E2B – the USB multiboot solution for professionals
Boot to (almost) anything from one USB drive!
- Easy2Boot supports up to 3 different menu systems.
- Secure UEFI64 booting is supported (Secure boot is then overridden, unless blocked by UEFI DBx blacklist in BIOS).
- File types .ISO, .WIM, .EFI, .IMA, .IMG, .VHD, .VHDx . HFS + others (files can be over 4GB as NTFS is used)
- Generic method of booting Linux ISOs (no need to update E2B every few months because a new Linux distro no longer works!).
- Legacy boot to DOS, Win98, XP, Linux, Windows Vista-10, ISOs, Windows VHDs, WIM files, etc..
- Add multiple HFS (Mac OSX) partition images using .imgptnREP3 file extension for UEFI-booting.
- Add partition Image files (.imgPTN files) – switch in any partition image and then boot to it. You can even make a partition image from other bootable USB drives.
- eBooks (PDFs) written by the developer are available.
- Free online help.
- Note: E2B requires a writeable USB disk and some payload files may need to be made contiguous for best results.
Up to three different menu systems
How to make an E2B USB drive
Please note: For best results use a Windows 10 system if using a USB Flash drive.
1. Download E2B
E2B can be downloaded as a self-extracting .exe (or download the .zip file if you have a Windows XP system). You may need to ignore the Windows Defender SmartScreen warning about running a downloaded .exe file and choose ‘Run anyway’.
A new folder will be created on your Windows Desktop which contains the E2B install files.
Tip: If you have a Windows XP system, download the .zip version because the .exe self-extracting version does not run under XP. Extract the files to a new folder on your Desktop.
2. Make a USB drive
Run Make_E2B.exe to make your E2B USB drive. You can use a USB Flash drive or a USB hard disk.
Note that all partitions and contents on the USB drive will be erased.
1. Select E2B Menu options.
2. Select USB drive (if drive letter is visible).
3. Click on the Big Red Arrow button (or click on the Gear Wheel button if you want special options/partitions or if no drive letter is visible).
Say ‘Y‘es to install agFM if you want direct UEFI-booting.
Say ‘Y‘es to install ‘Ventoy for Easy2Boot‘ if you also want the alternative Ventoy menu system.
Note: To add the UEFI agFM files to the second partition for UEFI-booting, you will need a Windows 10 system if your USB drive is a ‘Removable’ flash drive. If your USB drive is a Hard Disk or the ‘Fixed Disk’ type of flash drive, then you can use XP/Win7/Win8 or Win10 to prepare the E2B USB drive. This is because only (recent) Windows 10 systems can access multiple partitions on USB Flash drives.
3. Add payload files (ISO, WIM, EFI, VHD, etc.)
3.1 Simply copy over your bootable files to one of the pre-defined menu folders on the first partition.
- \_ISO\WIN (e.g. WindowsToGo VHD/VHDx files)
- \_ISO\WINPE (e.g. HBCD_PE, Strelec, DLCBoot, Gandalf)
- \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx (Windows Install files)
The menu folders are in capital letters just under the \_ISO folder on the first partition. For example, copy a Windows 10 install ISO into the \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10 folder or copy a Linux ISO to the \_ISO\MAINMENU or \_ISO\LINUX folder.
Do NOT create new folders.
3.2 After adding all your payload files, run the Windows batch file \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd file on the USB drive. This makes all the payload files contiguous. This should be run after adding any new payload file.
Contiguous files are needed for some types of operation (not required for Windows ISOs).
Tip: Use the \E2B Launcher.exe utility on the E2B USB drive to help you configure and use E2B.
Booting from your E2B USB drive
Don’t use a cheap, slow USB 2.0 drive! I recommend a fast 16GB+ USB 3.0 USB flash drive like this one.
If you want to know how to add a certain ISO or payload to E2B, your first step should be to find it on the ‘List of tested ISOs‘ page. Note that the same ISO/payload/software may be listed in more than one place.
If no special instructions or links are given, then the ISO/payload should ‘just work’ if you copy it to a normal menu folder on the E2B USB drive.
For most payloads (except VHD\WIM fles) you will need to run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd too.
Test Legacy booting
If your USB drive does not seem to boot on a real system, check it boots by running \QEMU_MENU_TEST (run as admin).cmd from the USB drive (it should at least boot to the E2B Main menu). If it does not boot to the Main menu, you have done something wrong! If it does boot, then the problem is with your system’s BIOS/firmware settings – refer to the FAQ and Troubleshooting pages. The QEMU is a 32-bit emulator and should fully boot 32-bit ISOs (as if booting from a hard disk) too! The QEMU used will not fully boot 64-bit ISOs. VHDs or WIM files, etc.
Legacy/MBR booting on a real system
To boot from the E2B USB drive, first configure the BIOS:
- Disable Fast Boot
- Disable Secure Boot
- Enable Legacy\CSM
To ensure that it boots from the E2B USB drive, connect the E2B USB drive, press a key after switching on the system (depending on Make\Model):
ACER: Esc, F9, F12 APPLE: Option/Alt key ASUS: Esc, F8 COMPAQ: Esc, F9 DELL: F12 EMACHINES: F12 HP: Esc, F9 INTEL: F10 IBM LENOVO: F12 (or Fn+F12), F10, F8 NEC: F5 PACKARD BELL: F8 SAMSUNG: Esc, F12 SONY: F10, F11 TOSHIBA: F12
Tip: If a laptop, try also holding down the Fn key first and then tapping the other Fxx key – e.g. Fn+F12. (check BIOS setting for Fn key option)
You may find this list of BIOS keys useful.
Easy2Boot v2 adds agFM which allows you to UEFI-boot from the second FAT32 partition of the E2B USB drive and select an ISO, WIM file, VHD file, IMG file, etc.
You can also load the Ventoy menu system from the agFM menu system (use F5).
Alternatively, for UEFI and MBR booting (especially Secure Boot), you can instead switch-in a bootable partition image (.imgPTN23 files):
- Install the MPI Tool Kit onto your WIndows system.
- Convert the ISO (or payload file) to a FAT32 .imgPTN23 file by dragging-and-dropping the ISO onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut. The ISO should be on your hard disk and NOT on the USB drive.
- Copy the new .imgPTN file to your E2B drive (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU folder).
- Rename the file extension to .imgPTN23 so that partitions 2 and 3 are not removed.
- Run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd from the E2B drive.
- Boot to E2B or agFM and select the .imgPTN23 file from the E2B menu – OR – run \_ISO\SWITCH_E2B.exe in Windows and double-click on the .imgPTN23 file.
The USB drive’s E2B partition #1 will be replaced by the new image.
- Now UEFI-boot from the E2B USB drive.
If your system does not have an MBR-boot option, you can UEFI-boot to the agFM menu or add WinPE files to a 2nd partition so that you can UEFI-boot to WinPE and select a .imgPTN file.
You can also copy partition image files onto Partition 3 of your E2B USB drive. The file should have a .imgPTNREP3 extension. When selected, it will replace the current Partition 3 with the contents inside the image file. This means you can switch in any partition containing any filesystem or swap file or raw partition. For instance, you could UEFI64-boot to agFM and switch-in an hfs partition image for installing Mac OSX onto a system.