Thursday, 29 March 2018

Revised MemTest86.imgPTN file (and how to fix a corrupt E2B drive)

If you are having problems when using the ready-made MemTest86.imgPTN file which I made available in a previous post, please update to the latest version here.

The previous version was not compatible with the latest versions of RMPrepUSB (grub4dos installer) and could cause strange effects such a 'GRLDR not found' errors on booting and perhaps not being able to return back to the E2B menu from the CSM menu.

If you have been using the latest version of RMPrepUSB to install grub4dos on your E2B drive, make sure you are using the latest version of the MPI Tool Pack to make your .imgPTN files.

If you have used the latest version of RMPrepUSB to install grub4dos on your E2B drive, you will need to remake all your .imgPTN files again. Alternatively, edit the \menu.lst file inside each .imgPTN file and replace "Missing MBR" with "helper" throughout the file.

If you update your E2B USB drive to version 1.99a Beta or later (available in Alternate Download area), when you switch to a .imgPTN file using the E2B menu (not using SWITCH_E2B.exe) E2B will automatically make the patches to the \menu.lst file inside the .imgPTN file as it is run. Once it has been patched, you can use SWITCH_E2B.exe as well as the E2B menu system to select a .imgPTN file.

Fixing a 'broken' E2B drive

If your E2B drive has a problem booting or switching back to the E2B partitions, try this process using any version of RMPrepUSB...

1. RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+B  (writes a standard MBR)
2. RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+G - Y=MBR - cancel grldr copy (installs grub4dos to MBR and backs up the standard MBR to LBA1 - grub_inst will not back up the MBR if it contains grub4dos which is why we install the standard MBR first)
3. Now select the drive in Windows Explorer - Properties - Tools - Check (to fix any errors)

If the drive is in the CSM mode (i.e. has a switched-in .imgPTN file), switch it back to the E2B mode by booting to it and using the CSM  0 - EASY2BOOT menu option or using \e2b\SWITCH_E2B.exe - Restore E2B partition(s) button.

Now repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 above.

Finally, update to E2B v1.99a and use the E2B menu to switch in any 'old' .imgptn file in order to 'fix' the menu.lst file inside it:

i.e.
1. Boot to E2B menu
2. Select .imgPTN file in the E2B menu and switch to CSM menu to 'patch' the \menu.lst file inside the .imgPTN file.
3. Select menu item 0 EASY2BOOT in the CSM menu to return back to the E2B menu.

You can now use SWITCH_E2B.exe or the E2B menu to select the old .imgPTN file.

Tip: The MBR is saved to \e2b\MBR.BIN by E2B when you switch in the .imgPTN file. It may still contain the original NTFS partition table.

Drive not listed in SWITCH_E2B.exe?

If you have switched to a .imgPTN file and then tried to switch it back using the CSM Menu 0 option, you may find that it will may no longer boot to grub4dos or be listed in by SWITCH_E2B.exe.

SWITCH_E2B.exe only lists drives that have grub4dos boot code in the MBR (LBA0).

If you follow the process above, it should fix the issue.

No files? unformatted drive?

If Windows wants to format the E2B drive and it appears unformatted, the CSM menu may have restored your old original backup partition. This type of problem only happens if you have re-partitioned your E2B drive after you originally installed E2B onto it.

To fix the issue, follow the FAQ Troubleshooting guide

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Would you be interested in an eBook for Easy2Boot?

I have started to write an eBook for Easy2Boot  (with pictures!) as several people have requested one.

Currently it has a working title of  'Getting started with Easy2Boot (or how to create a useful multiboot USB drive)'.

The content in the eBook will not be as detailed as on the E2B website (but it will not have all the repetitive text that is on the website pages either!). The eBook is intended to be followed as a 'Course'. It will be aimed at the intermediate Windows user who knows how to copy files and use Windows applications, but is not very familiar with Easy2Boot or using multiboot USB drives.

It starts with a few basic Chapters on E2B and how to make an E2B USB drive, but then has Chapters on:

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Add BlackArch LiveCD (MBR+UEFI) to E2B

The BlackArch Linux LiveCD ISO can simply be added to the E2B USB drive (e.g. \_ISO\LINUX\blackarchlinux-live-2017.12.11-x86_64.iso).

Because the file is larger than 4GB, your E2B USB drive will need to be formatted as NTFS.

This will allow us to Legacy\MBR boot, but what about UEFI-booting to BlackArch Linux?

Well, the E2B grub2 menu system will UEFI-boot from the ISO, but what if we want to use a .imgPTN file instead?

We cannot simply drag-n-drop the blackarchlinux-live-2017.12.11-x86_64.iso file onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut to make a .imgPTN file, because there is a large (>4GB) .sfs file inside the ISO.

