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Techtool Pro 4 Reader Reports:Return to News Page

Reader Reports on TechTool Pro 4
Posted: 2/1/2003
User reports updated 8/17/2007

This page has reader reports on TechTool Pro 4.x. (Check Micromat's site for latest version/updates.) If you've used TechTool Pro 4.x, I welcome your comments. (Include TTpro version, mac model used/OS version and if you've tested booting from the TTPro 4 CD in reports - thanks.) But as with any disk utility - I'd suggest having an up-to-date backup using Carbon Copy Cloner, etc. first. (I've personally relied primarily on Alsoft's DiskWarrior for disk repairs.)

EDrive Notes:
To create an Edrive requires 4GB of free disk space. (5GB I hear for Tiger/10.4) It refused to install on my PB G4/800 2nd partition with only 3.4GB of free space. This info is on page 67 of the PDF manual.
Hold the Option key at boot to select the Edrive (or use the Startup Disk control panel) (NOTE: Micromat wrote they've removed the "E" key boot info from their webpage as it was abandonded as a boot method in the final product.) BTW: even after entering the TTPro 4 Serial Number when first running it from the hard drive (after the install from CD) - I had to enter the S/N again when first booting from the Edrive.
I've not (yet) had to use it for disk repair (I did run their complete tests on the Dual G5 in 10.3.1 and it passed all tests including a surface scan) but it seems well worth the $49.xx upgrade price. (It's the only repair utility CD I have that's bootable from CD with the G5.) I verfied the TTPro 4.01 CD was bootable on the G5 but on any system it takes a long, long time to boot from the CD. I'd guess several minutes to get past the initial gray screen even with the Dual G5 2GHz, so be patient.

Micromat tech support mentioned:

" The eDrive requires room to hold a minimal OS X installation, TechTool Pro 4, and adequate swap space for safety. Future releases of the program may allow some configuration options to the eDrive size. "

Notes on Booting from TTPro 4.0.1 CD (NOTE: See below for a reader report on major problems using the 4.0.1 CD for Tiger/OS X 10.4.x repairs. Update the CD to v4.0.4 for Tiger use.) The 4.0.1 CD has OS X 10.3.0, so the past issues 10.3.0 had with some Firewire drives (esp. FW800 drives connected during an install) apply. There were firmware updates last month for FW800 drives to reportedly address this and you don't need to boot from the CD to repair a FW drive (you can run TTPro4 from the Hard Drive which you've updated to 10.3.1, or from the "Edrive") but just a FYI. Awaiting Micromat comments on this but posting as a FYI. (Note as I mentioned before - it takes a long long time to boot from the TTPro4 CD on my PB G4/800 and Dual G5 system. Micromat says it can take as long as 10 minutes.)

Latest TechTool Pro 4 Feedback:
If you've used TechTool Pro 4.x I welcome your comments. (Please include TTPro 4 version, mac model/OS version used in reports. Thanks. Remember having a current backup is the best insurance. I use a Portable FW drive for this, although AC powered models can use much larger drives.)

(added 8/17/2007)
"I have a G4/AGP (tower) with a processor upgrade and lots of hard drive space. I've been a satisfied TTPro user since version 1.x. Back in April of this year I was doing my regular every few months drive maintenance with TTPro 4.1.2 both directory and defrag of multiple system partitions and data partitions. (Reader FYI - The 4.1.2 update (May 2006) was the last free update for TTpro 4.0x owners. They have 4.5.x versions now but they're not a free update for v4.0/v4.1.x users.-Mike)
Yeh, I know it was stupid to do them all at once but I had never had a problem before and was in a hurry. When done I was unable to boot from any of the drives that TTPro (4.1.2) had worked on.

I finally booted and reinstalled from DVD to a test partition. I immediately went online and bought Disk Warrior. DW repaired all the failing partitions, I got every thing back. Since then I've been afraid to use TTPro.
Rick"

Back in the OS 9.x and before era (and before DiskWarrior first came out), I used TTpro, Norton Disk Doctor, etc. but after buying Disk Warrior (and DW2, DW3 but not yet bought v4), I use if -first- for any major disk repair. It's paid for itself several times over (at least 3 times I can recall where files could not be copied off the drive for instance). I use it first as if something tries to repair the drive and fails to do so correctly, it can make matters worse.
Of course the #1 golden rule is to have a backup drive. (I use both a portable Firewire drive and a dual 3.5in drive FW case for backups. The latter has partitions on the drives for backups of each of the main work machines here.) A good backup drive is well worth the cost. (And it's not much more than some software utilities cost, depending on the size of the HD used - for instance 500GB SATA drives dropped to $99 each earlier this year - I'm going to get a pair of those to put in my Dual-drive Elite AL Quad interface case kit, which currently has dual 250GB drives I had as spares.)


