SN 801: Out With The Old

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

Steve said that the biggest payout for Ryuk was $34m and that you could buy a “new everything” for that.

Yes, but no… If they have managed to cripple your backup infrastructure (a common part of the attacks these days, unfortunately), then, no, you can’t buy a new everything for that money.

For example, you have to keep 10 years worth of all financial and tax relevant data (in Germany). If your backups are gone, how much is it going to cost to have people type all of that data back into your ERP and finance systems? Recipes (chemical or food), construction plans (mechanical, engineering), source code on repositories that got affected, technical documentation etc. That is a huge amount of information that can go missing and can’t easily be recovered, if the backup system has also been screwed with. Even if you have “only” lost the last 3 or 12 months of data, that is still a huge cost to the business to get it back - and how many current transactions (outstanding deliveries etc.) are missing and need to be reconstructed in the next few hours or days?

As Steve went deep into one of his propeller-head blurbs about the workings of SpinRite, it occurred to me the amount of confidence it would have taken decades ago to undertake such a mission. Have we ever been aware of anyone’s drive becoming toast after running SpinRite? I just cannot imagine being responsible for a software application that could potentially be the cause of data corruption or total devastation. Yet after such an accomplishment, here he goes again, working on a new version and dealing with even more variables. And at our age (60+) still having enough intestinal fortitude. Certainly solidifies what makes Steve an amazing individual and great engineer.


Only 1 Mac drive didn’t survive SpinRite in my experience, but to be fair, that was probably the sugary coffee my daughter poured over it! The drive was unreadable before I put it through SpinRite, but it failed completely (motor) while SpinRite was running.

(My daughter was at a lecturer at uni and threw her thermos coffee cup into her backpack, but forgot to seal it first. By the time she got home, the MacBook had a lovely moire pattern on the screen (it was turned off) and coffee was dripping out of the innards.)

If a drive is already dying, SpinRite is a kill-or-cure last ditch attempt at getting the data back (other than sending it to a data recovery specialist). It also puts the drives through hell, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if a number of drives that were physically damaged (dry bearings, dropped and head crash etc.) actually give up the ghost completely during a SpinRite run.

If it is just weak magnetics or a damaged sector, SpinRite can often pull the data back.

1 Like