Frequently Asked Questions

Having problems with a certain ISO or Payload file? Check the List of tested payload files page for your particular payload file.

Try FlashBoot for 99% Bootability!
RMPrepUSB can make most USB drives bootable and includes a specially modified version of grubinst.exe, but some older BIOSes may have problems booting from USB devices. I recommend Flash Boot if you need to create an E2B USB drive that will boot on these badly behaved systems.
Please click her e to test a time-limited trial version and see if it works for you.
How to prepare a Easy2Boot USB drive using FlashBoot

See also 'Common problems with payload files' page (e.g. for common Windows Install from ISO issues, etc.)

IMPORTANT: Make sure the \grldr file (grub4dos) is identical to the one in the latest E2B download.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

'A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing' (Windows Vista/7/8/10 install ISOs)

 

This error message normally is seen if your E2B USB drive is not a 'Removable' drive or you are booting Windows Vista/7 from a USB 3.0 USB port or a USB driver is missing.

 

 

For Windows 10 TH2 (1511) ISOs, please update your E2B USB drive to the latest version of E2B.

Note that Windows Vista/7 does not contain USB 3.0 drivers, so you must use a USB 2.0 port when installing Windows Vista or 7.

CHECK THAT WINDOWS HAS THE CORRECT USB DRIVER:

1. After booting to Setup, type SHIFT+F10 to open a console window.
2. Type 'diskpart' and press ENTER key.
3. Type 'list disk' - check that your USB drive is listed - if not, then Windows (WinPE) does not contain the correct driver for your USB controller.
4. Type 'exit' to quit diskpart.
See here for how to add the correct USB driver into the ISO file. Ytube video here. Intel driver Win7 ISO patch utility here.

First check that you have the ISOs in the correct sub-folder under \_ISO\WINDOWS  (note: do NOT use the \_ISO\WIN folder for Windows installer ISOs). 

e.g. a Windows 7 installer ISO would go in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN7 folder that is already present.

You MUST get the blue console window (shown below) when booting Vista/7/8/10 ISOs using E2B. If not then the ISO will not be loaded as a virtual drive and Windows Setup will not be able to access any files inside the ISO (hence the missing driver message).


  Blue console window - tis runs ImDisk and loads the ISO as a virtual CD drive
  so that Windows Setup can access the files within the ISO file.

 

There are two types of USB drives, 'Removable' and 'Fixed'. Most USB Flash drives are of the 'Removable' type (RMPrepUSB will display which type it is).

This blue window will only appear if there is a Removable-type of USB flash drive with a \AutoUnattend.xml file on it. Windows only searches for this file on Removable drives.

Note: If the NOHELPER=1 variable is set in the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg configuration file, you will not get the blue window and Windows Vista+ installs will not work.  If in doubt, delete the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file.

E2B USB Hard disks (or Fixed-disk type USB Flash drives)

If your E2B USB drive is of the 'Fixed-disk' type, then you will also need an extra 'Removable Disk' Helper USB Flash drive for Vista/7/8 installs, which will contain the \AutoUnattend.xml file. 

Also. if you are booting to E2B from a removable Flash drive using QEMU or a VM, it also will not work because any USB drive will appear as a Fixed Disk under a VM.

You will need to make and connect a small, removable-type of 'Helper' USB Flas h drive and use a Real System (not a VM) if you want to use a USB 'Local/Fixed Disk' type of drive for E2B.

Alternatively, use MakePartImage to make an image file (.imgPTN) from the ISO. You can then boot from an E2B USB hard disk or Removable disk without needing a 'Helper' flash drive. You can also boot via UEFI too! 

Error 60: File is not contiguous or ERROR: XXXX.ISO IS NOT CONTIGUOUS (or is corrupt or missing) - Please run RMPrepUSB - CTRL+F2 or run WinContig.exe to defragment all files.
Why do I get this error?

See here.

Message 'Insert the Disk labelled : DPMS XP Installation Disk by Chenall and Steve6375 (diskF)' - when installing XP using DPMS, Setup prompts to insert a Firadisk floppy disk and I cannot proceed.

This was due to a bug and was fixed in E2B v1.84.

It was caused by having an animated icon in the menu (e.g. set ANIMFD3=/_ISO/docs/Templates/Animate/E2B_GIF.ima in \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg).

You should not see this problem if using E2B v1.84 or later.

Startup Repair (StartRep.exe) crashes when running a Windows 8 or 10 repair operation.

StartRep.exe will immediately give an 'Application Error' dialog box if you boot the ISO with an XML file specified (as used by E2B).

Use E2B v1.86 or later. When you select a Win8\10 ISO you will be prompted to press any key to Repair Windows...

Press any key for Windows Repair only...

Alternatively, copy the Windows 8/10 ISO to \_ISO\WIN folder and give it a .iso01 file extension.

When you boot from the ISO, choose the standard Setup 'Repair' option (Alt+R).

This will allow you to repair (but not install) Windows.

 

How do I boot a payload (e.g. ISO file) in UEFI mode?

First you need to understand what UEFI is and how it differs from Legacy BIOSes - please read this page.

Now Watch the YouTube video.

To boot via UEFI, we need to convert each payload to a partition image file (.imgPTN) first.

When you select a .imgPTN file from the E2B menu, it will replace all the partitions on the USB drive with the new partition - i.e. the first partition on the E2B USB drive will now contain the contents of whatever files were inside the partition image file.

How to convert your ISO to a .imgPTN file and UEFI-boot it

  1. First convert your 'payload' file (e.g. ISO) to a FAT32 .imgPTN file using MakePartImage (use the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut provided).
  2. Then copy it onto your E2B USB drive and make sure it is contiguous.
  3. Next, boot from the E2B USB drive in MBR mode as normal and choose the .imgPTN file from the E2B menu system. When it runs it will swap in the payload partition.
  4. Finally, reboot the system from the USB drive in UEFI mode (you should see a 'UEFI: xxx USB drive' menu entry in the UEFI-BIOS Boot Selection menu) - it should now boot to the payload in UEFI mode.

If your system only boots via UEFI and cannot boot in MBR\CSM mode, then you need to MBR-boot the E2B drive in another way first and then switch in the .imgPTN file. You can use the the Windows \_ISO\SWITCH_E2B.exe utility...

OR...

  • Boot the E2B drive using another system that does support MBR/CSM booting
  • Run the QEMU_MENU_TEST (run as admin).cmd script under Windows
  • Run RMPartUSB - QEMU (F11) under Windows
  • Boot the E2B drive using MobaLiveCD.exe under Windows (which uses QEMU) - this is a single .exe file which can be kept on your E2B USB drive
  • Boot the E2B drive using VirtualBox+VMUB (see here for details)
  • Boot the E2B drive using VMWare
  • Boot to WinPE from another USB drive and run QEMU or SWITCH_E2B - see here for details.
Once you have 'switched in' the UEFI image partition, you can connect the E2B drive to your target UEFI system and boot from it.
 
You can switch the E2B drive back to the E2B menu (restore the E2B partitions) in the same way (use Menu #0 in the CSM Menu or use \e2b\SWITCH_E2B.exe - Restore E2B partitions) - OR - run the \e2b\RestoreE2B (run as admin).cmd file which can be found on the E2B drive or in the MPI Tool Pack folder.
 
See also the E2B grub2 menu system for UEFI-booting directly from linux ISOs.

"Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [D:\autonattend.xml]. The answer file is invalid" error when using $$AddWin2Main.mnu and Win8/10 ISOs.

The example line for 'set XML=' was incorrect in E2B (v1.61-v1.80). Update to the latest version of E2B.

Please see the ammended instructions here.

For Win8/10, only specify the name of the XML file, not the full path.

ERROR: 'LOADISOPE.CMD running... The syntax of the command is incorrect.' when using a .isoPE or .isoPE01 file extension.

This error message is due to a bug in E2B (\_ISO\e2b\grub\QRUN.g4b batch file). Please use version 1.81 or later.

I have a fast USB 3.0 Flash drive (e.g. Lexar P20), but it is taking a really long time (an hour+) to make an E2B+DPMS USB drive - why is it taking so long?

Some USB Flash drives have really good read\write specifications for sequential file access (used for large files) but terrible performance for random 4K write accesses (typically used for writing small files).

The E2B+DPMS download contains thousands of small files (XP Mass Storage driver files) and this can cause these inferior performance affects to be seen. Transferring large files may work fine. An excellent example of such a drive is the Lexar P20 flash drive. 

A good test is to use 7Zip and extract all files from an XP ISO (approx 580MB which contains 1000+ files) onto the USB drive. Then compare this with the time it takes to copy the large XP.ISO file (e.g. 45 minutes v. 10 seconds!)

See my blog post here.

