Adding Windows 7/8/10 which have large >4GB Install.wim/Install.esd files
These instructions only apply if the largest file inside your ISO is larger than 4GB.
Note: The install.wim in the example ISO above is the largest file inside the ISO and is below 4GB.
In this case, you can just drag-and-drop the Windows ISO onto the MPI_FAT32 shortcut to make a .imgPTN file. The special instructions below do not need to be followed. You can then use the FAT32 .imgPTN file to MBR or UEFI-boot.
You can have an NTFS E2B USB drive containing a 20GB .imgPTN file formatted as FAT32, as long as no single file (usually the install.wim file is the largest) inside the .imgPTN image is > 4GB.
Your E2B USB drive must be formatted as NTFS (or possibly exFAT) in order to hold files of a size greater than 4GB.
Switch_E2B.exe will not work with ExFAT drives, so I recommend using NTFS for the E2B USB drive.
If your E2B drive is a USB Hard Disk or a Flash drive of the 'Fixed Disk' type, then you will also need a 'Removable' type of USB Flash 'Helper' drive if you are installing Windows from a Windows Install ISO (Vista or later). However, instead of using a Helper Flash drive, you can use an .imgPTN file to boot from the USB Hard drive and install Windows in both UEFI mode and MBR\CSM mode from a FAT32 'partition image'.
Your E2B USB drive can be NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, exFAT or even ext2, but the format of the .imgPTN file must be FAT32 for UEFI booting. The maximum size for a FAT32 .imgPTN file is 32GB because, when using the MakePartImage script, Windows will refuse to format any partition larger than 32GB.
I recommend you do not convert All-In-One ISOs, that have files larger than 4GB inside them, using Methods 2-4 below. Using two partitions for UEFI-booting (Methods 2-4 below) can caused mixed degrees of success depending on the system's firmware. If you need to be able to UEFI-boot on a wide variety of systems, then use a single FAT32 partition .imgPTN solution and use several versions of different smaller ISOs instead of one large one or use Method 1 below to split the WIM file.
If your E2B USB drive is of the 'Fixed Disk' type...
If you have Vista/7/8/10 Install ISOs containing files <4GB:
Place ISOs in \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxx folders (MBR booting only - needs a Helper Flash drive) OR
Make FAT32 .imgPTN files using MakePartImage and place them in the \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\WIN folder (supports UEFI and MBR booting)
If there is a file > 4GB
If you have Vista/7/8/10 Install ISOs containing large (install.wim) files >4GB
Place ISOs in \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxx folders (MBR booting only - needs a Helper Flash drive if using a USB HDD) - E2B drive must be formatted as NTFS OR
Split the install.wim file and make a FAT32 .imgPTN file (see Method 1 below) (supports UEFI and MBR booting) OR
Make two image files, one FAT32 and the other NTFS (see Methods 2/3/4 below) (supports UEFI and MBR booting)
Add a second FAT32 partition to your E2B USB drive and use one NTFS .imgPTN file (Method 5)
To convert your Windows Install ISO to a .imgPTN file, use the MakePartImage.cmd script. For more instructions see here.
Method 5 involves making a permanent second (FAT32) partition on your E2B USB drive but only one partition image needs to be created for each ISO so there is no 'partition order' problem (see MOVE_IMGPTN below for details of this problem). However, this may stop some systems from MBR-booting to E2B (no MBR boot option!)!
You can UEFI-boot directly from the MBR\CSM menu by using the Clover boot option - no need to reboot and select the 'BIOS' UEFI USB boot option.
Note: Some UEFI systems support booting from NTFS partitions (e.g. Asus Z87 mainboard). In this case you can just create an NTFS .imgPTN file by dragging-and-dropping the ISO file onto the MPI_NTFS shortcut.
Use WinNTSetup instead?
If these methods seem too complicated for you, you may prefer to use WinNTSetup.exe.
To automate a Windows install, see here. You can also use an XML file with WinNTSetup.exe.
UEFI booting - How to add Windows 7/8/10 installers with >4GB install.wim files
Note: Methods 1, 4 and 5 can be used if E2B is on a Removable USB Flash drive or Fixed Disk type. Methods 2 and 3 are for Fixed Disk USB drives only because the 2nd partition will not be accessible to Windows. Method 5 requires you to add a 2nd FAT32 partition to your E2B USB drive - Removable or Fixed Disk type (it can be used for file storage or other purposes at the same time)
Please note: Many UEFI systems will not list the E2B drive in the UEFI boot list if it contains more than one partition, therefore using two partition images (Methods 2-5) may not work on every type of system!
