Tuesday, 30 June 2015

v1.72BetaA

I have added a similar function to the ENUMWAIT function which pauses the list of payload files just before the menu is displayed.

Now, you can press the SPACEBAR during file enumeration of any menu and it will pause at the end of enumeration (without ENUMWAIT needing to be set in MyE2B.cfg).


You can now easily see the order that files and folders are enumerated in, and thus the order that they will appear in the menu.

Friday, 26 June 2015

E2B v1.71 released

Small tweaks since 1.70.

v1.71 2015-06-26
  • Typo\bugfix for PTN2_Menu.mnu and renamed. 
  • Make_this_drive_contiguous.cmd will now run on any drive it is on (if \_ISO\docs\WINCONTIG folder is also present on the drive), so can use it on another partition on an E2B USB HDD drive by copying it to the other partition. 
  • XP Step 2 bugfix - if installing XP to 2nd HDD it would not boot correctly. 
  • JustBrowsing_with_config.mnu file added + few others
  • German Strings.txt small tweaks. 
  • Payload enumeration now displays source directory correctly when listing payload files. 
  • 'set ENUMWAIT=1' in MyE2B.cfg will cause file enumeration to pause before displaying the menu - useful to see what order files are enumerated in for menu order.
  • MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd tells user if disk is Fixed or Removable type and warns if Fixed that they will need a 'Helper' USB drive for Windows installs.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

How to have multiple, fully-installed linux OS's on the same Easy2Boot USB drive

Please note: I recommend using VBox+VMUB rather than a real system to perform the installation onto the E2B USB drive because it will be safer (and Mint seems to have a problem if a hard disk is present in the system!). I also recommend you follow this example for Kali linux which is easier and simpler than the method below.

Introduction

This method allows you to boot to any number of 'fully installed' linux OS's from the one E2B USB drive (i.e. linux will keep all changes and updates, etc. as it is not running from the ISO or a filesystem in memory but is fully installed onto the USB drive).

I used Mint but many other linux installers should work - e.g. manjaro.

WARNING: You should only attempt this if you are familiar with .imgPTN files and installing linux. If you choose the wrong linux install options you could destroy the contents of your E2B drive! If you are not using a Virtual Machine, you could destroy the contents of your system disks too!



In this process we will add a Linux Install .imgPTN file (or LiveCD+Install .imgPTN file) to your E2B USB drive and then install that version of linux to a new 'virtual' partition on the same drive.
We do not need to re-partition the E2B USB drive.

Notes:
  • Once you install linux, the MINT OS file should not be copied or moved, because it contains boot parameters that are specific to the file's position on the E2B USB drive. WinContig will not change it's position (but a defrag would). This issue can be solved however, by using a bespoke menu entry (see bottom of page for details).
  • We cannot have a Swap partition in this install. Linux is installed onto a single partition only but see the bottom of this post for a workaround.
  • Only MBR-booting is supported.
I used a linux Mint 17 Mate 32-bit ISO and an E2B USB HDD, but the process should work for many linux installers as long as they will install to just a single ext2/3/4 partition.

Monday, 22 June 2015

E2B: Add Desinfect 2015 with updates

I have made a new mnu file for Desinfect 2015 with persistent updates.


Making the .mnu was simple, but I just couldn't get the updates to work. I could copy them from the 'master' flash drive partition to the ext2 filesystem on the E2B drive, but when I booted to Desinfect 2015 from the Easy2Boot drive, Desinfect always complained that the signatures were outdated and refused to use them or update them (updates went to RAM not the USB drive)!

It turned out that I was not copying ALL of the files because I was using the linux command:

sudo cp -purv /media/desinfect/desinfSIGS/* ss

what I should have used was

sudo cp -purv /media/desinfect/desinfSIGS/. ss


spot the difference!!!  linux is sooooo user friendly (not)!

The important file that was not copied was the empty file  .desinfect2015, which explains why Desinfect 2015 thought the signatures folder was not the correct one!

The amended instructions for 2014 and 2015 are in the updated old blog post here.

Access ext2/3/4 partitions from Windows

I actually installed ext2fsd on my Win8.1 64-bit Windows system so that I could look at the contents of the Desinfect 2015 'master' flash drive more easily. Because, I was using a Removable flash drive, I had to use RMPrepUSB - Ctrl-O to move the type 83 ext4 signatures partition (#3) to the first position in the partition table. Once that was done, the ext4 signatures partition was available to me in Windows Explorer and I then noticed the .desinfect2015 hidden file!


P.S. Any donations to Easy2Boot are welcome ;-)

E2B: How to install debian from an ISO

Some linux install ISOs, such as debian-based ISOs, will boot to a Live OS fine using Easy2Boot straight from the .ISO file.

However, if you want to install linux from the ISO, some linux installers specifically look for a CD-ROM drive rather than looking for the installation source files, or they do not automatically mount the 4th partition, which E2B has mapped to the ISO file by grub4dos, and so the installer cannot find the source files.

