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grub4dos multiboot multipass usb boot iso

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#576 steve6375

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:16 AM

Hi Steve,

 

Thank you for your response. I will try these methods. surely there has be a solution. Since such a project is to have one super USB disk for all installation, testing and diagonstic works, I would prefer it to be more "universal". I would definitely try to update the BIOS though.

 

I will try the LOADISO.CMD way. That seems to be the way.

 

Any way to flip the "Removable Media Bit" to read the USB HDD as removable rather than fixed?

 

Thanks!

If there was a solution, I would have done it!



#577 ilko

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:05 PM

@Steve

 

The most systems I've played with, BIOS list and boot only one USB disk, and grub4dos sees only one. Can you name a few systems which list all USB disks connected?

Have you tried if grub4dos 0.4.6a USB 2 driver helps?



#578 steve6375

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:12 PM

My Asus EeePC 904HA netbook lists both USB devices and both are present in grub4dos. Also my Acer Aspire 7741g works.

Other users have successfully used USB HDD+USB Flash combination (though I don't know how many did not have success!).

I tried 0.4.6a but it has 'issues' (bug reported) - using  usb --init caused E2B to fail to boot fully to the Main menu so I could not test it further.



#579 Ashwini

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 01:22 PM

Hi Steve,

 

Tried with your v1.27. It worked perfectly, runwin8.g4b loads the file to the HELPER USB. The LOADISO method also worked. USB --INIT didn't.

 

I will keep on trying as much ISOs as possible with different machine and should any thing not work as intended, I shall come back.

 

Once again, Heartiest complements for coding such a wonderful program. Keep up the good work!!



#580 steve6375

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 03:02 PM

So how did 1.27 work when you said that grub4dos cannot see the Helper drive???



#581 Ashwini

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 07:44 PM

As I had mentioned earlier, BIOS do not see the second USB, Grub4dos see what the OS or the BIOS sees. When the windows start, it read all the USB devices through it's driver. It searches for AutoUnattend.xml and find it in the HELPER USB. Earlier also the same thing was happenning but since the AutoUnattend.xml was not being updated, windows was seeing only a file full of SPACEs and giving a message about invalid answer. After you corrected the runwin8.g4b (Which come to action after the windows loaded, it correctly finds the HELPER.USB, wipes and update the AutoUnattend.xml) the problem was solved.

 

As I understand, the GRUB4DOS with its menu file wipes the AutoUnattend.xml once at the boot time. (as you mentioed it should display about the WinHelper.usb) and again later once the runwin8.g4b runs, based on the selected options in the Install windows menu. The boot time updation does not work (it's actually not required also for this purpose), but the later one does the job.

 

I was hinting at a  solution some thing like this, but could not give any sugestion because of my inadequate knowledge of dd and other grub commands. I also could not understand how the control is being regained by runwin8.g4b once the windows environment is loaded (the blue screen of LOADISO.cmd). I was also not sure about the sequence in which the program proceedes.

 

Regards.



#582 steve6375

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 08:00 PM

grub4dos uses the drives that are seen by the BIOS.

Just before the E2B menu loads, the WINHELPER.USB file should be found and the xml files wiped using dd.

This is done because if you ran a WinPE.ISO file (say) next from the E2B menu, WinPE would see the xml file on the helper drive and run loadiso!

When RunWin8.g4b runs, it again should detect the WINHELPER.USB file  (same as when the menu was loaded) and clear them and then copy in the correct xml contents (and modify the product key if needed).

Once the Win8 install ISO boots, we boot to Setup\WinPE. Now WinPE uses it's protected-mode drivers to find and enumerate all drives. Later when wpeinit runs, it looks for Autounattend.xml on all removable drives and interprets it (in our case this causes it to run LOADISO.cmd which loads the ISO as a virtual DVD).

 

So, the helper drive should be detected and wiped just before the E2B menu is loaded, if you go to the grub4dos command prompt from the E2B Main menu, you should be able to see the contents of the helper drive and list the files using cat. If you then ESC back to the E2B menu and continue with Win8 Install, it should clear and modify the \Autounattend.xml file on the helper drive (as well as the E2B drive) just before it chainloads (runs) bootmgr from the ISO file.

