Hirens ISOs

Multiboot, multifunction ISOs are difficult to add as an ISO file to a multiboot USB drive because they are usually designed to be extracted onto a USB drive when booting from USB. For this reason, it is difficult to have all the functions working just by directly booting from an ISO file on a USB drive.
Note: There are different versions of 'Hirens' ISOs, and so they must be treated differently.
I recommend converting all Multiboot ISOs such as DLC, Hirens, HBCD, etc. to a FAT32 .imgPTN file for best (99-100%) functionality and compatibility - see Option 3 below!
If possible, make a working version on a spare USB Flash drive and then use the Flash drive to make a .imgPTN file.

Suggested ISO file extensions (this may not give full functionality)
  • Hirens 15 - .isowinvh (or .isowinvhe0  if you get a black screen on XP boot) -  Hiren's MiniXP and linux only (not DOS utils) - see YouTube video
  • DLC\DLCD - _.isoHW.iso (Removable Flash drive only) - for DLC Boot 2016 3.2 and later use a .ISO file extension  (add q or ncq to the end of the filename to suppress auto-suggest prompt - e.g. DLC 2017 ncq.iso - tip: the HBCD Menu shortcut on the Desktop searches the whole drive for a DLC ISO, so place the ISO in the \_ISO\ANTIVIRUS folder so that it is found quickly).
    If using E2B v1.B0 or later, use a file extension of _.isoHW.ISO (e.g. DLC 2017_.isoHW.iso) for faster XP loading.
    DLCD 2014 v3 works best when converted to .imgPTN.
  • Strelec - .isofira01 (note: bug in E2B v1.95 - use later version)
  • Hirens BootCD PE 2018 x64 - use ._isoncq64.iso file extension, e.g. HBCD_PE_x64_.isoncq64.iso (E2B v1.B0+)
  • If you are not sure, check this list.
  • For 100% functionality of most multifunction HBCD ISOs, try Option 3 below.

If you have pre-2016 DLC or DLCD, to boot XP and Win7/8, try the .isoHW file extension (for Mini Win7/8/10 this only works fully with E2B Removable USB flash/thumb drives or use E2B HDD + WinHelper flash drive). 

There is a blog entry here about adding multiple Hirens and Falcon F4, etc. to E2B.

Note: Hirens ISOs do not yet support UEFI-booting. If there is no \EFI\boot folder inside the ISO then it cannot UEFI-boot. XP and DOS cannot be UEFI-booted. Read here for more info.

Tip: If you only see the wallpaper but no Desktop or Start Menu button, then unplug all USB devices except the E2B USB drive and wait 1 minute.

Note: Option 3 below is recommended for full functionality.

Option 1 - Multiple Hirens ISO files

Most of the Hirens menu items will work just by renaming the .iso file to .isowinvh but the DOS Utilities require the \HBCD\Dos (or DLCD or DLC1, etc.) folder to be extracted onto the E2B drive - see Option 2 .

If your ISO contains Windows Mini7/8/10, use the .isoHW file extension (requires Removable Flash drive).
If MiniXP has problems on some systems (e.g. hanging or no USB access), try .isomemfira.

Note: .isoHW - if booting from an E2B hard disk (and not using a Helper E2B Flash drive), Mini7/8/10 will not load the ISO as a virtual drive. In this case, boot to the Windows Desktop and then run \_ISO\e2b\firadisk\LOADISOPE.CMD from the E2B USB drive. You can then run the menu app (e.g. Y:\DLC1Menu.exe and Y:\DLC1\DLC2Menu.exe) from the mounted virtual CD (Y:).

Kon-Boot won't work if booting from a Hiren's ISO because hd0 will be the USB boot drive and not the internal HDD - use the HirensISO.mnu file in the \_ISO\docs folder for KonBoot ISO booting. 

If you have trouble getting the HBCD Menu program in MiniXP working (it should work if you use .isowinvh), browse to the Hirens ISO on the E2B USB drive in MiniXP - right-click and choose Mount as ImDisk Virtual Disk, then run \HBCDMenu.cmd from the mounted ISO.


Option 2 - Extracted files - use if you have just one Hirens ISO

If you only have one Hirens iso and if you want all functions to work, you can extract all the files from the ISO and use a FAT32 formatted E2B USB drive. 

  1. Extract the contents of the Hirens iso to the root of the E2B drive using 7Zip. 
    Note: Some files/folders like [BOOT], livecd, liveusb, *.cfg, autorun.inf, *.doc, grldr.mbr, *.cmd can be omitted.
  2. Copy the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files\HirensBootCD_Extracted.mnu file to \_ISO\MAINMENU (or any E2B folder just below \_ISO).
    There is a different .mnu file for DLCD versions - e.g. DLCD_ISO_Extracted.mnu

If you use different versions of Hirens (e.g. DLC), you may be able to extract more than one ISO without the files overwriting each other.

Some versions of HBCD/DLCD have bugs e.g. DLC1 version 2 - see here for details.

Booting Hirens ISO files from an NTFS E2B USB drive

If booting from an NTFS E2B USB drive, some DOS utilities will not work unless you choose the NTFS Driver instead of Auto for the DOS driver (when prompted as shown in the screenshot below).

  Choose the NTFS entry if running from an NTFS USB drive.

The NTFS driver uses a lot of memory and some DOS drivers may not have enough room to load into memory - therefore some DOS programs may not run if the NTFS driver is loaded.

