VMWare and Plop!

Plop! contains a read-only USB 2.0 driver and it can be used to boot a system from a USB drive if the system's BIOS does not support USB booting.
 
If you are using the Plop! boot ISO with VMWare, E2B v1.98+ supports the TESTPLOP environment variable.
 
Add set TESTPLOP=1 to your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file so that when E2B boots, it will automatically load the grub4dos USB 2.0 rd/wr driver if it detects that the Plop! boot loader has been used.
 
WARNING: Do NOT switch in or out .imgPTN images using this method because you may not be able to boot from the E2B drive again (unless you use SWITCH_E2B.exe to restore the original E2B partitions) and it will corrupt the .imgPTN file! To use .imgPTN files, switch to the image using SWITCH_E2B.exe or a real system or QEMU or VBox. Similarly, do not restore the E2B partition from under a VMWare session.
 
This method of using VMare to boot to E2B should be regarded as 'experimental' though it seems to work OK for testing Windows Installs to a VM.
 

Requirements

  • VMWare Workstation Pro or Player v14 or later
  • E2B USB 2.0 or 3.0 drive (with modified MyE2B.cfg as above)
  • USB 2.0 port OR a USB 2.0 extension cable connected to a USB 3.0 port
  • Plop! Boot ISO or USB_BOOT ISO file
  • For testing Windows Install ISOs, use a 'Removable' type E2B USB flash drive
 

Procedure

1. Install VMWare to your system
2. Create a new Virtual Machine in VMWare for Windows XP (do not specify Windows 10 if using VMWare Player because the VM will then only UEFI-boot) - select the Plop!/USB_BOOT ISO file as the 'installer disc image file'
3. Change the Memory to at least 1GB and the virtual hard disk size to whatever is appropriate for the OS that you want to install (if applicable). E2B needs 128MB+.
4. Ensure that a USB 2.0 controller is present in the VM
 
 
5. Insert your E2B drive into a USB 2.0 port (or USB 2.0 extension cable) (add the set TESTPLOP=1 line to \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg).
6. Start the VM - it should boot to the ISO
7. Use the VM - Removable devices tab or the icons at the top right to attach the E2B USB drive to the VM
8. Reset the VM (it shoud boot from the Plop ISO) and from the Plop! menu select the USB menu option to boot to E2B
E2B should then automatically load the grub4dos rd/wr driver.
 
Tip: For faster read-write operation hold down the SHIFT key as E2B starts to boot to load the fast grub4dos USB 2.0 driver or go to the Utilities menu and run 'Load fast USB 2.0 driver' option for rd/wr access and faster operation.
 
Note: VMWare does support the E2B tunes feature (beep via emulated internal speaker) so you can hear the tunes.
 

VMWare BIOS

Note: Once an OS is installed, VMWare will automatically boot to the virtual hard disk. 

To reboot to the E2B drive, you must press ESC once only to boot from the 'CD-ROM' drive (or remove the virtual hard drive from the VM Devices list).

You can enter the BIOS by pressing F2 just as the VM starts or you can press ESC for a BIOS Boot Selection Menu (press ONCE only, when prompted). To extend the BIOS boot delay for enough time for you to press ESC, you may need to add:

bios.bootDelay = "5000"

as the first line of the .vmx file for your VM, using NotePad (e.g. "C:\Users\Steve\Documents\Virtual Machines\USB BOOT 2.0\USB BOOT 2.0.vmx").