Message 'PROBLEM: Sector at LBA30 appears to contain code - please reformat using RMPrepUSB' when selecting a .imgPTN file

E2B requires that sector 30 (LBA30) is unused. E2B thinks that possibly sector LBA30 is in use on your drive.

This usually happens if the drive was not freshly formatted (e.g. using RMPrepUSB), or perhaps another bootloader such as grub\grub2 has been installed previously.

If it is booting to E2B correctly, you can fix this by over-writing LBA30 with the contents of LBA0 as follows using RMPrepUSB.

1. Select the USB drive in the Drive List box in RMPrepUSB

2. Drive->File - MBR.BIN - Start = 0, Length=1SEC, FileStart=0

3. File->Drive - MBR.BIN - Start=0, USBStart=0, Length=0

 

Tip: Always use RMPrepUSB - Install grub4dos - MBR=Yes to add the grub4dos boot code to the MBR and following sectors and make the USB drive bootable. Note that 'grub' and 'grub2' are NOT the same as grub4dos!

I tried E2B, YUMI, XBOOT and none of them boot on my system - why?

If you have a mainboard made after approx 2010, it may be in UEFI-only boot mode. In this mode it will only boot from UEFI boot files.

You need to change the firmware Setup options to enable CSM Mode (sometimes called BIOS or Legacy or MBR mode) and disable Secure Boot.

See here for an Acer YouTube video.

Symptom: Flashing cursor - no Main menu on some systems, e.g. ASUS M4A89GTD.

If E2B works OK on some systems and QEMU and VBox but not on other systems and you get just a flashing cursor and no wallpaper and no menu displayed, this may be due to a graphics mode problem and grub4dos 0.4.6a compatibility.

Try copying \_ISO\e2b\grub\grldr_045 to \grldr and replace the existing \grldr file. This will make E2B use grub4dos 0.4.5c instead of 0.4.6a.

If it fixes the problem, E2B should still work but .jpg wallpapers will not work and Arabic (right-to-left language) support will not fully work.

 

During Windows 7 install - no USB mouse\keyboard response.

Windows 7 does not include USB 3 drivers, so make sure you use a USB 2.0 port for your mouse, keyboard and USB drive.

If you don't have USB 2 ports, look in the BIOS Settings for an option to do with 'USB KBC Support' or 'Win7 keyboard support' or 'XHCI support' or other USB options.

Another alternative is to add the USB 3 drivers to the Win7 install ISO. Google for 'Win7 USB Patcher' or 'Intel Windows 7 USB 3.0 Creator Utility'.

Tip: I find it easier to boot from any recent Windows Install ISO that supports USB 3.0 (e.g. Win 8.1 or Windows 10), and then run WinNTSetup.exe and install the Windows 7 ISO. There is no need to modify the Windows 7 64-bit ISO if you use this method.

 

'BIOS BAD!' or 'Checking last sector is accessible...' warning message when booting E2B

This is a BIOS bug, it is not a problem with E2B!
Many system BIOSes have a 137GB USB limit. This bug will affect other multiboot utilities like YUMI, XBOOT, SARDU, etc. too!

E2B checks for a particularly common bug with many BIOSes. Although the BIOS can access all sectors of a large internal (non-USB) hard disk, many BIOSes have a bug in their USB BIOS code which means they cannot access any USB disk sector beyond 137GB. If you have a >137GB USB drive and you see the 'BIOS BAD!' error message, then your BIOS has this bug and your BIOS cannot access any sector past 137GB on your USB drive. Once you boot to a linux or Windows XP+ OS, the BIOS is not used any more and the OS should be able to access all sectors on your drive.

You can press [ENTER] key to continue booting but you may get more errors. If so, again press [ENTER] until you reach the E2B Menu. However, if you have any files that are past 137GB on the USB drive, you may find that they do not work.

You also may find that if you try to use .imgPTN files, they will not 'switch in' or you cannot boot to the CSM menu on systems which have this BIOS bug.

If your E2B drive is less than 137GB, then this error message is probably caused by the last partition on the E2B USB drive extending to the very end of the USB drive. In this case you can either use RMPrepUSB v2.1.730+ to reformat your USB drive (or use the Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd script) or simply reduce the size of the last partition on your USB drive by using a free utility such as EaSeus Home Partition Master and move the end of the last partition back by about 1MB or so.

Fixes

Possible fixes are:

1. Make sure you have the latest revision of BIOS for your system.

2. Use the grub4dos 0.4.6a fast USB 2.0 driver (Utilities Menu). This has it's own USB drivers which will replace the buggy BIOS USB driver (see below for details).

3. You can set CHECKBIOS= in the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file to suppress the warning message but this does not fix the BIOS, so some payload files beyond the 137GB position on the disk may fail to boot!

4. Make the first E2B partition <137GB in size (you may still get a warning from E2B but all files in the 1st partition should boot OK)

Fast USB 2.0 driver

To check the BIOS, boot to the E2B Utilities menu - you will see a menu entry 'Install the Grub4dos USB Driver' - run this and if you are using a USB 2.0 port and have a compatible chipset/mainboard, grub4dos will detect your USB device and install the new USB driver which will replace the bad BIOS USB driver. Not all chipsets are suported however.

If the grub4dos USB driver detects the USB drive, then all menu entries should now work (even if the files are situated past 137GB on the USB drive).

You can set E2B to always load the 0.4.6 USB driver my making a \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file and adding a set GRUB_USB=Y line.

CSM Menu booting

There is no way to fix booting to the CSM menu (when a .imgPTN file is used as a new partition and the .imgPTN file is situated beyond 137GB on the USB drive), because the new partition and the grb4dos \grldr file may be beyond the 137GB point and so the MBR BIOS cannot load grub4dos! You can UEFI-boot using the system UEFI firmware (if that isn't buggy too!), and then use QEMU\VBox\Switch_E2B to switch to the E2B menu when finished.

Keep the E2B files in the first 137GB on the USB disk

If some of the E2B files are situated on the USB drive beyond the 137GB point, then you could try re-making the E2B drive and then copying on your payload files again. Reformatting and then copying over the E2B files in this way will ensure that all E2B files are before the 137GB point. However, if you update the USB drive with a later version of E2B, you may find that some of the E2B files are now beyond the 137GB point again, and it may fail to correctly boot to the E2B menu. If is best to simply use a 137GB partition for E2B and use the spare disk space for another partition to hold your own user files.

 

 

Windows XP install from ISO on some DELL systems give 0x0000007B BSOD - why?

Some older Dell systems have a buggy BIOS. First try updating the DELL system to the latest BIOS firmware version.

If that does not fix the issue, modify the XP install .ISO file as follows:

1. Load the ISO file using 7Zip

2. Download the ntd file from the E2B Alternate Downloads Area - Other Files, rename it to ntd.zip and extract the ntdetect.com file

3. Drag-and-drop the ntdetect.com file into the 7Zip \i386 folder to replace the existing \i386\ntdetect.com file

4. Quit 7Zip and save any changes

'ERROR: Required file BOOTMGR is missing!' message when booting a VHD or WIM file.

For copyright reasons, the Easy2Boot download does not contain the Microsoft file 'bootmgr'.

If you see this message when attempting to directly boot an NT6 OS from a .VHD, .VHDX or .WIM file, it means that you need to find a copy of the Windows 7/8/10 bootmgr file and copy it to the \_ISO\e2b\grub\DPMS\NTBOOT.MOD folder of your Easy2Boot USB drive.

If you used the MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd or UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.cmd to make or update an E2B USB drive on a Windows 7/8/10 system, then this file may have been copied from your C: drive for you. However, if you used some other method to prepare a E2B USB drive or used a Windows XP system, then the bootmgr file will not have been copied to the E2B drive.

I added some .ISO or .imgPTN files but they are not detected by E2B and do not appear in the E2B menus - why?

The most common mistake is that you have copied the file to the wrong folder/directory, see here for details.

Windows Installer .imgPTN files should NOT go in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder. You can use any of the other 9 'normal' menu folders (such as \_ISO\WIN or \_ISO\MAINMENU) for .imgPTN files.

Check that the file extension is correct. If you are using a Windows system, right-click on the file and click on 'Properties' to check the file extension. 

.txt, .cmd and files without a file extension will not be added to the E2B menus.

Next, did you enable 'FASTLOAD'  (does the file \FASTLOAD.YES exist)? - if so, you need to press F8 in the Main Menu to refresh the menu cache file whenever you add or delete a payload file.

Remember that for the ' normal' sub-menu folders, .ISO and other payload files are only auto-detected if they are at the 2nd level (e.g. \_ISO\BACKUP) - they will not be detected at lower folder levels unless you also add a .mnu file.

