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NEW! EasyBoot now supports UEFI multibooting (linux and Windows). Also No USB 'Helper' Flash drive required for Windows installs from a USB Hard Disk.
E2B Version History
Easy2Boot Introductory videos
Play the video below for a demonstration of how to make an Easy2Boot USB drive and add lots of linux ISOs, Windows Install ISOs, floppy images, OphCrack and even boot direct from many linux ISO files with persistence! - no menu editing or complicated linux cheat codes to find!
Video. 1 - Introduction to Easy2Boot
Video. 2 - Installing Windows XP using E2B
More YouTube videos on using E2B here.
Fig. 1 An example of an Easy2Boot Main menu, Items 1-4 are due to added ISOs.
Note: Item 17 is present because FASTLOAD has been enabled.
The menu hotkeys are shown in [square brackets].
Menu entries can be selected using the cursor keys or by typing it's number or by a hotkey.
Press [ENTER] to run a highlighted menu entry.
Note. The features described in this Tutorial will always relate to the latest version of E2B (even if a Beta version). The download links above may not always be the very latest version. Check the bottom of this page for the latest version and the blog for recent change details. If you download an older version of E2B, you can easily update it by overwriting the files on the E2B USB drive with the latest version.
THIS PAGE IS OUT OF DATE - Please go to www.easy2boot.com!
How to make a new Easy2Boot USB drive
Making an Easy2Boot USB drive involves just 3 steps, (1) Format a USB drive, (2) install the grub4dos bootloader and (3) copy over the E2B files. This can be done using linux or Windows. You can use RMPrepUSB under Windows to prepare the drive or use a different method if you prefer (e.g. format using Windows, install grub4dos using grubinst.exe and extract the files from the E2B zip download, use bootlace under linux, etc.). Once the E2B drive is made, you can just copy over (drag-and-drop) or delete all your bootable ISO and payload files.
for instructions on how to make an E2B USB drive under linux.
The instructions below are for users running Windows...
Easy Instructions (E2B v1.26 or later)
If you are new to USB multibooting and grub4dos and you just want to try Easy2Boot, follow these instructions:
1. Download and install RMPrepUSB
(install to default location)
3. Unzip the E2B zip file to a temporary folder on your hard drive
4. Insert the USB drive that is to be formatted for E2B into your Windows computer's USB port (for best results use a 'Removable Disk' USB Flash drive)
5. In Windows Explorer, right-click and choose 'Run as Administrator...' on the \_ISO\docs\Make_E2B_USB_Drive\Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd file in the extracted E2B download and follow the instructions (requires an Administrator User account) - see my blog post for more details and screenshots. Choose FAT32 (Y) when prompted, unless you need to place files larger than 4GB on the E2B drive.
The E2B drive is now ready for use. Now go to the Getting Started section below to add your own payload files.
Manual Instructions (video)
Manual Instructions (text)
and install the latest version RMPrepUSB
3. Insert your USB Flash drive (USB HDD can be used but a USB Removable flash drive will give the most trouble-free results).
4. Run RMPrepUSB and tick the 'No User Prompts' checkbox and select (see screenshot below):
2. Volume Name - Easy2Boot (or whatever name you like!)
3. Bootloader Options - WinPE v2
4. Filesystem and Overrides - FAT32 + Boot as HDD (or NTFS + Boot as HDD) - FAT32 is more compatible with a wider variety of OS's, but you can't have files >4GB with FAT32!
5. Copy OS Files - Copy Files='NO' - set to the path of the Easy2Boot .zip file you downloaded in step 2
6. Click 6 Prepare drive (this will erase all contents)
Set box 5 to the path of E2B ZIP file that you have downloaded.
5. Click on Install grub4dos button - answer 'No'=PBR. (see screenshot above) - use the latest version of grldr if prompted to overwrite it.
6. (only if it fails to boot) Repeat step 4 but answer 'Yes'=MBR
Check that the Easy2Boot ZIP file that you downloaded earlier has been extracted onto the root of the USB drive. There should be a \_ISO folder on the USB drive.
