Spinrite 6.0 + IBM ThinkPad 600E - Freeze/Crash - Despair

  • 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.
  • 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!

  • 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
Jul 14, 2021
Hi there, not sure where I should exactly post this thread, but here seems appropriate given no Spinrite sub

I have a ThinkPad 600E with an external floppy running Spinrite 6.0 to attempt to recover several old floppy disks

But I'm encountering a repeatable freeze in Spinrite on the "Select Drive and Partitions" page - Once the floppy is selected it will display "One Moment Please..." and freeze and hard lock

I've tried everything from downgrading/upgrading the ThinkPad BIOS - Booting off floppy with MS-DOS/FreeDOS - Even trying spinrite 5.0 which also crashes on the same page.

Does anyone have any clue what could possibly be the issue here as the floppy drive is seemingly fully functional and has no issued booting disks, or reading floppy's in windows?

At my wits end if anyone could offer some technical insight!
I have a ThinkPad 600E with an external floppy running Spinrite 6.0 to attempt to recover several old floppy disks
Try downloading SpinRite 5. It's known to work better with floppies. Your license entitles you to older versions.
I've read that SpinRite v6.0 owners can also get the previous SpinRite version 5.0. How do we do that?

All you need to do is change the filename in the software download URL from "spinrite.exe" to "sr5.exe". To do that . . .

Display a fresh copy of your SpinRite v6.0 receipt by entering your SpinRite v6.0 transaction code into our customer service page.

Instead of clicking on the page's software download link (which would download a copy of "spinrite.exe" and use up the link), RIGHT-CLICK on the link and select "Copy Shortcut" to copy the link to your Windows clipboard.

Next, RIGHT-CLICK in your browser's URL address line and select "Paste". This will paste the software download link into the address line without using it yet.

Finally, edit the end of the URL, changing it from "spinrite.exe" to "sr5.exe", then press "Enter" to use that edited URL and retrieve your own individually licensed copy of SpinRite v5.0.
Are there BIOS options for APIC interrupt handling? May try playing with them.
Was also wondering whether it was USB connected, drive bay connected or built into into the laptop. Never mind about the BIOS settings.
Upon some reflection, I wonder if the issue is something funky in the boot sector on the floppy. Assuming the boot sector is not damaged (and thus your need of SpinRite to scan it), you might try using something like HxD and backup the boot sector and blank it, to see if that provides any help. (Greg might try suggesting something like that... if you contact him.)
The trouble is definitely the use of an external diskette. There's no comparison with the use of any internal directly-connected drive.

@dstow : If you're looking to recover those diskettes, finding a machine with an internal 3.5" diskette drive is the way to go. (y)
Thanks for the contributions everyone, including Steve himself!

Just to clarify the external floppy disk drive is the official IBM floppy drive pass-through with their custom proprietary D-Shell Connector to the laptop which from what I understand is merely a passthrough with the floppy logic on the ThinkPad not the external drive.

As this acts as a passthrough, wouldn't it be right to assume this is identical for all intent and purposes as having an internal drive on the ThinkPad as I would assume it's seen the same to software (SpinRite) as the ThinkPad's floppy logic is internal?
Last edited:
UPDATE: After being enlightened about the modular nature of ThinkPad's I've swapped the CD-ROM out with the External Floppy which now acts as an internal diskette and lo and behold the exact same issue is present in SpinRite - Hard Crashes when the drive is selected - dumfounded
  • Like
Reactions: JimWilliamson