Often, however, there is a simple solution. When installing linux onto another device, you just need to specify the source device. E2B changes partition #4 so that it points to the ISO file that we are booting from. So we just need to specify that partition as the 'cdrom'!

Here is an example using debian-8.1.0-i386-CD-1.ISO.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Password protect specific Windows Install ISOs

You can easily password protect normal, standard menu entries in a variety of ways on an E2B USB multiboot drive (e.g. just add 'pwd' to the end of the file extension - Ubuntu.isopwd).

But recently a user wanted to protect certain specific Win7/8 Install ISOs with specific passwords, so I have added a few examples of ways to do this to the 'E2B Security' page on the E2B website.

After selecting a specific Win7/8 ISO you can prompt the user for a specific password...
If the password is wrong, they will be returned to the Windows Install menu.
Note: this 'bunny' wallpaper is my current menu wallpaper - don't ask me why!

'Don't put your laptop on your lap!'

I recently read an interesting post from the 'Life of MDW' blog here, which was about why you should NOT call a notebook a 'laptop'.

When I worked at RM (which sold computers to schools), we always called them notebooks, however, despite this, the teachers always called them laptops!

Note: The most common causes of notebook damage were: 1) picking a notebook up by holding the screen and gripping the display too tightly and cracking it, 2) notebook falling off a chair\sofa\lap whilst on, 3) sitting on it when in a bag (often damage was caused by the UK three-pronged mains plug pressing into the screen lid).

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Add JustBrowsing+config file to E2B

The August 2014 version of JustBrowsing allows you to save the browser settings in a config file.
The file must be saved on a mounted volume which has a volume name of JUSTDATA.
'maddog' asked me to make a .mnu file for it...


Here is the .mnu file for Easy2Boot which allows you to have these settings persistent on each boot.
Depending on the ISO, you will need to change the name of the iso file in two places and maybe edit the title text too...

# Create file \justbrowsing-rw in root of E2B USB drive using RMPrepUSB - Create small 5MB Ext2 FS  Volume Name = JUSTDATA
# Place the iso file and this file in \_ISO\MAINMENU\MNU  (or some other menu folder at 3rd level - e.g. \_ISO\LINUX\BROWSER)

iftitle [if exist $HOME$/justbrowsing_20140808_chrome.iso] JustBrowsing with Config file\n Settings are saved in a configuration file

set ISO=$HOME$/justbrowsing_20140808_chrome.iso
set PERS=/justbrowsing-rw

if "%E2BDEV%"=="" set E2BDEV=hd0 && pause E2BDEV forced to hd0!
if exist CD echo WARNING: Cannot use partnew command! && pause && configfile (bd)/menu.lst
#enable parttype output
partnew (%E2BDEV%,3) 0x0 %ISO%
# make empty table entry in 3rd position in ptn table
debug 1
parttype (%E2BDEV%,2) | set check=
debug off
set check=%check:~-5,4%
if "%check%"=="0x00" partnew (%E2BDEV%,2) 0 0 0
if not "%check%"=="0x00" echo WARNING: PTN TABLE 3 IS ALREADY IN USE! && pause
debug 1
if not exist %PERS% echo WARNING: %PERS% persistence file not found! && pause
errorcheck off
if "%check%"=="0x00" partnew (%E2BDEV%,2) 0x0 %PERS%
errorcheck on
/%grub%/QRUN.g4b %ISO%
boot

I will add the final version of this to next Beta release.

Google Drive falsely reports that some .7z files are infected!

I recently changed from using .zip files to .7z files (using the 'Ultra' compression setting) because .7z LZMA compression made much smaller files (e.g. 30MB .zip reduced to under 20MB if I use .7z + 'Ultra' compression) and thus made it quicker to download for everyone.

However, Frettt (who translated the German Strings.txt file in E2B) pointed out to me today, that if he attempted to download the Easy2Boot_V1.70DMPS.7z file from Google Drive, it reported it as 'Infected'!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

E2B - bug in PTN2_Menu.mnu sample menu file!

Jason has just reported an issue when he tried to use the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files\E2B Menus\PTN2_Menu.mnu file in his \_ISO\MAINMENU folder so he could run payload files from the second partition of his E2B drive.

We found a typo in this sample .mnu file which causes it to just reload the Main menu!

E2B v1.70 has the correct version of this menu file which should be as shown below (correction shown in red):

# EXAMPLE .MNU FILE FOR 2ND PRIMARY PARTITION  (max for E2B is 2 Primary ptns or 1 Primary+multiple logical ptns) - see also PTN_LOG1_Menu.mnu
# You can add payload files under \_ISO on partition 2 and they will be included in the menu
# EDIT lines 1 and 3 to match the name of your partition (hd0,1) and  folder (/_ISO)
# Add this file to the /_ISO/MAINMENU folder
# 2nd Primary partition is (hd0,1), 3rd Primary = (hd0,2), fourth primary = (hd0,3), first Logical partition = (hd0,4), second Logical partition = (hd0,5), etc.