Here is how to add BlackArch Linux to your E2B USB drive (preferably a large E2B USB HDD) and both UEFI and MBR boot to it.

Instructions

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Spanish YouTube E2B videos - Lesson 4 now available from Decomputo

Even if you don't speak Spanish, you might like to watch the YouTube course on E2B by Decomputo.

The latest one has just been uploaded here.


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Boot Eset Rescue using UEFI from E2B

To legacy\MBR boot, you can simply directly boot from the Eset system rescue ISO file (or to add persistence for updates - see previous blog articles).
See also: ESET SysRescue 2020 with persistent updates and agFM UEFI support
To UEFI-boot (64-bit UEFI) or MBR-boot from recent versions (no persistent updates):

1. Drag-and-drop the eset-sysrescue-live_enu.iso file onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut
2. Add 5MB to the suggested size
3. Copy the .imgPTN file to the E2B drive \_ISO\ANTIVIRUS folder, make it contiguous and 'Switch' to the .imgPTN file using the E2B MBR menu or \_ISO\Switch_E2B.exe.
4. Extract the contents of \boot\grub\efi.img to the root of the E2B volume, so that you now have a \efi\boot folder containing two .efi files

However, here is a way to 32-bit and 64-bit UEFI-boot by using the E2B grub2 menu system.

You will need to be familiar with the E2B grub2 menu system first.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Warning: Do NOT update to VirtualBox v5.2.8!

The latest VirtualBox v5.2.8 version crashes your host system (i.e. BSOD on your Windows system) when booting to an E2B USB drive.

If you use VBox to test booting of E2B then please install v5.2.4 or 5.2.6 instead, but do not update to 5.2.8.

I discovered this several days ago (I thought it may have been just my system), but it has now been confirmed by another user.

http://www.easy2boot.com/forum/

[Edit: I have re-released E2B v1.98 2018-03-09 which should prevent the BSOD with VBOX from occurring. Please download the latest version of E2B and update your E2B drives if you want to use VBOX 5.2.8]

Monday, 5 March 2018

E2B v1.98 released

v1.98 2018-03-03 - changes from v1.97A
  1. Patchme grub4dos script now removes 'If hangup , use 'geometry --lba1sector (128)' grub4dos startup message
  2. Variables SIZE_E2B and SIZE_HD1 can now be used in MyE2B.cfg files in menu HEADING and FOOTER (for sizes of drives in GB)
  3. 'GodMode' folder added to \_ISO\docs\Download URLs for easy access to Windows GodMode list of utilities (just doubel-click on it within Windows)
  4. DrWeb900_Persistent.mnu sample added
  5. Support for *NCQ.iso suffix
  6. Support for isopersist file extension so can easily add persistence files to Ubuntu-based ISOs
  7. Add text tip to use .isopersist for Ubuntu-based files +persistence
  8. Add .isoBF option to 'ISOASK' menu list
  9. Add text tip to use .isopup for files with 'pup' in their name for puppy linux ISOs
  10. Change FreeDos floppy image to increase amount of conventional memory from 310K to 530K and add mem.exe utility + extended memory driver for DPMI support, add mouse.com DOS mouse driver, increase floppy disk size to 7.6MB so more files can be added by user, update KERNEL version
  11. Add support for TESTPLOP variable for booting Plop! with VMWare
  12. Use Inno Setup as the Self Extractor engine for less AV false positives (E2B .zip file is also available for linux users)
  13. Changes to many of the Sample .mnu files to clarify instructions
  14. Bugfix for EXTOFF=1 not being set in MyE2B.cfg when using Make_E2B to make the USB drive (EXTOFF suppresses file extensions being listed in menus).
As usual, the new versions are available from the Alternate Download Areas first so you can try it out and feedback any issues before I release it on the E2B website.

A .zip version of E2B v1.98 is also available for linux users.

Note: E2B v1.98 was re-released (2018-03-09) with a small bugfix which should prevent VBOX v5.2.8 from BSOD'ing your system when using it to boot an E2B USB drive.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Testing Inno Setup for making Self-Extracting files

I have been using WinRaR to package up the Easy2Boot files into a self-extracting executable (SFX) file. When the user runs this, it unpacks the E2B files to a temporary folder and then runs Make_E2B.exe as Administrator.

However, the WinRaR package seems to trigger false positive alerts with several Anti-Virus packages such a Windows Defender (depending on what day it is!), Avast and Norton Symantec, etc.

So, as an experiment, I have packaged up E2B v1.98g BETA using the free Inno QuickStart Setup package from here.

This Inno Setup version is similar to the WinRaR version (it only extracts the files - it does not install anything).

Please try the above link and let me know the results (i.e. what your AV solution is and if it runs OK or gives a virus alert).

