Sunday, 30 August 2015

Add a Debian Live ISO with persistence to Easy2Boot

You can download the latest Debian Live ISOs from here.

I used debian-live-8.1.0-amd64-mate-desktop.iso and added persistence by using a .mnu file.

The new .mnu file will be added to the E2B v1.72 Sample mnu files folder , but can be downloaded from the Alternate Download (Google Drive and One Drive) areas (look under 'mnu files').
OneDrive download area
Google Drive download area

The .mnu file should work for most Debian Live ISOs if you change the name of the ISO inside the .mnu file (occurs twice).

Clean install of Windows 10 without needing to first do an Upgrade install

I found the instructions on ghacks.net today.

Note: In later versions of Win10, these instructions are not required. Just install a fresh copy of Win10 and enter the original Win7/8 product key and it should activate!

You can also just boot from a USB drive to WindowsToGo and pre-activate any system for Windows 10 - see here.

I have not tried it but it looks useful!

Quote from ghacks.net shown below in case it disappears.

Tip: Before you run this operation, make sure to backup the existing Windows installation so that you can restore it should things go wrong.
Here is what you need to do to clean install Windows 10 on a computer system, without needing to run the Win10 Upgrade first and then wipe and re-install.
  1. You need a Windows 10 DVD or ISO image. If you don't have one get it from here. Download the tool from Microsoft's website to create the ISO image. Make sure you pick the right architecture and version.
  2. Burn the ISO, mount it or extract it.
  3. Navigate to the folder \Windows\x64\sources or \Windows\x32\sources and drag&drop the file gatherosstate.exe to the desktop.
  4. Run the file from the Desktop. It creates GenuineTicket.xml on the desktop. This file is needed, so copy it to a USB drive or other location.
  5. Run a clean install of Windows 10 afterwards on the system using the ISO. Make sure you skip the product key.
  6. Once you are done and in Windows 10, copy the file GenuineTicket.xml to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\ClipSVC\GenuineTicket. The folder is hidden by default. If you cannot see it, select File > Options > View > Show hidden files, folders and drives in File Explorer.
  7. Reboot the PC.
The next time you boot into Windows 10 it should be fully activated. You can verify that easily with a tap on Windows-Pause. This opens the System Control panel and the system's activation status at the bottom of the page.

Tip: Copy the gatherosstate.exe file to your E2B USB drive and add these instructions into a .txt file on the E2B USB drive. Then you can use this process on any Win7/8 system.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Easy2Boot v1.72BetaL2 available


This version checks the version of bootmgr when you boot from a VHD file to check it is not the Windows 10 version + a new grldr grub4dos version.

It also has a new E2B default background wallpaper which should load a lot faster than the old one. Let me know if you like it by ticking the 'funny' reactions checkbox, as it is rather different from previous E2B wallpapers (or tick 'Interesting' if you prefer the old wallpaper)!

Alternate Download Areas:
OneDrive download area      Google Drive download area


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Easy2Boot and VHD BSOD 0xc00000bb boot problem

I have just found that the Windows 10 version of bootmgr is incompatible with NTBOOT for directly booting VHD files in Easy2Boot.

I have posted the problem on reboot.pro here.

If you have used a Windows 10 system to make an Easy2Boot USB drive, you may find that the version of bootmgr will give a BSOD 0xc00000bb error if you try to directly boot from a VHD.


To fix this, replace the version of bootmgr in the folder \_ISO\e2b\grub\DPMS\NTBOOT.MOD with an older version.

Older versions 2, 3 and 4 all work OK,

1. bootmgr 10-07-2015 395268 CRC32=45B6D6D7   - WINDOWS 10 version  INCOMPATIBLE!
2. bootmgr 22-08-2013 427680 CRC32=87783488
3. bootmgr 25-07-2012 398156 CRC32=4B1A74EF
4. bootmgr 14-06-2014 404250 CRC32=CB810D1B

Monday, 24 August 2015

Windows Answer File Generator site now has Windows 10 support

I just noticed that the WAFG site now has a Windows 10 page, so you can generate your own Windows 10 Unattend.xml answer files (and then use XMLtoE2B.exe to convert them for use with E2B).

