ST9500423AS: Test Drive from eBay

  • 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.)

SR successes can be attributed to the cases where a drive did not fail and where running SR had a positive effect.
The issue here is who/what defines what "data recovery" is. Some people will argue (maybe even me) that any data recovery should start with making a backup. While this is a most technically correct approach, which should lead to the most data recovered in most scenarios, it's also in prevention of one specific scenario (a drive that is 100% dead during recovery efforts.)

SpinRite's model has been to recover a drive in place. I would argue, that if the drive physically survives an application of SpinRite, and data is recovered by DynaStat, then it is perfectly valid to call that data recovery... even though no backup was staged. Perhaps it should be marketed for "in place data recovery".
 
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". . . To me, it seems that the only real way to assess the value of SpinRite is to see how close it comes to genuine, professional data recovery tools. These tools can, and do, make optimisations at the firmware level. That's something than SpinRite cannot do (because it requires a deep knowledge of undocumented vendor specific commands). No-one expects that a home user will pay $2000 or more for a pro tool, but it's nice to know what the extra money buys . . ."

What a great idea, please do share a link to whatever web page you set up with such a comparison, with full user dialog comments, especially comparing the cost of acquisition of all recover-in-place solutions, including Microsoft's own SCANDISK, CHKDSK, CHKNTFS, ( and perhaps Windows SYSTEM RESTORE ! ) and compare to recover-by-copying-out solutions, including Microsoft's own ROBOCOPY, plus a cost analysis of all the tools and resources needed, such as the price and availability of a diskette, a CD, a USB flash drive, or other tools, plus compare the cost of a target drive and connection devices and adapters for recover-by-copying-out solutions, plus comparing the immediacy and control of each solution, that is, can a user acquire the solution immediately, right now, anywhere in the world - or do they already have it in their operating system - or do they need to await and depend on a local or remote vendor being open and nearby, and is the proposed solution in their own control, or does the user have a delay in acquiring the requisite services, and are the services themselves outside their own control, that is, they hand over their drive or entire computer to someone else and wait, even shipping the drive or computer via a third-party, the user only sees UPS, FedEx, and compare if any solution is reusable, that is, do they own the solution and can they use it anywhere again over time, or is it a one-off service that does not have any benefit in the user's future data recovery challenges? What a terrific opportunity to build an encyclopedia comparison of data recovery history, theory, philosophy, experience, cost, time, availability, and control, perhaps even include the skill level required for programs and tools that expect the user to make technically informed decisions, and the cost and time of acquiring those skills, an encyclopedic overview, and a detailed review of all data recovery services available to those in need. Links, please, comment area, please. Please do share. I look forward to it. Definitely with comments, of course, because I have a lifetime of experience and ideas I'd love to explore with like-minded people, having been at this since forever. ( And then, additionally, we can discuss drive maintenance, system inventory, Benchmarking, and so much more. ) Thanks.
 
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I seem to remember, back in the days of SQRL development, a similar situation. A user joined the newsgroups and voiced some concerns about some aspect of SQRL's encryption, in a measured and respectful way. He was shot down in flames, branded a "troll" etc - even when it became clear that he really did know what he was talking about.

Steve's spent the best part of the last 20 years bemoaning about companies that display a lack of transparency, or worse still simply lie about what their products are doing or not doing. I'm not suggesting for one minute that's the case here, but there does seem to be some legitimate points that can't be ignored or fobbed off by the technical equivalent of hand waving and saying it's propriatory magic that no other product does. Imagine if Company X had done something similar in the security world - what would Steve and/or Leo say about it on SN?

Whether or not Spinrite does The Right Thing by recovering in place is debatable and subject to opinion. However, if Spinrite is misinterpreting SMART data, then that's a bug (and surely fairly easily fixed?). If DynaStat isn't doing what it's claiming to do - and, from the little I understand of the discussions on the recoveryforce forums, it doesn't look like it can or does - then that's either a bug or an oversight that should be addressed.

What isn't right is to just dismiss both of these as "you're trying to troll me, Steve knows more about it than you, thousands of people can't be wrong" - the OP isn't (IMHO), he definitely does, and those thousands of people want to believe :)
 
This is true. Back in the days I talked numerous people through 'recovering a drive' from a bad sector at LBA address 0 using DiskPatch. We'd force reallocation of sector 0 and then recreate the MBR including partition table from scratch. And one could argue that we by doing so recovered all data on such a drive. For form I always suggested cloning a drive first.

Today when I talk about a data recovery tool, it is a tool that follows best practices as accepted by 'the data recovery industry': do not write to patient - minimize access to patient maximally. But even today I help out people recover from for example partition table damage by in-place patching using DMDE in the r/datarecovery subreddit for example. You could argue it's an acceptable risk as the original sector can be backed up and such operations are mostly limited to patching a single sector.
While a simple edit of sector 0 is theoretically non destructive as it theoretically could be reprodced, that doesn't take into consideration some encryption scenarios.
 
". . . [ something so much easier to write than actually creating an encyclopedic web page comparing data recovery and drive maintenence schemes ] . . ."

. . . because?



We're here to explore GRC software, in context, presumably based on our experience of, and intentions for, the use of GRC software.

The opening poster compared SpinRite to another vendor's software, dropped that, then wondered what S.M.A.R.T. numbers meant, dropped that, then ran SpinRite Level 5, error-free and event-free, and moved on.