 

Is this what you are seeing now with v1.27?

 

cheers

Steve



#583 Ashwini

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 08:23 PM

Hi steve,

 

When I go to the grub4dos command prompt I FIND only my USB-HDD (2 Partitions) and my internal HDD (5 Partitions). So the HELPER USB is not detected. Now when I escape out and go to win 8 menu, I get the LOADISO menu (with v1.27). Now if I choose to see the contents of AutoUnattend.xml through the recovery console command prompt, there it is, fully updated with the choosen Serial (Now I know I can do the same with SHIFT+F10).  With v1.26, it was showing as all blanks. (I only updated the runwin8.cmd from v1.27, all other files are v1.26)

 

One of your menu should also give an error message if a HELPER USB is found with WinHelper.usb but without the AutoUnattend.xml (I dont remember which one), if I want to check if the Helper is detected in case of a failing runwin8.cmd/LOADISO.CMD.

 

Regards.


Edited by Ashwini, 07 February 2014 - 08:38 PM.


#584 steve6375

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 03:33 PM

The problem is I don't know (can't tell) if the user is running from a Removable flash drive, a 'fixed disk' type of flash drive or a USB HDD.

If your USB HDD was > 128GB it would warn you that a Helper drive is not present, but because you have an 80gb USb HDD, it doesn't warn.

If the user was running from a Removable USb Flash drive, he does not expect a warning about a Helper USB drive missing.

 

 

How do you know that the AutoUnattend.xml is actually being updated? Did you try different ISOs/keys etc?
It makes no sense that find cannot see the helper drive, but that RunWin8.g4b can see it??? Do you see the helper LED light flashing just before the ISO boots?
Did you try
ls (hd0,0)/

ls (hd1,0)/
ls (hd2,0)/
ls (hd3,0)/

to see if you can list the drives contents?



#585 Ashwini

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 04:48 PM


How do you know that the AutoUnattend.xml is actually being updated? Did you try different ISOs/keys etc?

I read the content of the AutoUnattend.xml by going to recovery mode. Also verified it by going to command prompt with Shift+F10. I tried with two ISOs. All samples keys generated different xml contents (Product keys).

 

I could read the content of the USB HDD and internal HDD only with ls (hd0,0)/ and ls (hd1,0)/. All other ls (hdn,0)/ returned errors.

 

But does the runwin8.g4b not run after the windows environment has started? It should then see the HELPER USB and update the xml file, unless it has been programmed with a IF condition to proceed only incase grub4win has detected the HELPER USB initially, (Which I feel is not the case).



#586 steve6375

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 04:51 PM

No, the runwin8.g4b is a grub4dos batch file and runs under grub4dos.  I don't understand how it can access the usb helper drive when the grub4dos console cannot see it!



#587 steve6375

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 12:17 PM

E2B v1.28 now available. 

No change to normal E2B functions, but a new BIOS string detection capability has been added. This allows you to construct a .mnu file which will auto-detect what system you are booting on and therefore you are able to run a different ISO file (or any payload file) depending on what system it is.

You should also be able to detect the make and model of graphics cards and so change a linux VGA boot parameter to make it boot correctly on that system.

The grub4dos batch file SearchBS.g4b has been added to allow you to do this (it uses WENV too).

For instance the command:

SearchBS.g4b 0x680+0x180 "inspiron 530"

will search for the string "inspiron 530" in the BIOS ROM area (D000:0-F000:FFFF) and display any matching strings found, It will also set a variable GOTSTR=1 if a match was found. Note: To calculate addresses you must multiply by 512 bytes - e.g.  0x680*0x200=0xD0000, search length is 0x180x0x200=0x30000.

SearchBS.g4b 0x600+0x40 "ati technologies"

will search the VGA BIOS ROM area.

See my blog for more information.



#588 Ashwini

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 04:58 PM

Great, I shall try it out.

 

In the mean time I dug out a 80GB USB HDD which is detected as a removable type by the RMPrepUSB. It solves the previous predicament of using a Helper USB.