Method 1 will be the most reliable and work on a wider variety of systems.
Methods 2-5 each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Due to system firmware bugs, there is no 'clear winner' - that is why there is a choice!
Method 1 - FAT32 single-partition using split install.wim files (Fixed or Removable)
This method should work on all types of USB drives. This method may be unsuitable for modified (e.g. AIO) ISOs which have been coded to use an install.wim file.
1. Extract the ISO contents to a folder on your system hard disk (e.g. using 7Zip)
4. Select the \sources\install.wim file as the source
5. Use install.swm as the target file and select Custom - 3000 as the size
6. Click Start
7. Delete the sources\install.wim file (check that the \sources\install.swm and install2.swm files are present first!)
8. Use MakePartImage to create a .imgPTN file using the folder as the source and FAT32 as the filesystem
IMPORTANT: If prompted by MakePartImage.cmd during the making of a Win 8 Install .imgPTN image file, you must enter either V or R as appropriate (for Volume Licence or Retail/OEM) depending on what type of ISO you have as the source. This will create a \sources\ei.cfg file (Win8 doesn't normally have one) which will bypass Setup's 5x5 Product Key entry request. If you do not create an EI.cfg file for Win8, you will get a "Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms. Make sure the installation sources are valid and restart the installation." error message.
Thanks to Simone for this method! if you experience problems (if it prompts for Product Key or 'license' error, it will be because the EI.cfg file contents are not correct or the wrong Product Key.)
The methods below use two partitions, you may need to use MOVE_IMGPTN or SWITCH_E2B in order to get UEFI booting to work...
Note: If you get a 'Missing MBR Helper' message when booting in MBR mode from a .imgPTN file on some systems, rename the file to .imgPTNLBAa23 (but this may cause the UEFI boot option to not be listed by the UEFI firmware!).
Method 2 - using two partitions (Fixed-disk UFD only)
This method works with USB Hard Disks and also special USB Flash drives of the 'Fixed Disk' type only - it does not work with normal 'Removable' UFDs.
This method uses two partitions, a bootable FAT32 partition to hold all the Windows install files except the large Install.wim file, and a second NTFS partition which holds the large install.wim file.
This method may be unsuitable for AIO ISOs which have a modified X:\windows\system32\winpeshl.ini file.
Does not work for Vista Setup.exe (Win7/8 and probably 10).
Result after switching partitions:
Partition 1: FAT32 = contains all Windows Install files except \sources\setup.exe and install.wim\esd (.imgPTN image)
Partition 3: NTFS = contains only \sources\setup.exe and \sources\install.wim or install.esd (image file has no file extension)
Can UEFI boot via BIOS
Can UEFI boot via Clover
Can MBR boot via BIOS
You can install Windows 7/8/8.1 using a large install.wim or install.esd file as follows:
1. On your Windows system hard disk, create two folders to extract your Windows Install ISO onto - e.g. C:\temp\Win81\MAIN and C:\temp\Win81\AUX1
2. Using 7Zip or some other method, extract the entire contents of the ISO into the MAIN folder
3. Cut and paste (i.e. move) the MAIN\Sources\Install.wim (or install.esd) and MAIN\Sources\Setup.exe files to the C:\temp\Win81\AUX1\Sources folder
e.g. AUX1 folder should now have these two files:
4. IMPORTANT: Check that the files at MAIN\Sources\Install.wim (or install.esd) and MAIN\Sources\Setup.exe files no longer exist
5. Run MakePartImage (drag-and-drop folder onto MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut) using the MAIN folder as the source to create a file named - e.g. Win81.imgPTN - you must select FAT32. If the conversion fails due to insufficient space, specify a larger size. Note: The filename must only have one dot (.) in the name just before the file extension - do not use a name like Win8.1.imgPTN which has two dots in the name!)
If prompted to make or delete the EI.cfg file, choose whichever option you prefer.
e.g. from an Administrator command prompt, (note: the source folder path MUST end with a \)
6. Run MakePartImage (drag-and-drop folder onto MPI_NTFS Desktop shortcut) using the AUX1 folder as the source to create a file named - e.g. Win81 - it must not have a . in the file name - you must select NTFS as the filesystem
If prompted to make an EI.cfg file, choose No.
