Using Spinrite 6.1 as a VM in VM Ware 17

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    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.
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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.

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Oct 28, 2023
Hello All,

Here is my usecase, I have multiple 6TB 3.5mm WD Reds which I attach to a M1 Mac mini to use as all kinds of server, plex, and backlaze backup storage.

I currently use Carbon Copy Cloner to do a 1:1 backup with health check, which I think is keeping the drives in better condition as it reason every inch of the used disk every month.

However, I have been waiting to use Spinrite on them for years.

I am trying to use them on my gaming PC on Windows 11.

I already got SR 6.1 to boot via a dos initdisk formatted USB stick.
However when it boots and sees those disks SR says due to a BIOS issue it can only access the first 128GBs which makes it unusuable for me.

The next thing I tried was via VM Ware Workstation Pro 17.
I was able to get the USB stick and the harddrive connected via mounting them as hard disks -> physical disks within VM Ware.

Initially I tried via bus logic, but as the disk is greater than 2TB that would not work.

It seemed the LSI Logic maxes out at 4TB, and LSI Logic SAS maxes out at 6TB.
I thus tried LSI Logic SAS. After some tinkering SP 6.1 did see the disk, but said it could not use it.

So it seems I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Is there any way Spinrite 6.1 can work on disks equal to or greater than 6TB?

On your Gaming PC within your bios settings what type of port (AHCI, RAID etc.) are those drives attached to and can you change it to AHCI or IDE?

Are you also able to send some information on the motherboard make and model?

Edit: sorry I just realised you're probably plugging this in via a USB caddy - can you plug them in directly into the motherboard?

A little bit of additional information for you - when working with USB attached drives Spinrite ran into issues with the BIOS beyond 137GB which is why this was clamped. Attaching them natively will bypass this.
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Motherboard Info: MSI Z490-A Pro (MS-7C75)

All drives are connected via USB within the BIOS

Example: UEFI USB Hard Disk:UEFI: Memorex USB Flash Drive PMAP, Partition 1

Under the SATA Config
SATA Mode is “AHCI Mode”

Under USB Config
XHCI Hand-off Enabled
Legacy USB Support Enabled

The system itself is a Corsair pre-build, 2021 Vengence i7200 Series.

Let me know if you need more info!
I do not have a good way to plugin directly. I’d kinda have to tear the machine apart.

On that BIOS blocker, thats why I figured I could bypass via running a VM. It seems that was almost working, but just not quite. Possibly a slightly different configuration would work?

A set of files that will, in most cases, allow SpinRite 6.1 to access USB drives beyond the 137 gigabyte limit is available at the above URL. This set of files will be available on the GRC website when SpinRite 6.1 is released. Download, extract the files and follow the instructions.
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Paul's utilities are great, but SpinRite 6.1 will always work better if you can attach the drives directly to SATA. I think it's worth tearing the machine apart. SpinRite accesses USB drives through the BIOS, but it can access SATA drives directly, which performs much better in terms of speed and recovery capability.
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I think if you really want to mess with virtualisation perhaps virtualbox might emulate AHCI and IDE closer to what Spinrite wants and I think you can physically mount drives to it as well
I did get it to work following the utility. But yeah, 280hr estimate. Honestly i’ve been waiting so long for greater than 2TB spinrite that i’d buy a cheap PC deticated to it. See if I can get an easily swappable sata bay.
I did get it to work following the utility. But yeah, 280hr estimate. Honestly i’ve been waiting so long for greater than 2TB spinrite that i’d buy a cheap PC deticated to it. See if I can get an easily swappable sata bay.
If you're going to do this the current recommendation is a Zimaboard - I think Steve has a FAQ for it in this forum - I'll edit if I can find a good link

Edit: was in the newsgroups
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