Tip: Press the SPACE key during file enumeration and it will pause to show you the files and folders that E2B has enumerated. (v1.72+)

If you are still having problems, boot to E2B and type  SHIFT+P, enter the password (default='easy2boot') and then type SHIFT+C to get to the grub4dos shell console. Now you can look for your file, e.g.

ls /_ISO/WINDOWS/WIN7/     - list files in \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN7 folder

ls /_ISO/MAINMENU/wi [TAB] - where [TAB] is the TAB key - lists all files beginning with 'wi' in the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder

Check the file extension is listed as expected (note: grub4dos lists spaces in a filename with a preceding \ symbol - e.g. /_ISO/MAINMENU/Spaces\ in\ this\ filename.iso).

Note: It is possible using a .mnu file or .txt file or a .iso64 or .iso32 file extension, to prevent the payload from being listed on 32-bit or 64-bit systems.

It may be that you have too many .mnu files and that you have exceeded the buffer space which E2B uses to store the whole dynamic menu. Try moving some of your payloads and .mnu files to a different menu folder (or create a new menu folder).

How do I update to the latest version of E2B?

Highly Recommended: Extract the new version to an empty, new folder on your Windows drive and run the \UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.cmd Windows batch file from the new folder.

Otherwise, simply overwrite your existing E2B USB drive with the new version of E2B. You should not have changed any of the original E2B files, so overwriting should not undo any of your changes. If updating from E2B v1.5x to 1.6x or later, remove all old \_ISO\MAINMENU\ZZ*.mnu file so that only ZZSubMenuAll.mnu and the ZZGRUB_USB_046.mnu menu files are left - otherwise you will get multiple Main menu entries).

If you have edited any of the original E2B files (which you should NOT do!)  then you will need to use a utility such as WinMerge to see what changes have been made. 

Note: Unless the Mass Storage Driver Pack drivers have been updated (check the revision history), you only need to update using the smaller non-DPMS E2B zip file, even if your original E2B drive was made from the larger E2B+DPMS download.

Why does Windows 8/8.1 prompt me for a Product Key when installing from an ISO?

This is usually because you have not selected the correct Product Key when asked to by E2B before Setup starts to run. e.g. A Windows 8.1 Pro Retail\OEM ISO requires a Win8.1 Pro Retail Product Key. A Windows 8.1 Pro Volume Licence ISO requires a Win 8.1 Pro Product Key.

Typically, a Retail ISO will contain multiple editions (e.g. Core and Pro). Some other versions (e.g. Enterprise or VL versions) may only contain one Edition.

Some Windows Install ISOs do not normally require a Product Key to be entered by the user when instaling from a DVD. However, when using E2B and installing from an ISO, you still need to specify the 'internal' Product Key. If you do not know the 'internal' Product Key, then install Windows using the DVD (or perhaps from a USB drive made using Rufus). When the install is finished, used an application like ProduKey or Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder to reveal the internal Product Key. Then use that same Product to install from the ISO using E2B.

How do I change the menu position, colours, headings and background wallpaper, etc.?

To use your own wallpaper image, copy your own mybackground.bmp or mybackground.bmp.gz file to the \_ISO folder (you can compress a .bmp to a .bmp.gz using 7Zip and by selecting gzip as the compression type – this greatly reduces the file size).

OR

To use a background image of a different name or location, copy the configuration file \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg file to \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg. Change the MyWBMP entry to the location of your background file. See here for more details. The MyE2B.cfg file also allows you to change the default text colours, menu size and position (and lots of other things too!)
 
There is a YouTube video here.

CSM MakePartImage menu

To change the background wallpaper in the CSM menu of a partition image file, make a new 800x600 bitmap (it can be compressed to gzip format) and name it csm.bmp.gz . Place the file in the MakePartImage\CUSTOM\e2b folder on your Windows system. When you next make a .imgPTN file using MakePartImage, the new bitmap file will be used. For more details on how to change the CSM menu (text colours, menu position, etc.), see here.

How do I get some_special.ISO to work!

If there is a specific ISO or payload that you cannot get to work, or you want to alter E2B in some way...

  1. Search this site for the name of the payload/ISO (e.g. 'ubuntu')
  2. Check in the list of tested payloads here
  3. Check the Sample .mnu Files list here  (and check the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files folder of your E2B download)
  4. Search my blog here
  5. Google it
  6. Contact Me

Windows 7 and SVR2K8R2 64-bit Installer will not UEFI-boot as FAT32 .imgPTN file (Win8/10 work OK)

Special instructions for Windows 7 64-bit UEFI booting here.

The ISO does not contain the correct boot file, it only contains the CD boot file \EFI\boot\cdboot.efi which is not used when booting from a disk. To fix this

1. Make a .imgPTN file from the Win7 64-bit install ISO using the MPI_FAT32 shortcut

2. Switch to the .imgPTN file using the E2B menu (e.g. using \QEMU_MENU_TEST (run as admin).cmd or real system)

3. Connect E2B drive to a Windows\Linux system so you can access the files

4. Move the \efi\microsoft\boot folder up one level into the efi folder as \efi\boot (see piccy below). 

5. Using 7-zip, open the original ISO and navigate to the \sources\install.wim  -  1\Windows\Boot\EFI\bootmgfw.efi on the E2B USB drive, select the bootmgfw.efi file, copy it to the \EFI\boot folder on the E2B USB  drive.

6. Rename \EFI\boot\bootmgfw.efi to bootx64.efi

 

OR

1. Use RUFUS to create a FAT32 (not GPT) UEFI-bootable flash drive

2. Drag-and-drop the USB flash drive letter onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut to make a .imgPTN file

3. Copy the .imgPTN file to your E2B USB drive

'The file 'Asms' on Windows XP CD-ROM is needed' error after Step 2 of XP Install

"Files Needed" 
The file 'Asms' on Windows XP Professional CD-ROM is needed. Type the path where the file is located, and then click OK. 
GLOBALROOT\DEVICE\CDROM0\I386

If you see the error message from a Windows XP install from ISO after choosing Step 2 from the Easy2Boot XP install menu, please ensure you are using E2B v1.51a or later. There was a bug in v1.32-1.51.

This error means that XP is unable to find the source installation files which it expects to find in the \i386 folder of the installation device. In the case of running from E2B this can mean that FiraDisk was unable to access the USB drive and load the ISO as a virtual drive. 

You will know if the ISO is loaded into RAM because it will take a minute or two to load before it starts to boot from the hard disk into the GUI mode of XP Setup. e.g.

Loading XOPROSP3.ISO into memory - please wait...  

  [312M/589M]  

Tip: If you are still getting a 'missing file' error - try disabling the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM in the BIOS Setup menu before installing XP.

 

For hints and tips and 'Gotcha's on installing XP from an ISO see http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/install-xp-from-an-iso

 

Windows XP/Vista/7/8 Install ISO does not boot - just returns back to the E2B menu

Make sure the ISO file is contiguous. Run WinContig (RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+F2) or Defraggler (right-click on the ISO file).

Make sure the ISO is bootable. Some ISOs are 'update' ISOs and not designed to be bootable. Look for a boot file such as \ntldr or \bootmgr

How do I add an XP/Server2003 Install ISO?

Copy the ISO file to \_ISO\Windows\XP folder. To install it, you can either use the Step1/2 menu entries or use the WinPE install method (requires another WinPE ISO to be added).

For Troubleshooting hints and tips and 'Gotcha's on installing XP from an ISO see http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/install-xp-from-an-iso

 

Installing from an XP Install ISO is not working on some systems. I have tried all combinations. Booting using YUMI\Rufus\WinSetupFromUSB works OK.

Ensure you are not using USB 3.0 ports. If you have tried loading the ISO into memory and tried the 1, 2 and 3 DPMS options for Firadisk\WinVBlock, then there is probably some USB/reset/chipset incompatibility. Installing direct from an ISO does not always work on some systems - it is not as reliable as a 1-step process but in order to install direct from an ISO, two USB boot steps are required.

If you have made a USB Flash drive that does install XP using some other method, e.g. Rufus or YUMI or WinSetupFromUSB (which also uses the DPMS2 code from E2B and is recommended), then make an image of that USB Flash drive using MakePartImage. Watch the YouTube videos on MakePartImage to see how to install it. Then just drag-and-drop the USB Flash drive icon that you want to make an image from, onto the MPI NTFS Desktop shortcut. Then copy the image to your E2B USB drive and run WinContig on it.

Note: Use the latest version of E2B. This blog post may help.

Tip: If you are getting a 'missing file' error - try disabling the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM in the BIOS Setup menu before installing XP.

For hints and tips and 'Gotcha's on installing XP from an ISO see http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/install-xp-from-an-iso

How can I install 32-bit XP/Server2003 to an AHCI/SCSI/RAID PC using a standard XP Install ISO?

Use the E2B+DPMS download or copy the Mass Storage driver pack files to the E2B USB drive (the Install ISO files can remain unaltered) and rename the .ini file - see here for details.