(added 2/2/2007)
"True! (reply to yesterday's report below) Using TTPro 4 on PM G5 Dual 2.0/OS 10.4.8 - and Big Disk 500GB Lacie Ext. Drive. Lacie Drive disappeared from my desktop after running TTPro 4 diagnostics. (TTPro v4.0.4 he later said-Mike)
Rendered volume unavailable. Was able to repair volume w/ Norton Utilities when connecting Lacie drive to another (G4) Mac computer w/ Norton. Reconnected drive to G5 and Icon reappeared on desktop!
Message read: (B Tree Error)
All good now.
(he later wrote)
TechTool Pro 4.0.4 was used. I will upgrade to 4.5 plus patch shortly and try that. Thanks for listening and thanks for keeping "us" more informed...
-RP"


(added 2/1/2007)
"I cannot possibly be the only one who has had these problems with TechTool Pro 4 & 4.5. I have been a registered owner since version 3. Under OS9 I trusted Techtool Pro implicitly. More so than Norton Utilities although I used both in the course of routine maintenance and still do. (Since first using it many years ago (OS 9 era), I rely on DiskWarrior for disk repairs, although no utility can fix everything it's recovered corrupted drives several times for me over the years. I've not used v4.x however (I own v3 and v2), but some other readers have. See DiskWarrior 4 User Reports-Mike)

However, TechTool Pro 4 started becoming flaky somewhere around version 4.04 with Mac OS 10.3.9. It was haphazardly capable of corrupting essential system files rendering a volume problematic and even invisible.

TechTool Pro 4.5, supposedly for Intel Macs, is no better.

I am at this moment trying to 'see' enough of a friend's Powerbook hard drive to be able to save as much as possible before reformatting it.
There were no visible problems with the powerbook. It was just a routine TechTool session and it has destroyed the system.

I has exactly the same experience over a two week period when I was forced to re-install five times before my Titanium Powerbook was stable. At the time I suspected the Optimisation tool as the main culprit. The disc appeared healthy after each section of the TechTool workout but finally became problematic after Optimisation.

However, none of this is constant. Sometimes it works and sometimes (more often) TechTool seems to screw things up.

The Intel Mac version 4.5 has never been useful to the extent that I install it for the sole purpose of creating an eDrive and then quickly remove it. Just having it sitting on the hard drive is sufficient to sporadically freeze the 20" Intel iMac.

Micromat does not want to hear about it and responds with puerile questions that pre-suppose I am an idiot.

I write this to sound a cautionary note to all that Micomat's TechTool is not as great as it once was. It is now dangerous.
I wish I knew of an alternative.
Yours Sincerely, Graham H "

I always try Diskwarrior first, but for drives that have had hardware failures (head crash, drive electronics failure, etc.) A current backup is the best insurance (hindsight is always 20/20).


(Older reports follow)

TechTool Pro 4.1.2 Feedback

(added 7/5/2006 - Joe's previous report from Dec. 2005 is directly below)
"No Problems. I would like to see you make comments on the upgrade and how it is working...(This is the first mail I've gotten on v4.1.2 so far - as I mentioned before I stopped using TTPro 4 last year. Not a popular utility with readers apparently. I rely on Diskwarrior personally.-Mike)
My system is below.
Joe K.
B & W w/G4 500 MHz / 896 megs / Safari 2.0.3 / OS 9.2.2 & OS X.4.6"

Techtool Pro 4.1.1 Feedback:

(from 12/15/2005 mail)
"I have a Blue and White with Sonnet's 500 MHz upgrade. I updated to 4.1.1 and have had absolutely no problems. For the person who said they needed to "start all over again" with the E drive. They obviously didn't follow the instructions. When I updated it gave me a choice as I always keep two versions just in case one doesn't work properly. I updated both my current partition as well as the E drive, restarting each time.
I ran most of the tools and have had no problems. I love Micromat for giving us yet one more update without having to pay for this kind of upgrade.
-Joe K.
B & W w/G4 500 MHz / 896 megs / Safari 2.0.2 / OS 9.2.2 & OS X.4.3"

(added 12/14/2005)
"I never had problems with TechTools Pro until the last couple of versions. (I think it started with 4.0.5 or so.)
The latest, 4.1.1 also gives me problems. I am unable to launch the application properly. It crashes upon start.
I think I know what the issue is. On my Mac, I have the following entry in my /etc/fstab
    LABEL=Users /Users hfs rw 1 1

This mounts my "Users" partition to make it seem like /Users is still on the root drive.
I could comment out the entry and test it, but I guess I'll have to try on the weekend when I'm not as tired.
Just thought I'd let you folks know in case anyone else has a similar configuration as mine. I used to have an "Applications" partition as well, but did away with it when Software Update refused to update some Apple applications. Thanks for all your useful information,
-Ben "


(added 12/14/2005)
I have a Pismo running 10.3.9 with the latest security updates. I installed the Techtool Update 4.1.1 to my 4.0.5 installation and began checking the disk volumes on my internal IBM 40gb internal drive.
An error -4444 (allocation file/bitmap according to TTP report) is reported on my fourth partition, a classic HFS 930MB partition that I use for scratch CD images and sharing to older OSes when mounted in slave mode, etc. In attempting to repair this error, TTP 4.1.1 seems to hang trying try to fix this volume. Right now, I've been waiting for 6 hours for it to get out of hang its been in halfway through the Volume Structure Repairs. I'm about to proceed with a force quit of TTP 4.1.1...it seems to have a problem with this sort of thing--that was my experience with 4.0.x I'm afraid.
Fortunately, I have nothing important on that volume. Makes me think I definitely need to try backing a volume up prior to attempting any repairs with TTP...

(he later wrote)
"Here is a quick followup to my problems on my Pismo and TTP 4.1.1.

Disk Utility (10.3.9/latest) has never reported problems with the fourth HSF volume. I ran Norton 8.0.2 on this volume and it found and fixed some minor problems with files I had downloaded there from VPC 6.x or 3.x awhile back. (I believe it was v3 as the creation dates of these PC files seem to be prior to my purchase of VPC 6. My copy of Norton was set to automatically fix problems without dialog confirmations, a situation I have now correct!)