Don't forget to say thanks by donating to the WAFG site if you find it useful!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Add a global hotkey to Easy2Boot

You can define global hotkeys to do various things by adding hotkey commands to the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file. Some examples are given in the \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg file.

Do you have a favourite ISO file that you always like to boot to in Easy2Boot?
Why not set up a global hotkey for it so you can boot to it from any E2B menu?
What about booting Hirens or WindowsToGo or WinPE, using a hotkey from any menu?

For instance, set up the F11 hotkey to always run an Ubuntu Live ISO (or any ISO file) from any menu, by adding the line below to your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file:

(bd)/%grub%/hotkey [F11] "(bd)/%grub%/qrun.g4b force.isodefault  (bd)/_ISO/MyUbuntu.iso ;; boot" > nul

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Why you should always check for download file corruption!

It is not uncommon to download a large file only to find that it is corrupt. Sometimes the problem is immediately obvious, but sometimes it can leave you scratching your head for hours, before you finally realise that your source file was corrupt!

It is also not uncommon to find that when a large file is copied to a USB drive, the copy did not work correctly and leaves you with a corrupt file. 'Fake' USB drives can also cause this type of symptom.

Downloading a Zip/7Zip/Rar compressed file is usually safe because when you unzip it, you will be warned if it is corrupt, but if you download a .ISO file you should always double-check it!

For instance, I have found file corruption in a large \sources\install.wim caused a problem with Windows failing to boot after a fresh install, but Setup did not complain that the install.wim was corrupt!

Friday, 21 August 2015

MPI Tool Kit v0.054 available (BitDefender/grub2 bugfix)

Due to a weird issue with one of the files on my system, whenever I used the MPI Tool Kit to convert the BitDefender Rescue CD ISO to a .imgPTN file, it always worked (for me!). However, as no one else would have this 'undeletable' file on their system, it turns out that converting a BitDefender ISO (and probably many other grub2 ISOs) to a .imgPTN file probably did not work for anyone else!

I compared a working .imgPTN file with a non-working one and the problem turned out to be due to the \boot\grub\i386-pc\command.lst file being a binary file (despite having a .lst file extension!), but it was getting corrupted by MPI because it was processed as a text file!

MPI changes some strings (e.g. UUID and volume label, etc.) in some text files, using ssed.exe (a version of sed) .

To fix the problem, I needed to find out if each *.lst file was a text file or a binary file and ignore any binary files.

This proved to be quite tricky as Windows does not seem to have a way to detect if a file is a binary file or not (that I could find).

In the end, I used ssed.exe to find and replace any 00 hex bytes in the file with the characters "ZZXXZZ" and then used the Windows find.exe utility to see if any substitution had taken place.

::check for binary file
ssed   "s/\x0/ZZXXZZ/g" "%~1" > sed1.txt
find "ZZXXZZ" sed1.txt > nul
if not errorlevel 1  echo %~nx1 IS A BINARY FILE && goto :quit

Not elegant, but it works!

If you are having trouble getting BitDefender or other grub2 ISOs to work as .imgPTN files, please download the MPI Tool Kit v 0.054 and then run the CreateDesktopShortcuts.cmd script to update your shortcuts to point to the new version.

This version also has improved MBR recovery in case you accidentally trash your E2B drive (for example by accidentally installing grub2 to the MBR and the following sectors). A backup copy of the MBR is now made to the file \e2b\MBR.BIN as soon as you boot to the CSM menu. Once you restore the MBR from this file (by using BootIce or RMPrepUSB - File->Drive), you can re-install grub4dos to the MBR using RMPrepUSB and your E2B USB drive should be operational once again.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Add a full Kali (or multiple linux) installations to your Easy2Boot USB drive using Virtual Box

By using Virtual Box with DavidV's VMUB utility, it is possible to have multiple linux installations on a single E2B USB drive by creating image partition files (.imgPTN files).

Use the latest MPI Tool Pack (v.0.054 2015-08-21 or later). This includes CSM menu support for grub2/syslinux installations on the 3rd partition.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Is your E2B USB drive too slow?