I have noticed that if you run it with Avast AV installed, you get an error pop-up box, however if you click past this it runs OK. This is apparently a known issue with Avast when running a 'strange' exe for the first time.

P.S. If the above link no longer works (becomes outdated), look for a more recent E2B_v1.98+ file in the Alternate Downloads Areas.

Tick 'funny' if it gave no problems, otherwise please let me know what AV gave a false-positive

Thursday, 1 March 2018

How to add older versions of the Hirens Boot CD to E2B

Older versions of the Hirens boot CD earlier than version 9.7 were based on DOS and designed to run from a CD only.

Here is how I converted HBCD v8.1 to run from E2B.

MPI Tool Pack v0.081 fixes 'ERROR: Please install Grub4dos to the MBR' error!


If you are getting this error a lot when trying to switch to .imgPTN files, the reason is that you are probably using RMPrepUSB v2.1.740 or later to install grub4dos or BootIce+grub4dos 0.4.6a.

To fix this, you can either use an older version of RMPrepUSB, or use v 0.081 or later of the MPI Tool Pack and remake your .imgPTN file.

The problem is due to the grub4dos boot code changing. The code in the menu.lst file looks for 'Missing MBR-helper' but the code has now changed with 0.4.6a to be 'Missing helper' and so it does not restore the original grub4dos MBR sector when you switch back to the E2B MBR, but restores the backup sector from LBA 1 instead (which usually does not contain the grub4dos boot code).

The new \menu.lst in MPI v0.081 will work with either version of the grub4dos boot code.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Add AROS AspireOS Titan to E2B

The AspireOS ISO seems to have a problem booting if we just try to add the ISO to E2B.

Here is how to add it to E2B as a .imgPTN file for MBR and UEFI-32-bit booting.

References

Amiga Board forum

Instructions

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Boot from an E2B USB drive using VMWare

You can test install Windows (7/8/10 etc.) from an E2B drive to a virtual hard disk using VMWare.
The advantage of this process is that a Removable-type USB flash drive will appear in the VM as a Removable drive and thus will load the 'LOADISO.cmd' file in the same way as it runs on a real system. This means you can test E2B with Windows ISOs+Unattend XML files without using a real system.

There is also new page on the E2B site here which describes the process.

This process works using VMWare Player (free) or VMWare WorkStation...

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

E2B v1.98f/g BETA

E2B v1.98f BETA (in Alternate Download Area) now has a revised version of the FreeDOS boot image.

The disk image (\_ISO\DOS\MNU\ FreeDos288.ima.gz) is now actually a 7.6MB FAT32 disk image containing FreeDOS.FreeDOS now loads an NTFS driver, EMM386 and a DOS mouse driver. It also contains a selection of FreeDOS utilities.

This means you can just copy a mouse-enabled DOS utility, such as the DOS version of Ghost.exe to your E2B drive, boot to E2B, and then boot to the FreeDOS floppy image from the DOS menu and directly run C:\Ghost.exe directly from your NTFS or FAT32 E2B drive.

Because the FreeDOS image is over 7MB in size and has 5MB of free space available, you can also extract the .ima file and then add your own DOS utilities into the image. See the E2B DOS page for more details.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Adding Dos programs and utilities to E2B

If you have a DOS (FreeDOS or MS-DOS, etc.) floppy disk image (.ima or .img), you can just directly add it to the E2B drive and it should boot correctly.

If you want to be able to modify the contents, you can use a program like WinImage, or you could convert the image to a FAT32 .imgPTN file.

Using the E2B FreeDos image

E2B includes a FreeDOS disk image as \_ISO\DOS\MNU\Freedos288.IMA.gz.

If you boot to this, you can access and run small DOS programs directly from the E2B drive because the FreeDOS image also loads an NTFS driver and support (sort of!) for long-filename for FAT32.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

My YouTube channel has just reached new dizzy heights!


Wow! It seems I am well on the way to making my first $million (not!).
Strange, as it says I have 2500 subscribers on the videos???

Please feel free to subscribe (before it goes back below 1000 again!).

Sunday, 28 January 2018

E2B v1.98b/c BETA available

v1.98b BETA is available
v1.98c BETA (small change to QRUN to add NCQ tip message)
v1.98d BETA (small change to QRUN for .isopersist tip messages)
v1.98e BETA FreeDOS floppy image now has increased conventional memory (was 300K, now 530K) so can run larger programs

Download here - if you have problems with Windows Defender, download the .zip version or E2B instead - extract the files and run Make_E2B.exe.

Changes from v1.98a BETA
  • Support for .iso filenames ending in new NCQ suffix (e.g. WinPEx64_ncq.iso)
  • Other v. small changes

About the *NCQ filename suffix

Friday, 26 January 2018

Bob Omb's WinPE v1.5 (2018-01-14)

Bob Omb's latest release is v1.5. You can just add the .iso file to E2B as it is a WinBulder-based ISO.

