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  • 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.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • 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.)

6.1 or 7.0

#1

M

Mervyn Haynes

Daniel P. Cayea posted in the .dev group:-

It's your software, you can version it however you want, but I remember way
back, early 80's, the scheme I thought was, ultra significant changes were
incremented to the left of the decimal point and bug fixes and refinements
were to the right of the decimal point.

To me, all the hard work that you are doing and will do to enhance SpinRite
seems more like a 7.0 while the realtime OS and whatever is coming post 6.1
would be more a 7.1?

I kinda agree with this, what does everyone else think?


#2

D

DanR

I would not agree with this reasoning.

While 6.1 is a indeed big step forward for 6.0, addressing many of 6.0's shortcomings, 6.1 will still have some of 6.0's limitations, such as BIOS boot only and limited USB support.

SR 7.0, with UEFI boot, will be a big leap forward by making SpinRite universally usable on new and old hardware.

Thus it does not seem appropriate to me to include 6.1 in the 7.x family when it is more closely aligned with SR 6.0.

Just my $0.02.


#3

P

PHolder

It boils down to how easy it will be for @Steve's "transaction system" to give you your free upgrade. Presumably a point upgrade is always free to existing customers whereas a major version upgrade rarely is. If that's not a concern, I vote for SpinRite "We Survived 2021" Spin Harder (or maybe not at all) Edition (just kidding.)


#4

M

Mervyn Haynes

Spinrite 6.1 will be 8-9 years late coming out (presumably if it is out next year), because of the work done on SQRL! If this is not a major upgrade then I don't what is. Steve can price his products anyway he wishes, he is not tied to "A corporate System" He could give away 7 & charge for 8 for example. Hell he could even call it as Paul says, "SpinRite "We Survived 2021" Spin Harder (or maybe not at all) Edition".


#5

Barry Wallis

Barry Wallis

I guess I'm a pragmatist. I don't care what he calls it so long as he completes it. Even though I haven't been able to use SR for several years (I bought a UEFI based Microsoft Surface Book when they first came out), SR 6 was well worth the investment for what I got out of it before that. When I can purchase a copy that will work on my 4TB USB drive and MS Surface Book 3, I will gladly do it no matter what version number is attached to it.


#6

M

Mervyn Haynes

When I can purchase a copy that will work on my 4TB USB drive and MS Surface Book 3, I will gladly do it no matter what version number is attached to it.
Me too. I purchased Srinrite to say thank you to Steve for all the knowledge he has given us. Used it a lot on drives, but only had 1 success. I would gladly pay for 6.1, and will certainly purchase 7 when it is released. Might have to wait until 2099 though :) !


#7

C

cbrillow

I've been a Spinrite user for several years, having purchased 6.0 some time ago, and it was as much to support Steve's contributions to internet and computer security as it was to (hopefully) be able to recover from inevitable disc drive issues. It wasn't long before I ran into the infamous divide-by-0 error that occurs frequently on larger drives, and that's left me standing high and dry, without being able to thoroughly test, and possibly prevent and correct drive problems. And that's what Spinrite is supposed to be all about, isn't it?

I have tried some of the workarounds, such as creating a Spinrite version that runs on DOS rather than FreeDos. But that doesn't always work, either. In short, I've been disappointed in the ridiculously-long pause in development/bug fixes.

I never thought I'd be saying this, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'll live long enough to see this software improved, having turned 70 last December. I'm somewhat hopeful that there will be some movement later in the year -- at least he seems to be working towards it.


#8

D

DanR

I'm somewhat hopeful that there will be some movement later in the year -- at least he seems to be working towards it.
Yes, Steve is hard at work on SR 6.1. Per his latest comments in the SpinRite development NG, it would seem he is either in the home stretch or getting close to it. No way to know for sure, however.


#9

D

doopy

I would not agree with this reasoning.

While 6.1 is a indeed big step forward for 6.0, addressing many of 6.0's shortcomings, 6.1 will still have some of 6.0's limitations, such as BIOS boot only and limited USB support.

SR 7.0, with UEFI boot, will be a big leap forward by making SpinRite universally usable on new and old hardware.

Thus it does not seem appropriate to me to include 6.1 in the 7.x family when it is more closely aligned with SR 6.0.

Just my $0.02.

Some developers use the major version number to indicate breaking changes. For example, 7.0 will be the first to support UEFI, like you said, and I think Steve said 6.1 will be the last to support 16-bit systems.

The other thing is, we don't know what it looks like under the hood. A small change for a user might be a huge change for a developer. However since spinrite's license is tied to version number (i.e. 6.0 -> 6.1 is a free upgrade), I have to agree with the OP it would make more sense to charge for all the new features in 6.1.

