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RMPrepUSB - Site News

News and Updates for RMPrepUSB and RMPartUSB.


Updated on Jul 3, 2011 by Steve Si (Version 9)


Tutorial #52 added - download and add Windows 8 Developer preview OS to your hard disk
posted by Steve Si on Sep 14, 2011
This tutorial allows you to add Windows 8 as a VHD to your existing system (XP/Vista/win7). As Win8 is still experimental, I would try it on a spare system and not your main Office system however!

Tutorial 47 - install Win7 to USB drive - bug fix for 'bootsect.exe not found error
posted by Steve Si on Sep 10, 2011
A new version of NT6_Fast_Installer.zip is now available. There was a typo in the Installer.cmd file which meant it could not find the bootsect.exe program. This should now be fixed.

Tutorial #43 - Install Windows from an ISO on a Flash drive - improved
posted by Steve Si on Sep 2, 2011
Tutorial 43a contains a small change which gives the user the option to repair an installation without needing to have a separate menu entry in the grub4dos menu.lst.
Please feed back any problems if this does not work with your ISOs.

Hot Tip - good value/performance 16GB USB Flash memory pens
posted by Steve Si on Aug 30, 2011
tumblr visitor




£15 BUSBI Bolt USB 3 16GB pen with fast read/write speeds even at USB 2 speeds (RMPrepUSB Speed Test 33 MB/s Read, 18 MB/s write on USB 2 ports - note: results vary depending on chipset, over 55 MB/s read at USB 3 ports !) - Play.com or PC World or Amazon. Crystal Disk Mark - using USB2 port - Read/Write 34MB/s/14MB/s. Compare versus a Patriot Rage XT which is twice the price and does not support USB 3.

                                                                       



HOT OFFER! 16GB Kingston DataTraveler 101 GT UFD from Play.com for £10.99. It has a read speed of approx. 26MB/s and a Write speed of 8-12MB/s (tested with RMPrepUSB).
CrystalMark Sequential Read/Write of 25MB/s and 8-9MB/s. The Write speed seems to vary (probably due to the controller choosing non-dirty pages = fast write, and overwriting dirty pages = slow writes). This is not bad for a 'cheap' USB stick.

The pen is very attractive too (no lanyard or extras though) but does have a 5yr Kingston warranty
P.S. I have no affiliation with Play.com! Just wanted to pass on a bargain while it lasts!

                                                                                                                                                                         

My pen actually had a black gloss painted protective swivel cover.


Knoppix 6.2.1 boot from ISO example added to grub4dos tutorial #21
posted by Steve Si on Aug 20, 2011
I have added an example menu to the list in the grubdos tutorial for Knoppix 6.2.1
It is necessary to use a modified initrd for successful USB booting from ISO.

New tutorials added 49 & 50
posted by Steve Si on Aug 16, 2011
49 - control all your PCs/nbooks from just one PC with Synergy
50 - Prepare a bootable USB drive using linux commands

Also RMPrepUSB v2.1.626 now added.

RMPrepUSB v2.1.625 Beta now available (full version)
posted by Steve Si on Aug 14, 2011
  • Added QEMU button
  • Fix minor annoyance and set form focus after running a command so an Fn hotkey will work without needing to click on the form
  • New qemu version 0.15.0
  • Virtual images can now be copied to USB drives - qemu-img used to convert filetousb images to raw
  • Allow Drive 0 to be selected and add warning if drive=0 selected- now can install grub4dos to your system drive
  • Alt+F5 toggles ALLDRIVES setting so you can use it on hard drives too. 
  • Some versions of Syslinux removed from Syslinux folder.
  • Minor button layout changes, etc.


Please let me know if the Virtual File -> USB function works as I don't have many virtual disk images to test it with.




Tutorial #48 added - does your BIOS lie to you?
posted by Steve Si on Aug 9, 2011
Check how your BIOS reports what free memory it has to an OS such as DOS.

Tutorail #47 added - boot from a USB to Windows
posted by Steve Si on Aug 9, 2011
How to install Windows (7) onto a USB drive and then boot from it to Windows (7) as an external USB drive.

Tutorial #46 - boot Ubuntu 11.04 from ISO on USB
posted by Steve Si on Jul 24, 2011
Latest version of Ubuntu can easily be booted with persistent FS from a USB drive.

Tutorial #45 - How to PXE boot grub4dos/WinPE from a Windows 7 PC
posted by Steve Si on Jul 5, 2011
New tutorial. If you ever wanted to experiment with PXE booting on an Ethernet network, now you can follow this guide. It assumes you have a simple network of a 'master' Win 7 PC - a ADSL router with 4 port hub - and any other PC/notebook/netbook/tablet/slate that you want to PXE boot with.