Your USB E2B drive is now complete
, but you might want to add ISO and other payload files... go to Getting Started section below to see how to add your own payload files.
Detailed Instructions (for advanced users)
PLEASE NOTE: If you going to use an existing USB drive without re-formatting it, please run Windows Disk DEFRAG on it first, followed by WinContig to defragment all files (use RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+F2) BEFORE you start to copy your large ISO files to it. If you do not do this, you may find that some of the files on the drive are not contiguous and you will get 'Error 60: file not contiguous' if you try to boot from them! Defragging and running WinContig can take a long time on a nearly full drive. I would recommend that you copy all your files to a folder on your internal hard disk, follow the partition+format procedure below to prepare a USB drive for Easy2Boot, and then copy all your files back again - it will be MUCH quicker if there is not much free space on your USB drive!
If you want to put E2B on your mobile phone's SD card then check that the SD card is formatted as FAT32 (use the RMPrepUSb DriveInfo button) and then use RMPrepUSB to install grub4dos to the SD card (when in USB Mass Storage mode). Then simply unzip and copy over the E2B files. Now add your payload files and you then will have a mobile phone that will allow you to boot a PC from it and run any linux LiveCD or WinPE or Hirens, etc. etc.
To make a new bootable E2B USB drive:
The steps below in outline are:
1. Partition+Format a USB drive (at least for initial testing, I recommend using a USB Flash drive rather than a USB hard disk)
2. Install grub4dos
3. Download and extract the E2B files to the USB drive
Note: If you are a linux user
, format a USB Flash drive and then install grub4dos using bootlace
for steps 1 and 2 (use the version of grldr included in the download).
' suggests using defragfs
to make the ISO files contiguous under linux (ext2/ext3 only). See Tutorial 114
for full details on how to prepare an E2B USB drive under linux.
For Windows users, you are recommended to download and install the latest RMPrepUSB
(or use the portable version if you prefer). Use RMPrepUSB v 2.1.710
1. Make the following selections (numbered 1 to 6) in RMPrepUSB
1. Partition Size - MAX (or whatever size you want for the partition, e.g. 2000 for 2B)
2. Volume Name - Easy2Boot (or whatever name you like!)
3. Bootloader Options - WinPE v2
4. Filesystem and Overrides - FAT32 + Boot as HDD, or use NTFS +Boot as HDD if you have files larger than 4GB
exFAT+Boot as HDD can be used instead if you want to format as exFAT (but is not recommended)
5. Copy OS Files - (leave unticked) - or tick it and set this to the path of the E2B zip file and skip step 3
6. Click 6 Prepare drive (this will erase all contents)
FAT32 is recommended for USB Flash drives, however if you know that you have ISO files that are over 4GB, then you must use NTFS. exFAT is not recommended because some XP-based ISOs and Windows XP/Vista SP0 Install ISOs will not work and you may find some systems won't boot.
Fig. 2 RMPrepUSB partition&format options
Note: If you have a small USB flash drive, I would recommend you use FAT32 as it is easier to defrag the files on it using WinContig (Press Ctrl+F2 in RMPrepUSB) and it can be accessed by most OS's. However, if you have a large USB flash drive or a USB HDD, then use NTFS. NTFS will also give faster file I/O performance in most cases.
Tip: It is easier to use FAT32 if you want to boot Hirens or DLC1 as it may not be able to access the folders on the USB drive once it boots (unless you use the .isomem file extension for the iso file).
If you have a USB Hard disk, you can create multiple partitions (e.g. using EaSeus Home Partition Manager
or Windows Disk Manager), but do not create more than 1 Primary+1 Extended OR 2 Primary partitions. E2B needs the 3rd and 4th MBR partition table entries free
(the 3rd ptn is only used by some linux+persistence .mnu files that are available in the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files folder). The 4th partition needs to be unused or E2B will refuse to run.
