Pending How to set up SpinRite from a Linux machine

  • 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.

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TecMunky

New member
Jan 8, 2024
3
0
Is there a workable method to install the SpinRite 6.1 (final or pre-release) onto a usb stick using linux?

This is my situation:
1. I only have Linux at home (Windows at work).
2. My work does not allow insertion of usb sticks.

I think I can get it to work if I can install freedos onto a usb stick via linux, then write the application onto the usb stick as well.
 
I've set SpinRite to run from a PXE boot. The trick was load the FreeDOS image into a ramdisk on the PXE boot.
 
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How to I get freedos, and how do I install it on a usb stick.
EDIT: Oh I forgot you were looking for a Unix based approach rather than a Windows based approach. I don't really have any advice for your situation, but I would start here: https://www.freedos.org/download/

SpinRite comes with it's own copy, if you run Windows. When you download the full version of SpinRite (there are testing versions that are slimmer) it is a Windows executable that also runs under FreeDOS. If you run it under Windows, it takes you through the steps to install it by a number of means, one of which is a USB stick. It then copies itself onto the USB stick, and when it is run when the USB stick is booted, it will execute as a disk utility and not an installation utility.

Another option you could use is to use one of two other GRC utilities. You could use ReadSpeed, which has the same ability to install itself on a USB. Or you could use the USB format utility InitDisk, but you need to invoke it from the command line so you can specify a command line parameter FREEDOS to get it to also install FreeDOS on the USB stick. With these last two options, you'll need to copy your copy of the SpinRite.EXE onto the USB device yourself.
 
https://www.grc.com/readspeed.htm

ReadSpeed IMG file

Linux and macOS users, who do not have access to Windows, may download the ReadSpeed IMG file. After unzipping, the Linux 'dd' command, or other image writing utility, can be used to write the filesystem image to any USB stick to create a bootable 8MB DOS filesystem:
 
To TechMunky,
I am a newbie to Ubuntu and Mint, and understand MSDOS more than Linux CLI.
Here is how I was able to create a startup disk using GUI.

I found Startup Disk Creator in Ubuntu to make a startup USB stick.

I downloaded and used FreeDos13Full but FreeDosLite may work.

I then extracted FD13Full to a folder that I could find later!

This folder will now have a file named "FDFull13.Img".

Run Startup Disk Creator and where it says "CD drive/Image", click "other" at the bottom right corner of box, and open

the location of the file FDFull13.Img, highlight it and click "Open".

Then with the lower "Disc to Use" window, click the USB stick that shows in the window.
Then click "Make startup Disk".

Then I tried to add Spinrite.exe to the usb stick, but Ubuntu wouldn't allow it. I re-booted and then Ubuntu was able to add Spinrite.exe
to the USB stick.
I had to change my boot sequence from UEFI to Legacy, and then my machine booted to the USB stick.

FreeDos will start and had a warning which I appreciated-- "Are you sure you want to install FreeDos on this machine?"

You want to click NO, as you only want to have FreeDos on your USB stick and NOT overwrite your Linux operating system.

I hope this helps .
 
To TechMunky,
I am a newbie to Ubuntu and Mint, and understand MSDOS more than Linux CLI.
Here is how I was able to create a startup disk using GUI.

...

FreeDos will start and had a warning which I appreciated-- "Are you sure you want to install FreeDos on this machine?"

You want to click NO, as you only want to have FreeDos on your USB stick and NOT overwrite your Linux operating system.

I hope this helps .

This concerns me - I can see someone misinterpreting the warning message and clicking "yes" by mistake - and overwriting the OS.