Windows Install ISOs

  • Windows Vista/7/8/10 Install ISOs require E2B to be on a 'Removable' USB drive. If the drive is displayed as a 'Local Disk' in Windows Explorer then you will also need a 'Removable' USB Flash drive called a 'Helper Drive' in order to install Windows. 
    Alternatively, if you have an E2B USB Hard Disk (or Flash drive of the 'Fixed' type) you can create .imgPTN files from Vista/7/8 ISOs using MakePartImage and add these image files to the E2B drive. Then you do not require a Helper Flash drive AND you can boot in either MBR or UEFI mode too!
  • Windows Vista/7/8/10 Install ISOs will not run correctly under QEMU, Virtual Box or other Virtual Machines. You must test with a real system or see here for a workaround.
  • Windows 7/8 ALL-IN-ONE (AIO) custom ISOs will probably not work as an .iso file - convert them to .imgPTN files using MakePartImage.
Windows XP Install ISOs will work best using the E2B+DPMS download. This allows you to install Windows XP onto systems containing SATA or RAID hard disks without needing to add Windows XP 32-bit mass storage drivers into the ISO (e.g. using nLite).
E2B supports any number of Windows Install ISOs. Just copy the ISO to the correct folder:
Windows Install ISO folders: (if any .ISO files are present, a Windows menu entry will be listed in the Main menu)
\_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2012            <-- Server 2012 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2K8R2         <-- Server 2008 R2 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\VISTA                <-- Wndows Vista Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN7                 <-- Winodws 7 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN8                 <-- Windows 8 and 8.1 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10               <-- Windows 10 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\XP                     <-- XP/2K3 Install ISOs go here (Note: XP 64-bit ISO files should have '64' somewhere in the name of the ISO file, Win2k ISOs should havd '2k' in the filename and Win2k3 ISOs should have '2k3' somewhere in the name.)
If you have a custom Windows Vista\7\8\10 ISO which doesn't seem to work from the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxx folder, try renaming it as .isope and place it in the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder. This may also work for some standard Windows Install ISOs which do not require a Product Key in the AutoUnattend.xml file. If the E2B Blue Console window does not appear, run a Windows Command shell console and type wpeinit - after 20-30 seconds you should see the E2B Blue console window appear and load the ISO file as Y:. 
 The blue console window MUST appear and is due to the XML file - this causes the ISO to be loaded as a virtual 'DVD drive' - see here for how it works.
Now you can continue to use the custom ISO in the normal way.
Windows Vista/7/8 installs use an AutoUnattend.xml file which is automatically read by Windows Setup (WinPE) from a Removable Flash drive. This xml file causes the ISO file to be loaded as a virtual DVD so that Windows Setup can access the files inside it. If your Windows Install ISO does not offer quite the same choices as it did when booted as a DVD (e.g. no Language option, etc.), it is probably due to the .xml file  having a "WindowsPE" section. To fix this, make your own .xml file which has the correct sections in it. Your .xml file can then be added to the relevant \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxx folder.
For more details on adding and using Windows Install ISOs to Easy2Boot please see Tutorial 72c.