Note: If you are using a USB Hard Drive and you want to install Windows Vista+ from an ISO - You need to also follow the instructions here to make an additional 'Helper' Flash drive.
Make sure that your USB Flash drive is listed by RMPrepUSB as a (Removable)
and not as (Fixed Disk)
. If you have a new USB Flash drive (e.g. Certified for WindowsToGo) that is listed by RMPrepUSB as (Fixed Disk) or 'Local Disk' by Windows Explorer, then your USB Flash drive will appear to Windows as if it was a hard disk and not a removable flash drive. In this case, if you want to use E2B to install Windows Vista/7/8 ISOs, you will need to add another auxiliary USB flash 'helper' drive when you boot from a Windows install ISO - otherwise you won't get the blue LOADISO console window. Follow the instructions here
to make a 'Helper' flash drive.
USB Flash drives can be 'Removable' or 'Fixed Disk' type. USB Hard drives are nearly always of the 'Fixed Disk' type.
2. Untick 'No User Prompts' and click the Install grub4dos button (see '2' =>' in Fig. 2 above) and install grub4dos to the PBR (answer 'No') and copy over the grldr file (optional). You must use the version of grldr that comes with E2B and so this grldr will be overwritten in step 3 below anyway.
Note: If you find that it does not boot to grub4dos on some systems, repeat the grub4dos install but this time install grub4dos again to the MBR (answer 'Yes' instead of 'No') - this may improve compatibility with different BIOSes of different systems (solves 'flashing-cursor' on boot that is seen on some systems) or it has been reported that on some systems it prevents booting! Note that installing to the PBR on exFAT filesystems is not supported, so as you can only use MBR, you may get a 'flashing cursor' bad boot on some systems if you use exFAT.
If you have not copied E2B to the first active partition of a USB HDD, you will need to install grub4dos to the PBR are make the partition active so that E2B will boot from that partition.
You may also find that a few types of system won't boot correctly regardless of whether you use MBR or PBR or both. In this case try formatting the USB drive without the 'Boot as HDD - 2PTNS' option ticked.
Easy2Boot is FREE! But please consider making a small donation if you use Easy2Boot.
Getting Started - How to add payload (.ISO) files to Easy2Boot
TWO GOLDEN RULES FOR E2B PAYLOAD FILES
- E2B will only auto-detect payload files that are in folders at the \_ISO\XXXXX level, it will NOT auto-detect payload files below that level.
- E2B will automatically detect .mnu files that are in folders at the \_ISO\XXXXX level AND any sub-folders underneath that level.
This means if you have an .ISO file plus it's special .mnu file, do NOT put them both at the 2nd \_ISO\xxxx level because both the ISO and the .mnu file will be added to the menu!
Instead, place both files at the 3rd \_ISO\xxxx\MNU level - then the ISO file will not be listed in the menu, but the .mnu file will be added to the menu.
Note: This rule does not apply to the \_ISO\WINDOWS and \_ISO\AUTO folders which are 'special'.
See my blog article
for an explanation of the E2B folder structure.
Please note: If testing using a VM - Windows Vista/7/8 installs from an ISO will not work when using an emulator such as QEMU or a Virtual Machine. You will get a 'A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing.'
Windows pop-up message box - see here
for details on how to install Windows Vista/7/8 to a virtual harddisk from E2B when using a VM.
Note: To speed up the loading of the Main menu if you have lots of Main menu entries, enable menu caching using FASTLOAD.
To change the E2B menu, look in the \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg for details of the configuration options available (this is updated when new features are added to E2B).
THIS PAGE IS OUT OF DATE - Please go to www.easy2boot.com!
Error Messages and TroubleShooting!
- ERROR: ()/_ISO/MAINMENU/some.iso IS NOT CONTIGUOUS. - Either the ISO is not contiguous (fix it with RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+F2) or there is some problem with the ISO file (check it is not corrupted).
- Warning! No such command : xxxx : You are using an old version of grub4dos - update the grldr file to at least a 2013 version.
