Monday 28 September 2020

Ventoy 1.0.22 is released (no more 10-sec wait!)

 'longpanda' has released the latest version of Ventoy and the 10-second delay has now been removed.

You can update to this new version by downloading the new file and drag-and-drop it onto the \e2b\Update agFM\Add_Ventoy.cmd file on partition 2 (or if you have the latest agFM beta, simply click on the Update_to_latest_Ventoy_version.cmd file).

Tuesday 22 September 2020

agFM v1.60a BETA now available

This BETA version has some more minor grub\grubfm bugfixes.

It also allows us to use the auto-jump feature (as used in E2B grub4dos menu). You hit a letter key and the next menu entry beginning with that letter is highlighted on the menu.

# disable the grub2 menu debug hotkeys c and e (agFM v1.59+)
# Tip: To enable using a special hotkey - see hiddenentry "[TAB] ENABLE GRUB2 HOTKEYS" example at bottom of this file
#export grub_disable_console=1
#export grub_disable_edit=1
# enable first-letter auto-jump hotkey feature in this menu only (does not work in grubFM) - console and edit hotkey must be disabled.
#export grub_enable_menu_jump=1

The first two settings will propagate to grubfm when it loads, however the menu_jump setting is not supported by the grubfm menu system, so auto-jump only works in your initial startup_menu.txt menu file.

Download v1.60a BETA from here

I hope the developer, a1ive, will also add the jump_menu feature into grubfm - but first the F search hotkey which is already used to search the USB drive for certain files types, will need to be re-assigned to a non-letter hotkey, e.g. F7/F8/F9/F10.

F - grubfm Search hotkey

P.S. I have also added an experimental \e2b\Update agFM\Update_to_latest_Ventoy_version.cmd script - this will automatically find the latest version of Ventoy, download it and add it to your E2B drive. This saves having to find the latest version yourself and then drag-and-drop the zip file onto the Add_Ventoy.cmd batch file.

Friday 18 September 2020

agFM v1.59 available with 'c' and 'e' grub2 menu hotkey disable feature

 agFM v1.59 has a few small bugfixes which a1ive has added into grub and grubfm.

This version also allows you to disable the grub2 menu hotkeys c and e to prevent the user from accidentally pressing the c or e key and dropping into the console or the menu edit screen.

Since it is often useful to have a 'secret' key which will enable the grub2 hotkeys again, the SAMPLE_startup_menu.txt file also contains a hiddenentry example which allows you to press the TAB key if you want to enable the grub2 hotkeys, but you must press TAB quickly as soon as the initial menu with timeout is displayed - TAB won't work once the agFM File Manager is loaded,

Here are the entries in the SAMPLE_startup_menu.txt file which you can now add into your startup_menu.txt file if you have one in ptn2:\boot\grubfm (uncomment the lines in red):

# disable the grub2 menu debug hotkeys c and e (agFM v1.59+)
# Tip: To enable using a special hotkey - see hiddenentry "[TAB] ENABLE GRUB2 HOTKEYS" example at bottom of this file
#export grub_disable_console=1
#export grub_disable_edit=1

#hiddenentry "[TAB] ENABLE GRUB2 HOTKEYS" --hotkey tab {
# unset grub_disable_console
# unset grub_disable_edit

Download v1.59 from here

Monday 14 September 2020

agFM v1.58 released + new Ventoy

There was a bug in agFM v1.57 which caused the E2B Ventoy boot option to not be shown in the E2B Main Menu.

Also, wget was not downloading the core.img file correctly.

This version has a newer version of wget.exe and a revised \e2b\Add_Ventoy.cmd file.

To update agFM go to Partition 2 \e2b\Update agFM folder and run Download and update agFM_v2.cmd

After you update to agFM v1.57, you can drag-and-drop any new version of the Ventoy ZIP file onto the \e2b\Update agFM\Add_Ventoy.cmd file and you should have working E2B Main Menu and agFM F5 options to launch Ventoy from UEFI64 booting.

agFM will thus allow you to Secure UEFI64-boot to Ventoy without needing to disable Secure Boot or use Mok Manager (which does not work on many systems). Ventoy does not require contiguous files and is quicker when loading and running ISOs.

Ventoy 1.0.21 released

Ventoy v1.0.21 has just been released (adds beta support for VHDs) and it now warns the user if it is not running from an 'official' Ventoy USB drive!

You now have to wait 10 seconds.

The developer, longpanda, has said he will change this in the next version as he will check that the partitions conform to the correct 'Ventoy' layout and then will maybe just show the 'UNOFFICIAL' word on the screen just to signify that if you do find a problem with Ventoy, you should test it again using an 'official' Ventoy USB drive before reporting the issue.

So hopefully this delay will be removed in the next version of Ventoy. Meanwhile, if you don't want this delay, use Ventoy 1.0.20.

Friday 11 September 2020

'eBook #1 - Getting started with Easy2Boot' - v2.18 is now available

 I have made some minor revisions to eBook #1.

If you have already purchased it, you can get the new version by using the download link that was emailed to you previously.

If you are interested in agFM and UEFI-booting, the eBook #4 has also been recently updated to v1.15.

E2B eBooks are listed here.

P.S. Subscribe to get the latest news.

Wednesday 9 September 2020

E2B v2.05 and agFM v1.57 released


To update, click the Make_E2B.exe - Update E2B button.
Then check that you have E2B 2.05 and agFM 1.57 by MBR and UEFI-booting.

To add Ventoy, download the latest version of Ventoy .ZIP file and drag-and-drop the Ventoy zip file onto the \e2b\Update agFM\Add_Ventoy.cmd file on the 2nd agFM partition.

Ventoy does not require the ISO files to be contiguous.