Duane Gish was anti-science [ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duane_Gish ].

The call for an encyclopedic resource comparing everything involved in each of the various schemes for data recovery and drive maintenance is a call to science.

For example, specifically, with woefully abbreviated details:

SpinRite, $90, is immediately available worldwide, plus diskette, CD, or USB flash drive, ~$2, requires acquisition if not pre-purchased, the user has total control, and the product is reusable, and performs data recovery in place.​
Microsoft, various prices, $5 to $50 or more, is immediately available worldwide, plus a suitable drive, ~$5 to $50, requires acquisition if not pre-purchased, the user has total control, and the product is reusable, CHKDSK and other commands perform data recovery in place, ROBOCOPY and other commands perform data recovery by copying out, the software is re-usable within the licensing limitations, though it can build any number of boot drives with data recovery tools, the user has total control.​
Cloning, the software is free or more and re-usable, is immediately available worldwide, plus maybe a diskette, CD, or USB flash drive, ~$2, plus a suitable target drive, ~$15 to $50 or more, requires acquisition if not pre-purchased, requires computer disassembly, varies, some source drives are not replaceable, requires technical savvy to inspect, performs data recovery by copying out, the user has total control.​
Data recovery service, ~$90 to $thousands, requires travel or shipping to the service provider, the user has no control, not reusable, the result is usually a replacement drive, though some offer web download of recovered data, the customer is responsible for a replacement drive or replacement computer and or a drive to store any downloaded recovered data.​

And so on, dozens, maybe hundreds of comparisons, with details.

All variables, all costs, all time frames, all options, all considerations.

And especially all the data owner's criteria.

So far, the data owner's criteria has been completely missing from the discussion, but assumed by @fzabkar to be, well, I have no idea, @fzabkar never identified any data owner's criteria - I know many data owners who each have different criteria ( I have many years of anecdotes ), so there's that.

There's no 'one' target for data recovery.

That's what comparison is all about:

- finding out what options are out there,​
- finding out a data owner's criteria,​
- and making an appropriate match.​

@fzabkar said someone ought to do a comparison:

". . . To me, it seems that the only real way to assess the value of SpinRite is to see how close it comes to genuine, professional data recovery tools. These tools can, and do, make optimisations at the firmware level. That's something than SpinRite cannot do (because it requires a deep knowledge of undocumented vendor specific commands). No-one expects that a home user will pay $2000 or more for a pro tool, but it's nice to know what the extra money buys . . ."

I asked if @fzabkar was volunteering, and I offered some details on what would go into such a comparison ( https://forums.grc.com/threads/st9500423as-test-drive-from-ebay.1359/post-10191 )

That's a call to science.

Not anti-science.



Also, @fzabkar assumed that "professional data recovery tools" are the thing to compare to, without any supporting evidence, just an assumption.

Scientifically, that would have to be substantially supported, with as much detail as any other postulation, measured as carefully as any other information in the comparison.

It's just a discussion.

Someone brings something up, and then we discuss it.

@fzakbar brought up comparisons, so we're discussing it, we're discussing comparisons.

Unless someone is anti-science and does not want to discuss comparisons.

Thanks.
 
". . . Scenario 1 - Spinrite User or technician runs Spinrite on the drive and at 98%, the drive clicks, spins down and no longer functions. How much data has been recovered? Scenario 2 - free, open source, ddrescue or hddsuperclone User or technician runs one of these two multipass hard drive clone programs and after getting 98% cloned, the drive clicks, spins down and no longer functions. How much data has been recovered? . . ."

#1, Show us an example, testimony, and evidence, and let us inspect such an occurrence - oh, it never happened in ~40 years of SpinRiute experience, Hmm . . .

#2. Modern and even ancient drives seldom if ever contained 98%, let alone 98% precious unique un-backed-up data.

#3. Instruction: "Backup first" <- there, that was simple, speculative ( non-existent ) 'problem' solved. SpinRite on. Next.

Actually, I'm guessing that business at recovery services is slow because people are backing up, mostly automatically to the cloud, and local computer boot drives are throwaways, just like the computers they are in, so recovery services sales are down, recovery service technicians are bored, and so, some recovery service folks are trolling to see if they can energize some kind of who knows what?

Not playing.

Thanks.
 
#1, Show us an example, testimony, and evidence, and let us inspect such an occurrence - oh, it never happened in ~40 years of SpinRiute experience, Hmm . . .

#2. Modern and even ancient drives seldom if ever contained 98%, let alone 98% precious unique un-backed-up data.

#3. Instruction: "Backup first" <- there, that was simple, speculative ( non-existent ) 'problem' solved. SpinRite on. Next.

Actually, I'm guessing that business at recovery services is slow because people are backing up, mostly automatically to the cloud, and local computer boot drives are throwaways, just like the computers they are in, so recovery services sales are down, recovery service technicians are bored, and so, some recovery service folks are trolling to see if they can energize some kind of who knows what?

Not playing.

Thanks.
1. That is just an absurd statement
2. I very frequently get drives that are over 90% full. But that misses the point. It doesn't matter if the drive is full or has one small word document on it, if Spinrite kills the drive before completion, the file is gone. Cloning 98% means that the odds of getting most or all of the data is high
3. To suggest one backup the data before running your "data recovery" program only helps prove the point that it isn't a data recovery program.

The industry is definitely shifting, but there is still plenty of work to be done.