Saturday, 28 February 2015

E2B v1.63 Beta 2 now available

Changes from v1.62

  • QRUN now suggests a 'better' file extension than .iso if appropriate (see previous blog post)
  • \_ISO\docs\Make_E2B_USB_Drive\Make_MyE2B.cfg.cmd - this will create language\keyboard settings in a new MyE2B.cfg file.
  • MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd and UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.cmd files now will ask if you want to create a MyE2B.cfg file for language/kbd support (if one does not already exist) by calling Make_MyE2B.cfg.cmd.
  • New grldr grub4dos 0.4.6a version to fix NTFS bug
  • Small tweaks to QRUN.g4b to use language file error messages for 'not contiguous' etc.
Download it from the E2B Alternate Download Areas at bottom of page here as usual.

P.S. RMPrepUSB v2.1.728 now available, includes grub4dos 0.4.6a latest version instead of 0.4.5c version - same as latest E2B.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Add Liberte Linux with persistence to E2B

Liberte Linux is a secure, reliable, lightweight and easy to use Gentoo-based LiveUSB/SD/CD Linux distribution with the primary purpose of enabling anyone to communicate safely and covertly in hostile environments. Whether you are a privacy advocate, a dissident, or a sleeper agent, you are equally likely to find Liberté Linux useful as a mission-critical communication aid.

The latest version is 2012.3 and supports MBR and 64-bit and 32-bit UEFI-booting.

Liberte will automatically make a persistent file at \otfe\liberte.vol if an empty \otfe folder exists in the root of a FAT32 writeable storage medium. It does not seem possible to boot from the ISO with persistence however, so we must use a .imgPTN file:

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Easy2Boot v.1.63 Beta 1 suggests an alternative file extension!

I have added some more code to QRUN.g4b which looks at the file extension and the file name and will suggest an alternative file extension if it thinks that it will work better. You are only prompted if E2B thinks that it will not run correctly as a .ISO file.

As you can see, the file in the screenshot above is called ERDCommander2005.iso, but QRUN has suggested that using a file extension of .isomemwinv might be better for this ISO file.

The user must type Y within 5 seconds in order to run the ISO as if it had a .isomemwinv file extension, otherwise after 5 seconds, E2B will continue to boot the file as a .ISO file (and in this case it will fail to successfully boot!).

This feature means that naive users will be warned if they need to rename the file extension. It also means that for quick testing, you don't need to rename the file extension yourself if you forget, as you will be prompted by QRUN anyway.

Currently, it will suggest a better alternative file extension for:

  • Windows ISOs
  • WinPE ISOs
  • XP/Bart/MiniXP/MicroXP/Windows Legacy ISOs
  • WinBuilder ISOs
  • Hirens\DLCD\Falcon 4 ISOs
  • Partition Magic ISOs
  • TrueCrypt ISOs
  • Puppy Linux ISOs
  • macpup linux ISOs
  • WDE ISOs
  • winflp ISOs
  • POS 2009 ISOs
  • ubcd4win ISOs
  • ubcd ISOs
  • haiku anyboot .image files
As it looks at the name of the payload file, it will only work if you have the correct strings in the filename - e.g. 'WIN' or 'POS'+'2009' or 'XP' or 'winbuild' . These are not case sensitive.

Please let me know if you think I could add any more or it does not suggest a correct alternative.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Minimal QEMU files for Easy2Boot

If you need to boot to Easy2Boot under a VM on a system that does not have RMPrepUSB or a VM Manager such as  Virtual Box or VMWare already installed, you can keep a copy of MobaLiveCD.exe on the E2B drive.

MobaLiveCD.exe will boot to QEMU (a CPU and system emulator) and then boot the QEMU virtual machine from the E2B USB drive.

As an alternative, you can download and unzip the file from the E2B Alternate Downloads Area to your E2B USB drive (it must be on the USB drive and not your internal hard disk) and then double-click on the BootUSB.cmd file to boot from the USB drive under QEMU. This should only be used to boot to the menu system or select .imgPTN files however as it does not create a virtual hard disk, does not lock the drive like RMPrepUSB does, and uses a fixed memory size of 500MB.

