Resolved Running Spinrite 6.1 on a UEFI Linux Ubuntu Laptop?

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m3110w

Member
Jan 6, 2024
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I've got an AMD Ryzen 7 UEFI laptop running Ubuntu 22.04 Linux. Any way to run Spinrite 6.1 on this laptop? Is there a web page that gives the details? I want to Spinrite check my laptop internal drives and USB connected external drives.

I checked the Spinrite 6.1 FAQ page but it's empty.
 
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Does your laptop support Legacy Booting. (Does it offer the option to enable a CSM?) If yes, then it should be able to run FreeDOS and thus SpinRite. If no, then it probably will not be able to run SpinRite until 7.x becomes available... (in some many months or years.)
 
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On my laptop the BIOS boot options are "Legacy", "UEFI" and "UEFI with CSM".

"UEFI with CSM" is the current default and is enabled. Does this option allow me to use Spinrite 6.1? If yes, is there a step by step guide how to do that?

Or do I need "Legacy" to use Spinrite 6.1?
 
If you have a spare USB stick, I would practice booting the machine with another GRC utility, ReadSpeed. It will help you format the USB stick, and will automatically run the utility when it successfully boots. https://www.grc.com/readspeed.htm This will let you get familiar with how to boot your machine into a Legacy OS, as ReadSpeed is built with the same technologies as SpinRite. Normally you would put the USB stick in the machine while it is powered off, and then look for a message on the screen during boot to press a key to see the boot menu. Frequently it might be something like a function key. Optionally, on some BIOSes you can go into the BIOS itself and find an option for "boot override".
 
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I checked the Spinrite 6.1 FAQ page but it's empty.
Right. Once we have final code I'll be turning to the documentation. Getting the code nailed down has naturally been the #1 priority. (y)

"UEFI with CSM" is the current default and is enabled. Does this option allow me to use Spinrite 6.1? If yes, is there a step by step guide how to do that?
Yay!! Yes. "CSM" stands for "Compatibility Support Module" ... And by "compatibility" they mean "compatibility with original BIOS systems."

@PHolder 's advice is good. The biggest challenge for you at this instant is that we do not yet have any SpinRite v6.1 in downloadable .ISO and .IMG formats. I plan to make that available "eventually" (but I have no idea what "eventually" means at the moment). Without it downloadable as any standard bootable image format you'll need some brief access to a Windows machine to create bootable media.

But, from what you have said, your machine WILL run SpinRite without trouble.
 
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If you have a spare USB stick, I would practice booting the machine with another GRC utility, ReadSpeed. It will help you format the USB stick, and will automatically run the utility when it successfully boots. https://www.grc.com/readspeed.htm This will let you get familiar with how to boot your machine into a Legacy OS, as ReadSpeed is built with the same technologies as SpinRite. Normally you would put the USB stick in the machine while it is powered off, and then look for a message on the screen during boot to press a key to see the boot menu. Frequently it might be something like a function key. Optionally, on some BIOSes you can go into the BIOS itself and find an option for "boot override".
Cool. I'll test Readspeed soonest; now looking for a spare USB stik.
 
Update, I wrote the Readspeed img file to a USB and had my BIOS set to "UEFI with CSM". Then I inserted the Readspeed USB, restarted and pressed the Del key to bring up the boot selection menu. The boot selection menu appeared but the Readspeed USB was not on the list. Then I went into the BIOS and switched to "Legacy" and that worked. The Readspeed USB was in the boot selection menu. Then I selected it and the Readspeed app appeared on my screen. So hopefully this means that Spinrite 6.1 will also work in Legacy mode. I'll keep watch for when 6.1 comes out.

Is it strange that it's not working in "UEFI with CSM" mode?
 
Yes it does. If you have a licence for 6.0 you can get the latest test release for 6.1, v5.06. Yes, even when I look at those numbers it does not make sense :)
Yep, I got a 6.0 license about 16 years ago. Really looking forward to the faster speeds in 6.1.
 
So hopefully this means that Spinrite 6.1 will also work in Legacy mode. I'll keep watch for when 6.1 comes out.
You can definitely set your hopes for that as high as you wish. You've just conclusively demonstrated that your machine is able to boot from USB, load and run DOS, and then run a DOS program. Since that's all that SpinRite 6.1 requires I cannot see any way for you not to have further success. (y)
 
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Is it strange that it's not working in "UEFI with CSM" mode?
No, not really. None of the BIOS and booting options seem to be in any way standardized... until UEFI. I think different motherboard manufacturers enable different options by default and call them by different names as well as hide them (err... I mean organized them) in different ways.

It's unclear precisely what your motherboard manufacturer meant, but I think what that means is, use normal modern booting (so a different boot sector type than the legacy partition with boot sector) but still load a compatibility BIOS into memory. This is probably for something like older Linux variants.
 
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The CSM not working might be a case of some other setting needs to be toggled, and it was toggled when you switched to Legacy.

Does your BIOS have a feature where it tells you what's being changed when you go to save? On the motherboards that I have messed around with the BIOS recently, this was a feature they have, and would be surprised to see one setting would trigger some other settings to change. Just for fun, if running CSM allows you to boot to Read Speed, there was another setting that needed to be changed that switch to Legacy caused it to change. If it doesn't, then I would go with what PHolder said with why it didn't work.
 
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Sometimes you need to disable Secure Boot as well as selecting CSM.
Good tip. I'll explore how to do this on my laptop. I don't remember seeing anything about Secure Boot in the BIOS, but I'll look more closely.
 
Secure Boot
Just be aware there is an interaction between Secure Boot and BitLocker disk encryption. You can do the research, but my understanding is that disabling Secure Boot can cause the BitLocker keys to be removed from the TPM, preventing their automatic use at boot time. The long and the short of it is that you should have a backup of your BitLocker encryption key(s) on removable media in case you need them.
 
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I only run Linux, so I guess Bitlocker is not relevant for me...? I don't use Windows and I don't dual boot. Haven't used Windows in about 4 years.

Windows came with my laptop and I wiped the drive when installing Ubuntu. Are Bitlocker keys still hidden somewhere in my system?
 
Are Bitlocker keys still hidden somewhere in my system?
Possibly, but probably not. Odds are if Linux uses the TPM it would have initialized it. But I'm out of my depth here, and I don't know how TPM sharing would work in a dual boot system, so maybe the TPM only gets initialized at a user request.
 
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Are Bitlocker keys still hidden somewhere in my system?
If they are still stored on your system’s TPM, they are no longer relevant if you nuked the Windows partitions.

The BitLocker keys are generated when an NTFS, and ReFS if it supports it, partition gets encrypted. Those keys can get, optionally and by default, stored in the TPM. Since you run Linux, those keys are useless if you don’t have an NTFS partition.

But if you use encryption on your Linux partitions, like LUKS, you might want to check if you have the keys for those stored in the TPM.
 
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If they are still stored on your system’s TPM, they are no longer relevant if you nuked the Windows partitions.

The BitLocker keys are generated when an NTFS, and ReFS if it supports it, partition gets encrypted. Those keys can get, optionally and by default, stored in the TPM. Since you run Linux, those keys are useless if you don’t have an NTFS partition.

But if you use encryption on your Linux partitions, like LUKS, you might want to check if you have the keys for those stored in the TPM.
Yup, all Windows partitions long gone. No NTFS and no LUKS. So I guess I can forget about those keys...?