- Checking last sector is accessible (pauses for several minutes) - this is a manifestation of a bug with grub4dos (currently under investigation) and some BIOSes and usually happens only with NTFS disks. It is usually caused by one 'odd' file on the drive. Try re-making the USB drive with RMPrepUSB v2.1.710 or later and the problem will probably disappear. This issue often occurs with the 'looking for /WINHELPER.USB pause error below.
- Looking for /WINHELPER.USB... (then stops) - If the loading of the main menu stops here, check the \AutoUnattend.xml and \Unattend.xml on the Easy2Boot drive and the Auxilliary 'Helper' USB Flash drive (if used) are OK. This seems to happen when the files have been freshly copied and often does not happen a second time. The cause is unknown. If you see this error please count the number of dots after the word 'USB' - the number of dots will help me to diagnose the problem (or you can look in menu.lst yourself to see what commands were used after each dot was printed). Repartition using RMPrepUSB v2.1.710 or later,
- XP hangs when white text-mode loading bar completes - This may be due to the formatting + 'queer' BIOS or the size of the USB stick being reported incorrectly - re-partition using RMPrepUSB v2.1.710+ to see if the problem goes away.
- Not all my .xml or .key files are listed in the menu - some are missing! There is a limit to the number of files that can be detected due to memory limitations. Delete all the .key, .txt and .xml files that you don't need in the \_ISO\Windows folders. If you have lots of .key files, put all your keys in the CHOOSE FROM A LIST.key file and delete the other .key files.
- Error 60 - File not contiguous - Most ISO files need to be contiguous - Use RMPrepUSB Ctrl+F2 to defrag files on the whole drive using WinContig. If you have an NTFS drive - also see here. You can try renaming the iso as .isomem but it may not be successful! if you have a small (<32GB) drive, FAT32 is often better for defragging files (but you cannot have files >4GB on FAT32). You can rename the file extension to .isomem - but it may not work unless it is a .iso and contiguous.
If you still have problems, try Auslogics disk defrag or Defraggler to view the cluster usage on the disk and defrag it.
- Error 15: File not found - If you see this when you select a menu item and press Enter, you probably are using FASTLOAD and have changed the drive contents without refreshing the menu cache file. Choose the last menu item in the Main menu 'REFRESH THIS FASTLOAD CACHE MENU' to re-enumerate the files on the Easy2Boot drive to make an up-to-date copy of the menu. If you have not enabled FASTLOAD, then check that the filenames and paths specified in the .mnu file you are using are all correct.
- Error 16: Inconsistent filesystem structure - this is usually a symptom that grub4dos cannot write to the USB drive - this may be because you are trying to run grub4dos under a VM or via Plop! which is a read-only USB driver. Use a real system and make sure the USB drive is not write-protected.
- Bad or Invalid E:\Unattend.xml or similar - or 'Windows Setup encountered an internal error while loading or searching for an unattend answer file' - check that the blank \AutoUnattend.xml and \Unattend.xml are at least as large as your original .xml file - if not you will need to make them larger!
- Wiping /AutoUnattend.xml and /Unattend.xml files... - If the E2B boot process seems to pause here for a long time or hang, check your USB drive (and USB Flash auxilliary drive if also connected) for filesystem integrity errors. If necessary repartition the drive and ensure that the two xml files in the root of the drive are copied onto the USB drive first, before the large payload files.
- Always test booting on a real system if it fails to boot under QEMU or a VM! QEMU is most likely to fail, Oracle VM Manager Virtual Box is least likely to fail (depending on settings) - a boot on real system is the acid test! If testing under an emulator - use Virtual Box with DavidB's 'Virtual Machine USB Boot' application which allows full rd/wr access by the VM.
- You demo'd an XP based ISO booting in Oracle Virtual Box but I can't get it to work! - Try turning the Settings - System - Acceleration features OFF (or ON if they are already off!) and set OS to XP. Enabling VT will give faster performance.
