Add an Official Ventoy image

Official Ventoy Images

The ‘Ventoy for Easy2Boot’ version is located on Partition 2 of the E2B USB drive (if installed) but it is slightly modified and it may not contain the very latest version of Ventoy.

Starting with agFM v1.72, you can download the latest current official release version of Ventoy as a partition image file and then replace Partition 2 of the E2B USB drive with the unaltered, official Ventoy menu system. The new Ventoy partition will be exactly 32MB and must not be resized.

Note: See blog for details of v1.72 Betas.

Once the new Ventoy partition image replaces the agFM/Ventoy for Easy2Boot files on partition 2, you can boot to Ventoy via the E2B Legacy menu or you can UEFI-boot directly to Ventoy on the second partition. In this way x86 Legacy BIOS, IA32 UEFI, x86_64 UEFI, ARM64 UEFI, MIPS64EL UEFI are supported (or whatever is in the latest version of Ventoy).

You can restore the original agFM partition when the Ventoy partition is no longer required.

Introduction

A cmd script on Partition 2 can be run which automatically downloads and creates the Ventoy image files on the E2B USB drive.

Three slightly different versions of the 32MB Ventoy image files are made by the script:

  1. ventoy.disk.img – Ventoy with Secure Boot/MokManager (must enrol the certificate file provided using MokManager).
  2. ventoyNS.disk.img – Ventoy (no Secure Boot) – use if other two images do not boot correctly on some BIOSes and disable Secure Boot in BIOS.
  3. ventoyKAS.disk.img – Ventoy with Kaspersky shim – can immediately Secure Boot as long as the Kaspersky shim is not blacklisted in the BIOS UEFI DBx blacklist database (same method used by agFM). Mok Manager is not used/needed.

Each 32MB Ventoy partition image is copied onto Partition 2 of the E2B USB drive.

To ‘switch-in’ a Ventoy disk image file, you must use the agFM (or grubfm) menu system (agFM is based on grubfm).

To restore the original partitions, you can use the E2B Legacy menu system, the agFM/grubfm menu system or use Switch_E2B.exe and then click on the ‘Restore E2B Partitions’ button.

The E2B USB drive can have two or three Primary MBR partitions. The last primary partition must be unused.

Standard E2B drive:
Ptn1: NTFS with \_ISO folder and payload files
Ptn2: FAT32 with agFM and ‘Ventoy for Easy2Boot’ files
Ptn3: optional user partition
Ptn4: (unused)

After switching-in a Ventoy partition image file:
Ptn1: NTFS with \_ISO folder and payload files
Ptn2: 32MB FAT16 (VTOYEFI)
Ptn3: optional user partition
Ptn4: (unused)

Installation/Update

These instructions assume you have E2B v2.09 or later installed already and have agFM on Partition 2 or the E2B USB drive.
When a new version of Ventoy is released, just re-run the script to download the latest release.

  1. First ensure that your E2B USB drive does not have any .imgPTN partition image already switched in – the easiest way to check this is to run _ISO\SWITCH_E2B.exe – if the ‘Restore E2B Partition(s)’ button is NOT greyed-out then click it to restore the original E2B partitions.
  2. If you have agFM v1.71 or earlier – download the latest zip file of agFM v1.72 or later and extract all the files to Partition 2 of your E2B USB drive – this overwrites the existing agFM files.
  3. Run \e2b\Update agFM\Make_Latest_Ventoy_Partition_Image.cmd from Partition 2 of the USB drive, also download the grubfm iso file (if prompted).
  4. Run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd from Partition 1.

The \ventoy.disk.img files on the second partition are the new Ventoy images – do not move them – they must be located on Partition 2.

If you do not already have ImDisk installed on your Windows system, you can download it from here.

Note: The three .img files must be contiguous. You can use the 3rd-party Windows application ‘Defraggler‘ to defragment each file.

