Recommended USB drives: Removable USB Flash drive -SanDisk Extreme Cruzer 64GB USB 3.0 (note: avoid older versions which may be of the Fixed-disk type. Also, avoid 'fast' USB drives such as the Lexar P20 Flash drive or Kingston HyperX because they are very slow with small files and WindowsToGo!).
For an External HDD, I recommend a non-UASP USB 3.0 enclosure (such as the IT-CEO USB 3.0 IT-700 - see blog post on enclosures here).
I also highly recommend the IODD 2531 HDD enclosure- see blog post here, this drive can emulate USB CD/DVD drives and can also be used to boot E2B without needing a 'Helper' USB flash drive and you can write-protect the HDD whilst in use.
Linux users - please go here. If possible however, use Windows to make the E2B USB drive because it will be more compatible on a wider range of systems (2 partitions should be created for best compatibilty).
To make a multiple-partition USB E2B boot drive or to use your existing USB drive without re-formatting or to make an exFAT USB drive - see the 'Make an E2B USB drive using RMPrepUSB' page. Note that under Windows, Removable USB drives will only have one partition accessible to Windows at any one time.
You do NOT need to reformat your existing USB drive, but I highly recommend it if you want to boot from many different types of systems.
If you don't want to re-format it, see 'Make an E2B USB drive using RMPrepUSB' page and just install grub4dos (MBR+PBR) to the USB drive using RMPrepUSB. I recommend you ensure you have two primary partitions (or one primary+logical partitions) on the drive. If it only has one primary partition, shrink the partition slightly and create a 2nd primary partition (e.g. using EaseUS Home Partition Master free-edition). This will help it to boot on a wider range of systems due to some systems having buggy BIOSes.
Quick Instructions for Windows users (maximum-sized partition - recommended)
Beginners Tip: Download the self-extracting .exe version of E2B and run it. It will automatically do steps 1 and 2 for you!
For more experienced users, I recommend using the zip file download:
1. Extract the E2B .7z or .zip download to a new folder called 'E2B' (any name will do)
I recommend you temporarily turn off anti-virus protection for the next step.
2. Run the MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd script (NTFS is recommended)
3. Copy all your payload files (ISOs, etc.) to the correct sub-folders under \_ISO (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU)
4. Run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd from the USB drive
WARNING: If using a large USB drive (>128GB), use this method instead and make sure that E2B is in the first partition and it is below 137GB in size.
This is because many BIOSes (even modern ones!) have problems accessing USB sectors beyond 137GB (internal hard drives >137GB may be OK, but USB drives >137GB may not work because the BIOS USB driver code in many BIOSes has still not been updated!).
1. Download Easy2Boot (either the basic download, or the DPMS version of E2B with XP 32-bit Mass Storage drivers if you want to install XP to SATA systems).
2. Unzip the Easy2Boot file (e.g. using 7Zip) to a new empty folder on your hard drive (DO NOT EXTRACT E2B DIRECTLY ONTO THE WINDOWS DESKTOP!)
3. Insert the USB drive into your Windows computer's USB port.
4. Use Windows Explorer and in the extracted E2B folder, right-click on ...
\Make_E2B_USB_Drive (run as admin).cmd
and choose 'Run as Administrator...' - now follow the instructions...
Here is a YouTube video (not my video) of how to make an E2B USB drive using MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd (may be useful if you don't speak English well).
This MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd script uses RMPartUSB.exe and a new version of grubinst.exe to make a USB drive as compatible as possible with a wide variety of different BIOSes and systems. I highly recommend you use the MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd script provided or RMPrepUSB to make your E2B USB drive. Other methods (e.g. bootice, linux, etc.) may not produce such good results.
Note: Some AntiVirus programs such as Trend Micro may interfere with the copy process. Either disable the AV program, whitelist the autorun.inf file or delete the autorun.inf file from the download first (autorun.inf just displays an E2B icon when the E2B USB drive is displayed in Windows Explorer - it does NOT run any program).
Defraggler may also interfere with the script (see below for a list of known 'problem' software).
