6.1 3 years?

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
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  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

    (You may permanently close this reminder with the 'X' in the upper right.)

Sep 17, 2020
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Is it really 3 years this month Steve has been working on SR 6.1? From what I remember he started again on it in Jan 2020, after finishing SQRL. Add that to the 4 months in 2013 before he started SQRL, and that is 36 months! If my maths are correct. .......................... I can hear the sounds of calculator buttons being pressed now to prove me wrong.
 
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Is it really 3 years this month Steve has been working on SR 6.1? From what I remember he started again on it in Jan 2020, after finishing SQRL. Add that to the 4 months in 2013 before he started SQRL, and that is 36 months! If my maths are correct. .......................... I can hear the sounds of calculator buttons being pressed now to prove me wrong.
Yes, 3 years is correct!

Back in 2013, SpinRite 6.1 was envisioned to be a routine update to 6.0.

IDE driver technology was successfully developed, with AHCI driver technology development to follow. The perception at the time was that these drivers would be incorporated into the 6.0 code, with some additional things tweaked or added, to produce 6.1. A SpinRite 6.2 (and possibly 6.3) was planned to add USB support and anything else that did not make it into 6.1.

Then fate intervened. SpinRite went on hiatus for quite a while. Technology however continued to evolve. When Steve returned to SpinRite in January 2020, the SpinRite landscape had changed quite significantly.

BIOS was effectively obsolete, and being replaced by UEFI. AHCI was no longer new. SSD’s were common place. NVMe was a new storage technology.

SpinRite 6.0 code utilized coding practices no longer used by Steve. It contained obsolete code that no longer served any purpose. And its segmented DOS environment could not be readily adapted to accommodate new technology.

After much consideration and research, Steve charted a course for SpinRite development that completely changed the scope of SpinRite 6.1. What was once a planned routine update to SpinRite 6.0 became a HUGE task of a redesign with a complete code rewrite, and subsequent extensive (and still ongoing) development testing and refinement.

And that is a very brief synopsis of why SpinRite 6.1 is taking so long to create.
 
After much consideration and research, Steve charted a course for SpinRite development that completely changed the scope of SpinRite 6.1. What was once a planned routine update to SpinRite 6.0 became a HUGE task of a redesign with a complete code rewrite, and subsequent extensive (and still ongoing) development testing and refinement.
And the update is still free for current SR owners!
 
"What was once a planned routine update to SpinRite 6.0 became a HUGE task of a redesign with a complete code rewrite, and subsequent extensive (and still ongoing) development testing and refinement."

I feel that we need more regular updates from Steve on the progress of SpinRrite 6.1 given the rate of change in the technologies that the product has to address.2013-to 2022 is a long time. From a personal point of view Spinrite could still have a useful role; if only as an emergency use, as that of last resort. (All the usual rules about working with copies etc apply of course). I am a 6.0 user & SpinRite is a tool in my box of resources. One PC that I own is vulnerable.

Time & technology are progressing inexorably and the longer Version 6.1 takes to develop and SpinRite 7 of course (I intend to purchase it) the less likely the project will continue to fruition

I find this blog a very useful resource; so thanks to Steve & the contributors

Mike
 
I have more than 500 hard drives in the over 2 TB range that spinrite won't run. I check in to the forum about once every 6 months to find out the guesstimate of when a usable 6.1 release might happen. It looks like nothing has changed. I do get excited when Steve posts a new version to try, and the feature sets keep looking more and more interesting, but until I can run a beta version of 6.1 and start testing these drives, I will continue to lurk and hope that "very soon" doesn't continue to mean more years before a release.
 
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more than 500 hard drives
SpinRite is not really appropriate to use in an Enterprise situation (it's just cheaper to replace sketchy drives) so I presume you're a "power user". 500 Drives is a lot! You might need to seek help for your data hoarding issue! ;)
 
I have one big question about 6.1. When it is finally released will everyone trying to download it crash the server?
 
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I have one big question about 6.1. When it is finally released will everyone trying to download it crash the server?
Not likely, still will be under 50M in size, even if Steve has bloated code in it, but we all know that Steve tends to write compact code. Plus his host provider has massive bandwidth, not like the old days when Steve ran it from home with a pair of bonded T1 lines....
 
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Time & technology are progressing inexorably
So true!

the longer Version 6.1 takes to develop and SpinRite 7 of course (I intend to purchase it) the less likely the project will continue to fruition
I would respectfully and firmly disagree.

SpinRite 6.1 will have its limitations (Bios-DOS dependencies, limited USB support, and extremely limited NVMe support). It will not boot on a UEFI system.

With the move to RTOS-32 for SR 7.x development the remaining limitations on SpinRite will go away, including the limitations of the current DOS development environment for SR 6.1.

SR 7.0 will bring SpinRite to UEFI boot systems. The 32 bit RTOS-32 environment will allow for much easier development of features for new technology.

SR 7.1 will add full USB support. SR 7.2 will add full NVMe support.

The dual boot 7.x versions will provide all of this functionality to compatible legacy Bios boot systems as well.

