Common problems with payload files

For XP Install description of Setup stages and errors see >>>  here.

Always check the list of tested payload files for any special instructions here.

Use a filename with no spaces and no special characters if you are having problems.

Read any E2B messages carefully.

For some common problems with Windows installations, see here (links to useful TeraByte KnowledgeBase articles).

  • Missing DVD drivers (Windows install)
Any Windows Setup install message about a CD\DVD driver means that the install.wim or install.esd source file was not found on any device (it is expected to be on a DVD or possibly on a USB drive). This could be because the WinPE session you have booted to does not have the necessary USB drivers for your system (i.e. old ISO) or that for some reason, the ISO was not loaded as a virtual DVD by E2B\agFM\Ventoy.
  • HELP! After booting to a linux ISO file, my laptop/PC now won’t boot! – This is not an uncommon experience! To fix it, disconnect the power cord (switching it off is NOT good enough!). If you have a laptop\notebook then also remove the large Lithium battery pack. Wait 30 seconds. Now re-connect the power (and the laptop battery). All should be well.
  • Windows cannot read the setting from the unattend answer file (Win8/10) – You need to specify a 5×5 Product Key in the XML file. This is normally prompted for by Easy2Boot. Check the \AutoUnattend.xml file on the USB drive and compare it with the xml file and product key that was selected. Make sure the xml syntax is correct and balanced.
  • Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms (Win2012/8/10) – The product key used was of the wrong type. e.g. for Win8.1 Enterprise 90-day Eval use 76FKW-8NR3K-QDH4P-3C87F-JHTTW, for Win10 Enterprise use VTNMT-2FMYP-QCY43-QR9VK-WTVCK, use 79M8M-N36BX-8YGJY-2G9KP-3YGPC for 2012 R2 Standard Evaluation. These keys should already be available in the ‘list of keys’ option provided by E2B. You will see this message if an XML file was used and the wrong Product Key used. You can determine what Product Key to use by installing Windows without using an XML file (e.g. convert to a .imgPTN file or install from DVD) and then run ProduKey which will reveal the Windows Product Key. Then make a .KEY file for E2B.
  • Windows cannot open the required file D:\Sources\install.esd or install.wim – If you are booting directly from an ISO file, make sure that your E2B USB drive (or any other drive in the system) does not contain a \Sources folder.
  • No images are available – The wrong Win8/10 Product key was used – it was for a different SKU (e.g. Enterprise Product Key used with a non-Enterprise ISO) and the Install.wim did not contain that version. Use the correct Product Key. You can determine what Product Key to use by installing Windows without using an XML file (e.g. convert to a .imgPTN file or install from DVD) and then run ProduKey which will reveal the Windows Product Key. Then make a .KEY file for E2B.
  • Blank screen after Windows loads – If the Windows ISO boots and you see the MS logo but then the screen goes blank (but hard disk activity continues as shown by the HDD LED) AND it only happens on one particular model of system (or one version of BIOS), then this indicates a buggy BIOS. Check to see if there is a BIOS update available from the Manufacturer. Alternatively, rename the .ISO file to .ISOE0   (E followed by the number ZERO). If you have UEFI-booted to the menu system, try switching the menu to text-mode before selecting the payload file.
  • The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key. (Win8) You probably have an OEM system which came with a Windows 8 Product Key embedded in the BIOS. The Product Key in the BIOS does not match the version of Win8 you are trying to install (e.g. OEM vs Retail). Either use the original OEM Win8 ISO or specify the Windows 8 Product Key that you want to use in a E2B file (see Windows 8 section for instructions). You can determine what Product Key to use by installing Windows without using an XML file (e.g. convert to a .imgPTN file or install from DVD) and then run ProduKey which will reveal the Windows Product Key. Then make a .KEY file for E2B.
  • No graphics display from linux-based ISO – If a text-mode boot works but a graphics-mode boot does not, this is usually due to an incompatible graphics driver in the linux kernel. Try a different system or a Virtual Machine to check that it works OK on a more ‘compatible’ system. Adding a boot parameter of vga=ask often works too. If you have UEFI-booted to the menu system, try switching the menu to text-mode before selecting the payload file.
  • One large ISO file is not working correctly – If you copied a large ISO file to the USB drive but it is not working as expected, then it may be corrupt. Check it’s CRC32 hash value on the system hard drive against the CRC32 value of the file on the USB drive.
    Tips: hold down SHIFT+Ctrl keys when selecting the ISO in E2B to get it to report the CRC32 value before it runs the ISO. Only works in normal menus.
    RMPrepUSB – Ctrl+C will report the MD5/CRC32/SHA1 value of a file).
    Note that E2B may alter some bytes in some ISO files (e.g. Windows Install ISOs and .isomacpup files) once the ISO has been run, so the CRC32 value of these files on the E2B drive may be different after booting from them once using E2B – it is best to get the CRC32 value of the ISO on the USB drive as soon as you have copied it to the USB drive.
    If in the Ventoy menu press m to get the hash value of the file.
  • Unable to see USB drives once booted from E2B to a Win XP/7 OS – go into BIOS and check USB XHCI setting – change from ‘Smart Auto’ or ‘Enabled’ to just ‘Auto’. XP\Win7 do not have USB 3.0 drivers, so use a USB 2.0 port or see here.
  • Unable to find a medium containing a live filesystem – Make sure the linux ISO is contiguous and use an extension of .iso not .isomem. Check for a .mnu file for your ISO (see \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files folder). Use a USB 2.0 port. Do not use a UASP type of USB HDD. Check the ‘Tested Payloads‘ page.
