Topic: Easy2Boot

Date 16/01/2015

By Starla

Subject True Hide feature and comments on VMwareWks11+E2B

Hi again Steve.

Regarding this True Hide feature you are working on, I would like to suggest the following implementation on a future E2B update: a menu option under \_ISO\UTILITIES folder that would scan detected physical storage devices connected to system for True Hidden partitions, which would be listed, and then the user would be allowed to choose which one(s) to unhide (if any). Found partitions hidden in the conventional way could also be listed, and offered to unhide as well.

As for VMwareWks11 (I've not tested previous versions) + E2B removable USB drive. I've been using VBox+VMUSBBoot for my E2B tests, but had to try VMware because it supports UEFI boot to Windows OSes. However according to your articles there was the USB boot limited support (read only via Plop, USB 2.0 boot speed because of no Plop xHCI driver).

Well WMwareWks offers native USB 3.0 boot support in *UEFI* mode, by powering the VM up to firmware and choosing boot device accordingly. Well, that's the VMware claim. What they don't say is that USB storage connected to USB 3.0 ports are supported only for certain USB 3.0 controllers (my Etron is not one of them).

Anyway I've found a way to get both BIOS and UEFI USB 3.0 boot support, read *and* write on VMwareWks11 by applying the same approach as VMUSBBoot does for VBox.

1. Ensure that VMware USB Arbitration service is running. Sidenote: this is the only "VMware" service that needs to be running unless you require network access from your installed guest OSes or being able to run your VMs from a remote computer (o_0).
2. Connect your E2B drive to USB 3.0 port on host computer.
3. Start VMware, select your VM of choice and open its settings window.
3. Under Hardware tab, click Add and select New HDD. Follow the wizard. The key choices are using "SCSI type" (using "SATA type" throws an error at the end of the process, and I've not tested "IDE type") *and* using a Physical disk instead of creating a virtual drive. You need to select the "physicaldrive" from a list. You can find the one that belongs to your E2B drive by running CMD->diskpart->list disk. Finally you will be asked to create (I don't know why) a virtual disk (.vmdk file). Create it wherever you want, it will stay at 1 kB in size, so don't worry.
4. After finishing the Add HDD wizard, a new SCSI HDD will be listed on your VM hardware. Select it and click on Advanced button on the right. Ensure the disk is "Independent" and changes are "applied inmmediately". Not sure if this step is required, but I think this will be the fastest and more straightforward way to go.
5. Depending on your needs, enable or disable the EFI firmware for your VM.
6. Power on your VM *to the firmware* (important). Be sure your boot priority is set to the E2B "SCSI HDD". After that initial config you can simply power on the VM.

That's it. Feels even faster than VBox. The downside is VMware is a lot more system invasive than VBox. I had to spend some time disabling uneeded services, network connections and network protocols after installation.