I may add this QEMU folder into the E2B download file, if anyone thinks this is useful, as it is only an extra 1MB.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

E2B - easily make more sub-menus with the new version 1.62

\_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\E2B SUBMENU Maker.cmd

The E2B has 7 'normal' sub-menu folders ANTIVIRUS, BACKUP, DOS, LINUX, UTILITIES, WIN, WINPE. To make a new submenu entry folder, create one and then drag-and-drop the new folder onto the Make SubMenu.cmd file to make a Main menu entry for it (it creates the required .mnu file in the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder for you).

Note: with the latest version uses \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\E2B SUBMENU Maker.cmd , you can double-click on this file and it will prompt you for the name of the folder and create it for you (it still supports drag-and-drop too).

Easy2Boot v1.62 released at last!

E2B v1.62

Changes and additions since v1.61
  • New grub4dos versions 0.4.6a (default boot) and  0.4.5c
  • Clearer 'Not-Contiguous' file warning when booting directly from payload files
  • Revised Spanish language files (and small changes to German)
  • Patches for silent grub4dos startup in SampleMyE2B.cfg added. 
  • \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities .txt and .mnu maker.cmd batch files updated (can test for 32 or 64-bit CPUs). 
  • \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\Make SubMenu.cmd added - just drag-and-drop a new \_ISO\XXX folder onto it, to make a Main menu entry for it (creates the required .mnu file in the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder for you).
  • grab.g4b utility added (can copy screen text to a text file - useful for reporting issues). 
  • CRC feature - if you hold down the Left-CTRL key (think 'Ctrl=Crc') whilst selecting a payload file (not a .mnu file) and keep it held down for a few seconds after pressing ENTER to boot to the payload file, E2B will calculate and display the CRC32 value of the file before it runs the payload file. For instance, if an ISO file does not seem to boot correctly, you can find it's CRC32 value and compare it with the CRC32 value of the original file. Note that this feature only works with files that run using QRUN.g4b  - so this CRC32 feature does not work with .mnu menu entries and Windows Install ISOs in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xx folders.
  • Run ISOBOOT - If you hold down a SHIFT key whilst selecting a (linux) ISO file (think 'Shift to isoboot') and keep it held down for a few seconds after pressing ENTER to boot to the payload file, E2B will run it using only isoboot.g4b - in this way you can test out the E2B isoboot feature even if your ISO file is contiguous. Note that isoboot is a 'last resort' attempt to boot a non-contiguous linux ISO - it probably won't work for old or non-standard linux ISOs and quite a few others too!
  • Monthly PIN code - use the MyE2B.cfg file to request a 4-digit pin number from the user before it will load the E2B Main menu. The user PIN code required automatically changes every month, so you will need to tell the users\technicians the new PIN code each month (prevents theft/misuse). A small Windows utility can be provided which displays the  monthly PIN numbers. The seed value can be changed so that your E2B version will have a unique set of PIN numbers. If security is compromised, just re-issue a new version with a different Seed value.
  • WinContig added to E2B USB drive - just double-click on \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd to make all files on the USB drive contiguous - no need for RMPrepUSB.
  • XP Winnt.sif ISOs supported - patches "oempreinstall=yes" line in winnt.sif file so that E2B can install some XP versions (e.g. Micro XP Pro 1.11b.iso). 
  • The payload file extensions are now not shown in menu entries by default (only their file names). Can be overridden in MyE2B.cfg (set EXTOFF=)
  • Re-organised \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files folder
  • PassPass added to Sample mnu Files folder.

