UEFI Multiboot (without needing MBR\Legacy booting)

You can add a second FAT32 partition containing WinPE boot files to the E2B USB drive. You should then be able to use the UEFI BIOS pop-up Boot Selection menu to boot from that FAT32 partition to WinPE.

You do not need to MBR-boot to the E2B menu - this means that you can use a UEFI-only system (UEFI32 and UEFI64) and select any UEFI-bootable .imgPTN file that you want to boot from.

  1. UEFI-boot to WinPE from the E2B FAT32 partition
  2. From WinPE you can then run SWITCH_E2B.exe and 'switch-in' a .imgPTN file.
  3. If the .imgPTN file has a .imgPTN23 file extension, then the 2nd partition containing the WinPE files will be kept. 
    Instead of using .imgPTN23, you can select a file with a .imgPTNX4 file extension (v1.B0+) to add a FAT32 Partition 4 containing the WinPE files.
  4. You can then reboot and use the BIOS Boot Selection menu to boot from one of the two FAT32 partitions (payload or WinPE)
    OR - if the .imgPTN file contains rEFInd (MPI v0.039+) you can load the rEFInd UEFI menu system (but rEFInd is not signed and so breaks Secure Boot).
New UEFI-booting eBook #3 is now available - this eBook also includes the download links to all necessary files for UEFI32 and UEFI64 booting so you don't have to make your own boot files. Just download the files and copy them to your E2B drive's second FAT32 partition to have a 32-bit and 64-bit+WoW64 Secure-boot UEFI-bootable multiboot USB drive without needing a MBR\Legacy system or a Windows system!
 
Note: Some UEFI BIOSes have a bug and will not allow you to CSM\MBR-boot from a FAT32 USB drive which has a valid EFI boot file on it - this means that you cannot CSM\MBR-boot to the E2B menu system! For maximum flexibility and compatibility, I suggest using two E2B drives, one for MBR and another one (with this multi-UEFI 2-partition scheme) for UEFI systems.
 

How to use UEFI-multiboot

Once you have added the .imgPTNX4 or .imgPTN23 payload files, you can use the E2B USB drive for UEFI-booting as follows:
 
  1. First select any .imgPTN23 or .imgPTNX4 file (either using the E2B menu or by running SWITCH_E2B.exe from a Windows system or if your E2B drive has a FAT32 partition with WinPE files on it, you can UEFI-boot to WinPE and select any .imgPTN file using SWITCH_E2B.exe.)
     
  2. This will allow you to UEFI-boot to the .imgPTN file and run it's payload...


    rEFInd menu - UEFI-boot and choose the payload (white arrow) or Easy2Boot icon to boot to 64-bit WinPE.
     
  3. Or you can UEFI-boot to the USB drive and run the Easy2Boot WinPE OS.


      64-bit WinPE to run SWITCH_E2B.exe.
     
  4. In WinPE, use SWITCH_E2B.exe to select a different rEFInd  .imgPTNX4 or .imgPTN23 image.
  5. Reboot - goto step 2...
  6. To MBR\CSM boot - simply MBR-boot to the E2B CSM menu and restore the E2B partition - OR - run SWITCH_E2B.exe to restore the E2B partition.
    If no CSM boot option is available, UEFI-boot and click on 'Restore E2B Partition(s)'.

UEFI-boot from an E2B drive

It is possible to UEFI-boot to WinPE from the E2B drive and run SWITCH_E2B.exe to select a .imgPTN file. i.e. You do not need to select a .imgPTN first using the E2B Legacy\MBR boot menu or Windows system. Full details are in the new eBook #3 'UEFI-multiboot payloads for your Easy2Boot USB drive'.
 

Requirements

  1. Use the MPI Tool Kit v0.094 or later
  2. Use E2B v1.B0 or later
  3. Make or obtain a bootable WinPE 10 64-bit boot.wim file (or 32-bit boot.wim or both) - download links are in UEFI-multiboot eBook #3
  4. (optional) A Windows 8/10 system will be needed if you wish to make a .imgPTN file containing the boot.wim using the 'W' option (DISM is required). 

