New website for E2B at www.easy2boot.xyz
Details on this website may now be outdated
Quick Setup Guide
NEW for 2020: Many systems these days are UEFI-only. I suggest you add a 2nd FAT32 partition containing the new a1ive grub2 File Manager for direct UEFI-booting from the ISO, WIM, VHD and IMG files on your E2B drive. E2B v2 will automatically add this second partition for you if you use Windows 10 to make it. You can also add a version of Ventoy too. See eBook#4 for more details. Use the 'Guide' below to help you choose the best way to set up and use an E2B USB drive.
- E2B Menu system: grub4dos-based - Legacy\MBR only
- agFM Menu System: grub2-based - Legacy\MBR, UEFI32, UEFI64
- Easy2Boot for Ventoy Menu system: grub2-based - Legacy\MBR, UEFI32, UEFI64
Note: The menu system for agFM and Ventoy is very different from the E2B menu system and is described here. To UEFI-boot - you must boot to partition 2.
- To MBR\Legacy boot - boot to partition 1
- To UEFI-boot - boot to partition 2
Tip: NEVER set the USB drive as the first boot device in the BIOS Setup menu. The first boot device should always be set to the internal hard disk that is the system's boot device - otherwise an Operating System may install boot code onto the E2B USB drive instead of the internal disk! Always use the BIOS Boot selection pop-up menu to boot from the E2B USB drive.
1. Type of USB Drive (Fixed v. Removable USB drive)
Note that some USB Flash drives can be very slow (even some 'fast' USB 3.0 ones such as Lexar P20!). I highly recommend the SanDisk Cru zer Extreme USB 3.0 Removable USB drive for E2B - for larger sizes, speed and robustness, a cheap SSD HDD in a fast USB 3.0 non-UASP drive caddy is great!
2. USB Drive size (first partition <128GiB)
Many of the BIOSes in PCs and Notebooks have a 137GB limit for USB drives (USB driver bug - even some recent BIOSes!) - any files placed beyond that point on the USB disk cannot be accessed on some systems (grub4dos uses the system BIOS). This means that the E2B partition must be the first partition on the USB drive and should not exceed 137GB (128GiB) to ensure it will work correctly on all systems including those with a buggy BIOS.
3. Filesystem (use NTFS)
4. Make an E2B USB drive
5. Adding Payloads
- Always check the list here first for your particular payload and any special instructions.
- Copy your payload file(s) to an E2B menu folder.
- Always run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd before booting.
- E2B v2 +agFM can also directly UEFI-boot and run ISOs, VHDs, .IMG files, EFI files, etc.
- If agFM does not Secure Boot on a particular system, make a FAT32 .imgPTN file using the MPI Tool Kit.
- If you want the second partition on the E2B USB drive to remain accessible, use a file extension of .imgPTN23 to keep partitions 2 and 3 (if they exist).
- UEFI-booting using FAT32 .imgPTN files will only work if the payload supports it and it contains UEFI-boot files.
- AIO ISOs, multi-boot WinPE ISOs, bootable USB flash drives, etc. may need to be converted to .imgPTN files.
- Some payloads do not support UEFI-booting, but if you use the grub2 menu system, it is often possible to UEFI-boot to many linux ISOs which don't normally support UEFI-booting.
- For UEFI and Secure Boot, if using the E2B agFM grub2 menu system, the 2nd agFM partition must be FAT32, not NTFS.
All types of E2B drive (Removable and Fixed types):
- Linux ISOs (MBR booting) - Copy the ISO to any of the standard menu folders (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\LINUX).
- Linux ISOs (UEFI-booting) - Boot to agFM or copy the .imgPTN file to any of the standard menu folders (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\LINUX).
- Puppy Linux ISOs - try .isodef or else use the .isopup file extension
- Mac puppy - try .isodef or else use the .isomacpup file extension
- Linux + persistence - Find and read the nearest matching .mnu file in the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files\Linux folder. For Ubuntu-based ISOs try .isopersist (an extra file must also be created first)
- Windows Vista/7/8/10+ Install ISOs (MBR-booting + UEFI-booting) - Use as .ISO or convert a working bootable USB drive or ISO to a FAT32 .imgPTN file. Copy the .imgPTN file to any of the standard menu folders (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\WIN) or to the correct \_ISO\WINDOWS\WINxxx folder.
- Windows XP 32-bit Install ISOs (MBR-booting) - Copy to \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder
- Windows To Go VHD - Copy the .VHD file to any of the standard menu folders (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\WIN).
- WinPE .WIM file - Copy the file to any of the standard menu folders (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\WIN).
- ERD Commander 2005/2007/MSDaRT5 - use the .isomemF01 or .isomemwinv file extension or use .isoDPMS or the ERD5_DPMS.mnu sample file.
- BartPE - use .isomemF01 or .isomemwinv file extension
- Ophcrack - Extra instructions here.
- KonBoot - See instructions in this list. Recent versions are licensed to a specific USB drive.
- UBCD4Win - use .isowinv file extension
- Partition Magic ISO - use .ISODOS file extension
- Gandalf's WinPE ISOs - use .ISO for later versions, otherwise convert to FAT32 .imgPTN file
- WinBuilder WinPE ISOs (MBR-booting) - Use file extension of .ISO - see here for details.
Removable E2B drive:
- Windows Vista/7/8/10+ Install ISOs (MBR-booting only) - Copy to the correct 3rd-level folder (e.g. \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN8 for a Windows 8.1 ISO)
- Hiren's/DLC/DLCD/Strelec ISOs (MBR-booting) -Try a file extension of .ISOHW see here. For best results, convert to a .imgPTN file.
- WinPE ISOs (MBR-booting) - Use file extension of .ISOPE01 or convert to .imgPTN file if that doesn't work
Fixed E2B drive:
- Windows Vista/7/8/10+ Install ISOs (MBR-booting only) - use E2B v1.A8 or later - use .ISO or .imgPTN - a WinHelper USB drive may not be needed if 2GB+ RAM are present.
- Hiren's/DLC/DLCD/Strelec ISOs (MBR-booting) - Try a file extension of .ISOHW plus a WinHelper flash drive, see here or convert the ISO to a FAT32 .imgPTN file.
- WinPE ISOs (MBR-booting) - Use file extension of .ISOPE01 plus a WinHelper flash drive or convert to .imgPTN file if that doesn't work