Will SpinRite become relevant again?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Keatah, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    We all know that in the pioneering days of the 80's and 90's that disks weren't very intelligent and required a lot of technical intervention to get the best performance out of them.

    This means things like manually entered defect lists and user-adjusted interleaves. Band and geared and screw-drive stepper motors and no temperature compensation only made stuff all the more precarious.

    Once the 486 hit the market, disks became intelligent and all the manual tweaking went away. And so did SpinRite's relevance.

    Today, SpinRite is good for verifying surfaces and triggering the disk's firmware for automatic defect management. In other words, SpinRite focuses the drive's controller's attention on weak spots. But that's about it. Nothing that can't be done by the free mfg. zeroing and test utility.

    What do you think it would take to make SpinRite useful and important again?
     
  2. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    sad to say i doubt they will be
     
  3. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    I remember BITD, we had to adjust the interleave. And when we did we got super-turbo performance. You'll recall, that mfgs just slapped disks into machines without a care in the world if the sector layout matched the interface read/write speeds.

    And disks used crappy oxide (compared to today) that was prone to have interaction between bits. So re-writing data was a good thing.

    SpinRite excelled in handling those kinds of problems. So much that GRC was approached by several companies with the intent of licensing SpinRite's tech.

    Today these issues are buried beneath better materials sciences and more capable firmware.

    With lack of communication coming out of GRC in regard's to today's disks I can't help but wonder if SpinRite's antics can put excessive wear on a magnetic surface. Or with Perpendicular Recording, does it have any effect at all?
     
  4. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    I'm not familiar with data recovery alternatives to SpinRite that are affordable for the average user. Some examples I can research??
     
  5. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Han, I have used #2 by Dmitriy Primochenko many times... don't know about #1. #2 has found many hard errors on 250-500gB drives that it has been able to completely correct. These corrections, many times, have only been temporary due to the fact that the drive has started to fail over a period of tijme.

    HDD Regenerator #1 and #2

    Edit: a quick and careful look says these apps are from the same author and are the same program.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  6. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    In the time of SSDs, Spinrite unfortunately cannot become relevant ever again. The traditional hard drives that Spinrite was designed for are becoming obsolete rapidly and within the next 5 years may even stop being manufactured.
     
  7. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Unless there's a major miracle in the fab process of NAND MLC memory, I don't think you're gonna see a 3tB SSD for $129.95 in that period of time. Spinners will be around for a while I'm pretty sure.
     
  8. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Actually, I think it has to do with the number of units manufactured. The more SSDs there will be produced, the cheaper the price per unit will be. When most people start buying SSDs, I am sure they will come up with a 3 TB SSD in 5 years.
     
  9. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    3TB = ~47 64GB microSD. This amount of cards can easily fit a box 1/10th the size of a regular hdd.

    So spacewise it's entirely possible. Economically? When does everyone want it to happen..
     
  10. claykin

    claykin Registered Member

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    Spinrite is relevant for SSDs and other flash memory devices. Spinrite has been proven to work even at level 1 to make bad flash readable. Just don't use anything more than level 2 on Flash devices.

    To read more about real world results see here:

    https://www.grc.com/sr/testimonials.htm

    IMO, the big issue with Spinrite is that it BADLY needs an update to address crashing with many modern harddisks and controllers. "Division overflow errors" are very common with more modern configurations and workarounds often don't seem to work. Steve Gibson and repeatedly claimed he was working on Spinrite 6.1 or 7.0 to address the crash issues, but to date, nothing from him. Sad that his bread and butter app is falling behind and that he's doing little to address the issues.
     
  11. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    I wonder what the pathology of it "fixing" an SDD was.
     
  12. claykin

    claykin Registered Member

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    Its mostly that is alerts the controller to failing cells and facilitates moving data to good cells.
     
  13. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    I wonder how this works as data on an SSD is not stored magnetically, but electrically. Spinrite was designed to read the magnetic data stored on the hard disk platter. Also, the SSD controller keeps track of the wear-level of the cells itself and does not allow an external program like Spinrite to know which cells it will randomly write data too. Hence the problems with securely erasing data from an SSD. If Spinrite wants to write to the same cell multiple times, it will not be able to do so as the next write will be randomly shifted to another cell by the SSD controller's wear-leveling algorithm.

    Spinrite, unfortunately has out lived it usefulness. It was useful on the 1990s hard drives only, from that time onwards it has just been living on its earlier reputation.
     
  14. claykin

    claykin Registered Member

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    You had an SSD in your PC/Mac just after the turn to the 21st century?

    Spinrite is extremely effective at "teaching" a controller about cells that cannot be read from correctly. The controller gets its "ah ha" and moves the data off to a good cell.

    For magnetic media Spinrite is still as effective as it was since V6 was released years ago. As I said the lone single problem with Spinrite is its reliance on a systems BIOS to talk to the host disk controller. Steve Gibson keeps saying he's planning 6.1 or 7 which will eliminate this BIOS talk and resolve the division overflow errors. We continue to wait and this is the pain and frustration with Spinrite.

    BTW, I've successfully repaired and made readable several (otherwise dead) USB thumb drives using Spinrite at level 1 and 2. There is value with Spinrite repairing flash memory.
     
  15. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    Thanks for the valuable info!
    I never tried to repair USB using this kind of software.

    edit: I think that Spinrite and other alike software will remain relevant, because SSD will probably coexist with HDD for a long time...

    @Raza0007
    Will the wear-leveling prevent the remap of bad sectors?

    Anyway bad sectors should only be visible after the reserved area of the SSD is filled, and also SSDs should be much less prone to that kind of problems than a mechanical drive...
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  16. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    FYI... Steve Gibson has stated that he is working on SpinRite 6 again. Stated objectives are faster speed and Mac compatibility. In addition, apparently there are plans for a version 7 with many new features.
     
  17. Creer

    Creer Registered Member

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    Yes he was talking about it in one of the latest SN! episodes.
     
  18. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    That would be welcome as HDD Regenerator can be a lot faster.

    Also it has been speculated on the internet that Steve does not actually do any coding himself, as that is why it has been so long between updates.
     
  19. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    Gotta link ?

    Going back over nearly 10 years, i've lost count on how many times he's said how HE codes his Apps in Machine Code. So either he's lying, which i doubt, or somebody else is !
     
  20. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    they have a bad name for current times... maybe they should change it to NoSpinRite or SolidStateRite if they want to remain relevant.
     
  21. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    @ pajenn

    I see what you mean :thumb: But electrons are stll spinning, in both. Whether they are powered up or not ;)
     
  22. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    http://radsoft.net/news/roundups/grc/20060121,01.shtml
     
  23. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    @ roger_m

    Hi, i've looked at Radsoft's www many times over the years, & he has a Lot to say, about a Lot of people/companies etc. Some i agree with. But check this as a follow up to what i posted.

    So either it's true, or ?
     
  24. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    The claims made by Radsoft seem to be true, considering how many years have passed since an update was released for SpinRite, and also considering that he has nothing else to sell.
     
  25. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    It's impossible to know for SURE what the FACTS are, so it's better we leave it there !