iftitle [ls (hd0,1)/_ISO/ > nul && if "%GFX%"==""] ^Ctrl+2 PARTITION 2 Payload Files Menu [Ctrl+2]\n Run payload files in Partition 2 \\_ISO folder
set LBACKMENU=(bd)/%grub%/menu.lst
(bd)/%grub%/QAUTO.g4b .automenu (hd0,1)/_ISO
debug 0
configfile (md)0x3000+0x50

# For GFX menu (delete if you don't use GFXBoot menu)
iftitle [ls (hd0,1)/_ISO/ > nul && if not "%GFX%"==""] PARTITION 2 Payload Files Menu\n Run payload files in Partition 2 \\_ISO folder
set LBACKMENU=(bd)/%grub%/menu.lst
(bd)/%grub%/QAUTO.g4b .automenu (hd0,1)/_ISO
debug 0
configfile (md)0x3000+0x50


I am sorry if this caused anyone problems trying to get this menu to work!
http://www.easy2boot.com/make-an-easy2boot-usb-drive/using-other-partitions-or-drives/

Note
In E2B, the Main menu is kept in memory at (md)0xa000 - this is used when you press F8 from within any sub-menu to quickly re-load and display the Main menu. The most recent menu that was enumerated is stored at (md)0x3000. So 'configfile (md)0xa000+0x50' will load the Main Menu, whereas 'configfile (md)0x3000+0x50' will display the last menu that was enumerated which could be the Main menu if you have just booted to E2B, or if you have just run a menu entry from say the \_ISO\DOS folder, then (md)0x3000 will contain the DOS menu.

Monday, 15 June 2015

E2B v1.70BetaB available

Just a few small changes:

  • If the filename contains the string 'bartpe' then the file extension .isomemF01 is suggested by QRUN.g4b.
  • You can now define different background wallpapers for the AUTO menu, the Windows Installer menu and all the Windows Installer sub-menus. This can be done by creating a specifically named .bmp file for each one (e.g. \_ISO\WIN7.bmp, \_ISO\WINMENU.bmp, etc.).
    OR
    You can create a .g4b file (e.g. \_ISO\WIN7.g4b, \_ISO\WINMENU.g4b) for each menu which allows you to specify any filename for the bitmap and also set the menu colours for each menu.
    For more details read this page.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

E2B v1.69Beta5/6 available

Unless I get any negative feedback or more suggestions, this will be the final Beta before I release v1.69. The download is now a 7MB .7z file instead of the usual 9MB .zip file.

Note: Beta6 fixes bug in Beta5 in Make_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd (stopped after copy files).

Changes from v1.68 are:
  • Fix graphicsmode command in menu.lst (bitmap needed to be exactly 800x600 or 1024x768).
  • Subset of NTBOOT added for direct boot of .WIM (PE3), .VHD and .VHDX Windows 7/8/10 OS files. ReadMe.txt file in NTBOOT.MOD folder on how to add full NTBOOT.
  • For XP/PE1 .VHD's, file extension now must be changed to .vhdboot (now must use .vhd for PE3-based OS's)
  • Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd and Update_E2B_Drive.cmd now tries copy bootmgr from C: drive to NTBOOT.MOD folder, if it is present (required by NTBOOT function). 
  • new grub4dos 0.4.6a bugfix for UDF ISOs causing crashes,  e.g. pmagic.iso.
  • isoboot.g4b now works with newer parted magic ISOs
  • unifont and default backgound file now compressed using lzma (makes smaller files than gzip and faster to load).

OneDrive download area

Google Drive download area

Read more: http://www.easy2boot.com/download/

Friday, 5 June 2015

How to easily create WindowsToGo VHD files on an Easy2Boot USB drive


New: For a much easier method than the one detailed below, use WinToUSB to make a bootable VHD, see this blog post.


The method below has now been deprecated. E2B can directly boot from VHD files now and WinToUSB provides a much easier way to create a bootable VHD.



Another method

The direct boot (NTBOOT) feature added to E2B v1.69 will allow you to copy WindowsToGo 8/10 OS VHDs to any normal menu folder on the E2B drive (e.g. \_ISO\WIN or \_ISO\MAINMENU) and boot from them. You can have as many Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) files as you can fit on your E2B USB drive and they don't need to be contiguous either!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

E2B 1.69Beta3 now available

E2B v1.69Beta2 contained some embedded Microsoft boot files in the NTBOOT files such as bootmgr, ntdtect and ntldr. It also appears that VBOOT is a commercial product of VMLite and so cannot be distributed. These have now been removed in Beta3 for legal\copyright reasons.

This means that the NT5 NTBOOT functions are not supported (e.g. XP PE1, NT5 and VBOOT booting).

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Easy2Boot 1.69Beta2 (experimental) now supports Win7/8/10 .VHD and .WIM files

Previously, you could add .VHD files to your Easy2Boot USB drive, but these would only work for XP/PE1 if the VHD had a WinVBlock or FiraDisk driver added.

The v1.69Beta2 version now supports Win7/8/10 .VHD files and Win7/8/10 .WIM files. It uses Chenall's NTBOOT. No need to make .imgPTN files for simple MBR booting of WindowsToGo/WinPE.