File extension support

  • suffixes pwd, 64 and 32 supported - e.g. Ubuntu.iso64 will only appear in the menu on a 64-bit system. MsDaRT8.isope01pwd will ask for a password before you can run it
  • MyE2B.cfg file can contain menupwd setting to specify a different password needed to run any payload file from the menu that ends in pwd - e.g. XYZ.isopwd. 
  • .dmg, .hfs, .dmgHFS and .HFSptn for Hackintosh installer images - e.g. Yosemite-Zone.dmg supported (MBR boot)
  • .isomacpup file extension added for macpuppy ISOs
  • .haiku file extension - Haiku 'anyboot' image support - just copy haiku.image files and rename the extension to .haiku.


  • Parted magic ISO support added
  • If using 0.4.6a, the ISO files do not need to be contiguous if using ISOBOOT. i.e. no need to load the ISO into memory first.

New sample .mnu files

  • Parted Magic + persistence mnu file
  • Arcabit mnu file
  • Fix for knoppix boot from non-contiguous ISO file in isoboot.g4b
  • macpup sample .mnu file added for saving sessions on exit
  • True partition Hide/Unhide sample menu file added. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Easy2Boot v1.62I now available

This version uses the new grub4dos 0.4.6a grldr version just released by chenall\yaya today and fixes the bug for the partnew command. Unless anyone reports any problems, this version will be released as the new 'official' v1.62 version in a few days. Please update your E2B drives and try it.

OneDrive download area

Google Drive download area

P.S. There is a new MPI Tool Pack download available - this just adds support for Acronis True Image .imgPTN files and allows you to boot a 'registered' version as well as the free\demo version.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Adding large grub4dos ISOs containing multiple smaller ISOs

If you have a large grub4dos-based (DVD) ISO which boots to a grub4dos menu and then loads other ISOs which are inside the main ISO file, although this may work as a DVD disk, it probably won't work if you try to boot it as an ISO from E2B.

If you examine the ISO file and it contains a \menu.lst and there are lots of smaller ISO files inside in various folders, then you probably have such an ISO and it will probably just hang if you try to run it as an ISO from E2B.

There is an easy way to get it to work however, just convert it to a .imgPTN file using MakePartImage and copy the .imgPTN to your E2B USB drive (make sure it is contiguous).

Acronis 2014 grub4dos ISO with multiple ISOs converted to a .imgPTN file

Just drag-and-drop the ISO onto the MPI_FAT32 desktop shortcut and answer Y (yes) when prompted to combine the menu.lst file inside the ISO with the CSM menu.lst file.

The new menu entries which have been added from the menu.lst in the original ISO should now hopefully run fine!

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

Monday, 9 February 2015

E2B v.1.62 Beta H now available

This uses the latest grub4dos 0.4.6a version (0.4.6a is not quite perfect yet as it still has some bugs which I have worked around in this version).
It now tests any payload file (that is run using QRUN) and warns you if the payload file is not contiguous. Please try it!

OneDrive download area
Google Drive download area

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Bug in grub4dos 0.4.6a!

Just noticed that grub4dos 0.4.6a is not reporting non-contiguous file errors!
If some of your payload files don't seem be booting properly but E2B doesn't report any error, please make sure all files are contiguous or use 0.4.5c!

The file is not contiguous but the partnew command partially worked and reported no error - but some of the file is missing from the partition (presumably up to the end of the first contiguous block).

E2B 1.62 Beta F&G with Haiku support

Beta F is now available and includes support for booting Haiku 'anyboot' images (including nightly builds). Haiku is very quick to boot, but until now, I don't think anyone has managed to add it to a multiboot USB drive!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

E2B v1.62BetaE now available

There is now a .mnu file at \_ISO\MAINMENU\$$$SetDefaultMenu.mnu. This makes it easier to have different wallpapers for different menus. The website documentation has also been updated.

This version has the new 0.4.6a grub4dos which now works with exFAT drives too.

Unless there are any bug reports, this version will be released as the 'official' E2B 1.62 in a few days, so please try it out and let me know if there are any problems.

I have also added 'grab' which is a grub4dos console capture batch file - this copies a screen full of grub4dos console text to a file (grab.txt) and is only used for debugging purposes. To use it, go to the grub4dos console, type graphicsmode 3 (note: this clears the screen!and then type in any commands you want to test. When you type grab, the text on the screen is copied to a grab.txt file ready to send off for bug reports, etc.

