Mark Knecht wrote:
> Hi,
>    Completely new to the list. First post. Be gentle. ;-)
>    I have a program called SpinRite used for checking hard drives. On
> the Gibson Research page they state that if I can see drives under DOS
> then there's a good chance that SpinRite can test the drives. I'd like
> to try that under FreeDOS. (Note that they use FreeDOS on their
> bootable distribution.) The input I got from their tech support folks
> was that it's hit and miss WRT the USB controllers in the specific
> machine but I've got a number of machines that I could try so
> hopefully I've got a chance.
>    I'm looking for any reasonable solution that might allow me to do
> this. My ideas are:
> 1) A prebuilt FreeDOS ISO image that has some USB drivers in
> config.sys supporting OHCI, EHCI or UHCI USB controllers, as well as
> supporting a CD-ROM. With this I could try running SpinRite from a
> second CD after booting FreeDOS. I've done this with FreeDOS already
> and it works but the FreeDOS ISO image I downloaded doesn't seem to
> support USB.
> 2) Failing that (or in addition to) I'd like to build my own FreeDOS
> bootable CD where I set up the drivers I want to load. I've found a
> couple of USB DOS drivers  that I could try if I placed them in
> config.sys.
>    If there some other way to try this I'll take any inputs. I'd even
> be fine with running FreeDOS in a Linux terminal if it can access the
> drives via the Linux kernel.
> Thanks in advance,
> Mark
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I don`t know the application SpinRite. But like most harddisk recovery 
and deep harddisk scan applications it may talk directly to the IDE 
controller (raw read with own file system drivers).

Therefore if it does not have native support to scan USB harddisks then 
it doesn`t matter if you add USB drivers or not. At least them would 
have some support informations about this...

I made similar experience with EasyRecovery (a very similar application 
with a dos based rescue floppy).

You are lucky if you can get USB harddisks to run in dos. But them are 
removable non ide disks. Them have basic functions, the operating system 
can work with them and you can install normal applications. What them 
are still not is a full replacement for internal harddisks.

If any hardware near application is also made to analysis USB harddisks 
then it will come with some instructions to get the driver working. My 
advise is not to do to much fiddling and force an legacy application to 
do something it wasn`t made for.

Btw: if you don`t know already. Most (I did not find any whos not) 
external USB harddisk is just a normal harddisk with an USB enclose. You 
can unplug this harddisk and stick it in your comp like an normal 
internal harddisk also.

Maybe get rather a more up to date software for this purpose.

best regards
Michael Reichenbach

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