Tutorial #44 Kaspersky AV Rescue Disk on USB as ISO
posted by Steve Si on Jul 3, 2011
This tutorial is largely based on Agni's guides on how to download and prepare KAV to boot as an ISO from a USB drive from a grub4dos menu.
I have fixed a bug in Agni's script and taken out some pauses and it also now deletes the large temporary folder it makes whilst making the new updated ISO file.
Hopefully this Tutorial is easier to follow for grub4dos enthusiasts and using RMPrepUSB makes the whole thing very easy to do!

v2.1.623 RMPrepUSB added 30-June-2011
posted by Steve Si on Jul 1, 2011
New version has improved FAT16 bootability for NTLDR/Bootmgr FAT16, new grub4dos which allows in-line comments in menus using ##
SysLinux 4.04 now the default version (older versions included in the syslinux folder on download)

Tutorial 43 bug fix for 64-bit Windows ISOs - it now works!
posted by Steve Si on Jun 26, 2011
The 64-bit devcon.exe downloaded from the MS site is old and does not work under WinPE v3 as used by 64-bit Windows 7 ISOs. I have had to change the download files and also include devcon.exe in the download as the correct version is difficult to find for the average user.

Tutorial #43 - Install Windows from ISOs using FiraDisk and grub4dos
posted by Steve Si on Jun 26, 2011
This is an improved version of Tutorial #32 but uses grub4dos and FiraDisk to mount the Windows install ISO file. This version does not require writeable boot media. The ISO files can also be on any disk visible to grub4dos at boot time. Also has a universal menu which prompts the user to enter the name of the iso they want to boot.

Tutorial #32 (install Windows from ISO files) has been updated
posted by Steve Si on Jun 23, 2011
There were a few problems with the tutorial if you wanted to have the ISO files on another drive - I also did not make it clear that you must use a recent version of grub4dos for the menu commands to work (as included with RMPrepUSB). Also I have added a new menu (see end of page) which lists all the ISO files available to the user in the \ISO folder. The user then types in the name of the ISO they want to boot and it then runs the ISO. This means you can just copy any Windows install ISO to the \ISO folder and you don't need to make new menu's each time.
Also now the \ISO folder can be on any volume, so if you had two partitions on a hard drive you could boot from a USB flash drive but place all the ISO files on the first partition of the hard drive and then install to the 2nd partition.

BackTrack 5 details added to BT4 Tutorial
posted by Steve Si on Jun 17, 2011
here - Still no bootfrom ISO though :-(

Tutorial 40 and 41 added
posted by Steve Si on Jun 5, 2011
40 Redo - a backup and restore live CD - boot from USB
41 Microsoft LiveCD antivirus Sweeper - how to have both 32-bit and 64-bit ISOs one one bootable USB drive + how to easily update it.

Tutorial 39 added - repair your USB flash drive using an MP tool to reprogram it (or fix a 'Fake' flash drive)
posted by Steve Si on May 22, 2011
I managed to fix a 'faulty' Instenso Rainbow 8GB stick that i had been using for a while before it suddenly stopped working (constant LED flashing and took ages to read/write). Hope it helps you!

New Beta grub4dos version - to solve menu numbering problem
posted by Steve Si on May 13, 2011
For details about the problem and the fix please visit the forum at http://reboot.pro/14466/page__view__findpost__p__128252  - it can also be downloaded from there too.
Just replace the grldr file on your USB drive with this new version.

Now you can have nicely numbered menus which work correctly and use menu separators too - like the example below!

e.g.

      My Grub4dos Menu v1.2
1 boot to DOS
2 xxx
3 dddd
4 fffff
    Linux OS's
5 linux1
6 linux2
7 linux3
      WinPE OS's
8 Hirens Boot CD
9 WinPE v2
10 WinPE v3
       Install an OS
11 Install Vista 32-bit
12 Install Vista 64-bit
etc.


If the user types '11' then the  item numbered 11 will be highlighted. Menu's such as this are not possible with the current grub4dos version, typing 11 would select 'WinPE v2' !!!

Note: This change has now been added to the latest chenall grub4dos build. grub4dos-0.4.5b-2011-05-09.7z


new grub4dos wenv utility explained - for grub4dos freaks!
posted by Steve Si on Apr 30, 2011
chenall is a developer of grub4dos and he has written wenv, which is an executable that runs in the grub4dos shell environment. The readme was in chinese and the usage was not very clear. I have managed to translate the readme file and test and correct the text. I have also made up a test batch script for test purposes and a test menu.lst. A small section on wenv is now included in the grub4dos tutorial page, but I suggest you download the wenv.zip file from the Beta downloads page to check it out for yourself.

