SpinRite is a stand-alone DOS program designed to refurbish hard drives,
floppy disks and recover data from marginally or completely unreadable hard drives
and floppy disks and from partitions and folders which have become unreadable.
Did we just say DOS? Yes. There are certain things you really can't do properly in Windows.
The explanation is that while the operating system is running it's very difficult
to get access to hardware and systems which function ahead of the operating system.
So using SpinRite requires a reboot and once you do that,
a whole world of data recovery and long-term hard drive maintenance opens up to you.
SpinRite 6 interacts directly with magnetic storage media at a level below any installed
operating system. This version is able to operate on all Windows XP NTFS formats in
addition to all DOS FAT, all Linux file systems, Novell,
Macintosh (if temporarily moved into a PC) or anything else.
SpinRite can also be used to repair and recover the hard drive from a
TiVo personal video recorder. SpinRite originally introduced the concept
of non-destructive low-level reformatting and sector interleave optimization
all of which basically means that the software can read, analyze,
correct then rewrite every tiny bit of data on a hard drive, re-establishing the formatting,
without losing any original data, without screwing up your files
(they'll work better actually) or messing up your partitions (they'll work better too),
or fouling up the factory low-level formatting of any hard drive.
SpinRite has been under continuous development for 16 years (since v1 in 1988)
and is probably the most popular disk data recovery tool on the market today.
What SpinRite is not is a file undelete or defragmentation utility.
If you've ever encountered inaccessible drives or partitions,
folders that won't open and drives or folders containing corrupt files,
you need a tool like SpinRite. We set out to prove SpinRite 6's effectiveness
by tossing it into the data recovery ring with the rest of our drive
and data maintenance tools. Note that we used SpinRite in our research offices
from v3 through v5, until we upgraded all of the network to Windows 2000 NTFS
formatting a few years ago. The release of SpinRite v6 is welcome indeed because
it fully addresses NTFS formatted drives (which was about the only thing SpinRite 5
When you boot into SpinRite it does a general drive analysis and checks whether
or not Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) has been turned
on in the system BIOS. This technology is able to predict up to 75% of all hard disk problems,
but to constructively use the information S.M.A.R.T. produces you need software
(such as SpinRite 6) which can retrieve the data from the disk for analysis.
But SpinRite's real power resides in its own complex statistical analysis technology,
called DynaStat, to work some real data recovery magic on drives which would otherwise
be complete junk. SpinRite's proprietary design is as simple to use as anything we've ever
seen—no typing, no command lines, no complex or technically opaque configurations—with just
a few key presses required to start the program and select the actions you want it to perform.