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Spinrite 6 maintenance ?

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Howdy Gang,

I have been reading more and more about Spinrite v6 but there seems to be a serious lack of documentation for v6. There also seems to be some confusion on what level should be used for maintenance purposes that should be run ever few months. According to the opening few screens of the app Mr. Gibson says to use level 4. But many people seem to use all sorts of levels for this purpose. The only documentation seems to be for v5. On his website there was an article from Jay S:

http://www.sysopt.com/tutorials/article.php/12034_3549006_2

He states level 2 is for maintenance and level 4 is to fix problems and recover data....now this is the opposite from what Gibson says.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

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Spinrite 6 is close enough to Spinrite 5 that you can use the older manual

to get explanations for most of the functionality. That is the explanation

you will get from GRC until they get around to providing documentation

for SR 6.

It depends on what you expect to be done while performing "maintenance" on your drive.

If what you need is a quick scan of the drive to make sure no obvious

problems are showing, then level 2 is the better choice.

If you are looking for a bit of stress testing on the individual sectors

as part of the scan, Level 3 or 4 are the more in-depth options.

Keep in mind that if spinrite finds what it thinks is a problem reading

or writing a drive sector, it will automatically bump itself up to a higher

usage level.

i.e. If you are checking the drive for problems, use level 2.

If you are trying to repair the drive, or recover information from

bad sectors, use level 4 or higher.

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Spinrite 6 is close enough to Spinrite 5 that you can use the older manual

to get explanations for most of the functionality. That is the explanation

you will get from GRC until they get around to providing documentation

for SR 6.

It depends on what you expect to be done while performing "maintenance" on your drive.

If what you need is a quick scan of the drive to make sure no obvious

problems are showing, then level 2 is the better choice.

If you are looking for a bit of stress testing on the individual sectors

as part of the scan, Level 3 or 4 are the more in-depth options.

Keep in mind that if spinrite finds what it thinks is a problem reading

or writing a drive sector, it will automatically bump itself up to a higher

usage level.

i.e. If you are checking the drive for problems, use level 2.

If you are trying to repair the drive, or recover information from

bad sectors, use level 4 or higher.

Thanks for your input! This is what I thought as well. However in Spinrtie v6 opening screens it says level 2 is for data recovery and 4 is for maintenance......this is complete opposite of everything else that I have read on this product. It also contradicts what you are saying as well. What level are you using to check out your drives every few months?

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I don't use it to check my drives that often, but the opening screen on

Spinrite 6 is (partially) incorrect if that is what it says.

Technically every level can be used for "data recovery" since the

program will only try to recover a sector if it has a problem reading

and re-writing the information on that sector during a scan.

The higher levels however, attempt to do more with regard to refreshing

the formatting on the drive as it goes along. The higher the level,

the longer the initial scan will take.

I think the assumption from GRC is that if you are trying to recover

data from the drive, you want to "scan" the surface quickly to allow

sprinrite to get to the problem sectors, but if you are stress testing

or refreshing a drive, you can afford to take more time to go thru the

full scan.

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Sorry to bump an old thread but I think I can provide a decent answer for people finding this post via Google as it is a top result.

Difference between the modes

The opening screen stating 2 for recover and 4 for maintenance is slightly misleading as pressing 2 selects level 2 and pressing 4 selects level 4 which may seem counter intuitive.

The way SpinRite works at level 2 is a quick check. This means if you only have 30 mins or so and want to see if there are any obvious problems then this will fix them (at lvel 2 it is not much more effective than Windows' own chkdisk (I'd still recommend SpinRite level 2 over chkdisk). This will not really find all possible problems, jsut obvious ones that will be causing problems booting etc..

Hence being the main screen calling it "Recovery", as it fixes obvious problems, also some obvious problems that Windows hasn't started complaining about yet. I'd have called this mode Quick Check or something similar.

Level 4 basically goes through the entire disk and checks each bit by inverting and reverting it, so your data will be left as found but if there are any access faults SpinRite will know there is a problem here before Windows access the file. The reason this is called maintenance mode on the opening screen is because it finds problems before they become problems. Level 4 and 5 are going to do the most thorough job of checking each bit, which will take many hours, as opposed to mode 2 which is pretty quick.

What to use

So in conclusion, forget what the opening screen calls them for now, and think of Level 2 as a Quick Check (replacing/complimenting Windows ChkDisk) that should be run anytime things seem sluggish, and Level 4 as overnight Maintenance mode to be run every month or 3, and if you ever have a powercut or Windows starts giving hard disk errors or seems really slow opening certain files/programs and a Level 2 scan doesn't seem to change anything use a Level 4/5.

In reality, SpinRite is very expensive so if you can't afford it, running chkdisk for quick scans and Defragmenter every 1 or 3 months will be a good substitute until Windows starts failing at accessing data.

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