I would imagine though that a good many, if not most, spinrite users are repeat customers who are going to continue buying new versions as long as Steve keeps them coming.


#10

D

DanR

Some developers use the major version number to indicate breaking changes. For example, 7.0 will be the first to support UEFI, like you said, and I think Steve said 6.1 will be the last to support 16-bit systems.
Right!
I have to agree with the OP it would make more sense to charge for all the new features in 6.1.
A valid point. However, @Steve has firmly stated that he feels he owes something to long time SpinRite 6.0 owners who have been waiting for so long (Years!!!) for an update to a product that has been overtaken by the advance of technology. Hence a free upgrade to SR 6.1 for them. New owners, however, will pay the full price.
I would imagine though that a good many, if not most, spinrite users are repeat customers who are going to continue buying new versions as long as Steve keeps them coming.
Right! Many have done just that. And any who wish to may do so.


#11

R

Roger Rabbit

Anything that will run with any hardware/drives newer than say 2016 would be welcome. Numbers or names are meaningless, what matters is function.

Long time user and owner... but it has been a completely useless with newer drives, and/or BIOS. Example, 6-year-old basic Dell laptop, i5 processor, win 10, 500GB mechanical drive.... and "MBR followed by EFI"error... stoppage... and so no attempting fixing that drive or recovering anything, at least not with SR.

I don't care what it is called, just update it. That has been promised for what, maybe 10+ years now.


#12

M

Mervyn Haynes

I don't care what it is called, just update it. That has been promised for what, maybe 10+ years now.
Yes, it has been far too long, but at least he is on it now. Like I said it was delayed 7 years by, IMHO, the wasted time on SQRL.


#13

D

Darcon

Purchaser of 6.0, a long time ago (Window Vista) but couldn't use it on my personal system (the reason I purchased Spinrite, until I gave it away to someone else a couple years ago) due to HP and their weird boot partition that Spinrite said was dangerous (don't recall the error message anymore) as data loss was probable. I did use it to help my kids recover their systems a few times and recovered a couple other systems as well.

It just took way too long to bother recovering my Dad's laptop, 3 weeks waiting and I gave up. I just donated it as a system without a drive and drilled holes through his drive.

6.1 should be a decent speed upgrade from 6.0. It will just be a pain to use for those of us that can get back to legacy boot instead of UEFI.

The people stuck on UEFI will need to wait, probably 5 years for 7.0 to come out, which I will purchase as UEFI will be mandatory by then and my new system will not have a legacy boot option.

Spinrite 6.0 is a decent tool if you have the time to use it. I have kept a spare system around just to Spinrite drives while I use my current system without blocking my access to my personal system.

I think if you have a UEFI system, especially if there is no legacy boot mode, waiting for 7 is the way to go.


#14

Barry Wallis

Barry Wallis

It seems to me if you purchased 6.0 and gave it away, you should probably purchase 6.1. Am I missing something?


#15

M

Mervyn Haynes

The people stuck on UEFI will need to wait, probably 5 years for 7.0 to come out
I estimated some time ago it would take 3 years for 7.0 to be released, but no one would take by bet. So I recon we should see it by Christmas 2023. Nice Christmas present for myself, and just in time as I get my OAP to pay for it.


#16

D

doopy

Yes, it has been far too long, but at least he is on it now. Like I said it was delayed 7 years by, IMHO, the wasted time on SQRL.
Did SQRL really take 7 years? If so I kind of have to agree with you. That's a bit excessive in retrospect. He could have turned it over to the community much earlier than he did, I think.


#17

D

doopy

Spinrite 6.0 is a decent tool if you have the time to use it. I have kept a spare system around just to Spinrite drives while I use my current system without blocking my access to my personal system.
That's usually how I do it. And if I want to spinrite a drive that's currently in service, I clone it to a new drive, swap it out, and spinrite it in a spare machine.


#18

D

doopy

It seems to me if you purchased 6.0 and gave it away, you should probably purchase 6.1. Am I missing something?
I think he meant he gave the computer away, not spinrite.


#19

M

Mervyn Haynes

Did SQRL really take 7 years? If so I kind of have to agree with you.
The first reference I can find is SN 424 OCT 2013. But I am sure he discussed the principle of it with Leo in a previous episode, but cannot find that episode!


#20

D

DanR

Did SQRL really take 7 years?
About 6.5 years actually. From Aug/Sep 2013 until Jan 2020.


#21

M

Mervyn Haynes

About 6.5 years actually. From Aug/Sep 2013 until Jan 2020.
Do you recall the episode they discussed the principal of SQRL. I don't believe it was called that back then, Steve just had the idea of what would become SQRL. Obviously it was after the episode about QR codes, which I think was the year before, & where he got his 1st vision.