#589 steve6375

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 05:02 PM

OK, also you can detect a 64-bit capable CPU and automatically pick a 64-bit Windows install ISO with the following code

# ISO files must be in \_ISO\WINDOWS\Win8 folder
title Install Windows 8 (32 or 64-bit) \n Auto-detects based on BIOS type
# suppress return to Windows Install menu
set NOWMENU=1
set ISO=Win832.iso
checkrange 2,3 is64bit && set ISO=Win864.iso
pause WILL BOOT %ISO%
set MFOLDER=/_ISO/WINDOWS/Win8
/%grub%/%LANG%/RunWin8.g4b  Win8
boot

# ISO files must be in \_ISO\WINDOWS\Win7 folder
title Install Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit) \n Auto-detects based on BIOS type
# suppress return to Windows Install menu
set NOWMENU=1
set ISO=Win732.iso
checkrange 2,3 is64bit && set ISO=Win764.iso
pause WILL BOOT %ISO%
set MFOLDER=/_ISO/WINDOWS/Win7
/%grub%/%LANG%/RunVista.g4b  Win7
boot


#590 Ashwini

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 05:18 PM

will try it out



#591 KhaLiD Abo EL MaGd

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:27 PM

hello 

at first i apologize for my bad english

easy2boot is a very good booting solution 

i have a question ..

i will install win8 to go on external hard at second partition 

linux ( centos) on first partition 

the third partition will be for easy2boot 

my question is how do i boot easy2boot menu from the 3rd partition and it should be logic or primary..etc and how to add it to grub menu ...

as i read on tutorial to add it to grub

 grub4dos menu.lst file, add in a menu entry to run E2B as follows:
 
title Run Easy2Boot
set grub=_ISO/e2b/grub
configfile /%grub%/menu.lst
 
so what should i do to boot from 3rd partition
 
and there is something else its too slow on some pc like g41 gigabyte motherboard and i don't know why
 
 
sorry for my questions and thank you


#592 steve6375

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:21 PM

Easy2Boot requires ptn 3 and 4 to be unused. Some linux+persistence menus need the 3rd ptn to be free.

It works best on the 1st ptn.

You can install grub4dos and then add a menu for booting from the win8 and centos ptns.



#593 DarkPhoeniX

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:14 PM

Dose Easy2boot work with Windows Server 2012 r2 ?

I cannot find Documentation and the ISO keeps rebooting



#594 steve6375

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:01 PM

I tried the eval version on a real system and it booted fine. It needs the correct product key (which I don't know) to start the install though.

It seems to crash under VBox.



#595 DarkPhoeniX

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:54 AM

It seems it was the MB (Intel dg31pr)

http://forums.mydigi...hp/t-48863.html

For some reason The MB Dose not work with Win 8.1 and WS2012r2

But it passes Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant Check

 

It dose work on my Laptop however

Im going to use WS2k8R2 on than PC

 

Thanks



#596 steve6375

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:48 AM

Latest BIOS?



#597 DarkPhoeniX

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:45 PM

Latest BIOS?

Jap its 3/18/2010 0071

I updated it a some time back

This MB is alwayse giving me trouble,but i got it for free...

Im going to dual-boot Ubuntu



#598 KhaLiD Abo EL MaGd

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:49 PM

Easy2Boot requires ptn 3 and 4 to be unused. Some linux+persistence menus need the 3rd ptn to be free.

It works best on the 1st ptn.

You can install grub4dos and then add a menu for booting from the win8 and centos ptns.

sorry again..from you write i understand that first ptn easy2boot 2nd and 3rd linux and windows ?

primary or logical should i create?

sorry 4 disturbance 



#599 steve6375

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:05 AM

sorry again..from you write i understand that first ptn easy2boot 2nd and 3rd linux and windows ?

primary or logical should i create?

sorry 4 disturbance 

For an E2B USB drive, you must leave Primary partitions 3 and 4 unused:

 

1 Primary

2 Primary

3 unused

4 unused

 

or

 

1 Primary

2 Extended

3 unused

4 unused

5 (first logical) 

6 (first logical)

etc



#600 steve6375

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:12 AM

New Easy2Boot website at www.easy2boot.com.







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