Wenv allows you to get user input, store, test and do maths on variables, run grub4dos commands using variables, construct FOR loops, run scripts and lots more - all from menu.lst entries! One code example included in the zip download generates a menu dynamically based on what image files you have on your drive, another example prompts the user to input the name of an iso file and then grub4dos boots to it.

Tutorial #32 now includes a Windows Repair option
posted by Steve Si on Apr 26, 2011
Some Windows install ISO's do not seem to give the user a Windows Repair option. A new grub4dos menu option has now been added which allows you to repair an existing Windows hard disk using the ISO file.

HBCD flat file (extracted from ISO) tutorial added
posted by Steve Si on Apr 25, 2011
Tutorial #36 added

Beta v2.1.621 - small bugfix for Make Ext2FS function
posted by Steve Si on Apr 17, 2011
If RMPrepUSB is run by double-clicking on the RMPrepUSB.exe file this command worked fine, but if run from the Start Menu or other shortcut it reported an error - now fixed!

v2.1.620 now released! 2011-04-09
posted by Steve Si on Apr 9, 2011
The exe files are the same as the Beta 2.1.620 but some language ini files have been changed to add in the F1-F12 keys (though most of the text is still in English). If anyone would like to offer a corrected LANG\xxxxx.ini file please send them to me for inclusion in the next Beta.

RMPrepUSB featured in German com! magazine and included on the magazine CD/DVD
posted by Steve Si on Apr 9, 2011
To read the German com! magazine article (published in Jan 2011 magazine)  which includes several uses of RMPrepUSB, click here and download a PDF of the article.

RMPrepUSB v2.1.620 now available
posted by Steve Si on Mar 23, 2011
Some small changes to config.ini behaviour (runs grub4dos automatically if the option is set).

#33 and 34 Tutorials added - WinImage and the ZalMan ZM VE200 HDD\ODD\FDD drive caddy
posted by Steve Si on Mar 12, 2011
I have just purchased the VE200 and found out a few interesting things, as well as being able to load an ISO image and emulate a bootable optical drive, it can also load and emulate 4 Floppy drives by loading 4 .ima images at the same time. Buy one for £30 and fit your own SATA 2.5" HDD and you have the ultimate bootable storage device!

Tutorial #32 - New very simple way to create a multi-Windows install USB drive using Windows Iso files
posted by Steve Si on Mar 3, 2011
This Tutorial is yet another way to be able to boot from USB drive and then run directly any Vista/Win7/Server2K8 install DVD ISO file so you can install Windows to a hard disk by booting from a USB drive instead of the Windows Install DVD.
The difference is that this way is VERY simple to set up and use - no WAIK needed, no patching of files, no DISM, no complicated editing - all you need is Notepad and to edit 3 lines of text to create a menu for each ISO. Works for 32-bit and 64-bit OS's. Only one menu (grub4dos). Can be used to replace Tutorial #2 and Tutorial #31.

Did I mention - VERY SIMPLE to set up:

1. Copy two files (one of which is menu.lst) and one folder to a grub4dos bootable USB drive
2. Add your ISO files to the USB stick
3. Edit menu.lst to include your new ISOs

That's it!

Tutorial 30 changed slightly - install XP from an ISO from USB flash drive
posted by Steve Si on Feb 28, 2011
I have changed the WinVBlock.ima.gz file in the Beta downloads. You can now also use it to run FreeDOS and list the mass storage device IDs in any system.

RMPrepUSB v2.1.618 now includes QEMU - press F11 to boot from your USB drive!
posted by Steve Si on Feb 27, 2011
I have added QEMU to the latest build. To test your bootable USB drive, simply select the USB drive you want to boot from and press F11. You can make a virtual hard disk of any size and set the amount of RAM memory to make available to the emulation session. This allows you to test USB drives which can install DOS or XP OS's. Note however that QEMU is not very fast and that OS installs do not always boot.

Tutorial 31 added - run Windows Vista/7/Server2008 Install ISOs from a bootable USB drive
posted by Steve Si on Feb 25, 2011
Using ImDisk, you can boot to WinPE and then mount any ISO as a volume. Then you can simply run Setup.exe to launch the Setup program and install the OS to your hard disk. This tutorial allows you to boot 32-bit and 64-bit ISOs from the same USB Flash drive. Adding more ISOs is easy (just edit one file to add a new menu item and then copy over the ISO file).
This plus Tutorial #30 means you can run any install CD/DVD from Win XP to MultiPoint Server 2011!