#22

D

DanR

The people stuck on UEFI will need to wait, probably 5 years for 7.0 to come out
I estimated some time ago it would take 3 years for 7.0 to be released, but no one would take by bet. So I recon we should see it by Christmas 2023.
Oh, ye doubters, you! :)

Yes, it's been a very long and seemingly unending wait. :(

Steve is apparently doing a total re-code for SpinRite 6.1. Per his comments in the development NG, this re-coding must either be done now, or later when transitioning to SR 7.0 (UEFI boot).

And, per Steve's comments, doing it now will produce a much better SR 6.1 product (for hardware it will work with), while saving beau coup time when transitioning to SR 7.0 (and beyond) after SR 6.1 is finished and released.

And so we wait . . . to see . . .

And let us not forget the unforeseen Gotchas! Steve has been encountering these during his re-coding effort, hence the now apparently total re-code scope. Expect more when we get to play with the fruits of Steve's labor!


#23

M

Mervyn Haynes

Steve is apparently doing a total re-code for SpinRite 6.1
This is why I started this thread, and suggested it should be V7. Maybe V7 should become V8!


#24

D

DanR

Do you recall the episode they discussed the principal of SQRL. I don't believe it was called that back then, Steve just had the idea of what would become SQRL. Obviously it was after the episode about QR codes, which I think was the year before, & where he got his 1st vision.
The specific episode? No.

I do know that Steve conceived the original SQRL concept during a morning breakfast meditation in Aug 2013 while working on the SpinRite IDE driver technology, which was finished in Sep 2013.

SQRL originally stood for: Simple QR Logon. It would become: Simple Quick Reliable Logon


#25

Barry Wallis

Barry Wallis

I think he meant he gave the computer away, not spinrite.
That would make sense. I suspected I was missing something. Thanks.


#26

Paul F

Paul F

Do you recall the episode they discussed the principal of SQRL. I don't believe it was called that back then, Steve just had the idea of what would become SQRL. Obviously it was after the episode about QR codes, which I think was the year before, & where he got his 1st vision.
Steve mentioned his idea first in Security Now! 420 with the acronym HIPS for Hiding in Plain Sight. In Episode 424 he introduced SQRL.


#27

P

PHolder

purchased 6.0 and gave it away
I think he meant to imply he gave away the PC that it wouldn't run on.


#28

P

PHolder

Do you recall the episode they discussed the principal of SQRL
Well Steve teased the idea for a number of weeks, but I think this is the episode where he "revealed all":


#29

M

Mervyn Haynes

Steve mentioned his idea first in Security Now! 420 with the acronym HIPS for Hiding in Plain Sight. In Episode 424 he introduced SQRL.
Thanks for that Paul, I will give it a re-listen...................
Yes, you are correct. He says he had the idea 6 days previous.


#30

M

Mervyn Haynes

Well Steve teased the idea for a number of weeks, but I think this is the episode where he "revealed all":
https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-424.htm
Thanks Paul, but I think the other Paul has nailed it with the idea of it being discussed in 420.


#31

D

Darcon

It seems to me if you purchased 6.0 and gave it away, you should probably purchase 6.1. Am I missing something?
I gave away the PC, not Spinrite. That is still with me.


#32

Barry Wallis

Barry Wallis

I think he meant to imply he gave away the PC that it wouldn't run on.

I gave away the PC, not Spinrite. That is still with me.
Got it. I know I must have been missing something.


#33

danlock

danlock

with the idea of it being discussed in 420.
Was that the Grass episode? (JK!)


#34

R

Roger Rabbit

Yes, it has been far too long, but at least he is on it now. Like I said it was delayed 7 years by, IMHO, the wasted time on SQRL.
SQRL is worthless for the simple reason it seems no one except GRC has implemented it, and perhaps a couple of Steve's most ardent followers.

6.5 or 7 years in development... while hundreds/thousands or more of people also had useless software, Spinrite, which no longer works on the technology of most of the last decade.

I used an early version through work, don't remember the version, but I had it on 5.25" floppy. Bought my personal copy in 2006, and it did help me recover some drives, or at least the important data.

I don't care to dig back, as I'm pretty much jaded about how spinrite was pushed off any burner for a decade, but I wonder when he started talking about the need to update it. Longer than a decade ago?


#35

P

PHolder

jaded about how spinrite was pushed off any burner for a decade
Watch your tone around these parts, partner... @Steve is not going to pay to host a space for you to slander him.

I would argue you got exactly what you paid for when you bought SpinRite. It worked at the time and no promise was made at the time that it would continue to be updated in the future... you bought it "as is". The fact that you might get a free upgrade that brings it up to current PC specs is just gravy IMHO.

I'm not saying that Steve did his business (of SpinRite) any favours by taking the time out that he did for SQRL, but it is his business to have done that to. You're not owed any effort by him, and yet he is still making efforts to do a free update.