Note: To fix this without needing to select the NTFS driver, boot to Hirens miniXP. Find and run the \HBCD\Dos\dosimg.cmd file - follow the instructions to make a new Dos .img file. This file will then be used for DOS apps when you reboot. 

Some versions of HBCD/DLCD have bugs, e.g. DLC1 version 2 - see here for details.

Option 3 - Multiple ISOs - use .imgPTN files (recommended)

This method works on FAT32, exFAT and NTFS E2B drives and most (if not all) Hirens menu entries should work correctly (including the DOS programs).

The best method (if available) is to follow the recommended method and make a working USB Flash drive. Then drag-and-drop the flash drive icon in Explorer onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut.

Use MakePartImage to make a FAT32 .imgPTN file from each Hirens ISO. Usually you just drag-and-drop the ISO onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut (after installing the MPI Tool Kit).

Tip: If the ISO is designed to be extracted and run from a USB drive, I recommend you use the MakePartImage shortcut instead of the MPI_FAT32 shortcut and when prompted to 'Auto-correct' the menu and config files, answer 'N=No'. Sometimes MPI will incorrectly change the grub4dos\syslinux\grub menu files when they are already correct.

The E2B CSM menu.lst file will automatically detect and run the following Hirens grub4dos menu.lst files:

  • /HBCD/menu.lst 
  • /DLCD/menu.lst
  • /DLC1/menu.lst
  • /DLC1/menu/menu.lst

If your Hirens version uses a menu.lst file that is in a different folder, you will need to change one of these entries in the \menu.lst file inside the image.

For more details, read my blog entry h ere about adding multiple Hirens to E2B in this way.

HBCD v9.6 and earlier - see blog post here.


Falcon F4 (F4UBCD-4.6.iso)

MiniXP will work if you just use extension .isowinvH or .isoHW - but to get all working use the F4UBCD.mnu in \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files\Falcon 4.6 and follow the instructions,


convert to a .imgPTN file - see my blog post here

To use MiniXP with a RAID system, copy ISO to \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder and use E2B+DPMS.


Strelec WinPE

Use .isofira01 or  if it does not contain XP use .isoPE01  - or convert the ISO to a FAT32 .imgPTN file for MBR and UEFI-booting.

If you get a 'Windows cannot find \SSTR\Mist\Minst.exe' error when using a .imgPTN file - use the Disk Management Desktop shortcut on the Strelec desktop to add a drive letter to the Easy2Boot USB drive volume.

For UEFI32 booting see here.

DLC Boot

Some versions of HBCD/DLCD have bugs e.g. DLC1 version 2 - see here for details.

If booting from ISO use file extension _.isoHW.iso (E2B v1.B0+ required).

Use only one DLC ISO per E2B drive. The HBCD\DLC Menu will mount the first .iso file it can find containing \DLCBoot.exe. If you have multiple DLC ISOs on the E2B drive, any one of them could be loaded! 

I recommend you use a spare USB Flash drive and make a working USB version of DLCBoot using the recommended method. Then make a .imgPTN file from the USB flash drive to add to E2B. That way, the configuration files will be set up to run correctly from a USB drive rather than from a CD.

DLC 2016 and later versions contain UEFI boot files. If you make a FAT32 .imgPTN file from them, you can then also UEFI-boot to DLC.

DLC 2019 v3.6 - if you convert the ISO to .imgPTN you will need to edit the \syslinux.cfg file - see blog post here and video here.

DLC 2017 v3.4 Final (.imgPTN)

  1. Extract the DLC .rar file to a temporary folder on your Windows hard disk.
  2. Right-click on DLCBoot.exe and run it as Administrator.
  3. Click on the CD icon on the top bar (3rd icon just after the text 'Win Soft') and make a DLC USB ISO file.
  4. If OK, drag-and-drop the USB drive icon\letter in Explorer onto the MakePartImage Desktop shortcut (not MPI_FAT32) and make a DLC2017.imgPTN file use FAT32, Volume Name can be anything - e.g. DLC2017 and Syslinux = N - when prompted (if 2019 use Syslinux v603), do NOT allow MakePartImage to AUTO-CORRECT the boot parameters. 

I suggest you add at least 5GB to the suggested size when prompted by MPI to allow for extra files which you may want to add.

It is best not to use the syslinux menu system for 2017, so edit \DLC1\Menu\menu.lst and add a # symbol to the first 'title' line, e.g.

#title Load Grub4DOS Menu

If you wish, you can also edit \DLC1\Programs\DOS\Menu\en\USB\Menu.lst to remove the Vietnamese menu entry, etc.


Modify the Hirens\DLC menu to return to E2B the menu

If you wish to return to the E2B menu from the Hirens\DLC menu, you must locate the menu fiile - e.g. menu.lst file (may be another name) and modify it.

For instance, HBCD 15.2 has a grub4dos menu at \HBCD\menu.lst and DLC is at \DLC1\Programs\Dos\Menu\en\USB\menu.lst. 

You can add an entry to boot to E2B:

title Easy2Boot Main Menu\nBoot to E2B
chainloader (hd0,0)/grldr

For a syslinux menu, use COM32 and chain.c32 (assuming you know the path to chain.c32):

/DLC1/Programs/Dos/Menu/en/CD/isolinux.cfg or /DLC1/Programs/Dos/Menu/en/USB/isolinux.cfg (or may be syslinux.cfg)

label E2B
menu label Easy2Boot
COM32 /DLC1/Boot/chain.c32 ntldr=/grldr hd0 1

label E2B
menu label Easy2Boot
COM32 /DLC1/Boot/chain.c32 ntldr=/grldr hd0 1