# Change Logs

E2B 2.05 2020-09-09
  1. Change sort code so E2B menu system can now work on systems with just 64MB RAM.
  2. Bugfix in Make_E2B.exe for Chinese language not working
  3. Enhancement - alphabetically sort files in LstFExt.g4b - so now \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP ISO files are sorted alphabetically.
  4. Add_Ventoy.cmd added - \_ISO\docs\MAKE_E2B-USB_DRIVE\Add_Ventoy.cmd can be used with to add or update Ventoy onto 2nd agFM Partition.
  5. Windows Install menu will display 'HDD1=GPT' if it detects that the first internal hard disk has GPT partitions.
agFM v1.57 2020-09-09
  1. Bugfix for MBR\Legacy install of Windows Setup not allowing Internal hard disk to be selected
  2. Update agFM version
  3. Ventoy support - F5 now will boot to Ventoy if present on Partition 2
  4. \e2b\Update agFM\Add_Ventoy.cmd added (drag and drop Ventoy zip file onto Add_Ventoy.cmd to add Ventoy MBR+UEFI64).

Note: I have also updated eBook #4 and eBook #1. You can obtain the updates by using the link in the confirmation that was email sent to you by Payhip when you first purchased it.

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

Saturday 5 September 2020

E2B v2.05d Beta now includes Add_Ventoy.cmd batch file

E2B v2.05d Beta now includes \_ISO\docs\Make_E2B_USB_Drive\Add_Ventoy.cmd

Just download the latest Ventoy .zip file and drop the Ventoy .zip file onto the Add_Ventoy.cmd file on your E2B USB drive (Windows 10 only).

Let me know if you see any see issues.

P.S. agFM v1.57Beta3 also includes the Add_Ventoy.cmd file in the \e2b\Update agFM folder. This means that Windows 7/8 users can first switch to the 2nd partition (using Switch_E2B.exe - Access partition 2 on Removable drive button) and then drag-and-drop the downloaded Ventoy .zip file onto the Add_Ventoy.cmd file. Don't forget to switch back partitions 1 and 2 afterwards!

Friday 4 September 2020

Get ready for a second Corona wave!

Will there be a second wave? 

In the UK and probably many other countries, the schools, colleges and universities are starting to open again. Also we are being asked to go back into our offices and shops. However, if we are not careful, this could lead to the start of a second wave of the epidemic.

It has been estimated that over 40% of grandparents are 'carers' for their grandchildren. Since Corona has a more severe effect on older people and those with health problems, it makes sense to continue to avoid contact and close proximity to ALL other people (even those in the same household). The grandparents should try to keep their distance from the kids (somehow!).

The larger the 'dose' - the more severe the symptoms? 

agFM v1.57 Beta2 with full F5 VENTOY support

I have now added a patch into agFM and recompiled it since a1ive has not yet made the change to the file in the github master.

The F5 key will now boot to Ventoy once you update partition 2 with the new v1.57Beta2 version.

Follow the previous blog article for instructions on how to add Ventoy to your E2B USB drive.

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Here are three useful FREE text tools I use every day

Here are my three favourite utilities for text file maintenance.

If you work with scripts, batch files, source code, etc. you probably use them already but I will list them here just in case...


Searches for files on all NTFS drives in seconds! Can use multiple wildcards in the search string e.g. *win*.iso or abd*def.j*.

Note: Does not work on exFAT, FAT32 or other non-NTFS file systems - but it is super fast!

Tip: If you add a drive (e.g. NTFS USB drive or change a drives contents), then you must press F5 to reload the NTFS filesystem indexes before searching again.


Compare two files or two folders. Side-by-side view lets you easily copy over portions of a file with just a click. This makes it very easy to compare two versions and make changes.


Find and Replace - find any string in all matching files and can then replace all occurrences with a different string in all those files.

This is useful when I want to find out which files contain a particular string. I can then double-click to load up the file or I can replace the string with a different string throughout all files.

agFM v1.57 Beta1 with VENTOY support

 These new versions are experimental and they allow you to add any Ventoy release to your E2B+AgFM USB drive.


a1ive's latest grubfm allows the F5 function key to boot Ventoy or AIOBOOT from a separate partition which contains those files. However, it is not very useful as we cannot use the same FAT32 partition that E2B+agFM already uses and Ventoy requires a particular fixed partition order!

If Ventoy is detected, then pressing F5 will boot from efi/boot/bootx64.efi on the Ventoy partition or MBR\Legacy boot from the grub2 boot sector (which is actually grub4dos on an E2B drive). The Ventoy files cannot therefore be on the same FAT32 partition as the agFM files.

AIOBOOT can be present on any partition and F5 will boot from the /efi/boot/bootx64.efi file or the /AIO/grub/i386-pc/core.img file (for MBR\Legacy booting). The AIOBOOT files cannot therefore be on the same FAT32 partition as the agFM files.

So the current Ventoy\AIOBOOT F5 function is not suitable for E2B+agFM!

New Betas

Thursday 6 August 2020

5000+ free magazines

Just signed up to Readly (first month free - cancel if you don't like it!). It's the Spotify of mags! Not only can I view 1000s of mags for free, but I have access to back copies and I can search ALL of the mags for any mention of a key word or phrase (such as "easy2boot") and see all the pages which mention E2B in all mags! I am seriously considering cancelling all my current paper mag subscriptions! This is cheaper, faster and gives me access to way more mags. Only problem is that I might have to buy an iPad or Chromebook now...

P.S. I bought an Amazon Fire HD 10" (#ad). It is cheap and ideal for reading the mags/newspapers on. I installed Google Play store and then the Readly app.

Monday 3 August 2020

agFM v1.56 now available

Anwar has discovered a bug where agFM (MBR grub2 only) can report a contiguous file as being non-contiguous.

agFM v1.56 - changes from v1.55 are...
  1. SAMPLE_startup_menu.txt revised - now only shows 'Restore E2B Partitions' menu entry when the backup partition is a valid MBR.
  2. Bugfix in agFM MBR code (grubfm.iso) to fix issue of some files reported as not contiguous (thanks to Anwar for reporting bug).
  3. Latest agFM build with various bug-fixes.
  4. Variable 'hires' (set hires=1) can now be set in your menu so that WinPE runs at highest screen resolution available (e.g. set in in startup_menu.txt). Setting this may cause virtual machines to default to their highest resolution but it should be OK to set the hires variable when booting from real systems.
  5. The wimboot code has changed - do not specify bcd, boot.sdi or bootmgr files in wimboot command list as they are not needed. MBR\Legacy also uses the wimboot command now.
  6. Ventoy modules have been removed by a1ive from agFM..
The new v1.56 version of E2B agFM can be found here. Just unzip the file directly onto the second FAT32 partition to update from v1.55.

The Update download is still 1.55 and will be updated in a few days to 1.56.

Friday 31 July 2020

UEFI Secure Boot is in chaos!

As you may be aware, the agFM grub2 boot files which are added to the second FAT32 partition when you make an Easy2Boot v2 USB drive uses a Kaspersky shim to load the a1ive grub2 kernel.

Because the Kaspersky shim is signed, it means  that it can load the grub2 kernel which can then effectively disable Secure Boot!

This allows us to boot an insecure grub2 kernel and we can do pretty much anything we like to the system, including booting to non-secure OS's!

This loophole was reported to Microsoft last year (if not before!) and Microsoft tried to fix it using a Windows Update KB which was rolled out to all Windows 10 systems earlier this year. The 'hotfix' added an entry into the UEFI firmware dbx 'blacklist' of the BIOS. Thus the signed Kaspersky shim file was blacklisted by the UEFI BIOS.

Unfortunately, the KB hotfix caused problems with many systems because the same signed Kaspersky shim was used by some OEMs as standard - so these systems suddenly refused to Secure UEFI-boot after the Microsoft Update was applied!

So Microsoft quickly reversed the KB Kaspersky hotfix part in the next hotfix removed the blacklist dbx entry from the UEFI BIOS again. So - assuming you could get your system to non-secure boot by disabling Secure Boot in the BIOS, you could do a Windows Update and then re-enable Secure Boot again. Of course, your system would still be vulnerable though.

Since then it seems Microsoft, Linux developers and grub2 developers have actually bothered to look at and analyse the shims and grub2 code which they are getting signed and have found a large number of other vulnerabilities too!  To me this raises a number of questions about the Microsoft Secure Boot signing process:
  1. What did Microsoft actually do when they signed Secure Boot files - just accept a huge amount of $$$ and sign any old boot file without bothering to fully analyse it?
  2. Why does everyone insist that Open Source code is so desirable when there has been gaping security holes in grub2 for years?
A recent number of these vulnerabilities have now been fixed in grub2, but updating systems is not going to be easy! We cannot simply blacklist all current and older versions of grub2 by adding entries to the UEFI dbx blacklist. This would prevent any OS on older drives, backups, old install media, USB drives, PXE servers, etc. from Secure Booting because they would still contain the old, blacklisted, grub2 signed UEFI boot files. See the 'mitigation' section of this article for more details.

For the complete picture, read the whole article here.

Note also that very new linux/grub2 OS's (install ISOs and updates) may have these new 'fixes' added and it may prevent them from UEFI Secure booting and in some cases even non-Secure UEFI booting then fails!...

July 30 Important Update

Some of the Linux distribution updates appear to be leading to unsuccessful reboots. The developers and distribution maintainers are working to provide new updates. The maintainers are recommending to avoid installing updates for grub2, shim, and other bootloader-related applications until new packages are available. Some of the issues to watch are listed below:

Monday 20 July 2020

Easy2Boot eBooks (PDFs) are now all $5

The E2B eBooks are now all reduced to only $5 each again. If you have not yet read all of them then now is your chance!

  • E2B #1: How to make a multiboot USB drive using Easy2Boot
  • E2B #2: How to install Microsoft Windows using Easy2Boot
  • E2B #3: How to make a UEFI multi-boot Easy2Boot USB drive
  • E2B #4: UEFI-multiboot using the a1ive grub2 File Manager 
  • Getting started with grub4dos
There are some user comments\reviews on the E2B sites Guest Book page if you want to see what others thought of them.

Updates are free. Just use the download link that is emailed to you again to check for later versions.

Friday 17 July 2020

re. Fixing faulty computers

This is just a quick blog post to say 'Hi'. I have been busy doing other things recently (like playing with my new IODD Mini SSD - Amazon link which is performing very well) so I have not been spending much time on E2B.

In my few moments of free time, I have been enjoying watching Adamant IT  repair shop YouTube videos which are quite entertaining. He has videos on 'live' repair and also 'live' PC builds as well as reviews, etc.

Although I have retired from repairing/building/developing PCs and Notebooks now, unless they have changed a lot in the last 6 years or so, I thought I would go through what I tended to do to diagnose and fix PCs\Notebooks.

Friday 26 June 2020

Add Medicat 2020 to your Zalman\IODD disk

The Medicat 20.05 download comes as a .BIN file which contains a 512-byte header file which is only recognised by a few utilities such as OSFMounter and ImageUSB by Passmark.

Here is how to convert it to a VHD file which is suitable for loading via your Zalman\IODD device.

Note: For medicat.20.06.1.img - from here - I used BitTorrent and then just copied the .img file to my IODD\Zalman and renamed it to medicat.20.06.1.vhd. You can then mount it as a virtual drive.

Instructions for medicat 20.05  .bin file

Thursday 25 June 2020

COMSS 2020-06 multiboot ISO now available (Ru/Eng)

The COMSS 2020-06 multiboot utility ISO is now available. There is a Lite version and a 'full fat' version. The initial menu prompts you to select either Russian or English at the start.

New in version 2020-06:

Monday 22 June 2020

Add the new 2020 Medicat to your E2B USB drive

The release of Medicat 20.05 is rather odd. It is intended that you make a Medicat 64GB or larger USB drive from it and it is not suitable for multibooting.

Note: See also

The new Medicat only supports 64-bit CPUs. It is based on Ventoy which requires two particular partitions in a specific order and the download is a PassMark .bin file which has a 512-byte header portion and so it cannot be treated as a VHD file or normal disk image file which we can use with a Zalman\IODD virtual drive emulator.

The main Medicat ISO is inside the image and contains the WinPE .wim file.
When Medicat boots, it will look for the USB drive and mount the USB drive as Y:.
It then expects to find program folders under Y:\Programs and the PortableApps programs under the Y:\PortableApps folder.

There are other ISOs within the image and Ventoy is used to boot them. We can extract these other ISO files from the .bin image and simply copy them to our E2B USB drive.

Medicat 20.06 is a .img file. It does not have the 512-byte header and can be renamed to .VHD for use with a Zalman\IODD. However it does not boot correctly as a .vhd using E2B and so must also be converted as below if using it on an E2B USB drive.

Medicat 21.01 is in the form of zip files for use with 7Zip and Ventoy. You are supposed to extract the contents to the first partition of a previously-made Ventoy USB disk. Instead, you can extract the files to an empty folder on your Windows hard disk and then decide which ISOs, etc. you want to copy to your E2B USB drive's first NTFS partition and choose the appropriate menu folder. Alternatively, just copy all the files (except \autorun.inf and \autorun.ico) to the root of your E2B first NTFS partition and only use Ventoy to boot to Medicat. It will add lots of folders to the root however and may overwrite the contents of your \ventoy folder which will affect the Ventoy theme and menu settings.

Medicat 21.01 zip file contents

Instructions (v20.06)

Friday 12 June 2020

E2B reaches 1/2 million downloads per year!

I just noticed today that since I started using Fosshub to host the E2B downloads in June 2019, the download counter for E2B has now reached over 500,000 downloads!

I can also tell that in the last 30 days, the Make_E2B.cmd file that is used to make a new E2B USB drive, has been run over 63,000 times (it downloads a file to notify the user of the latest version of E2B) and that the agFM UEFI files have been downloaded over 19,000 times in 30 days.

Boot any ISO from the IODD Mini USB SSD CD\DVD drive emulator


The IODD Mini #ad  SSD CD\DVD drive emulator is a solid-state version of the IODD 2531 and 2541.
You can see from the picture below that it is approx 9cm x 4cm in size and will easily fit in a pocket.

Note: This IODD Mini was supplied to me by IODD for evaluation and feedback.

In fact, the white 1m USB 3 cable (micro-B USB 3 to Type A USB 3) that comes with it, is larger and bulkier than the device itself.

Thursday 11 June 2020

Kon-Boot v3.5 now allows us to use larger E2B USB drives

If you buy a licensed version of Kon-Boot v3.5, you can now use it with large USB drives (previously we were limited to drives of 16GB or less).

This means you can now licence a 128GB or 256GB SanDisk USB E2B flash drive or even a 2TB USB Hard Drive.

Once you have installed Kon-Boot, you can backup the files, re-format the drive as an E2B drive and then copy back on the special encrypted USB-drive specific EFI boot file made by the Kon-Boot .exe install process.

If you have already purchased a Kon-Boot licence and have activated it on a small USB flash drive (<16GB) then you cannot switch the licence to a different USB drive - you must purchase a new licence for each drive you want to use Kon-Boot with because the USB Vendor, Product ID and Serial Number of the USB drive is encrypted into the boot file the first time you make a Kon-Boot USB drive. The same USB drive values are recorded on their server for each unique licence number.

Details of how to add the licensed Kon-Boot UEFI boot files to an E2B v2 USB drive are in eBook #4.

You can instead just make a FAT32 .imgPTN or .imgPTN23 file from the files on the Kon-Boot USB drive. Make sure the volume name is KONBOOT once it is switched-in.

Note: E2B+agFM allows you to Secure Boot without needing to purchase the more expensive 'commercial' Kon-Boot licence. However, Windows 10 (UEFI) online account bypass support is only included with the full Kon-Boot commercial licence.

If you see this, the licence details did not match with the USB drive's ID!

Note: For best compatibility, the Kon-Boot files should be within 128 GiB from the start of the USB drive.

Monday 8 June 2020

agFM v1.55 available


  1. Remove HDCLONE menu from startup_default.cfg menu
  2. Improve 'Restore E2B partitions' detection menu entry so does not appear if no valid backup
  3. Update to latest a1ive grub2\grubfm version
To download and update run \e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd from the second agFM partition.


For simple ISO and VHD booting, this neat little USB 3 SSD AES256-bit encrypted drive is hard to beat! Just select the ISO\VHD on the display and boot. VHD files can be set to emulate a fixed or removable USB drive and you can write-protect it too if you wish. You can also set the whole SSD drive in the same way, so you can have a 512GB Removable USB 3 SSD drive or a write-protected 512GB Fixed disk or any combination thereof.

P.S. I just received an IODD Mini 512GB SSD drive from IODD for evaluation. So please let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover. So far I am impressed! It is quite small, fast and seems to work well.

Tuesday 2 June 2020

E2B v2.04 and agFM v1.54 released

E2B v2.04
1. Bugfix for Windows Install + UEFI agFM imdisk error
2. Danish keyboard scan file added
3. Strelec ISO direct boot (.isowin)
4. Support .isoventoy file extension
5. Update E2B now updates agFM partition

a1ive agFM v1.52
1. Support .isoventoy file extension
2. Update to latest grubfm version
3. WinPE ISO files have extra 'choose wim' boot option

a1ive agFM v1.53
1. Bugfix - Setup.exe restarts if parentheses (  ) in filename of Windows Install ISO - now fixed

a1ive agFM v1.54
1. Bugfix - .imgptn files not listed if Secondary Menu option enabled in F4 menu

Monday 1 June 2020

E2B v2.04d fixes 'imdisk' bug when installing Windows from agFM

If you are using agFM v1.50 or later and are using a Removable USB drive for E2B, then you will find that the Windows Install from ISO function using agFM stops with an 'imdisk' error if you also use an XML file.

This is due to agFM actually using ImDisk to mount the ISO now (since v1.50) and so the E2B cmd file tries to install imdisk again.

If you are using a USB Fixed disk for E2B then you won't see this error.

This bug is fixed if you update to E2B v2.04d.

I will release E2B v2.04 very soon, so please let me know if you find any issues with it.