Still, TTP 4.1.1 continues to report a -4444 error from the volume, although Norton now shows no problems and DU continues to see no problems. Network sharing is not enabled on this computer. No files are being shared on the volume, it is not a bootable drive and has no bootable system. Norton Filesaver is off. Its a mystery.

I've queried Micromat through their Techsupport request interface. I wish they had online technical support with an info database or something...or did I miss something looking at their site?
Best regards, Tim "

Not that I know of... let me know what Micromat says about this.(I almost recall some past notes on problems with some util and drives with 4 or 5 partitions but I can't remember the details now.)
With later OS X versions of the 3rd party utils I generally only rely on DiskWarrior for repairs. Several years ago I stopped using Norton (the last version I had was for OS 9.x) and although I bought TTPro 4, I've stopped using it for more than a year. I may give 4.1.1 a try the next time I need to repair a drive though (making sure I have an existing backup of it first.)


(added 12/14/2005)
"I have had issues with the last two updates to TechTool on my Al Powerbook. The update work fine on my other machines, but when I try to update my Powerbook, it just says "gathering information" and gets no further. I've had it with Micromat and will be getting Disk Warrior soon.
-Scott "


(Reports on TTPro 4.0.5 and earlier follow)

(added 8/17/2005)
"I just updated TTP to 4.0.5 and have come close to disaster as a consequence. I wanted to update the copy of TTP on the eDrive, and the only sensible way of doing that seemed to be to remove the old eDrive and install a new one under 4.0.5, which would also give the new partition size for Tiger. My eDrive always resided on my 120GB  internal disk; I also have a 500GB Firewire drive partitioned in two. After installing the new eDrive I ran some TTP volume/directory tests on the Firewire drive, and it claimed to fix some errors. I then discovered that the internal drive was irrecoverably damaged. Neither TTP, Diskwarrior, Disk Utility nor fsck could save it. Only when I removed the eDrive from it (using TTP) could the volume directory be salvaged; TTP at least did recover the volume it had trashed! So now I am without the eDrive. What is more, ever since running those TTP tests on my drives, I am getting all sorts of little failures: disks failing to mount, directories disappearing in the Finder, Disk Utility reporting irrecoverable damage - only to find that a simple restart will cure the problem (so far!). Still I don't like it and if I had yet another 500GB drive I would certainly initialise my Firewire backup. But of course I can't. Micromat Tech support helpfully states:

    " We are sorry you had these problems and can only say they are not typical. Be sure you are keeping important data backed up since there is definitely something amiss. If you haven't already done so, you might consider doing a Surface Scan test on your drive to check for and attempt to lock out any physical bad blocks."

There was nothing amiss before I started monkeying about with TechTool Pro 4.0.5. Something tells me I shall not be using TTP again.
Jeff S.
G4 Cube (dual Powerlogix 1.6GHz, 1.5 GB RAM, 120 GB Seagate, Radeon 9000, OS X 10.4.2).
I have not tried booting from the TTP CD as I do not have a CD of the version that is required for Tiger. "


(added 8/16/2005)
"I downloaded the update, installed it. Then, I started from the 4.0.4 CD (which I recently had to purchase to upgrade the eDrive to 5 Gb, since I only had the4.0.1 CD.) I removed the existing 5Gb eDrive, and created a new one. Same thing. 5GB. I just wrote tech support, I'll let you know what they have to say when they reply.

(he later wrote)... I just emailed you about the 5GB eDrive. Micromat answered back right away. Here it is:
Tech's Reply
Date Posted: 08/15/2005 02:41:26 PM
Response: Running version 4.0.4 of the program will create a 5G eDrive for Tiger. You must run v4.0.5 of the program when creating the eDrive to make one that is 6G.

If you have a second hard drive, you can create the eDrive on it while running the installed version 4.0.5 of the program. You can also attach the computer to a second computer in FireWire Target Disk mode and then run the program from the second computer to create an eDrive on the first computer's hard drive. Additionally, you can purchase the latest CD at any time from Micromat Sales for $24.97 plus shipping.
Thank You
Micromat Inc.
Technical Support Team

These guys will nickel & dime you to death. I don't have a second drive or another Mac laying around. So, they want me to give them another $25 for the upgrade CD. I don't think so! Love the site,
Andy "

I mentioned to Andy there were older posts here (below) on using "BootCD" to create an updated Boot CD but BootCD reportedly isn't tiger compatible.


(added 8/16/2005)
"I got yesterday's update to TTP 4.0.5. Since I'm running Tiger, I decided to redo the eDrive, which was not on my boot drive, but on a drive called "hold" which had 76 gigs of data (about 388,000 files). Before removing the eDrive using TTP (which one is required to do in order to install a new one) I ran both TTP and Diskwarrior on "hold" to ensure that it was OK.

I ran TTP4 and removed the eDrive from "hold." Then, using the new TTP 4.0.5, I installed a new eDrive on a different volume without any difficulty.

However, when I went back to "hold" I found that it was trashed beyond repair. TTP4.05 could not fix it; DiskWarrior could not fix it; Disk Utility could not fix it. DataRescue X couldn't recover it. 388,000 files up in smoke.

As I write this, near midnight, I'm about an hour into a DataRescue X block-by-block file retrieval scan that is scheduled to take at least an hour more.