#36

M

Mervyn Haynes

I'm not saying that Steve did his business (of SpinRite) any favours by taking the time out that he did for SQRL, but it is his business to have done that to.
I think most people agree that he should have spent time on SQRL AFTER he updated Spinrite. I know it is his business, & free to choose what he spends his time on, but that decision does not make ANY business sense. I know 6.1 will be free, but 7.0 will bring income. Ahhh, I have just got it, he did find that lost bitcoin key, and no longer needs income!


#37

R

Roger Rabbit

Watch your tone around these parts, partner... @Steve is not going to pay to host a space for you to slander him.

I would argue you got exactly what you paid for when you bought SpinRite. It worked at the time and no promise was made at the time that it would continue to be updated in the future... you bought it "as is". The fact that you might get a free upgrade that brings it up to current PC specs is just gravy IMHO.

I'm not saying that Steve did his business (of SpinRite) any favours by taking the time out that he did for SQRL, but it is his business to have done that to. You're not owed any effort by him, and yet he is still making efforts to do a free update.
First, I don't believe that Steve is that petty.

Stating reality is slander? explain.


#38

M

Mervyn Haynes

First, I don't believe that Steve is that petty.

Stating reality is slander? explain.
Being pedantic; slander is spoken, Libel is written!


#39

D

DanR

I'm pretty much jaded about how spinrite was pushed off any burner for a decade
So are a lot of folks.

FWIW, Steve is not happy about it either.

But: What's past is past; what's done is done. Let's move on!

Steve has been working on SR 6.1, apparently doing a total re-code of SpinRite. This is delaying the release of SpinRite 6.1 but, per Steve, will save much time when moving to SR 7.0. The result should be a much better SR 6.1 product for us, and a much shorter time period between the SR 6.1 and SR 7.0 releases. Time will tell.


#40

P

PHolder

Your use of the word worthless is what I was taking exception to. SQRL may not be your cup of tea, but it is far from worthless. Anyway... my greater point was that there is no point acting entitled... no one is entitled to SpinRite other than for the grace of @Steve's kindness to continue to work on it for free. (Much as he worked on SQRL for free.)


#41

R

Roger Rabbit

Your use of the word worthless is what I was taking exception to. SQRL may not be your cup of tea, but it is far from worthless. Anyway... my greater point was that there is no point acting entitled... no one is entitled to SpinRite other than for the grace of @Steve's kindness to continue to work on it for free. (Much as he worked on SQRL for free.)
If it is of no use, it has no value. If it has no value it is worthless. It would implement it in a heartbeat if my bank, brokerage firm, investment accounts, etc., etc., utilized it, but none do. Even though in theory it represents a significant step in securing logins the lack of implementation.

I use BitWarden, because it provides a service, securing and managing my passwords/logins, thus it has value. To implement SQRL as a one-off solely to log into this forum is a little excessive.

SQRL would be my "cup of tea", if it had value. Aside from this forum and probably the SQRL forum, where is it actually implemented?

Today, SR is worthless to me. It had value at one time because it worked, but no longer works on anything I own, and none if it is that high end or exotic. Off the shelf laptop with i5 and 500G drive, nope. Referb tower with 1T drive, nope.

As for Steve working on SR for "free", I believe that is a commitment he made early on in his development and enhancements to SR. The link to buy SR still states "Any software purchased or upgraded online can be replaced or updated to its latest version at any time." Generous of Steve, but something we also paid for.


#42

P

PHolder

If it is of no use, it has no value. If it has no value it is worthless
Then you sir, are worthless, because you offer no utility on this site or to me personally... See how that feels? It's a very hostile approach to life.

The SpinRite upgrade promise is to the latest point update of the current version. I personally would encourage Steve to call the next version 7.0 and charge a healthy upgrade on the order of $50 or more... but it's his business and he feels he's honour bound to label it 6.1 so he will give it away free to anyone who bought 6.0. I applaud his sense of honour, but make no mistake, he never promised original 6.0 purchasers,15 or more years ago, that he would do this.


#43

Barry Wallis

Barry Wallis

Being pedantic; slander is spoken, Libel is written!
My new Zoom magic show is based on my being pedantic (with a nod to the TV show Psych).


#44

danlock

danlock

I'm a hopeless pedant much of the time. I'm also someone who dislikes Zoom very much for some reason. I'm currently very tired and hungry, both of which make memories very difficult to recall, if in fact I know why I dislike Zoom even after they got their privacy act together, if it did to the point of E2EE.

It's a shame that Google Duo supports only up to 32 viewers/conversation contributors for the host. E2EE supported using the Signal method, but must have a google account for full E2EE to the convo participant/viewer's device.

and other insights I cannot think of because I can't think.