this drive has taken itself offline and cannot be used

  • 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.)

Oct 12, 2020
5
2
Hi,

I have an ADATA SU630 ssd that came out of my dads windows computer that suddenly started refusing to boot. I'm trying to run the latest pre-release 6.1 on it via a zimaboard, in order to see if there are any bad sectors reported. I suspect there is a flash cell on the drive that's reading the wrong data and causing the windows boot to fail.

In spinrite it reports "this drive has taken itself offline and cannot be used", But the filesystems on the drive can be read and mounted without issue under linux.
.
 
Hi Robert.

It's possible for there to be trouble on the drive that doesn't prevent the file system from being mounted.

During this testing we've encountered several other instances of this happening and it's among the very few things that are still needing to be addressed. What appears to be happening is that after encountering an error on a drive, SpinRite attempts to reset the drive after that error but then isn't happy with the drive's state and incorrectly declares it as being "offline". I'll get this sorted out for the next release candidate as soon as I get the digital signing stuff online and am back to SpinRite itself.

One thing you MIGHT try (I'd love to know whether this works for you) is that since I believe the trouble is in SpinRite's AHCI driver, its ATA driver might not have the same trouble. Unfortunately, the one feature missing from the ZimaBoard is the ability to configure its AHCI chipset as ATA (often called IDE or Legacy). But if you were to run SpinRite in another machine that supports SATA controllers in Legacy mode, SpinRite's ATA driver might NOT exhibit this trouble. It's not a solution (I still need to fix this) but it might be a workaround for now.
 
Hi Robert.

It's possible for there to be trouble on the drive that doesn't prevent the file system from being mounted.

During this testing we've encountered several other instances of this happening and it's among the very few things that are still needing to be addressed. What appears to be happening is that after encountering an error on a drive, SpinRite attempts to reset the drive after that error but then isn't happy with the drive's state and incorrectly declares it as being "offline". I'll get this sorted out for the next release candidate as soon as I get the digital signing stuff online and am back to SpinRite itself.

One thing you MIGHT try (I'd love to know whether this works for you) is that since I believe the trouble is in SpinRite's AHCI driver, its ATA driver might not have the same trouble. Unfortunately, the one feature missing from the ZimaBoard is the ability to configure its AHCI chipset as ATA (often called IDE or Legacy). But if you were to run SpinRite in another machine that supports SATA controllers in Legacy mode, SpinRite's ATA driver might NOT exhibit this trouble. It's not a solution (I still need to fix this) but it might be a workaround for now.

Hi Steve, thanks for your thoughts. Unfortunately I just checked my main computer's bios and I don't think it supports that configuration. The only options are 'AHCI mode' and 'RAID Mode', the latter I presume is AMD's software raid (its a recent RYZEN gen 2 system).

My other computer besides the zimaboard is running a file and version control server that my business depends on, and thus I don't want to mess with. The zimaboard is my 'test stuff computer'.

I can see if my dads computer can boot in that mode, but don't know right now as its a prebuilt and also pretty recent.

EDIT: my dads computer is also too recent to have that option unfortunately.

EDIT 2: I've been copying the data off the drive and there's definitely something wrong with it as various files fail with 'device missing' errors in windows, but the majority of the data is readable. I'll keep the drive around until you make an RC6.
 
Last edited:
I've been copying the data off the drive and there's definitely something wrong with it as various files fail with 'device missing' errors in windows, but the majority of the data is readable.
Right. That tracks with the facts you had shared earlier. The fact that the drive's file system mounts is good and lucky... but that doesn't mean that it's actually intact.
I'll keep the drive around until you make an RC6.
Great! Thank you. It's a perfect test case!
 
@Robert Hickman :
I've finished updating SpinRite to what I'm calling “pre-release 5.01.” (please use 5.02!) Its major improvement is that it is now much more patient, willing to wait up to 60 seconds for a troubled drive to come back online after an error than the 10 seconds of all earlier releases. I determined that some drives were taking longer than 10 seconds.

More information is in the announcement posting, here: https://forums.grc.com/threads/pre-release-5-01.1415/

I'll be super interested to know whether/how this works for you! (y)
 
Last edited: