
  • Some changes to QRUN.g4b and language files.
  • New version of SWITCH_E2B.exe 1.0.13 (small bugfix)
  • Improved Spanish language files (thanks DW!)

The v1.88g Beta Download is available from the Alternate Download Areas.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

SanDisk Extreme PRO CZ88 128GB USB 3.0 for $71 from (USA)

 I have just ordered one of these for $71 from here as the price has just been reduced (£67 in the UK).

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB

I have not tested one yet, but I am hoping it will prove to be slightly faster than the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 flash drive ($58) which I highly recommend for normal E2B use.

SanDisk Extreme 128GB
See also 'Beware of this (fast) USB 3.0 drive!'

Friday, 6 January 2017

E2B v1.88e Beta is now available

Changes from 1.87 are:
  • Add Server 2012 R2 Std Eval Product Key file
  • Update of Wincontig
  • Update SDI executables
  • Can now use .isofira or .isofira01 for Strelec WinPE ISOs
  • MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd now only works on the USB root (\) folder and all folders under \_ISO. Any user folders under the root (e.g. disk backups, applications, etc.) will not be made contiguous when the script is run.
  • Latest version of grub4dos 0.4.6a
  • New jpeg-based default purple background for 2017 (see screenshot below). 
  • Some changes to QRUN.g4b and language files.
Download is available from the Alternate Download Areas.

Please update your E2B drives and let me know if you spot a problem or have a comment. This is considered a 'release candidate' for 1.88.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Foolish IT - 20% off sale now on!

The guys at Foolish IT have a 20% sale on all their products at the moment (if you are quick).

For IT Technicians look at their d7ii software.

  • Provides quick automation with profile switching and execution for different repair scenarios
  • Keep work logs automatically, or quickly build a custom work report with logged actions and templates
  • Extremely customizable configurations enable personalization of tech workflow to your preferences
  • Provides techs with a consistent procedure, ensuring quality performance increases
  • New techs get ‘on the job training’ to your guidelines, while handling 80-90% of the bench work like a seasoned pro!
  • Bottom Line:  Increase technician productivity and efficiency, save time and dramatically increase revenue!

Their latest video about the d7ii Support Online tool is here and they have a channel on YouTube here too.

For their crypto-prevention malware solution (they were the original pioneers of the honey-pot method) check out their CryptoPrevent product (there is a free version too!).

They also have some other free software which you can download here.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

E2B v1.88d Beta available

Marco has kindly made some changes to WinContig which allows me to now make the MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd script just operate on files in the root of the drive and then it runs on files under the \_ISO folder (so WinContig runs twice).

This means that WinContig does not attempt to make any files in the user's own folders contiguous.

The E2B 1.88d Beta is available from the Alternate Download Areas.

Note: WinContig.exe is a Beta version.

P.S. If you are wondering about v1.88c, it only lasted a few minutes, I decided it was better to do it this way!

Tip: If you only want to make files in the root contiguous, or files under \_ISO contiguous, you can simply copy one of the .cmd scripts from the \_ISO\docs\WINCONTIG folder to the root of your E2B drive.

Monday, 26 December 2016

E2B 1.88b Beta available

Morozko37 has reported that the Strelec WinPE ISOs should work with .isofira or .isofira01 file extensions, but don't (it does not load the ISO as a virtual CD).

This seems to be due to some missing lines in the QRUN.g4b code.

The additional lines have been added in v1.88b and so you can now use the file extension of .isofira01 with Strelec or other similar WinPE ISO builds that include the firadisk driver.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

E2B v.1.88a Beta available

E2B v1.88a Beta changes:

  • Add Server 2012 R2 Std Eval Product Key file
  • Add \MAKE_ISO_FOLDER_CONTIGUOUS.cmd (works on \_ISO and below only)
  • Update to Wincontig v2.1.0.0
  • Update SDI executables
The 90-day evaluation Server 2012 R2 Standard installation-only Product Key has been added to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2012 folder.

If you have added your own portable applications, etc, to the E2B drive, when you run MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd it will make all files on the E2B drive contiguous including all of your own files. I have now added \MAKE_ISO_FOLDER_CONTIGUOUS.cmd which will only make files below the \_ISO folder contiguous. 

This means that if you have persistent files (casper-rw, ubuntu-rw, etc.) in the root of the E2B USB drive, you will also need to make these contiguous. To do this either:

1. Move the persistent files from the root folder to the same folder as it's payload+.mnu file and then modify each .mnu file, e.g.


set PF=/ubuntu-rw

change to:

set PF=$HOME$/ubuntu-rw

Now you can use \MAKE_ISO_FOLDER_CONTIGUOUS.cmd because all the E2B payload files will be below \_ISO.


