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Easy2Boot - 5.6GB Windows 10 ISO on a FAT32 drive


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#1 TheReduxPL

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 06:35 PM

Hello,

seems like this page describes how to add +4 GB files on FAT32 drives but I don't know which method should I use (the entire page looks really chaotic for me). Therefore I want to ask you which method should I use.

  • I've downloaded a Windows 10 Pro x86 + x64 ISO which size is 5.6GB
  • My drive is formatted as FAT32 for compatibility reasons (I had multiple PC's which couldn't boot a NTFS drive) so I can't just copy the ISO on it
  • I want to install Windows 10 using the VHD method for testing, and then maybe install it as a main OS
  • Currently I have Windows 8.1 installed in non-UEFI mode, I'm mentioning it because I think it might be important

So how do I copy the Windows 10 ISO file on my drive?



#2 steve6375

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 06:51 PM

No - that page describes how to make .imgPTN files. If any of your source files are over 4GB then you MUST have an E2B drive that is formatted as NTFS (or possibly exFAT).

You say you have multiple PCs that will not boot NTFS - can you describe the problem.

At the point at which systems start to boot from a USB drive, normally the BIOS does not distinguish between NTFS and FAT32.

The only other thing to consider if some systems are UEFI-only systems (do not have CSM Mode).

So please give details of these strange systems.



#3 TheReduxPL

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 06:57 PM

No - that page describes how to make .imgPTN files. If any of your source files are over 4GB then you MUST have an E2B drive that is formatted as NTFS (or possibly exFAT).

You say you have multiple PCs that will not boot NTFS - can you describe the problem.

At the point at which systems start to boot from a USB drive, normally the BIOS does not distinguish between NTFS and FAT32.

The only other thing to consider if some systems are UEFI-only systems (do not have CSM Mode).

So please give details of these strange systems.

The problem happens on one of my old notebooks (Acer Aspire 5732Z) and some other PCs I was servicing.  When the drive was formatted as NTFS, these computers simply couldn't boot from it even if I selected the boot drive manually. It'd simply skip and boot from hard drive instead. Everything worked perfectly right after I formatted the same drive as FAT32.

The notebook I mentioned doesn't support UEFI if I recall correctly but this problem happened on multiple configurations, even on these that can work in both UEFI and non-UEFI mode.

 

Is there really no way to add the ISO to my drive without reformatting it? 


Edited by TheReduxPL, 29 July 2015 - 06:58 PM.


#4 steve6375

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 07:02 PM

Not as a ISO or a .imgPTN file if the file is over 4GB.

You could simply copy the entire contents of the ISO to the root of the E2B USB drive and then boot to /bootmgr - but the install.wim would need to be under 4GB.



#5 TheReduxPL

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 07:06 PM

Not as a ISO or a .imgPTN file if the file is over 4GB.

You could simply copy the entire contents of the ISO to the root of the E2B USB drive and then boot to /bootmgr - but the install.wim would need to be under 4GB.

There are no install.wim files but there are install.esd files which do not exceed 3 gigabytes.

I'll try copying the files in the way you mentioned. So I can't copy it to "\_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10" and I should copy it to the root of my E2B drive?



#6 steve6375

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 07:10 PM

yes. If you have to use FAT32.

You will need to add a bootmgr .mnu file to \_ISO\MAINMENU so you can boot to \bootmgr

"\_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files\Windows\Boot Windows bootmgr.mnu"  >> \_ISO\MAINMENU

 

I would also consider removing (or at least renaming) the \EFI folder if you have trouble booting to E2B on some systems which support UEFI.


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#7 TheReduxPL

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 07:13 PM

Thank you, I'll try this solution and let you know in case of any issues :)



#8 TheReduxPL

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 07:58 PM

Installer boots up but after creating the partitions it shows me that "We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one. For more information, see the Setup log files".

I'm trying to install Windows 10 on a VHD and I don't know where are the log files located.


Edited by TheReduxPL, 29 July 2015 - 08:07 PM.


#9 steve6375

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 11:37 AM

Have you mounted\attached the VHD?



#10 tinybit

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 01:04 PM

Yes, FATs have good compatibility with motherboards. It is possible that some motherboards use the FAT boot sector to determine the geometry of the USB storage devices, and even worse, some motherboards could decide to not boot from the non-FAT USB drives. Quite often there are reports about the NTFS boot failure whereas (on the same machine) FAT32 no problems.

