Looking for a Spinrite Machine

  • 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.
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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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New member
Dec 24, 2021
Greetings All,
This is my first time posting here and I hope this is in the right place.

I am looking for a machine to dedicated use with Spinrite 6.0 & 6.1 mostly to scan laptop and M.2 drives. I am aware that Steve found something that seems to be a good solution but I can't afford that at the moment. I suspect that some members of this community may have found some decent alternatives that could be purchased off eBay so I am looking forward to suggestions or a link to previous responses to this situation.

Since we do a fair amount of refurbishing of laptops (mostly), we may well have parts to restore something or even have a unit that might work. I am suspecting the BIOS might be key to what I am looking for. Even it is listed on eBay as parts only, having an idea of which machine to look for would be a big help.
Wasn't there another thread about this topic not too long ago. Can't remember exactly.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
To run version 6.0 or 6.1, ideally you need an older machine which still allows you to disable Secure Boot and run things in "Legacy mode" or BIOS mode. You cannot boot 6.0 or 6.1 on a UEFI only machine.

Memory is not a great issue, Steve has said that 64MB is enough. I would also look for a board that has both SATA and PATA connectors if you are likely to want to test older disks. If it has M.2 slots as well, some M.2 devices can be seen through teh BIOS, although they may be slower. CPU is not a major issue, anything from a Pentium onwards should work.
I'm only casually watching this thread. I went older desktop route for a dedicated SR machine - it was a to-be-recycled system so cost of zero. The primary downside is the space it consumes.

To the M.2 issue, I also have this PCI-e card - it handles SATA and NVMe M.2 drives:

Dual M.2 to PCIe Adapter, RIITOP M.2 NVMe SSD to PCIe Adapter & NGFF (B+M Key) SSD to SATA Controller Expansion Card for 1x NVMe SSD and 1x NGFF (SATA Based) SSD

It might give folks an option for the M.2 SATA/NVMe drives with a mobo that offers neither (when SR is able).