How to use the E2B Menu
Note: You will only see the E2B Menu when you MBR-boot - there is no UEFI E2B menu.
Menu Cursor keys
You can use the [UP] and [DOWN] cursor keys to select 'active' menu entries or the [RIGHT] and [LEFT] keys for any menu entry.
The [PAGE_UP] and [PAGE_DOWN] keys will also work.
If a menu entry is not considered a 'bootable/active' entry by grub4dos (e.g. a blank entry or line separator), then you can only select it using the [RIGHT] and [LEFT] cursor keys.
Initial letter hotkeys (AUTOMENU feature)
In E2B v.1.65 and later versions, you can press any letter to select a menu entry beginning with the initial letter of the menu entry.
If you press it again, then it will jump to the next menu item that begins with that letter. It will cycle round if necessary.
If a hotkey has been defined, it will override the initial-letter hotkey.
Due to the menu number feature (see below) you should avoid filenames beginning with a number.
You can disable this behaviour by using set AUTOMENU=OFF in the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file.
Some menu items may respond to a pre-defined hotkey, usually signified (by convention) with square brackets in the menu entry - e.g. [Ctrl+A] or [Alt+1].
When a menu hotkey is pressed, the new menu is immediately acted upon (you do not need to press the [ENTER] key).
Once E2B starts to enumerate files, you can press a hotkey without needing to wait for the Main menu to be displayed first. e.g. press Ctrl+I whilst E2B is booting and it will proceed to the Windows Install menu.
You can define specific hotkeys for specific payload (e.g. ISO) files by creating a matching .txt file
Tip: You can also define hotkeys which will be active in all menus (global hotkeys), by editing the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file (e.g. you can specify F9 to reboot the computer even if no menu item is present for it in the current menu).
E2B v1.A8 and later versions have the global hotkey Ctrl+F8 pre-defined - use this to reload E2B in case of any menu error.
Each menu can have up to 100 menu entries (0-99).
If you press the 1 number key, the #1 (2nd) menu entry will be highlighted. If you next press the 3 number key, the #13 (14th) menu entry will then be highlighted. If you press 1 again, the #1 menu item will be highlighted.
Even if you disable the appearance of menu numbers in the menus by using a setting in MyE2B.cfg, you can still use the number keys to jump to a specific menu entry, e.g. 0 will jump to the first menu entry. Note that in this case, blank menu entries will be counted too.
If some menu entries start with a number, this will interfere with the menu number jump feature - so avoid menu entries or filenames that start with a number.
The menu entry numbers down the side of the menu can be disabled by setting the AUTONUM variable in the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg user configuration file (set AUTONUM=0x2000).
Sometimes E2B may need to ask a user something, e.g.
Load ISO into memory ([Y]/N) :
In this example, any key press (including just pressing the ENTER key), except N, will load the ISO into memory.
The default answer is always shown in square brackets [ ]. So ([Y]/N) means that if you press the N key (n or N) and then [ENTER] then the answer will be 'No'. If you press any other key (or just hit [ENTER]), the answer will be accepted as 'Yes'.
Conversely, (Y/[N]) indicates that any key, except Y, will cause an answer of 'No' to be accepted.
The E2B code will only look for the key press which is NOT in square brackets.
The answer key that is not in square brackets should be changed
Note that if you are using a non-English language, you must still use the N or Y keys - the key that is not in square brackets must not be changed.
For instance, dispaying the prompt J/[N] will not work because the code will be looking for the Y key (you should use Y/[N]), whereas [J]/N will work OK because the code will be looking for the N key.
Try to avoid pressing ESC because this key may have an unwanted affect; if in doubt or if E2B pauses, then press [ENTER].
If a payload file is listed in the menu, you can use the following keys or combinations:
- select linux ISO from menu - hold down SHIFT key and press ENTER to run the ISO using the 'ISOBOOT' method. This method uses the
special linux cheat code and does not require the .iso file to be contiguous. The file name is recognised so do not change the filename - no spaces allowed. Instead of the normal boot method, ISOB OOT
will be run (used mainly for booting linux ISOs which are not contiguous)
[SHIFT]+[CTRL]+[ENTER] - E2B will calculate and dispay the CRC32 value of the file before running it (useful for checking for a corrupt ISO but can be slow!). See also CRC check a file for corruption/infection.
[SCROLL LOCK] - VERBOSE/AUTO-SUGGEST MODE (E2B v1.91+). If SCROLL LOCK is on when QRUN.g4b is executed (e.g. when booting from most payload files), the NOSUG, redir and redirp variables will be cleared. This allows you to see all E2B messages and suggestions. This is useful if you have suppressed messages by setting these variables in your MyE2B.cfg file but now wish to see the E2B messages - perhaps for a particular payload that is not booting correctly. (E2B v1.91+). If SCROLL LOCK is on, then you will always get the auto-suggest prompt (even if no alternative extension is suggested) - you can then type Y=Yes, N=No, A=Abort or I=use .isoask.
Note: Because SCROLL LOCK may affect some boot loaders (e.g. isolinux/syslinux goes to shell and user must press ENTER to get menu), the SCROLL LOCK key status is always cleared by QRUN.g4b (you will see the SCROLL LOCK LED go out).