Once at the Desktop, you can use CTRL+TAB to change languages. For a UK keyboard, pick the American flag which is shown immediately after the French flag (there is no UK flag available!). The second American flag shown is for USA (default).

Bob Omb's default desktop

It also works with PEStartup, so you can easily modify the default wallpaper, add your own desktop shortcuts to your own portable apps, drivers and auto-start any applications - see here for more details about PEStartup and how to add it to any WinPE. Note that it may take about a minute or two before PEStartup auto-runs, so be patient.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

E2B v1.98a BETA available (with new .isopersist file extension for ubuntu-based ISOs)

v1.98a Beta changes are:
  • patchme script now removes the grub4dos startup message 'If hangup, use 'geometry --lba1sector (128)'
  • Variables SIZE_E2B and SIZE_HD1 can now be used in MyE2B.cfg files in HEADING and FOOTER (size of drive in GB)
  • 'GodMode' folder added to \_ISO\docs\Download URLs for easy access to Windows GodMode list
  • DrWeb900_Persistent.mnu added
  • .isopersist ubuntu file extension supported (no .mnu file required for persistence)

.isopersist file exension details

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Set up a different E2B wallpaper for each menu

It is possible to configure E2B so that each menu loads a different background wallpaper.

For the AUTO and WINDOWS menus, we just need to add these 800x600 files:
  • \_ISO\AUTO.bmp
  • \_ISO\SVR2K8R2.bmp
  • \_ISO\SVR2012.bmp
  • \_ISO\VISTA.bmp
  • \_ISO\WIN7.bmp
  • \_ISO\WIN8.bmp
  • \_ISO\WIN10.bmp
  • \_ISO\SVR2016.bmp
  • \_ISO\WINMENU.bmp (background for the Windows Install Menu - if any of the other Windows .bmp are used, this should also exist)
Note that the file extension should be .bmp, even if the actual contents are .jpg files or .gz or LZMA compressed .bmp files. For instance, you can just rename VISTA.jpg to VISTA.bmp, etc.


For the other 9 menu folders (MAINMENU, DOS, ANTIVIRUS, etc.), we can add a .mnu file to each of the menu folders as described at http://www.easy2boot.com/configuring-e2b/multiple-backgrounds/

However, I have added an alternative method now which may be easier for you to change and update...

Saturday, 13 January 2018

RMPrepUSB v2.1.740 released

v2.1.740 has better support for grub4dos when installing to an exFAT drive and also has the most recent version of WinContig.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

MPI Tool Pack v0.079/0.080 released

Just a few small bugs and tidy-ups.

MPI Tool Pack v0.079
  1. Fix CreateDesktopShortcuts.cmd so it now works with Windows systems with a non-standard Desktop path.
  2. Small change to menu.lst for clover boot patch (should have no discernible affect).
  3. Fix menu.lst for detection of 3rd ptn for FreeBSD images when Switch_E2B.exe is used.
Update by downloading and unpacking to your Desktop and then running CreateDesktopShortcuts.cmd again.

MPI Tool Pack v0.080

  1. Update with latest SWITCH_E2B.exe version
  2. Bugfix for when syslinux\isolinux is in root of drive

Thursday, 4 January 2018

How to add an animated GIF to your E2B menu

Here is an example of how to add the 'TeaTime' optical illusion animated GIF to E2B.

It takes about 2 minutes!


Adding animation is really quite easy now...

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Add jokes to your E2B menu for Xmas

One way to add jokes to your E2B menu would be to convert a series of PowerPoint slides into an animated GIF and display it on the E2B Menu, however, this would always show the jokes in the same order each time you booted to E2B.

Here is a small grub4dos script that allows you to display one of 36 randomly-chosen jokes on your E2B menus.

You must update to E2B v1.97A or later for this to work properly due to some bugs in older versions of grub4dos.


Instructions...

E2B v1.97A released

The bugs in grub4dos have been fixed by the developer now and v1.97A is now released.

Please update your E2B drives.

Changes from v1.97 to v1.97A:
  • bugfix in grub4dos \grldr for helptext colour and --string= issues.
  • E2B_Editor.exe - small bugfix for colours 6, 7 and 8 not quite correct shade.
  • WinLite10 XML sample files updated to add amd64 section.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Design a Decomputo-like theme for E2B

A few people have asked about the theme used by Decomputo in their E2B YouTube video:




An example of the Decomputo menu is shown below:


I do not know the exact details of how this was configured, however I can give you a few hints on how to add a similar menu system...

Small bug in E2B v.1.97

I have just noticed a bug in E2B v1.97.

The issue is that the helptext just under the menu does not appear in the correct colour.

