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How to Fix Invalid Opcode Error in SpinRite

# Filed on Nov 30, 2009 by AnthonyDiSante 12 replies

I recently tried to run SpinRite on a large SATA disk.  It booted OK and I was able to select the partitions and choose the SpinRite run level, but as soon as it tried to start the scan, it printed an "Invalid Opcode" error followed by a bunch of register addresses or memory locations.  This was on the "Selecting Drive For Use" screen.  SpinRite (and the system) was locked up at that point.

It turned out to be an easy fix: I just had to go into the BIOS, to the SATA mode setting, and change it from IDE to AHCI.  When I did this and then booted SpinRite again, I noticed that a bunch of the drive fields (hardware addrs, hardware irq, etc) were now listed as "unknown", but SpinRite was able to scan the disk now.


01. Apr 29, 2010 at 06:23pm by Sn3akyP3t3:

A GX755 required setting for me was to change from default RAID AHCI to RAID ATA, so kinda the opposite for me.

02. Jul 4, 2010 at 02:08pm by Chris:

On a Toshiba Satellite L300 I had to change the setting from "AHCI" to "Compatibility" which I’m assuming would be ATA mode.

03. Mar 14, 2011 at 11:09pm by MickO:

I did the opposite. I changed AHCI to IDE and the invalid opcode disappeared

04. Mar 17, 2011 at 12:20pm by Voraz76:

Switching to Raid ATA Automatic fixed the opcode for me on a Optiplex 755.  Thanks guys

05. Mar 28, 2011 at 10:16pm by KerryH:

On a Toshiba Satellite L355 I had to change the setting from "AHCI" to "Compatibility" also and then Spinrite worked perfectly.  Thanks for the help and answers (from a while ago!)

06. Aug 8, 2011 at 03:57pm by JimP:

Like Voraz76 I also have an Optiplex 755 and switching from AHCI to ATA in the BIOS fixed the problem. 

Thanks very much everyone!

07. Aug 31, 2011 at 02:58pm by LukeV:

A change from AHCI to ATA on an Optiplex 760 solved the same issue for me. Thanks for the posts guys!

08. Dec 26, 2011 at 09:39pm by CharlieP:

I have a Toshiba P775-S7320 and had to do as the other folks with Toshiba’s.  I changed to ’Compatible’ mode.

Thanks for all the help in this blog.

09. Mar 1, 2012 at 01:55pm by j:

Thank you for the help everyone, this post was exactly what I needed.  My samsung laptop required ahci auto to be turned off and then ahci had to be disabled after that.

10. Jan 24, 2013 at 12:34am by CB:

This puts me in a bind.  I’ve got an Optiplex 780 and want to run SpinRite on a 4000 GB HD. This is over the 2.2 TB limit on MBR patitions, so I think I HAVE to have AHCI enabled b/c the drive has GPT GUID partitions instead of MBR ones.  (good grief that’s a lot of acronymns!).

But SpinRite won’t even start; I get a suggestion to run FDISK and an invalid opcode msg just trying to boot off the CD.  It’s so early on in the boot process that the FreeDOS kernel msg is still on the screen.

Any suggestions?
I hope I got all the technical bits right; that’s just the result of an hour’s research.  This is all kinda new to me.

11. Jan 24, 2013 at 01:27am by AnthonyDiSante:

I have the same problem on several 2TB and 3TB drives.  The OS (Linux) handles them just fine, but SpinRite doesn’t.  It seems like it has to be a bug in SpinRite, but Steve Gibson (SpinRite’s creator) occasionally mentions a forthcoming SpinRite update during his SecurityNow podcast, and it always sounds like it’s a distant-future kind of thing, so I get the impression that he doesn’t think this is a big problem.

I’ve switched to using the badblocks command (by booting a Linux LiveCD or LiveDVD, e.g. one of the Ubuntu discs) for full-disk scans on these larger hard drives.  There’s some mention of that, and other SpinRite alternatives, in this thread:


12. May 31, 2013 at 03:07am by danwat1234:

On my G50VT laptop I had to change from AHCI to compatibility mode, otherwise after a few minutes of it being halted at the DOS screen before the Spinrite logo appears, the Opcode error occurs.

But, with compatibility mode I’m stuck in PIO 4 mode and no S.M.A.R.T.! It would take about 4 days to Level 4 scan my 750GB drive versus a few hours with a full pipeline..

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