SpinRite v6.1 Now at Release #3

  • 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.
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  • 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.)

Steve

(as in GRC)
Staff member
Feb 1, 2019
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Southern CA, USA
www.grc.com
SpinRite v6.1 has been moved to its third release. I don't yet have a "change tracking" page setup since that will be part of the forthcoming SRv6.1 online docs. But here's what's new/fixed/different:
  1. Removed the "drive not reporting writes" reporting and added a notice about possible RAM reliability being the cause of any apparent verification failure.
  2. Added startup RAM testing to verify transfer safety.
    • Added NORAMTEST command line option.
    • In auto mode, RAM the RAM test runs for 60 seconds then self-cancels unless problem found.
  3. Fixed trouble with VIA chipsets
    • Improved detection of missing drives on VIA controllers.
    • Bus Mastering now works 100%
  4. Changed interaction between “DYNASTAT 0” and “NoRewrite” so that NoRewrite takes precedence (as it clearly should.)
As always, until SpinRite is formally published (once I get docs online) you can grab it at: GRC's Pre-Release page.
 
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Thanks, Steve. I have some old devices that I'll start testing it with and provide you with feedback if I see anything out of the ordinary.
 
Feedback for 6.1r3:
-The new RAM testing is a great addition and a good precaution before any disk operations begin.
-I think that there's value in adding a "countdown to completion time" similar to other screens in SR. It would be nice to show the total RAM the app detected, how much was tested, and how much is left to test. It would be great if I could see that I have to wait XX minutes (hours?) before RAM testing is over and I could proceed to SR's main screen.

I have a bunch of known bad and known good HDs and memory cards, so I'll run them all through SRb3.

LLAP

-Ronny
 
This needs to be highlighted IMHO:
“After waiting a while, press Enter to proceed.”

If you miss it, you could spend hours waiting 😊. That’s the reason for my prior comment. I missed it and waited for 15 mins or so before moving forward.
 
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That's a great point. If the user doesn't read the screen they'll be waiting from something automatic to happen, which never will.

To your earlier points, SpinRite always measures exactly the same amount of RAM, but it's doing so over and over as shown by that counter. Each "count" is one entire measurement.
 
On boot sr61.img presents FreeCom v0.84, prompts for new date, new time, then goes to C: x> ..... nothing further ... ?
 
Hi @akjim. It SHOULD boot and run SpinRite. It should have an "autoexec.bat" file which will prevent the prompt for date and time, and it should also have a copy of your spinrite.exe... so I think we need some additional information?

How did you use the sr61.img file to create bootable media? It's meant to be copied to the front of a thumb drive??
 
G'Morning Steve, I downloaded today's 6.1v3 ... "sr61.zip" to my Mac. Copied that to a FAT32 formated USB stick, unzipped it on the USB stick, deleted the .zip file. Started the PC with that.
 
After having difficulty with that I downloaded the .exe file and created a bootable USB stick using the original USB stick. This bootable USB is working fine.
 
It's meant to be copied to the front of a thumb drive??
I recommend saying "written" or "applied" instead of "copied". If someone just copies the .img file to a flash drive, it won't work. It needs to be written with a program like dd.
 
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After having difficulty with that I downloaded the .exe file and created a bootable USB stick using the original USB stick. This bootable USB is working fine.
I'm glad you got it working! (y) My original intention was to withhold SpinRite 6.1's release until I have all of its documentation assembled. But after 3.5 years of work on it and so many people patiently waiting, I buckled and made it public. So now we're in a bit of a twilight zone where the code is there but its "how to get it running on your machine" documentation isn't yet written. So it's still a bit of a frontier environment for those with unusual requirements... like yours with a Mac. (I'm delighted to see another Mac running SpinRite!) Thanks!
 
Steve, Actually I bought a refurb Dell E6350 in order to get an eSATA port in order to mount my wife's video storage HDD that has a corrupt B-tree. I couldn't afford the downtime to run SpinRite on my Mac. Crossing my fingers that your baby works magic .... 8 hours to go....
 
Well Steve, level2 has completed, reports 100% recovery ... however drive won't mount, fsck reports invalid B-tree node size, exit code 8
 
Well Steve, level2 has completed, reports 100% recovery ... however drive won't mount, fsck reports invalid B-tree node size, exit code 8
The problem is likely true corruption of the file system. SpinRite's roadmap plans to add such capability. But today it's only recovering the underlying physical media, NOT repairing the higher level file system. So you'll need to use a separate tool once the underlying media is solid.
 
I downloaded (twice) Release #3 and used it to create an ISO image, I then used the Windows Disc Image Burner to burn several different media. Each time I try to boot the media, I am greeted with "bad or missing command interpreter".
 
I downloaded (twice) Release #3 and used it to create an ISO image, I then used the Windows Disc Image Burner to burn several different media. Each time I try to boot the media, I am greeted with "bad or missing command interpreter".
I'll see whether I can follow in your footsteps. But I'm curious why you chose ISO and burning a disc over setting up a bootable USB thumb drive? SpinRite v6.1 now defaults to trying to log, and the logs are much more informative than before. Would booting USB work for you?
 
I'll see whether I can follow in your footsteps. But I'm curious why you chose ISO and burning a disc over setting up a bootable USB thumb drive? SpinRite v6.1 now defaults to trying to log, and the logs are much more informative than before. Would booting USB work for you?
My test bench machine is a Latitude E6440 and for whatever reason it will not see the USB SATA dock that is plugged into if I boot off of a SpinRite USB stick, but will be detected if I boot off internal optical media.

Either way, I'm hoping that it may be an isolated incident with my environment and not a larger issue where people can't boot their SpinRite optical media.

Otherwise, I certainly agree, USB sticks all the way, and my tool kit is a very well worn (chrome right off the finish) Kingston SE8 DataTraveler that I've copied all my IT tools onto after SpinRite did its magic to it.