Table of Contents
Slow and buggy BIOSes
If you find that your E2B USB drive works on most systems but not one particular model of computer, the problem is usually due to bugs in the BIOS of that computer.
Symptoms of a buggy BIOS are:
- E2B warns of a BAD BIOS during booting (e.g. EeePC booting from large >137GB USB HDD)
- E2B menu loads but some payload files do not run correctly
- A Windows Install Flash drive prepared using Rufus or the Microsoft USB Tool gives a BSOD and won’t boot to the Setup screen
- You get a ‘Missing MBR Helper’ boot error message (to fix – reformat using RMPrepUSB. If using .imgPTN files, rename to .imgPTNLBAa)
- Very slow to get to the Main Menu
- Works fine on a different system or if booting via RMPrepUSB+QEMU or Virtual Box
Note: If you just get a black screen with a flashing cursor at the top – WAIT! Sometimes it just takes a while!
To fix these issues
E2B runs Grub4DOS 0.4.6a Legacy.
Grub4dos version 0.4.6a includes a built-in Grub4dos USB 2.0 driver which may fix these issues because the BIOS USB driver code will not be used (hold down SHIFT key as E2B starts to boot to load USB 2.0 driver). Once grub4dos 0.4.6a is loaded and the E2B Main Menu is displayed:
- You can install the USB driver using the Install fast Grub4DOS USB 2.0 Driver in the Utilities menu entry (or hold down SHIFT key as E2B boots).
- Now you can try your ISO or payload menu entry again to see if it now works correctly.
Measure USB\BIOS performance
You can Measure USB Performance using the menu option in the Utilities menu after loading the Grub4dos USB driver.
A fast USB 3.0 drive should perform 1000 loops in less than 10 seconds. A slow USB 2.0 or 1.0 driver will perform 100 loops in > 30 seconds! If you want to always use grub4dos 0.4.6 and the in-built USB driver, use set GRUB_USB=Y in your \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file (see the \_ISO\Sample_MyE2B.cfg file for details). This may cause problems however (e.g. you lose the USB keyboard!). The Grub4dos USB 2.0 driver only works on some types of USB 2.0 systems and is still in Beta development.
Possible ways to try to make your E2B drive boot on a wider variety of systems
1. Use the Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd script to make your USB drive (creates a 2nd partition).
2. If you have used your own grub4dos USB drive or have not followed the instructions on this site to prepare it, then:
a. Install Grub4dos to the MBR and the PBR using RMPrepUSB (this installs a special version of grub4dos which is more reliable)- do NOT update the \grldr file.
b. If you are using a USB Flash drive, ensure it has two partitions – you can use EaseUS Home Partition Master to create a very small hidden partition at the end of the drive (any size or type will work).
c. Ensure that \grldr is the same version of grub4dos that is included in the E2B download. Try Flashboot for very old systems which want to boot a Flash drive as a Floppy disk (only supports FAT32).
If your (Dell) system only boots from a USB Flash drive (not a USB HDD)
Some Dell Optiplex systems (for instance) do not seem to support booting from a USB Hard drive. In this case, you can boot from the USB Helper flash drive and then run E2B from the USB Hard drive as follows:
1. Run RMPrepUSB and select the USB Helper Flash drive
2. Click on the Install Grub4dos button and install grub4dos and copy over the grldr file when prompted
3. Press F4 in RMPrepUSB to create a new menu.lst file on the USB flash drive and add these lines to the file and save it:
Booting from Easy2Boot USB Helper Flash Drive…
find –set-root /_ISO/e2b/grub/menu.lst
Note: This file is probably already present on your Helper drive.
If your Gigabyte system just hangs (no grub4dos boot)
Try using a different BIOS revision. GA-73PVM-S2H BIOSes later than version F6 do not boot from grub4dos MBR boot code (hang immediately). Use the older F6 version!
Fujitsu/MSI does not CSM boot
Note also for RAID notebooks, you may need to load a Windows RAID driver before Windows Setup will ‘see’ the hard disks as a RAID array.
MSI mainboards – Look for a ‘Windows 8’ or ‘Microsoft OS’ option in the BIOS and disable it (see below).
If Windows Vista/7/8 will not install (‘system partition’ error)
If you get a message similar to:
Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information.
Windows is unable to find a system volume which meets its criteria for installation.
then ensure that the BIOS boot order is set so that the internal hard disk is the first boot device. Do not set the USB Hard disk as the first boot device.
To boot from the E2B USB Hard disk, use the BIOS Selection menu hotkey (e.g. F8, F10, F11 or F12) to boot from the E2B USB drive.
Ensure that all SD cards and other unnecessary storage devices have been disconnected – also ensure the CD/DVD drives are empty. See here for a discussion on this error. Note that if the internal hard disk previously held an operating system, you may have to CLEAN it using Diskpart and CONVERT it to the correct partition format. For instance, if you want to do an MBR\Legacy install and the disk previously held a GPT/UEFI OS, use Diskpart – select disk 0 – clean – convert MBR – exit. If the disk previously held an MBR partition and you want to install using UEFI\GPT use Diskpart – Select disk 0 – clean – convert GPT – exit.
Using Vista/7/8 Installs from a USB Hard drive without a Helper drive
THIS ONLY APPLIES IF YOU DID NOT USE WIMBOOT
You can run LOADISO.CMD manually (instead of needing a Helper USB drive) as follows:
1. Boot to E2B
2. As soon as Setup loads and asks you for a language/country, press the key combination SHIFT+F10 – a black console window should open (if not, answer the next question and try SHIFT+F10 again)
3. In the console window, type dir C:\_ISO and press the ENTER key – if the folder is not listed, try dir D:\_ISO etc. until you find the E2B USB drive letter – let us assume that ‘dir E:\_ISO’ worked – then the USB drive letter must be E:
4. Now run loadiso by typing E:\_ISO\e2b\firadisk\loadiso.cmd – a blue console window should open – if then prompted to Repair Windows, just hit ENTER5. The blue console Window should close – now continue with Windows Setup in the normal way.
Note: Windows Installer CDs/DVDs (Vista and later versions) can also be installed by using a partition image file (.imgPTN file) made from the ISO by using MakePartImage. You can then boot from this image file in either normal BIOS/MBR mode or UEFI mode if you have a UEFI system. Booting these Windows Installers using a partition image also avoids the need for a Helper USB Flash drive.
No UEFI-boot option on some UEFI-systems
Some UEFI systems will not give a UEFI boot option if the MBR partition table is ‘out-of-order’ – e.g. Asus Z87, Dell Venue 11, some HP PCs, etc. See this page for how to fix it if using two partition image files.
No CSM\Legacy\MBR boot option
Some systems (e.g. MSI mainboards) will enable UEFI-only mode if a ‘Windows 8’ option is enabled. Look for a similar ‘Windows’ or ‘Microsoft’ setting and disable it.
- Set a BIOS Administrator password
- Disable Fast Boot
- Disable Secure Boot
- Enable any CSM or Legacy or MBR boot option
- Disable any ‘Windows 8’ or ‘Microsoft’ boot option