Saturday 30 May 2020

E2B eBooks special offer ends tomorrow - SORRY - TOO LATE NOW!

Some of the eBooks were previously priced at $6.99, $7 and $10 but for the month of May the price was reduced to just $5 each. If you buy more than one eBook you get a 10% reduction on all eBooks in your Basket too.

This 'Corona' special offer ends tomorrow when the price will go up from $5 each to $6.99 each.

P.S. There are a few reviews about the eBooks on the GuestBook page if you want to see if they might be useful to you (and I didn't pay them to write that - honest!).

Friday 29 May 2020

agFM v1.51 for E2B officially released

See previous blog article for details.
To update, you can now run  \e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd.

For best results, you should also download the latest Beta of E2B.

agFM eBook #4 v1.13 is now available (updated today).

Wednesday 27 May 2020

agFM v1.51v2 Beta now available

Download from Alternate Download site as usual.

This version adds the ability to use a file with a .imgptnREP3 file extension (file must be on partition 3).

Changes from 1.50 (v1.51v2 changes in orange)
  • New search (F) button added (e.g. search for file types such a .iso, .wim). 
  • Boot Windows ISO option now runs X:\Setup.exe so that Repair option is offered if no XML file is specified. 
  • Allow use of file extension override suffixes (e.g. Medicat v18.10 stable_.isowin.iso) so extension can be kept as .iso but it will immediately boot with no secondary menu. 
  • Support _.winntsetup.iso file extension suffix for booting to Windows PE from Install ISO and directly loading the ISO into WinNTSetup.exe. 
  • Danish language. 
  • Ventoy boot option for ISOs added
  • Bugfix for Auxilliary partition image file not detected as hfs type 0xAF (e.g. MacOS..imgPTN23+MacOS.), 
  • .imgPTNrep3 file extension now supported (file must be in partition 3). 
  • Add a check to prevent one .imgPTN* file from being used if a .imgPTN* file has already been switched in (thus preventing the backup MBR from being overwritten). 
  • The 'Restore E2B Partitions' menu entry in the startup_default.cfg menu is now displayed whenever the MBR partition table contains a 'switched-in' .imgPTN image.

The .imgptnREP3 file extension allows you to replace partition 3 with any other image file.

I extracted the 10GB 3.hfs file from a Niresh Catalina.dmg file and renamed it.
When it is switched in to replace partition 3, I can use the agFM menu to boot from it (use F3) - you should also be able to directly boot to it from a Mac using its Clover boot manager.

You can thus  UEFI-install any MacOS from one E2B drive.

Please feedback any issues/successes/failures!

Saturday 23 May 2020

agFM v.1.51v with Ventoy now available

A1ive has now added Ventoy v1.0.10 to the main build of agFM.

You can download the latest beta v1.51v from here.

The advantage of Ventoy is that it can work from a write-protected drive (but agFM requires writeable media for some functions) and the ISO files do not need to be made contiguous. It may also boot faster. The disadvantage is that it is relatively young and may have quite a few compatibility issues.

I have found that Ventoy does not seem to like UEFI-booting under VirtualBox, so if you experience any issues with the Ventoy boot option for ISOs, please test it on a real system.

Please note: There are three 'SKUs' of Ventoy v1.0.10:

1. Official Ventoy release from Ventoy website
2. Ventoy as added to A1ive grubfm
3. Ventoy as added to E2B+agFM

If you experience any issues on a real system with Ventoy, please first test by renaming \boot\grubfm\config on the agFM partition so that the E2B+agFM modifications are suppressed and thus you are testing the pure a1ive version of Ventoy.

Before reporting any Ventoy issues it is best to make an official Ventoy USB drive and re-test the same ISO on that and then report the issue to Ventoy via Make sure you clearly state what version you have tested (Ventoy USB drive, or A1ive Ventoy (no config file), or E2B agFM Ventoy) and also how you booted (MBR or UEFI) + make\model of target system.

Friday 22 May 2020

New agFM v1.51 Beta and E2B v2.04c Beta available

I have made some tweaks to agFM so that it can now directly boot Strelec, DLCBoot, HBCDPE, Bob Omb's PE, Gandalf PE and Medicat ISOs - no secondary menu is presented if you use file extension override suffixes.

agFM now understands some file extension override suffixes (similar to E2B feature) - e.g.  filename_.override.iso

The special suffix tells E2B\agFM to boot it as if it had that file extension. This allows the file to still keep it's .iso file extension which is needed by some WinPEs to make them work correctly.

· Medicat v18.10 stable_.isowin64.iso
· Bob Omb's WinPE_.isomap64.iso
· DLCBoot WinPE_.isohw.iso
· Windows 10 x64 Eng_.winntsetup.iso

Currently isowin, isomap, isodef, isodefault, isoagfm, isoloop, isohw, isope and winntsetup are supported - with or without the four special suffixes 64, 32, 3GB, 4GB.

agFM v.1.51 
  • New search (F) button added (e.g. search for file types such a .iso, .wim from current folder). 
  • Boot Windows ISO option now runs X:\Setup.exe so that the Windows Repair option is offered if no XML file is specified. 
  • Allow use of file extension override suffixes (e.g. Medicat v18.10 stable_.isowin.iso) so extension can be kept as .iso but it will immediately boot with no secondary menu. 
  • Support _.winntsetup.iso file extension suffix for booting to Windows PE from Install ISO and directly loading the ISO into WinNTSetup.exe.
This should be used with E2B v2.04c Beta.

Check the Alternate Download site for these new versions (see top-left sidebar).

Full details are in eBook #4 on agFM v1.12 which I have just updated so you can download the new versions now.

Monday 18 May 2020

E2B v2.04b Beta includes Danish language and keyboard + better Strelec ISO support

v2.04b Beta now includes the Danish language as an option.

If you want to boot to a Strelec ISO, try the extension .isowin. This should allow you to boot to the two Win10 WinPEs using the Easy2Boot menu system or using the agFM menu system.

Thursday 14 May 2020

Easy2Boot v2.03 released

  • a1ive grub2 File Manager.mnu and Enable or Disable UEFI Booting.mnu added to \_ISO\MAINMENU folder.
  • The three letters 'MBR' will be ignored if present anywhere in any file extension. This can be used to prevent agFM from listed these files. Useful if the files do not support UEFI-booting and only boot via the E2B menu system.
  • New version SWITCH_E2B.exe to fix small bug which affected the appearance only (not function). 
  • New default background
  • Update_E2B_Drive.cmd now will update agFM files if present. 
  • Internet ping test changed in MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd script in case ipv4 blocked. 
  • agFM Sample Mnu files folder added with examples files, 
  • WinContig files updated
  • Keyboard scan code files updated
  • KeyCheck.g4b test script added (type KeyCheck from grub4dos console and press down keys to get BIOS key status codes (e.g. NUM LOCK, CAPS LOCK, CTRL, etc.)
  • XP Step 1 now warns user if not enough memory to load XP ISO file into RAM
  • Example commented code added to SDI_CHOCO.cmd for detecting UEFI or MBR boot

64-bit Scraper cold-boot attack now available!

So the head of SMERSH switches off his password protected and BitLocker-protected PC and walks out of his office to go home for the night.

Stealing the hard drive will get you nowhere because it is encrypted.

But you quickly break into his office - remove the DIMM RAM sticks and plonk them into a flask of liquid Nitrogen and then go back to your secret base. After a few minutes you have collected all the bytes that were in that RAM into a file on your USB drive. Now you can analyse the file to find out what passwords and images, etc. were in his RAM just at the point he shut it down. For instance you could use PHOTOREC to find jpeg images or perhaps use some of the investigative tools in Kali Linux to find passwords or the BitLocker key?

Later you will return the DIMM sticks and no one will be any the wiser. If the BitLocker key or any passwords were found in memory, you could try them out and gain access to the encrypted hard drive too.

Up to now this was only possible for a maximum of 4GB because the 'scraper' code only worked as 32-bit code. However, Basel has now also compiled a 64-bit version for us which seems to work nicely!

My original blog was here and I have updated the original RMPrepUSB Article 124 to include a menu for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions that he has kindly provide - great work Basel!

So now even BitLocker will not protect you Colonel Niktin!

YouTube video of a Cold Boot Attack here.

P.S. A funny thing happened in the park this morning ...
The local park had just opened for the first time for ages (it had been closed due to Corona) and my brother took his collie dog there for a walk as he used to do in the pre-Corona days.
Once there, the dog had a great time and then she saw an old friend - a whippet that she loves to chase and play with. Then suddenly the whippet runs along and puts his foot in a rabbit hole or something and 'SNAP!' goes his right hind leg - broken!
Everyone came to his rescue and even a wheelbarrow was fetched by someone to transport him back to the car park and get him to the vets. No one blamed my brother or his dog - it was just a freak accident.
So my brother goes back to his car and there a middle-aged lady bends down to make a fuss of his collie dog when the lady stumbles, falls over and hits her head on a large stone on the ground. She was unconscious for quite a few seconds and took some more time to slowly come to her senses.
So after that, my brother drove home very slowly and carefully with his dog and they are both staying indoors all day just in case anything else happens! You couldn't make this up!

P.P.S. The vet set the dog's broken leg but unfortunately it later got infected and so had to be amputated. The dog has now been re-named as 'tripod'.

Wednesday 13 May 2020

New large font theme for agFM (and discovery of a bug in grub2 themes)

I was experimenting with some grub2 themes yesterday (to use a large font for partially sighted users) and I wanted to create a menu which had a different theme.

However, I noticed a strange problem - sometimes one icon would be missing from the menu list!

Friday 8 May 2020

agFM v1.50 is now available

agFM v1.50 now can directly boot from DLCBoot ISOs such as DLCBoot2019_v3.6.iso.  Change the extension to .isowin for immediate booting on selection in the agFM menu.

So that it also works with E2B, you can use a filename ending in _.isohw.isowin.

This version also includes a version of grub2 with an enhanced echo command which allows you to easily output coloured text (see previous blog for details or eBook #4 which I have just updated to v1.11).

You can update agFM by running the \e2b\Update agFM\Download and Update agFM cmd file.

Monday 4 May 2020

Add your own Help menu to agFM

If you have made your agFM MBR+UEFI-bootable USB stick, you might want to add some instructions for your users - or to act as a reminder for yourself on how to use the USB stick in case you forget in a few months time.

You could add a 'Help' menu entry to your Start-up menu and it could display help in the form of a jpg/bmp/png. For instance, you could write the help information in Word or PowerPoint, add your Logo or other graphics and diagrams, and then use a screen capture to save it as a 1024x768x24 colour .jpg file. Then you could simply display the jpg.

Another option would be to display text - perhaps in different colours too.

The following is an example help.cfg file which is saved in UTF-8 format (using Notepad) to preserve non-English glyphs. Note that if you use the text mode for your menu system (mymenu=3) then you should only use English ASCII characters, the background colours are restricted and graphics files (jpg/png/bmp) cannot be displayed.

Sunday 3 May 2020

agFM v1.49 and E2B v2.03c are now available

agFM v1.49 has enhancements and it can now boot directly to Sergei Strelec ISOs. WinPE support has been improved. The extension .isowin (or .isowin64) may now also work for some WinPE ISOs - check the List of Tested Payloads (bottom of page) or eBook #4 (updated just now to v1.10) for the correct file extension to use if you want to skip the secondary menu.

UEFI64 booting should be a bit faster now too.

E2B v2.03c has also had a few changes too including a new default background.

Please feedback any comments.

Keep safe and don't forget to subscribe,

How to boot 64-bit Linux ISOs on a 32-bit UEFI system (such as the Asus T100)

Some systems such as the Asus T100 Transformer notebook range are a bit of an odd fish!

They have a 64-bit CPU but because they have limited SSD storage (e.g. 32GB or 64GB), the manufacturers use a 32-bit version of Windows. This means that because Microsoft insist that OEMs ship with Secure UEFI enabled, the manufacturers have to use 32-bit UEFI firmware.