7. Copy both the Win81.imgPTN and Win81 files to your E2B USB hard disk folder (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\WIN).
The MAIN file extension must be .imgPTN or one of it's 'family' .imgPTNxxx.
The AUX1 image file must have an identical filename but no file extension (no dot in the name).
Note: If your UEFI firmware does not list the USB drive in it's boot list, try using MOVE_IMGPTN or SWITCH_E2B (see Method 4 below for details).
If you want to add an answer file, follow the procedure above using the MAIN folder as the source.
Method 3 - using two partitions and Clover (1st Ptn = FAT32) (Fixed-disk USB only)
This method works with USB Hard Disks and USB Flash drives of the 'Fixed Disk' type only - it does not work with 'Removable' UFDs.
With this method, you cannot UEFI-boot using the system's UEFI boot firmware, you can run a UEFI install by MBR-booting and using Clover to boot in UEFI mode.
Some systems may crash when loading Clover so this method may be more troublesome on some systems than method 1 or 2.
Partition 1 = FAT32 (.imgPTN image) - can have any non-Windows Install payload e.g. linux, WinToGo boot files+Windows in NTFS ptn, WinPE, etc. (must NOT contain \sources\setup.exe or \sources\install.wim/swm/esd files). You can just use an empty folder as the 'Source' for MakePartImage or use EFI_TOGO_V2 - recommended (see Method 4).
Partition 3 = FAT32 or NTFS (image file with no file extension).
1. Obtain the EFI_TOGO_V2 files, unzip, drag-and-drop the EFI_TOGO_V2 folder onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut to make a .imgPTN file
2. Drag-and-drop the ISO or source folder onto the MPI_NTFS Desktop shortcut to make a file with no file extension
3. Copy both files to the E2B USB drive and run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd
4. Drag-and-drop the large .imgPTN file onto the MOVE_IMGPTN Desktop shortcut (see Method 4 below) to check that the two files are in the correct order or use or SWITCH_E2B.
5. If required, run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd (you may need to repeat steps 4 and 5 if the files have been moved)
Note: The filename must only have one dot ( . ) in the name just before the file extension - do not use a name like Win8.1.imgPTN which has two dots in the name or else both files will appear in the E2B menu!
Can UEFI boot via system firmware to UEFI files on 1st ptn only (if any EFI files present instead of EFI_TOGO_V2 - e.g. memtest86)
Can UEFI boot via MBR and Clover to 32-bit and 64-bit NTFS partition
Can boot via UEFI firmware to EFI boot files NTFS partition if EFI_TOGO_V2 used on FAT32 partition.
Can MBR boot to 1st ptn payload
Can MBR boot to bootmgr and Windows installer on 2nd ptn
Note: If your UEFI firmware does not list the USB drive in it's boot list, use MOVE_IMGPTN (see Method 4 below for details).
Method 4 - using NTFS+FAT32 partitions and Clover (NTFS Fixed or Removable drive) UEFI-boot, Clover and MBR boot
Note: If you have an E2B USB HDD, then Method 3 is better.
This method works with both Removable and Fixed USB drives.
For UEFI-booting from the NTFS partition, the Rufus EFI boot files are placed on the FAT32 partition.
The E2B partition should be formatted as NTFS.
For UEFI-booting, the .IMGPTN file must be located on the disk before the file with no file extension - otherwise the UEFI-boot entry will not be listed by the firmware (see MOVE_IMGPTN for details).
The E2B drive must be formatted as NTFS.
With this method, you cannot UEFI-boot using the system's UEFI boot firmware unless you use the EFI_TOGO_V2 files in the FAT32 partition image.
EFI_TOGO_V2 (see below) will allow a system to UEFI-boot from the NTFS partition as it contains EFI NTFS drivers - however, some UEFI-BIOSes will not list the drive as UEFI-bootable in the boot list unless the .IMGPTN file is positioned before the FAT32 file on the E2B drive!
If you use an empty folder instead of the EFI_TOGO_V2 folder for the FAT32 partition, then it will not be capable of booting via a UEFI system (only by MBR booting + Clover -> UEFI Windows).
