Spinrite Killed My Hard Drive
Feb 9, 2008 (Updated Feb 9, 2008)
Review by formertechie
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Nice graphics. Very detailed screens with numerical feedback, although no explaination
Cons:Slow, pushed my HD to the point of failure,yet failed to fix the problem
The Bottom Line: Spinrite is slow, didn't fix the error, and after 57 hours of running Spinrite, my hard drive now returns an "F1 - Hard Drive Failure Imminent" message.
When my laptop hard drive suddenly refused to boot one morning, returning a 'mup.sys' error at the startup in Safe Mode, I tried all the usual first aids: running /chkdsk f, going into the Windows Recovery panel, to no avail.
Recommend this product?
As background, I might add I worked in tech support from 1985 through 1996, taught DOS back in the good old days, and later owned an Avid digital video studio where I owned and supported a few dozen large capacity hard drives. Suffice it to say I have recovered more than my share of crashed drives. My husband is also a 20 year veteran of the PC world, and professional programmer , so when I told described to him the problems I was having, he recommended I locate and buy Spinrite, which he had read positive reviews of on the internet.
What a mistake....
First of all, the thing is slow...painfully slow. The program worked for hours and hours..30 hours to be exact, and still couldn't get through one block. As my hard drive was overheating, I stopped the process, let it rest, and re-attempted the procedure the next day. This time Spinrite worked for 27 hours, and finally completed 100% of the drive, and declared the job done. At least, I think that's what it did, as the sceens, although highly detailed, are slim on text feedback, and no clear summary of what was accomplished is returned. When I ran the analysis program, it ran through all the sectors without stopping, but there is no summary to tell you that your drive's performance is normal or below normal.
I turned off my computer, and truly expected to be able to restart and hopefully see my files again one last time.
Instead, now when I rebooted, I got an "F1 - hard drive failure imminent" message I had never seen before! Worse, Windows stopped at the same exact 'mup.sys' file as before. Nice going....all that grinding away, and Spinrite did nothing to fix the problem.
Apparently, all Spinrite managed to do is eat up the remainder of my hard drive's life, and punish it with its non-stop pounding of the sectors, leaving me less precious time to attempt to recover my files. How it could declare the job done is beyond me.
Thanks guys..really brilliant! No where did any website with their glowing reviews of this program indicate that hard drive failure might be a result of the process..but in hindsight I could kick myself. It seems so obvious: What happens when you take a hard drive that is already having problems, and put it through hours and hours of analysis and gruelling pounding? Duh.
Anyway, the internet seems filled with people who report great results from Spinrite...but I am extremely disappointed with this program, to put it mildly.
I still have no idea why, in 2008, it is impossible to find a hard drive utility which does what about half a dozen programs were able to do in 1996: namely to recover a bad block in the boot-up sector, or re-write a new header for a hard drive.
All these new recovery programs, when you can find them, are assuming a level of technical savvy which even an experienced computer user may not have. They offer you the ability, in DOS, to hack at the boot.ini file, to alter specific Windows files (something most wouldn't attempt if their system were working properly) and to create a new partition, hopefully leaving their original files intact...again something not for the faint of heart.
What ever happened to just helping us re-write a new hard drive header, or simply relocating bad sector blocks, as the old Norton Disk Doctor used to do? We have gone backwards, and all PC users are the poorer for it.
However, this is a great boon for the multi-million dollar file recovery business.
Thanks to Spinrite, I may be sending my drive off to one of these outfits, and hope they can recover my data, for thousands of dollars.
In my case, Spinrite was $89 badly spent. I wish I had never heard of it. My time would have been better spent attempting to retrieve data
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