- Blue Screen of Death - Error 0x0000007B - if you are trying to boot an XP based ISO (e.g. BartPE, ERDCommander, etc.) try .isomemf01 or .isomemwinv. Look for a .mnu file for your iso in the docs folder.
- Linux not fully booting - First - test on a real system! Try pressing the ESC key to see the text messages - this may give a clue as to the problem! Ctrl+S may stop the text from scrolling and Ctrl-Q may resume scrolling.
- Some linux ISOs just won't boot! - check the (small) list of known 'bad' ones here. Search for a tutorial on this site for a workaround.
- Not all ISOs, etc, work under Oracle Virtual Box - check the Settings - System - Acceleration setting and try enabling or disabling VT/AMD-V (XP may need VT disabled). Also check 64-bit is enabled or disabled (depending on OS) in the General - Basic OS settings.
- WARNING: PTN TABLE 3 IS ALREADY IN USE! - You are using a .mnu file that requires the 3rd and 4th partition entries in the USB boot drive to be unused. Easy2Boot overwrites these two entries and so will refuse to run as it would destroy your 3rd partition. If you don't need the 3rd Primary partition then use a partition manager to delete it (or re-partition the drive to have just one Primary partition and any number of Logical partitions). Otherwise you cannot use the Easy2Boot .mnu file.
- WARNING: PTN TABLE 4 IS ALREADY IN USE! - Easy2Boot needs the last (4th) primary partition entry to be empty in order to boot linux ISOs. Delete the 4th Primary partition or re-partition the USB drive so that you have one Primary partition and any number of Logical partitions.
- Enter the product key to activate Windows (Windows 8) - The product key was incorrect. Check that it matches the ISO you are using for installation.
- 'A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing.'
If installing from a USB Hard disk or 'fixed-disk' type of USB Flash drive - see here.
If you got the Blue console windows and the Repair question but still have this problem, it can be due to a corrupted ISO (even though it looks OK and the \Sources\Install.wim can be seen and it was mounted by ImDisk/FiraDisk OK!) - check the MD5 hash value of the file on the USB drive against it's correct value. If you are trying to install Windows Vista or later OS's from an ISO, make sure that you use the first partition on a USB flash drive to hold the Easy2Boot files and ISOs. For Vista and later OS's you should always see a blue console window appear (see Windows video) before the Setup GUI starts. Windows Vista and later OS's will detect an AutoUnattend.xml file on the first partition of a removable drive (e.g. Flash drive but not on a hard disk). The AutoUnattend.xml file will cause a Blue Console window (LoadISO.cmd file) to run which will load the Windows install ISO file as a RAM drive - Windows Setup will then be able to find the \Sources\Install.wim file from inside the RAM drive and so will not think that a driver is required so that it can access the 'DVD'.
- 'Cannot install required files' - During the 'Copy/Expanding Windows Files' stage of Vista/7/8/etc. somewhere between 1% and 99% (usually at same xx% place every time) the installation cancels itself. The iso file may be corrupt - check the MD5 checksum of the iso file is correct (Google it). Error-check the drive, delete the iso file and re-copy it to the USB drive. Ensure it is contiguous using WinContig (RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+F2) before booting with Easy2Boot.
- The sub-menus (such as Backup, Dos, Utilities, etc) do not appear in my GFXMenu - If you have added a GFXBoot Menu, you need to copy the GFXSubMenu files from \_ISO\docs\GFXSubMenu Files to \_ISO\MAINMENU. You can delete the ZZSubMenuxxx.mnu files that are already in the MAINMENU folder as these are only used for non-GFXBoot Menu configurations.
- Why isn't E2B installing XP to my AHCI system (I don't get a DPMS2 menu)? - You need to add the DriverPacks Mass Storage driver files - see here for details.
- need more space:4kb,drive space available 0 kb - FAT error:due to prohibited access or directory full - This is due to the virtual floppy F6 disk not having enough room - instead of the DPMS Option default of 2 (SATA+Firadisk+WinVBlock), try option 1 (SATA+Firadisk) instead.
