SpinRite 6.1

  • 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.)

2. @PHolder - Is my point 1 above completely incorrect? - Could SR "repairing" a HDD cause the data structure to break and harm the data?
Because, as I said, RAID is not a standard, then there is no standard way for me to answer your question. All I can say is that it *could* be possible that a repairing of the data *may* affect your RAID's stability. If it did, it would require a RAID configuration that had disabled the drive's own data error repair/remapping facility in favour of its own.
 
I can't wait till 6.1
I'm running a spinrite scan on my 2TB drive now. I'm 114 hours in and have 193 hours to go. I have to do the scans when I go on holidays usually and if I'm away long enough, the scan is done.
 
Hello to you.
I want to ask @Steve if there are any changes coming up in SR6.1 when it comes to the "Real-Time Activities" screen. I'll explain.

I am having a situation in which the drive has issues with some sectors. I look at the Real-Time Activities screen with "Raw Data Snapshot". This data is not being changed once we hit the bad sectors - it is stuck at showing of what I suppose is the last raw data that got read. But on the bottom of the screen, I can observe "Operating Location" - "SECTR" is being changed. So SR is somehow progressing, but not updating the RAW DATA display.

My observation is that the view of the raw data is desynchronized with sector number. What I see "raw" is not from that sector shown down below. That sector is unreadable (I can see DynaStat getting nothing out of that sector on a different screen). I would expect to see something like "no data" of "fatal error" in the raw view. This is not a big deal, or a big problem. Just noticed it today is SR6.

Is this something to be changed in SR6.1? Previously there has been talk of no UI changes being planned. This likely falls under UI.
 
I want to ask @Steve if there are any changes coming up in SR6.1 when it comes to the "Real-Time Activities" screen.
I reposted your question into the GRC SpinRite Development NewsGroup. We'll see if @Steve replies there, or here. If there, I'll try to make sure to copy his response here for you.
 
Hello to you.
I want to ask @Steve if there are any changes coming up in SR6.1 when it comes to the "Real-Time Activities" screen. I'll explain.

I am having a situation in which the drive has issues with some sectors. I look at the Real-Time Activities screen with "Raw Data Snapshot". This data is not being changed once we hit the bad sectors - it is stuck at showing of what I suppose is the last raw data that got read. But on the bottom of the screen, I can observe "Operating Location" - "SECTR" is being changed. So SR is somehow progressing, but not updating the RAW DATA display.

My observation is that the view of the raw data is desynchronized with sector number. What I see "raw" is not from that sector shown down below. That sector is unreadable (I can see DynaStat getting nothing out of that sector on a different screen). I would expect to see something like "no data" of "fatal error" in the raw view. This is not a big deal, or a big problem. Just noticed it today is SR6.

Is this something to be changed in SR6.1? Previously there has been talk of no UI changes being planned. This likely falls under UI.
Hi Andy.
You have raised a good point. When SpinRite is unable too read anything from a drive, it doesn't say so, nor does it replace the last thing it did read. We haven't yet reached the work on the screens such as the Real Time Activities... But I'll keep your observation in mind and fix it in v6.1! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ctrl-G
Hi Steve, FYI I am a MCSE (2000) I and my company bought Spinrite 6.0 back in the day, over time Spinrite saved our bacon more than a dozen times. Fortunately only on workstations, it was never needed on our servers. Today I am 72 years old, friends and family are dropping like flies around me. How much longer can I expect to wait for SR 6.1? Oh wait, never mind. I don't do computer stuff anymore.
 
Dale, it's a novel idea that you suggest developing SpinRite for people - but I think that would be more than a dot-release :D :D
 
Coupla things:

1) I appreciate this thread for the useful information about accessing Steve's POC utilities in the newsgroup.

2) As is the case of DaleFR, I'm now at an age where I wonder if I have enough remaining time to see this project through to its fruition. I bought Spinrite many years ago and have had some success with it, and several miserable failures due to the infamous Divide-by-Zero redscreen crashes.

