Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Which is best, the SanDisk Extreme Pro or the cheaper SanDisk Extreme?

Hurray! My new SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.0 128GB flash drive just came this morning.

Extreme Pro
Extreme

I have now run a few tests on it and compared it directly with the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 64GB flash drive.

I tested the Pro using Crystal DiskMark and then filled to entire drive with junk data and then repeated the test. This ensured that the flash controller had to perform a read-erase-write cycle on every write when running any further tests. However, there was no difference between benchmarks after I had filled it with junk data and then re-formatted it. This indicates that the USB controller always does a read-erase-write cycle on every write.

The Crystal DiskMark results are shown below:

Monday, 16 January 2017

Find and boot to a Windows recovery.wim file (e.g. winre.wim)

Alex had a problem...

Often a Windows system cannot boot (not even to the recovery mode), but the recovery partition on that system will contain the correct WinRE.wim file that can be used to repair that OS.

He wanted to be able to boot to Easy2Boot and then boot to the WinRE.wim recovery file that was on the internal hard disk. That way, he could be sure he was using the correct version of the recovery .wim file for that system. Also, his E2B drive did not need to contain all of the possible Windows install ISO versions that there are in the world!

E2B can directly boot to an NT6 .wim file; you just need to specify the full path of the .wim file.

The problem is that different Windows systems keep the .wim file in different folders.

To further compound the issue, on his Windows 7 systems, the directory name often varied on different systems, e.g.

/Recovery/398cea27-6312-11e6-a670-10604b8d82a9/WinRe.wim

Saturday, 14 January 2017

You need to be an experienced techie to make an E2B USB drive, don't you?


Watch this video by Marcus for your answer (and give him a 'like' too)!

Add the recent Gandalf PE builds to E2B


The latest Gandalf PE builds from WindowsMatters.com are (at the time of writing):

Gandalf’s Win10PE x64 Redstone build 14393 version 11-10-2016

Gandalf’s Win10PE x86 Redstone build 14393 version 11-07-2016

The easiest way to add these to your E2B drive is to convert each ISO to a .imgPTN file using the MPI_FAT32 shortcut provided by the MPI Tool Kit.

For the x64 ISO you will need to increase the suggested size to 5100MB.
For the x86 ISO you will need to increase the suggested size to 4300MB.

Tips: If you want as small a .imgPTN file as possible, extract the contents of the ISO to an empty folder on your desktop and then drag-and-drop the folder onto the MPI_FAT32 shortcut.
Use a file extension of .imgPTNauto so that it goes directly to the CSM menu and also add a timeout 3 line to the \menu.lst file inside the image.

Direct MBR-boot from ISOs

You can MBR-boot directly from the ISOs by moving them to the root folder of your E2B drive and renaming them.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Animated Flags for E2B available


I have uploaded an Animated_Flags.zip file to the Alternate Downloads - Other files folders.

UK wavy flag at top-right

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Add Raspberry Raspbian\Pi Pixel x86 with persistence to E2B

The PIXEL ISO (Debian+PIXEL for Intel x86 CPUs) will boot if you copy the ISO to your E2B drive. It is designed to run on old, low-spec systems and be easy to use.



However, to be able to use the persistence option, you need to create a pixel-rw ext4 file and then create a persistence.conf file within it.

Here is the .mnu file for it.

E2B v1.88h/i available

Previously the \MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd file was deleted from the E2B USB drive when a new one was made, in order to prevent the user from formatting his/her E2B drive.

I have now modified the script so that it checks for the case where the source drive has also been selected by the user as the target drive.

This means that if you or a friend wants a copy of your E2B USB drive, you can simply run the \MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd file from your E2B drive and make an identical copy (complete with all payload files) onto another USB drive.

You will also need to copy any of your own user folders in the root of the source E2B drive to the target drive afterwards. For instance \MyFolder would not be copied to the target drive, only the \_ISO folder is copied.

Check the Alternate Download Areas for the new version.

Note: v1.88h had a bug in MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd. Please use v1.88i.

If copying a E2B Removable Flash drive to a USB hard  drive , you should remove the NOHELPER variable from within the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file on the USB HDD or else Windows Install ISOs when used with an E2B WinHelper Flash drive will not work!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

E2B v1.88g Beta available


Changes from 1.87 are:
Changes from previous Beta version 1.88e are in bold
  • Add Server 2012 R2 Std Eval Product Key file
  • Update of Wincontig
  • Update SDI executables
  • Can now use .isofira or .isofira01 for Strelec WinPE ISOs
  • MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd now only works on the USB root (\) folder and all folders under \_ISO. Any user folders under the root (e.g. disk backups, applications, etc.) will not be made contiguous when the script is run.
  • Latest version of grub4dos 0.4.6a
  • New jpeg-based default purple background for 2017 - should load faster.
  • Some changes to QRUN.g4b and language files.
  • New version of SWITCH_E2B.exe 1.0.13 (small bugfix)
  • Improved Spanish language files (thanks DW!)

The v1.88g Beta Download is available from the Alternate Download Areas.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

SanDisk Extreme PRO CZ88 128GB USB 3.0 for $71 from Amazon.com (USA)

 I have just ordered one of these for $71 from here as the price has just been reduced (£67 in the UK).

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB


I have not tested one yet, but I am hoping it will prove to be slightly faster than the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 flash drive ($58) which I highly recommend for normal E2B use.

SanDisk Extreme 128GB
See also 'Beware of this (fast) USB 3.0 drive!'

Friday, 6 January 2017

E2B v1.88e Beta is now available


Changes from 1.87 are:
  • Add Server 2012 R2 Std Eval Product Key file
  • Update of Wincontig
  • Update SDI executables
  • Can now use .isofira or .isofira01 for Strelec WinPE ISOs
  • MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd now only works on the USB root (\) folder and all folders under \_ISO. Any user folders under the root (e.g. disk backups, applications, etc.) will not be made contiguous when the script is run.
  • Latest version of grub4dos 0.4.6a
  • New jpeg-based default purple background for 2017 (see screenshot below). 
  • Some changes to QRUN.g4b and language files.
Download is available from the Alternate Download Areas.



Please update your E2B drives and let me know if you spot a problem or have a comment. This is considered a 'release candidate' for 1.88.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Foolish IT - 20% off sale now on!

The guys at Foolish IT have a 20% sale on all their products at the moment (if you are quick).

For IT Technicians look at their d7ii software.

  • Provides quick automation with profile switching and execution for different repair scenarios
  • Keep work logs automatically, or quickly build a custom work report with logged actions and templates
  • Extremely customizable configurations enable personalization of tech workflow to your preferences
  • Provides techs with a consistent procedure, ensuring quality performance increases
  • New techs get ‘on the job training’ to your guidelines, while handling 80-90% of the bench work like a seasoned pro!
  • Bottom Line:  Increase technician productivity and efficiency, save time and dramatically increase revenue!

Their latest video about the d7ii Support Online tool is here and they have a channel on YouTube here too.

For their crypto-prevention malware solution (they were the original pioneers of the honey-pot method) check out their CryptoPrevent product (there is a free version too!).

They also have some other free software which you can download here.