Common problems with payload files
- Unable to find a medium containing a live filesystem - Make sure the linux ISO is contiguous and use an extension of .iso not .isomem
- Cannot find squashfs - - Make sure the linux ISO is contiguous and use an extension of .iso not .isomem
- Some ISOs run almost instantly and others display a [32M/384M] style counter and take ages to run - Because the file is not contiguous, E2B is forced to load the whole ISO into memory - just run RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+F2 to run WinContig on the drive and make all files contiguous. If you have named the ISO file extension as .isomem then it will always load into memory and be slow to load!
- Hirens/DLC boots to Mini Win7 but does not show all Desktop icons or work fully - use .isowinvH or .isomem file extension - some ISOs like Hirens Boot CD and DLC need to be extracted (in most cases the \HBCD or \DLC folder is needed in the root of the USB drive) - check this site for instructions - just make your own .mnu file with the correct grub4dos menu code - or - ask someone to make you a .mnu file! Alternatively, once in the Win7 Desktop, find the ISO file, right-click on it and select ImDisk from the options, choose 'CD-ROM' as the type and then mount the ISO. Now you can run \HBCD.cmd from the mounted ISO file. See the FAQ section for more help with Hirens.
For Hirens 9.6 and earlier versions see Tutorial 116.
- DLC Hirens.isowinvH works for Mini XP, but Mini 7 does not display all Desktop icons - use .isomem OR extract the \DLC1 folder from the iso and place in root of USB drive at \DLC1. Copy the \HBCD or \DLC or \DLC1 folder from the ISO file to the root of the USB drive.
- Hirens Mini Win 7 reports a 'Julia.iso' error with 12.Hiren.s.Boot.CD.15.2.isowinv - the extension should be .isowinvH not .isowinv. Also try the .isomem extension.
- Hirens Win7 HBCDMenu icon does not work (not populated) - Use .isomem file extension OR .isowinvH. If that still does not work, use 7Zip to unpack the Hirens ISO to the root if the E2B drive.
- Ophcrack - no tables found - you have to extract the \tables folder from the ISO (or download them) - the \tables folder must be in the root of the USB drive.
- ERD50/MSDaRT 5 for XP ISO crashes - rename the file extension to .isomemwinv or .isomemf01 or use the ERD5_DPMS.mnu if SATA/RADI system
- BartPE XP ISO crashes - rename the file extension to .isomemwinv or try .isofira01
- ERDCommander 2005/2007/MSDart 5.0 ISO crashes - rename the file extension to .isomemwinv or .isomemF01 or use the ERD5_DPMS.mnu if booting from a SATA/RAID system.
- Hirens 15.1 ISO - XP does not show all Desktop icons and Program Launcher is empty - rename the .iso file to .isomem or .isowinvH
- Hirens Linux menu entries do not fully load linux - Ensure all files are contiguous (RMPrepUSB - Ctrl+F2).
- Embedded XP Install ISO can't find source CD on 2nd boot - if you re-name the iso as an XP ISO and move it, it may work (e.g. place in \_ISO\Windows\XP\XPHOMESP2.ISO) - if not, extract the whole iso contents to the root of the USB drive and rename the ISO to xxxxx.isowinv and place it in \_ISO\MainMenu folder. Only the files in the root and the \i386 folder may be required, but test with all extracted files as a first attempt. See POS2009_ReadMe.txt in the docs folder for an example of an embedded XP install ISO. You can also try the XP Install using the WinPE method here.
- Kaspersky ISO boots but cannot get past accepting the licence page - try typing ALT+TAB and then press A - or press 1 (don't use the number pad as it may not work).
- Kaspersky ISO runs and downloads the updates, but the next time I use it on another system, I have to download the updates all over again - Create an empty folder on the root of the Easy2Boot USB drive called \Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10.0 - before you next boot to KAV-rescue on a system, ensure that the Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10.0 folder on that system's internal hard disk is NOT present (otherwise updates will go onto the internal hard disk).
