What does Sprinrite 6.0 do that HDD Generator doesn't do?

Posted on 2011-09-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
My PC holds my business and personal data. I live in a third-world country where it's hard to get quality computer service and more difficult than usual to get new computer equipment. So I'm especially concerned about keeping my two (non-Raid) internal hard drives  and my external drives healthy.

I've used Spinrite 6.0 for the past 3 weeks or so. I've used both options 2 and 4. It has already fixed a bad sector on an internal drive that was causing me problems.

It's obviously slow as heck when I use option 4 or when I use Spinrite on my EHDs. (Those EHDs contain Acronis images of my PC's internal image of my entire PC system.)

In reply to a different question, an expert recommended HDD Generator over Spinrite 6.0. He/she said that HDD Generator is a lot faster than Spinrite and doesn't have problems that Spinrite sometimes has with USB drives.

Question: What are the significant things, if any, that Spinrite 6.0 does that HDD Generator doesn't do?

Question by:faxhamil
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 36590180
I presume you mean HDD Regenerator.

HDD Regenerator and Spinrite do essentially the same functions => they analyze disks at the lowest level (outside of the file structure) and will, if possible, repair damaged sectors.     They each use their own set of proprietary algorithms to do these repairs ... Spinrite's algorithm is called "DynaStat"; HDD Regenerator just calls is their "special algorithm" without giving it a name.

Depending on what they find, and what level you're running at, both can take a widely varying amount of time.    For some problems, Spinrite is much faster than HDD Regen;  for others, the reverse is true.

Both are excellent for what they do -- but neither is a substitute for good backups.     They can, with regular use,  prolong the life of your drives by ensuring defective sectors are either repaired or are mapped out before you lose the underlying data.

I've used them both; and don't have a strong preference either way; although I do tend to use Spinrite more.    The DynaStat algorithm seems to be a bit more sophisticated then HDD Regen's ... although that's just a feeling based on my useage -- not a mathematically rigorous analysis.    I HAVE seen one case where Spinrite recovered a few sectors HDD Regen could not ... and have never seen the reverse.    But when a drive is bad enough that it requires frequent invocation of DynaStat I consider it time to toss the drive -- the only reason to attempt recovery is so you can recover the data before replacing the drive.

Author Comment

ID: 36590640
garycase, thanks for your reply and for correcting me. Yes, I was referring to HDD Regenerator.

I appreciate the information and your summary of your experience with both. Also your warning to make good backups. I'm using Acronis to image my internal hard drives (in one image) on two different EHDs. I do differential backups most days, and rotate them to keep one EHD off the premises.

For the reasons I mentioned in my question, I want  to do the best job I can of maintaining my hard drives without making it an obsession. I've had one of the two internal hard drives go bad twice. Three of the first four EHDs I bought (from the U.S.) failed.

Your saying that frequent invocation of DynaStat on a hard drive means it's time to ditch that hard drive is helpful. Otherwise, it's hard to have a good sense for when it is time to go to another hard drive.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 36591439
>>  He/she said that HDD Generator is a lot faster than Spinrite and doesn't have problems that Spinrite sometimes has with USB drives. <<   my experience showed HDDregenerator a lot faster, and it recovered in a case where Spinrite locked up.
AFAIK -neither one works with usb drives
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LVL 46

Accepted Solution

noxcho earned 500 total points
ID: 36592321
Both Spinrite and HDDRegenerator work in the same way with the sectors. If drive has bad sectors (or sectors marked by file system as bad as data cannot be read or written to this sector) then the first actions these two tools take is - intensively start trying to write into this "bad" sector. If it finally admits writing the data then it is marked again as good. The result of these attempts- very hot HDD.
If the write attempts fail then they simply using reserved sector from a special place of HDD plates. Every HDD by default has reserved sectors which are normally not used by data. They are created by vendors to redirect data write/read operations in case some of the sectors on main area fail. Thus your drive can be "repaired" by such tools as Spinrite and HDDRegenerator.
IMHO the best thing both tools do is finding out if you have bad sectors on HDD or not. Sometimes repair them but mainly replace the drive if the you have more than 4 bad sectors.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 36592725
@faxhamil - Yes its time to replace your hard drives that are showing these errors. Its Urgent! Keep up the backup regime, but do it every day!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 36592948
Excellent, understandable explanation of how both Spinrite and HDD Regenerator work with hard drives.

Author Comment

ID: 36592960
noxcho: Thanks for the excellent, understandable explanation of how both programs work with hard drives.

nobus: Thanks for the clarification. My mistake.

connollyg: I appreciate your emphasizing the importance of doing backups every day. Since I have skipped some days in the past, I'll use Acronis to schedule differential backups for each day.

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