Category Archives: Troubleshooting

Issues Running Spinrite for the First Time, and the Solutions.

I recently bought Spinrite for two reasons:

  1. To help support Mr Steve Gibson from GRC, the creator of Spinrite and also the host of my favourite podcast, Security Now!
  2. I love nerdy things, and I have many hard drives that I wouldn’t mind running some maintenance on.

I then used Spinrite to set up a bootable USB drive, and fired it up.  My computer began booting, and quickly stopped at an all-text screen with the error:

“…bad or missing command interpreter”

This is an issue with Freedos.  It can easily be fixed by creating a bootdisk based on MS-DOS.  The easiest way to do that is to grab a copy of “Rufus” (here), and using it to turn a USB into the MS-DOS bootdisk we need.

  1. Download Rufus
  2. Use it to turn a USB drive into a bootable MS-DOS disk
  3. Copy Spinrite.exe onto the root of your bootable drive

Now when you boot into MS-DOS via this new disk, simply type

> Spinrite.exe

And we can now let Spinrite run!

A while into a scan….

“Division Overflow Error!”

Spinrite has a known issue with large drives. But this can be fixed with BIOS settings.

If you have SATA drives, look for the settings in your BIOS that control the mode these drives are in.  For me, what worked was switching the mode from “IDE” to “AHCA”, but my Googling has lead me to believe that Legacy-type modes have worked for others, so try that one if AHCA doesn’t work.

And finally, after the above two issues, I was another very happy user of Spinrite.  Using it to gain significant performance out of my laptop.