Tutorial 30 added - install XP easily from a USB drive
posted by Steve Si on Feb 22, 2011
Preparing a USB drive to install XP is quite easy using such tools as WinSetupFromUSB, but I wanted a method that would let me add AHCI drivers easily without needing to re-make the XP image. I came across FiraDisk and WinVBlock. Now all you need is the vanilla XP ISO.

The XP ISO and the F6 txtsetup.oem floppy disk image are loaded or mapped to a RAM drive. XP sees these as the source CD and the driver floppy disk. If you need to load a mass storage driver, just press F6 and choose the correct driver for your system.

Only 4 files are needed to make the USB drive (grldr, menu.lst, winvblock.ima and XP.ISO). Check it out and easily and quickly add an XP install to your multi-boot USB stick!

Hirens Boot CD tutorial #29 added
posted by Steve Si on Feb 12, 2011
Although Warez, HBCD is jolly useful and can be legally used if you own an XP licence for the system on which you use it. This tutorial explains how to add it to your multi-boot USB drive as yet another menu option.

v2.1.617 TESTMBR code updated + some delays removed from RMPrepUSB
posted by Steve Si on Feb 8, 2011
The testmbr has been re-coded. New tutorial on how to use it. Some 'sleep' delays have been removed in RMPrepUSB and RMPartUSB to speed up the user experience.

PhotoRec tutorial #28 added
posted by Steve Si on Feb 8, 2011
My son's girlfriend is an art student and found her 1GB Tesco SD card which she used in her camera had become corrupt. All her college work was on this card as well as mp3 and mp4 files and lots of photos which were irreplaceable (no backup of course!). I tried several utilities to recover the files but PhotoRec found all of them and saved the day! See Tutorial #28 for details.

v2.1.616a small speedtest bugfix
posted by Steve Si on Jan 22, 2011
The model and drive size was not being saved to the csv file - now fixed in RMPartUSB v2.1.617

v2.1.608b With new grubinst.exe v1.2 (02 Jan 2011)
posted by Steve Si on Jan 21, 2011
This 608b version has a new modified version of grubinst.exe which changes the MBR code to put an xor ax,ax instruction at the start, followed by the normal jump instruction. This makes it look like the normal MS MBR and so should be more compatible with Dell and Acer BIOSes. Note that due to this change, you cannot use any other utility or patcher to modify the grub4dos MBR parameters at positions [2] to [7] (e.g. key code, boot previous mbr, preferred boot drive, etc) as the position of these values has been moved up by two bytes! See here for more details. if you have previously found that your system did not boot when you use grub4dos installed to the MBR of your hard disk or USB disk, give this new version a try!

'Change History
1.1 Latest 'official' release of grubinst.exe 
1.2 New version by SSi - includes two fixes:
     FIX 1: MS-DOS gives 'cannot find COMMAND.COM' error when grub4dos installed to PBR and boot to MS-DOS - fixed in grubinst.c - 3 bytes in PBR not overwritten with spaces.
     FIX 2: Some 'puters don't boot when grub4dos installed to MBR (typically flashing cursor on blank screen - no grldr text displayed at all). Fixed by adding XOR AX,AX 2-byte instruction to start of MBR and then followed by a 2-byte jump instruction. This has knock-on affect of altering the position of the grub4dos parameters normally stored in positions [2]-[7] of the grub4dos MBR sector which are now moved to positions [4]-[9] in the grub4dos MBR.


Usage:
grubinst  [OPTIONS]  DEVICE_OR_FILE

OPTIONS:

--help,-h Show usage information

--pause Pause before exiting

--version Show version information

--verbose,-v Verbose output

--list-part,-l List all logical partitions in DEVICE_OR_FILE

--save=FN,-s=FN Save the orginal MBR/BS to FN

--restore=FN,-r=FN Restore MBR/BS from previously saved FN

--restore-prevmbr,-r Restore previous MBR saved in the second sector
of DEVICE_OR_FILE

--read-only,-t do everything except the actual write to the
specified DEVICE_OR_FILE. (test mode)

--no-backup-mbr do not copy the old MBR to the second sector of
DEVICE_OR_FILE.

--force-backup-mbr force the copy of old MBR to the second sector
of DEVICE_OR_FILE.(default)

--mbr-enable-floppy enable the search for GRLDR on floppy.(default)

--mbr-disable-floppy disable the search for GRLDR on floppy.

--mbr-enable-osbr enable the boot of PREVIOUS MBR with invalid
partition table (usually an OS boot sector).
(default)

--mbr-disable-osbr disable the boot of PREVIOUS MBR with invalid
partition table (usually an OS boot sector).

--duce disable the feature of unconditional entrance
to the command-line.

