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grub4dos multiboot multipass usb boot iso

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#426 steve6375

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:57 PM

Request!

 

If anyone is any good with artwork/graphics, I am looking for website logos and banners to use on a new Easy2Boot website. Something to do with multiboot and USB drives and OS's and computers perhaps?

 

Several people have said that the current RMPrepUSB site is too cluttered, old fashioned and confusing and they are not sure what the difference is between RMPrepUSB and Easy2Boot, etc. and also the large E2B Tutorial page is slow to load, etc.

So I am seriously thinking of starting a new website just for Easy2Boot. As I am cr*p at any sort of artwork (and web design - you may have noticed!), if anyone would like to send me their efforts on what the top banner of the Easy2Boot site should contain then if I use it, I can promise my thanks, and a small amount of world fame and notoriety (but not much else!).

 

Also, if anyone has any ideas about how the site should be organised (what main tabs, sub-tabs) etc. I would like to hear your ideas.

 

At the moment I am liking webnode as the host provider and you can get an idea of the banner picture format required from the site mock-up here (ignore the current theme).

 

If anyone wants to suggest an alternative provider then feel free to suggest one: my criteria are:

  • Easy to use (intuitive) for me and end users
  • Able to provide downloads to end users
  • Support AdSense Ads and Google Analytics
  • Reasonable domain registration charges
  • Reasonable monthly charges (or free!)
  • Reasonable bandwidth and speeds
  • Support for embedded YouTube videos


#427 BOOTMEUP

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:59 PM

Hi,

 

how can I add Truecrypt Rescue ISO to an Easy2Boot USB Stick?

 

Thank you very much!

BOOTE!



#428 Rootman

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 03:30 AM

Hi,

 

how can I add Truecrypt Rescue ISO to an Easy2Boot USB Stick?

 

Thank you very much!

BOOTE!

Not having a OS system disk encrypted I don't have one to try, but what happens when you simply drop it in one of the Easy2boot folders and boot to it?  From what I understand it boots like a normal bootable CD disk does and should work in easy2Boot and E2B boots most images correctly.  Does E2B / Grub4DOS not enumerate the drives correctly or something?



#429 steve6375

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:33 AM

Hi,

 

how can I add Truecrypt Rescue ISO to an Easy2Boot USB Stick?

 

Thank you very much!

BOOTE!

I don't have one of these - can you send me the ISO by pm?
cheers
Steve



#430 TGP1994

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:46 PM

Hi everyone,
 
I love the versatility of E2B! I wanted to use it today to install a fresh copy of Windows 7 without having to burn a DVD or toast a flash drive because I needed to wipe the whole thing. I have a copy of a SP1 x64 iso which I dropped in the _ISO\Windows\Win7 folder on my USB hard disk, then I followed this guide to the letter, including copying AutoUnattended.xml and WINHELPER.USB to the root of a flash drive which I also plug into the system I'm installing. The problem is, just when I click install now, an error pops up saying:

Windows could not parse or process unattended answer file [F:\autounattend.xml]. The answer file is invalid.

 

Looking at the file myself, I would throw my hands up in the air if I was windows, too. The whole thing is filled with line after line of spaces! Is this normal?


Edited by TGP1994, 19 November 2013 - 01:48 PM.


#431 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:50 PM

Each time you boot to E2B, the file is cleared. You need to check it after it fails without rebooting to E2B again.

What version are you using?



#432 TGP1994

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:10 PM

Each time you boot to E2B, the file is cleared. You need to check it after it fails without rebooting to E2B again.

What version are you using?

 

Just updated to 1.17 a few moments ago and attempted the installation again (it failed). Checked on my flash drive and the file is still ~100KB worth of spaces. I'm a little concerned because my BIOS (a recent Dell one) does not allow me to select what device I boot off of... and no matter how I have both devices plugged in, it always goes for the flash drive first, obviously failing, then asking to reboot the machine. So I kind of try to insert the flash drive as fast as I can once I see E2B starting up :P

 

Should I just blank the autounattend.xml file myself and see if that works?