    Required WinPE UEFI 64-bit boot files are:
  • \boot\boot.sdi                          - standard MS file
  • \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD           - modified using BootIce to load \Source\Switch_x64.wim
  • \EFI\Boot\Extra\Switch_x64.efi - standard x64 bootmgfw.efi file but renamed
  • \Sources\Switch_x64.wim         - your 64-bit WinPE wim file
These files should be placed in the correct folders and inside the CUSTOM_PE folder in the MakePartImage folder (or on Partition 2 of your E2B drive).
 

(optional) As well as the WinPE files, you can add extra efi payloads by adding a folder below the \EFI folder, e.g. add a \EFI\Memtest86 folder containing MemTest86 files (this is already included in the download linked to in eBook #3).

Tip: To quickly test any .wim file, copy it to a menu folder on the E2B drive and MBR-boot to it from the E2B menu system.
 

There are three options for multi-UEFI booting...

  1. imgPTN23            - Place the WinPE files on  a FAT32 Partition 2 (this may prevent MBR-booting to the E2B menu of some UEFI+CSM BIOS systems)
  2. X4 file extension - Uses a second image file which contains the WinPE files (can be used with all rEFInd .imgPTN files)
  3. Integrated   - Adds WinPE x64 into each .imgPTN file (but adds 200-400MB+ to each .imgPTN file) - UEFI64-only
     

Option 1 - .imgPTN23

This option creates a partition image (.imgPTN23 file) containing the original payload files (+ optional rEFInd).

The WinPE boot files are placed on the second partition of the E2B drive. If the second partition is FAT32, you will immediately be able to UEFI-boot from the E2B drive. 
 
  1. Create a second Primary FAT32 partition on the E2B drive (FAT32 is required if you want to UEFI-boot immediately from the E2B drive)
  2. Add the WinPE UEFI files to the second partition in the correct folders (see above)
    Tip: The download URL in eBook #3 contains everything you need (32-bit and 64-bit) - just unzip it onto the FAT32 partition #2.
  3. (optional) You can also copy the \EFI\Boot\Extra\Switch_X64.efi  to \EFI\Boot\BOOTX64.efi if you have a FAT32 PTN2 (useful for .imgPTN23 files which have refind included).

    IMPORTANT: Note that some UEFI-capable systems may not offer a CSM\Legacy boot option because they will only present you with a UEFI-boot option when a FAT32 EFI-bootable folder+boot file is present. There is no way to avoid this except to rename the \EFI folder on the 2nd partition if you need to MBR-boot to the E2B menu system.
4. You will need to keep the second partition when the .imgPTN file is 'switched-in', so use a file extension of .imgPTN23 for all your UEFI .imgPTN files (just add '23' to your .imgPTN files using Explorer). 
 
If the second partition is NTFS, you cannot directly UEFI-boot to it, you must first select and switch-in a FAT32 .imgPTN file which contains rEFInd (rEFInd can UEFI-boot files on NTFS partitions) - i.e. if the second partition is NTFS, you must add rEFInd into each .imgPTN file that you build.
 
Read eBook #3 for full details with step-by-step exercises and download links for required files which are already prepared for you. You can MBR, UEFI32 and UEFI64 secure boot with the files provided in the download and 'switch-in' any other .imgPTN23 payload file to UEFI-boot from it.
 
 

Option 2 - Use an 'X4' file extension

This option uses two partition images, one containing the payload (*.imgptnX4*) and the other containing WinPE files (any filename name without an extension).
 
You will need to first make the 'X4' partition image containing WinPE boot files.
  1. Add the four WinPE files to the CUSTOM_PE folder under the MakePartImage folder (see above).
  2. Drag-and-Drop the CUSTOM_PE folder onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut to make a 'WINPEx64' file (no file extension - can be any name).
    Tip1: Increase the size of the file so that you can add applications and extra files into the image at a later date.
    Tip2: If you use the MakePartImage shortcut instead of the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut, you can specify the Volume Name and skip the configuration file changes.
  3. Copy the new WINPEx64 file to the  \_ISO folder or the same folder as the .imgPTN file. If possible, the file should be placed in the \_ISO folder on the second partition of your E2B drive. 