--boot-prevmbr-first try to boot PREVIOUS MBR before the search for
GRLDR.

--boot-prevmbr-last try to boot PREVIOUS MBR after the search for
GRLDR.(default)

--preferred-drive=D preferred boot drive number, 0 <= D < 255.

--preferred-partition=P preferred partition number, 0 <= P < 255.

--time-out=T,-t=T wait T seconds before booting PREVIOUS MBR. if
T is 0xff, wait forever. The default is 0.

--hot-key=K,-k=K if the desired key K is pressed, start GRUB
before booting PREVIOUS MBR. K is a word
value, just as the value in AX register
returned from int16/AH=1. The high byte is the
scan code and the low byte is ASCII code. The
default is 0x3920 for space bar.

--key-name=S Specify the name of the hot key.

--floppy,-f if DEVICE_OR_FILE is floppy, use this option.

--floppy=N if DEVICE_OR_FILE is a partition on a hard
drive, use this option. N is used to specify
the partition number: 0,1,2 and 3 for the
primary partitions, and 4,5,6,... for the
logical partitions.

--sectors-per-track=S specifies sectors per track for --floppy.
1 <= S <= 63, default is 63.

--heads=H specifies number of heads for --floppy.
1 <= H <= 256, default is 255.

--start-sector=B specifies hidden sectors for --floppy=N.

--total-sectors=C specifies total sectors for --floppy.
default is 0.

--lba use lba mode for --floppy. If the floppy BIOS
has LBA support, you can specify --lba here.
It is assumed that all floppy BIOSes have CHS
support. So you would rather specify --chs.
If neither --chs nor --lba is specified, then
the LBA indicator(i.e., the third byte of the
boot sector) will not be touched.

--chs use chs mode for --floppy. You should specify
--chs if the floppy BIOS does not support LBA.
We assume all floppy BIOSes have CHS support.
So it is likely you want to specify --chs.
If neither --chs nor --lba is specified, then
the LBA indicator(i.e., the third byte of the
boot sector) will not be touched.

--install-partition=I Install the boot record onto the boot area of
-p=I partition number I of the specified hard drive
or harddrive image DEVICE_OR_FILE.

--boot-file=F,-b=F Change the name of boot file.

--load-seg=S Change load segment for boot file.

--grub2,-2 Load grub2 kernel g2ldr instead of grldr.

--output,-o Save embeded grldr.mbr to DEVICE_OR_FILE.

--edit,-e Edit external grldr/grldr.mbr.

--skip-mbr-test Skip chs validity test in mbr.

--copy-bpb Don't copy bpb of the first partition to mbr.




v2.1.616 Small bugfix
posted by Steve Si on Jan 20, 2011
2.1.616 - added F12 = present user config menu again. RMPartUSB command line FIND bugfix (echo'd users command line when it should have been suppressed). Also Drive string when echo'd had 0 byte chars from some drives.

F1 – Help
F2 - Open Explorer at USB drive
 
F3 – Open Explorer at RMPrepUSB source folder
F4 – open menu.lst from root folder on currently selected USB drive with notepad
F5 - Refresh drives
F6 – load USBSpeedDP.csv using the spreadsheet app. associated with .csv files
F7 – load USBSpeed.csv using the spreadsheet app. associated with .csv files
F8 – open USBSpeedDP.csv in notepad
F9 – open RMPrepUSB.ini file in notepad
F10 – Save current configuration to RMPrepUSB.ini
F12 - open pre-set configurations menu (if RMPrepUSB.ini present)


v2.1.613
posted by Steve Si on Jan 14, 2011
several tweaks done and bugs fixed. I think this is fairly stable and suitable for full testing now. 

v2.1.615
posted by Steve Si on Jan 13, 2011
Added ability to specify relative path to source folder .\xxxx as Copy OS Files source  (note: only .\  or full path is supported). This also works if it is pre-set in RMPrepUSB.ini so you can include a package with RMPrepUSB.exe, RMPartUSB.exe, 2 manifest files and RMPrepUSB.ini file +  your source folder just below it. Instructions to an end user would be:
  1. Download and extract the files to a folder on your hard disk 
  2. Click RMPrepUSB.exe 
  3. Select or double-click on the menu item presented to select the pre-configured option
  4. Select the correct USB Flash drive (if you have more than one connected) 
  5. Click Prepare Drive - wait for it to finish
  6. Click on Eject Drive 
 The RMPrepUSB.ini contains the folder source path and settings so the user does not need to change anything.

v2.1.614 is here!
posted by Steve Si on Jan 12, 2011
I have spent about 2 days testing and snagging, etc. This is probably better than the release version now! See version history for details. Hotkeys F1-F10 available in this version. F10 is used to save a config instead of Alt+Z. Press F1 for help. See previous news item for hotkey details. Commands that are run are displayed. You must try it!





v2.1.614a (just 2 hours later)!
posted by Steve Si on Jan 11, 2011
If you installed 614, please install 614a instead! Just found 614 always runs grubinst and mke2fs after formatting a stick (you can cancel it but it should not do it!). Please replace with 614a.

