SpinRite & HDD Regenerator - silent data corruption

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Here is a thread where it has been shown that both SpinRite and HDD Regenerator cause silent data corruption when "recovering" bad sectors.

It appears that, rather than recover the original data in a bad sector, both tools just replace the data with random rubbish.
To summarise the thread in a nutshell, forum member "Nesa" demonstrated that HDD Regenerator replaced the contents of an unreadable sector in the user area with a sector from the drive's own firmware. "Lcoughey" then showed that SpinRite replaced the contents of a bad sector with random data. Worse still, SpinRite did not even alert the user that the original sector was bad, or that it had been "repaired".

Thank you very much for the clarification. I will avoid these programs in the future.




Sep 19, 2017
Both SpinRite and HDD Regenerator are useful for making some iffy drives useful again, but seldom are SpinRite and HDD Regenerator the best tools for recovering and copying out data - neither of these programs have ANY copy-out features, that's not what they do.

Copy out data without writing to the bad drive itself, using any clone or unstoppable copy scheme is best, hardware clone docks, or software clone, yet some data may be lost because, hey it's not there.

If the data is not there, SpinRite and HDD Regenerator will bulldoze through and refresh the surface, and make the user data area reportback whatever was findable, which may be look inaccurate compared to what the user wanted, but, hey, f the data is;t there, then the data is't there.

If a wide swath of sectors are unreadable, the copy-out process may time-out due to retries, in that case, intelligently-programmed copy-out software may force itself to skip read errors, and continue copying out what it can.

SpinRite and or HDD Regenerator may cause those bad areas to at least be refreshed even if the contents are not the original lost data, but hey, if the data's been lost, then the data's been lost, and at least those sectors will no longer cause read time-out errors.

After data has been copied out, then we can re-prep the drive using SpinRite and or HDD Regenerator to refresh the surface with savvy pass-fail integrity testing, then reformat and reinstall any operating system or user data, just as we would with a new drive taken out of the new packaging when purchased new.

The problem with the thread referred to is the there is no alternative, it's not as if they ran Ace Laboratories PC3000 hardware drive controller with oscilloscope watching and confirmed that there was any data there in the bad sectors, and the only problem was sector headers and ECC data, not the user data in between itself.

SpinRite and HDD Regenerator will rewrite sector headers and ECC as well as rewrite the user data area in between, and if the user data in between was readable, it will come back accurately, but if the user data in between was corrupt, then it will come back as inaccurate compared to the customer's expectations, but it will be read-writable from there on after "repair", plus the sector headers and ECC zones will be refreshed.

That thread's claim that SpinRite and HDD Regenerator did something inappropriate or hid what they were doing is bogus - there is no way for ANY repair software to know what the user wanted, they only know what they find on the drive, and if the drive data is inaccurate, then the drive data is inaccurate, but at least the surface will be reliable for future read-write sessions after SpinRite and HDD Regenerator do their surface repair.

The problem comes when people don't know what these tools are for.

If you want data, then clone the drive, and hope for the best, and if the drive has become corrupt, you can deal with some sectors coming back with inaccurate information.

If you want to refresh the drive, run SpinRite and or HDD Regenerator.

After cloning, if SpinRite and or HDD Regenerator then made some of the hard-to-read data suddenly read appropriately, then you win some additional data - this is where headers and ECC zones were corrupt but user data was still accurate, but that's rare for user data to be fine fine fine in-between bad sector headers and bad ECC zones, really, how would any problem know to ONLY hit the sector headers and ECC zones and leave user data in between sacrosanct?

Don't be afraid of SpinRite or HDD Regenerator, but don't expect them to do anything other than what they promise, and neither promise data recovery. both promise drive analysis and drive recovery, and occasionally user data becomes readable after that, lucky you.
@peterblaise, SpinRite is snake oil. It should NEVER be used for data recovery. Instead use an intelligent tool such as HDDSuperClone or ddrescue to clone the drive, and then run real data recovery tools against the clone.

I have attempted to address every claim made in respect of SpinRite, and have debunked most of them.

Deconstructing SpinRite:

If you want to "refresh" your data, here is a free tool:

I could address every point in your post, but you can do it yourself by reading my deconstruction.

As for SpinRite not promising data recovery ...

"SpinRite's Data Recovery Technology":
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