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.
  • 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.)

Dear Steve,

First of all, thanks for the awesome software! I finally am a SpinRite owner, and it did me good already.

However, I think I should tell you about some issues I've experienced with SpinRite 6.1 rel. 3 yesterday. My machine is based on an ASUS P8Z77-V LE Plus motherboard that has 7 SATA ports on it, 6 of them provided by Intel Z77 controller (2 x SATA 3, 4 x SATA 2), and one SATA 3 by a Marvel controller. Yesterday, as I first booted into SpinRite, I had my OCZ Vertex4 256 GB solid-state drive plugged into the Marvel port, and my 2 TB Western Digital WD20EARX spinner plugged into one of the Intel SATA 3 ports, a configuration that served me well for almost 10 years.

As SpinRite started detecting drives, it hanged after detecting the spinner, and, after waiting for about 15 minutes, I had to resort to a three-finger-salute. I tried again, and this time I watched the same screen (photo attached) for about 30 minutes; after that, even my keyboard went unresponsive (to a point of NumLock LED not lighting up), so i had to power-cycle the machine.

At this point I found that my system would no longer boot from the SSD. I had to plug it into the spare Intel SATA 3 port to even have it detected, and I had to re-install the UEFI bootloader to make my system bootable again. In this configuration, with both drives on the Intel controller, SpinRite correctly detects both drives and is able to work with them.

I'm still not sure whether my Marvel controller went completely FUBAR, or I can still make it usable somehow. I'm also not sure if it was SpinRite that caused the controller to die, or it was just a coincidence. However, since I have no spare P8Z77-V LE Plus motherboard to reproduce the issue, I thought I should make you aware of it just in case.
 

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I keep getting a error 404 ( page not found ) when I click on the GRC's Pre-Release page. I tried various locations where this link is found which includes Steve's April post where he announced the release of the new version. What gives?
 
Running in any virtualization environment is unsupported and not particularly well tested. You’re the first person I’ve seen who’s even attempted running in VMWare. I wrote all the VirtualBox instructions and had good luck on all 4 of my machines under VirtualBox but if I hit a failure point I wouldn’t consider it a SpinRite problem unless it was seen in native mode.

Is your system able to boot FreeDOS natively?
I'm also running SR 6.1 on a VM (Hyper-V)... Getting past the memory test is not a problem, but I keep getting errors when it looking to identify the drive. I've used SR 6.0 on Hyper-V for years and didn't have any of these problems. BTW ... this Drive is connected via USB-C and is OFFLINE on Windows and added as a physical drive to the VM.

One of the errors is: "SpinRite is attempting to confirm this drive data transfer safety" it just sits on this red warning box for quite some time (~1hour) ... I've walked away for a while and sometimes if comes back, identifies both partitions on this 1TB drive but won't scan it. Is this normal behavior for SR 6.1?
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One of the errors is: "SpinRite is attempting to confirm this drive data transfer safety" it just sits on this red warning box for quite some time (~1hour) ... I've walked away for a while and sometimes if comes back, identifies both partitions on this 1TB drive but won't scan it. Is this normal behavior for SR 6.1?
No it isn’t. SR 6.0 always used the BIOS to communicate with the drives, but 6.1 has native drivers to talk to AHCI and IDE controllers. Maybe those drivers don’t like Hyper-V.

Try starting SpinRite 6.1 with the forcebios command line switch.
 
No it isn’t. SR 6.0 always used the BIOS to communicate with the drives, but 6.1 has native drivers to talk to AHCI and IDE controllers. Maybe those drivers don’t like Hyper-V.

Try starting SpinRite 6.1 with the forcebios command line switch.
Thanks for your quick response Scott. I did try it again with the forcebios switch and it's working fine now. It did warn me that I'll take a major performance hit as a result. At least it's working now and drives were identified in seconds. The problem is that it now shows that is estimating that it will take "94" hours to do a L3 scan on a 1TB drive. It would be nice if I could really see and take advantage of the performance enhancements in SR 6.1.

If I have time I will try this again on a spare physical computer to see how it behaves.

Thanks
-Fino
 
BTW ... this Drive is connected via USB-C and is OFFLINE on Windows and added as a physical drive to the VM.
That's where the problem is. If the drive is USB connected, SR6.1 can only see it as a BIOS device, and it will be limited to BIOS type speeds. The speed advantages of 6.1 are only for AHCI or SATA drives.
 
That's where the problem is. If the drive is USB connected, SR6.1 can only see it as a BIOS device, and it will be limited to BIOS type speeds. The speed advantages of 6.1 are only for AHCI or SATA drives.
But… in VirtualBox (and I assume VMWare), you can map any type of drive that the host can see to an AHCI or IDE adapter, and SpinRite can use its native drivers to addressntye drive.