Edited by TGP1994, 19 November 2013 - 02:10 PM.


#433 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:15 PM

Do you get the blue console Window asking if you want to repair?

If you insert the USB flash drive after it has booted from the USB HDD, then the BIOS won't detect the USB flash drive and nor will grub4dos.

You need to insert both, switch off, switch on, go into BIOS and check you can see both devices. Change the HDD boot order so the USB HDD is first.

 

If you want to check in E2B, load up to the menu and the type in 'p' followed by the password (easy2boot)  and then type 'c'

 

Then in the console type

find

 

It should list the internal hdds, the USB hdd and the flash drive.



#434 TGP1994

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:25 PM

Do you get the blue console Windows asking if you want to repair?

If you insert the USB flash drive after it has booted from the USB HDD, then the BIOS won't detect the USB flash drive and nor will grub4dos.

You need to insert both, switch off, switch on, go into BIOS and check you can see both devices. Change the HDD boot order so the USB HDD is first.

 

If you want to check in E2B, load up to the menu and the type in 'p' followed by the password (easy2boot)  and then type 'c'

 

Then in the console type

find

 

It should list the internal hdds, the USB hdd and the flash drive.

 

Blue console... I think so. Do you mean the one with the nice image background, and the window asking if I'd like to Install now or repair my installation? That's the one I can get to. Then the error shows up when I click install now and it has the chance to think for a little bit. I did try plugging in the flash drive after the initial BIOS POST, when it was sitting on the device selection screen (F12), but like you said, that may not have been enough to detect it.

 

The problem with these Dell BIOSes these days is that (as far as I can tell) they don't differentiate between USB devices plugged in. There just appears to be a catch-all "USB Storage Device" in the boot order menu, and when you look at the detailed information, it only shows the device that came up faster. Obviously, that would be the nimble flash drive instead of the clunky mechanical drive. :hmm:

 

Trying the find command, it lists hd(0,0) and hd(0,1). I'm not sure what to make of it, although it does seem like something is definitely missing... I believe this machine only has one internal HDD.



#435 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:31 PM

Well it should list (hd0,x) and (hd1,x)  (where x can be 0 or greater).

hd0 will be the boot device and hd1 should be the internal hdd.

The video shows you the plain blue shell (DOS-style) console Window that you should see. at 9:54secs.

http://www.youtube.c...Kh_jDyTmQ#t=594

 

To get E2B to work you need to connect both the flash drive and the USB hdd before you boot it.

 

Are you sure the BIOS is in MBR mode (CMS) and not EUFI mode?

Is there a BBS function key to select a boot device (e.g. F11 or F12)?

What exact model is it?



#436 TGP1994

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:36 PM

Well it should list (hd0,x) and (hd1,x)  (where x can be 0 or greater).
hd0 will be the boot device and hd1 should be the internal hdd.


Right, that's what I thought... strange.
 

The video shows you the plain blue shell (DOS-style) console Window that you should see.


Hrmm... I guess I'm still a little confused... I can open a console window with Shift-F10 if you'd like, that's how I've been checking on the autounattend.xml file.
Edit: I just noticed that you posted a link, checking now.
Edit2: Oh, that blue console? No, I've never seen that before. As far as I can tell the installation has been starting up in a very vanilla fashion compared to that, no blue consoles.
 

To get E2B to work you need to connect both the flash drive and the USB hdd before you boot it.
 
Are you sure the BIOS is in MBR mode (CMS) and not EUFI mode?
Is there a BBS function key to select a boot device (e.g. F11 or F12)?
What exact model is it?


Yes. Dell calls it "Legacy" mode, and I'm sure it's booting from that. I've been using the BBS function to boot into E2B - in my last attempt, I've been booting up to the BBS with only the usb hard disk in, then at that point I plug in the flash drive in hopes that it would be detected, but too little too late.