Status 10 Jan 2010 - v2.1.614 is coming...
posted by Steve Si on Jan 11, 2011
2.1.613 seems to have some problems which I am working through now. In particular it calls showdrive.exe to mount new removable drives which do not have a drive letter (some WinPE OS's don't auto-mount removable drives - e.g. Hirens). This causes multiple drive letters for the same pen drive!
In addition to various bug fixes, I have also added some function keys (ALT+Z is now not used to save a configuration file - use F10 instead!).

Special keys:

F1 – Help
F2 - Open Explorer at USB drive

F3 – Open Explorer at RMPrepUSB source folder
F4 – open menu.lst from root folder on currently selected USB drive with notepad
F5 - Refresh drives
F6 – load USBSpeedDP.csv using the spreadsheet app. associated with .csv files
F7 – load USBSpeed.csv using the spreadsheet app. associated with .csv files
F8 – open USBSpeedDP.csv in notepad
F9 – open RMPrepUSB.ini file in notepad
F10 – Save current configuration to RMPrepUSB.ini

v2.1.614 should be out in a few days but I need to test it thoroughly now as there have been quite a few changes by removing WMI and OCX dependencies, changing some controls, etc.

I have also found that if you format a pen drive as a USBFDD, then Semantec's Norton AV Endpoint Protection starts to scan the pen drive as soon as it sees a 'new' one because it thinks it is a floppy disk! This causes problems when RMPartUSB tries to lock the drive to do writes! So if you are having problems, disable your AV for a while!




v2.1.612 bugfix NTFS format fixed!
posted by Steve Si on Jan 6, 2011
v609-611 had a bug - would not format as NTFS. Hopefully now fixed!

v2.1.610 WMI and RICHTX32.OCX dependencies removed!
posted by Steve Si on Jan 4, 2011
New Beta 2.1.610 - removed dependency on RICHTX32.OCX and WMI support. Includes a fix to remount a formatted drive when used under Hirens Boot CD - it calls ShowDrive.exe which must be present in either the RMPrepUSB folder or a pathed folder (e.g. \Windows\System32) to remount drives after partitioning and formatting. Thanks to TheK for the programming tips!

v2.1.608a Happy New Year!
posted by Steve Si on Jan 1, 2011
The code patch suggested here is unsafe and caused hanging on some systems. Grubinst.exe version is changed back to the new 1.2 version but with unpatched MBR code.

v2.1.608 Beta added (31/12/2010)
posted by Steve Si on Dec 31, 2010
I will be making no more changes now for a year (so that means at least a few hours!). This version has a slightly improved GUI, a syslinux folder has been added to provide 3 different versions of syslinux (the user must copy the one they want to the RMPrepUSB folder). A 'Lite' version is also available which does not include the syslinux versions, non-English PDF files or TESTMBR folder.

Windows Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD4Win) tutorial added
posted by Steve Si on Dec 30, 2010
How to make UBCD4Win boot from a USB drive (both flat-file and as an ISO file). See Tutorial #24.

v2.1.607 Beta added
posted by Steve Si on Dec 27, 2010
Some changes to RMPartUSB made thanks to feedback from Sadeghi85. ForceLBA nowdoes not change starting CHS values. Partition types for FAT16/FAT32 now changes depending on ForceLBA option. Improves bootability on Dell systems!

24 December 2010 - v2.1.606a Beta
posted by Steve Si on Dec 24, 2010
This version just has an updated version of grubinst.exe with a bugfix which helps booting on some Acer laptops - see Version History for more details.

19 December 2010 - v2.1.606 with grub4dos changes
posted by Steve Si on Dec 19, 2010
This version includes a new version of grubinst.exe which had a bug - the new version of grubinst.exe (1.2) is 'unofficial' as I had to change the code and recompile it myself to fix it. The bug was that if you installed grub4dos to the PBR partition, then MS-DOS would not boot correctly as it could not find the COMMAND.COM file. Not sure why no one had discovered this before(!). I have also updated the grldr file to a recent chenall version 0.4.5b 2010-12-17 which has some bug fixes. In addition, installing grub4dos to an NTFS partition now works. Details of the MS-DOS bug are discussed here.

