SpinRite's Development Roadmap

  • 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.)

Okay I figured it out. The secret passphrase needs to be compatible with an SMTP username; it cannot contain any special characters that a password generator may come up with. The attached PDF is a how-to, with screenshots.

I use Interlink Mail & News - a modern and actively developed incarnation of the Thunderbird-style technology base, built on a modern and actively developed incarnation of UXP, the best application platform from the Mozilla of old.

Interlink is much more capable of handling my demanding email usage than recent versions of TB, and doesn't crash nearly as often.

To clear up confusion above, *reading* from a news server uses an NNTP port on an incoming connection, while *posting* to a news server uses an SMTP port on an outgoing connection. This does *not* mean the server accepts email. Both connections can be an SSL port or a non-SSL port.
 

Attachments

  • GRC News for Interlink Thunderbird.PDF
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Okay I figured it out. The secret passphrase needs to be compatible with an SMTP username; it cannot contain any special characters that a password generator may come up with. The attached PDF is a how-to, with screenshots.

I use Interlink Mail & News - a modern and actively developed incarnation of the Thunderbird-style technology base, built on a modern and actively developed incarnation of UXP, the best application platform from the Mozilla of old.

Interlink is much more capable of handling my demanding email usage than recent versions of TB, and doesn't crash nearly as often.

To clear up confusion above, *reading* from a news server uses an NNTP port on an incoming connection, while *posting* to a news server uses an SMTP port on an outgoing connection. This does *not* mean the server accepts email. Both connections can be an SSL port or a non-SSL port.
Thank you very much. That PDF file is exactly what I needed.
 
Thank you very much. That PDF file is exactly what I needed.
Might have to take another pass at this. Cancel worked a few times, and then I continued changing things supposedly to agree with the how-to, and eventually Cancel became greyed out. Duh. Will try again tomorrow.
 
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Cancel worked a few times
Thanks for the PDF! Very useful.

I was experimenting with TB late last night re posting and cancelling. There was a lot of seemingly random non-repeatability re cancelling posts., and with getting/not getting a Poster header line. :(
 
There was some discussion and testing in the Newsgroups some months ago about this issue.

Basically, when Steve did the latest upgrade to the News Server, he also had to apply his customisations for CECIL-ID (required to allow cancellation) and support of alternative ports.

IIRC, the concensus was that, for some unknown reason, if you posted using the secure port, in some cases, the post did not get a Poster-ID, and thus cancellations could not match it. There were no problems when using the standard NNTP port (119) and since postings are inherently public, there seemed little urgency in diagnosing and fixing the problem on the secure port.
 
Any news on Spinrite progress? No update on roadmap post since March!
Steve has been concentrating on SpinRite 6.1 for the last 6+ months, doing a complete re-code. He has very recently been running the new code on his hardware, flushing out and fixing coding errors, edge cases, etc. Good progress is being made.

He may be close to having something for public testing. It looks like a test of the enhanced controller and drive detection and enumeration system, and drive benchmarking, important for SpinRite operation.
 
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More like 21+ months! Did he not start after the completion of SQRL in January 2020
Depends on your perspective, I'd say.

2020 was the year of AHCI technology development. After a few months of preparation, Steve began working on AHCI drive technology at the end of April 2020. Along the way InitDisk 1.0 was developed and released in late June 2020.

In Sep 2020 the now complete AHCI drive tech was merged with the complete IDE tech from 2013 to produce a "hybrid' tool that would handle AHCI and IDE controllers with equal ease. Activity in the fall of 2020 resulted in the release of four (4) enhanced and improved versions of InitDisk, bringing it to the still current 5.0 release, and culminating in the release of ReadSpeed 1.0 on Dec. 24, 2020.

2021 began with Steve pondering things, making some design decisions, etc., and then beginning to code SpinRite 6.1. Along the way he made an important decision to do a total major re-code of SpinRite 6.1 to facilitate the eventual transition to the RTOS-32 environment for SpinRite 7.x development. That effort is essentially complete. The result will also be a much improved SpinRite 6.1 for us.

Steve now has SpinRite 6.1 running on his hardware for debugging. Indications are he may soon have something for public testing (per my post just above), and eventually beta testing for registered SpinRite owners only. Nope, no timeline exists for this. :) It will be when it will be. :)

In summary, if you include the 4 months of 2013 activity, 12 months of 2020, and 9 months (so far) of 2021, that is 25 months and counting. If the the SpinRite coding of 2021 is considered as a separate entity (with what came before as preliminary stuff), that is 7 months or so. I do not see either view as being any more or less right or wrong than the other.
 
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I've used SpinRite since it first released, but I've not kept up with the latest releases.
How do I get in touch with you for the current one?
The current release is 6.0. https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

Steve is working on 6.1, but it's currently in Alpha. https://grc.com/groups/spinrite.dev:39009

If you want to test the Alpha, please use an Initdisk formatted flashdrive. https://www.grc.com/initdisk.htm

Code:
C:\>initdisk.exe freedos

If you want to keep up with 6.1's development, I recommend joining the spinrite.dev newsgroup: https://www.grc.com/discussions.htm
 
I've been trying to post here via my iPad and News Tap Lite, but for some reason it won't let me post. I've been using SpinRite for a long time, and can't wait for 6.1 (and 7!). Would be glad to do anything testing on 6.1.
 
Would be glad to do anything testing on 6.1.
Personally, I wish there were a 'Sticky' post here to help wannabe Spinrite 6.1 testers find their way, as there are a number of non-obvious steps that have to be taken. There's a very clear post in the Gitlab forum at this URL:

https://dev.grc.com/Steve/spinrite-v6.1/-/wikis/How-can-you-test-SpinRite?

Now, if you've already clicked on it, you've probably seen that they want you to sign up for a Gitlab account. The whole process isn't as easy as it would seem, because I believe that Steve has a set something in place to prevent bots from getting in, or somesuch. It took me a while to find it, but I stumbled around in posts here and on grc.spinrite.dev newsgroup until I found the information to put all the pieces together. If I could remember, I'd point to the relevant posts, but unfortunately, I don't recall them. Once I got my Gitlab login, I saved the URL to a couple of relevant posts and have been able to follow things ever since. Maybe someone else can fill in the blanks for you.

It's frustrating and almost seems like they intentionally make it hard to get started and participate. But it does work and there are a lot of very bright, committed users working on testing things out.
 
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It's frustrating and almost seems like they intentionally make it hard to get started and participate. But it does work and there are a lot of very bright, committed users working on testing things out.
It is that way for two reasons. One is for bot control as you noted. The other is to minimize the number of members for now. There are already plenty of testers there.

When SpinRite does go into Beta testing Steve will announce that here in these forums with appropriate explicit information for signing up. Then all registered SpinRite owners will be welcome to join in. Until then it is best to be patient. The wait should not be that much longer.
 
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