Hi Mark,

>    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.

What sort of checking do you want to do?

> 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.

One CDROM should be enough, just put both DOS and Spinrite on it.
The problem is that most USB drivers for DOS are not "free enough"
to put them on some official DOS CDROM, but you can often download
them from the official homepages of the drivers, or from other web
places... I myself use USBASPI4 and ASPIDISK - or simply the BIOS,
as newer BIOSes make USB disks and sticks visible to DOS without
further drivers - if the disk/stick is already plugged in when the
BIOS boots up. For USB 2.0 speed, I believe DUSE is an okay choice.

> 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.

Our wiki and FAQ has some nice info about the USB topic, try this:

> www.google.com/search?q=site%3Afd-doc.sourceforge.net+usb

Note that if you use spinrite for lowlevel things then using
Linux as gateway is not a good idea. Better use Linux tools
directly in this case, such as hdparm (drive and speed info)
and smartmontools (smartctl, to display drive health info)
and dosfsck (like CHKDSK and SCANDISK) and similar :-).


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