11 Dec. 2010 - current status
posted by Steve Si on Dec 11, 2010
I want to fully release the next version, but I am waiting for a new version of grubinst. There is a bug in the current version of grubinst that means if it is installed to the PBR (instead of the MBR) then MS-DOS does not boot.

'2.1.601 - INI file config added
'2.1.602 - bugfix - asked for 0 size if no in file!
'2.1.603 - graphics bits around checkboxes removed. Language box font changed, syslinux options in ini file
'2.1.604 - auto-detects locale and sets as default (syslinux 4.03 now used), Ext2 using mke2fs added.
'2.1.605 - syslinux button added, RMprepusb.INI file invisible options added
'2.1.606 - grubinst now works on NTFS PBR install, fix to RMPartUSB now small partitions can be made down to 7MB FAT16.


grub4dos + graphical menu tutorial #21 added
posted by Steve Si on Nov 28, 2010
how to create pretty grub4dos menus and a bit on how to use grub4dos - hope it helps!

NSI installer and Memtest86+ tutorials added
posted by Steve Si on Nov 23, 2010
If you want to make your own distribution of RMPrepUSB together with your OS boot files and RMPrepUSB.ini config file to send to your internal colleagues (not for web publishing please!) you can use the NullSoft Inscriptable Installer to do this.
The next tutorial shows you how to add memtest86+ to any grub4dos menu and also avoid the 'error 28' issue which may occur on some PCs.

v2.1.605 Beta added
posted by Steve Si on Nov 21, 2010
This version has a separate syslinux button. You can now make some of the buttons invisible using the RMPrepUSB.ini file (use ALT+Z to save a configuration) to avoid confusing users. RMPrepUSB.PDF is updated and the English.ini language file. This version is released as an installer package which creates a folder at C:\RMPrepUSB (can be changed) and Start Menu and Desktop shortcuts. Please click on Start Menu - Programs - RMPrepUSB - Uninstall to uninstall any previous Beta as this would have installed to C:\Program Files. If you don't want to install it permanently, just copy the C:\RMPrepUSB folder once installed and then un-install it.  Please report any issues/comments.

v2.1.604a Beta - includes Syslinux v4.03 and ext2 file creation
posted by Steve Si on Nov 14, 2010
I have included Mattwu's mke2fs.exe app in this Beta and RMPrepUSB now has a button to create an ext2 filesystem under Windows on a USB drive.
This distribution also has v4.03 of syslinux as this seems to be more compatible with newer linux distros using vesamenu.c32 and menu.c32 files.
Also added autodetection of language - it will try to load the correct help INI file for your locale setting if poss (when run for first time only and registry has no RMPrepUSB settings).
Note - small bug in NSI installer in version 604 - please re-install using 604a if you have installed 604 already (Start folder in Start Menu shortcut not set correctly)!

Ylmf - an XP-alike Live USB Ubuntu version tutorial added
posted by Steve Si on Nov 14, 2010
17 - Ylmf - an 'XP-like'version of a linux OS on a stick! This does not really involve RMPrepUSB as RMPrepUSB cannot make ext2 volumes  (yet) - however, as a first introduction to a Live persistent linux version for Windows users, I thought this was worth including. Note: most of the content is actually from other websites and I claim no kudos for any of it!

Two new tutorials added
posted by Steve Si on Nov 13, 2010
Qemu emulator for USB booting and a new method of booting from a boot.wim which can contain multiple wim files

PC CMOS Cleaner tutorial added (by request)
posted by Steve Si on Nov 8, 2010
PartedMagic is a popular linux distro to which packages can easily be added. This tutorial shows you how to add the PC CMOS Cleaner package to make a bootable USB pen drive.

Windows Password Reset and OphCrack Tutorials added
posted by Steve Si on Nov 6, 2010
May prove useful to get you out of a hole! OrphCrack may show you just why you should use 'strong and long' passwords!

v2.1.603 Beta added
posted by Steve Si on Nov 3, 2010
INI file now contains syslinux options selected. Example INI entry

TITLE=Ubuntu x3
SIZE=1500
LABEL=Ubuntu
OS=SYSLINUX
FILESYSTEM=FAT16
BOOT_AS=HDD
USE64HD_32SEC=FALSE
FORCE_LBA=FALSE
COPYFILES=TRUE
COPYFOLDER=D:\ubuntu\v3
BARTPE=FALSE
SUPPRESSPROMPTS=FALSE
BOOTABLE=TRUE
GRUB4DOS=MBR
USERPROMPT=try this
SYSLINUX_OPT= -r -s -d / 

New Beta v2.1.601 with INI file feature
posted by Steve Si on Nov 3, 2010
v2.1.601 - New RMPrepUSB.ini file feature added. You can now store your favourite configurations in an ini file and load them when RMPrepUSB first runs. Use the secret key combination ALT + Z to save a configuration (including source folder, options, volume label and size and grub4dos MBR/PBR preference).  For info on the new INI file feature see FAQs here.

v2.1.602 Beta - small bug fix
posted by Steve Si on Nov 3, 2010
If no ini file was present, when you clicked on Prepare Drive, you were asked if you wanted 0 size! Now fixed. For info on the new INI file feature see FAQs here.

