And those who try to defend Spinrite.
What Spinrite now is and what Spinrite first WAS are not the same thing. As I said above, Spinrite could non-destructively reinterleave a hard disk -- as well as being able to work out what the best interleave actually was.
Before sector translation made the process impossible, hard disk was both very expensive and performance was directly tied to the interleave of the thing.
Ideally, if you're reading data off a disk, you want to process the contents of the current sector and have the next one just coming under the read head when you're ready for it. A badly interleaved drive (and this is rarely something you did yourself, so they were often interleaved before they ever met the host PC) would have to turn almost a full rotation to get the next sector, so this made a lot of difference to performance.
You might be able to tell how unpleasant this was by the fact that I still remember it so well, despite never having had to worry about it for many, many years...
To reinterleave a hard disk, you backed it up, ran a low-level format -- generally by running the code positioned at D800:5 on the drive controller -- then fdisked, formatted, and hoped for the best. Even though we're probably only talking about 10- or 20 MB drives, this was VERY timeconsuming.
When a company called (cheesily) The Control-Alt Deli called me up and told me about what Spinrite could do -- that's a reinterleave without disturbing the data, so no backup (although I always did one), fdisk, format and test routine required, and given that I had a lot of PCs that all needed looking after and always needed another ounce of performance
I was first disbelieving -- like, "how is this even possible?" and second, extremely cheerful about the time I was going to save.
What Spinrite's become since then is unimportant. I stand by my original statement that it was a genuinely revolutionary product that did an amazing job. And
to you too.