Spinrite and SATA drivers

brothertom used Ask the Experts™
I normally swear by Spinrite but it has a problem with SATA drivers on some motherboards that don't have an IDE compatible mode
(see http://www.grc.com/sr/kb/sata.htm from 2006!)

As there doesn't seem to be much movement on Mr Gibson releasing v6.1, is there any other software that does a similar and good job (commercial is fine).

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how about the manufactures diagnose disk almost all of them have a low level check.

here is one software that might help


My experience with Spinrite goes back to the DOS days. However, I seldom use it now because it takes too long to scan a large drive and there are better, easier to use data recovery programs available.

The manufacturers' diagnostics do a reasonably good job and provide a go - no go diagnosis that is sufficient in most cases. Most of the manufacturer diagnostics are on the UBCD along with other useful diagnostic software. http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

I prefer GetDataBack for data recovery.


Yes, GetDataBack is a great product.  Saved our customers bacon a few times.

As a matter of interest, I did receive a reply from Gibson Research (attached for info).

There is no time line as we have not started work on the next version 
of SpinRite.  Stay tuned!!
The "legacy" option in the BIOS is one solution for SATA drive compatibility.
The others are . . .
Booting from real MS-DOS . . .
If you have a floppy drive (if not skip down to make a CD or further 
down to make a USB key) . . . from within WinXP you insert a blank 
(or erasable) floppy diskette into the A: drive, you can then 
right-click on the A: drive in explorer and choose format.  In the 
format dialog box there should be an option to "Make Disk Bootable" 
or possibly "Create MS-DOS Boot Disk".  Choose the option you see and 
you will then have a bootable DOS diskette.
Once created, copy the SPINRITE.EXE file you already have.  Then 
after you boot clean and get to the A: prompt, 
type     spinrite     to start the program manually.
Making a boot CD . . .
If you have a CD-R drive, you can get an ISO image of a "Windows 98 
SE Boot CD" here . . .
Once created, boot with the above CD and then once at the DOS prompt 
put in the SpinRite CD and type   spinrite   at the DOS prompt to 
start SpinRite manually.
The A: prompt is a pseudo prompt.  During the boot process, just 
above the A: prompt, there is probably a listing for the CD-ROM 
drives.  Which ever letter it shows (in my case it shows F:), that is 
the drive you need to switch to first, then put in the SpinRite CD 
and type SpinRite at that prompt.
Making a boot USB key . . .
If your system can boot a USB device, here is some basic instructions 
for making a bootable USB key.
HP makes an easy to use utility called HP USB Disk Format Tool, which 
includes a "Create a DOS Startup Disk" option.  It's available for 
free download at 
<http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=197> along with the 
Windows 98/DOS boot files 
You can use the HP tool and point it at a directory where you unzip 
the DOS boot files and it automatically builds a bootable DOS USB key 
using those files.  Then, copy the SPINRITE.EXE file to that 
device.  Once done, reboot the system and at the DOS prompt, 
type   spinrite   to start SpinRite manually.
Lastly, one of the below options may help . . .
Many BIOSes have a setting to limit the speed of modern drives for 
backwards compatibility reasons.  So you should poke around your 
system's BIOS screens to see whether your drive settings are all set 
to "AUTO" and/or the appropriate drive speed.
One other solution may be to move the drive to a different 
system.  Relocating this drive to a different system or perhaps just 
to a different controller in the same system and running SpinRite may 
resolve the issue.  Once done, the drive could be returned to 
original system or controller for normal use.
If that is not possible, we would suggest would be to make sure that 
the hardware (motherboard, drive controllers, etc.) in your system is 
using the latest BIOS or firmware version.
Finally, you might try is to see if the drive manufacturer has their 
own proprietary software to test/check their drives.  We have seen 
some cases where the manufacturers own software can force the drive 
to repair itself . . . in which case then SpinRite would be able to 
keep the drive maintained, etc.
Finally, we do offer a free eMail service 
<http://www.grcmail.com/mail.htm> to which Steve sends periodic 
updates and news of important events.  You can easily add, remove, or 
edit your "custom profile" to specify which sorts of eMail you wish to receive.
Thank you for your cooperation, time and patience.

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