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Easy2Boot Multi-Boot USB-Stick


With Easy2Boot you can build your custom Multi-Boot flash-drive and use Linux systems incl. personal settings, Windows PEs, Windows Installation ISOs and a bunch of utilities!

Linux users: Use this step-by-step guide!

Beginners may should start with YUMI!

IMPORTANT: If you used a Boot-Stick and left it plugged in while booting into Windows or you insert the Stick under Windows and you see an error message, you may have to update the BIOS and create a new Boot-Stick or look here for a solution or there for old machines!

Naturally you need to know how to boot from USB flash drives.


Installation

First, download the Easy2Boot executable!

Installation using the executable (you can also unpack it with e.g. 7-Zip): A doubleclick extracts content to a new folder and Make_E2B.exe (Screenshot) will start immediately. Installation and updates made really easy also for newbies!

Boot-Stick preparation with RMPrepUSB (many features for advanced users and specialists in several languages): Download and unpack the RMPrepUSB-Archive, install the program or use the portable version, unpack the downloaded executable and copy your downloaded ISO or IMG image files to the appropriate folders under _ISO, start RMPrepUSB, follow the settings (standard, best compatibility) you see on the Screenshot, click on Prepare Drive, wait til ready and boot your machine with the E2B-Stick.

Installation thru the CMD file (English only but with creation of a configuration file (MyE2B.cfg) with personal settings): Start Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd from folder _ISO - docs - Make_E2B_USB_Drive with administrative rights or take the file Make_E2B_USB_Drive (run as Admin).cmd from root folder, follow the instructions and answer the questions. The files will be copied to the pen-drive after formatting! Copy your downloaded ISO or IMG files onto the Stick to the appropriate folders under _ISO and have fun.

CMD file installation Screenshots: E2B-CMD-1   E2B-CMD-2

Here are two Screenshots from an E2B-Stick in original, not altered state.

Here are some Screenshots after adding another background image, playing around with the features and adding two menus for my convenience:

Main Menu / Antivirus   Bootrepair / Linux

For more impressions and a theme pack, scroll down to Themes!

Here you'll find a list with links of testet image files.

Use QEMU_MENU_TEST (run as admin).cmd (integrated) or RMPrepUSB to test all of your integrated menu and text files before real machine booting!


E2B-Configuration

You would change the keyboard layout and language from English to ... ? This features are defined in MyE2B.cfg which you have to create yourself if you didn't it thru the CMD-Installation. Since version 1.66 you could also use Make_MyE2B.cfg.cmd from folder _ISO - docs - Make_E2B_USB_Drive.

Manual creation: Make a copy of Sample_MyE2B.cfg (folder _ISO) and rename it to MyE2B.cfg. If you want to switch from English to e.g. German, you have to remove the hashtags at the beginning of line 263 and type three hashtags before the default line (261) for English, ready. Have a look at these Screenshots to get a picture on how to change keyboard layout, background image and more.

I use a menu_defaults.txt as suggested in \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg!

The row numbers could change in the future!

My German translation is included since version 1.57 but if you're looking for German installation instructions, please visit my German page.


Themes

I created a Gallery where you find Screenshots of my two old and some new themes I made. You can download the whole package (ca. 8 MB) right here, each theme folder contains two config files (chose de for German or en for English), a background image, a ReadMe and a LiesMich (German) file. NO Support, all informations you need are in ReadMe and CFG!

The E2B_Editor (folder /_ISO) will assist you in making your own theme!

I added my minimal MyE2B.cfg to the themes archiv and recommend to use it on big displays cause the pics are streched a lot which looks a bit ugly! You can also use pics with a resolution of 1024x768 pixels but if you put your E2B-Drive into a Netbook with a resolution of e.g. 1024x600, it'll not fit. So, if you don't want to edit your configuration files always before using your E2B-Drives, take Steve's (_ISO - docs - MyThemes - TextMinimal.cfg) or my minimal, textmode config file. Drawback: No special characters for languages like Swedish or German. Alternative: Use a plain background which fits to your font colors.

If you want the the shortcut keys right-aligned instead of left-aligned (you see it on some of my theme screenshots in the gallery), you can place all the shortcuts on the same position.


Filenames and Descriptions

Guide (Example) for proper menu items instead of only displaying the ISO filenames: You have the ISO-Image HDDErase.iso in subfolder UTILITIES. Create a new textfile with the same name, open it and write or copy n paste what you see in this textfile which you can open or download. Then you can copy, rename, change title and description and use it for other image files. The back slash character with the following n is important cause this will display the description below the menu and there it will create more line breaks. Don't use much more than 60 characters per line and NOT more than three lines for the description! You can also Drag n Drop the desired ISO file onto E2B TXT Maker.cmd in folder _ISO - docs - E2B Utilities to get a matching text file.


Additional Menus

If you want additional menus, do NOT edit the STRINGS.txt and ZZSubMenuAll.mnu if you're not familiar with files like these! Simply copy E2B SUBMENU Maker.cmd from folder _ISO - docs - E2B Utilities to your desktop, create a new folder with your desired name (NO spaces and signs!) in folder _ISO, Drag n Drop the newly created folder onto the new desktop symbol, answer the questions, press Enter or Y and you'll get the new menu file inside the MAINMENU folder.