This is due to a bug in the new grub4dos version 2017-12-05 which I hope will be fixed soon.

The issue can be fixed by changing your MyE2B.cfg file so that the helptext color command follows the normal colour command, e.g.

#this does not change the helptext colour!
color helptext=0x0001FF
color normal=0x808040

#this does change the helptext colour correctly.
color normal=0x808040
color helptext=0x0001FF

It seems the color normal command also changes the helptext colour.
If you wish, you can use a previous version of \grldr instead.

I have reported the bug here and will re-release v1.97 as v1.97A when it is fixed.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

New 'Display colours' .mnu file included in E2B v1.97

I have added a sample .mnu file, \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files\E2B Menus\Display_RGB_Colours.mnu, to E2B v1.97.

You can copy the Display_RGB_Colours.mnu file to a menu folder (e.g. \_ISO\UTILITIES) and use it to help you choose a grub4dos 4-bit or 24-bit RGB colour values...

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Easy2Boot v1.97 Full Release is now available

The latest E2B v1.97 full release is now available from the Alternate Download Areas.

Changes from v1.96 are:
  • Download is now in self-extracting .exe RAR4 format instead of .zip format (less false-positive virus alerts!).
  • Small change of all E2B menus and language files - menu help text now does not have leading space at start of each help line.
  • New grub4dos 2017-12-05
  • New hstart and hwidth parameters can be set in MyE2B.cfg to set the menu help text x start offset and the line width. You can now position the menu help text anywhere on the display.
  • Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd now prompts user to delete or change the size of the 500MB CONTIG.ISO file.
  • New Make_E2B.exe - the extract button now works even if no USB drive is detected and it was not run as admin. Also, it now warns that user will require WinHelper USB Flash drive for Windows Install ISOs if Fixed Disk type of USB drive is detected.
  • Fix $Default E2B Menu.cfg by adding !BAT to prevent initial error message after using PimpMydrive.cmd (bugfix).
  • 'No !BAT string in MyE2B.cfg' error message suppressed if no MyE2B.cfg file exists (bugfix).
  • Snappy SDIO .cfg file changed to suppress GNU licence EULA on first run + updated version
  • CENTREHD code revised for better centering of menu headings.
  • Small bugfix to E2B_Editor.exe + it now lists both .bmp and .jpg files in open file dialog by default.
  • New setmenu draw-box command added (see here).
  • String command bugfix and documented on E2B site.
  • New BoxDemo sample theme added to demonstrate new hstart, hwidth, drawbox, line and string features.
  • Small \_ISO\Sample_MyBackground.jpg file added for use with E2B_Editor.
  • Small changes to some .cfg sample themes.
  • Desinfect 2017 sample .mnu file added.
Please report any issues ASAP! If you have used Pimp_My_Drive.cmd to add extra mnu items, please re-run Pimp_My_Drive.cmd again after you have updated to the new version.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Easy2Boot v1.97f available (Release Candidate - please try it!)

E2B v1.97f BETA is now available from the Alternate Download Areas.

I will release this as v1.97 Full Release in a few days, so please test it by updating your E2B drive and report any issues.

The self-extracting .exe download now uses .RAR instead of .ZIP internally because it seems to trigger far less false-positive virus warnings.

It does however mean that it cannot be used with RMPrepUSB directly by renaming it to .rar or .zip. You will have to extract the files to a new folder first if you want to use it with RMPrepUSB instead of just using the renamed file directly with RMPrepUSB - Choose Files.

Note: I have now updated RMPrepUSB with a more recent version of 7zG.exe which can extract the files from a self-extracting .rar file. So if you download RMPrepUSB v2.1.739B and rename the E2B download to have a .rar extension, then RMPrepUSB will extract the contents.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Silence grub4dos boot-up messages


As gub4dos boots, you may see the following messages as it boots.


If your E2B USB drive is an exFAT drive, you may see even more messages.

The \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg file contains some sample code lines which can suppress these and other boot messages by patching the code in the MBR and the \grldr file.

This should work on both grub4dos 0.4.6a and 0.4.5c versions.

Friday, 1 December 2017

E2B v1.97e now available

Changes from v1.97d are:
  • Latest release version of grub4dos 0.4.6a
  • Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd now prompts user to delete or change the size of CONTIG.ISO file at the end.
The download is available in .exe (may get a virus warning!) and .zip format (run Make_E2B.exe after extracting).

Monday, 27 November 2017

E2B v1.97d BETA available

New version available from the Alternate Downloads Areas (in both self-extracting .exe and .zip form in case of false-positive virus detection issues).