2. Run \_ISO\docs\WINCONTIG\WinContig.exe and manually select the file(s) you want to make contiguous.


3. Run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd as before.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 23 December 2016

Add the SystemRescueCD + persistence (MBR and UEFI) to E2B

The SystemRescueCD contains several useful features:

SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. 
It comes with a lot of linux software such as system tools (parted, partimage, fstools, ...) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It can be used for both Linux and windows computers, and on desktops as well as servers. This rescue system requires no installation as it can be booted from a CD/DVD drive or USB stick, but it can be installed on the hard disk if you wish. The kernel supports all important file systems (ext2/ext3/ext4, reiserfs, btrfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs), as well as network filesystems (samba and nfs).

It can be used with E2B for MBR-booting just by adding the ISO file (no persistence, no danger of the .iso file getting infected or corrupted).

The current (2019) version is version 6 and is based on Arch Linux (see end of article for details)...

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

27 new E2B wallpapers by 'DW' available

'DW' has provided a selection of 27 different E2B background bitmaps which have a semi-transparent grey panel overlaid onto them.

The file (18MB) can be found in the Alternate Download Area - Themes folders.

Copy whatever .bmp file you fancy to your E2B drive and also the Example_MyE2B.cfg file and then load the .cfg file into the E2B_Editor.exe and save the file as \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg.

Once you have it working, you can compress the .bmp file if you wish to save space. E2B (grub4dos) understands .gz format and LZMA format (see \_ISO\docs\E2B_Utilities\LZMA folder).


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Add a full installation of Solus to E2B

Max wanted to have a full persistent installation of Solus on his E2B drive.

You can do a full installation of many linux OS's to an empty .imgPTN file following this method.
The same method is also described here for Manjaro linux.

For Solus, after I switched in the new partition images (solus.imgPTN and a 10GB solus file with no extension), I just choose to install to /  on /dev/sda3 and format it as ext4 (no swap partition). I used a 10GB solus file which left 6GB free after installing Solus.

However, when using the Solus 1.2.1 ISO to install with, the Solus installer does not offer the choice of the /dev/sda3 partition to install the grub2 boot loader. It is either \dev\sda  (the E2B USB MBR!) or nothing.

Here is how to get around this...

New RansomWare software (Cybereason RansomFree) - but there is a catch which you may not like!

This new free Cybereason RansomFree software detects ransomware using the 'honeypot' technique.

It seems to create new folders that begin with { or ~{ and other strange characters, and then fills those folders with various  'tempting' .doc,  .txt, .rtf, .xls etc. files. It then monitors them for changes and will allow you to kill any task that attempts to makes any changes to any those files.

A nice touch (or weakness?) is that the honeypot files that it creates are mostly hidden from the normal user when using Windows Explorer to view your folders.

The honeypot theory assumes that any ransomware will scan the drive and find these files before it finds your important files and then the RansomFree software will be able to warn you before too much harm is done. It did not seem to place any honeypot files on any other volume in my system however, so it seems to be only monitoring the C: drive.

See YouTube video here.

It has been tested and reviewed by Bleeping Computers also.

But here's the catch...

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Add the NirLauncher utility to your E2B USB drive to launch portable NirSoft utilities + others

NirSoft make lots of very useful Windows utilities, most of which are portable.

Use the NirSoft NirLauncher to quickly select a suitable NirSoft utility.
The NirLauncher utility allows you to run any of the 200+ portable utilities from a USB drive.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

New YouTube video on how to make an Unattend.xml file

E2B contains a few example Unattend.xml files which can be used with unmodified Windows ISOs and a USB Flash drive to perform a completely hands-free automated Windows install.

The video explains how to prepare your own XML file quickly with your own settings using WAFG and XMLtoE2B.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Yesterday I built an Amazon Echo 'Skill' for E2B

I was asked by my family what I wanted for Christmas recently. As I was considering buying an Amazon Echo for myself, I suggested that I could order one for them to give to me.

It arrived a few days ago and like a naughty child, I opened my XMas present early and I have since been talking to 'Alexa' - with varying degrees of success (and frustration)!

I saw a video on YouTube about how to create a 'Skill' for the Amazon Echo (equivalent of a mobile phone app) and so yesterday, I decided to have a go.

I won't describe how I did it in detail, because there are many videos and other tutorials around which tell you how to do it.

I decided to try a simple Skill for Easy2Boot: e.g.

"Alexa, ask Easy2Boot Helper how to add ubuntu"

Here is how I got on...

