Rick wants to know if after using SpinRite, will a drive cloning app copy the bad sectors as well? Leo says no. SpinRite marks them as "do not use." And as such, the cloning software will avoid them. But it will list those cloned sectors as empty, which isn't a bad thing.
Dan's hard drive has failed and he needs to do a drive recovery. Leo says that the first step in drive recovery is to have a backup on hand. The next thing is to understand what caused the hard drive fail. It could be hardware, or it could be software. That's why relying on a professional is a better option than going the DIY route.
Jay's friend has an old Windows Vista laptop and is wondering whether to upgrade it to Windows 8, despite it not having a touch screen. Leo says it doesn't have to have a touch screen. Everything can be done with a touch pad or mouse. In fact, Windows 8 may even run faster on that system, provided it has at least 2 GB of RAM. Microsoft has fixed a lot of problems that plagued Windows in the past with Windows 8 as well.
Mike was having trouble with his hard drive. First he ran his malicious software removal tool and after 36 hours, he found one threat and nothing else. Then he ran SpinRite to clean things up. Leo says that's a sound strategy, as long as he remembers to backup his data.
Mike also is having issues with his dry loop DSL. When he contacted his company, they came out right away, which was very refreshing. Leo says that most smaller companies use customer service as a feature, while larger companies simply don't care.
Naomi has been running SpinRite to repair a failing hard drive. Leo says that SpinRite fixes the lowest level problems of bad sectors. It will try and read them and if it can't, it'll copy the data off and move it, then mark that sector unusable. It won't stop until it reads it, which can take weeks. She did that and now it won't boot up. Leo says to get the data off the hard drive first by booting to a CD or by using another PC to read it. Then transfer the drive and make it a USB external drive. Then wipe the drive and reinstall Windows.
After hours and hours of SpinRite attempting to fix Jeremy's drive, it said the operation had failed and proceeding could damage the drive. It could be that the drive is too badly damaged. SpinRite will only work on a very specific issue. It doesn't know about file systems or files, it can run on any format hard drive. It's only trying to read data from a sector, and if it can't read it, it will try harder than normal programs. In many cases it can read that data, and once it does that, it marks that sector unusable and moves the data to another readable sector.