Menu Files

You'll find lots of sample menu files (MNU) for e.g. Puppy Linux in ISO - docs - Sample mnu files but they have to be altered (e.g. ISO filename) accordingly. Later, when you saved your very own preferences, you may want to edit the description within your MNU file. The best place for the file tahrsave-xyz.2fs is the root of your flash drive (no subfolder!). The Puppy Tahr ISO file and the MNU file MUST have the SAME filename (except _Persistent at the end of the mnu filename) and both MUST reside in folder _ISO - Linux - MNU! If you need more menu files, Drag n Drop the desired ISO file onto E2B MNU Maker.cmd in folder _ISO - docs - E2B Utilities. ISOs with MNU files MUST be placed into a subfolder called MNU in any folder under _ISO!

Puppy Tahr booted from E2B-USB-Stick: Screenshot

Porteus booted from E2B-USB-Stick: Screenshot

More information about Puppy and Porteus.


List BIOS Disks

If you want to get the menu entry List BIOS Disks in your own language, you have to translate it manually if you don't use English or German. Simply edit the text after String STRmldk (since v.1.76) within _ISO - e2b - grub - your language - STRINGS.txt (Screenshot). ATTENTION, edit ONLY the text after the equal sign, do NOT touch the String itself and also do NOT alter, move or remove the carriage return \n! Make a backup, cause after an update to a new Version (described below) you have to do it again until the STRINGS.txt has been updated by a translator!


WinBuilder ISO-Files

Multiple WinBuilder ISO files: Try .isofira, .isomemF01 or .isomemwinV for Windows XP based ISOs with different filenames and navigate to _ISO - docs - Sample mnu files and _ISO - docs - Sample mnu files - Windows where you find provided MNU files for Gena, UBCD4Win, FalconFour's, Windows Vista and above based WinBuilder ISOs and visit Steve's pages about recognised file extensions and full guide for various WinPEs. Use .isoask and you can chose from a list! IMPORTANT: Use E2B v.1.71 or above, otherwise the WinBuilder.ini MUST be greater than 1 KB if you use NTFS and older versions! Simply add some lines with spaces!

The support for WinBuilder ISOs has been improved since v.1.90 which makes it really easier to handle multiple WinBuilder ISOs. Only for Win8.1SE you have to go the old way with folders WB1, WB2, ... and MNU files (see screenshots below). You can also make Partition Images from your WinBuilder ISO files (necessary if you cannot boot thru UEFI, see some lines below)!

Screenshots: WinBuilder1   WinBuilder2   Gena   F4UBCD/UBCD4Win

Get more informations more about WinBuilder!


Partition Images

You can boot thru UEFI and MBR/CSM with these Partition Images but the system itself have to support UEFI and you MUST use FAT32 for the PartImage file!

First, download the MPI Tool Pack (ONLY for Windows, newest versions: Alternate download areas!), extract it and create desktop shortcuts thru the CMD-file. Install ImDisk which is included, then Drag n drop desired ISO image from file manager onto the MakePartImage shortcut, a CMD window will open, follow instructions and answer the questions.

Screenshots: MPI 1   MPI 2   MPI 3   CSM Menu1   CSM Menu2

As you can see on the last Screenshot, you can switch back from CSM to the normal Menu, but if you start a Partition Image, you must do the switch when you want to start another Image. It's also really easy to reset the E2B-Stick under Windows thru SWITCH_E2B (_ISO folder).

Last but not at least, copy the newly created Partition Images to the MAINMENU folder or each other folder under _ISO and try it. Keep in mind that ALL images have to be CONTIGUOUS, read about defrag some lines below! If it'll not work with the standard PartImage file extension, try imgPTNAUTO (recommended), imgPTNLBAa23 or one of the other PartImage file extensions.

You can rename the file Sample_MyCSM.cfg in folder CUSTOM to MyCSM.cfg (Sample) and edit it with E2B_Editor (folder _ISO) to figure out the menu positions and colors. Place your own background within the CUSTOM - e2b folder but use the same filename (CSM) and image format (bmp, could be compressed with gz) as Steve used for the original background! I also translated the menu.lst from MPI Tool Pack to German.

If you run into trouble or want more knowledge, read Steve's Blog and his guides with further informations about PartImages, UEFI and CSM/MBR booting.


Defragmentation

It's really important to make ALL image files contiguous but you don't have to download WinContig separately, it's already in _ISO - docs - WINCONTIG and also within the RMPrepUSB-Archive. First, read my description for defragmenting flash-drives with WinContig and have a look at the screenshots, before you start defragmentation!


E2B-Updates

Updates to newer versions: Download and unpack the newest non-DPMS version to an empty folder on your hard-drive (may you want to copy your ISO, txt, MNU files and your MyE2B.cfg to the folder) and run UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.CMD from that folder while your flash-drive is inserted. You have to delete old files with other filenames manually but updated files with same names will replace the old ones! Remember to let enough free space on your pen-drives cause you need enough free space for defragmenting!

If you back up your E2B-Drive to a folder on your hard-drive, you can update that folder and create new E2B-Sticks very easily! Simply copy the folders docs, DOS, e2b, MAINMENU, UTILITIES und UTILITIES_MEMTEST and the files from the root directory and _ISO folder from the extracted new version to your backup folder and run MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd from there. If you use your very own STRINGS.txt and/or MyE2B.cfg and maybe a ZZSubMenuAll.mnu plus own folders under \_ISO, make a backup in a separate folder first and update them manually before copying to your E2B-folder and running the update!

Need further help? Please consult the E2B-FAQ and/or the RMPrepUSB-FAQ!

Good luck and have fun using your E2B-USB-Stick!







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