For Troubleshooting hints and tips and 'Gotcha's on installing XP from an ISO see http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/install-xp-from-an-iso

How do I add a Windows 7/10 Install ISO?

Copy the ISO to \_ISO\Windows\Win7 folder or \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10 folder as appropriate.

For UEFI booting, make a partition image of the ISO using MakePartImage. Note: Special attention is required when converting a Win7 64-bit ISO to a .imgPTN file for UEFI-booting.

Windows 10 does not normally require you to specify a Product Key, so you can use the NO KEY (choose a version to install) option. If you do select a Product Key, it MUST match the version of Win 10 that you are installing or you may get a 'License error'.

 XP\Win7 do not have USB 3.0 drivers, so use USB 2.0 port or see here.

How do I add a Windows 8/SVR2012 Installer ISO?

Copy the ISO to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN8 folder.

IMPORTANT: Many Windows 8/SVR2012 Install ISOs require a Product Key when using E2B (even if they don't normally ask for a Product Key).

Ensure that you know what the Product Key is and then select the correct one from the menu when asked by E2B. You can add more Product Keys to the menu - look at the .key files to see how to add the Product Key you need for your ISO.

If you use the wrong Product Key, you can get all sorts of errors such as incorrect licence, etc.

For UEFI booting, make a partition image of the ISO using MakePartImage.

How do I add a Hirens Boot CD ISO and get it all working?

Simplest (for MiniXP)

Most Hirens menu items will work just by renaming the .iso file to .isowinvh but the DOS Utilities require the \HBCD\Dos folder to be present on the E2B drive so you will need to extract it. It also works best if the E2B USB drive is FAT32 (for some DOS programs - see next section).

Kon-Boot won't work if booting from a Hirens ISO because hd0 will be the USB boot drive and not the internal HDD - use the HirensISO.mnu file in the \_ISO\docs folder for KonBoot ISO booting.

If you have trouble getting the HBCD Menu program in MiniXP working (it should work if you use .isowinvh), browse to the Hirens ISO on the E2B USB drive - right-click and Mount as ImDisk Virtual Disk, then run \HBCDMenu.cmd from the mounted ISO.
 

'Flat file' boot multiple Hirens ISOs for full functionality

If you only have one single Hirens iso and if you want all functions to work it is best to extract all the files from the Hirens ISO and use a FAT32 formatted USB drive. Extract the contents of the Hirens iso to the root of the E2B drive using 7Zip. Copy the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files\HirensBootCD_Extracted.mnu to \_ISO\MAINMENU (or any E2B folder just below \_ISO). 


If booting from an NTFS E2B USB drive, some DOS utilities will not work unless you choose the NTFS Driver instead of Auto for the DOS driver (when prompted as shown below).

Note: To fix this so you don't need to select the NTFS driver, boot to Hirens miniXP - find and run the \HBCD\Dos\dosimg.cmd file - follow the instructions to make a new Dos .img file. This file will then be used for DOS apps when you reboot.

Best solution

If you have multiple Hirens ISOs and want them all to 100% work, the simplest thing to do is convert each ISO file to a FAT32 .imgPTN partition image file using MakePartImage.

As long as one of the following files is present in the image, the CSM menu will automatically run the grub4dos Hirens menu when you choose the 'Boot from this drive (MBR Mode)' menu option.

/DLCD/menu.lst
/HBCD/menu.lst 
/DLC1/menu.lst
/DLC1/menu/menu.lst
 
If your Hirens contains a menu.lst file in a different place, you will need to edit the \menu.lst file inside the .imgPTN file.
 
Tip: For maximum compatibility, use a file extension of .imgPTNLBAa, If you want to be able to access files on the 2nd partition of your E2B USB HDD drive, use the file extension of .imgPTNaLBA23 instead.
 

Note: Hirens does not support UEFI-booting.

 

How do I get rid of the sub-menu entries that are listed in the Main menu (e.g. UTILITIES)?

Simply ensure that the \_ISO\BACKUP, \_ISO\BACKUP_LINUX, \_ISO\DOS, \_ISO\UTILITIES and \_ISO\UTILITIES_MEMTEST folders are empty (no sub-folders or files)

How do I add YLMF/Ubuntu/Fedora/StartOS/Porteus/pclinuxos/Backtrack5/kali-linux ISOs and have persistence?

Read the help text inside the relevant .mnu file in the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files folder.

Persistence - I have used a .mnu file for persistence with a linux ISO, but I don't get persistence.

You MUST run WinContig after preparing the USB drive and making the ext2 file - all files including the ext2 file need to be contiguous. 
Check that you have created the ext2 file according to the instructions in the .mnu file (use the latest RMPrepUSB version 2.1.711+ which allows you to set the file name and volume name separately). Check the file name and the volume name are correct - you can edit\change the ext2 filename but do NOT change the name of the Volume name from the one specified in the .mnu file.

How do I add the ERD Commander 2005/2007 or MSDaRT 5 (XP) Recovery ISOs?

Try the .isomemF01 file exension 

OR 

Copy the ISO file to (for example) \_ISO\UTILITIES\Dart5 folder and also the ERD2005.mnu file. Copy, read and edit the ERD2005.mnu file (which can be found in the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files folder) for more details.

OR

For best results or if your target system has a SATA hard disk, use the DPMS2 version of E2B and the ERD5_DPMS.mnu sample menu. This allows you to repair an XP system containing SATA or RAID hard disks, even if the ISO does not contain suitable drivers!

How do I get ERD/MSDaRT 6-8.1 for Vista\Win7\Win8 working?

Rename to .iso01 or use .isoPE01 to also mount the ISO file as a drive letter.

If using .isoPE01, you will need to have E2B on a Removable USB flash drive or also have a E2B Helper USB Flash drive connected. This will ensure that the ISO file is loaded as a virtual DVD when it boots to WinPE.

If you require UEFI booting of MSDaRT, use MakePartImage to convert the ISO into a partition image file - see here for details. This also avoids having to use a Helper USB Flash drive.

Some systems do not give a UEFI boot option when using a working FAT32 .imgPTN file, but other systems can boot via UEFI from the same file - why?

This may be due to the UEFI firmware not 'liking' the partitions that it sees once you have switched to the new .imgPTN file. The UEFI specification is not very precise and so some manufacturers can interpret it differently. Also it may just be a bug in the firmware on that system (see if there is a later version available from the manufacturer).

First try selecting the .imgPTN file using both the E2B Menu system (by MBR-booting) and then try again by using the SWITCH_E2B.exe utility. Check if they both give the same results (if not please Contact Me with the details).

Next, try experimenting with different file extensions for the .imgPTN file - e.g.

  • .imgPTNLBAa
  • .imgPTNna
  • .imgPTNAUTO
  • .imgPTNa
  • .imgPTNLBA
  • .imgPTNa23
Check here for a full list of file extensions.
 

If you find this fixes the problem, again please Contact Me with the details, so I can tweak the next version!

When I boot my E2B USB drive on some systems I get an error - but on other systems it boots OK - why?

This is usually due to a 'bad' BIOS. First check if there is a more recent BIOS for that system on the manufacturers web site. 

Next, check the BIOS settings to make sure it is booting the USB drive as a Hard/Fixed Disk. Also check that your BIOS Setup menu is set for Legacy/CMS mode and not UEFI mode. 

If the 'check last sector' test is causing a problem, reformat using RMPrepUSB v2.1.714 or later. If necessary, you can just delete the \_ISO\E2B\grub\checkaccess.g4b file (but be aware that the BIOS is still bad and so you may get other problems!).

Update to the most recent version of E2B.

Can I use Plop with E2B?

Short answer = No (not easily)!

You can boot from a CD containing Plop and then choose the boot from USB menu option in Plop to boot from the E2B USB drive, even if your system is not capable of booting from a USB drive directly.

However, Plop contains a read-only USB 2.0 driver that does not support writes to a USB device.

As most functions of E2B (e.g. boot from ISO) involve writing to the E2B boot drive or E2B helper Flash drive, writes need to be supported for E2B to work it's magic. 

Therefore, if you boot to Plop and then try to run an E2B menu entry, you will probably see a 'write error' message. However, if you use grub4dos 0.4.6a (standard in v1.62+ or a menu entry older versions), you can boot to E2B from Plop and then use the - Utilities Install fast grub4dos usb 2.0 driver menu entry (use E2B v1.30 or later). The grub4dos USB 2.0 driver has full rd/wr support and after the USB driver is loaded, E2B should work as normal (until you reboot).

Unfortunately, the grub4dos USB 2.0 driver has limited USB controller support and may not work on many modern systems!

You can also try the USB_BOOT CD instead of Plop - see my blog post here.

How can I change the order of the menu entries listed in each E2B menu?

All items (files and folders) are sorted alphanumerically. Just rename the 3rd level folders, 2nd level payload and the .mnu files. 

