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SpinRite with USB external drives?


DCM1519's Avatar
Member with 1,141 posts.
Join Date: Mar 2005
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07-Apr-2006, 06:14 PM #1
SpinRite with USB external drives?
Does anyone here use SpinRite with external hard drives? No problem with recognizing internal drives but the externals do not show on menu.

I have four external drives and do not want to take them apart and install as internals for testing.

SpinRite web site says that USB DOS drivers may get this to work but in searching for them, there are a lot of different drivers available. Not sure which, if any, of these would work.
kiwiguy's Avatar
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07-Apr-2006, 07:06 PM #2
Since DOS does not natively support USB at all, it would be heavily reliant on the ability of your motherboard to also provide such support with third party drivers. I would not expect a high success rate unless you can find hardware specific drivers.
JohnWill's Avatar
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07-Apr-2006, 07:16 PM #3
I'd suggest you not even attempt this. If you're shooting craps, why not go to the casino?

What is the error indication that prompts you to run SpinRite?
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gophersnake gophersnake is offline
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07-Apr-2006, 08:43 PM #4
Back when Spinrite 3.1 was new, Gibson Research published a description of how Spinrite actually works. They're up to Spinrite 6 now but the document hasn't been superseded and is still available as a 19-page PDF, SpinRite: “What's Under The Hood”
At the first sign of trouble reading from a sector, whether or not we're ultimately going to get a perfect reading from it, the DynaStat system kicks in. It begins analyzing the nature and extent of the problem, collecting every bit of information possible. DynaStat's recovery methodology incorporates several complementary strategies: The first is simply extensive retries. As we've seen, just trying harder often results in just one good read . . . which is all we need. The recovered data won't then be returned to the same sector, after we've retrieved it, unless we verify that it's truly a safe place to restore the data.

During this exhaustive rereading, DynaStat employs its second recovery strategy of deliberately wiggling the drive's heads. By successively approaching the troubled sector from different distances and directions, the heads arrive at the sector's track at different velocities, which in turn produce small but significant displacements in the head's resting position. This allows DynaStat to compensate for the long-term alignment drift that occurs in non-servo based drives, and the positioner hysterysis that occurs in servo-based designs. Thus the drive's heads are given every opportunity to land in the best possible location to correctly read the sector. This approach is also extremely effective at recovering data from misaligned diskettes – which SpinRite 3.1 is proving to be extremely effective upon. DynaStat's exhaustive, head-wiggling re-reading is almost always able to coerce one good or correctable read from a recalcitrant sector. But when the sector just will not read, DynaStat's third, core, recovery strategy is brought into play...
Spinrite seems to need to work very intimately with the disk controller and make it do all sorts of things it doesn't normally do. I find it hard to believe that it could "wiggle the heads" quite the same way through a USB link. It would be a bit like trying to tell someone over the phone how to ride a bicycle.
DCM1519's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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07-Apr-2006, 09:13 PM #5
Thanks for the responses. I am going to skip doing this.

There is no error but about a week ago, one of my external drives showed as "bad" in Partition Magic but OK in XP disk management. Trouble was that even though disk management said it was OK, it would not format the drive.

I did get the drive formatted and so far, it is running fine. Don't know what caused that message but this drive is only about 4 months old (Seagate) so if it fails, would still be under warranty.
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