Sunday, 8 September 2013

RMPrepUSB v2.1.710 available

RMPartUSB code has been updated to v 2.1.710. RMPrepUSB has just had it's version number updated to match that of RMPartUSB.

When MAX size is specified in RMPrepUSB to partition and format a drive, RMPartUSB used all available drive space as reported to it by the drive's 'get-size' function call under Windows. However, some USB drives seem to report their size inaccurately (at least under Win7) leading to a partition being created by RMPartUSB that was actually slightly larger than the end of the physical drive. As a result the last few sectors of the partition could not be accessed and this seemed to cause very slow access (BIOS timeouts) when running the Easy2Boot 'check-access' test or in grub4dos when accessing some volumes when looking for the WINHELPER.USB file or in XP when booting from a vhd (and possible when booting from flat files too?) - but only on some BIOSes. It may be that some BIOSes set up the disk geometry as modulo 255*63 as they expect the partitions to be modulo 255*63 and then try to access the end of the disk (for some strange reason).
The new version of RMPartUSB now reduces the reported drive size to a whole cylinder (nearest 8MBish) and checks that the end is accessible (and reduces it further if it is still not accessible). This should reduce the occurrence of some strange 'slow' access problems occasionally seen in grub4dos and booting XP from a USB drive and with Easy2Boot on some systems.
I recommend updating to this new version which I will release as the standard version in a few days if no problems are reported with it. If practical, reformat your E2B flash drives with this new version if you were having any 'slow' or 'hanging' problems using E2B.
The DriveInfo command has also been tweaked to show the end LBA sector of each partition and to report the drive size as reported by the drive as well as the size that RMPrepUSB will use if you partition the drive using 'MAX' for the volume size.