Use Windows Explorer to sort the files by name (click on the top of the Name column in Explorer) and that will be the order that the files will be listed in, in the E2B menu. 

E2B enumerates all payload files in the 2nd level folder and .mnu files in all folders: e.g. if you have files in folders $$FRED and FRED, this will be the menu order when they are alphanumerically sorted by E2B:

\_ISO\MAINMENU\$$$Ubuntu.iso

\_ISO\MAINMENU\$$FRED\Doris.mnu

\_ISO\MAINMENU\$$FRED\ZPenny.mnu

\_ISO\MAINMENU\FRED\Jim.mnu

\_ISO\MAINMENU\ZZSubMenuAll.mnu

Note that sub-folders are sorted by name, together with payload files and .mnu files. You may need to change the name of the subfolder (e.g. change \_ISO\MAINMENU\MNU to \_ISO\MAINMENU\$MNU) to make the menu entries list in a different order.

ZZSubMenuAll.mnu contains many Main menu entries in a pre-set order - if you want to change the order of these, then rename the file (e.g. rename to ZZSubMenuMe.mnu) and then edit it to change or modify the menu entries or their order.

Can I use E2B on my Zalman VE200/300/400 DVD emulator drive?

Yes. Install grub4dos using RMPrepUSB and add the E2B files. See this section for details of how to avoid having to rename iso file extensions. When booting E2B, the Zalman will be seen as a Fixed Disk and so you will need a USB 'Helper' flash drive for some functions (e.g. Windows 7/8 Install isos).

There are lots of possible extensions that E2B supports for .iso files - how can I find out which one is best for my iso?

First search this pa ge for the name of your particular version. There is a list of the different possible file extensions here.

If you are still having problems, name your .iso file as .isoask - you will then be prompted by E2B and asked how you want to run the .iso file. Once you find an extension that works, rename the file to whatever file extension worked best.

E2B may suggest you try .isoask and prompt you - answer Y and press ENTER quickly and E2B will display the .isoask menu for you.

To avoid being prompted, use the .isodefault file extension.

How do I get my WinPE ISO (e.g. WinBuilder) to see the ISO as drive letter Y: ?

See here.

E2B USB Flash drive won't boot on one particular system

Try installing a Standard MBR using the RMPrepUSB - BootLoaders tab and installing grub4dos only to the PBR. If that doesn't work, try preparing a USB flash drive using flashboot - see Tutorial 113 for details.

If the problem is with .imgPTN files, try renaming them as .imgPTN23LBAa instead.

See the 'Some systems do not give a UEFI-boot option...' FAQ if it is a UEFI boot problem.

On older systems, you may have more luck using FlashBoot with E2B - see the box on this page for a link and a tutorial.

'Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition.' (Win7/8 error message)

Ensure the BIOS boot order has the internal hard disk as the first disk (do not set the E2B USB boot disk as the first disk in the boot order). 

Then use the BIOS Boot selection menu (e.g. F8 or F11 or F12 or F10) to select the E2B USB drive to boot from. Remove any SD cards or other unnecessary storage devices. See here for a discussion. Ensure the internal hard disk has an active (bootable) partition. 

With Windows Vista/7/8 install ISOs, I don't get prompted to select a language?

This has probably been suppressed because E2B has to use an xml answer file. You may need to add a 'WillShowUI' section and make a new .xml file. Place it in the same folder as the Windows ISO. See here for an example file. Try selecting the Full_Language_UI.xml file (see \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN7 folder for an example file).

You can also create an unattend.xml file to specify the exact language and country settings that you want and even fully automate the install - see here for more information.

error 13: invalid or unsupported executable format

This usually means your payload file (.ISO, .IMA, etc) was not bootable or it is corrupt. Some Windows ISOs are upgrade CDs or DVDs and are not bootable - they are designed to run from within Windows.

If you made the ISO yourself - do not use Joilet format or add in the boot sector code to make it bootable - see here for more details.

'File caused an unexpected error(0) at line 2166 in d:\xpsp\base\boot\setup\oemdisk.c. Press any key to continue'

Use E2B v1.30 or later.

For Troubleshooting hints and tips and 'Gotcha's on installing XP from an ISO see http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/install-xp-from-an-iso

ERROR: /_ISO/CONTIG.ISO is smaller than xxxxx.ISO - Cannot copy!

The default \_ISO\CONTIG.ISO is 500MB in size. E2B can use the dd command to copy the contents of a non-contiguous ISO to CONTIG.ISO (which needs to be contiguous). This error message means that the ISO you want to boot is larger than CONTIG.ISO and so cannot be copied.

You can replace the CONTIG.ISO file with a larger file (of any type, any contents) and just rename as it as CONTIG.ISO. Then run WinContig to make sure the new CONTIG.ISO is contiguous.

Bear in mind that larger ISOs will, of course, take longer to copy into CONTIG.ISO.

How can I have just one (empty) Main menu?

Make sure the menu folders (\_ISO\DOS, \_ISO\UTILITIES, etc.) are completely empty.
\_ISO\ANTIVIRUS
\_ISO\AUTO
\_ISO\BACKUP
\_ISO\DOS
\_ISO\LINUX
\_ISO\UTILITIES
\_ISO\UTILITIES_MEMTEST
\_ISO\WIN
\_ISO\WINPE
 
Make sure the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxx folders (e.g. \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN7) do not contain any ISO files.
 
In the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder you will see some .mnu files - these cause the extra menu entries in the Main menu - delete the .mnu files that you don't want. Note: The ZZSubMenuAll.mnu is responsible for the F1 help, F7-F10 menu entries and the Windows Install entries as well as the sub-menus - you can disable these individually by using settings in your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file

If you don't want the 'Set default menu and timeout' menu entry, add these lines to \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg (file must start with !BAT):

set DEFMENU=0

 
 

E2B reports file is not a .imgPTN file or not contiguous, when I try to run a .imgPTN file.

If E2B reports that the file is not a .imgPTN file or displays ERROR 60: file not contiguous or corrupt - run WinContig on the drive (RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+F2) to make all files on the drive contiguous or run the \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd batch file. This works on the first partition of the USB drive only.

If your USB drive has more than one partition and the .imgPTN file is on the second partition, run WinContig.exe manually and select the partition to 'defrag'.

You should always use  MakePartImage to make .imgPTN files.

 

The menu is slow to load - how can I speed it up and make it faster?

Note: Some USB Flash drives seem to have a problem with some system's BIOSes and are very slow - e.g. Emtec USB 3.0 Color Mix and Mushkin Flash drives. If possible, try a different make or model of USB Flash drive and also try a completely different computer.

If it takes a long time to display the Main Menu, then your BIOS probably has very poor USB drivers. It does not matter how fast the CPU is - it is the BIOS's USB code that is causing the slowness (or maybe some other USB device)! Known slow systems are: Asus P5E-VM, AMI BIOS MSI K9N Neo, Shuttle SD30G2 Core2Duo with Phoenix-Award BIOS, Shuttle SK21G, Dell GX260, Lenovo R51, systems with AWARD V6.00PG BIOS.

  1. In the Utilities menu you can find a Measure USB Performance menu entry - 100 loops should take between 1 to 5 seconds. If it takes much longer than this, your BIOS has very bad USB driver code! Some bad BIOSes can take over 40 seconds!
    Try grub4dos 0.4.6a with it's own USB 2.0 driver to replace the BIOS USB driver. To do this, use the 'Install the Grub4dos USB driver' menu entry in the Utilities Menu. If the driver successfully detects a USB device then try the Measure USB Performance test again to see if it is faster.
    To always enable the Grub4dos USB driver use  set GRUB_USB=Y in your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file to permanently enable it.
    It is a USB 2.0 driver but may not work on all systems with USB 2.0 ports however.
  2. Use a fast USB 3.0 drive if possible (even if you only have USB 2.0 ports). Slow USB 2.0 Flash drives can drastically affect the time it takes for the Main menu to appear. USB 2.0 card readers are notoriously slow!
  3. You can delete any .mnu or other files in the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder that you don't need or move payload files to sub-menu folders.
  4. Create more sub-menu folders using the \_ISO\docs\E2B Utilities\E2B SUBMENU Maker.cmd script and distribute your ISOs amongst these folders - e.g. \_ISO\CLONEZILLA, \_ISO\OPHCRACK, etc. A Menu will take longer to display if the menu folder contains lots of payload files.
  5. File enumeration is much slower on NTFS E2B partitions (takes twice as long as FAT32 or exFAT) - so if possible, format your E2B drive using FAT32 if you have a slow USB drive.
  6. You can pre-cache the Main menu by using the E2B 'Fastload' feature. Just copy the FASTLOAD.YES file (found in the \_ISO\docs\FASTLOAD folder) to the root of your E2B drive. After the first boot, the Main menu will be stored on the E2B drive. When you boot again, the menu contents will be read from the store. If you add another ISO to E2B \_ISO\MAINMENU folder, it will not show up in the Main menu until you reload the Main Menu (press F8).
  7. If you are using a USB 'Removable-type' Flash drive then you will never need to use a 'Helper' USB Flash drive for Windows Vista/7/8 installs or for WinPE ISOs, so use the 'set NOHELPER=1' setting in your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file to tell E2B not to look for one during start-up.
  8. If you have lots of files in the \_ISO\MAINMENU and lots of Windows Install ISOs in \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxx folders, then the Main menu can be slow to load on a slow USB Flash drive. Delete or move all uneccesary files from the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxx and \_ISO\MAINMENU folders and sub-folders (e.g. the empty 'hint' files with no file extension, ReadMe.txt files that are in the E2B download, any .mnu files that you will never use, .key and .xml files that you don't need, etc.). Files in the non-menu folders (e.g. \_ISO\docs) will not affect performance.
  9. Try the TextMinimal MyE2B.cfg file (copy it from \_ISO\docs\Sample E2B Templates\TextMinimal to \_ISO). This suppresses loading of the large unifont file and bitmap wallpaper. This can save 10 seconds or so on a very slow system. Or, as a test, add these lines to a new \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file:

