Spinrite 6.0 taking forever

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Sep 17, 2020
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I have a friends old Samsung laptop which is running win 7 sooooo slow. Started Spinrite Wednesday morning & it is still running now. It is apparently on Dynastat recovery, & swaps between the 2 screens attached. The first 6 Partitions were no problem, & took a couple of hours, but this partition has been running for 5 days with only 2 unrecovered sectors showing. Also I have noted that the Dynastat screen shows all uncertain bits. When I have seen this in the past it looks like a moving square wave. Any thoughts?
 

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The time estimate to complete says 1 year 9 months to complete. So it will be a while, if it ever completes. That partition is not healthy at all.

Hopefully that partition isn't used by the owner or OS, as this would cause lots of hard drive errors in the Event Log and would cause extreme slowness. You could keep on it another month to see if it will get past those sectors.
 
I'd stop it there and take note of how far it made it. Then start at the 85%-90% part of the partition and let it finish, if it does.

Then start at, say, the 35% mark and let it run for a while. Keep track of what regions you've scanned and keep jumping around. Eventually you'll get a picture of how bad it is without waiting a year and 9 months to finish.

But yeah, the disk don't look good.
 
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Yup, likely that partition is the swap partition, and it is basically worn out. Clone the disk now to a SSD, while it still responds.
 
A 2TB Swap partition on Windows?
Well Windows doesn't use a whole partition. It creates a large file in one partition, usually marks it as System/Hidden so it doesn't accidentally get messed with, and then uses it as needed. I think it does something similar for Hibernation files.

Here's an example from my system:

Code:
C:\>dir /ash
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is 2B6801-5123

 Directory of C:\

2016-Dec-12  10:40 AM    <DIR>          $Recycle.Bin
2016-Jul-16  06:43 AM           384,322 bootmgr
2016-Jul-16  06:43 AM                 1 BOOTNXT
2016-Aug-03  02:02 PM    <JUNCTION>     Documents and Settings [C:\Users]
2020-Dec-03  06:41 AM             8,192 DumpStack.log
2022-Nov-16  10:47 PM             8,192 DumpStack.log.tmp
2022-Nov-27  09:43 PM     6,838,059,008 hiberfil.sys
2022-Nov-16  10:47 PM     2,550,136,832 pagefile.sys
2022-Mar-13  03:11 AM    <DIR>          Recovery
2022-Nov-16  10:47 PM        16,777,216 swapfile.sys
2022-Nov-27  11:21 PM    <DIR>          System Volume Information
               7 File(s)  9,405,373,763 bytes
 
I've only experienced a dynastat operation once and it definitely slows to a crawl. If I remember correctly, @Steve tries to read each questionable sector 2000 times or something. I would assume the time remaining estimate counter is useless during that operation. I don't think there's any way SR can predict what's about to happen. As @Tazz said, manually jumping to different parts of the disk may be useful. I think you can notate position up to 4 decimal places, both when terminating a scan or starting a scan. So, hypothetically (these numbers don't relate to your example), if you stop at 23.2347 % on a partition, you could continue at 23.2346 % later so there's just a bit of overlap if you want to start from the same point. Definitely consider moving the data off the drive where you can. Hopefully the file allocation tables weren't scrambled.

It's possible that the drive is functional and the data got scrambled by a power failure or lockup or something. So, you might be able to get the data off, do a full format (which erases all data) on the drive, then do a SR level 4 to thoroughly exercise each sector. If it passes that, use a disk monitor program to check for reallocated sectors. If there are lots of those, toss the drive. If the drive is making unusual noise, toss the drive. If it passes SR level 4 and there aren't lots of reallocated sectors and it's not making strange noises, you could continue to use it for non critical purposes where backups exist. If it's Windows 7 and it's original equipment, it's getting pretty old, especially if it's a spinner and not an SSD.

Finally, if you can get all the data to read, and if you leave it in there (may not be the best plan) and if it's a spinner, do a defrag on it. If you put in a spinner to replace it, do a defrag on that once data is copied to the new one. If you put in an SSD, they don't need defragging. Windows 7 sometimes has problems knowing you've put in an SSD. There are procedures to check that it knows that. Turn the defrag system off for any SSD's. Also, if you have any other drives in the system, put temp files and swap files on those other drives to reduce wear on the SSD. If you only have the one drive, you don't have a choice on that.

I just thought of this at the end but you may wish to try it first. Assuming the PC can run on the drive, you could turn off the page file / swap file and also turn off hibernation. Then reboot. This will delete those huge files. Then see if SR can scan through the drive without kicking into dynastat. If so, one or both of those files could have been the problem. SR may still jam up if the sector data is unreadable. But, as @Tazz alluded to, if nothing's there, it may not matter. A full format (not a quick format) will rewrite every sector with zeros I think. Of course, this also erases all data. You'll want to turn the page file / swap file back on and hibernation back on later once you've either recertified the old drive or installed the new drive.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 
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FWIW: SR 6's DynaStat is a command line configurable item.

--
DynaStat - Changes the number of statistical samples SpinRite acquires. By default, SpinRite acquires 2000 individual sector samples when it is attempting to recover data from a single absolutely unreadable sector. This corresponds to a “DynaStat” strength of 100. This command allows the DynaStat strength to be set from 0 through 1000 to cause SpinRite to try more or less hard to recover absolutely unreadable sectors.

Example: SpinRite DynaStat 10 -or- SpinRite DynaStat 500

--


DynaStat strength of 100 = 2000 sector samples. Thus I'd assume DynaStat of 50 = 1000 samples; DynaStat 25 = 500 samples. Reducing sampling will shorten the wait with the trade-off of desired data to be reconstructed.
 
Just to let you know, I did try starting it at different points, and I found that after just over 50% it ran fine! Interestingly, when I looked at the drive partitions in Spinrite, it showed this as different to when I looked at the partitions in windows. Even more interesting is that Spinrite 6.1 A4, which only sees the whole drive with no partitions ran without any problems. Computer is still very slow, so I think the next thing is a windows refresh.
 
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Just to let you know, I did try starting it at different points, and I found that after just over 50% it ran fine! Interestingly, when I looked at the drive partitions in Spinrite, it showed this as different to when I looked at the partitions in windows. Even more interesting is that Spinrite 6.1 A4, which only sees the whole drive with no partitions ran without any problems. Computer is still very slow, so I think the next thing is a windows refresh.
Look at current SMART data using for example CrystalDiskInfo. It's not entirely unthinkable this drive is dying and torturing it by doing surface scans and refreshing Windows won't do Diddly.
 
Hard Disk Sentinel also reads SMART info and gives a percentage between 100 and 0 for it's health rating. It also displays any SMART info assuming it is available. I am pretty sure all the above is functional in the free version. I think the read only surface scan also works on the free version. I played with the free version a while and liked it enough to get the registered version which adds extra test options.

Among the things I liked about it is that it will run while Windows is up doing other things. It worked on an external USB 8TB drive. For me I look at HDS as a good way to check out some drives that are too large for the current SR to work on. So far I found a couple drives that were bad, and another flagged due to excessive relocated sectors.

From the write up, HDS has nowhere near the data recovery abilities of SR and luckily I haven't needed to have any data recovered. I find it handy until the newer versions of SR are released.