There’s quite a bit of demand for SpinRite alternatives and that’s mainly because the software is quite old and hasn’t been updated since 2004. If not this, then you’re probably not conformable with shelling out $89 which is around the same price you’d pay for a new 1TB HDD. The utility is the most popular at what it does – Scanning and refreshing HDD as well as recovering data. But it isn’t well suited for high capacity drives that are above 500GB. And that’s mainly because manufacturers have designed them to independently manage bad sectors.
Also, even if you do manage to remap bad sectors in high capacity drives, it wouldn’t be long before the disk starts to fail again as the fix would be a temporary, not to mention time consuming solution. The moment you find out that your HDD is damaged, assume it’s time to backup your stuff and get a replacement. And now we come to the disappointing part – There’s no substitute software which provides exactly the same features as the tool in question in a single package. But on the upside, we’re going to recommend some utilities and useful technique that will help you identify whether your HDD is damaged, attempt to restore it and recover the data before it’s too late.
1. Disk manufacturer’s diagnostic tools:
As we mentioned above, the software in question isn’t exactly designed for large volume HDDs and if you’ve got a drive that’s over 500GB capacity, you’d be better off using something that’s more up-to-date. If you aren’t aware, almost every popular manufacturer including Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung, Hitachi and Fujitsu amongst others, has developed its own software for diagnostics. You’ll find them on the company’s website, probably under the support section. Use the appropriate one to check your HDD for bad sectors and depending on the outcome, you can decide whether to invest in a backup solution. Some of them even come preloaded with tools to help you move your data to a new drive.
2. HDD Regenerator:
Programs similar to SpinRite are few and you won’t get all of the features in a single package. Well HDD Regenerator is the closest there is on the market and it can scan drives for bad sectors and even repair them. Like the software in question, this one is also supports almost every file system available and it’ll even be able to access RAW drives which are unformatted or unpartitioned. Additionally, it doesn’t need to be executed under an operating system and can work independently. You’ll be able to use HDD Regenerator to recover data that was once unreadable. For Windows users, you get real-time hard drive status monitoring so that you’ll be well aware if your storage unit is about to face problems. The biggest downside of HDD Regenerator is that it doesn’t come cheap, but it does everything it claims to. For the many features offered, you’ll have to shell out $99.99.
For Windows users, GetDataBack Simple is one of the finest HDD recovery software on the market. It can run on almost every platform from XP to the latest release and supports FAT and NTFS file systems. The application provides an intuitive interface where you’ll be able to get started with just a few clicks. Apart from HDDs, it also supports SSDs, flash cards and USB sticks. GetDataBack can be used as a live CD to recover data when your system drive crashes. The software is priced at $79 and includes licenses for the file system specific FAT and NTFS versions as well. There’s also a free demo available so that you can evaluate its capabilities before spending anything.
Like SpinRite, Ontrack Easy Recovery offers a comprehensive roster of tools for data recovery. It comes in multiple versions such as Home, Pro and Enterprise, each designed with a specific set of capabilities. The UI is designed to make the entire process convenient and you’ll be able to retrieve data that’s damaged, deleted or even erased as result of a format. Ontrack Easy Recovery can be downloaded for Windows and Mac systems. Prices start at $79 and go up to $499 for the Enterprise edition, while a free trial version can also be acquired.
5. Use a live CD to recover data:
Apart from these programs similar to SpinRite, you could also use a Live CD which allows you to boot into an OS directly from the optical disk or USB flash drive without the need for installation. We recommend using the latest release of Ubuntu to access your failed drive or even attempt to recover it via tools that you’d find in the universe repository. There are numerous utilities available here, so you better research for guides and recommendations before you get started. Also, you can choose to copy files to an external drive or upload them to the cloud if you’ve no storage units to spare. Then there’s Hiren’s BootCD 15.2 which can also be acquired for free. This option delivers an enormous roster of freeware software which can be used to manage and recover corrupted HDDs amongst various other things.
If you do manage to get your HDD working with any of the aforementioned SpinRite alternatives, it doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear and can use your drive as normal. It’s best that you start searching for a replacement and move your data to another storage unit. If you’ve got any tips or recommendations for our readers, or need assistance with any of the tools listed here, feel free to drop in a few lines in the comments below.