Tim Chase blinux.list at thechases.com
Fri Dec 27 11:58:58 UTC 2013

On December 27, 2013, Janina Sajka wrote:
> use standard Linux tools, e.g. e2fsck and the
> smartmontools like smartctl.
> This approach is fully accessible.
> So, what does spinWrite give you that you can't do per the above?

Spinrite operates on the drive at the hardware level rather than
filesystem-level (checked by e2fsck) or partition level.  I'm less
familiar with smartctl, but it appears to offer some overlap in
functionality with Spinrite.

In a way, the basic first level scan could possibly be replicated with
"dd", reading the entire drive (/dev/sda) rather than a partition
(/dev/sda1) and dumping the results to /dev/null which would force
the drive to read every byte.  This triggers the drive to look at
every byte, check the drive's integrity at that location, and let
the hardware move the data in the event that spot is getting hard to
read.  Based on the manpage, it sounds like smartctl might offer
some similar functionality.  Beyond that, I believe that Spinrite does
more aggressive scans that will persist in an attempt to read data,
even when the drive returns hardware errors, and can actively talk to
the drive controller to move that data elsewhere in the event it had
trouble, then mark the blocks as bad at the hardware level.

Again, I'm only taking a stab in the dark based on the tidbits I've
picked up on the SN podcast (which is well worth a listen, IMHO).
I've never used the product, but at least the guy who wrote it seems
to know what he's doing and make difficult technological topics


More information about the Blinux-list mailing list