Wednesday, 28 December 2016

E2B v1.88d Beta available

Marco has kindly made some changes to WinContig which allows me to now make the MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd script just operate on files in the root of the drive and then it runs on files under the \_ISO folder (so WinContig runs twice).

This means that WinContig does not attempt to make any files in the user's own folders contiguous.

The E2B 1.88d Beta is available from the Alternate Download Areas.

Note: WinContig.exe is a Beta version.

P.S. If you are wondering about v1.88c, it only lasted a few minutes, I decided it was better to do it this way!

Tip: If you only want to make files in the root contiguous, or files under \_ISO contiguous, you can simply copy one of the .cmd scripts from the \_ISO\docs\WINCONTIG folder to the root of your E2B drive.

Monday, 26 December 2016

E2B 1.88b Beta available

Morozko37 has reported that the Strelec WinPE ISOs should work with .isofira or .isofira01 file extensions, but don't (it does not load the ISO as a virtual CD).

This seems to be due to some missing lines in the QRUN.g4b code.

The additional lines have been added in v1.88b and so you can now use the file extension of .isofira01 with Strelec or other similar WinPE ISO builds that include the firadisk driver.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

E2B v.1.88a Beta available

E2B v1.88a Beta changes:

  • Add Server 2012 R2 Std Eval Product Key file
  • Add \MAKE_ISO_FOLDER_CONTIGUOUS.cmd (works on \_ISO and below only)
  • Update to Wincontig v2.1.0.0
  • Update SDI executables
The 90-day evaluation Server 2012 R2 Standard installation-only Product Key has been added to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2012 folder.

If you have added your own portable applications, etc, to the E2B drive, when you run MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd it will make all files on the E2B drive contiguous including all of your own files. I have now added \MAKE_ISO_FOLDER_CONTIGUOUS.cmd which will only make files below the \_ISO folder contiguous. 

This means that if you have persistent files (casper-rw, ubuntu-rw, etc.) in the root of the E2B USB drive, you will also need to make these contiguous. To do this either:

1. Move the persistent files from the root folder to the same folder as it's payload+.mnu file and then modify each .mnu file, e.g.

was:

set PF=/ubuntu-rw

change to:

set PF=$HOME$/ubuntu-rw

Now you can use \MAKE_ISO_FOLDER_CONTIGUOUS.cmd because all the E2B payload files will be below \_ISO.

OR

2. Run \_ISO\docs\WINCONTIG\WinContig.exe and manually select the file(s) you want to make contiguous.

OR

3. Run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd as before.

Merry Christmas!
Steve

Friday, 23 December 2016

Add the SystemRescueCD + persistence (MBR and UEFI) to E2B


The SystemRescueCD contains several useful features:

Description: 
SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. 
It comes with a lot of linux software such as system tools (parted, partimage, fstools, ...) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It can be used for both Linux and windows computers, and on desktops as well as servers. This rescue system requires no installation as it can be booted from a CD/DVD drive or USB stick, but it can be installed on the hard disk if you wish. The kernel supports all important file systems (ext2/ext3/ext4, reiserfs, btrfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs), as well as network filesystems (samba and nfs).

It can be used with E2B for MBR-booting just by adding the ISO file (no persistence, no danger of the .iso file getting infected or corrupted).

UEFI-64 & MBR-booting with persistence

Here are the steps required to convert the .iso file to a .imgPTN file that will be 64-bit UEFI bootable as well as 32-bit and 64-bit MBR bootable and be persistent:

1. Convert ISO to FAT32 .imgPTN file - just drag-and-drop onto the MPI-FAT32 Windows Desktop shortcut (add to the suggested size to allow for persistence storage - e.g. add 200MB). You will need to install the E2B MPI Tool Pack first (use a recent or latest version). Copy the new SysRescueCD.imgPTN file to your E2B drive, e.g. the \_ISO\UTILITIES folder or wherever you wish.

2. Switch to .imgptn using \_ISO\SWITCH_E2B.exe or the E2B menu system.

3. Use RMPrepUSB - Create ext3 file called /sysrcd.bs (any volume name will do) - size should be just under whatever you added in step 1 - e.g. 195MB. Specify ext3.