Easy2Boot needs to enumerate all the files in and under the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder when it first boots and also needs to count the files in the \_ISO\WINDOWS folders. Some people find that, on some systems, the wait to display the E2B Main Menu is too long.

Possible causes:

Monday, 17 August 2015

Hurry - EaseUS ToDo Home Backup free for 48 hours (normally $29)

I have never used it, but the offer is here. You must provide a valid email address to get the key (it takes 5 minutes or so for the email to arrive).
Late note: My activation did not work and it said it had already been used  :-(  Others seem to be having the same problem so it may be fixed later...

Offer expired! Check HERE for more offers.

There is a ToDo Backup Free version

Add BitDefender Rescue ISO to E2B

BitDefender provide a free bootable ISO for scanning and cleaning viruses from systems (details here). This is a very useful tool to add to your E2B USB drive.

Recent versions of the BitDefender AntiVirus rescue ISO use grub and support UEFI x64 booting.

Monday, 10 August 2015

E2B v1.72BetaK available

SteveL found some problems with 1.72BetaJ and the latest grub4dos

  • If 1024x768 bmp used, pressing F8 to reload menu caused screen corruption.
  • If use the code line
    cat --locate=\x02 --replace=\x00 --skip=0x2073 --length=1 /grldr > nul
    in \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg to suppress boot-up messages, it caused payload files to not be detected and thus not added to the Menus.
These issues have been fixed with a new version of \_ISO\e2b\grub\menu.lst.

Friday, 7 August 2015

E2B 1.72BetaJ now available

This version has the latest version of grub4dos 0.4.6a 2015-08-07.

Yaya appears to have fixed the .jpg display problem so that we can use standard 95% quality .jpg files (e.g. as created by MSPaint) as background images.


Please try it and let me know if you find any problems,

The latest version of E2B_Editor will allow you to load .jpg files as a wallpaper as well as .bmp files.

If you want to convert your \_ISO\MyBackground.bmp file to a smaller .jpg file, just load and save it using MSPaint (but keep the filename+extension the same - i.e. MyBackground.bmp or MyBackground.bmp.gz).

P.S. Progressive jpg's, as used by some websites, contain both low-res and hi-res images and are not supported. If you re-save them using MSPaint then they should work OK with E2B/grub4dos.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

How to check your CPU cooler using software

Is your heatsink correctly seated onto your CPU? Is the cooling system up to the job?


How would you check that it is correctly fitted and is working correctly?

Many people fall into the trap of measuring the CPU temperature to check that their heatsink and heatsink fan are working correctly. There are many software utilities that will check the internal CPU temperature, such as CPU-Z or RealTemp. For Intel CPUs there is also the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility but this needs to be installed (.Net and drivers) and the system must be restarted.

Intel Extreme  Tuning will run a stress test and show you if thermal throttling is occurring (in my case this happened once 100 deg C was reached).


E2B v1.72BetaH available

1.72h has the latest grub4dos 0.4.6a version which includes support for .jpg wallpaper files, right-aligned menu support and the new setmenu command.

If you want to try using a .jpg file for a background wallpaper, make sure you save it using 100% Best Quality setting or the picture will display with defects (fixed in 1.72BetaK)!


Monday, 3 August 2015

Download and add Windows 10 ISOs to Easy2Boot

You can download Windows 10 'Retail' install ISOs from Microsoft and install them using Easy2Boot.

See also this blog post for direct download of many MS ISOs.

1. First go to the MS page and download and run the Download Tool (choose the 32-bit or 64-bit MediaCreationTool.exe, depending on what version of Windows you are currently running).


Sunday, 2 August 2015

How to copy your E2B USB drive to another USB drive

If you have your E2B USB drive working nicely and you want to make other bootable E2B USB drives from it, then you can use the MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd script.

Why can't I boot Easy2Boot on some old systems?

If you use Easy2Boot on a wide range of different and older systems, you may find that some of them won't boot, even though they look like they should support USB-booting.

This problem is usually caused by the BIOS on the system.

Here is a checklist of things to try: