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Second thoughts about Spinrite


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#1
emmpe

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I've concluded that it may be a good investment to purchase Spinrite, but there are a few things about its marketing that make me hesitate. I know very well that the app achieves some amazing results, but why this free-masonish thing with levels, two of which are kept secret? Why this excessive hyping of the developer? Why these too abundant references to "satisfied customers" who can't be checked? Their support confirms that they stand by their promise to ignore the US-EU agreement on VAT charges, which is a honourable thing to do, of course. Their web pages contain loads of good educational stuff on hardware and security issues, but no manual to the latest SR release and no clarifications on obscure points (like finding the semi-secret levels of operation) in their FAQ. I would appreciate a comment from someone with experience of GRC, preferably someone who is willing to disclose to the world what those levels 6 and 7 really do.
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#2
Major Payne

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Did you DL the SpinRite Documentation and read it first before purchasing? You might find answers to your questions here: grc.spinrite. More info at Spinriite's FAQs page. Even more info at Spinrite's Web page. Or address your questions to: support2006@grc.com.

Sorry if this doesn't answer your questions directly.

Ron

Edited by Major Payne, 04 September 2007 - 02:49 AM.

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#3
emmpe

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Thanks for a quick reply. Yes, I downloaded the user's guide and no, there's no explanation of levels 6 and 7, and no info on how to get to the hidden levels (1,3 and 5 I think). I've also done a thorough search on the GRC website but found no answers. On their (temporarily) locked down forum someone posted a question about the secret levels and the only answer was "if you use them you're completely on your own" - a rather disquietening answer IMO. FYI clicking the support2006 link results in 64 IE "can't find" windows opening up. Fun to watch first time only, and shouldn't happen on a software guru's site. Proper adress is support2007. I've seen SR in action and do not doubt its qualities, but all this secrecy, 'satisfied customers' and 'hail to the guru' stuff is mainly associated with vendors of quack medicine, therapies and gadgets where I live. Neither do I have reason to doubt that GRC is an honest business, but $89 is a little too much to just hand out without preliminary research. So, again, what happens if you run level 7 "on your own"? Will it open a gate to unknown worlds? Will the sky fall down? I could mail the GRC support, of course, but I wont. I shouldn't have to.
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#4
Major Payne

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The support email was taken from the site itself, but no problem if they updated name with year. Every source I found via Google has nothing but good things about the use of Spinrite. The price tag is there because it does what it says and does it in a safe way. I understand your reluctance considering the money you have to pay out, but I have found it hard to find anyone who doesn't like Spinrite. The decision is still yours to make. Possibly search for other similar software and compare functions, quality, price and ease of use to Spinrite.

Ron
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#5
emmpe

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I agree. I've never seen anything like SR before and probably there is nothing to equal it, that's why I've decided (oh, yes!) on purchase. And it's not really a question of money, it's just this feeling I get that the quality of marketing does not correspond to the quality of the software. How's support, for instance? There's no trial version, so you can't test support. They do respond within accepable time, that I know, but my question to them concerned price, not technical thing. IMO, support quality is crucial, and I've seen some top class support to compare with. Maybe a test question to them about the secret levels would be conclusive. Think I'll try that. Thanks a lot for taking the time to share your opinion on SR (which you seem to share with everyone who ever used it).
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#6
Major Payne

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I have known and used a lot of the free software that grc.com has for years without issues. I use ChangeDetection.com to keep track of their page changes for security discussions. I certainly would do the same as you if I ever decide I want to buy Spinrite as that's a lot of money to me. LOL Possibly a lot of the information you are seeking is proprietary, but they should still answer your questions before you buy. I can't say anything pro or con about their support as I've never needed it.

Good luck and please post back should you come up with any good information you care to share with us.

Ron
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#7
starjax

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Steve Gibson, http://grc.com/ Is the creator of SpinRite. He has answered a lot of spinrite questions via the Security Now Podcast (http://twit.tv/ )

I also found that this article provides some good explanations: http://www.linuxjour...ent/reply/7684I

More importantly, here is an article that explains some of the levels and what they do: http://www.sysopt.co...12034_3549006_2

I can not find any references to levels 6 and 7. If these levels exist, they are probably called up by the program itself for the lowest level of data recovery.

I am one of the avid users who readily gives their testimonial about this product. It's saved 2 laptop drives for me and countless other drives at work. It fantastic. Even on the worst drivers, I have never had to do anything more than option 2.

If the hard drive is so bad that spinrite won't recover it, then it it's time to send it off to a data recovery specialist .

Edited by starjax, 04 September 2007 - 01:59 PM.

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#8
emmpe

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Hi, Starjax, I just got home from work. Please realise that I'm totally convinced about the qualities of SR itself, I've seen it work and I'm impressed to the extent of buying it. What bugs me is this lack of correlation between the software's undisputable quality and the way it's presented. For example, there is a reference to a "level seven" in the user's guide, but no explanation whatsoever. Compare that with the rest of the UG and with Gibson's writing on his website - he's a superb pedagogue, and the layout and fonts of the pages, though baffling at first sight, are in fact a perfect choice for easy reading. So why the mistake of leaving out any explanation of a certain single concept in the UG as well as everywhere else? It's just not GRC style at all. Anyway, the level seven conundrum is in no way a crucial point, I'm just so [bleep] curious - GRC is a very unusual kind of software vendor (and probably the only one in the US that doesn't charge EU customers with VAT).
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