4. Edit \syslinux\syslinux.cfg (see below)

5. Edit \grub\boot\grub-490.cfg  (see below)

6. Now you can MBR or UEFI-boot - remember to tick the 'Save session for future logins' checkbox on shutdown\reboot to save any changes.

                Remember to tick the Save session checkbox on exit.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

27 new E2B wallpapers by 'DW' available

'DW' has provided a selection of 27 different E2B background bitmaps which have a semi-transparent grey panel overlaid onto them.

The DW_themes.zip file (18MB) can be found in the Alternate Download Area - Themes folders.

Copy whatever .bmp file you fancy to your E2B drive and also the Example_MyE2B.cfg file and then load the .cfg file into the E2B_Editor.exe and save the file as \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg.

Once you have it working, you can compress the .bmp file if you wish to save space. E2B (grub4dos) understands .gz format and LZMA format (see \_ISO\docs\E2B_Utilities\LZMA folder).

cloud3.bmp

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Add a full installation of Solus to E2B

Max wanted to have a full persistent installation of Solus on his E2B drive.

You can do a full installation of many linux OS's to an empty .imgPTN file following this method.
The same method is also described here for Manjaro linux.

For Solus, after I switched in the new partition images (solus.imgPTN and a 10GB solus file with no extension), I just choose to install to /  on /dev/sda3 and format it as ext4 (no swap partition). I used a 10GB solus file which left 6GB free after installing Solus.

However, when using the Solus 1.2.1 ISO to install with, the Solus installer does not offer the choice of the /dev/sda3 partition to install the grub2 boot loader. It is either \dev\sda  (the E2B USB MBR!) or nothing.

Here is how to get around this...

New RansomWare software (Cybereason RansomFree) - but there is a catch which you may not like!

This new free Cybereason RansomFree software detects ransomware using the 'honeypot' technique.

It seems to create new folders that begin with { or ~{ and other strange characters, and then fills those folders with various  'tempting' .doc,  .txt, .rtf, .xls etc. files. It then monitors them for changes and will allow you to kill any task that attempts to makes any changes to any those files.

A nice touch (or weakness?) is that the honeypot files that it creates are mostly hidden from the normal user when using Windows Explorer to view your folders.

The honeypot theory assumes that any ransomware will scan the drive and find these files before it finds your important files and then the RansomFree software will be able to warn you before too much harm is done. It did not seem to place any honeypot files on any other volume in my system however, so it seems to be only monitoring the C: drive.

See YouTube video here.

It has been tested and reviewed by Bleeping Computers also.

But here's the catch...

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Add the NirLauncher utility to your E2B USB drive to launch portable NirSoft utilities + others

NirSoft make lots of very useful Windows utilities, most of which are portable.

Use the NirSoft NirLauncher to quickly select a suitable NirSoft utility.
The NirLauncher utility allows you to run any of the 200+ portable utilities from a USB drive.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

New YouTube video on how to make an Unattend.xml file

E2B contains a few example Unattend.xml files which can be used with unmodified Windows ISOs and a USB Flash drive to perform a completely hands-free automated Windows install.

The video explains how to prepare your own XML file quickly with your own settings using WAFG and XMLtoE2B.


Monday, 12 December 2016

Yesterday I built an Amazon Echo 'Skill' for E2B

I was asked by my family what I wanted for Christmas recently. As I was considering buying an Amazon Echo for myself, I suggested that I could order one for them to give to me.

It arrived a few days ago and like a naughty child, I opened my XMas present early and I have since been talking to 'Alexa' - with varying degrees of success (and frustration)!

I saw a video on YouTube about how to create a 'Skill' for the Amazon Echo (equivalent of a mobile phone app) and so yesterday, I decided to have a go.

I won't describe how I did it in detail, because there are many videos and other tutorials around which tell you how to do it.

I decided to try a simple Skill for Easy2Boot: e.g.

"Alexa, ask Easy2Boot Helper how to add ubuntu"

Here is how I got on...

Sunday, 11 December 2016

ChrisR WinBuilder Win10PESE 2016-12-08 available

ChrisR has been supplying WinBuilder downloads for WinPE7/8/10 for some time now.

You can use WinBuilder to make a 32-bit or 64-bit WinPE ISO complete with many tools and even add your own utilities too. Most have WoW64 support in the x64 versions so you can run 32-bit apps under 64-bit WinPE.