Changes from v1.96A

  • Make_E2B.exe - Extract button now works even if no USB drive detected and not run as admin, now warns that user will require WinHelper USB Flash drive for WIndows Install ISOs if using Fixed Disk
  • Desinfect 2017 sample .mnu file added
  • Fix $Default E2B Menu.cfg by adding !BAT to prevent initial error message after using PimpMydrive.cmd (bugfix).
  • Snappy SDIO .cfg file changed to suppress GNU licence EULA on first run + later version
  • Change to all menus and language files - menu help text now does not have leading space at start of each help line. 
  • New hstart and hwidth parameters can be set in MyE2B.cfg to set the x start offset and width of the menu help text. 
  • 'No !BAT string in MyE2B.cfg' error message suppressed if no MyE2B.cfg file exists (bugfix).
  • Small bugfix to E2B_Editor and it now lists both .bmp and .jpg files in open file dialog by default.
  • New grub4dos version. String command bugfix in grub4dos and other small bugs fixed. New setmenu draw-box command added.
  • CENTREHD code revised for better menu heading centering.
  • Small \_ISO\SampleBackround.jpg file added for use with E2B_Editor.
  • DrawBox.cfg theme added

Friday, 24 November 2017

Black Friday E2B Treats!

Why not upgrade your E2B drive to the fastest\best flash drive and take advantage of the Black Friday reductions?


SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.1 128GB - $60 or £66 (save $20/£27!!!)

or the 256GB version for only $100.

Tip: The 'Go' version is cheaper but slower (1\10th random 4K speed so not suitable for WinToGo)!

Now you can add WindowsToGo VHD files and boot to Windows 10 directly from your E2B drive - but you may forget that you are actually running from a USB drive!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

E2B v1.96A released (bugfix for v1.96)

Due to a small bug in v1.96, I have decided to re-release v1.96 as v1.96A.

The bug was that if you had no \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file, you would see a 'ERROR IN \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file - Check first line starts with !BAT' message when you boot to E2B.

The new v1.96A does NOT include the latest changes in the v1.97c BETA version, so E2B v1.97c is currently the latest, most up-to-date version, although it is still at Beta status.

E2B v1.97c BETA available

Changes from v1.96 are:
  1. New Make_E2B.exe - extract button now works even if no USB drive detected and not run as admin
  2. Desinfect 2017 sample .mnu file added,
  3. Fix $Default E2B Menu.cfg by adding !BAT to prevent initial error message after using PimpMydrive.cmd.
  4. Snappy SDIO .cfg file changed to suppress GNU licence EULA on first run. 
  5. Change to all menus and language files - menu help text now does not have leading space at start of each help line. 
  6. New hstart and hwidth parameters can be set in MyE2B.cfg to set the x start offset and width of the menu help text.
  7. No !BAT warning message if no MyE2B.cfg exists (bugfix)
  8. SDI Origin .exe files updated.
Items 5 and 6 actually involved changing a great many .txt, .mnu, .g4b and language files to remove the space that was used in the menu help text.

The new version is available from the Alternate Downloads Areas.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

E2B v1.97b available (with small bugfix)

E2B v1.97b is now available from the Alternate Download Areas.

There was a small bug in v1.96 reported by Nathan (thanks!).

If you run \_ISO\PimpMyDrive.cmd and then choose to add Themes, then when you next boot to E2B, you will see a warning message:


Press ENTER to continue and load the E2B menu.

This message occurs because E2B now checks that the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file starts with !BAT, but the new MyE2B.cfg that is initially used is just full of 00's.

Once you select a new Theme using the E2B menu, the error message will disappear because the contents of the MyE2B.cfg will be overwritten with new text.

Changes from v1.96 are:
  • Make_E2B.exe - Extract button now works even if no USB drive detected and not run as admin
  • Desinfect 2017 sample .mnu file added,
  • Fix $Default E2B Menu.cfg by adding !BAT to prevent initial error message after using Pimp My drive.cmd.
If you have already run v1.96 PimpMyDrive.cmd and still see this error, selecting a Theme from the Main menu will fix it.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Add the E2B UtilMan password hack to any WinPE ISO's desktop

If your E2B USB drive contains bootable WinPE ISOs (e.g. Gandalf, Strelec, Bob Om, etc.), you can add shortcuts to the WinPE Desktops which will run the E2B UtilMan hack files. This will allow you to hack into any Windows system that is not encrypted.

YT video

1. First you need to add the PEStartup files and \TheOven_Startup.cmd to your E2B drive, as detailed in a previous blog here. For example, for a version with PortableApps already added, download and extract the PEStartup_Papps version to the E2B drive.

2. Next, boot to your WinPE ISO on the E2B USB drive (or if you prefer, you can double-click on the \AIO\Tools\PEStartup\PEStartup_x86.exe or PEStartup_x64.exe under your current Windows OS - but do not click on the 'Options - Perform' button or it will alter your Windows system!).

Some WinBuilder PEs such as Gandalf and Bob Om's PE v8 will automatically run PEStartup when WinPE boots. For other WinPEs, you will need to double-click on \TheOven_Startup.cmd to run PEStartup.

3. Now use PEStartup to add Shortcuts for \_ISO\docs\UtilMan\Utilman1PE_Patch.cmd and UtilMan4PE_Restore.cmd as shown in the screenshot below:

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Add Desinfect 2017 + updates to E2B

I have updated the instructions in a previous blog on Desinfect.

You should be able boot from a Desinfect 2017 ISO with persistent virus signature updates if you follow the instructions carefully.

See the bottom of this page for details.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Add FreeBSD-based ISOs to E2B (+ new MPI Tool Pack released)

Bootable ISOs based on FreeBSD (e.g. FreeBSD-*11.1.iso) can now be booted by using .imgPTN image files.

I have just updated the MPI Tool Pack v.0.078.

Instructions are basically the same as for memstick images - see here (bottom of page).

For instance, you can MBR-boot to OPNsense ISOs (OPNsense-17.7.5-OpenSSL-dvd-amd64.iso) by creating a dummy .imgPTN file and removing the file extension from the ISO file so it is also loaded as a partition image.

To check if your ISO is compatible, load the ISO into 7Zip and look for a \boot\loader file inside the ISO.

Note: FreeNas .ISO files do not work using this method. You must use FreeNAS memstick images instead.

Geek notes

It is not possible to boot directly from the ISO using a simple menu such as:

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Very useful additions to your E2B USB drive - Carifred Ultra Virus Killer and Tech Tool Store

If you have a sufficient knowledge of Windows to be able to repair a damaged or infected Windows system, you will know that it is not that easy.

For instance, although you may be able to boot to the infected Windows system, it may not allow you to run any .exe executable or use any browser.

So i just wanted to make you aware of Carifred's software for technicians. Not only do they offer free versions with very few limitations, but it also seems to provide the exact tools that an experienced Windows repair technician needs. The full licences are also very reasonably priced too.

This blog post is just a 'heads-up' to draw your attention to this software if you haven't come across it before.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

SSL for Easy2boot and RMPrepUSB sites + how to increase your website earnings with Ezoic!

Because both sites go through Ezoic, it was super-easy to enable SSL for both sites.

I simply installed the SSL app (just one click on the Ezoic site) for each of my sites and waited a while.

https://www.rmprepusb.com

This should help the Google search ranking for these sites too and give people a 'warmer' feeling when accessing the sites.

This blogger site also has SSL too (you are probably viewing it now using the https URL).

https://rmprepusb.blogspot.com

About Ezoic

If you own a website, Ezoic can help you improve traffic, user experience and website earnings.

It is free to try and they will help you set it up (not difficult!), so you have nothing to lose.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Easy2Boot v1.96 full release now available

Changes from v1.95:
  • Bugfix for .isofira01 as used for Strelec ISOs and fix some other .fira extensions (QRUN.g4b).
  • Check for fixed type of .VHD\.VHDX file - dynamic VHDs won't boot (QRUN.g4b).
  • If .txt file exists then don't suggest better extension, unless SCROLL LOCK is on (QRUN.g4b)
  • Improve GIFtoIMA.cmd script to calculate size of .IMA file required.
    GIFtoIMA.cmd now will add code lines to your MyE2B.cfg file for you (optional).
  • New 'rooftops' default wallpaper.
  • New SWITCH_E2B.exe with improved file re-ordering for dual image payloads (see Method 4).  
  • Check \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg begins with !BAT, and bugfix for falsely reporting a problem with MyE2B.cfg in some cases (menu.lst).
  • Added some 'disk1' example XML unattended install files for Win7/8/10. 
  • Larger cmd shell window for UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.cmd so can see which files have been updated.
  • Add linuxlite_persistence and linuxmint_persistence sample mnu files.
  • Small text change to ENGlish Strings.txt (.imgPTN prompt, etc.).
Files are available from Alternate Download Areas.
The Main E2B site will be updated within a few days.

Please report any issues ASAP.

P.S. v1.96 could report a !BAT missing error under some conditions (e.g. no MyE2B.cfg), so I have released a bugfix version called 1.96A. If you already have v1.96, just download v1.96A and click the Update_E2B button to update your 1.96 E2B drive.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

How I deleted unwanted gmail messages to save space on Google Drive

Google had started warning me that my Google Drive was starting to get full.

I used 'Empty Bin' in Google Drive but was still left with half of the storage space being taken up by Gmail messages.



So I went into Gmail and used the search filter larger:10m to list all files larger than 10MB.
This allowed me to find emails with large attachments.



I then went through and deleted any unwanted emails (which took a while!).

