Ventoy

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Hadron, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    Ventoy is a new free portable bootable UFD solution for managing multiple disk images and creating a multi-boot UFD.

    Once you have created your Ventoy UFD, you simply copy your ISO disk images there and when you boot the Ventoy UFD, you are presented with a menu of all your disk images.

    Ventoy screen_bios2.png

    Check out all the screenshots of various different boot images booting here.

    And it can support both UEFI and Legacy BIOS at the same time.
    The way it works is it creates two partitions on your UFD.

    Here is a before and after of the MBR partitons on your UFD. You can change it to GPT if you like.
    You can easily update Ventoy by clicking the Update button.
    It also supports various Plugins.

    Ventoy Before & After Install.jpg

    By default, the 1st partition is formatted with exFAT file system, but you can also reformat it manually to NTFS/FAT32/UDF/XFS/Ext2/3/4. That is the partition that you will see in your file manager and where you copy and manage your disk images. The other partition is an EFI System Partition which runs Ventoy.

    This is my Ventoy UFD.
    Ventoy Partitions 01.jpg

    To some degree, I am thinking that Ventoy resembles TeraByte BootIt UEFI.

    biu_bootmenu.jpg

    I think it will be a very handy backup tool.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  2. Gjbth

    Gjbth Registered Member

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    I stumbled across Ventoy about a month back and have been using it ever since. I have to maintain several desktop and laptop PC's and find this a boon. The project seems to be updated on an almost weekly basis. Up to now I have not experienced any problems using it either on uefi and mbr systems.

    I while back I was considering a specialist usb external hard drive enclosure, which enabled these same features, basically you would dump ISO files to the hard drive and be able to choose which to boot from on startup. The one I looked at was the Zalman ZM-VE350, but there are several others available.
    Ventoy fulfils the same needs for me at zero cost.
     
  3. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Like @Gjbth I have been using Ventoy (about a month) as a possible replacement for Easy2Boot, my current goto USB multiboot solution. I have tried tons of both WinPE and LINUX-based ISOs and all have worked well. So far... a very nice tool.

    When using the F3 mode of the tool, it allows you to organize all your ISOs into categories by creating top-level organized Folders with the particular ISOs located in each folder... ie, Backup, Linux OS, Windows OS, AntiVirus, Utilities, etc. When using non-F3 it just offers all the ISOs on 1-screen... using the F3 mode allows you to see the categorized folders and to select them now offering you the ISOs in that folder. Very easy to use...
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  4. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Over the past few years I've also been using Easy2Boot to create multiboot UFDs. The problem I've encountered with E2B is that some iso files are definitely not easy to boot! Quite often I have to rename the "iso" filename extension to something else (finding it by trial and error!) that will work with E2B. So I'm wondering if this is also an issue with Ventoy?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    F3 Mode. I knew I'd learn more about it from you guys.
    I'll have to check it out.
     
  6. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Go ahead and arrange your ISOs in an organized fashion... Top Level folders, mid-level folders, whatever, full of appropriate ISOs. When you BOOT Ventoy, just hit the F3 key and you're in organized mode. If you don't hit F3, it'll just look like a long list of ISOs (alphabetically, I think).
     
  7. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    @Hadron - gimme an example of one of those funny ISOs you mention above and I'll give it a whirl. Some ISOs won't work properly if they require a folder on the built media that wasn't built into the WIM or the equivalent Linux image file. Some ISOs build a complete System and rely on folders that are outside of the build itself but on the build media... these most likely won't work properly as the ISO expander doesn't know what to do with those media-based folders. Ventoy has an "inclusion mode" which can tell it how to put that stuff into the RAM image it builds and at the right reference for the tools that use that stuff to work... but it's tricky.

    They'll be there soon...
     
  8. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    I read on the Ventoy site that you cannot have any spaces or non-ascii characters, so the folder structure will have to stick to that.
     
  9. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    What funny ISOs? o_O
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  11. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    Hi Brian.
    I've been thinking about what ISOs to add to my Ventoy UFD.
    IFW was going to be an obvious choice, but I see that user is having problems.
    IFL would be OK anyway. Have you tried IFW with Ventoy? I'll give it a try. If it doesn't work, then IFL will suffice.

    TeraByte Support mentioned the Wimboot Plugin. I have been reading about the Wimboot Plugin, but haven't tried it yet.
    I am not even sure how to use it right now. I will have to have another read.

    I wonder if it supports standalone files somehow?
     
  12. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I have my "boot disks" on the SSD/HD and don't use UFDs.
     
  14. SteveSi

    SteveSi Registered Member

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    E2B (when MBR-booted) suggests a 'better' file extension which you can try just by answering Y. The 'List of tested payloads' page on the E2B website may offer a clue if any special action/name/extension is needed. You can configure E2B to automatically use the suggested file extension by adding 'set TSUG=993' to the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file. https://www.easy2boot.com/configuring-e2b/autosuggest/
    If you do change the file extension, make sure it works in both MBR and UEFI.
    E2B's main advantage is that it can use .imgPTN partition image files which allows you to boot almost any 'difficult' or Secure Boot payload. Ventoy may work with 90% of all your bootable payloads, but how will you boot the other 10%? when you really need to?
     
  15. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    You mentioned you had "issues" with some ISOs when trying to use them with Easy2BOOT... those were the ones I was referring to.
     
  16. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply Steve. Unfortunately, I have found that E2B's 'file extension recommendation" doesn't always work to make the non-bootable iso bootable! I do see your point about E2B's advantage over Ventoy if/when Ventoy isn't able to boot an iso file, but so far I haven't heard of any such problems from Ventoy users.
     
  17. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    Yeah, that a good setup.
    What's your contingency plan for a hardware failure?
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I have multiple computers so if I don't have a boot disk available I can always make one. Disk failure is rare. I'd do thousands of restores for tests or software issues to every one restore for disk failure. I find motherboard failure is my main hardware failure.
     
  19. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    I thought you would make external boot media as needed.

    Hardware is becoming more reliable. Even motherboards.
    I'm a big fan of Hard Disk Sentinel for keeping an eye on hard drives and SSDs.
    I usually replace them prior to them completely dying, then clone them before making a swap.



    OCCT is another hardware diagnostic tool I stumbled upon a while back, but I'll save that for another thread.
     
  20. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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  21. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Thanx to @Hadron - the "ofishul" @mood of Ventoy :D

    One of the things I really like about this approach to multi-BOOTing of UFDs is that the sticks don't need to be rebuilt when Ventoy is upgraded... only the special Ventoy EFI partition, which it does very nicely, conveniently and quickly.
     
  22. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    Thanks, Frog.
    Just call me, moodron. :argh:

    But yes, the upgrade is very neat.
     
  23. mood

    mood Updates Team

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    Latest Ventoy release introduces experimental IMG format support
    August 16, 2020
    https://www.ghacks.net/2020/08/16/latest-ventoy-release-introduces-experimental-img-format-support/
     
  24. tutman

    tutman Registered Member

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    Yes and you can use themes for the menu's! https://www.ventoy.net/en/plugin_theme.html
    This guy has some ready made ones that are pretty nice and shows how easy to add and change them!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j6kEoJjSk0
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2020
  25. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    There I was... building out my VENTOY UFD when all of a sudden I ran out of room (64gB), darn :'(! So without knowing, I quickly tested to see if VENTOY could prepare an old laptop 2.5" HDD (500gB) connected via USB... worked like a charm!

    Back to building out my "new" 500gB VENTOY prepared portable 2.5" HDD! :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
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