  • Cannot find squashfs –  as above.
  • Some ISOs run almost instantly and others display a [32M/384M] style counter and take ages to run – Because the file is not contiguous, E2B is forced to load the whole ISO into memory (and it may not then boot correctly either!) – to fix, just run RMPrepUSB – Ctrl+F2 to run WinContig (or use the Make_Drive_Contiguous.cmd file in the root of the E2B drive) and make all files on the drive contiguous. If you have named the ISO file extension as .isomem then it will always load into memory and be slow to load!
    Note: making files contiguous is NOT the same as defragging the drive (which may actually fragment the files even more!).
  • When I run an ISO file, it takes ages to copy it to \_ISO\CONTIG.ISO – why? – The file is not contiguous (see above).
  • The \_ISO\CONTIG.ISO is not big enough – how can I fix this? – Simply use any sort of larger file and rename it to \_ISO\CONTIG.ISO. Then run WinContig to make the new CONTIG.ISO file contiguous.
  • Hirens/DLC boots to Mini Win7 but does not show all Desktop icons or work fully – use .isowinvH or .isomem file extension – some ISOs like Hirens Boot CD and DLC need to be extracted (in most cases the \HBCD or \DLC folder is needed in the root of the USB drive) – check this site for instructions – just make your own .mnu file with the correct grub4dos menu code – or – ask someone to make you a .mnu file! Alternatively, once in the Win7 Desktop, find the ISO file, right-click on it and select ImDisk from the options, choose ‘CD-ROM’ as the type and then mount the ISO. Now you can run \HBCD.cmd from the mounted ISO file. See the FAQ section for more help with Hirens.
    For Hirens 9.6 and earlier versions see Tutorial 116.
    XP\Win7 do not have USB 3.0 drivers, so use USB 2.0 port or see here.
  • DLC Hirens.isowinvH works for Mini XP, but Mini 7 does not display all Desktop icons – use .isomem OR .isoHW OR extract the \DLC1 folder from the iso and place in root of USB drive at \DLC1. Copy the \HBCD or \DLC or \DLC1 folder from the ISO file to the root of the USB drive. For best compatibility if using an E2B USB HDD drive, convert the ISO to a FAT32 .imgPTN file.
    XP\Win7 do not have USB 3.0 drivers, so use USB 2.0 port or see here.
  • Hirens Mini Win 7 reports a ‘Julia.iso’ error with 12.Hiren.s.Boot.CD.15.2.isowinv –  the extension should be .isowinvH not .isowinv. Also try the .isoHW or .isomem extension.
     XP\Win7 do not have USB 3.0 drivers, so use USB 2.0 port or see here.
  • Hirens Win7 HBCDMenu icon does not work (not populated) –  Use .isomem file extension OR .isowinvH. If that still does not work, use 7Zip to unpack the Hirens ISO to the root if the E2B drive.  XP\Win7 do not have USB 3.0 drivers, so use USB 2.0 port or see here.
  • Ophcrack – no tables found – you have to extract the \tables folder from the ISO (or download them) – the \tables folder must be in the root of the USB drive.
  • ERD50/MSDaRT 5 for XP ISO crashes – rename the file extension to .isomemwinv or .isomemf01 or use the ERD5_DPMS.mnu if SATA/RAID system
  • BartPE XP ISO crashes – rename the file extension to .isomemwinv or try .isofira01
  • ERDCommander 2005/2007/MSDart 5.0  ISO crashes – rename the file extension to .isomemwinv or .isomemF01  or use the ERD5_DPMS.mnu if booting from a SATA/RAID system.
  • Hirens 15.1 ISO – XP does not show all Desktop icons and Program Launcher is empty – rename the .iso file to .isomem or .isowinvH or .isoHW
  • Hirens Linux menu entries do not fully load linux – Ensure all files are contiguous (RMPrepUSB – Ctrl+F2). 
  • Embedded XP Install ISO can’t find source CD on 2nd boot – if you re-name the iso as an XP ISO and move it, it may then work (e.g. \_ISO\Windows\XP\XPHOMESP2.ISO) – if not, extract the whole iso contents to the root of the USB drive and rename the ISO to xxxxx.isowinv and place it in \_ISO\MainMenu folder. Only the files in the root and the \i386 folder may be required, but test with all extracted files as a first attempt. See POS2009_ReadMe.txt in the docs folder for an example of an embedded XP install ISO. You can also try the XP Install using the WinPE method here.
  • Kaspersky ISO boots but I cannot get past accepting the licence page – try typing ALT+TAB and then press A – or  press 1 (the number pad may not work).
  • Kaspersky 10.0 ISO runs and downloads the updates, but the next time I use it on another system, I have to download the updates all over again – Create an empty folder on the root of the Easy2Boot USB drive called \Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10.0 – before you next boot to KAV-rescue on a system, ensure that the Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10.0 folder on that system’s internal hard disk is NOT present (otherwise updates will go onto the internal hard disk).
  • BSOD: “STOP: 0x000000A5 – The BIOS in this system is not fully ACPI compliant”. – You may see this message when attempting to boot from an XP, Vista or Win7-based payioad on some systems, e.g. Asus P5V, (but not others). Try repeatedly pressing the F7 key as soon as WinPE starts to load (you may be prompted to press F6 for a short while – press F7 instead). Check the BIOS settings, set USB to USB 2.0 and any OS compatible setting to XP/Win7 and not Win8/10. Try other BIOS settings. You can also try an older version of the BIOS (newer versions may have been made compatible for Win8/10 only). If you have an LPT option in the BIOS, try it set to LPT=Enabled as well as ACPI & PnP=Enabled and APM=Disabled. If you have over 4GB of RAM, remove some memory to get it below 4GB or to the amount that was originally installed (remove any added memory).
  • An ISO boots to the WinPE Desktop OK, but many of the applications don’t work or are missing – why? – If it is a Win7/8/10 based WinPE ISO, it is probably based on WinBuilder – see this page for details.

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