- Windows cannot read the <ProductKey> setting from the unattend answer file (Win8) - You need to specify a 5x5 Product Key. This is normally prompted for by Easy2Boot. Check the AutoUnattend.xml file on the USB Flash drive and compare it with the xml file and product key that was selected. Make sure the xml syntax is correct and balanced (<xxx> and </xxx>).
- Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms (Win8) - Product key used was of the wrong type. e.g. for Win8.1 Enterprise 90-day Eval use 76FKW-8NR3K-QDH4P-3C87F-JHTTW
- No images are available - Win8 Product key used was for a different SKU (e.g. Enterprise Product Key used with a non-Enterprise ISO) and the Install.wim did not contain that version. Use the correct Product Key.
- Blank screen after Windows loads - if the Windows ISO boots and you see the MS logo but then the screen goes blank (but hard disk activity continues as shown by the HDD LED) AND it only happens on one particular model of system (or one version of BIOS), then this indicates a buggy BIOS. Check to see if there is a BIOS update available from the Manufacturer. Alternatively, rename the .ISO file to .ISOE0 (E followed by the number ZERO).
- Windows 8 - The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key.You probably have an OEM system which came with a Windows 8 Product Key embedded in the BIOS. The Product Key in the BIOS does not match the version of Win8 you are trying to install (e.g. OEM vs Retail). Either use the original OEM Win8 ISO or specify the Windows 8 Product Key that you want to use in a E2B file (see Windows 8 section for instructions).
Error 60: File not contiguous
Most ISO files will need to be contiguous. In most filesystems, files are stored in 'clusters'. So a single file can occupy for instance, clusters 234, 235 and 236 on a disk or it could occupy clusters 99, 278 and 1081 on the disk. In the first case (234-236) we have a contiguous file because all the clusters are sequential. In the second case (99,278,1081) the file is not contiguous as it is spread across the disk in 'chunks' with gaps inbetween. To make all files on your USB drive contiguous, run RMPrepUSB and select the USB drive in the drive list, then press Ctrl+F2 to run WinContig. Alternatively download and run WinContig.
Another very useful program is Piriform Defraggler - this shows you a 'cluster map' of fragmented and unfragmented files and you can select and defragment single files by clicking on a square on the map. This is really useful for showing you where the files are located on the drive.
Sometimes WinContig may be unable to make all the files contiguous. This is usually because there is not enough free space on the volume.
In this case, you can either delete some large, unwanted files and run WinContig again OR it is often quicker to:
1. Copy all files from you USB drive to an empty folder on your hard drive
2. Re-partition your USB drive and re-install grub4dos
3. Copy all the files back again (use Explorer but do not use multiple copy sessions at the same time)
In some cases, if using NTFS, you may find that you cannot get a large ISO file to be contiguous on a smallish drive (e.g. a 6GB file on an 8GB USB flash drive), even if you copy over the files to a freshly formatted NTFS USB Flash drive. In this case please read my blog here about this issue an
d how to fix it.
List of tested ISO files that just work!
Easy2Boot - Detailed Description and Help
THIS PAGE IS OUT OF DATE - Please go to www.easy2boot.com!
Please Note: The details below will be valid for the latest version - check the Downloads at the bottom of this page for the latest version!
Using the Easy2Boot menu
Once you have booted from your USB Easy2Boot drive, just use the UP/DOWN/LEFT/RIGHT cursor keys to select a menu item and press ENTER or 'b' to run it. You can use the first menu item (0) to set any of the Main menu items as the default one which will be selected and highlighted when Easy2Boot first boots or reloads the Main menu. You can also set a countdown time-out to auto-run that menu entry. An invalid menu number will cause menu entry 0 to be selected.
: If you add more files to your Easy2Boot drive or delete files, then the menu numbering may change - this will cause the default menu item to also change. In this case you will need to use menu 0 again to set the default menu item again. If you have FASTLOAD
main menu caching enabled, then menu option 0 will also refresh the FASTLOAD cache.
