Spinrite - Something from the Archives

  • 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.
  • 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!

  • 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.)


Oct 17, 2021
London UK
Recently came across a bit of history - a glossy printed manual for Spinrite II (ie v2) dated 1989.
It has 40 pages of detailed information and guidance for how to use Spinrite - it is titled as "A Guide for Owners - Version 1.0"

I believe my father purchased this version when he was an electronics/computer tech at a local college where he maintained the early (& cheap) Amstrad PC's. These were notorious for hard drive issues - mainly because Amstrad "upgraded" MFM hard disks with RLL controllers to get a 50% increase in disk capacity - at the expense of reliability.

I continued the family connection with Spinrite and computers and purchased my own copy of v4 while working my first full time computer tech job - and have subsequently upgraded to v5 and then v6. I get to collect my state pension next year and trust both Steve and my self will both get to see Spinrite v7 before we are too old to care any more. Anyone else have a similar long history with Spinrite?
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Anyone else have a similar long history with Spinrite?
I have a history in the BBS business, as a member of a larger business. We (the group owning it all) hosted our first BBS on an *actual* IBM AT. It had a huge 8 inch Winchester HDD in it, I forget the size, but it wasn't much more than 120MB (yes MB not GB.) We were a member of FIDONET and got shareware and other content that would draw in more paying users for the BBS. (Ok, yes, I admit that the first porn I ever saw in my life was a very low res "animated" "GRASP" file. That file format was created by AutoCAD, but I don't think they ever expected it to be used on an MGA screen to display dithered monochrome porn.)

Anyway, one of the partners somehow ended up with a copy of SpinRite 1.0 on a floppy drive. In my memory it was legit with a label and everything, but it might well have been pirated and I was just never told. In any case I remember it being used only once, to optimize that HDD. But along with the memories of my issues of Boardwatch magazine, of TBBS and TDBS and of ridiculously large phone bills, I have never forgotten my first encounter with SpinRite. ;)
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