So: here's the warning. If you're about to replace an eDrive with a new one: BACK UP THE WHOLE VOLUME FIRST! There is (based on my experience) a -very- strong probability of trashing the volume that hold your old eDrive when you remove it.
-Tracy V. "


(added 8/16/2005)
"Good morning, Mike. I installed the 4.0.5 update Saturday morning & have had an interesting bug since then. The "suites" of tests (the mid-level one) crash the program when it starts working on the hard drives after the hardware tests have run. However, when I run each test/repair routine individually, they act as normal (i.e. finish without crashing the Tech Tool program).
Odd, but a bit inconvenient.
MDD dual gig, 1.5 meg ram, 10.4.2.
Cordially, Jay W. "


Feedback on TTPro 4.0.4 Update:

(added 4/28/2005)
"I've had TechTool 4.04 completely freeze my system on 3 of 3 launches. System totally locked, including clock and cursor.
OS 10.3.8. G5 dual 2.0GHz June 2004.
John C. "


(added 4/28/2005)
"OSX 10.2.8 Quicksiver 933 MHz G4, 7xxMB RAM, TT Pro4.0.3
I tried the 4.0.4 updater and got:
(he sent a PDF file screenshot of a dialog that said "TechTool Pro 4 is no properly installed...", saying to reinstall TTPro from the original CD.-Mike)

I downloaded and installed TT Pro 4.0.4 Updater today. I installed the update on both my boot drive, and on the eDrive.
Both new versions of TT Pro, on the boot drive and the eDrive give me the following error: (I don't know what error he means, as there was only one screenshot sent and no other info on the error.-Mike)

I used the original 4.0.3 install CD to Uninstall 4.0.4 on the boot disc, and then re-installed V4.0.3 from the original CD. This fixed TTP on the boot disk, but the eDrive is still screwed up.
How can I re-install TTP 4.0.3 on the eDrive?
What made the updater mess up? Is it something I did?
Jack "

I'd write Micromat Tech support on this one. (If the edrive was updated to 4.0.4, not sure how to downgrade it to 4.0.3 other than deleting it and recreating under 4.0.3.)


Early Notes on Tiger

(added 4/28/2005)
"I called Micromat yesterday about installing TTP 4.04 update. I told him I'd be getting my copy of Tiger Friday, which I'd be installing. He told me to load Tiger first, then install the update. He also said I'd have to reinstall TTP 4.01 (which is on CD), then apply the update to 4.0.4, which is Tiger compatible. Why would anyone want to install an update to a program, that is only compatible with an OS they're not even running yet?? Keep up the fine work!! Love the site,
Andy "

Thanks. I think they're just recommending you apply the update after Tiger rather than before, although it's also compatible with panther.


(added 4/28/2005)
"Dear Mike,
I have successfully updated TTP from version 4.0.3 to 4.0.4 without any special effort. The update is performed on a PB-Ti 800 with 1GB RAM. The updaters searched through the volumes and correctly identified all three of them. It does require a reboot after the update, as indicated in your notes. So far I have updated only the main volume and the rest will be done later after booting from each of them individually.

I have run a quick test to see if the updated version launches properly and runs... so far, all seems well.
the main boot volume of my PB-Ti is using OSX 10.3.9. Later in the day, I may have some information on how it goes on in 10.4. Thank you for providing very valuable and timely information to all of us.
Regards, Alam "


(added 4/28/2005)
"I did not have TT Pro installed on my G4 MDD Dual 1.25MHz running 10.3.9. I installed version 4.0.1 from the original disk and then updated to 4.0.4 with no problem. I did not install the e-disk.
-Ken "


(added 4/28/2005)
"I was able to update my system disk and edrive on my G4 400 (yikes) running 10.3.9. It updated quickly and easily with no hangups or problems.
Just an added note for some time now I have been unable to bring up Micromat's site but was able to use the link provided on your site to get the update. I have even run Disk Maintenance and have optimized from an edrive reboot so all seems to functioning normally. Love the site, it has been a great help to me many times.
Thanks again, Jeff "


(added 4/27/2005)
"Mike, I downloaded and installed TTP 4.0.4 update last night with no problems. OS X 10.3.9, G4/500 (upgraded B&W)
Don K. "


(added 4/27/2005)
"running 10.3.9 on a MDD DP 1.25 with 2 gigs RAM. Updated the main TTP and the one on the eDrive with no trouble at all, on two comptuers (the other being my TiBook 1g)
-Tracy "


(added 4/27/2005)
"Updated my G4 Dual 1 GHz Quicksilver without a problem. OSX 10.3.9. eDrive install worked this time, didn't for TT 4.0.1
William "


(added 4/27/2005)
"Mike,
I had no problem with the update to 4.0.4. I'm running an original dual 2 GHz G5, 10.3.9, 2 GB RAM.
Steve S. "


This reader said he's had problems applying the update:

(added 4/27/2005)
"Hi Mike, I tried to update both versions 4.0.1 and 4.0.3 to this update 4.0.4 without success. I am still running in OS 10.3.9 on my 17in G4 PowerBook.

The updater starts and then stops suddenly without updating no matter what I do. I even uninstalled the program with my 4.0.1 TTP CD and reinstalled a fresh copy. I then repaired permissions in Safe Boot before attempting the updater. It would not install in Safe Boot or regular boot.
Ted "

I'd contact Micromat to see if they have any suggestions. If any other readers try the update, let me know. (I'll be trying the update later today on another system that isn't my primary workstation.)

