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  • 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.)

SpinRite FAQ

#1

Steve

Steve

SpinRite FAQ ‑ Frequently Asked Questions
This page will be created shortly. Suggestions for its contents may be posted in the thread below and as they are considered they will be moved into this main body of the FAQ.


#2

P

PHolder

I would like a very clear description of how DynaStat interacts with levels that request a write/refresh. If the sector is unrecoverable via DynaStat, does it get written with recovered data if any, or zeroes if none was recoverable, or does it get left alone for future recovery attempts? I assume the answer is: the user chose a level that requires a rewrite so therefore bad sectors do get rewritten, no matter what, which probably forces the drive to relocate the sector if possible.

This does pose an issue for someone who doesn't know they have an unrecoverable sector and thought they were just doing maintenance and refreshing the drive in advance of any problems. In this case, SpinRite is running unattended and will "paper over" a problem the user didn't know they had.


#3

ShadowMeow

ShadowMeow

My drive is not showing up in the BIOS, can I still use SpinRite to get my data back?
My drive is showing zero capacity, can I still use SpinRite to get my data back?
My drive is making click click click sounds, can I still use SpinRite to get my data back?
My drive is making grinding/scraping sounds, can I still use SpinRite to get my data back?

Why do hard drives fail?

What are good sectors?
What are slow sectors?
What are bad sectors?

Can SpinRite detect drive firmware problems?


#4

A

akahan

It might be worth mentioning in the FAQ, if it is indeed the case, that Spinrite 6.1 will only address the first 137GB of any physical drive. (Is that indeed the case?) Thanks!


#5

peterblaise

peterblaise

". . . It might be worth mentioning in the FAQ, if it is indeed the case, that Spinrite 6.1 will only address the first 137GB of any physical drive. (Is that indeed the case?) Thanks! . . ."
Original post 2023: Development background: That's a limit for BIOS-presented USB-connected drives, where SpinRite 6.1 under development would test only the first 128GiB/137GB of a USB drive, that's not all drives, just USB, and @Paul_F developed a TSR-suite of programs that may test and present USB-connected drives via SCSI, and then SpinRite 6.1 would test the entire drive up to 2.2TB.

Update 2024-03: Steve Gibson has evolved SpinRite 6.1 during development to self-address the issue, and will do one of 3 things if the BIOS permits:
- self-limit USB drives to 128GiB/137GB if SpinRite cannot 'patch' the BIOS dynamically in RAM during SpinRite's run,
- work on the drive up to 2.2TB if the BIOS self-limits and if SpinRite can 'patch' the BIOS dynamically in RAM during SpinRite's run,
- work up to and beyond 2.2TB if the BIOS permits and if SpinRite can 'patch' the BIOS dynamically in RAM during SpinRite's run.

The key is 'if the BIOS permits'.

There's also a technical explanation as to the bit-depth of various BIOS USB controls that explains the problem, different across a variety of BIOS and years of production.

Yes, this possible limit on running SpinRite 6.1 to test USB drives most probably should be presented in the FAQ that is inside SpinRite 6.1 and here so that folks who cannot get SpinRite 6.1 to fully test a USB drive know the reasons, and are directed to a workaround:
- try a different computer,
- or if the USB drive contains an HDD or SSD, then try to 'shuck' the drive ( take it out of it's cabinet ), if possible, and attach the internal HDD or SSD directly inside the computer via the computer's own internal IDE/PATA/SATA connections.

Thanks.

.


#6

V

vmax5000

Not sure if you want this data for the pre-release 5. I have a drive that is still running dynastat on an empty sector, but the ECC corrected shows -50 see attached pics. Should I let this run to completion?

Thanks,
Randy


#7

V

vmax5000

Sorry, I guess the image size was too large. Now the time is at 49 hrs 17 mins and there is no change. The drive is a WD 2 TB 64mb cache, WD20EARS


IMG_0444 (Small).JPEG
IMG_0445 (Small).JPEG
IMG_0446 (Small).JPEG
IMG_0447 (Small).JPEG


#8

V

vmax5000

One more thing, I pressed ESC and tried Skip this sector only but nothing changed.

Thanks
Randy


#9

V

vmax5000

I missed a picture. Here it is..

Randy
IMG_0448 (Small).jpg


#10

P

PHolder

Um, your display indicates that SpinRite is 100% complete... so I am unsure what specifically you're questioning?


#11

M

Mervyn Haynes

Um, your display indicates that SpinRite is 100% complete... so I am unsure what specifically you're questioning?
Look at his screen shots again, it is stalling on the last sector.


#12

Steve

Steve

@vmax5000 : What you're seeing is definitely weird. What's not so weird is that it's with a WD20EARS drive. During our testing, we encountered a bunch of bad behavior from that particular model of WD drive. That's not meant to excuse SpinRite for getting into the state it's in, but neither am I surprised that this happened with that drive.

I'm curious, though, why the Real-Time Activities screen shows so much data recovery activity...

1701962396970.png

Yet the map shows completely clean?? Did all of this activity appear at the very end of the drive, on that last "square" of the map? Thanks!


#13

D

DarkwinX

Can I add to our list of FAQs? I may be dumb, but I really can't make any sense of the SMART values. Perhaps something that explains how someone interprets this information?

Edit: I didn't find this browsing GRCs SpinRite pages - google actually took me here. https://www.grc.com/sr/smart.htm


#14

Brian Marsh

Brian Marsh

Hello Steve,

Long time listener of SN, had and loved SR6 for years... First time in the forums.

Recommendation: top 5 external drive testing "docks".
Since USB is space limited. Is external ESATA the way to go? Any better recommendations?
Maybe a Steve's approved tester base hardware kit?


#15

Steve

Steve

Recommendation: top 5 external drive testing "docks".
Until we get to SR7, USB should be avoided wherever possible. SRv6.1 is still stuck using the BIOS for USB. That will be one of the many welcome changes coming in SR7. The use of the BIOS, while not limiting the drive's size on newer BIOSes, prevents SpinRite from accessing any of the drive's quite useful "metadata". So any form of direct connect (to SATA) would be much preferred.
Since USB is space limited. Is external ESATA the way to go? Any better recommendations?
Yes. If eSata is available that will definitely be a plus.
Maybe a Steve's approved tester base hardware kit?
There has been a lot of discussions of this since its release. It's known as the "ZimaBoard". The smallest one is likely all that's needed, for $119. I think that even Amazon offers it now. You would want the extra $4 "Y" adapter for SATA and you'll want to get a beefier 12V suppy if you want to power a pair of larger 3.5" spinning drives. MANY of SpinRite's testers have purchased these and it is my SpinRite development platform... so everything now and in the future will be guaranteed to run on it. It's a terrific little standalone solution! (y)


#16

Guy

Guy

Can we get a list of current options to run SR 61 under if we wanted to modify our AUTOEXEC.BAT file?

Thanks.


#17

ColbyBouma

ColbyBouma

Can we get a list of current options to run SR 61 under if we wanted to modify our AUTOEXEC.BAT file?

Thanks.
That is documented in Section D of the FAQ that's built-in to 6.1. Here are some screenshots from SpinRite 6.1 Release 2a:
BZC73827.PNG

BZC73840.PNG

BZC73849.PNG

BZC73855.PNG