Sunday, 11 December 2016

ChrisR WinBuilder Win10PESE 2016-12-08 available

ChrisR has been supplying WinBuilder downloads for WinPE7/8/10 for some time now.

You can use WinBuilder to make a 32-bit or 64-bit WinPE ISO complete with many tools and even add your own utilities too. Most have WoW64 support in the x64 versions so you can run 32-bit apps under 64-bit WinPE.

The WinPE 10 WinBuilder version can be downloaded from here.

RMPrepUSB Tutorial #100 shows how to use WinBuilder and can be found here.

You can build a dual-boot USB drive which will UEFI-boot using either 32-bit or 64-bit UEFI (Secure Boot and MBR) systems by following the RMPrepUSB Tutorial #127 here. Note that some UEFI-systems may not MBR-boot from such a USB drive however - they will always UEFI-boot!

If you want to boot WinBuilder-based ISOs from E2B, you will need to read this Easy2Boot page. The easiest way to boot numerous WinBuilder-based payloads is to convert each one to a .imgPTN file for both UEFI and MBR booting, however you can MBR-boot directly from each ISO if you keep the file extension as .ISO and don't use spaces in the filename (E2B v1.92+). If you see a Yellow Triangle! on the Desktop, then it didn't work correctly! Read my previous blog on how to add multiple different WinBuilder ISOs to E2B.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

E2B v.1.87 is now released

Changes from v1.86 are:

  • Fix typo in SDI_CHOCO which caused pause with scrolllock.exe and capslock.exe error messages. 
  • Improve linux scripts to install grub4dos to PBR and make partition active using parted. 
  • Latest grub4dos 0.4.6a. 
  • Snappy updated to R513. 
  • Persistent sample .mnu files added for LibreELEC and Pentoo. 
  • Win10 support added to PassPass (thanks to Ner0). 
  • Improved Restore File check in PPass.g4b to prevent restoring wrong file+improve search speed.
  • Other small tweaks

Download page

Thursday, 8 December 2016

YouTube Video on the E2B_Editor now available

See  (refresh the page if you don't see a video at the top of the page).

Tip: use the gear wheel speed control and set x2 if you find yourself falling asleep!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

E2B v1.87e Beta available

1.87e Beta has a few more tweaks to PassPass to make it quicker when searching for Windows OS's.
I hope to release this version as 1.87 after a few days, so please report any issues if you find any.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

PEPassPass for XP to Win10

PEPassPass is a Windows-executable version of PassPass written by boulcat.

If you can boot to the E2B menu (MBR-boot), then you can use the E2B PassPass version.

The 64-bit + 32-bit modified boulcat versions of PEPassPass.exe (updated by Ner0 for Win10) is now available from the Easy2Boot alternate download areas (Google drive and OneDrive).

You can add these PEPassPass files to your E2B drive (or add them inside a UEFI-bootable .imgPTN file if you want to UEFI-boot to WinPE).

You can boot from any Windows or WinPE OS on a USB drive or CD (64-bit or 32-bit OS) and run PEPassPass to patch a Windows OS so you can bypass the local user account password entry.

Under WinPE, I use SHIFT+F10 to open a command console and then run NotePad and use the File Open menu in NotePad to find and run the PEPassPass exe file using right-click.

PEPassPass is useful if your system cannot MBR boot to E2B and can only UEFI-boot.

Follow the discussion for more details on PEPassPass (note the first version by Ner0 had a bug).

Sunday, 4 December 2016

How to directly boot to different grub4dos payloads from the Windows boot menu

I have added Tutorial 134 to the RMPrepUSB website which describes how you can add multiple grub4dos payloads to the Windows 7/8/10 boot menu.

This method is useful because the user does not see any intermediate grub4dos menu, only the bootmgr BCD menu is seen.

For instance, a Windows bootmgr menu can contain BCD entries for:

Windows 10
Memtest 86
Ubuntu Live ISO
Parted Magic ISO

When you select any of these menu options, it will immediately boot to that payload.

Friday, 2 December 2016

E2B v1.87d (PassPass improved)

I have improved the PassPass batch file a bit in v1.87d.
When you Restore the DLL file (after first backing it up), it will now check the first 512 bytes to make sure you are restoring the same file and same version.

Alternate Download Area

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Add a Manjaro Live install image to E2B

The manjaro live cd ISO does not seem to support a live persistence volume (AFAIK).

However, we can add a full manjaro image (MBR boot only) to E2B so that we can boot to a fully installed OS which will be updatable and persistent just like a normal installation.

Here are the steps to add a full linux OS to an Easy2Boot USB drive.