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Anyone use SpinRite?

I use it now and then but I've hardly ever been able to get it to work totally properly. What I mean is, it starts doing it's scan and I walk away and leave it. But then it gets to it's own screen saver type screen when you can press spacebar to select another screen view, but it does nothing. Still carries on it's scan but I can never get it back to see the results. Done this on several different machines and several different HDDs I've used it on over the years. Seems a bit shit.

Any ideas?

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Anyone interested, although I haven't tested yet, I got a reply from their support

Do you have a USB keyboard??

If so, the problem is most likely caused by an interaction with your USB keyboard and FreeDOS.

So, run MS-DOS instead . . .

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.

Or, 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.

SpinRite normally uses the built-in motherboard BIOS to handle all its keystrokes. But in order to get the "on-the-fly" screen switching and the multi-tasking effect under DOS -- while SpinRite is actually running -- SpinRite accesses the system's keyboard hardware directly instead of through the BIOS.

Frankly, what's amazing is that you're a part of a very small few who is having any trouble like this. SpinRite has always worked this way . . . so it must be that MOST systems are able to "simulate" the operation of the keyboard's hardware, even though it's a USB keyboard and NOTHING like an original serial keyboard.

We have seen the motherboard BIOS's often have an option for "Legacy USB Keyboard" operation. If yours does, and if that's not already set as the active mode, you might try setting that to ON/ENABLED and seeing whether the trouble is cured. Other than that, for the time being at least, there's nothing more we can suggest. If we run across any other people who have this trouble I'll definitely need to fix it when we're working on SpinRite v6.1 . . . but that's still a ways off, and we have no estimated release date.

If this makes SpinRite unusable for you, we will CERTAINLY understand and will gladly refund your purchase price. But it you can manage to fix the trouble with the USB/Keyboard motherboard settings or by even temporarily using a more standard PS/2 keyboard that would be best.

Also, GRC and Steve have Twitter accounts and Blogs that can be easily subscribed to in order to receive periodic news and updates. Please see our <http://grc.com/news.htm> page for all the details.

Thank you for your cooperation, time and patience.


Greg McIntyre

Gibson Research

Technical Support

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