Copy or Clone your E2B USB drive
If you have a working E2B USB drive complete with all payloads and configurations files, etc., you can ‘clone’ the first E2B partition to any other USB drive:
Make sure that the target USB drive is of the same type as the source drive (i.e. ‘Removable’ or ‘Fixed’).
If it is a new flash drive, that you have tested the memory chips in it first (e.g. using FakeFlashTest). I highly recommend the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0/3.1 flash drives (avoid the slower Extreme ‘Go’) for E2B. Some ‘really fast’ USB flash drives can be very slow with E2B and when copying lots of small files under Windows (large files are OK).
Backup/Restore/Update existing E2B drives
If you want to quickly ‘synchronise’ the files onto all your existing E2B drives then E2B v1.A7+ contains:
- Backup_E2B_drive_to_MASTER.cmd – creates an E2B_MASTER folder on your Desktop containing the contents of the E2B ‘Master’ drive
- Restore_E2B_drive_from_MASTER.cmd – makes the contents of the target E2B partition 1 identical to the E2B_MASTER backup folder
These .cmd scripts can be found in the \_ISO\docs\Make_E2B_USB_Drive folder and can be run directly from the USB drive or can be copied to the Desktop. This does not copy files which are already present on the target drive and so is much quicker than making new drives.
Whenever you change your E2B drive, you can update (refresh) the MASTER backup by running Back.up_E2B_drive_to_MASTER.cmd.
You can then update any other E2B USB drive to have the same contents using Restore_E2B_drive_from_MASTER.cmd.
This ensures E2B partition 1 will contain the same contents.
You can easily edit the two .cmd files if you want to change the name of the backup folder or path.
WinContig is run after a successful restore to ensure the files are contiguous.
Robocopy.exe (not normally present in XP) is required.
Note: Easy2Boot v2 USB drives may contain a second (and third?) partition. These are not backed up by the Backup/Restore E2B .cmd files. You will need to make a separate copy of these files yourself!
Restore a new E2B drive from the MASTER copy
If your E2B drive is accidentally formatted/wiped, you can make a new E2B drive using Make_E2B.exe (any version) and then run Restore_E2B_drive_from_MASTER.cmd to restore all the files to make the drive exactly as it was before.
Clone directly from your E2B USB drive
Starting with E2B v1.88, you can ‘clone’ your E2B drive onto a different drive using the \MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE (run as admin).cmd script that is in the root of the E2B drive that you want to copy. If you wish, you can copy Make_E2B.exe to the root of the USB drive and run it as Admin to make another copy of that E2B drive (except for user folders in the root).
WARNING: Copying from USB-to-USB can be quite slow because often the USB bus is shared by both USB drives – this impedes the USB fast transfer protocol as it cannot ‘squirt’ a large data packet but must do smaller read/write packets. I recommend that you copy your master USB drive to folder on your hard disk instead of using this process (see above).
Note that only the root files and the \_ISO folder are copied, any extra user folders that were added to the root are NOT copied. You will need to copy any of your own folders in the root of the source E2B drive to the target drive afterwards or run UPDATE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd (add it from the download folder to your E2B drive first). For instance \MyFolder and \HBCD would not be copied to the target drive unless you run \UPDATE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd.
Note: If copying an E2B Removable Flash drive to a USB hard drive, you should remove the NOHELPER variable from within the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file on the USB HDD or Windows Install ISOs + Helper Flash drives will not work!
How to replicate your E2B USB drive to make new E2B drives
Tip: Before copying, update your E2B USB drive to the latest version of E2B. Copy your E2B USB drive which contains all your payloads (ISO files, etc.) and menu files, etc. as follows:
- Copy all the files on your E2B USB drive back to the original E2B download folder on your Windows hard disk – e.g. C:\temp\E2B.
The \System Volume Information folder and \$Recycle.bin folders (if present) should not be copied.
You will now have a backup of your E2B drive which can be replicated onto other USB drives.
- Now you can run the C:\temp\E2B\_ISO\docs\Make_E2B_USB_Drive\MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd script to make more E2B USB drives.
- If you have added your own files or folders to the root, you must now run C:\temp\E2B\UPDATE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd.
This will also copy across any of your own user folders which are in the root of the backup.
You should also copy across the contents of Partition 2 (if present).
- Run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd from the target USB drive.
Tip: You can Zip up the C:\temp\E2B folder and send it to your colleagues so they can make the same USB drives too.
Note: When using MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE, only the \_ISO folder is copied (and some files in the root). If you have added new folders under the root then these will not be copied to the USB drive. However, once you have made the USB drive, you can run UPDATE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd to copy across all your added folders.e.g.
- C:\temp\E2B\_ISO << folder will be copied by MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd
- C:\temp\E2B\MyPrograms << folder will NOT be copied unless you use UPDATE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd
- C:\temp\E2B\Myutil.exe << file will be copied by MAKE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd
UPDATE_E2B_USB_DRIVE.cmd only copies changed or missing files to the USB drive, it does not delete files from the USB drive (i.e. it does not ‘sync’ all files).
IMPORTANT – if copying to a Fixed-disk USB drive…
If you copy the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file from your E2B USB Removable drive, it may have the NOHELPER variable set inside the MyE2B.cfg file. On Fixed-disk USB drives, the NOHELPER variable will stop Windows ISOs from working correctly (the ISO won’t be loaded as a virtual CD).
E2B USB Fixed/hard drives should not have the NOHELPER variable set in the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file, so if you want it to work on both types of USB drive, delete the NOHELPER variable from the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file. USB HDDs will still need a USB Flash ‘Helper’ drive to boot Windows Install ISOs and some WinPE ISOs, or you can convert Windows Vista+ ISOs to .imgPTN files.
E2B USB when used on a Removable USB drive will boot slightly faster if the NOHELPER variable is set.
Although it is possible to use dd.exe or RMPrepUSB File->Drive and Drive->File to make an exact clone of one E2B USB drive to another USB drive, it is not recommended for several reasons:
- It is slow – all sectors will be copied
- The target drive needs to be at least as big as the E2B source drive you are copying
- If the target drive is bigger than the E2B source drive, you will have inaccessible free space left on the target drive
- If you had fragmented files or deleted files on the source E2B drive, they same layout will be duplicated on the target drive
- If the E2B USB drive was NTFS, the System Volume Information folder will also be duplicated.
- The drive serial number will be the same as the original USB drive – it could ‘confuse’ Windows or Windows applications if both drives are connected at the same time and have the same ID.
Update an E2B USB drive
The E2B download contains the script file ‘\UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.cmd‘. If you ensure this file is also present in the C:\temp\E2B folder (see above) then just run it to update any E2B USB drive without needing to reformat and recopy all the files. Note that the ‘UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE.cmd‘ file is not copied to the USB drive and that it does not delete files from the target USB drive.
You may need to run WinContig or \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd afterwards to ensure all the files are contiguous. Windows Install ISO files, .WIM files and .VHD files do not usually need to be contiguous however.