The WinPE 10 WinBuilder version can be downloaded from here.

RMPrepUSB Tutorial #100 shows how to use WinBuilder and can be found here.

You can build a dual-boot USB drive which will UEFI-boot using either 32-bit or 64-bit UEFI (Secure Boot and MBR) systems by following the RMPrepUSB Tutorial #127 here. Note that some UEFI-systems may not MBR-boot from such a USB drive however - they will always UEFI-boot!

If you want to boot WinBuilder-based ISOs from E2B, you will need to read this Easy2Boot page. The easiest way to boot numerous WinBuilder-based payloads is to convert each one to a .imgPTN file for both UEFI and MBR booting, however you can MBR-boot directly from each ISO with a bit of configuration work with INI files. If you see a Yellow Triangle! on the Desktop, then it didn't work correctly! Read my previous blog on how to add multiple different WinBuilder ISOs to E2B.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

E2B v.1.87 is now released

Changes from v1.86 are:

  • Fix typo in SDI_CHOCO which caused pause with scrolllock.exe and capslock.exe error messages. 
  • Improve linux fmt.sh scripts to install grub4dos to PBR and make partition active using parted. 
  • Latest grub4dos 0.4.6a. 
  • Snappy updated to R513. 
  • Persistent sample .mnu files added for LibreELEC and Pentoo. 
  • Win10 support added to PassPass (thanks to Ner0). 
  • Improved Restore File check in PPass.g4b to prevent restoring wrong file+improve search speed.
  • Other small tweaks

Download page

Thursday, 8 December 2016

YouTube Video on the E2B_Editor now available

See http://www.easy2boot.com/configuring-e2b/e2b-editor/  (refresh the page if you don't see a video at the top of the page).

Tip: use the gear wheel speed control and set x2 if you find yourself falling asleep!


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

E2B v1.87e Beta available

1.87e Beta has a few more tweaks to PassPass to make it quicker when searching for Windows OS's.
I hope to release this version as 1.87 after a few days, so please report any issues if you find any.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

PEPassPass for XP to Win10

PEPassPass is a Windows-executable version of PassPass written by boulcat.

If you can boot to the E2B menu (MBR-boot), then you can use the E2B PassPass version.

The 64-bit + 32-bit modified boulcat versions of PEPassPass.exe (updated by Ner0 for Win10) is now available from the Easy2Boot alternate download areas (Google drive and OneDrive).

You can add these PEPassPass files to your E2B drive (or add them inside a UEFI-bootable .imgPTN file if you want to UEFI-boot to WinPE).


You can boot from any Windows or WinPE OS on a USB drive or CD (64-bit or 32-bit OS) and run PEPassPass to patch a Windows OS so you can bypass the local user account password entry.

Under WinPE, I use SHIFT+F10 to open a command console and then run NotePad and use the File Open menu in NotePad to find and run the PEPassPass exe file using right-click.

PEPassPass is useful if your system cannot MBR boot to E2B and can only UEFI-boot.

Follow the reboot.pro discussion for more details on PEPassPass (note the first version by Ner0 had a bug).

Sunday, 4 December 2016

How to directly boot to different grub4dos payloads from the Windows boot menu

I have added Tutorial 134 to the RMPrepUSB website which describes how you can add multiple grub4dos payloads to the Windows 7/8/10 boot menu.

This method is useful because the user does not see any intermediate grub4dos menu, only the bootmgr BCD menu is seen.

For instance, a Windows bootmgr menu can contain BCD entries for:

Windows 10
Memtest 86
Ubuntu Live ISO
Parted Magic ISO

When you select any of these menu options, it will immediately boot to that payload.

Friday, 2 December 2016

E2B v1.87d (PassPass improved)

I have improved the PassPass batch file a bit in v1.87d.
When you Restore the DLL file (after first backing it up), it will now check the first 512 bytes to make sure you are restoring the same file and same version.



Alternate Download Area


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Add a Manjaro Live install image to E2B

The manjaro live cd ISO does not seem to support a live persistence volume (AFAIK).



However, we can add a full manjaro image (MBR boot only) to E2B so that we can boot to a fully installed OS which will be updatable and persistent just like a normal installation.

Here are the steps to add a full linux OS to an Easy2Boot USB drive.