Saturday, 31 October 2015

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

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

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

Friday, 30 October 2015

Add UberStudent to Easy2Boot

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

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

Friday, 23 October 2015

E2B v1.73 released

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

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

E2B v1.73 Beta G

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

full v1.73 Beta version history here.

Add antiX 15 with persistence to Easy2Boot

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

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

Sunday, 18 October 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bug in BetaE!

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

Friday, 16 October 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

E2B v1.73 Betas available

Changes from v1.72 are:

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

Saturday, 10 October 2015

SWITCH_E2B almost ready for release!

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 8 October 2015

SWITCH_E2B new version available

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

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

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

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

Any comments/suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Switch_E2B new Beta version

Latest Switch_E2B is in
Google Drive download area
OneDrive download area

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

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

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Switch_E2B Windows application

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

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

Friday, 2 October 2015

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

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

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

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

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