The two Windows scripts, E2B MNU Maker.cmd and E2B TXT Maker.cmd have been updated so that you can specify if you want the menu entry to be always displayed, or only displayed if a 32-bit or 64-bit CPU is present when E2B is booted.

Also, if you are using the latest version of RMPrepUSB v2.1.727, the Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd batch file will now install grub4dos with the 'silent' switch which causes less grub4dos boot-up  messages to be visible when E2B starts to boot.

There is now also some extra lines in the Sample MyE2B.cfg file which you can uncomment for a silent startup of the grldr stage 2 as well:

# Silent MBR boot of stage 1.5 grub4dos (works for both 0.4.5c and 0.4.6) - a reboot is required for it to take affect.
### if exist /_ISO/docs/PatchMyMBR call /_ISO/docs/PatchMyMBR > nul
# Silent startup of grub4dos - no diagnostic/info messages (only works for 0.4.6a) - permanently changes /grldr files (use \_ISO\docs\patchme for patch if not using 0.4.6)
### cat --locate=\x02 --replace=\x00 --skip=0x2073 --length=1 /grldr > nul
### if exist /%grub%/grldr_046 cat --locate=\x02 --replace=\x00 --skip=0x2073 --length=1 /%grub%/grldr_046 > nul

This means that you should not need to use the patchme file every time you update your E2B USB drive.

I hope that we can now move to grub4dos 0.4.6a as the 'default' version of grub4dos from now on as it makes little sense to develop both grub4dos 0.4.5c and 0.4.6a in tandem once the bugs have been ironed out from 0.4.6a.

P.S. by default, E2B displays the file name AND file extension in the menus. I am thinking of changing this so that the default is to not display the file extension. Does anyone object to this? Note that if you have already set EXTOFF=1 in your MyE2B.cfg file then this change would not affect anything. It just means that if you don't have a MyE2B.cfg file, file extensions would not be shown in the menu entries. Let me know...

Download Areas

OneDrive download area

Google Drive download area

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

What do you want to see in a new Easy2Boot video?

I would like to know if there are any topic you would like me to cover in a new E2B video.

Here is a list of the current E2B YouTube videos:

Monday, 2 February 2015

E2B v1.62 Beta D

Just a small change, as requested by Stephan.
  • If a payload file extension ends in 64 then it will only appear in a menu if the system contains a 64-bit CPU. e.g. Ubuntu-14.iso64  or Win8PE.imgPTN64.
  • Likewise, if a payload file extension ends in 32 then it will only appear in a menu if the system contains a 32-bit CPU. e.g. Ubuntux86.iso32 or Win8PE.imgPTN32.
All current payload file extensions can have a 32 or 64 suffix added, but you cannot use the suffix on .mnu files (e.g. myubuntu.mnu64 will not work).

Note that using a normal .txt file will negate this feature (e.g. if using Ubuntu.iso64 and Ubuntu.txt - the menu entry will be listed on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems).

To only list the file on a 64-bit system, you would need this .txt file

iftitle [checkrange 2,3 is64bit] Ubuntu\n Run Ubuntu on a 64-bit system

To only list an iso on only a 32-bit system, you would need this .txt file

iftitle [checkrange 0,1 is64bit] Linux32\n Run 32-bit linux

You must use a .mnu file if you want extra features like password protection on the file, as you cannot combine '64' or '32' with 'pwd' suffix (using a file extension of fred.isopwd64 will not work). See Password_Protect_64_32.mnu in \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files for an example.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

How to test your SD card or USB Flash drive using FakeFlashTest (v2)

Same video as before but I increased the volume using Handbrake 

Drag-and-drop video onto Source icon
Set output File pathname
Click Show in Audio tab
Set gain to 20
Click Start

I did this twice to boost the gain by 40 and re-uploaded the video to YouTube.