Monday, 30 March 2015

E2B 1.64 released

Just fixes two issues in 1.63

  1. Long-standing issue - If you run XP Setup, when it gets to the first 'Welcome to Setup' blue screen, it will change the Disk Signature of the internal hard disk that you are about to install XP to. If you then abandon the install by rebooting, the OS that you had on the internal hard disk may no longer boot (BSOD - 0xc000000e  inaccessible boot device).  This has now been fixed.
    Tip: It could be repaired by using 'bcdboot D:\Windows /s C:' after booting to a Windows Install ISO console window.
  2. The new version of  \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\E2B TXT Maker.cmd caused a problem if you try to make a .txt file for a Windows Vista/7/8/10 ISO file. The 'if exist' conditional code has now been removed because it is not needed in .txt files, because the .txt file is only used if the ISO already exists.
Files are available from here as usual.

To update your E2B USB drive, download and extract the smaller non-DPMS version to a new, empty folder and then run the UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.CMD script.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Add HitManPro to your Easy2Boot USB drive

A previous blog post here described how you can add and run HitManPro from an E2B USB Removable Flash drive (NTFS or FAT32). The E2B USB drive must be of the 'Removable' type - it won't work if your E2B  flash drive is of the Fixed-disk type (a USB HDD will not work either - Hitman will not auto-run when you boot to Windows).

HitmanPro needs to see a Removable USB drive which has some special code in the sectors at the very end of the USB drive (currently they use the very last 55 sectors).

I have written a grub4dos batch file HitManXfer.g4b (included in Easy2boot) which will transfer these sectors from a valid HitManPro USB Flash drive to the end of your E2B USB flash drive.


Friday, 27 March 2015

UEFI-booting Ubuntu\Xubuntu\Voyager with persistence

As a follow-on from my previous blog post, I thought you might like to see how to boot Voyager from a .imgPTN partition image AND have a persistence file too.

Add Voyager Live to your E2B USB drive

I came across the Xubuntu-derivative Voyager today.
It also includes 'Kodi Media Centre' in the hidden right-hand menu which is Xbox Media Centre (XBMC) and it ran fine booting from an E2B USB drive under VBox (set VBox Audio to ICH AC97 to enable audio) and I was quickly watching Al Jazeera (with persistence)!


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Easy2Boot v1.63 released

Changes from v1.62
  • QRUN Auto-suggest feature  - now suggests a 'better' file extension, 
  • Make_E2B and Update_E2B cmd files now asks to create a MyE2B.cfg file for language/kbd support. 
  • New grldr grub4dos 0.46a version to fix NTFS bug with + improved USB 2.0 grub4dos driver.
  • \_ISO\isoboot.g4b supported for user's own version of isoboot.g4b.
  • QEMU test boot files added to root. 
  • FreeBSD, pfSense and GhostBSD memstick images now supported. 
  • Make_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd now will detect all drives if no USB drive found in system. 
  • XP 32-bit Mass Storage DPMS drivers updated for latest chipsets.
  • Sub-Menu Maker script file improved.


Monday, 23 March 2015

Add a Clonezilla Backup/Restore menu to your Easy2Boot USB HDD

If you have Easy2Boot on a large (e.g. 2TB) NTFS USB HDD, you can add a clonezilla ISO and a .mnu file to E2B. This allows you to quickly and easily make a backup of the first hard disk in all your systems (PCs, notebooks, tablets). You can then perform a 'bare-metal' restore at any later date.

The Tutorial 118 on the RMPrepUSB website gives you all the details. You don't have to save the backup images onto the E2B drive, you can connect a second USB HDD to act as the backup device and then keep it in a drawer, happy in the knowledge that you can restore any of your systems at any time in the future.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Easy2Boot DPMS now with updated XP 32-bit Mass Storage Drivers

E2B v1.63 Beta 5 (Easy2Boot_v1.63DPMSBeta5.zip) has the latest XP 32-bit Mass Storage Drivers added + a few bug fixes to fix a few issues in the DriverPack. The new version will hopefully allow XP to be installed from an ISO file onto newer systems that have more modern chipsets - e.g. Z87/Haswell.

If you have any systems (new or old) that you can install XP onto to test it, please do so and let me know if there are any problems as there may be bugs in the new DriverPack files.

As a very quick preliminary test, try the Utilities - List matching XP DriverPack.ini entries  menu option - this should identify your systems Mass Storage (e.g. AHCI) controller and tell you what driver it will use from the DriverPack. If that works then go ahead and try a 2-Stage XP install from ISO and see if it works. If it cannot find a driver, please report the PCI ID to me by using the 'Show Mass Storage Controller PCI IDs' menu entry.

Don't forget to use a USB 2.0 port and not a USB 3.0 port for the E2B USB drive!

The new Beta is in the Alternate Download Areas as usual. Unfortunately, the E2B zip file is larger than before (38MB instead of 31MB), due to the extra drivers.


Saturday, 14 March 2015

MPI Tool Kit v0.045

Running .imgPTN Windows Install from a Virtual Machine

If you convert a Win7 Install ISO to a .imgPTN file and then boot in a VM to the .imgPTN file in E2B and run Setup from the CSM menu, there was a problem in that Setup would overwrite the boot code on the USB drive and thus both the E2B USB drive and the Virtual Hard Disk would not be bootable after a reboot!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

MPI Tool Kit 0.044a

Recently, there have been several instances when you cannot run the MPI_FAT32 or MPI_NTFS scripts because you need to enter a larger size than the calculated default size for the .imgPTN file.

This new version has a small change to the MPI_FAT32 and MPI_NTFS scripts.

Instead of running automatically with no user prompts, it now always prompts for the size of the .imgPTN file that it needs to create.

Normally, you will just press [ENTER] to accept the default size, but you can type in a different size instead.

Although this means it is now no longer fully automatic, I don't think pressing the [ENTER] key is too much of a price to pay for being able to override the default size.

If you wish, you can edit the .cmd files and add a * to the command that runs MakePartImage, in order to return it to its normal 'fully automated' mode.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Add Knoppix+Persistence to your E2B drive

Note: this must be done using an NTFS E2B USB drive rather than a FAT32 E2B drive, because usually the .imgPTN file will be greater than 4GB for a full Knoppix OS + persistence file.


Sunday, 8 March 2015

Easy2Boot 1.63 Beta 3 now supports FreeBSD 9 and 10, GhostBSD and pfSense 'memstick' images



Versions 9 and 10 of FreeBSD will not boot as an ISO, but the 1.63 Beta 3 version of Easy2Boot and the new MPI Tool Pack v0.044 do support FreeBSD 9 and 10 and pfSense 'memstick' non-UEFI images.




GhostBSD.img files are also in the memstick format and work too.


You will need to make a dummy .imgPTN file and then add and rename the memstick .img file to remove it's file extension, as described below...

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Adding FreeBSD, FreeNAS, PCBSD/TrueOS to Easy2Boot


Update: E2B 1.63 now supports FreeBSD, pfSense and GhostBSD .img files! See blog post here.

Recent versions of FreeBSD, FreeNAS, PCBSD/TrueOS ISOs do not 'just work' when copied to the E2B USB drive. However, if you can make a bootable FAT32 USB Flash drive that works correctly (e.g. using Unetbootin), then it is often possible to use the MPI Tool Kit's MakePartImage to make a .imgPTN partition image file directly from the working USB Flash drive.