Running Spinrite 6.0 or 6.1 Release candidate on a laptop connected to USB Docking Station with Drobo HDD

  • 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.)

P.S. I hope you don't mind me posting here Steve and trying to get help from your very knowledgeable customers / fans
Not at all, Mark. Your experience with your Drobo 5N mimics my own. The way its hardware died was very similar. Our first suspicion is to mistrust what's supposed to be the least reliable component of the system — which are, of course, the hard disc drives... but after many hours of puzzling behavior that made no sense to me, I decided that something had gone wonky with the underlying Drobo itself. Fortunately, I was able to migrate everything away from it before it finally quit for good.

My move to the two Synology boxes has been the best thing I've done. I should note, however (for anyone who is interested) that I am no longer using Synology's own volume cloning system. I noticed that if I made a particularly large change to one of them (but not that large) it was apparently resynchronizing the entire pair, with many many many (many) unnecessary gigabytes of data exchange. So I switched to running SyncThing natively on both boxes and they are running SO well. :)
 
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Rather than the USB dock, you might want to consider getting a ZimaBoard with a juiced up power supply to handle powering up a spinning drive. For under $150 it will be guaranteed to run SpinRite today, and in the future. (This is the board @Steve develops on.) If you're interested, search elsewhere here on these forums for Steve's recommendation on a juicier power supply.

This is interesting and might be the answer for my use case. My primaries are Macs with ARM chips, and I have a Windows Machine, but it's a mini PC with no SATA connections. I want to use SpinRite on my Synology drives, but I didn't think I had any options.

Are there any tutorials on how it works?
 
Are there any tutorials on how it works?
It's quite straightforward. And the ZimaBoard has become very popular. If you check YouTube you'll find many videos. But for SpinRite's purposes you just attach the power, attach a USB keyboard and display, and plug-in a bootable SpinRite USB thumb drive. During boot you hit the DELETE key a bunch and you can override the default boot from the boot page... and SpinRite will run BEAUTIFULLY on any SATA drive you had attached. (y)
 
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If you want to be able to connect 2 3.5" HDDs to a ZimaBoard, make sure to buy a larger power supply. I think the recommended size is 12V 5A.
 
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Reactions: SeanBZA
It's quite straightforward. And the ZimaBoard has become very popular. If you check YouTube you'll find many videos. But for SpinRite's purposes you just attach the power, attach a USB keyboard and display, and plug-in a bootable SpinRite USB thumb drive. During boot you hit the DELETE key a bunch and you can override the default boot from the boot page... and SpinRite will run BEAUTIFULLY on any SATA drive you had attached. (y)
@Steve With a board like the Zima board, is it entirely out of feasibility for SpinRite 7 to be able to run on two drives in certain modes? Would help on really large drives