#11 TheReduxPL

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 10:36 PM

Hello, has anything changed during those months? Are there ways to store multiple +4 GB Windows installers on FAT32, or can I only use steve's method to store just one?



#12 Wonko the Insane

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 12:37 AM

You could try splitting the install.wim file into pieces that are less than 4GB each, then copy those files onto USB or make an E2B drive. Google for split wim or swm. If the ISO contains more than one edition of 10 (Home, Pro, Enterprise, etc), then you can delete the file called ei.cfg in the \sources\ folder, so that Setup will allow you to choose the edition you want. I'm wondering, where did you get a 10 ISO that is over 5GB? Is it 100% official, or modified (pirated, had updates/drivers integrated into it, etc)? I don't think Microsoft would release a 10 ISO that has an install.wim/install.esd larger than 4GB, because this would make it difficult to boot the installer in UEFI mode, in which case FAT32 is generally required.

Edit: If your ISO has an install.ESD in \sources\, then you may need to decrypt it first, then convert it to install.wim. Then you can split the WIM into smaller pieces. ESD Decrypter can do both of these.

 

http://www.easy2boot...per-flash-drive

Read method 1 in the section called "UEFI booting: How to add Windows 7/8/10 installers with >4GB Install.wim files". There are other ways you can do this but I think that splitting the wim then creating an E2B drive from files, will be the easiest way. Make sure you read the part about splitting the WIM into 3000MB chunks, you can't just use any size or you'll hit issues. I found this out a few years ago and was searching for the info so I could post a link, but happened to find it on E2B's pages. I had tried to install 8.1 with a >4GB WIM and got the same issue as you. Also, at any points on the linked page that steve6375 refers only to Windows 8/8.1, it will also generally work with 10.


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#13 Wonko the Insane

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 03:31 PM

Your other machines probably had issues booting from NTFS because maybe the partition wasn't marked as active/bootable, or it didn't contain a proper bootcode/bootsector. A FAT32 partition doesn't need to be marked as active to boot in UEFI mode. How old are these machines? If they aren't relatively new then they should be capable of both legacy MBR and UEFI booting. Do their BIOSes have options for legacy MBR/CSM? If so it needs to be toggled on for MBR booting to work. Or maybe you have less common hardware like mine, which can boot in either mode without having to toggle an option (which in my case means I only need to disable Secure Boot and activate CSM, then I can boot in either mode without toggling again).



#14 TheReduxPL

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 10:53 AM

Thanks for your responses, TheAntiFinder :) I'm trying out the 1st method right now, I'll let you know how it goes.

Since it was over a year ago, I legitimately do not remember where I got that image from (could be 3rd party). But since several other problems arose with that image, I got rid of that ISO and downloaded the separate ones from Microsoft. Now I'm working on Windows 7 images with all recent updates included, hence the 5 GB+ size.

About the other machines - I went through every single relevant BIOS option (legacy boot/MBR etc), none of which has helped. I prepared the NTFS drive using RMPrepUSB and I made sure it's already set to active. That Acer laptop just refused to boot from it. I believe it was bought about 5 years ago, so it's not as ancient as certain notebooks I used to repair.


Edited by TheReduxPL, 24 September 2016 - 11:15 AM.


#15 steve6375

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 01:32 PM

The problem happens on one of my old notebooks (Acer Aspire 5732Z) and some other PCs I was servicing.  When the drive was formatted as NTFS, these computers simply couldn't boot from it even if I selected the boot drive manually. It'd simply skip and boot from hard drive instead. Everything worked perfectly right after I formatted the same drive as FAT32.

 

I would be interested in some tests on those notebooks/PCs to find out just why it does not like NTFS.

Did you make a grub4dos bootable USB drive with two partitions using RMPrepUSB each time?

Did you install grub4dos to both the MBR and PBR?

 

e.g.

  • Use RMPrepUSB to make a FAT32 drive (Bootmgr + Boot as HDD + FAT32 + MAX)
  • Install grub4dos to both MBR and PBR
  • Test it on the 'bad' systems - should boot to grub> prompt
  • Repeat but choose NTFS instead of FAT32

 

Use the same USB drive each time and same USB port. Switch off the system every time.



#16 TheReduxPL

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 01:34 PM

Hmm, I'm no longer using that notebook since the hard drive and screen broke, but if I manage to find it somewhere in my house, I could do some testing again :)






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