    !BAT
    set NOUNIFONT=1
    set GFX=none

    Tip: Add a new xxxx.cfg file to \_ISO\MAINMENU containing MyE2B.cfg settings (e.g. copy the Sample_MyE2B.cfg file to \_ISO\MAINMENU\GraphicsMode.cfg), then you can 'switch' to a graphics mode with a wallpaper once the Main menu has loaded in text mode if you have a fast system.
    You can also use a plain coloured background instead of a bitmap, by setting the colour in the MyE2B.cfg file: e.g.
    set MYWBMP=0xCC77EE

Help! I ran .imgPTN file and now I can't get the E2B menu back or even boot to the CSM menu!

  1. Boot the E2B drive in MBR mode using QEMU (you can use RMPrepUSB and press F11 to boot it or use a real system) and then select the 'Easy2Boot menu - switch' option from the CSM menu. 
  2. If you don't see the CSM menu at all (it doesn't boot or just boots to the payload that was in the image) then run SWITCH_E2B.exe or  'RestoreE2B.cmd' under Windows, which you will find in the MakePartImage download and also on the E2B drive (in the \e2b folder if present). This must be run as admin from your Windows system.

If this happens on some systems but not all systems, re-make the .imgPTN file using MakePartImage v0.027 or later. Try also renaming the .imgPTN file to .imgPTN23A.

N.B. Some UEFI systems will not offer the user a MBR\CSM boot option if there are UEFI boot files present on the USB drive. This means that after changing to an .imgPTN file which contains EFI boot files, you may not be able to boot to the CSM Menu and restore the drive back to the E2B menu. For these systems, you must either MBR-boot on a different system, or use a Windows system to run \e2b\SWITCH_E2B.exe to restore the E2B partitions.

File extension is .imgPTN - ERROR: No Grub4dos installed to MBR of this drive! I get this error when running every .imgPTN file -why?

To run .imgPTN files, you need to install grub4dos to the MBR (first sector) of the USB drive.

If you used the Make_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd file to make the USB drive or followed the instructions here and used RMPrepUSB then you should not see this error.

It is easy to fix. Just run RMPrepUSB, select the USB drive and click on Install grub4dos - and choose YES=MBR when asked. 

This will install the grub4dos boot code to the MBR of the USB drive. Be careful not to overwrite the \grldr file with an older version though!

Flashing cursor or no CSM menu when re-booting to a .imgPTN image file on some systems

If most systems boot successfully from a .imgPTN partition image file (including booting using RMPrepUSB - QEMU), but one type of system does not and you just get a flashing cursor, re-make the .imgPTN file using MakePartImage v0.027 or later. Also try renaming the file extension to .imgPTN23A. Ensure that a small 2nd partition is present (check using RMPrepUSB - Drive Info - 0). If you have a 'BIOS BAD' message on booting E2B, make sure all files are below the 137GB point on the USB drive (or reformat/resize the E2B partition to be 137GB).

Booting from a .imgPTN file on some systems gives a 'Missing MBR Helper' message and won't boot.

If you get a 'Missing MBR Helper' message when booting in MBR mode from a .imgPTN file on some systems, rename the file to .imgPTN23LBAa

How can I boot E2B to a UEFI image without needing to boot to MBR mode first?

You can use the \_ISO\SWITCH_E2B.exe Windows utility OR...

Boot to the E2B Main Menu in MBR mode first in order to switch the partitions over to the UEFI image. 

See also FAQ How do I boot a payload (ISO) file in UEFI mode?

Also my blog post here.

My E2B USB Hard Disk is not listed in the BIOS boot menu?

If you are using a USB Hard Disk, this may be a detection issue. Look for a Hard Disk delay option in the BIOS Setup Menu and set it to 5-10 seconds.

Otherwise, when you get to the BIOS Boot Selection (BBS) menu, press CTRL-ALT-DEL to reboot and try again.

Different systems/models use different HotKeys for the BBS Menu:

Asus F8 or ESC, Sony F2, GateWay F10, Gigabyte F12, Dell F12, HP/Compaq Esc, Acer F12, eMachines F10, Toshiba F12, Fujitsu F12

Note this list is a guide only - different models may use a different hotkey!

Check you BIOS options for Secure Boot = Disable and CSM\Legacy boot mode = Enable.

I have a large All-in-One (AIO) Windows Installer ISO - how do I add it to E2B?

If your E2B USB drive a 'Removable-type' USB Flash drive, add the ISO file to one of the E2B menu folders (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\WIN) and rename the file extension as .ISOpe01. If your USB drive is of the 'Local\Fixed Disk' type, then you will also need to connect a USB 'Helper' Flash drive (any size). Your E2B drive obviously needs to be formatted as NTFS to hold large files.

If this fails to work, convert the ISO to a .imgPTN file (see below).

If your AIO ISO supports UEFI-booting or you don't want to use a 'Helper' flash drive, use MakePartImage to make a FAT32 partition image from the ISO. Then add the file to your E2B drive (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\WIN) and rename the file extension as .imgPTNLBAa). You should now be able to boot to the image and install in both MBR and UEFI mode (if Clover is in the image, you can boot via Clover straight to UEFI mode).

In order to hold .imgPTN files that are larger than 4GB, you will need to make your E2B USb drive using the NTFS filesystem.

Note: Even if you ISO is larger than 4GB, as long as no file inside the ISO is larger than 4GB, you can convert it to a FAT32 .imgPTN file (the E2B volume needs to be formatted as NTFS).

.imgPTN image partition file won't boot on one type of system (e.g. EeePC) - grub4dos 'hd0,0 non-MS' is displayed briefly.

It may be due to a 'bad' BIOS. Is the .imgPTN file on a large hard disk and past 137GB? Does normal booting to E2B give you warnings about a BAD BIOS? If so there is not much that can be done. The grub4dos grldr file is located beyond the 137GB point and the BIOS has a USB disk-access bug and cannot access blocks past 137GB. 

To fix, erase and reformat the whole USB drive and copy the E2B and .imgPTN files on first so the important  image files are before 137GB on the disk. Files that you only boot to using E2B - e.g. ISO files, can be added after these. If you later try to add another .imgPTN file, make sure it is below the 137GB point, otherwise you will need to reformat and re-copy the .imgPTN files on first again!

If you have ISOs which are located beyond 137GB, use a USB 2.0 port and load the grub4dos USB 2.0 driver in the Utilities Menu before running the ISO file.

Some ISOs that I converted to .imgPTN files won't UEFI-boot - why not?

If some .imgPTN files successfully UEFI-boot but others do not, then it may be due to a number of reasons:

1. You must make a FAT32 .imgPTN file (e.g. use the MPI_FAT32 desktop shortcut). Do not use the MPI_NTFS shortcut because most UEFI systems cannot read NTFS partitions.

2. The ISO/payload does not support UEFI-booting. This is easy to spot. When you select the .imgPTN file in the Easy2Boot menu, it will list the .efi boot files that are present. The CSM menu also lists the UEFI .efi boot files. These are \EFI\boot\bootx64.efi for 64-bit UEFI systems and \EFI\boot\bootia32.efi for 32-bit UEFI systems. If these are not present in your ISO\payload then they do not support UEFI-booting. E2B and the MPI Toolkit cannot make a non-UEFI payload into a UEFI-bootable payload - it has to be UEFI-bootable and contain one or both of these UEFI boot files in the original ISO\payload.

 <  

3. The UEFI system you are trying to boot with is not the correct type and your UEFI payload only has the 'wrong' type of efi boot file.