In the case of the T100, the firmware does not support Legacy\MBR mode (no CSM option) so we usually need to find UEFI32 OS's.

Thursday 30 April 2020

'Corona special offer' on E2B eBooks - now only $5 each

Some of the eBooks were previously priced at $6.99, $7 and $10.

I have now reduced the price so they are all only $5 each - you can also get a 10% discount on all of the eBooks when you purchase more than one (add one to the Basket and then you will see the others). Why not put down that game controller or 'Joy Stick' (well, that's what my wife calls it), and become a wizard of the USB stick instead?

This special offer will only be for a limited time so grab 'em while they're hot!

P.S. There are a few reviews about the eBooks on the GuestBook page if you want to see if they might be useful to you (and I didn't pay them to write that - honest!).

Wednesday 29 April 2020

How to get Batocera working on your Easy2Boot USB drive

Batocera is a linux-based games emulator + KODI.


It can be downloaded as a .img.gz file and it is an image file which is intended to be written to a flash drive or SD card.

Here is how to get it working on your E2B drive:

Tuesday 28 April 2020

agFM v1.47 download now released

Just a quick note to say that agFM v1.47 (now 1.48 - discovered a bug in 1.47!) is now released which has the latest version of a1ive's grub2 with newer language files. You can update using the .cmd file in the \e2b folder.

The SAMPLE_startup_menu.txt file has also been updated slightly to include a fourth menu style (set mymenu=3). This sets a basic terminal (console) text mode. It has been found that using graphics modes can cause keyboard lockup issues on some systems (e.g. MacBook Pro) due to a long standing grub2 bug. The console mode does not suffer from this issue (it also loads faster), however it does not display any icons or wallpaper, only supports English (because no fonts can be loaded) and it is not as pretty!

I have also updated eBook #4 for agFM - it is now at version 1.9. Download the latest PDF using the link in the Payhip email that you should have received after purchase.

P.S. If you are a Windows 7 or 8 user, I have made available for download a batch file which will delete are re-make the second agFM partition of your E2B USB drive automatically. See the agFM page for more details. Note: It does NOT work under Windows 10.

Free eBook - Learn how to use and hack with Kali Linux

This link provided by ghacks - limited number.
eBook is 2019 version and 85MB.
You need to give a lot of your details though...

Learn about the latest ethical hacking tools and techniques in Kali Linux 2019 to perform penetration testing from scratch.
The current rise in hacking and security breaches makes it more important than ever to effectively pentest your environment, ensuring endpoint protection. This book will take you through the latest version of Kali Linux and help you use various tools and techniques to efficiently deal with crucial security aspects.
Through real-world examples, you’ll understand how to set up a lab and later explore core penetration testing concepts. Throughout the course of this book, you’ll get up to speed with gathering sensitive information and even discover different vulnerability assessment tools bundled in Kali Linux 2019. In later chapters, you’ll gain insights into concepts such as social engineering, attacking wireless networks, exploitation of web applications and remote access connections to further build on your pentesting skills. You’ll also focus on techniques such as bypassing controls, attacking the end user and maintaining persistence access through social media. Finally, this pentesting book covers best practices for performing complex penetration testing techniques in a highly secured environment.
By the end of this book, you’ll be able to use Kali Linux to detect vulnerabilities and secure your system by applying penetration testing techniques of varying complexity.
  • Get up and running with Kali Linux 2019.2
  • Gain comprehensive insights into security concepts such as social engineering, wireless network exploitation, and web application attacks
  • Learn to use Linux commands in the way ethical hackers do to gain control of your environment
Free offer expires 5/6/2020.

Monday 27 April 2020

agFM v1.46 released

The new 1.46 version has a few changes/improvements:

  1. New agFM boot files (+ Ventoy support)
  2. Some partition references changed to use (e.g.)  hd0,1 instead of hd0,msdos1. This allows the E2B version of agFM to be used on non-legacy partition drives such as gpt drives. Note that some functions such as .imgPTN and .isodef (partnew) won't work on GPT drives and I don't support GPT drives!
  3. The variable grubfm_startbat can now be used to define a different start.bat file which is run at the start of Windows Setup. This just provides a way to 'hook' in a custom batch file and will not be of value to most users.
  4. SAMPLE_startup_menu.txt re-organised
  5. \grldr and \boot\grub\menu.lst file added to allow a system to MBR boot to the agFM partition and then load agFM (grub2).
  6. Some README files added to \boot\grubfm folder
  7. Load agFM startup menu.cfg copied to root of agFM folder to allow user to re-run the startup menu.
  8. Enable or Disable UEFI booting.mnu file added to \e2b folder (for copying to \_ISO\MAINMENU of partition 1 if required).
Item 5 above means that you may now be able to MBR-boot to agFM from the second partition (e.g. using the BIOS boot menu).

This is useful if you have switched in a .imgPTN23 file which does not contain grub4dos or the CSM menu. For instance, you can boot to agFM from the E2B menu. switch in a .imgPTN23 file (no checks are made as to what the new partition contains) and then from the agFM menu you can boot from a file on the new partition #1 or run a grub2 grub.cfg file from partition #1.

Saturday 25 April 2020

How to fix the issue of the BIOS not listing an MBR\Legacy boot option to boot to the E2B menu

If your E2B USB drive now has a FAT32 partition with UEFI boot files in the \EFI boot folder, you may find that some systems will not offer you the choice to Legacy from your E2B USB drive (even though you have enabled CSM) - the only option is to UEFI-boot (or set the BIOS options to disable UEFI-booting) which may not be what you want to do on some occasions. You may need to run a Legacy payload using E2B.

Where is the Legacy boot option?
These buggy BIOSes do not present a Legacy-boot (unless you can change the BIOS options to disable UEFI-booting which sometimes is not possible).

We can however rename the \EFI folder on the 2nd FAT32 agFM partition and this will cause the BIOS pop-up boot menu to list the Legacy-boot option.

agFM v1.45 is now available

agFM v1.45 now supports non-USA keyboards - e.g. German QWERTZ keyboards or French AZERTY keyboards, etc.