    E2B and SWITCH_E2B will search for the 'X4' file in this order:

Search order:

  1. Partition 2 \_ISO  (*recommended)
  2. Partition 1 (same folder as .imgPTN file)
  3. Partition 1 \_ISO
Note: You can make a 32-bit WinPE in the same way so that it will UEFI-32 boot, or you can make a UEFI32+UEFI64 WinPE so rEFInd can boot to both a UEFI32 and a UEFI64 WinPE.
 
Now make your payload files...
  1. Now make all your payload .imgPTN files by Drag-and-Drop onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut - (optional) answer R for rEFInd (do not use W to include WinPE)  within 30 seconds when prompted. If you need Secure Boot, do not add rEFInd.

Copy the files to your E2B drive (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU, etc.) and give them a file extension of .imgptnX4winpex64 so that \_ISO\WINPEx64 will be loaded as partition #4 when the image is switched in. Make both files contiguous using \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd and double-click on the file in SWITCH_E2B.exe to switch them in. Example:

Before switching - two files:
   E2B ptn:                  \_ISO\LINUX\Ubuntu64.imgPTNX4winpex64
Ptn2 (or E2B ptn): \_ISO\winpex64

After switching:
   Ptn1:               (Ubuntu files or whatever)
   Ptn4                (WinPE files)

  • If you use a file name of Ubuntu64.imgPTN23X4winpex64 then partition 2 will not be removed after switching.
  • If a \_ISO\LINUX\Ubuntu64 (with no file extension) partition image file also exists, the image will be switched into Partition 3.

2. After switching in the .imgPTN and the winpex64 file, I recommend you delete the \menu.lst file from inside the winpex64 image file to avoid accidentally loading the wrong menu when it CSM\Legacy boots.. The other folders (\e2b,\CLOVER and all files in the root can all be deleted). You can also change the Volume label to WINPEx64 if you wish. The second partition (actually Ptn4 after switching it in) can look like this after tidying it up:

 
The same WINPEx64 file can be used by all the .imgPTN files by using the X4WINPEx64 file extension suffix.
If you require a different WinPE file to be loaded as partition #4, create differently named files - e.g. \_ISO\WinPEFULL and Ubuntu.imgptnX4winpefull.
The X4 file and .imgPTN files must both be contiguous. They should be in the correct order (SWITCH_E2B will prompt you if they are not).
SWITCH_E2B.exe may ask to re-order the two files. If this is not done, it may not UEFI-boot on some systems.
You can include a \EFI\MemTest86 folder in the same image to add MemTest86.
Use a WINPE file containing both a 64-bit WinPE and a 32-bit WinPE for use on all types of system.
 
Some systems may not offer the choice to boot to the CSM Legacy menu (they will only UEFI-boot). In this case, UEFI-boot to WinPE and use SWITCH_E2B.exe to restore the E2B partition.
 
Note: For UEFI BIOSes, all partitions must be in order and must not overlap.
 
Read eBook #3 for full details with step-by-step exercises and download links for required files.
 
 

Option 3 - Integrated WinPE 64-bit (most compatible)

This option adds the payload files, rEFInd and WinPE x64 files into a single partition image.
 
  1. Add the four WinPE files to the CUSTOM_PE folder under the MakePartImage folder.
  2. Make your .imgPTN files by Drag-and-Drop onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut - answer W (to include WinPE files) if prompted.
  3. If prompted about Secure Boot signed files, answer Y to install rEFInd.
This makes a FAT32 partition image. Each image will contain 200-400MB+ extra WinPE boot files.
This type of image will be the most compatible (boot on most/all systems) because it has a single FAT32 partition. There will be no problem about the file order on the disk.
 
WinPE 32-bit is not supported.
 
Read eBook #3 for full details with step-by-step exercises and download links for required files.
 
 

Secure Boot from rEFInd

If you do not add rEFInd into the .imgPTN file, then you will have to use the BIOS Boot Selection pop-up menu to boot from one of the two FAT32 partitions on the USB drive.
 
