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could we use IMGPTN for targeting UEFI bios and MBR BIOS

easy2boot imgptn

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#1 toto08998

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 11:11 AM

I'm searching a best solution to have an universal usb stick using easy2boot. By universal I mean it can boot in UEFI and in old computer BIOS as well. 

 

Take Kon-Boot for example. On easy2boot website there is 2 solutions:

A) using the floppy image + mnu file ==> will work for MBR system

B ) create usb from kon boot script and make a IMGPTN of it.==>Will work for UEFI (as Win8 GPT), but it works for MBR OS too

 

So why don't use solution B only which works on very old computer and on new UEFI BIOS too?

 

So if I want an universal solution I should go to solution B which works for both old computer and new one in UEFI.

Or should I put both solution on my USB?

I've tested solution B on very old computer and that works (via CSM menu).


Edited by toto08998, 25 September 2016 - 11:13 AM.


#2 steve6375

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 12:00 PM

In a perfect world, you would only need the .imgPTN version, but...

 

Some UEFI computers have a bug.

If CSM mode is enabled in the BIOS and they see a USB FAT32 drive with a valid EFI boot file, they will only boot to the USB drive in UEFI-mode.

 

So if you have Windows on that system and the Windows boots via CSM (not UEFI), then if you used a .imgPTN file, the system would always boot to KonBoot in UEFI-mode, it would then try to boot to Windows in UEFI-mode and (probably) fail.

 

So in this case, it is better to boot from the floppy image, because then the computer will not see any EFI boot file and will boot in CSM mode to KonBoot and then KonBoot will boot to Windows in CSM mode.

 

So, 90% of the time, you can just use KonBoot as .imgPTN file, but occasionally you may find one of these buggy systems and then you will have to use the floppy image.



#3 toto08998

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 01:45 PM

I understand. I did not even expect this issue (the fact that Kon Boot launch itself the OS in UEFI even if its in MBR...)

 

But do you agree if we take for example Bitdefender (which is UEFI compatible), I could use IMGPTN only?

I mean, could some very old computers be more compatible with ISO than with IMGPTN soluton in this case?



#4 steve6375

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 03:40 PM

Yes, but on the buggy systems, you would only be able to boot from the .imgPTN file in UEFI-mode to bitdefender. As long as that is OK then fine.

 

Similar issues can arise when you want to boot to Windows PE or an installer in CSM mode and the system won't let you because it will always boot from the E2B drive in UEFI-mode (e.g. to install or repair a CSM system).



#5 toto08998

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 09:39 AM

Thank you Steve!  :good:
 
Here is my "universal" key content. Dont hesitate to comment it. The goal is to fit a 16GB key (because my brand new 32GB is not recognizer by my old computer :dubbio:  ) and being able to resolve as many issues as possible with a max of compatibility (from very old to new computers):
 
IMGPTN
UEFI compatible
BitDefender 
Kon-boot (made from installer script to temporary usb key converted to IMGPTN)
PartedMagic
Sergei Strelec WinPE (very very good!! :thumbsup:  can see my RAID disk and contains some Windows Psw remover that really work)
MBR only
Falcon F4
 
ISO
UEFI compatible
Windows 10 x64 (installation)
Windows 7 x86 (installation)
MBR only
Kaspersky
Kon-boot (from floppy-img + mnu)
 

Edited by toto08998, 26 September 2016 - 09:41 AM.


#6 steve6375

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 09:53 AM

ISOs will not boot via UEFI from E2B.

For the Windows Install ISOs you will need to convert them to FAT32 .imgPTN files.



#7 toto08998

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 09:58 AM

I understand but if I ever need to install Windows, I'll install it as MBR disabling UEFI in BIOS. 

 

Sorry by rereading my post I see UEFI before Windows installer

I meant

UEFI compatible
Windows 10 x64 (installation)
Windows 7 x86 (installation)
MBR only
Kaspersky
Kon-boot (from floppy-img + mnu)
Windows 10 x64 (installation)
Windows 7 x86 (installation)

Edited by toto08998, 26 September 2016 - 10:08 AM.


#8 steve6375

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 10:15 AM

If you have a system with >2TB HDD, you need UEFI install.



#9 toto08998

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 12:57 PM

yes you are right and despite what I though it is not possible to use a HDD > 2 TB with MBR even if splitted in small partitions.

What I have to test is if putting imgptn inside \_ISO\Windows\Win10 will still offer the possibility to select product code from a list


Edited by toto08998, 26 September 2016 - 12:57 PM.


#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 01:40 PM

If you have a system with >2TB HDD, you need UEFI install.

Actually - to be fair - you need to buy a SSD and use it for boot and system drive and use the >2 Tb for storage ;).

 

:duff:

Wonko



#11 toto08998

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 06:29 PM

After many tests on different computers I can say that

 

PartedMagic doesn't work using imgPTN on very old computer but works fine using ISO. It hangs early after CSM menu when PartedMagic begin to start. 

 

All other Distributions/OS work fine using imgPTN.

 

As expected, Win10x64 installation using imgPTN does not show a product keys selection as when booting from ISO. Sad, it was very handy.

 

So I'll duplicate PartedMagic: ISO + imgPTN

and use imgPTN for almost every other Distributions/OS. 