You can also use the search feature to search for emails from a certain person (from:amy) or older emails (larger:5m older_than:1y) . You can use OR like this (larger:5m OR older_than:5y).

Many more options are listed here.

Bob Omb's WinBuilder-based WinPe

I recently found another useful WinPE by Bob Omb (register to see Downloads).

I tried Bob.Ombs.Modified.Win10PEx64.v08.ISO (v8 does pick up the TheOven_Startup.cmd file automatically on startup).

A 2GB+ RAM system is needed for the 64-bit v08 version to boot directly from an ISO.

General overview of capabilities:
  • Backup / Restore hard disks and partitions 
  • Convert Disks to VHD 
  • Test Hard Drives 
  • Recover Lost Data on PC/Mac/Linux Drives 
  • Recover Product Keys 
  • Remove malware and viruses 
  • Install any Version of Windows WinNTSetup
  • ReFS Friendly (Now v3.3) 
  • Backup Drivers 
  • Remote connect to other machines -or- this drive from anywhere 
  • Reset Passwords 
  • FireFox Portable
  • and much more!
P.S. v2 must be run as .imgPTN. v3 (2018) will boot as .ISO or as .imgPTN.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Updated PEStartup download

I have added a new PEStartup download to the RMPrepUSB tutorial #143.

Gandalf PE ISO with PEStartup_Papps files added to E2B USB drive (you can change the default wallpaper).
WinBuilder-based ISOs such as Gandalf's WinPEs will automatically be configured if you simply add the files to your E2B USB drive.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

How to add Ubuntu\LinuxMint to E2B with MBR+UEFI persistence (and an unfixed bug in Ubuntu!)

Early versions of Ubuntu (pre-v14) and Ubuntu-based linuxmint distros (pre-v17.03) could be set up with persistence with no problem.

As long as you added the 'persistent' boot parameter, the kernel script would look for either:

1) a 'casper-rw' file (formatted internally as ext2/3/4)

    - OR -

2) a FAT or ext partition with a volume label of 'casper-rw' which has been formatted as ext2/3/4.


Ubuntu bug!

However, Ubuntu 14.04 and linuxmint 17.03 and (all?) later versions have a bug in the casper boot script which means that they may fail to boot when a casper-rw partition is present and if that partition is located after the filesystem partition in the partition table. This bug does not apply if you booted from an ISO file (only from a 'flat-file' partition), so the .mnu files used by E2B which boot from ISOs are not affected by this bug.

Bug report for Ubuntu here.

So there is no problem if you use a casper-rw file (except it must be on the same partition and it must be a FAT32 or ext partition). So you can create a very large (>4GB) ext3 file on the E2B NTFS USB drive and use a .mnu file to get persistence - but this only works in MBR\Legacy mode.

For UEFI-booting, we need to create a FAT32 .imgPTN file. However, this issue does affect E2B when using .imgPTN partition images...

Friday, 13 October 2017

E2B v1.96e available (bugfix)

There was a bug in v1.95 which means that (*for some reason) the .isofira01 file extension (as used for Strelec ISOs) does not seem to work.

v1.96e fixes this.

* The reason is that firadisk looks for a 'ramdisk' that is below 1MB is size, so using a larger ramdisk did not work!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

E2B v1.96d now available

Just a small 'enhancement'.

In this version, if you have created a matching .txt file for your payload file, then E2B will not suggest an alternative file extension (unless SCROLL LOCK is on) and will boot straight to the payload file with no delay.

e.g.
\_ISO\LINUX\Ubuntux64.iso
\_ISO\LINUX\Ubuntux64.txt

I have reasoned that if you have taken the trouble to make a .txt file, then you have already tested it and it works and so has the correct file extension.

This message and delay is now suppressed if a .matching txt file exists.
If you don't like this new feature, please let me know and I will remove it.

E2B 1.96d is available from Alternate Downloads Areas as usual (see side panel on this page).

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Modify any WinPE using PEStartup

Following on from my previous blog post on PEStartup, I have written Tutorial #143 on how to use PEStartup to configure any ready-made WinPE OS such as Strelec, Hirens, DLC, Dium and Gandalf WinPEs.

In fact, standard Win10PESE WinBuilder builds including the latest Gandalf Redstone 2 WinPE and Bob Omb's PEs 'just work' and will automatically run PEStartup when they boot, if you follow the Tutorial (you just extract files from a .zip file onto your E2B drive!).

If the WinPE does not have the correct plugin already, you just need to double-click on the \TheOven_Startup.cmd script to run PEStartup and configure your WinPE Desktop.
Many thanks again to Tứ Nguyễn for his PEStartup utility.

Add WinPE Reboot and Shutdown Desktop Shortcuts


Configure PEStartup to add Desktop shortcuts using wpeutil.exe