If you add rEFInd to the .imgPTN file, then if you boot from the first partition, a rEFInd GUI boot menu will be loaded and you can choose to boot to WinPE on the second partition (FAT32 or NTFS) or the payload on the first FAT32 partition.
 
The rEFInd EFI boot file is not signed and so if you try to Secure UEFI-boot from rEFInd, you will see an error and then MokManager will automatically load.
Use MokManager to enroll the \refind.cer certificate key file which should be in the root of the first partition. Once this is done, if you reboot, you should see the rEFInd menu.
 
Note: The certificate is added into the Non-Volatile RAM of that system. This makes it insecure since it will now boot unsigned payloads using rEFInd! You can usually delete the key from the NVRAM by using the PC's BIOS settings menu.
 
MokManager may crash or the keyboard may not work on some systems. For this reason and because adding a certificate modifies the system UEFI settings, I recommend you avoid using MokManager and just disable Secure Boot in the BIOS settings if possible.
 
Read eBook #3 for full details with step-by-step exercises and download links for required files.
 

Out-of-order/overlapping UEFI partitions

If the partitions in the MBR partition table are not in ascending order, some BIOSes may refuse to offer a UEFI-boot option (even though the UEFI-specifications do not mention anything about this!). 
 
Also partitions must not overlap each other.
 
When you run SWITCH_E2B.exe, it will ask to move the files if they are in the wrong order.
 
Ptn1: Start = 0x4304b28
Ptn4: Start = 0x35a5700   << ERROR: Ptn4 is before Ptn1. It may not UEFI-boot!
 
Switch_E2B may have trouble moving the file (due to gaps in the filesystem). See FAQ for how to fix this issue.
 
You can avoid this problem by placing the second 'X4' file in the \_ISO folder on the second partition of the E2B drive.

Copy the secondary file (not the .imgptn* file) to a \_ISO folder on second partition on the E2B drive.

Example 1 (two files)
E2B Ptn 1 - \_ISO\LINUX\Ubuntu64.imgptnX4Winpe
E2B Ptn 2 - \_ISO\Winpe

Example 2 (three files)
E2B Ptn 1 - \_ISO\LINUX\Ubuntu64.imgptnX4Winpe  and \_ISO\LINUX\Ubuntu64 (must be in order)
E2B Ptn 2 - \_ISO\Winpe

 

Windows 7 64-bit Install ISOs

The official Microsoft Win 7 64-bit ISO does not include the bootx64.efi UEFI boot file so you must add one into the imgptn file after you have made it using MakePartImage. MakePartImage 0.094 or later will try to add it in if it can find the file on your system disk.

You can load the .imgPTN file using ImDisk to add in the bootx64.efi file, or you can switch it in using SWITCH_E2B.exe and then add in the file using Windows Explorer. Find a Win8\10 bootx64.efi (either using a bootx64.efi or bootmgfw.efi file from a Windows x64 8\10 \Windows\Boot\EFI folder or from the \EFI\BOOT folder of a Windows x64 8\10 Install ISO). If the rEFInd file \EFI\Boot\bootx64.efi is already present, you must copy the file to the \EFI\BOOT\ORIGINAL folder (it can be named Windows7.EFI if you like, so it will appear in the rEFInd menu as Windows7.efi).

Tip: The \EFI\Boot\Extra\Switch_x64.efi file is a copy of bootmgfw.efi.

UEFI BIOS 'bugs'

1. If the start addresses of the four partition table entries in the MBR of the USB drive are not in ascending order, some UEFI BIOSes will not allow you to UEFI-boot even though one of the partitions contains a FAT32 partition with valid EFI boot files. e.g. many Asus BIOSes.

2. If the USB drive contains a FAT32 MBR partition with valid EFI boot files (or an \EFI\Boot folder?) then the BIOS may not allow you to MBR\CSM\Legacy boot from that drive. e.g. Fujitsu LifeBook AH532, some Samsung and Acer systems.

3. If the MBR partitions overlap, the UEFI BIOS will ignore all partitions on that disk and won't UEFI-boot from any of them.