5. Enter the USB drive number (e.g. 4) and then choose F=FAT32, or choose N=NTFSif you want to add files larger than 4GB to the E2B drive.
NTFS is recommended - E2B can still be used for UEFI-booting using .imgPTN files.
Note: You can UEFI-boot from a FAT32, exFAT, ext2 or NTFS E2B USB drive.
If you want to support UEFI booting, you will need to create FAT32 .imgPTN partition image files. You can UEFI-boot from .imgPTN files, even if the E2B USB drive partition is formatted as NTFS, so there is very little disadvantage in using NTFS.
If you have a small USB Flash drive (1-16GB) and all your files are less than 4GB in size, I suggest you use FAT32 which is easier to defrag (especially under linux). Also, E2B will enumerate files on a FAT32 E2B drive twice as fast as a NTFS formatted drive, so the Main menu will load twice as from a FAT32 volume.
Even if you are booting a linux distro ISO file that does not support NTFS, it should still boot from an E2B NTFS drive!
6. Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd will ask you to specify a language, keyboard and menu option and will create a \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file for you.
If you don't want to use a MyE2B.cfg file, type S to skip that section for default USA settings.
You will be offered the option of adding a QR code or an animated E2B logo in later versions.
7. Finished! - The E2B drive is now ready for use.
To boot on a real system from a USB drive, you will typically need to press a Function key (e.g. F8 or F12) to get a BIOS Selection Menu pop-up - see here for more detials.
Tip: if it fails to format the USB drive as NTFS, run it again and select FAT32 - then re-run the script again to format it as NTFS.
Note: To boot Windows .VHD and .WIM files, the file bootmgr must be copied to the E2B USB drive folder \_ISO\e2b\grub\DPMS\NTBOOT.MOD\bootmgr.
Only certain Windows 8/8.1 versions of bootmgr will work, do not use the Windows 10 version of bootmgr as it will give a BSOD. Most Windows 8/8.1 boot managers should be compatible. Bootmgr versions that work are sizes 389720, 389720, 398144, 398156, 398356, 427680, 404250, 409154, 403390 or 400517 bytes.
To update your E2B USB drive with a later version of E2B, download the non-DPMS version, extract it to an empty folder and then run
from that folder.
If you wish, you can add all the ISOs and .mnu and .txt files, etc. into the extracted folder too, so that when you run UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.CMD, any new or updated files will be copied across to your E2B USB drive (but no files will be deleted from the USB drive). If you run the MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd file, then a new E2B USB drive will be made and all your payload files, etc. will be copied across to the USB drive as well.
If you have more than one E2B USB drive and you want to update them all, just connect as many E2B USB drives as possible to the Windows computer (e.g. use a multi-port USB hub) and double-click on \_ISO\docs\make_E2B_USB_Drive\Update_all_E2B_drives.cmd.
More things to do...
Looking for things to do with your new E2B USB drive? Look here.
If you are very short of space, you can delete the500MB\_ISO\CONTIG.ISO file (but you will have to remember to defrag all your ISOs).
Problems using MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd?
Some AntiVirus products may block the \AutoRun.inf file from being copied to the USB drive (or may warn of a possible virus) - this file is not essential. You can either disable your AV or just not have a nice E2B icon displayed in Explorer. There is no virus and the E2B autorun.inf file does not run any program.
Some products which may interfere with process of making or using an E2B USB drive are:
Note: For E2B pre-v1.58 versions - If you used FAT32, the E2B USB drive will contain UEFI boot files (xxx.efi) which will run MemTest86 from a UEFI system. If these .efi boot files are present, some UEFI systems (e.g. Fujitsu LifeBook) may not boot to the E2B Main menu but always boot and run MemTest86, even if CSM is enabled in the BIOS. To ensure that the USB drive always boots to the E2B Main menu, delete the \EFI folder.
Trouble when Installing Windows Vista\7\8\10 ISOs?
Note: Check if your USB Flash drive is of the 'Removable' or 'Fixed' type (as listed by Windows Explorer or RMPrepUSB).
If the USB Flash Drive or USB HDD drive is listed as a 'Local Disk' or 'Fixed Disk' then you will either need to