Spinrite > eSATA dock

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New member
Jul 13, 2023
Hello Forum denizens,

I use an old laptop with an eSATA port and can happily run Spinrite 6.0 to check out old HDDs in an eSATA dock, but 6.1 (SRPE-053) pre-release fails (same PC, same eSATA dock, same HDD).

SRPR-053 "sees" the drive, but it is highlighted in red. Actually there are two entries for the drive, one of type AHCI (port 5), the other of type BIOS (port 82). If I select the drive (i think i selected the BIOS port 82 entry), I get presented with an big red error message that says the "drive has taken itself offline".

If i power cycle the eSATA hub and laptop, then run Spinrite 6.0, it happily gets on and runs a Level 2 job. Same laptop, same eSATA port, same eSATA hub, same HDD. The only difference is that 6.0 works and SPPR-053 doesn't

I'll be sad if I will no longer be able to run Spinrite 6.1 or later on an eSATA drive :-(

Note: I installed the Gravity newsreader and can look at the spinrite.dev discussion group but when I try to post a question, it fails. Maybe I'm just thick :)
Do I need to be authenticated or approved somehow before posting to spinrite.dev? (I presume that's be the place to post my query rather than in the public forum?)

TIA, Paul
There is a rule where you need to choose a username and password that are IDENTICAL (from the page: https://www.grc.com/discussions.htm ) Pay attention to step 3:
2. Choose a personal, private, secret passphrase:
Our news server uses a secure authentication technology to prevent spammers from posting, prevent anyone from "spoofing" someone else's identity, and allow posters to cancel anything they have ever posted while preventing others from cancelling someone else's postings.

The system uses up to the first 29 characters of any user-chosen "passphrase", so yours should probably be at least that long.

3. Set the Username & Password to your secret passphrase:
Set both the "Username" and "Password" fields of your news reader to your secret passphrase. This can be anything you wish, but you MUST enter the same secret passphrase into BOTH the username and password fields.

4. Refresh or Reread all server newsgroups:
Once you have "connected" to the news server at 'news.grc.com', you should determine your newsreader's way of "refreshing" or "rereading" the names of the newsgroups available from the news.grc.com server. Also, if your newsreader provides the option to automatically notify you when new groups appear in the future, that's a handy feature to enable.

That seems like a current version but I've lost track of what version is the latest, so maybe for good measure, you should get the current version from https://www.grc.com/prerelease.htm

In any case, there are instructions on the newsgroup for opening tickets in Steve's GitLab, and that is where he would most like bug reports. Hopefully the instructions above get you posting in the newsgroups.
Paul (@laup):

From the description of your symptoms, it sounds as though SpinRite is having trouble talking to that drive. As you have said, it's able to "see" the drive that's attached to that eSATA dock. But it's unable to successfully interact with it. SpinRite uses its interaction with drives, looking at them from the hardware side and through the BIOS to "match up" the BIOS designations. Since it's apparently unable to access the drive's hardware, it's unable to perform that match up -- which is the reason you're seeing TWO appearances of the drive. Normally, SpinRite would "suppress" the BIOS entry in favor of the direct hardware entry.

One question is about the OTHER drives in that machine -- like the boot drive. Does SpinRite "see" that drive and successfully run on it? If so, that suggests that SpinRite is properly working with the laptop's AHCI controller in that laptop and that it's having trouble with the external eSATA dock.

Could you share the make and model of that dock? If I can find one I'd be glad to see whether I can recreate the trouble.