Adding Windows Install ISOs

Note: You must use the E2B+DPMS version of Easy2Boot if you want to use Windows XP install ISOs (and always Legacy\MBR boot).

  1. Copy the .ISO file to the correct folder under \_ISO\WINDOWS (for best results)
  2. Legacy-boot to the E2B Menu system or UEFI-boot to the agFM Menu system
    Note: if installing from an XP Install ISO, you must reboot to the Easy2Boot menu after Step 1 and run Step 2.
  • E2B will try to use WIMBOOT to boot Windows Install ISOs. WIMBOOT requires >1.3GB of RAM and only works with standard Microsoft  Windows (Vista+) Install ISO files.
  • WIMBOOT has the advantage that an XML file and a Removable USB Flash drive (or WinHelper drive) is not required.
  • If a dual-architecture (32-bit + 64-bit) ISO is detected, E2B will prompt you to select 'x86' or 'x64' but if the system contains a 32-bit CPU, E2B will automatically pick the x86 version and you will not be prompted.
  • When prompted to run Repair\Setup after you select your ISO, if you press a key quickly, E2B will boot the Windows Install ISO using WIMBOOT and allow you to run Setup without needing to specify an XML file.

For Windows Install purposes, if WIMBOOT does not work with your ISO, you can add the characters NOWIMBOOT into the filename to suppress WIMBOOT - e.g. \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10\Windows 10 x64 1803 (NoWimboot).iso. You can also try the agFM and Ventoy menu systems instead.

Tip: Both agFM and Ventoy menu systems can also run Windows Install ISOs successfully.

  • The file extension must be .ISO.ISO32, .ISO64 or .imgPTN* in order to be added into the Windows Install E2B Legacy Menu.
  • In case of Secure Boot issues or other problems, convert the ISO to a .imgPTN23 file.
  • Some non-standard Windows Install ISOs may work correctly if you use the Ventoy menu system
  • E2B uses generic 'installation-only' Product Keys - they are legal and will not activate.
  • When installing Win8, you can use an XML file to avoid having to type in a Product Key manually.
  • Use an XML file to force Windows Setup to install the Edition of Windows that you want
  • To automate the installation of Windows + auto-install drivers + install applications + Windows updates, see SDI_CHOCO.
  • If a .cmd file exists in the same folder as the iso file and has the same filename, then it will automatically be called when WinPE starts - e.g. \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN11\windows11.iso + \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN11\windows11.cmd. This allows you to add drivers, registry entries or do anything else you like! (E2B and agFM).

Windows Install menu folders

\_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2012            <-- Windows Server 2012 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2K8R2         <-- Windows Server 2008 R2 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\VISTA                <-- Windows Vista Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN7                 <-- Windows 7 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN8                 <-- Windows 8 and 8.1 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10               <-- Windows 10 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2016            <-- Windows Server 2016 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\SVR2019            <-- Windows Server 2019 Install ISOs go here
\_ISO\WINDOWS\AIO                    <-- Use for All-in-One ISOs which contain multiple versions of Windows
\_ISO\WINDOWS\XP                      <-- XP//2K/2K3 Install ISOs go here (99% of people use XP SP3 32-bit only, other versions are very difficult to install!) 
Note: XP 64-bit ISO files should have '64' somewhere in the name of the ISO file, Win2k ISOs should have '2k' in the filename and Win2k3 ISOs should have '2k3' somewhere in the name.)

If you have a version of Windows which does not exactly match the pre-defined folders, you will need to look-up your version to see what it is based on here. For instance, Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 belongs to the Windows Server 2008 R2 group so place the ISO file in the SVR2KR2 folder. For other versions, try the WIN7 or WIN8 folders. 

If you place ISOs in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx folders, it allows us to use XML files and specify a Product Key.

When installing Windows 8/10 to an OEM system that was originally shipped with a pre-installed, activated version of Windows, Setup will detect the Edition from the embedded OEM Product Key and only offer you that choice unless you specify a different Product Key in an XML file. For instance, if you buy a Win10 Home laptop but later upgrade it to Pro, if you re-install Win10 it will install Win 10 Home unless you specify a Win10 Pro key (using a generic key or the actual upgrade licence key for your system).

References

How Configuration passes work
Configure Setup Language
Sample Unattend files
Automating Win7/8 installs - blog post