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  • 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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    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
Mar 10, 2024
I am a Mac user. Not a techie but an enthusiast. I purchased a secondhand Windows for the sole purpose of running SpinRite 6.1 from time to time to refresh my SSDs and long term storage.

Fighting the BIOS has been frustrating, depressing, and defeating. I really didn't sign up to devote hours to getting a piece of preventative maintenance software running. This has been entirely disheartening. I just pulled my laptop out of the trashcan where I dumped it earlier this morning. It still may go back.

To bypass this misery I would happily purchase a device with SpinRite installed. Please, for the love of God, are there any authorized distributors of a SpinRite appliance?
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For what it's worth, I very much understand your frustration. We're caught between “update and optimal” at the moment. With v6.1 being the update to legacy BIOS/DOS-based technology and v7 being optimal. But all we have until v7 is v6.1.

The SpinRite community HAS established a lovely reference hardware platform known as the ZimaBoard. It's a small, inexpensive, fanless PC with both BIOS (that v6.1 needs today) and UEFI (which v7 will be able to use in the future: ZimaBoard. The smallest “232” device is all you need. You'll need to supply (or briefly attach) a USB keyboard and display, but it's perfect for what you want.

That said... It's VERY likely that you can get any older Windows laptop to boot SpinRite. There are many people here who would be glad to help. Drop a note into the “Booting DOS for SpinRite” forum!
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With v6.1 being the update to legacy BIOS/DOS-based technology and v7 being optimal
might still not work for us with macs, since apple is using their own chips. Supposedly it emulates the x86, bu not sure if you need the os for that
I'm sure it will not work. :( The fact that SpinRite may work on some older Macs was more of a happy coincidence than any deliberate plan. SpinRite is and has always been an IBM PC compatible utility. When there's been some way to improve SpinRite's chance to work with Macs, I've been happy to make that investment. But no way will SpinRite ever work on Apple's non-Intel custom ARM chips.