[SHIFT] - Hold down before E2B boots/loads - LOADS FAST grub4dos USB 2.0 DRIVER. If LEFT-SHIFT or RIGHT-SHIFT is held down before E2B starts to boot (or when the Main Menu re-loads) then the grub4dos USB 2.0 driver will be loaded. The grub4dos USB 2.0 rd/wr driver is useful for these reasons:
- Does not suffer from the 137GB sector limitation bug that is present in many BIOSes so the driver can access files past 137GB on the USB drive.
- Faster than most USB 2.0 BIOS drivers
- If you loaded E2B using Plop!, the Plop! read-only driver will be replaced by the grub4dos read/write driver.
Note that SHIFT+F8 does not reload the Main Menu because it is not seen as an F8 key press. Either use the Reload Main Menu entry or press F8 and then quickly hold down the SHIFT key to load the USB driver if it was not loaded on boot.
[Ctrl+F8] - Reload grub4dos, E2B and the whole menu system (v1.A8+).
[INSERT] - Single Step in grub4dos - if the INSERT key is held down just as grub4dos starts to boot, then grub4dos will enter debug/single-step mode. Every key press will cause another line of code (or screenfull of cdoe) to be executed. You can keep the INSERT key held down until an error is seen (or the E2B menu is displayed). 'get_cdinfo' lines are usually the first to appear, then E2B batch file commands and then IFTITLE 'test' lines, before the E2B Main menu is finally displayed.
! key - (v1.72+) (SHOWTIMES) During booting to E2B you can press the ! key (SHIFT+1 = exclamation mark) to display how long each E2B boot stage took. You can also use 'set SHOWTIMES=1' in the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file to show the same information every time. This can help diagnose slow boot time problems.
Use the ! key to display boot timings
[SPACE] key (PAUSE STARTUP MESSAGES) - (v1.71+) During menu enumeration by E2B (any menu folder), you can press the SPACE key (spacebar) once only to pause the display, press the SPACE key twice quickly to pause it again after file enumeration (the first time is for it to continue and again for it to stop). This allows you to view the order that E2B has enumerated the files in. E2B menu entries are ordered alphabetically (including folder names).
(v1.78+) - If you press the SPACE key ONCE during the early initial boot phases, E2B will pause for you to see the early boot messages. Press any key to continue or press the SPACE key TWICE quickly to make it pause again at the next point. This also works when sub-menu entries are loaded too. Note that if you have used redir or redirp in your MyE2B.cfg file to suppress the startup messages, you may not see many or any messages!
If you press the SPACE key rapidly, multiple times during startup, E2B will only pause after all the menu files have been enumerated and ask you to press [ENTER] before displaying the Main menu.
E2B Default Timeout
Seconds countdown timer at far right (see yellow arrow).
If a menu entry timeout has been set (e.g. by using '0 Set default menu entry and timeout'), a seconds countdown number will be displayed to the right of the menu entry. When it reaches 0, the menu entry will be automatically selected.
Grub4dos menu hotkeys (SHIFT + b, c, e and p)
Grub4dos will respond to the b, c, e and p keys - you must hold down the SHIFT key first before pressing one of these keys if AUTONUM has been used (default).
If a password has been set (pwd), pressing the SHIFT+b, SHIFT+c or SHIFT+e keys will have no effect, until you enter the correct password after pressing SHIFT+p.
Note that if AUTOMENU is disabled by the MyE2B.cfg file, you do not need to press the SHIFT key.
< password prompt after pressing SHIFT+p
[SHIFT]+p - enter grub4dos menu password (if a 'pwd' password has been set). If a password is set, then [SHIFT]+c, b and e (see below) will not work until the correct password has been entered. The default password is 'easy2boot'.
[SHIFT]+c - drop to command prompt (e.g. type help to see commands)
[SHIFT]+e - edit the current menu entry (any changes you make are not permanent)
[SHIFT]+b - boot to the currently selected menu item
[ENTER] - boot to the currently selected menu item
[ESC] - abort from current operation - (if in the command shell after pressing SHIFT+c in the E2B menu, it will go back to the E2B menu)
Tip: E2B hides the grub4dos help text that is normally displayed below the menu (e.g. if no menu entry help text is specified by using \n after a title command and when you use the Edit key). You may wish to see the help text when using the menu edit feature. Press SHIFT+c to go to the command prompt and type setmenu --keyhelp=0=0 then press ESC to return to the menu. Now you will see the grub4dos help text (see screenshot below). You can add this setmenu command permanently, by placing the single line of text in a \_ISO\MAINMENU\!!CONFIG\$menu_help.mnu file.
grub4dos edit help text can then be seen if you press SHIFT-e to invoke the Grub4dos menu editor (after entering the password if required).
grub4dos menu edit commands are:
e = edit a line
d = delete a line
O/o = open a new line before/after current position
b = boot
c = command-line
ESC = return to menu
Problems booting grub4dos?
Grub4dos can boot in 'safe and slow' mode. Just as the USB drive starts to boot, press the S key. You should see a text message and a 5 seconds countdown if the key press was seen. Grubdos may then be able to boot successfully.