All of this is laid out in the current SpinRite Roadmap

Steve has speculated that after 7.2 he might take a dive into SSD enhancements, or what ever other SpinRite enhancements come to his creative mind.

And Steve has mentioned SR 8.0 – a Windows version that would run in the background while the user is doing other things with Windows.

It would seem that the future of SpinRite is potentially awesome and potentially limitless. That is Steve’s view.
 
I have one big question about 6.1. When it is finally released will everyone trying to download it crash the server?
Not likely. The longer it takes to get 6.1 out, there will be fewer systems that can run it as motherboard manufacturers start disabling legacy boot modes.

7.0 will be more popular, and can be used on most systems as long as they don't have NVME for their primary storage.
7.1 will likely be ignored, 7.2 will be highly popular as it supports all the current systems.

Hopefully no new storage formats are invented in the next 10 years, or Spinrite will be behind again.

6.0 owner, only used it once in the last 12 years (on my son's laptop) because 1 system could not run it (BIOS could not determine hard drive size, thanks HP) and my other system uses NVME. Hoping for a useful version while I own a PC and have the brain power to use it.
 
I have a couple old laptops and a still functional Windows XP (with a 3.5 inch Spinrite floppy in the drive), and a Windows98 machine that still works. I use one of the laptops to run things that take too long to tie up my current laptop, the others sit idle except for a very occasional boot to see if they still work. The one laptop, a Windows 10 machine with some of the unused software removed is handy for long jobs like syncing multi terabyte drives and an occasional Spinrite check.
 
What makes you say that? I have a 4TB USB drive on a UEFI only laptop,
Just that by the time the USB support is available, the majority of people will not be using such slow technology.

We will likely have more cloud storage or some other connectivity that is faster than USB. I might still have USB drives for backup, but I tend to be a bit lagging in my backup solutions. Most people don't backup at all, and the rest use cloud. So USB support isn't going to be popular. UEFI and NVME will be highly needed.
 
Just that by the time the USB support is available, the majority of people will not be using such slow technology.
If you are thinking USB 1 (especially) or USB 2, I would agree.

However, with a USB 3 HDD running on a USB 3 port, I/O is typically as fast as an internal HDD.

With USB C / USB 4 the Port I/O speeds are notably greater than USB 3 when using a USB C / USB 4 port. Speed-wise: USB 3 < USB C / USB 4

So, yes there is a future for USB technology.

SpinRite, of course, has a bit of catching up to do! :)
 
If you are thinking USB 1 (especially) or USB 2, I would agree.

However, with a USB 3 HDD running on a USB 3 port, I/O is typically as fast as an internal HDD.

With USB C or USB 4 the Port I/O speeds are notably greater than USB 3 when using a USB C or USB 4 port. Speed-wise: USB 3 < USB C < USB 4

So, yes there is a future for USB technology.

SpinRite, of course, has a bit of catching up to do! :)
Well said. My 4TB HDD runs over USB 3. I mainly use it for constant online backup using MS File History. I don't see a need to replace it any time soon (especially if SR 7.1 can keep it running).
 
So true!


I would respectfully and firmly disagree.

SpinRite 6.1 will have its limitations (Bios-DOS dependencies, limited USB support, and extremely limited NVMe support). It will not boot on a UEFI system.

With the move to RTOS-32 for SR 7.x development the remaining limitations on SpinRite will go away, including the limitations of the current DOS development environment for SR 6.1.

SR 7.0 will bring SpinRite to UEFI boot systems. The 32 bit RTOS-32 environment will allow for much easier development of features for new technology.

SR 7.1 will add full USB support. SR 7.2 will add full NVMe support.

The dual boot 7.x versions will provide all of this functionality to compatible legacy Bios boot systems as well.

All of this is laid out in the current SpinRite Roadmap

Steve has speculated that after 7.2 he might take a dive into SSD enhancements, or what ever other SpinRite enhancements come to his creative mind.

And Steve has mentioned SR 8.0 – a Windows version that would run in the background while the user is doing other things with Windows.

It would seem that the future of SpinRite is potentially awesome and potentially limitless. That is Steve’s view.
I have a question. Will SpinRite 6.1 run in a VM, on a UEFI machine, that boots from an NVMe drive, and repair internal drives other than the boot drive as well as external USB drives?
 
I have a question. Will SpinRite 6.1 run in a VM, on a UEFI machine, that boots from an NVMe drive, and repair internal drives other than the boot drive as well as external USB drives?

Short answer: I do not know. I have no experience and very limited knowledge re VM's.

Longer answer: Per my Google query " can a vm boot to a DOS environment " I found this:


It would seem it could be possible, but I presume there may be issues. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will chime in here.
 
Will SpinRite 6.1 run in a VM
You're asking about the future. SpinRite 6.1 doesn't exist yet, so no one knows precisely how it will behave.

Most likely it will be possible to some extent, depending on your Hypervisor's abilities. @Steve is developing SpinRite 6.1 using VirtualBox and raw disk access... but he is most likely 100% not using a UEFI machine to host his VirtualBox guests.