Closed Release Candidate 6

  • 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.)

@dije: I can certainly sympathize with your frustration. You are catching things while they are still very much in process.

To answer your question, you can simply go here: https://www.grc.com/prerelease.htm

If you supply your SpinRite's serial number or purchase transaction code, you'll receive a link to download the latest current release candidate which runs under either Windows or DOS. Simply run it under Windows to setup a bootable USB thumb drive in a single step. Then simply boot that. (y) Again... sorry for the transient confusion!
 
I understand why FreeDOS won't work with Ventoy, too bad about that, so where's the alternative? I made my purchase based on your assertion on the podcast that you had diagnosed the problem and found a solution, but c'est la vie.
You're right about Ventoy. A free and open alternative known as “Easy2Boot” (https://easy2boot.xyz/download/) is fully tested and compatible and offers a large superset of features compared with Ventoy.
 
@dije: I can certainly sympathize with your frustration. You are catching things while they are still very much in process.

To answer your question, you can simply go here: https://www.grc.com/prerelease.htm

If you supply your SpinRite's serial number or purchase transaction code, you'll receive a link to download the latest current release candidate which runs under either Windows or DOS. Simply run it under Windows to setup a bootable USB thumb drive in a single step. Then simply boot that. (y) Again... sorry for the transient confusion!
Unfortunately on Win11 I get a virus warning that does not look like the one shown on your prerelease page, followed by the immediate, unprompted disappearance of the .exe file from the WIndows desktop. It is then not to be found in the recycle bin. There appears to be no way to run it, AFAICT.
 
Unfortunately on Win11 I get a virus warning that does not look like the one shown on your prerelease page, followed by the immediate, unprompted disappearance of the .exe file from the WIndows desktop. It is then not to be found in the recycle bin. There appears to be no way to run it, AFAICT.
As you may know, this has been constant annoyance. Others have found that simply retrying the download works for them, since Windows Defender appears to have not made up its mind about their file. It definitely IS possible (and easy) for you to briefly disable Defender's "Real Time Protection" and I suspect that I may need to provide clear instructions about how to do that. :(
 
I recommend adding an exclusion for a folder instead. That has been working perfectly for me.
That's what I've done too, Colby. It's the ONLY WAY it's possible for any developer to work inside a Windows environment today, since Windows INSTANTLY quarantines ANY newly linked EXEcutable code. <sigh> The reason for my suggesting a brief disablement of Defender's real time protection is that downloading SpinRite will eventually be a one time event... so filling that switch to "off", doing the download, and flipping it back "on" seems like the simplest solution. But certainly for anyone who is continually working with evolving code, as you and I are, creating an unmonitored landing folder makes much more sense! (y)
 
I'm just concerned that users are going to forget to turn it back on.
Ah! Nice point. I was sort of thinking that the big Windows Defender dialog would be left on screen, since I believe that flipping that switch takes immediate action. So they would download the file and flip it back on.

But I should also note, Colby, that I've been rethinking the entire SpinRite customized download and registration process — which appears to be an ongoing nightmare and headache. I'll be posting about that over in the newsgroup shortly.
 
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I am laughing at the naming of "Easy2Boot". Funny.

Based on instructions I found at https://easy2boot.com/add-payload-files/wizard/ (despite the weird URL, that's the "Guide for E2B" page) I think I've gathered the following:

- I need to somehow package the SR61.exe binary into something called a .imgPTN file; no idea how.

- I have to put it somewhere in at least one and probably both of the partitions created by the E2B setup app; no idea where.

- There is a mention of "any E2B menu folder"; no idea where these are or how many there are.

- I then have to run MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd, which is present in the root dir of only one of the partitions, before I can try to boot.

It's now approaching a full working day I've spent on this and I still can't run SpinRite 6.1 on my industry-standard machine.
 
@dije : I didn't do any of that. I just had SpinRite make an ISO file which I placed into one of the Easy2Boot folders. Then when I booted it, I chose that folder, saw SpinRite and selected it. (y)
 
approaching a full working day
Well USB sticks aren't exactly expensive in small sizes you would need for SpinRite. Find or acquire a small 16G or 32G stick, or whatever is most cost effective. On a Windows machine, using any browser, download your licensed copy of the SpinRite.exe using your serial number from the preview URL. Inside that same Windows machine, run the SpinRite.EXE you just downloaded, and it will help you prep the USB stick to be a bootable copy of FreeDOS with SpinRite configured to run inside. From there you should be able to use SpinRite, and have logging enabled onto the USB stick. You can get what you need done quickly and stop worrying about making some complex thing that boots anything else but SpinRite.
 
Well USB sticks aren't exactly expensive in small sizes you would need for SpinRite. Find or acquire a small 16G or 32G stick, or whatever is most cost effective. On a Windows machine, using any browser, download your licensed copy of the SpinRite.exe using your serial number from the preview URL. Inside that same Windows machine, run the SpinRite.EXE you just downloaded, and it will help you prep the USB stick to be a bootable copy of FreeDOS with SpinRite configured to run inside. From there you should be able to use SpinRite, and have logging enabled onto the USB stick. You can get what you need done quickly and stop worrying about making some complex thing that boots anything else but SpinRite.
That's a great point, Paul. I'm afraid that his mention of Ventoy distracted me a bit and sent him down the rabbit hole of booting an ISO image which is, as you note, completely unnecessary. :(
 
Well USB sticks aren't exactly expensive in small sizes you would need for SpinRite. Find or acquire a small 16G or 32G stick
This made me chuckle. I still have several old school flash drives. My SR6.0 flash drive was 128MB, falling apart and held together by masking tape. My "new" SR6.1 flash drive is a Memorex 256MB stick. Both are kept in good working order by InitDisk and occasional SpinRite passes.
 