(added 4/27/2005)
"Mike, 10.3.9 required BootCD 0.64. Not sure about Tiger. (BootCD currently does not support OS X 10.4/Tiger per the author's page-Mike) MicroMat recommended using BootCD which has worked for me thru 10.3.9 (and you can run FireFox but not Safari 1.3 from the CD).
(Note - last year Micromat TS said they didn't know of a way to create updated CDs, but readers last year posted info on using BootCD as well as other methods.-Mike)

"BootCD is a Cocoa app that creates a disk image that can be used to burn a Mac OS X boot CD with a working Finder and Dock on it. This utility is unfinished and still has some flaws, but works. The current version works much better than previous versions, and includes the ability to run Drive10 and other utilities." - www.charlessoft.com

MicroMat mentioned that the new eDrive for Tiger requires an additional 1GB making it 5GB now.

For cloning, beyond Apple Disk Utility Restore, I've found RsyncX 2.1 to be the easiest and fastest program I've come across. And reliable, now that CCC won't work (and use to cause a small percentage of users with unbootable systems sometimes).

the biggest improvement I've seen so far is that 4.04 has a faster, smoother GUI, which use to be sluggish. I'm not sure yet how safe it would be to repair a Tiger volume while booted from Jaguar or Panther, but my Beige still runs 10.2.8 (and TTP 4.04 seems fine so far).
Gregory "


TTPro 4.0.3 CD/Tiger Problems: (Again *NEVER* run an older version of a disk utility on a major OS upgrade like tiger without checking with the vendor for compatibility info/verification and/or an update. (Micromat released v4.0.4 on April 26th as noted here (above) and on the main news page (and Versiontracker and Macupdate) - it was the first TTPro version to note Tiger compatibility.)

(added 6/17/2005 from 6/16 email) "Reading over the info page on TT4, I wanted to offer some information I thought might be useful to other people experiencing problems similar to mine.

It seems that TT4 enjoys ruining hard disks when you optimize them, and rendering them unmountable. When you try to restart a black box will appear over the apple logo and the system will freeze.

I've read, not only on xlr8(yourMac) but on apple's discussion forums how other people are falling victim to the same issue. I was running TT v4.0.3, trying to optimize my MDD dual G4 running Tiger and ran into this major issue. I can confirm it is directly related to TT4 because I have 3 hard disks, optimized 2, and left the 3rd alone, only to find at reboot that the two disks were no longer mountable. Disk Utility returned the message "Invalid B-Tree Node size."

Fearing that I potentially had lost data going back over 10 years (all the way back to my days using the 'ol Performa 5215CD running with a blazing 603e@75mhz heh heh), I began the arguous task of troubleshooting and praying to the allmighty for luck.

In my search I came across a WONDERFUL program called DATA RESCUE. You can find this on versiontracker.com. (There's an older page here of past page here with Reader reports on Prosoft Data Rescue file recovery utility - very positive feedback on it since it was first released.-Mike) This little program recovered all my data, and data from the previous owner of my machine (which was pretty amazing to me, considering I wiped the disks before reinstalling all software). I ended up having to reformat everything, but luckily did not lose anything significant.

So long story short - DO NOT use TT4 versions previous to 4.0.4 on Tiger. I have never experienced disk problems like this one before, and hope to never again! Hope this helps everyone.
-J. Bergeron "

Again, always confirm compatibility with 3rd party utilities *before* using them on new OS versions and check the vendor/developer's site for updates - if in doubt *ask* the developer of the utility before using it on a new OS versions.

TTPro 4.0.1 CD/Tiger Problems (from a reader mail that never updated the CD from v4.0.1)

(added 6/13/2005)
"Hello, I must of missed the info but using TTPro 4.0.1 CD with tiger installed screwed my whole HD. I ran a few tests and optimised the directory of both partitions (system and data) and after restart I would get a black window covering it seems the known message "You must restart your computer... " So I restarted from Tiger Install DVD and ran Disk Utility but none of the two partitions would mount anymore...
Disk Utility reports : Invalid B-tree node size (The underlying task reported failure on exit). Please help *_* I can only contact MicroMat next week. Is there a chance that if I update an eDrive to 4.0.4 (Tiger compatible) and run the volume test again it may recover my disk ? Has anyone else reported similar problems ?
best regards, Alexandre J. "

I really don't know but I'd never run an old version of a 3rd party disk utility on a Tiger volume without checking the vendor site for an update and/or compat. notes. (Micromat released a v4.0.4 update back in late April that noted tiger compat. - see above for download link from April 26th, 2005.)
If you boot with the Option key down does the Edrive even appear as a startup volume option?
Do you have another Mac to use Firewire target disk mode on the system with problems? (but not sure that the Edrive would show up to even allow it to be updated)
I wish I had better advice on this one. (I stopped using TTPro last year after updating to 4.0.3.) I never tried the 4.0.4 update w/Tiger and don't know if it could fix this problem. (I use the latest update to DiskWarrior 3 on my Tiger volumes.)


Tip for making Updated Boot CDs: (for previous tips see below)
In reply to the post on TTPro 4.0.3 earlier today (above)

" Here's a experience I'd like to share:
I found a very simple way to create a bootable (updated) TechTool 4 CD: I used the BootCD Utility (Freeware) (available from http://www.charlessoft.com/ - but note it's not comptable with OS X 10.4/tiger yet.-Mike) to create a Disk-Image of my OS 10.3.5 Installation and with BootCD's ability to integrate Apps to the CD by simply selecting them while setting up your Disk-Image it was a charm.
This requires that TechTool is already installed. (and updated)
(Kathi later wrote)

When you start the Application, it asks for the size of the Image (e.g. 650MB) and then creates a "Emergency Boot Image" which includes a basic OsX with Finder, Harddisk-Utility, Terminal and such. In the next step you simply select one or more Applications you would like to put onto the Image and it automatically integrates it. After doing that, you quit BootCD and burn that Image with Harddisk- Utility. I am not sure it supports DVD's because i only have a CDRW- Drive.
I tried several other Tricks to update my TechTool 4 CD with OsX 10.3.5 but nothing worked except this.
(I asked if any problems were seen mounting the internal drives when booting from the BootCD made disc)
I have 2 internal Harddisks in my Quicksilver G4, the stock 60gig and a additional IBM 120gig, i didn't experience any Problems so far.

