"SpinRite.exe was blocked because it could harm your device" ---What??

  • 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.
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    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.

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Les in Florida

New member
Oct 11, 2021
Very confusing. I cannot even download SpinRite due to such message. I must be doing something wrong. I thought all I had to do was click on the links provided and immediately download SpinRite on Windows 10 Home version on my HP Spectre. I don't know if it is related, but I have been getting Windows Update error 0x80073701 also for about 3 months. I have not been able to resolve the error despite multiple attempts and following many suggestions from Microsoft & others online. I hoped downloading SpinRite would fix the 0x80073701 error, but, alas! I cannot download SpinRite. Any suggestions will be much appreciated. Immensely enjoy listening to Security Now. Thank you in advance.
You don't say which browser you're trying to use. I suspect it's the Microsoft one? In any case, the issue is that EVERY copy of SpinRite is unique to the user who purchased it. Accordingly, Microsoft has never seen it before, so assumes it has a low reputation. (Their reputation algorithm is basically "has some number of users successfully downloaded and ran this before? if yes, it's okay (y), if no, it might be a new problem (n) because it has a low reputation.)

You should have a means to be able to bypass the message, read your choices more carefully. If not, then use a different browser (try Firefox.) If it's not coming from the browser, then it's the OS itself and there is definitely a means to bypass it... but you may need to get a screen capture to provide here to give us a clue what you're facing.

As for your Windows Update issue, try this: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us...800f0988-e74b3505-f054-7f15-ec44-6ec0ab15f3e0
Yes, another reason is that Steve uses an executable packer, to get the data contained in the srtrings in the program smaller, to keep the size down. This packer is also a thing used to pack malware, so the tiny block of code it has, to decompress the packed file in memory, is a common thing on many malware samples, simply because the packer is both open source, small, and free.

Common to get a false positive on many small executable programs, and also on a lot of larger ones, simply because they use a block of code that had been used in some or the other malware at some point. So long as you are downloading from GRC.com, it will not be a problem.
Les: Adding to what Paul and Sean wrote above, I'm also not yet signing the SpinRite executable. The downloading technology hasn't been touched since SpinRite v5, well before 2004. So that's one of the things I'll be updating once SRv6.1 is ready. Even though every copy of SpinRite will still be unique, each one will carry a high-reputation GRC signature which should keep Microsoft mollified.
Thanks to Paul, Sean, & Steve for taking your time to help me with your comments. I was able to download SPv6 on a Lexar USB flash drive by using Firefox browser. After failing to get SR to load from the USB flash drive, I investigated the laptop's BIOS. I am using an HP Spectre x360 14 inch I bought about a year ago. It has an Intel i7-1165G7 processor and 1 TB SSD (drive). It looks like it uses UEFI HII configuration. It listed UEFI Boot Order as OS Boot Manager [first], then USB Flash Drive/USB Hard Disk [second]. I reversed the boot order, but it continued to have a [triangle-shaped ">" selector] preference for OS Boot Manager. I could never get SR to load from USB flash drive. HP splash page & OS always loaded. In reading the Roadmap for SpinRite development, I think I now understand that my system is too new to benefit from SRv6, and that I will need to wait until v7 for UEFI booting SR from the laptop's SSD. Keep up the good work. I appreciate everyone's time and effort in developing and testing SR.
You can't just put Spinrite on a USB and expect it to boot.
There are a couple steps that would be needed to be successful.

1. Check out the Spinrite Faq: https://www.grc.com/sr/faq.htm
There is a question on making bootable thumb drives.
How do I make a bootable USB thumb drive??

Past users have had mixed success with USB drive booting. Older flash drives seem to be resistant, and older BIOSes may not support booting from USB devices. But in both cases, virtually all newer drives and systems do and will.

If your system can boot a USB device, and your USB device is bootable, we can offer some tips, tricks, and pointers:

Hewlett Packard (HP) makes an easy-to-use utility called “HP USB Disk Format Tool”, which includes a "Create a DOS Startup Disk" option. It's freely available from: http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=197 along with the Windows 98/DOS boot files.

Run the HP tool, pointing it at the directory where you unzipped the DOS boot files, and it will automatically build a bootable DOS USB drive using those files. Next, copy your original SPINRITE.EXE file onto the root directory of your USB drive. Once done, reboot the system with your BIOS configured to boot from USB drives. At the DOS prompt, type spinrite to start SpinRite.

Note that this also has the advantage of using real Microsoft MS-DOS files rather than the “FreeDOS” files which accompany SpinRite. The real, original MS-DOS may operate more consistently on less compatible systems.

2. You need to enable Legacy Boot in your BIOS.
Your system may be too new to have that option, Per a post here, it may be any Dell made 2020 or later may not have the Legacy Boot mode.
You can check the BIOS options to be sure. If you see an option to enable Legacy Options or Legacy Boot mode you may need that enabled to boot to a DOS bootable thumbdrive. If your bios does not support this, then waiting for UEFI support in Spinrite (version 7 is the expected to be the one to have that, probably a few years out). Version 7 is expected to not be a free upgrade from 6.