On Friday, I blogged about opening the Seagate FreeAgent external drive.

The reason I had to open the drive up, was that I dropped it on the floor, and it had been behaving strangely since.
Not “broken”, just slow.  That might indicate some drive damage.

So, there is only one thing to do in a case like this, and that is SpinRite.

SpinRite is the industry standard system for hard and floppy disk care, maintenance, and data recovery.  SpinRite utilizes deep analysis technology to recover loss and unreadable data to locate and lock unsafe areas from use, to move endangered data to safety, and to repair areas of the drive which have become damaged or bad through use.  SpinRite should be reused periodically to aid in the prevention of hard disk loss.

I’ve been using SpinRite to repair hard drives, since before the Internet.

Now if you take your faulty hard drive to a good PC repair shop, they’ll use SpinRite.  So $89US is cheap, compared to a PC shop doing the same thing, and charging you hundreds of dollars.

When SpinRite is running, it looks like this:
SpinRite 6 Status SpinRite 6 Status-2 SpinRite 6 Status-3 SpinRite 6 Status-4 SpinRite 6 Status-5SpinRite6Status6b

After 16 hours, SpinRite finished.  It had repaired some errors, and now my 320GB hard drive is back in great condition.
SpinRite Done

I did have some problems though …

  • USB keyboard support with Dell OptiPlex 760 and HP 7900 PCs.  Does not work.  The keyboard “mapping” is all wrong.  I press the arrow key and SpinRite “beeps” at me.  I suspect it’s the version of FreeDos being used.
  • SMART drive support.  Had to set the BIOS to SATA IDE mode.  This is documented on the SpinRite site.
    SMART is how the hard drive reports it’s condition to SpinRite, and having it enabled allows SpinRite to monitor the drive better.
  • SpinRite reported that the Truecrypt encrypted drive was empty.
    Not a big problem, as Truecrypt disk encryption was released after SpinRite.  So it’s no wonder SpinRite does not detect it.  Works fine though.