Another Note: I burned the CD-Image with my officially not supported Ricoh MP7125A (thanks to Patchburn II) via the Harddisk-Utility of OS X.
Cheers, Kathi "

Some previous tips on burning updated TTPro 4 CDs are below (using CD images) but the above sounds like a better way.


Feedback on TTPro 4.0.2 Update: (most recent first)

(added 4/1/2004)
" Got 4.0.2 on CD as update (techtool Pro 3 & techtool deluxe). CD boots on my (PB G4) AL 15in, I have made an Edrive - no problems. I have booted from Edrive and run the program - no problems. I have installed diskwarrior 3 on Edrive - no problems.

looking to make an Edrive on my 9600 (Sonnet G4 700, 640Mb RAM, OSX 10.3.3) and see if I can get it to work - more later.
System: PB G4 (AL 15in), OSX 10.3.3, 1.25GHz, 80 Gb Toshiba HD, 512Mb RAM
peace, sg"


(added 4/1/2004)
" I updated 4.01 with the 4.02 updater on my stock G4 iMac. Then I attempted to update the eDrive which resides on an external LaCie firewire drive, my backup drive. After updating and restarting, I tried to switch to the eDrive, but TTPro 4.02 said that the eDrive was damaged and I should run TTPro. I did so and found the volume structures damaged.
I removed the old eDrive, ran the TTPro repair, Disk Utility repair, and Repair Permissions on the iMac, and then reinstalled the eDrive from the TTPro 4.02 running on the iMac. The new eDrive works fine, and it is 4.02.
Bob B"


Another 4.0.2 CD owner wrote regarding problems running tests from the CD.

(added 3/31/2004)
" I just spent 25+ dollars on a new 4.0.2 bootable CD, only to discover that the new version sports new flaws.
The multi-threaded approach to testing multiple volumes at once still causes app freezes, especially (but not only) when running the volumes test.
Now that SCSI volumes are available for testing, drive tests frequently fail with a flashing yellow light and the app freezes.
Alex
(I asked for missing info like mac model/OS used/how much RAM the system had since a lack of VM when run from CD has been commonly blamed for problems)

G4 Digital Audio 533 with PL Dual 1.2G G4 (stable), OS X 10.3.3, 1.12GB RAM, Atto UL3S with 3.10 driver, Maxtor 10k III drives internal, One external OS X RAID 0 Array

I asked if he had tried creating an Edrive from the 4.0.2 CD to see if the earlier 4.0.2 CD problem report was common)
I did not and do not want to create an edrive. I don't trust Micromat enough to mess around with my partitions. That's why I ordered the CD.
(I don't have a 4.0.2 CD but did create an Edrive successfully on two systems with the 4.0.1 CD (a Dual G4 and PB G4)-Mike.
he also sent a copy of micromat's reply to his problem report running from the TTPro 4.0.2 CD
)

"Response: Are you running the program while booted from the CD. We only recommend booting and running from the CD in an emergency to do volume repairs on your normal startup hard drive if there is no other option. We don't recommend running extended tests such as Suites while booted from the CD. Whenever possible, boot and run from a hard drive volume (such as an eDrive, second partition, etc.). This is because OS X works best if it has hard drive swap space for memory management and will provide better performance. Booting from the CD this does not exist. If OS X runs out of memory when booted from the CD then the computer may slow down or even freeze." "


Burning an Updated CD Image:

(added 3/26/2004)
" Mike, This works fine! (see detailed report below on updating a 4.0.1 CD image to 4.0.2 and burning it) My thanks to you, your terrific site and Gary for the tip. I had no problem verifying the disc and it booted using "c" key.
Joel "

Most other reports noted the verify failed but the CD seems to work OK. (I didn't post all the mails noting success with an updated CD image in reply to Gary's post below but wanted to post a few to show that Gary's notes worked for others.)


(added 3/26/2004)
" Mike - I, too, had success creating a bootable TT Pro 4.0.2 disc using basically the same method that the fellow by the name of "Gary" used, posted on your front page. (Thursday 3/25/2004 - copy below)
Create a disc image of TTP Pro 4.0.1 w/ permissions set to read/write, then run the 4.0.2 updater and point to the disc image, update, restart and then burn the disc. Verification failed, but I booted from said cd and ran nearly all the routines TTP has to offer, and they performed just fine.
Not sure about Micromat's response concerning the virt. memory issue, though. Thanks for the site!
Regards, Joshua"


(added 3/25/2004)
" Hi Mike,
I had success burning a bootable updated CD. Using Disk Utility I made a DVD/Master image w/read and write capabilities and mounted it. Get Info on the image had a check mark in the ignore ownership on this volume. I unchecked it and set the owners to System r+w, Admin r+w.