An alternative is to use E2B_UEFI_BOOT_ADDON_NTFS64 - this boots to rEFInd UEFI boot manager + NTFS driver - from there you can boot to any EFI boot file present on the disk via rEFInd icon menu (press ENTER if 'map error') - 64-bit UEFI only.
The filenames must be identical (no . dot in the FAT32 filename or it will appear in the menu as well as the .imgPTN file!) - e.g. file names = Win81_x64.imgPTN + Win81_x64
3. Make all files on the E2B drive contiguous by running \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd
4. The .imgPTN file must be located on the disk before the other file that does not have a file extension, or else direct UEFI-booting may not be possible as it won't be listed by the firmware.
After making the files contiguous, try selecting the .imgPTN file using SWITCH_E2B - if the files need re-ordering, it will offer to try to move them.
An alternative to using SWITCH_E2B is to use the MOVE_IMGPTN script.
Read and follow the instructions in the \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\MOVE_IMGPTN\ReadMe.txt file.
You must make a shortcut that will run with administrator rights.
Drag-and-drop the WindowsInst.imgPTN file onto the MOVE_IMGPTN administrator shortcut and press [ENTER] if required.
Look for a green=PASS screen on completion.
5. The two files must be contiguous. If you are warned by MOVE_IMGPTN or SWITCH_E2B that they are not contiguous, then repeat steps 3 and 4 until it reports success.
for MBR-booting - boot to the NTFS partition directly
for UEFI-booting via Clover - MBR boot to the CSM menu and run Clover which will then UEFI-boot
for UEFI-booting from system firmware - pick the UEFI boot option (if your UEFI BIOS lists your drive in the boot list - not all do!)
This method can be used to boot WindowsToGo from a Fixed- or Removable USB drive via MBR or UEFI.
Note however that Windows 8.1ToGo and Win10ToGo do not boot from a removable drive (unless you use a VHD file to hold the image).
Method 5 - Add a 2nd FAT32 partition to your E2B drive (Fixed or Removable - may not work on all systems)
This method uses the UEFI:NTFS files as used by Pete Batard's Rufus UEFI:NTFS scheme.
We need to create a second small FAT32 partition at the end of the E2B USB drive which contains the UEFI boot files.
WARNING: The big disadvantage with this method, is that you may not be able to MBR-boot to the E2B or CSM menu on some systems! This is because some systems will just give a UEFI boot option if a valid UEFI boot file is present and will not present you with an MBR boot option. If this happens, I suggest you temporarily rename the \EFI folder in order to be able to boot to E2B on that system.
If you prefer, you can use Rufus to re-format the USB drive by selecting the special 'Format Option' arrow and setting UEFI:NTFS. This will format the USB drive with a FAT partition already containing the correct files - just copy over the E2B files to the NTFS folder and then install grub4dos to the MBR and PBR using RMPrepUSB.
Use Rufus to wipe and partition the E2B USB drive if you want the second partition to be as small as possible.
1. Create an NTFS E2B USB drive with a small FAT32 partition at the end:
PTN1: NTFS E2B
PTN2: FAT32 300MB or larger (it can be FAT instead of FAT32 if you want it to be smaller)
You can use Easeus Home Paritition Master (be careful to avoid the extra PUPs when you install it!) for this (it can make mulltiple partitions on Removable USB drives).
2. Copy Pete Batard's UEFI:NTFS files to the FAT32 partition (can be downloaded as EFI_TOGO_V2).
If you used Rufus to prepare the USB drive, update the files in the FAT partition with EFI_TOGO to use the latest version.
If your E2B drive is a Removable USB drive, you can switch PTN1 with PTN2 for access using Switch_E2B partitions button or RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+O - 2.
There should be a \EFI folder in the root.
Switch back to the NTFS partition if using a Removable USB drive.
Once made, we have an E2B NTFS volume in PTN1 to which we can now add large Windows Install AIO files as follows:
1. Drag-and-drop the source ISO or folder onto the MPI_NTFS Desktop shortcut to make a .imgPTN file.
2. Copy the .imgPTN file to the E2B USB drive (e.g. the \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN8 folder or \_ISO\MAINMENU, etc.)
3. Rename the file to use a .imgPTNLBAa23 file extension.
Now you can switch to the .imgPTNLBAa23 file (using the E2B menu or Switch_E2B) and then MBR or UEFI-boot.
We don't need to use two .imgPTN files and the last partition will always be the UEFI boot file partition so we have no 'partition order' problem.