  • x86 32-bit UEFI firmware will only UEFI-boot from the \EFI\boot\bootia32.efi file
  • x86 64-bit UEFI firmware will only UEFI-boot from the \EFI\boot\bootx64.efi file

Note: Even though a system may contain a 64-bit CPU, the firmware may be a 32-bit UEFI version and thus only boot \EFI\boot\bootia32.efi files (e.g. Asus T100).

A few ISO\payloads contain both 32-bit and 64-bit UEFI boot files (e.g. Clonezilla and Parted Magic).

 

How can I get persistence to work with .imgPTN files

Check my blog articles for details, e.g. look for Kali, Arch, antiX, Mint, Ubuntu.

You can fully install linux to a .imgPTN partition image file, or in some case, add persistence files.

How can I make E2B auto-boot to the internal hard disk after installing Windows Vista/7/8.

It is always preferable to use the computer BIOS Boot Selection menu popup box (usually obtained by pressing a Fxx key or the ESC key) than to preset the boot order in the BIOS. However, if a BIOS boot option popup menu is not available, you can proceed as follows:

  1. make a $$$$BootHdd.mnu file so that the Boot to HDD menu entry will always be number #1

    title Boot to internal Hard Disk 0\n
    map (hd0) (hd1) && map (hd1) (hd0)
    map --hook
    chainloader (hd0)+1 
    rootnoverify (hd0)
  2. Boot to the E2B menu and select menu item 0 Set default menu entry and timeout
  3. Set the Default Menu Item to 1
  4. Set Menu timeout in Seconds to 10  (or whatever you prefer)
  5. (Optional) Supress the F7 menu entry by adding  set NOF7HD=1 to the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file

Now you can install Windows Vista/7/8 and when the system reboots, it will reboot to the internal hard disk after 10 seconds unless you press a key to stop the timeout.

 

 

Can I boot Windows from my E2B USB drive?

You can have one or more WindowsToGo installations on the same E2B USB drive. See my blog post here.

You can also boot from VHDs too - see blog post here.

 

What other languages are available for E2B other than English?

Supported languages can be detected by looking for their folders \_ISO\e2b\grub (e.g. ENG) - language folders will have a STRINGS.txt file in them.

You can copy the \_ISO\docs\Change_Language.mnu file to the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder to get a menu entry which will allow the user to temporarily change the language.

For instructions on how to translate E2B into another language, see here.

Why not send me your translated STRINGS.txt file (and F1.cfg file) and I will add it to the next version of E2B?

What is CONTIG.ISO? Why is it taking so long to run the ISO?

\_ISO\CONTIG.ISO is used by E2B to make an ISO file contiguous if it is not already contiguous. It is optional and you can delete it if you want to save 500MB of filespace.

e.g. If \_ISO\MAINMENU\fred.iso is not a contiguous file, E2B will copy the contents of the file to CONTIG.ISO (if it is contiguous) and then boot from CONTIG.ISO.

If you always make sure that all your files are contiguous on the E2B drive, you can delete the CONTIG.ISO file and save space. It will also cut out the long file copy time too!

If you have non-contiguous ISO files that are larger than CONTIG.ISO, E2B will warn you and will be unable to defragment the file. To fix this, just copy a larger file (any type) to \_ISO and name it CONTIG.ISO. Obviously, large ISOs will take longer to copy into CONTIG.ISO, so it is best to defragment the E2B drive if possible before you boot to E2B. Tip: A quick way to make a large file of a specific size is to use the RMPrepUSB - Make ext2 FS button.

Tip: Some non-contiguous linux ISO files can be booted using E2B's isoboot feature - select the ISO in the menu, hold down the SHIFT key and press ENTER whilst keeping the SHIFT key held down. This should run isoboot. E2B v1.62+ is required.

When installing from an XP Install ISO, it reports in text-mode Stage 1 that it cannot copy the FiraDisk driver files - why?

For non-standard XP Install ISO files, I recommend you create an XP Install USB Flash drive using WinSetupFromUSB - then use the MPI Tool Kit to make a NTFS .imgPTN file from the USB Flash drive and add the .imgPTN file to your E2B USB drive. For more details, read my blog post here.

 

Cause

You are probably using a modified version of the ISO. It probably contains a \i386\winnt.sif file with the following line:

OemPreinstall=Yes

Usually this issue is caused by the OemPreinstall entry being set to Yes in the Unattend section of the Winnt.sif file, so you should change it to No - the example below will work almost automatically, note the line in bold red. Be sure to set a valid Product key. Alternatively you can delete or rename the \i386\winnt.sif file in the ISO and enter in the key and other answers manually.

E2B v1.62+ versions detects a winnt.sif file containing OemPreInstall=yes and will offer to modify the winnt.sif for you so that it will install correctly. if you load the XP ISO into memory, it will automatically remove the OemPreinstall=Yes line.

Note: ISO files which contain a \$OEM$ folder may not work correctly with E2B (e.g. Error 0x80070002 - cannot validate) if you change the OemPreinstall value to No.
 
The OemPreinstall option is set by default to No but if the ISO is using the $OEM$ Distribution Folders then it needs to be set to Yes, so that Setup regards this installation as a distribution and copies these files over to the system drive. This occurs at the end of Text-mode Setup. However, having OemPreinstall set to Yes will also prevent you from loading RAID/SATA drivers and FiraDisk/WinVBlock drivers using E2B DPMS or F6 during textmode setup.  This means that the E2B installl of XP from an ISO file will not work correctly with .iso files that contain a $OEM$ folder. The only workaround for the problem is to directly integrate the firadisk and mass-storage drivers into the CD, as described here.

 

[Data]
AutoPartition=0
UnattendedInstall="Yes"
MsDosInitiated=No
win9xupgrade="no"
winntupgrade="no"
EulaComplete="1"
 
[Unattended]
UnattendMode=FullUnattended
OemSkipEula=Yes
UnattendSwitch="yes"
WaitForReboot="No"
TargetPath=\WINDOWS
DriverSigningPolicy=Ignore
NonDriverSigningPolicy=Ignore
OemPreinstall=No
 
[GuiUnattended]
AdminPassword=*
AutoLogon=Yes
AutoLogonCount=999999999
EncryptedAdminPassword=NO
TimeZone=85
OEMSkipRegional=1
OemSkipWelcome=1
AutoLogon=Yes
 
[UserData]
ProductKey=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
FullName="XP"
OrgName="XP"
ComputerName=*
 
[TapiLocation]
CountryCode=1
 
[RegionalSettings]
LanguageGroup=1
SystemLocale=00000409
UserLocale=00000409
InputLocale=0409:00000409
 
[Identification]
JoinWorkgroup=WORKGROUP
 
[Networking]
InstallDefaultComponents=Yes
 

For Troubleshooting hints and tips and 'Gotcha's on installing XP from an ISO see http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/install-xp-from-an-iso

Which files can I delete to gain more file space on my E2B USB drive?

  • Delete the \EFI folder, if it is present (1.1MB)
  • Delete the \_ISO\CONTIG.ISO file (this will prevent auto-defragging of ISOs though) (500MB) 
  • Delete the \_ISO\e2b\grub\DPMS\D folder (it is only required for XP installs from ISO) (60MB)
  • Delete unwanted language folders at \_ISO\e2b\grub\xxx except the default ENG folder and your own language folder (approx 250KB)

    Only if you are desperate:...
  • Delete part or the whole \_ISO\docs folder (it is not used by E2B) (10MB)
  • Delete the contents of the \_ISO\UTILITIES_MEMTEST folder (if not wanted)  (155KB)

How can I speed up the CONTIG.ISO copy process?

You can usually avoid the CONTIG.ISO copy process if you make all files on the USB drive contiguous.

To speed up the copy process however, use the Utilities menu option to load grub4dos 0.4.6 (usually this is already loaded) and then use the 'Install Grub4DOS USB Driver' menu option to load the in-built grub4dos 0.4.6 USB 2.0 driver. 

After doing this, select your ISO and it usually loads much faster if it detects the USB drive!

Note: The grub4dos USB driver only works on USB 2.0 USB ports and may not work on all systems.

You can configure E2B to always try to use the grub4dos USB driver by using a setting in the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file.

What are the $$STRxxxx keywords in the .mnu and .txt files in E2B?

These Keywords are translated into text strings by E2B as the files are loaded.

The default text strings are in \_ISO\e2b\grub\ENG\STRINGS.txt.

For instance, if set LANG=SPANISH is specified in the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file, then the \_ISO\e2b\grub\SPANISH\STRINGS.txt file is used by E2B to convert each $$STRxxxx Keyword into words. In this way, E2B can support many different languages by using different STRINGS.txt files.

Note: If a \_ISO\STRINGS.txt file exists, then that file will always be used instead of any other language file.