Then I opened the TTP 4.02 updater. After it went through its start up it immediately asked which copy of TTP I wanted to update (the old style black and white window from TTP3 days) so I didn't have to update my HD copy again. Update went smooth as silk and the updater restarted the computer. I then mounted the image and using Disk Utility repaired the image. All was OK. No repairs needed.

Using Disk Utility again I burned the image at 4X. Only one glitch. Verification of the burned CD failed. I don't know why. All I thought was great another coaster.
But I've come this far so I might as well try it. I selected the CD as my start up disk, restarted and 5 minutes later TTP 4.0.2 CD was up and running. Now if only there was a way to update the OS on the CD.
Gary
(I asked if he had actually run TTPro 4.0.2 from the CD to see if it functioned OK. )
I just ran the whole process again to check results and this time the ownership on the image was set correctly and ignore ownership box was not checked! Maybe this explains some users success and others failure. One other thing during installation of the update, after you click the install button is when the window opens asking you which copy of TTP 4 you would like to update. Yes I was brave enough to run 4.0.2 from the CD. Ran tests and maintenance on backup FW drive. Works as far as I can tell. "

Several readers replied to Gary's post saying they were also able to burn an updated CD.


(added 3/25/2004)
" MDD Dual 1.25 G4, 10.3.3, 1.25 GB RAM
I successfully updated my HD copy of TTPro 4.0.1 to 4.0.2 but am unable to get a bootable CD of 4.0.2. I created a disc image of 4.0.1 and reran the updater which appears to have been successful. I then used Disk Utility to burn the image to CD. After a restart with the "C" key and several minutes of the customarily slow boot from TTP, I got the blue screen and then an automatic restart defaulting back to the HD. I have contacted Micromat tech support and am waiting for a reply.
Anyone else successful at making a bootable CD of 4.0.2??
Joel"

Yes - see report above.


This is the first report from a TTPro 4.0.2 CD user. (Noted problems creating an Edrive):

(added 3/23/2004)
" Here's my hardware:
Dual 2GHz G5, 2x160GB SATA HD, 1.5GB RAM
20" Cinema Display, Panther 10.3.3
(no Bluetooth or AirPort)
First Drive Name: Panther
Second Drive Name: Scratch Disk

I purchased the TTPro 4.0.2 CD from Micromat (upgrade from Apple Care). The CD arrived on Sunday (I live in Japan and the mail is delivered 7 days a week). I installed TTPro from the CD, then tried to install the eDrive partition on to my boot drive. It wouldn't install and told me to boot off the CD. I booted off the CD and tried to install again, but it kept giving me "Error 14" and told me to check the disk for errors. It looked like it had created the new partition, but it wouldn't boot off of it. I deleted the eDrive partition then ran all the test. It didn't find any errors, so I tried to install it again... no luck again. I decided to try installing it onto my second drive (BTW, the boot drive has about 110GB free and the second drive has about 40GB free). I got the exact same error...

I submitted a trouble ticket with the Micromat website. I just got their reply this morning:

    "We suggest that you remove the eDrive if present. Then boot from the program CD and run a Surface Scan test on the volume on which you wish to create the eDrive. If that passes, then run the Volume Structure test. Try to fix any problems present (or reinitialize if they can not be fixed). Then boot from your hard drive and run Apple's Repair Permissions from Disk Utility to check your OS X volume. Also, be *sure* the name of your hard drive does not contain any non-standard characters such as italicized characters, symbols, punctuation marks (apostrophes, slashes, etc.). They can cause problems for the UNIX underpinnings of OS X.
    Once everything looks good, go ahead and create the eDrive."

Basically they're telling me to do everything I've already done... I guess I'll try it again when I get home from work.
Best regards,
Fred U.
Agilent Technologies Japan, Ltd."

I created an Edrive on my Dual G5 (on the Panther HD, other HD has 10.2.8 installed. Interesting is that my 10.3.x HD is named "Panther" also.) I updated the Edrive to v4.0.2 yesterday OK but don't have a 4.0.2 CD version to see if I could recreate the Edrive using it.
If anyone else with a TTPro 4.0.2 CD sees this problem, let me know.


(added 3/22/2004)
" Mike, There are still problems with the Drive tests for SCSI drives. Slightly better, but still not acceptable or useful. TTP 4.01 wouldn't even show SCSI drives. Now, the read-write, surface scan never really runs and cannot be cancelled. Volume tests run fine.
10.3.3 with ATTO 3.10 drivers, UL3S, G4 MDD 1.25GHz
Gregory "

I don't have TTPro installed on any SCSI drive systems personally.


(added 3/22/2004)
" Installed and successfully updated the boot disk, but it will not update eDisk on the same boot volume as it is supposed to. I suspect that will have to fix their installer.
Thanks, for the advance notice!
Ted
(he later wrote)
Downloaded another updater and installed the update again and clicked on continue as before and it still could not find the eDrive. It always repeats itself to update TTP4 in the Applications folder on the boot drive. On a lark, I continued and installed it again thinking it might have found the eDrive.

But no luck. When I booted from the eDrive, it still shows version 4.0.1. I guess I will have to wait until I can update it within the EDrive partition when it is downloadable when TTP4 checks for updates.
Ted "

I have an Edrive partition on my G5 and selected to continue another update (after it updated the TTpro 4 app on the 10.3.3 boot partition). It found the Edrive and it updated ok here. (I booted from the Edrive using the Option key it to verify it was reported as v4.0.2 - it was).
I welcome other reports from TTPro 4.0.2 users. (I.E. if it helps with any issues you had previously or if you see any problems still. Include your system details in reports.) As with any new version of a disk utility, it might be good to have an up-to-date backup using Carbon Copy Cloner before running any repairs just in case. (Having an recent backup is a good idea regardless.)