 

 

Another think that makes me cry is the fact that older computers cannot see new big usb keys as my brand new 32GB usb 3.0... and neighther plop boot cd nor usb_boot cd seem to work with easy2boot which claims it is read only... It could have been so simple: one big and fast key + PLOP CD for older computer. 


Edited by toto08998, 26 September 2016 - 06:31 PM.


#12 steve6375

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 06:47 PM

see http://www.easy2boot...m-imgptn-files/  for details on using different XML files containing different Product Keys.

 

Some older computers look at the size of the USB storage device and if less than a certain size, they boot it as a floppy disk or ZIP\Superfloppy drive, if over a certain size they boot it as a USB HDD.

Others may refuse to boot larger devices.

Did you prepare the 32GB USB 3.0 device using the E2B MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd script?

 

Plop and the grub4dos usb drive only work with USB 2 controllers. Are you using the latest version of E2B 1.84? If so, try the Utilities - grub4dos USB driver menu entry after booting with Plop.

Plop seems to recognise a wider range of USB controllers than the grub4dos driver, but only the grub4dos driver is rd/wr (Plop uses a read-only driver)..

 

P.S. Be aware that using .imgPTN files carries a small risk of corruption of your USB drive. Things can, and sometimes do, go wrong. Booting from an ISO should be 'safer'. Also some linux ISOs can be MBR-booted even in read-only mode using the ISOBOOT method. See List 1c at http://www.easy2boot...-payload-files/. Some linux ISOs can be MBR and UEFI-booted by using the grub2 menu system for E2B - but this requires bespoke menus for different linux distros and can be quite 'picky'.


Edited by steve6375, 26 September 2016 - 06:54 PM.


#13 toto08998

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:01 PM

just tried grub4dos USB driver menu with usb 2.0 (16GB)

I got an error when selecting a imgPTN file: "cannot use imgptn on a CD or WP"



#14 steve6375

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:05 PM

When you ran the USB driver menu entry, did it report that it found a USb drive ?



#15 toto08998

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:12 PM

yes it did found 1 usb drive

only one is connected so it should be the right one

 

after selecting partedmagic imgptn, I got:

 

"Cannot use .imgPTN on a CD (or WP) |"


Edited by toto08998, 26 September 2016 - 07:13 PM.


#16 steve6375

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:18 PM

Edit: Did you try F8 from the Main Menu after loading the USB driver?

 

In that case, it might work.

Can you edit the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file and add

set GRUB_USB=Y

If you don't have a \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file, then add !BAT

!BAT
set GRUB_USB=Y

Edited by steve6375, 26 September 2016 - 07:19 PM.


#17 toto08998

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:37 PM

yes that works  :)

but I read that the Grub4dos USB 2.0 driver only works on some types of USB 2.0 systems and is still in Beta development.

so doesn't seem to be a good solution for an universal key as I try to do.


#18 steve6375

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:42 PM

if you press the U key just as E2B starts to first boot, it will load the grub4dos USB driver, so you can use that and remove the GRUB_USB=Y line if you prefer. You have to be quick though (before it enumerates files).

No one has reported any current problems with the grub4dos USB driver (other than not detecting some USB controllers).

It's your choice...

P.S. grub4dos 0.4.6a is Beta status!


Edited by steve6375, 26 September 2016 - 07:42 PM.


#19 toto08998

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:47 PM

thank you so much for your help! Good to know that I can use U key. And if I understand well, if an usb key is recognized by the beta driver, it will be ok with the same key on any computer?

 

how did you learn all these stuffs? are you using it at work or working on easy2boot project?



#20 steve6375

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:49 PM

I am the author of E2B! Hence my signature..

The USb driver detects the USB controller inside a computer - this will obviously vary from computer to computer. So results will vary depending in the chipset inside each computer.



#21 steve6375

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:53 PM

P.S. Did the USB_BOOT CD run Plop ???

 

The version of grub4dos in the USB_BOOT ISO is older than the current E2B v1.84 version, so I may need to update it...



#22 steve6375

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 08:09 PM

I have added USB_BOOT_v2.iso to the alternate downloads area. It uses the latest version of grub4dos. Try burning a CD using that.

 

If you really want to boot a wide range of systems, why not buy an IODD2531? It is great for running E2B as well!



#23 toto08998

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 06:38 AM

No, I used regular Plop CD that seems to work with USB & (GRUB_USB=Y)

 

I'll try USB_BOOT_v2.iso 

 

Thank you Steve for the brilliant job you made by creating E2B! I love it



#24 Tripredacus

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 07:11 PM

Some UEFI computers have a bug.
If CSM mode is enabled in the BIOS and they see a USB FAT32 drive with a valid EFI boot file, they will only boot to the USB drive in UEFI-mode.


In this described scenario, are you inferring that the USB drive is booted on a system where the boot settings are allowed to determine which mode to boot the drive in, or does this also occur when using a system's one-time boot menu to choose the device and boot mode?

#25 steve6375

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 09:10 PM

I can only go on what several others on reboot.pro have said previously, but apparently you can use the Function key (e.g. F12 or F8 or whatever) to get the BIOS Boot selection menu, but you are only offered the USB UEFI boot option, you are not offered the USB MBR/BIOS/Legacy boot option, so you can only boot in UEFI-mode.






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