This made me chuckle. I still have several old school flash drives. My SR6.0 flash drive was 128MB, falling apart and held together by masking tape. My "new" SR6.1 flash drive is a Memorex 256MB stick. Both are kept in good working order by InitDisk and occasional SpinRite passes.

Haaa!... I was thinking the same thing...although I was thinking more like 2 or 4GB as small...although I too remember having 128MB flash drives in the distant past... ;-)

Regards,
Thomas
 
Still have a 32M SD card, that came with an early Nokia phone, because they bundled it with a SD card, so bought the cheapest they could get.

Plus also have a 8M Sony memory stick somewhere as well. The camera it goes in can get 2 images on it, in the highest resolution it supports. Possibly, if they encode down really well.
 
@dije : I didn't do any of that. I just had SpinRite make an ISO file which I placed into one of the Easy2Boot folders. Then when I booted it, I chose that folder, saw SpinRite and selected it. (y)
Hi Steve, you may have missed my post where I described how Win11 refuses to allow SR61 to run
 
Well USB sticks aren't exactly expensive in small sizes you would need for SpinRite. Find or acquire a small 16G or 32G stick, or whatever is most cost effective. On a Windows machine, using any browser, download your licensed copy of the SpinRite.exe using your serial number from the preview URL. Inside that same Windows machine, run the SpinRite.EXE you just downloaded, and it will help you prep the USB stick to be a bootable copy of FreeDOS with SpinRite configured to run inside. From there you should be able to use SpinRite, and have logging enabled onto the USB stick. You can get what you need done quickly and stop worrying about making some complex thing that boots anything else but SpinRite.
Hi PHolder, you also may have missed my earlier post where I describe how Win11 refuses to run SR61 and immediately, unconditionally and irretrievably deletes the binary.
 
Steve, I'll take that refund now. Please let me know what if anything I need to do beyond posting here.
 
Steve, I'll take that refund now. Please let me know what if anything I need to do beyond posting here
@dije:

First of all, you are of absolutely entitled to a refund of your purchase! We have your money and you do not have SpinRite. No question about it. Normally as part of the refunding process we ask SpinRite owners to delete their copy(ies) of SpinRite... but that's not necessary in this case, since Windows has taken care of that for you! :(

However, if you want SpinRite, and you're willing to not give up on getting it yet, your Windows 11 system represents a valuable test case and this community will not give up on you.

Please understand that this is not your fault, not our fault, and not SpinRite's fault. This is a serious problem with Windows, which is preventing 100% benign and safe software which you purchased and would like to use from running on your system. It may be SpinRite today... but what will it be tomorrow?

Also know that literally (truly) thousands of copies of the same code you're trying to obtain and run have successfully been downloaded and run without any trouble. Your problem worries me greatly, because I don't want any customer to have any such trouble. But for what it's worth, the harassment you are suffering at the hands of Windows 11 is at least blessedly rare.

The solution to this is simple, and there are THREE solutions:
(Note that Microsoft created three workarounds because they knew this could happen)
  1. You can temporarily turn off Windows' (overactive) "Real Time Monitoring" while you download and run SpinRite to create its bootable USB media. Once that's done you can (and should) turn it back on (and Windows will turn it back on for you automatically if you forget) At that time, Windows may then see SpinRite and freak out... but you will already have your bootable USB drive, so it won't matter.

  2. Or you can create a "safe haven" directory in Windows where SpinRite will be left alone. (That's probably the best option.)

  3. Or you can create an exception for SpinRite to allow your copy to run in your machine without any further hassle.
    However, to use this 3rd option you need to select the file. That won't work in your case since Windows won't even allow the file to exist long enough for you to allow it. So the first or the second option will be what you want.
Though Option #2 is probably best, Option #1 is the easiest to do, and if you do an Internet search for "turn off Windows 11 real time protection" you'll see that a great many other people have also been harassed by this feature of Windows. On balance, Windows Defender it's certainly a good thing. But it doesn't always do what its users wish.

For option #1:
  1. Search for "Windows Security"
  2. Under: Virus & Threat Protection
  3. Virus & Threat Protection Settings
  4. Turn Real-time protection —> OFF.
    (Again, note that Windows will automatically turn it back on in case you forget to do so.)
For option #2:

Under Virus & Threat Protection Settings:
  1. Scroll to the bottom to "Exclusions"
  2. Click "Add or remove exclusions"
  3. Click "Add an exclusion"
  4. Select "Folder" from the dropdown list.
  5. You're now being asked to select a folder, but you can create the folder here:
    Right click on "Downloads" or "Desktop" or wherever and select "New" —> "Folder"
  6. Right Click on the "New Folder" and choose Rename. Name it "SpinRite" and then select it.
  7. Under "Exclusions" you should now see something like: "C:\Users\SMG\Downloads\SpinRite"
Either way... Windows will now allow you to download and run SpinRite. If you chose the "safe haven" folder approach, just download another copy of your SpinRite into that folder and Windows will (finally) leave it alone. :)

UPDATE!! —> If you are using Edge, the other setting that might be interfering even BEFORE this is the "Cloud Delivered Protection." I'm exploring that now, but I didn't want you to be further frustrated!

If you want to give up and get your money back, just drop Sue a note to sales2024@grc.com with your purchase information and she will immediately reverse your charge and refund your purchase. But I would LOVE to know whether the steps above work for you, since I'm sure you will not be the only SpinRite purchaser who is harassed in this fashion!

PLEASE let us know?? THANKS!