Helpppp! Dell Latitude 5501

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    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.
  • 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!

  • 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.)


New member
Oct 29, 2023

I have a Dell Latitude 5501, with Windows 11 and I cannot get it to boot into DOS for SpinRite, etc. please tell me what I am doing wrong!

I have created a bootable USB using "Bootable" all is good.
I have made the following BIOS changes: Secure Boot = Disable, Secure Boot Mode =Audit, There is no option for any legacy support, UEFI Boot Path Security = Always.

I have created a new "Boot from USB" option, after Windows Boot Manager, NIS, USB 4 NIC, USB 6 NIC, etc. I have picked the USB drive from the device list. I have left the file type blank.

Each time I f12 and pick the USB option, it fails to a diagnostic screen, with a memory test, etc.

Thank you
@FurFace , your message is a little unclear. Does Bootable work but SpinRite won’t? Or BootAble doesn’t work?

If it’s the latter (Bootable won’t boot) then your computer is too new to run FreeDOS and SpinRite - that is, it’s UEFI only and does not have a Legacy / compatibility mode. I know Dell systems from around 2019 and newer are UEFI only.

There is a way to run SpinRite on UEFI only systems but it is unsupported by GRC and requires a lot of PC knowledge; it’s documented on the forum but you would do it at your own risk.
  • Like
Reactions: Darcon
There is no option for any legacy support
If you can't do legacy booting, you can't directly boot FreeDOS to run SpinRite versions lower than 7 (which doesn't exist yet.) You would be looking for a setting related to the Compatibility Support Module (CSM.)

As @Scott mentions you can do so using virtual machines, but this is potentially challenging for the inexperienced and is not supported by GRC. (You may get some best effort support here, but there's no guarantees.)
Thank you both,

Bootable does not boot to DOS, so I think I am stuck with to new a machine. If my laptop gives me enough problems I will put the time in to make a virtual machine, else i'll wait for V7. Thank you
new a machine
If you're desperate to run SpinRite, and are willing to deal with the removal of a drive from a machine that can't legacy boot to connect it to a device that is know to be able to legacy boot, there is always the option of either acquiring an older used machine like off EBay, or one of the ZimaBoard devices which are what Steve has used during his development. You can find more info on the ZimaBoard on their site and by searching for other posts here on the forums. (Amazon carries them as well, I believe, and you would also want the beefier power supply from Amazon if you needed it to power spinning media drives.)
Unless you have additional needs for another machine (used or ZimaBoard), a more economical route would be a fast SSD in a case that is used for the VM solution that @Scott referred to. The SSD can be repurposed or added to after for things like storing backups. This is far more practical than trying to opening a new laptop and removing the SSD.

The instructions laid out for the building the process are very clear and I would say risk free. I have used it on a variety of new and old laptops and a Desktop.