Since I mentioned that and it's relevant to a couple of recent posts, I'll mention that I ran Spinrite (from a USB stick with MS-DOS, not FreeDOS) just this past week on a failing 10-year-old 1.5TB Seagate drive, and it completed successfully in only a few hours. I was amazed that it didn't crash and - even more - that it didn't take very long!

So I'm in the same camp with a lot of you -- hoping to see a usable BETA version of 6.1 before I slip this mortal coil. I guess there's not much hope for 7. Maybe I can pass along my license as part of the estate...

And you can consider me a 2-time loser: As a Detroit-area resident for most of my life, I used to scoff at the idea that I'd assume room-temperature before the Detroit Lions made it to a Super Bowl...:rolleyes:

I'm not laughing anymore... :confused:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Roger Rabbit
Dale, it's a novel idea that you suggest developing SpinRite for people - but I think that would be more than a dot-release :D :D
Lob, I believe that 6.1 would be a DOT release. So now you have made me confused, was that your intent?
 
Hi Steve, FYI I am a MCSE (2000) I and my company bought Spinrite 6.0 back in the day, over time Spinrite saved our bacon more than a dozen times. Fortunately only on workstations, it was never needed on our servers. Today I am 72 years old, friends and family are dropping like flies around me. How much longer can I expect to wait for SR 6.1? Oh wait, never mind. I don't do computer stuff anymore.
I cut my teeth on mainframes, as I worked for a major computer company (not that one), and migrated to networks in the early 90, Novell CNE, Cisco CCNA, Nortel Router Specialists, etc. I think my first exposure to Spinrite was version 5, on a 5.25" floppy, and it worked. Retired early and taught networking part-time at a local college.
I'm still the go-to person in the family and friends, especially for hardware issues or won't boot issues, plus network issues. Purchased a personal copy of SR in the early 2Ks, and have been called a hero for recovering data other family assumed was gone.
With newer hardware, larger drives, etc. SR is as useful as a hand crank to start a Model-T. Will I live long enough to see 6.1... I should live so long.
 
Subject:
What's Next...
Date:
Wed, 11 May 2022 09:41:06 -0700
From:
Steve Gibson <news007_@_grc.com>
Gang,

I'm incorporating everything I learned over the weekend working
with millQ and Paul and catching up on miscellaneous things like
various features (benchmarking all drive at once) and those that
didn't have my attention while unresolved problems loomed.

The next phase will remove that "Here Be Dragons" block after
one or more drives are selected, moving us past the "getting
everything setup and ready to go" stage where we've been so far.

At that point, we'll switch to the licensee download model where
alpha and beta testers will use their SpinRite serial number or
transaction ID to authorize pulling licensed and on-the-fly
customized pre-releases from GRC's server. Since we're still in
the DOS stage, I won't need to deal with packaging and digitally
signing the Windows app on the fly.

The way I propose to have this work is that when a request is
made for a SpinRite test release, the server will check to see
whether the requesting browser already contains a persistent
cookie which contains the user's transaction ID and thus the
browser's download authorization. If not, the browser will be
redirected to a page where the tester's SpinRite serial number
or transaction ID can be entered. That will add a persistent
authorization cookie to the browser which will permit subsequent
downloads.

Anyway... one step at a time. I'll first get everything updated
and added on the front side of the "Here Be Dragons" dialog. :)

--
________________________________________________________________
/Steve. https://dev.grc.com/Steve/spinrite-v6.1/-/wikis/home

This means now is the time to buy SpinRite 6.0 so you have a transaction ID to test 6.1 with.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mjh8154
If you have a model T that crank is still pretty useful :)

I have a growing number of disks, spinning and SSD, which SR will not run on. I am a little uneasy putting new disks into use without getting SR's stamp of approval first. I have a box of old disks which are suspect waiting on SR's results before using them again or destroying them. Like many out there I can't wait until future releases, but I understand that it is better to wait and have a solid reliable utility than a rushed one with bugs.
 