The machine I'm working on is a Dell Optiplex 7010 - brand new, too.

Edited by TGP1994, 19 November 2013 - 02:39 PM.


#437 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:45 PM

Well, E2B needs to write the autounattend.xml before it boots to the ISO, so you must have both connected before it boots to E2B.

Are you sure you have checked all BIOS boot options incl. boot hdd menu?

 

The alternative would be to do a shift+F10 and then find and run the \_ISO\e2b\firadisk\loadiso.cmd file in the console before you get to far into Setup.



#438 TGP1994

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:55 PM

Well, E2B needs to write the autounattend.xml before it boots to the ISO, so you must have both connected before it boots to E2B.
Are you sure you have checked all BIOS boot options incl. boot hdd menu?
 
The alternative would be to do a shift+F10 and then find and run the \_ISO\e2b\firadisk\loadiso.cmd file in the console before you get to far into Setup.


Yeah, I feel like I've looked just about everywhere in that BIOS. :( It's like it's better, but dumbed down still. I tried running the command like you said on the first screen that comes up, unfortunately, it seems to be too late, since it appears that the currently running instance of setup.exe will not allow other instances to start. And of course, if you kill it, the machine restarts...

Edit: I tried starting up in a WinPE drive, then running the batch script, then running setup, although the error persists. I guess I don't understand where the autounattend.xml is supposed to be filled with valid information?

Edited by TGP1994, 19 November 2013 - 03:46 PM.


#439 jeruss

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 03:28 PM

Hi all! I just started using E2B v1.16 to boot Windows 7 Enterprise (x86) and have an autounattend.xml file to automate the install. This is working fine for the most part.

 

However when I boot Win 7 on a PC with Bitlocker enabled, the autounattend.xml does not run. From what I can see, Windows setup does not even see the USB drive (and therefore cannot read the xml file on the root of the drive and therefore not load the Firadisk driver etc). If I turn Bitlocker off, it works again.

 

However, if I create a bootable USB and boot Windows 7 directly from it (aka nothing to do with E2B), it works correctly even on Bitlocker enabled systems.

 

Any ideas?



#440 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 03:53 PM

So you have a PC with Win7 already installed on the internal hard disk and it has bitlocker enabled. You then try to boot Win7 Install ISO from an E2B USB HDD with a Helper USB flash drive connected and you don't get the blue console window? Or do you have a USb Flash drive only?

If you hit SHIFT+F10 to get to the Win7 WinPE console, can you see the USB flash drive?

If you look at the \autounattend.xml on the USb flash drive - does it have the correct contents or is it blank?



#441 TGP1994

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 03:54 PM

If I might be able to add on... what are the correct contents? It seems like that's all I need.

#442 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 03:57 PM

The correct contents are in \_ISO\e2b\firadisk\au.xml.



#443 TGP1994

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 03:59 PM

The correct contents are in \_ISO\e2b\firadisk\au.xml.


Ah, thank you. Copying it over to the flash drive has setup working fine. Now why can't we do that to start with? :P

Edited by TGP1994, 19 November 2013 - 04:00 PM.


#444 jeruss

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:01 PM

So you have a PC with Win7 already installed on the internal hard disk and it has bitlocker enabled. You then try to boot Win7 Install ISO from an E2B USB HDD with a Helper USB flash drive connected and you don't get the blue console window? Or do you have a USb Flash drive only?

If you hit SHIFT+F10 to get to the Win7 WinPE console, can you see the USB flash drive?

If you look at the \autounattend.xml on the USb flash drive - does it have the correct contents or is it blank?

 

Hi Steve. Yes - Windows 7 Enterprise is installed to the internal hard drive and Bitlocker is enabled and C: drive is encrypted. I boot Windows 7 Enterprise ISO from USB flash drive (8Gb) only.

 

If I hit Shift+F10 and go to the command prompt, I cannot even see the flash drive (not even in DISKPART). 

 

Using a vanilla USB drive without E2B, this works fine even with Bitlocker enabled.

