How Does SpinRite
Figure Into This?
Click Death, "Trouble In Paradise" and SpinRite
Our "Trouble In Paradise" utility is free, SpinRite is not. (SpinRite 5.0 costs $89 for non-upgrading purchasers.) This raises the question ... what are we giving away for free, and what do you get for $89 when you purchase SpinRite? And more importantly, how and when should the two programs be used separately and in concert?

Before answering these questions, you should have some sense for what SpinRite and TIP do and how they differ:

SpinRite in a Nutshell

SpinRite is a general purpose mass storage utility that is unmatched for its ability to recover data from "crashed" drives, reconstitute file and user data lost through run away software, viruses, dropped computers, operator errors, power failures or any other mishaps. No matter what you do to your hard, floppy, or other drives, SpinRite knows how to maintain their data surfaces in tip top shape. And if any of your data can not be read, SpinRite digs down and pulls it back from past the edge of oblivion. SpinRite's technology really is that good. (If you're curious for more details, please download SpinRite's "What's Under the Hood" technical note, a 165k PDF file)

SpinRite is still the top-selling data recovery utility after more than ten years and five major revisions because it is very easy to use and it has saved more data and maintained more drives than all other competing utilities combined. Ten years ago SpinRite had many active competitors, but today they're all gone because SpinRite turned out to be the only mass storage utility that the industry needed. As BYTE Magazine said when it named SpinRite for the year's award for technical achievement:

"All I can say about the Gibson Research people is that they did their
homework. You shouldn't underestimate its usefulness. SpinRite is what
the word MUST was invented for."  - Richard Grehan, BYTE Magazine

BUT ...

Although SpinRite owes much of its success and power to its generality, which allows it to work on any hard, floppy, or other disk, it does not know SPECIFICALLY about the unique characteristics of the Iomega Zip and Jaz drives.

This is where the Iomega-specific "Trouble In Paradise" utility comes into play...

"Trouble In Paradise" (TIP)

TIP was written specifically to determine the health and condition of Iomega Zip and Jaz drives. Unlike SpinRite, TIP does not know how to repair damage that's been done to the cartridges (although TIP's use can indeed be beneficial). Instead, TIP provides valuable information about an Iomega drive's and cartridge's "behind the scenes" defective sector management that's normally completely hidden from the user.

Unlike any other software program ever written,
TIP is sensitive to the detailed inner workings
of Iomega drives and cartridges.

SpinRite and TIP . . . the Dynamic Duo!

Before SpinRite can be used on any Iomega drive and cartridge you must verify that the drive is capable of writing correctly to its cartridges. This is what TIP was designed to help you verify. If an Iomega drive is NOT writing correctly then running SpinRite -- or any other utility -- would just give the drive more opportunity to mess up your cartridges!

If you don't own SpinRite you can use TIP all by itself as an early warning system to alert you to damaging behavior from your Iomega drives.

If you ever need to recover data from your Iomega drives, and you want to use SpinRite for that task. You must first use TIP to verify that the drive is functioning. If not it must first be replaced, and only then should SpinRite be employed for data recovery operations.

A Typical Interchange Between Three People
On The "" Newsgroup:

On 8/4/98 Blake Eiseman wrote...

"On the Spinrite web site, they are claiming that the new version (5.0) actually FIXES most Jaz and Zip click of death problems. Has anyone had any experience? Is this true? I'd rather give my $89 to a software company and have a product I'll be able to use in the future, rather than giving it to Iomega so they can ship me another defective drive."

On 8/5/98 Alan Farzier replied...

"Steve Gibson's stuff fixes disks with hard errors that cause one of the two kinds of Click of Death. It's definitely a cool product, and extremely useful. It won't, however, fix a damaged drive, which causes the OTHER kind of Click of Death."

Then on 8/12/98 Pudly DoRight followed up with ...

"Yup, it finds and locks off bad sectors, found fourteen on a "perfect" Iomega disk that would click n hang on just the files in the bad spots. Moved my data to safety and gave me a slightly smaller, but safe, zip disk to use."

"Coaxed the data off of another such disk, long formatted it, had it declared (by Iomega format) "perfect," only 2 have the same shit all over again. Spun-Rited it, and now I can actually USE it."

"And Spin-Rite can do this for your permanent HD(s) as well, and apparently can help to anticipate impending HD failure."

One More Optional Use For SpinRite:

One last note: SpinRite will take much longer than TIP to examine the entire data surface of a Zip or Jaz cartridge, because SpinRite's surface analysis tests are far more extensive and sophisticated. (See the technote mentioned above for information on this too.) But as a result, SpinRite does a much better job of detecting and removing defective sectors than TIP can. After all, that's what SpinRite was designed for, TIP wasn't. So if your data is really important to you, you might want to consider the occasional use of SpinRite to flush all defective sectors off the Zip or Jaz disk. You can then monitor the defect sector counts by running TIP before and after SpinRite, which is what TIP is all about. Tip will report on the number of sectors that were taken out of service by SpinRite's extensive surface analysis testing.

What IS the
Click Of Death?
How can I tell if
I have Click Death?
What can I do
Is it contagious? How can I cure it? How does SpinRite
figure into this?
What else has been
written about this?
The anatomy
of a Zip drive
Steve Gibson's
Click Death Q&A
Can you notify me of important news? So what's next?

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Research Corporation, Laguna Hills, CA, USA. GRC's web and customer privacy policy.
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Last Edit: Oct 03, 2003 at 21:17 (5,099.68 days ago)Viewed 4 times per day