PXE Booting SpinRite 6.0

If you have ever needed to recover a failed hard drive, then chances are you have heard of SpinRite. My first encounter with SpinRite was about 7 years ago when I was tasked with recovering a *.pst file from a failed hard drive. Since that day, I have used SpinRite 100’s of times to successfully recover data and/or recondition old hard drives. With that said, the purpose of this article is how to PXE boot SpinRite 6.0. You might be asking “Why would I want to PXE boot SpinRite?”, well the answer is easy. If you are responsible for a network of machines, then relieving yourself of the need to carry a bootable CD or USB Drive is a must! The process of setting up SpinRite to PXE Boot is strait forward. Fortunately for us, Steve Gibson, the author of SpinRite has made creating the bootable image drop dead simple. First you will need to run the SPINRITE.EXE file on a windows machine. As seen below, you will be greeted with the home screen. On the home screen, click “Create ISO or IMG File” highlighted in yellow.spinrite-home Next, you will see the “Create Boot Image File” dialog seen below. Click on the button “Save a Boot Image File” highlighted in yellow.spinrite-boot Then you will be prompted with the save file dialog. Ensure you have set the file name to spinrite and set the file type to IMG. Once you have completed these steps, you will have the bootable image file needed for your PXE stack . The only other file you will need at this point is memdisk which you can grab from our previous article PXE Structure on Windows 2008 R2 it is contained in the download that is directly linked here. If you have yet to setup a PXE environment in your organization, have a look at how to Enable PXE on Windows 2008 R2. Lastly, once you have collected all your files, you will need to copy them to your PXE Server directory and add the menu item below to your PXE Server menu file which in our case is named default. I can confirm that this configuration is working on both the Windows and Linux PXE stacks.

MENU LABEL SpinRite Drive Diagnostics
kernel images/dsk/spr/memdisk
append initrd=images/dsk/spr/spinrite.img
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