1. Switch the Ventoy 32MB image into partition 2

  1. Boot to agFM (either Legacy\MBR boot to the E2B menu and then load agFM or UEFI-boot direct to agFM on Partition 2).
  2. Select one of the new ‘Official Ventoy’ menu entries – the Ventoy image file will be switched into Partition 2 and the system will reboot. The image file must be contiguous.

    Note: The ‘Secure Boot’ and ‘no Secure Boot’ images correspond to the two options offered by the Ventoy maker tool, the third ‘bypass Secure Boot’ image contains the Kaspersky signed shim EFI file and will usually boot even on a Secure Boot-enabled system – it can then load Secure or non-Secure payloads. If your UEFI BIOS displays a security warning and fails to secure-boot, it will be because Windows has blocked it by adding an entry into the UEFI BIOS DBx blacklist database. You can either clear this DBx database using the BIOS Setup menu or disable Secure Boot in the BIOS.
    Some systems may not boot to agFM if the ‘bypass Secure Boot’ image is used even if Secure Boot is disabled (black screen, single dot or cursor only) – use the ‘no Secure Boot’ image instead and disable Secure Boot in the BIOS settings.

You can now Legacy\MBR boot to the new Ventoy image via the E2B Legacy menu or directly UEFI boot to Ventoy on Partition 2.

Note: Do not attempt to switch-in any .imgPTN partition images whilst in this state! Do not attempt to ‘fix’ the drive if prompted by E2B when a .imgPTN file is selected. You cannot switch-in another image file until the original partitions are restored.

If you have used your own \boot\grubfm\startup_menu.txt file for your agFM menu instead of the default menu, you will need to add the extra menu entries into your startup_menu.txt file (see SAMPLE_xxx.txt files).
If you are just using the \boot\grubfm\startup_default.cfg file then this will be updated for you automatically and you should see the extra three menu entries at the bottom of the menu, if those files are present.

2. Using Ventoy

Once you have switched-in a Ventoy partition image file, you can configure it or use it as described on the Ventoy website. Typically this involves creating a \ventoy folder on Partition 1 of the E2B USB drive and adding plugin files and configuration files. These files will also be used by ‘Ventoy for Easy2Boot’ if you run it after the original Partition 2 is restored.

Because grubfm_multiarch.iso is also present on E2B Partition 1, you can also boot to a ‘vanilla’ version of grubfm from Ventoy.

Note: Some functions in E2B (e.g. selecting a .imgPTN file) may report an error. This is because the original partitions have been altered. You must NOT attempt to ‘fix’ the E2B drive – you must first restore the original partitions as described below.

Once Partition 2 is replaced, then any changes or tweaks you make to that Ventoy ‘VTOYEFI’ volume will be permanent – but you can always make new image files.

3. Restore the original E2B partitions

Before you can run agFM on Partition 2 again or load .imgPTN partition image files, you must first restore the original larger Partition 2 and remove the Ventoy 32MB partition 2.

  1. First boot to Ventoy and then select the grubfm_multiarch.iso entry.

    You can boot to Ventoy via a Legacy-boot to the E2B Main menu or UEFI-boot directly to Partition 2.
The grubfm_multiarch.iso file name begins with ### so that it is listed first in the menu and is easy to find.

grubfm_multiarch.iso will load the grubfm user menu from the Ventoy partition. You should now see a new grubfm menu (see below).

Note: Do not delete the grubfm multiarch ISO file from the root of the E2B USB drive. You can copy it to a ‘normal’ menu folder as well, if you find it useful.

  1. Select the ‘Restore agFM partition 2‘ menu entry – confirm by pressing 1 and ENTER when prompted.

    The original partitions will be restored and Partition 2 will contain the agFM (and old Ventoy) files. The system will reboot.

    Note: You can instead Legacy-boot to the E2B Main Menu and use the ‘Restore Partition 2’ menu entry or you can run SWITCH_E2B.exe from a Windows system and click on the ‘Restore E2B Partitions’ button.
grubfm menu
E2B Main Menu