To update, use the "\e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM_v2.cmd" file.

By pressing F4 you can now set the keyboard type as well as the language.

The developer a1ive has done some great work in getting grub2 to support different keyboards. This is the first time that grub2 can support different keyboards and is reliable!

eBook 4 has also been updated with details of how to configure a language and keyboard type on startup.

P.S. If you have set the 'seven' or user 'slax' theme, then when you press F4 you will see a missing icon for the keyboard menu entry. To fix this, update the seven folder to the latest version (one icon gkb.png has now been added).

Friday 24 April 2020

The unpleasant truth about Corona!

The Corona virus is highly infectious and can be passed on without the vector (the person spreading the infection) showing any symptoms at the time.

The other reason why this virus is so scary is that, unlike influenza, it can be fatal even to some young, fit and healthy individuals.

So, when considering any population (e.g. an island or a country or a state), the only way that the infection can be stopped is either a significant proportion of that population develops an immunity OR we quarantine EVERY INDIVIDUAL IN THE COUNTRY until there is no further sign of infection. If a population has been locked down in this way however, it only takes one 'foreign' visitor to re-infect the whole country again!

I say a 'significant number', because if an infected person arrives into the country from somewhere-land, they will only be able to pass on the virus if they come into contact with another person who is not already immune. So if 70% of the population are immune, then the virus is not likely to infect anyone else as long as the visitor is quarantined as soon as they show any symptoms (or at least only infect 1 or 2 others at most who are also quickly quarantined).

So, for the sake of argument, let us say that the critical point is when 70% of the population develop immunity, then we can all go back to living virtually normal lives and the virus should die out as it can only survive for approximately 72 hours (or just a few minutes if you stick them in a microwave!).

So how do we get a population which is 70% immune? 

Monday 20 April 2020

How to easily customise all your WinPE ISOs - add your own Wallpaper, Portable Apps and Desktop shortcuts

So I have my E2B+agFM USB drive and it can Legacy and UEFI64-boot on (almost) any system, including Secure Boot.

The WinPE payloads on my USB drive include:

  • Bob Omb's WinPE
  • Medicat
  • DLCBoot 2019 (must use .cfg or .grubfm file)
  • Gandalf'sWin10PE
  • Hirens Boot CD PE
  • Sergei Strelecs Win8\10 PE (.imgPTN23)
  • and a few others

E2B Menu

agFM (UEFI64) menu

However, now some of these old Win PEs have applications which are a bit outdated.
Also, I would like to add more shortcuts to the Desktop for apps which I use frequently.
I would like to add some portable apps too.
Having one or two apps auto-start would be nice as would changing the wallpaper.
But the ISO cannot easily be changed - right?



By using the 'PE Startup.exe' written by the author of AIOBoot, I can boot to any of these WinPEs and instantly change all these things and add Portable Apps too.

Here is a screenshot of my Gandalf Redstone3 desktop (looks a bit different, doesn't it!):

To do this, you need to add the PEStartup files from Tutorial 143 on my website.
Extract the files to the root of the agFM FAT32 partition (or the 3rd partition if you have one). It would be better to use the 2nd FAT32 partition because it should always be present even when using .imgPTN23 files.

Quick Instructions

agFM v1.44 released

  • Latest grub2\agFM version
  • Fixes bug when ISO files which don't have a .iso file extension won't UEFI-boot (e.g. xxx.iso would boot but some xxx.isodef would not).
  • Additional types recognised, e.g. .isodef64
To update, run \e2b\Update agFM\Download and update agFM.cmd.

E2B v2.03a Beta is available

E2B v2.03a (Beta) just has a small tweak to QRUN.cmd so that any file which has the three letters 'MBR' (not case-sensitive) anywhere in it's extension can be used.

For example: any file with the file extension .isodef32MBR will be booted as if it had an extension of .isodef but will only be listed on systems with 32-bit CPUs (i.e. exactly the same as if it had a .isodef32 file extension).

.isoPEMBR == .isoPE

Note however, that you can't add 'MBR' into the file extensions of files which are under \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxxx folders as then they won't be seen by E2B. This trick only works in the standard E2B menu folders.

So what's the point of simply ignoring the three letters 'MBR' in a file extension?

Well, it means that the agFM file system will not list the file. So if you want to prevent any payload file from being listed in the agFM menu (e.g. when UEFI-booting to the agFM menu), then you simply add 'MBR' to the file extension.

This means that files which do not support UEFI-booting will not be listed in the agFM menu - e.g. DOS ISOs, DOS floppy images (.ima), old HBCD ISOs, etc.

'Great!' you may say, but how do I hide files from the E2B menu system? For instance, what if I have an ISO which does not support MBR booting at all and only UEFI-boots?

Well, you simply don't place it in an E2B menu folder. For instance, if you have a Linux ISO which does not MBR-boot, put it in a folder named \_ISO\LINUX\UEFI. If it only UEFI64-boots then use a .iso64 file extension or .isodef64 so that no secondary menu is shown.

Saturday 18 April 2020

E2B v2.02 released

v2.02 is now live and is just a small update to E2B.

  • Latest WinContig.exe (small bugfixes wont affect 99.9% of users)
  • Add support for .isoagfm extension (same as .isodef)
  • Update new ChocBox.cmd and ChocolateStore.exe (now requires .Net 4.8)
  • Bugfix in Make USB cmd - if  user specifies 32GB FAT32 then it failed to format it.
If you want to install offline Chocolatey packages using the offline SDI_CHOCO install process, you will need to make the packages using ChocolateStore. However, it no longer worked because .Net 4.8 is now required to download the package files. The developer has just updated the executable, so now we are back in business.

In case you didn't know, once you have set up a Windows SDI_CHOCO configuration on your E2B drive, you can quickly install Windows with the correct locale/language/country options, Windows components, add extra missing drivers (auto-detected and installed), install applications (online or offline Chocolate) and your own app packages and tweak the final settings. During installation it actually speaks to you to let you know what's going on at each stage (if you have speakers connected).