 

I can get E2B to work if I turn off Bitlocker first, but this is not what I'd like.



#445 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:04 PM

Yeah, I feel like I've looked just about everywhere in that BIOS. :( It's like it's better, but dumbed down still. I tried running the command like you said on the first screen that comes up, unfortunately, it seems to be too late, since it appears that the currently running instance of setup.exe will not allow other instances to start. And of course, if you kill it, the machine restarts...

Edit: I tried starting up in a WinPE drive, then running the batch script, then running setup, although the error persists. I guess I don't understand where the autounattend.xml is supposed to be filled with valid information?

 

Just hit SHIFT+F10 as soon as you can - if it doesn't work on the 1st Win7 setup screen, try the 2nd screen. You can use the Back button to get back to the start.

 

 

The Optiplex manual is here

ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_optiplex_desktop/optiplex-7010_Owner%27s%20Manual_en-us.pdf

Did you enable all ports? See System Setup Options section.

 

 

If the system insists on booting from the USB Flash drive then why not let it!

1. Run RMPrepUSB - Install grub4dos on the USB Flash drive

2. Ensure grldr is present USB Flash drive

3. Press F4 to make a menu.lst file on the USB flash drive as follows:

find --set-root /_ISO/e2b/grub/menu.lst
configfile /_ISO/e2b/grub/menu.lst


#446 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:08 PM

Hi Steve. Yes - Windows 7 Enterprise is installed to the internal hard drive and Bitlocker is enabled and C: drive is encrypted. I boot Windows 7 Enterprise ISO from USB flash drive (8Gb) only.

 

If I hit Shift+F10 and go to the command prompt, I cannot even see the flash drive (not even in DISKPART). 

 

Using a vanilla USB drive without E2B, this works fine even with Bitlocker enabled.

 

I can get E2B to work if I turn off Bitlocker first, but this is not what I'd like.

That is most odd, so Win7 Setup (WinPE) sees the bitlocker encrypted internal hdd (presumably Master Boot record or PBR?) and does not enumerate the flash drive?



#447 jeruss

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:12 PM

That is most odd, so Win7 Setup (WinPE) sees the bitlocker encrypted internal hdd (presumably Master Boot record or PBR?) and does not enumerate the flash drive?

 

Yes. Obviously it cannot read the encrypted C: drive, but it does get detected (as the D: drive). The USB drive doesn't appear to get enumerated at all.

 

Edit: added clarification to above


Edited by jeruss, 19 November 2013 - 04:29 PM.


#448 TGP1994

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:18 PM

Just hit SHIFT+F10 as soon as you can - if it doesn't work on the 1st Win7 setup screen, try the 2nd screen. You can use the Back button to get back to the start.
 
 
The Optiplex manual is here
ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_optiplex_desktop/optiplex-7010_Owner's%20Manual_en-us.pdf
Did you enable all ports? See System Setup Options section.
 
 
If the system insists on booting from the USB Flash drive then why not let it!
1. Run RMPrepUSB - Install grub4dos on the USB Flash drive
2. Ensure grldr is present USB Flash drive
3. Press F4 to make a menu.lst file on the USB flash drive as follows:

find --set-root /_ISO/e2b/grub/menu.lst
configfile /_ISO/e2b/grub/menu.lst


Yeah, no dice with opening up the console at any one point - setup.exe has already started. That's a good idea for installing RMPrep onto the usb drive - but, in retrospect, copying over one little file was much easier. Besides, the setup has already finished, so I think I'll leave it for now... Thanks for your help though!

#449 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:52 PM

Yes. Obviously it cannot read the encrypted C: drive, but it does get detected (as the D: drive). The USB drive doesn't appear to get enumerated at all.

 

Edit: added clarification to above

Are you sure D: isn't the USB flash drive?

What if you run diskpart and type rescan?



#450 steve6375

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 06:31 PM

@jeruss: In Diskpart, did you try 'List Disk' ?







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