If you want to copy any of the .mnu files and edit them, just replace the $$STRxxxx Keyword with text (in any language):

e.g.

iftitle [ls (bd)/_ISO/ANTIVIRUS/ > (md)0x9F00+1 && checkrange 1:-1 read 0x13E0000 > nul && if "%GFX%"==""] $$STRm016
#MFOLDER must be the full folder path starting with /
set MFOLDER=/_ISO/ANTIVIRUS
#HDG is the top heading for the menu
set HDG=$$STRm017
(bd)/%grub%/SubMenu.g4b
boot
 
to make ZZSubMenuFish.mnu...
 
iftitle [ls (bd)/_ISO/FISH/ > (md)0x9F00+1 && checkrange 1:-1 read 0x13E0000 > nul && if "%GFX%"==""] My new menu for Fish\n My help text for Fish
#MFOLDER must be the full folder path starting with /
set MFOLDER=/_ISO/FISH
#HDG is the top heading for the menu
set HDG=/x20                                 FISH Menu                                                 /x20
(bd)/%grub%/SubMenu.g4b
boot

 

MBR\CSM booting of the same .impPTN image does not boot to the CSM menu on some systems (but does using QEMU or VBox)

This is probably due to the BIOS of that particular type of system.

Ensure the .imgPTN file is situated below 137GB on the USB disk. Ideally the E2B partition should be the first partition on the disk and less than 137GB in size - see BIOS bugs page for more details.

The most common problem is that some systems just boot from a 'CSM-mode' drive to a 'flashing cursor'. This is usually because the BIOS is trying to boot the USB drive as a floppy disk rather than a hard disk.

To fix this we need to create a 2nd partition on the drive - there are two ways to do this:

1. Use EasuUS Home Partition Master to create a 2nd Primary partition (any type) on the E2B USB drive (i.e. when it is in the E2B mode and boots to the the E2B menu) - if it already has one then you don't need to create one. 

Now change the .imgPTN file extension to .imgPTN23LBAa.

2. You can make a small partition image using ImDisk (e.g. 10MB) of the same name as your .imgPTN file, but with no file extension. Then place the file in the same folder as the .imgPTN file, e.g.

\_ISO\MAINMENU\Clonezilla.imgPTN

\_ISO\MAINMENU\Clonzilla

 

Other problems

.imgPTN partition images use the same Master Boot Record as the E2B-mode and the code in the MBR will boot to the E2B CSM grub4dos menu - this is the standard way all IBM-compatible BIOSes should boot. However, the Partition Boot Record of the image file may contain code which boots to Windows or Syslinux or Clover (depending on what image you are using). Some 'deviant' BIOSes do not boot from the MBR but ignore it and boot directly to the PBR instead (of whatever partition is marked as Active/bootable).

If the E2B USB drive was made correctly, grub4dos is installed both to the MBR and PBR, this it will always boot to the E2B menu even on the 'bad' BIOS systems. However, when using .imgPTN images, grub4dos is not in the PBR and so these 'bad' BIOSes just run whatever code is in the PBR.

If you run Clover once on these images, it installs Clover onto the PBR. If you have never run Clover from that partition image, then the PBR will contain Syslinux or bootmgr boot code.

Look for a BIOS update from the manufacturer. Otherwise, use E2B for MBR\CSM booting and only use the .imgPTN file for UEFI booting.

'Error 21: Selected disk does not exist' - why do I get this error?

grub4dos is trying to access a disk which does not exist. For instance, the system does not contain a working hard disk.

When you boot from a USB drive it will always be hd0. The internal hard disk(s) will be hd1, hd2, hd3, etc.

The most common reason for this error is that you have chosen a .mnu file or file extension that assumes that you have an internal hard disk in the system when you don't (or at least the BIOS cannot detect one). For example, you are trying to run a Windows Install ISO or you have named an ISO file with the .iso01 or .isope01 file extension, but grub4dos cannot detect hd1 and so cannot swap over hd0 with hd1 before it boots the ISO file. In this case, use the file extension .iso or .isope.

The Change_Language.mnu file doesn't seem to work

If you have a \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file which has a 

set LANG=xxxx

line, this will always set the language so that the Change Language menu will not work.

Change the line in your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file to

if "%LANG%"==""set LANG=xxxx 

*where xxxx is your language). Also, make sure the file  \_ISO\STRINGS.txt is not present!

I can't seem to work out how E2B alphabetically orders the menu items?

E2B alphabetically sorts all files and folders in the 'target' folder (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU), then it starts to go down the sorted list and add each entry to it's menu. If it finds an entry that is a folder (directory), then it starts to enumerate all files and folders in that folder, sorts them alphabetically and then starts to add those entries to the menu, etc. etc. If no more folders are found, it goes back to the previous list.

For instance all files in the \_ISO\MAINMENU\MNU folder will appear in the Main menu before \_ISO\MAINMENU\Ubuntu.iso because M comes before U. You can change the name of the MNU folder to $$$MNU and the files inside it will be listed earlier - or change the MNU folder name to ZZZZZMNU and the files inside it will be listed at the end of the menu.

If you are still having problems working it out, then look at the files as they are enumerated by E2B on the screen before the menu is displayed. This will show you the file enumeration order.

An example of the messages and file enumeration order of the MAINMENU folder can be seen here.

You can obtain a list of these messages as follows:

1. Create an empty text file \mylog.txt in the root of your E2B drive - it should be about 10K bytes or larger in size (e,g, use Notepad and fill a file with spaces - it needs to be big enough to hold all the messages so the more ISO files you have the larger a file you will need)

2. Create a \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file with just this contents

!BAT
echo > (hd0,0)/mylog.txt
set redirp=>> (hd0,0)/mylog.txt
set redir=>> (hd0,0)/mylog.txt
 

3. Boot to E2B - you should see no startup messages and then the E2B Main menu will appear (you can now choose a sub-menu if you are having trouble with a particular menu). When you have reached the 'problem' menu...

4. Quit E2B

Now you can study the mylog.txt file to see how the files were enumerated.

How do I remove the Help [F1] Main menu entry?

In the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file add set NOF1=1 (see Sample_MyE2B.cfg file for details) (v1.57a and later).

(older versions only) The Help [F1] Main menu entry is caused by the \_ISO\MAINMENU\ZZZF1SubMenuHelp.mnu file, you can instead just delete it to remove the menu entry (if it is present).

If you want to make your own Help menu, copy the \_ISO\e2b\grub\ENG\F1.cfg file to the \_ISO folder and then edit it (save it in UTF-8 format using Windows NotePad if you want non-ANSI characters). Do not delete the  \_ISO\MAINMENU\ZZZF1SubMenuHelp.mnu file if one is present.

If you don't want a menu entry for Help, but want the F1 hotkey to be active in all menus, then read the \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg file for details of how to set up an F1 global hotkey using a \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file.

Error 16: Inconsistent filesystem structure

This error is often due to the target file not being large enough. Check the file exists and that it is large enough to hold whatever is being copied into it.

if using a VM, check that the .vmdk file is of the correct size. If using VBox+DavidB's VMUB - edit the VMUB options and set the correct USB drive.

When installing Windows from an ISO, it just boots to my hard disk and not the Windows ISO!

The most common problem is that you did not press a key when prompted.

Because you are booting from an ISO, it will ask you

Press any key to boot from CD or DVD

and there should be a delay of several seconds to allow you to press a key.

You must press a key, so that it boots from the ISO (i.e. DVD) - otherwise the Windows Install ISO will boot from your hard disk instead.

Note that some systems may 'miss' the key press and boot to the hard disk or the timeout (which is usually several seconds) may be very quick.
In this case, press several keys quickly.

You can prevent the 'Press any key' prompt by making a new .ISO file but deleting the \boot\bootfix.bin file from the ISO.

 

How can I automate Windows 7/8 UEFI installs when using .imgPTN files?

See here.

Most Windows ISOs boot OK, but one ISO that I made myself does not boot. Why?

Most Windows ISOs contain boot code. If you make your own ISO, you must make it using a utility that will make bootable ISOs.

For an example of a command line utility that will make a bootable Windows ISO see here.

More Information

The E2B code can boot from some non-bootable ISO files by directly booting from the \bootmgr file which is inside the Windows ISO file. However, grub4dos 0.4.5c does not support the Joliet CDFS file specification and so cannot read the files on a Joliet ISO,

If you use E2B to switch to grub4dos 0.4.6 (use the menu entry), you may find that you can now boot from the ISO,

MakePartImage - 7Zip gives a 'Cannot open xxxxx.iso as archive' error

Please refer to the ReadMe.txt file in the MPI Toolkit download

For some UDF ISOs, you may also need you to install either PowerIso or WinRAR.

The MPI script will automatically use WinRAR and/or PowerIso if 7Zip cannot read the payload file format.