Changing the default menu and enabling FASTLOAD may not work in an ordinary Virtual Machine environment which does not allow disk writes to an external USB drive. It should work if using RMPrepUSB's QEMU or try DavidB's Virtual Machine USB Boot from reboot.pro which allows full rd/wr access when booting from USB using Virtual Box! This is ideal for testing E2B and is much faster than QEMU.
Please keep reading to learn how to add your own files and change Easy2Boot to suit you!
Adding your bootable payload files
Once you have made your bootable Easy2Boot USB flash drive, you can simply copy over more bootable ISO or other bootable files to the correct folder.
- To start, just copy over your new payload file (e.g. a linux xxxxx.iso) into the \_ISO\MainMenu folder and it will be listed in the first (Main) menu when you boot from the USB drive. Try it now and boot from it - see if it works!
- If you have a Windows Install ISO, they are a 'special case' and these must go in the correct \_ISO\Windows\xxxxx\ sub-folder
- If anything does not work correctly, check the Troubleshooting section below.
- For all files except Windows installs - once it is working, you can move the file (and it's .txt file if you made one) to one of the other \_ISO\XXX menu folders if you wish (under any sub-folder that is appropriate - see below) so that it is listed in a sub-menu. If you cannot get it to work even by changing it's file extension, see if there is a .mnu menu file for it in the docs folder and read the text in the .mnu file and the section below on how to use it. Once you have a .mnu file working (read the text inside it!) in \_ISO\MainMenu\xxxx, you can move it to one of the other \_ISO\xxxx\yyyy folders if you want it listed in a different sub-menu instead of the Main menu.
- If you still can't get it to work - look in the reboot.pro forum or email me!
Always run WinContig to ensure all files are contiguous (quickly done in RMPrepUSB, just press the keys Ctrl+F2).
Where to add your (.iso, .ima, etc.) files
Fig. 3 You will see this menu if you re-name an ISO file with the .isoask file extension.
Now you can try all the options until you find one that works.
Complete List of E2B File Extensions used for Payload Files
Themes included in the latest E2B download
Several alternative 'theme templates' are included with E2B (Aliums, Blue, Jolene, TextMinimal and lastly GFXMenu) - you can check these out by copying the two files in one of the Template folders at \_ISO\docs\Sample E2B Templates\xxxx to the \_ISO folder and then boot from the USB drive to see what each looks like (you can use RMPrepUSB QEMU or Oracle Virtual Box to check the appearance or boot from a real system). Note that the GFXMenu has some limitations and requires extra .mnu files to be added to the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder from the \_ISO\docs folder.
To restore the default E2B menu, just delete the MyE2B.cfg file from the \_ISO folder.
Making changes to E2B
THIS PAGE IS OUT OF DATE - Please go to www.easy2boot.com!
To change the E2B menu, look in the \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg for details of the configuration options available (these are always updated with each new version).
Setting your own preferences (MyE2B.cfg)
Using E2B on an ext2/ext3 USB drive
This is not fully supported and there are some problems. Note that all files and file extensions are case sensitive in an ext2/3 grub4dos environment, so use .iso not .ISO, .txt not .TXT or .Txt.
Here is how I made an ext2 USB flash drive under Windows 7 64-bit
- Download and install Ext2Fsd to add ext2/3 filesystem support to Windows
- Download and run Easeus Home Partition Master and format your USB drive as ext2 or ext3
- Run Ext2Fsd and allow write-access to the USB drive
- Run RMPrepUSB and install the WEE bootloader to the USB drive (Ctrl+W)
- Extract the E2B files onto the USB drive
- Add your payload files
- Make all files contiguous (I am not sure how to do this under Windows as the Ext2Fsd driver seems to make all files non-contiguous!)
Note: Windows installs won't work as Windows cannot access the ext2/3 USB drive.
Stealth and Protection
Note: Various sample payload .MNU files are included in the \_ISO\docs folder of the latest download version of E2B - any new .mnu files are listed below and will be included in the next version of E2B.
Looking for the E2B download? - see here.