Hook the disk to test to an existing computer. As an alternative to SR, you can create a file of gibberish of say 512 MB or even bigger. You can also create different sizes like 64M, 128M, 256M, 512M, 1024M, etc. Then copy it / them to the disk numerous times until the disk is full. Make sure you copy to the spare disk, not your main system drive. Then, if running Windows (mine is Windows 7), start Windows Explorer, right click on the spare disk, click properties, click tools, and start chkdisk. Turn off the check box that says automatically fix file system errors. Turn on the check box that says look for bad sectors. Run the test and see if it comes up with any errors. This is not as comprehensive as SR but it will force the drive to try to write and read each sector and let its internal diagnostics do their thing. You can do similar things under Linux. In fact, it's easier to create the gibberish files in Linux, save them to a memory stick, and transport them to windows. If the disk is brand new, you might have to use Disk Manager to partition it first and establish the file system before you can write to it.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 
... you can create a file of gibberish of say 512 MB or even bigger. You can also create different sizes like 64M, 128M, 256M, 512M, 1024M, etc. Then copy it / them to the disk numerous times until the disk is full...
Here's a utility that can fill a disk by writing files with pseudo-random data and read them back for verification.
https://panthema.net/2013/disk-filltest/
 
  • Like
Reactions: rfrazier
I know of doing the disk check via file writes but never actually tried it. Usually the 'failed' drive was in use and lacking SR I just bought a replacement. I do have a previous WIndows10 laptop which I mostly use to run things like very large file syncs between disks. I can let it run for days if needed since it's not my main machine. I'll try picking a disk out of my 'to be tested' box and give it a try.

Just a thought, I don't know if it would accomplish a disk check of sorts. but assuming the OS can see the questionable drive what about running a full disk encryption on it with Veracrypt? I've never had Veracrypt fail due to a failed operation, but I assume it would let you know it failed. I've had those disks sitting in a box, some for quite a while. Maybe it's time to spin them up (or recharge their cells) and see what happens. If Veracrypt is a viable test, a possible advantage would be if you keep the encrypt key you haven't destroyed any data. As usual, thanks for the useful ideas and suggestions.
 
I've been using a utility called HDD Regenerator while I wait for SR 6.1.
http: //www.dposoft. net/hdd.html
[Moderator note: the link was deliberately broken because of issues at the site. It appears to be a site on a .ru domain and the current state of the world means it's no longer secure to go there.]

I primarily use SpinRite, but I have too many drives over 2Tb or for whatever reason just aren't recognized correctly. HDD Regen seems to be working fine for me, although SR is way cooler and I trust it 100%. But at least I can scan for bad blocks and have it try to run recovery on delayed blocks or found bad ones. Seems similar to SR at a basic level , just not as cool.

I just wanted to share this here because I thought to myself today, "I bet Steve has 6.1 ready by now, I think I first heard him talking about it like 7 years ago and haven't checked in at least 2 years." I just searched and ended up here finding all of us waiting. :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I just wanted to share this here because I thought to myself today, "I bet Steve has 6.1 ready by now, I think I first heard him talking about it like 7 years ago and haven't checked in at least 2 years." I just searched and ended up here finding all of us waiting. :)
A little thing called SQRL intervened for six and a half years. :)

 
Will 6.1 run on FreeDos or will we be using a new OS for running 6.1? I would like to see if I could set up an OS for running SR 6.1 that allows for SSH to run spinrite so I can monitor the run progress remotely.
 
Will 6.1 run on FreeDos or will we be using a new OS for running 6.1? I would like to see if I could set up an OS for running SR 6.1 that allows for SSH to run spinrite so I can monitor the run progress remotely.
When SpinRite 6.1 is eventually released it will run on DOS, either FreeDOS or MSDOS. No OS required.