Finnix 100 tutorial added
posted by Steve Si on Oct 28, 2010
Finnix is an ideal linux/Debian OS to base a bootable USB or CD backup/restore/recovery solution on.

v2.1.600 New release 8 Oct 2010
posted by Steve Si on Oct 9, 2010
New release. A setup.exe type installer version is also available. Apart from a few minor bug fixes and tweaks, this new release version includes:
  • Improved USB device detection
  • German language files added
  • RMPartUSB GETDRV command to get a drives volume letter
  • ALDRIVES parameter will act on all drives not just USB drives


v2.1.505
posted by Steve Si on Oct 2, 2010
ALLDRIVES switch added to RMPartUSB and RMPrepUSB so can work on non-USB drive + beta German ini file added, H2TESTW removed (please download from authors site).
e.g. RMPartUSB FIND ALLDRIVES > runme.cmd  will list all drives and drive letters (first drive letter of each drive only) so you can use this in cmd/bat files to automate your scripts.

v2.1.506
posted by Steve Si on Oct 2, 2010
Improved drive detection speed, German rmprepusbxp.cmd file added + ini file updated and german pdf added. This version will be released as the full Release version soon (maybe!).

v2.1.504 RMPartUSB GetDrv command added
posted by Steve Si on Sep 25, 2010
v2.1.504 - RMPartUSB GetDrv command added so can obtain drive letter easily - e.g. DRIVE=3 GETDRV. H2TESTW removed from zip download (the author prefers you download from his website). TESTMBR asm source file now included for code geeks!

To get the drive letter of drive 3 in a command shell script (.bat or .cmd) use this code:

RMPartUSB DRIVE=3 GETDRV > Rundrv.cmd
call rundrv.cmd
@echo USB Drive %USBDRIVE% has a drive letter of %USBDRIVELETTER%



v2.1.503 9/9/2010 - SpeedTest now writes two .csv files
posted by Steve Si on Sep 11, 2010
fixedbug in 502 - empty card slots were appearing as 512byte devices. SpeedTest now writes two different CSV files (one in correct locale for Excel and one always using commas/decimal points). Changed number display formatting.

v2.1.502 - improved image function
posted by Steve Si on Sep 1, 2010
Includes bug fix (size of drive was detected as 512 bytes too short).

RMPrepUSB v2.1.5 Beta
posted by Steve Si on Aug 22, 2010
New grub4dos partition install option (if use MBR install can get flashing cursor hang on some older PCs). If multiple USB drives, same drive in drive list now stays selected.

Multi-install tutorial - bugfix
posted by Steve Si on Aug 12, 2010
12 Aug 2010 - There was a typo in the modbootwim.cmd file for this tutorial - please download the new multiwinv2.zip file in the Beta downloads section

v2.1.2 Beta - changed USB drive detection
posted by Steve Si on Aug 10, 2010
One user reported that RMPrepUSB did not detect any of his USB drives. This Beta version detects the USB bus type for each device and so may work better. RMPartUSB has also been updated with the same code.

Version 2.1.1 includes bugfix for FileInfo and USBInfo
posted by Steve Si on Jul 11, 2010
v2.1.0 should redirect the output to a text file and ask you if you want to view it in Notepad. There seems to be a problem with this under Vista/Win7, so I have recoded this now.

Version 2.1.0 now released!
posted by Steve Si on Jul 10, 2010
Version 2.1.0 is now released - please download from the Released Versions page.

Web Update feature now in Beta v2.0.809+
posted by Steve Si on Jul 3, 2010
New web update feature for RMPrepUSB. When RMPrepUSB - Help - Get Latest Version button is clicked, it will try to contact this site for a version.txt file which will contain the info it needs. If a later (fully released) version exists, RMPrepUSB will download the new version as a ZIP file and prompt the user to update their version.

19 June 2010 - Version 2.0.811a (pre-release)
posted by Steve Si on Jun 28, 2010
Apart from language files, the main change is the SPEEDTEST function now records the OS, architecture (32/64 bit), mainboard details and speed reading in Mib/s and MB/s to the CSV spreadsheet. The CSV file is added to, each time you run the speedtest, so you can build up a speed log of all your USB pens.