After 827 days of running time my RaspiBlitz BTC lightning node refused to mount the external hdd (Toshiba HDTB410EK3AA Canvio Basics, USB 3.0, 1TB). Smart errors of the weirdest kind. I remembered Gibson’s spammy advertisements during the Security Now! Podcast, praising SpinRite for recovery. As there was no physical damage / interaction that would have caused that i gave it a try.

After i bought the license, i downloaded the exe causing first problem, how to run on Linux? I have a Windows 7 laptop for such cases, so i executed the program and tried all the different options to create a bootable USB, finally succeeding by writing out the diskette spinrite.img to harddisk, then dd-ing it onto a usb flash drive:

dd if=/path/to/SpinRite.img conv=notrunc of=/dev/<your usb device, i.e. sda>

After rebooting the same laptop with the external USB disk attached, SpinRite started right away, and luckily for me, the drive was instantly recognized; no need for driver voodoo on the included FreeDOS distribution - that was my biggest concern. Probably the fact that the external disk is not a casing with some exotic usb-controller, but a disk with an integrated usb port helped a lot. A small downer was the unavailability of smart data for SpinRite - I don’t have a theory about that.

The first run failed with a program abort:

This is ongoing.