(NOTE: reports below are from v4.0.1, not v4.0.2 just released on Mar. 22nd, 2004)

(added 2/12/2004)
"Just adding to reader reports on TechTool Pro 4. I'm using an iBook G4 12.1"/800mHz/30gb Toshiba MK3021GAS hd/256mb ram, running OS 10.3.2.

I was able to boot from the TTP 4.0.1 CD, which took 4min 46sec. The diagnostic suites ran fine, but I encountered several problems trying to run the Volume and File Structure tests. Each test completed within seconds and failed. I then tried to run Directory Maintenance and Optimization and each quit because of errors in the volume and file structures.

I installed the eDrive on the Toshiba, and all tests performed flawlessly. It took 2'45" to boot from the eDrive and about an hour and a half to run Volume Structure, File Structure, Maintenance, and Optimization.

I would also like to add that I installed TTP 4 on an external FW drive (ADS Pyro enclosure, Quantum FireballP 30GB, OS 10.3.2) then booted from the external drive. I ran TT on the internal hd, which resulted in the same failures as booted from the CD.
Thanks, Johnathan "


(added 1/2/2004)
"266-mhz Beige G3 desktop with 484 RAM, OS 10.2.8
apparently one of your correspondents (reader Allan's report below) was under the impression he could use the CD he got for a Beige G3 with OS 10.2.3. TechTool Pro 4.0.1 requires a minimum of OS 10.2.6 to operate. (From my experience with the different versions of Jaguar on the Beige G3, I strongly recommend the significantly greater stability, security and features gained by going all the way up to 10.2.8.) (In the rush here I really didn't notice Allen mentioned running 10.2.3.-Mike)

...That said, I've found that TechTool Pro 4.0.1 works like a charm on my Beige G3.... Because my Beige G3 setup only permits OS X to be on one partition of less than 8 gb and because I cannot boot an external FireWire drive from it, I have found the TTP 4.0.1 eDrive a superb feature. When I boot eDrive on my OS 10.2.8 partition, it's like having a FireWire external drive: All the TTP tests, maintenance and safety operations zip right along, amazing inasmuch as I only have 266-mhz and 484 mb RAM. It is so much faster to boot an eDrive than a Jaguar CD and to run TechTool Pro from the eDrive.

TIP: I actually cleared 5 gb from my 7.78 gb-OS 10.2.8 partition by moving my iPhoto Library, iTunes music, lots of my applications, and nearly all my document folders to my OS 9.2.1 partition and then aliasing them back to my OS 10.2.8 partition.
Respectfully, Norman N. PHD
Emeritus Professor of Communications (Retired)"


(added 1/2/2004)
" Installed TechTool Pro 4 on my Dual 1.25 MDD Power Mac. I have three boot-up volumes on the PowerMac. Two Panther 10.3.1 and a Jaguar 10.2.6. Installed the TT on all three volumes. I also have a AL 15 1.25 PowerBook running 10.3.2 on which TT is also installed. Launch time from all four volumes (TTPro run from the HD) about 6 seconds. From any start-up volume I launch TT and test and repair my other volumes.

The interface can be confusing at first. For instance, choosing Suites, which is a series of hard drive, video, ram, cache and processor tests offered in Basic, Intermediate, or Advanced suites, the Arrow button offered starts the battery of tests rather than showing the tests to be performed as I mistakenly assumed. Rather than interrupt the tests I let them run which can take a few minutes, replete with flashing screen as it tests your video card.

Moving on to the Tests arena, I chose Volumes from the Button bar. Again I was presented with the Arrow button. Intuitively I clicked on the arrow to view my volumes only to to start a directory test on all three volumes. To actually view the volumes you must click on an obscure little arrow under the Volumes logo. The directory tests were performed on all three volumes simultaneously, which took about an hour and half. A directory rebuild takes about as long.

I have not ventured to defragment. One thing I've noticed, is even though TT says I have some fragmentation, the test screen with it's jelly like model of my drive shows no fragmentation. Those who appreciated the Norton Speed Disk interface, showing individual sectors and different file layers will be disappointed in the monolithic way it is presented here, identical to the Drive 10 representation.

Performing a directory repair on my PowerBook HD went flawlessly. I mounted the PowerBook HD on my Desktop through Target Disk Mode. TT saw the volume and as I said there were no problems performing tests or repair on the PowerBook. TT seems thorough enough. Like I said earlier, I have not defragmented any volumes with TT Pro 4. I have not seen the need to do so. I'd like to hear from others who have.
Tom "

There are some comments on defragmenting volumes with TTPro 4 in some of the past reports below.


More on Beige G3 CD version of TTPro 4: I asked Alan to send a note on what TTPro and OS X version was on his "Beige G3" TTPro 4 CD. (First shipping CDs had 10.3.0/TTPro 4.0.1). He replied:

" I stuck the "Beige-bootable" CD in the drive and can't really glean too much. The version of the TTP4 app is 4.01. No indication of what OS is loaded—few versions listed for most of the files. (see later comments below - OS on CD is 10.2.6 he later said) The newest modified system files are dated 12-5-03 and are TTP4 extensions...

The CD is a generic MM disk with the black and yellow wedges like the "burn CD" icon, but no product ID is printed. The invoice with the disk describes the product as "MM049xx TechTools Pro 4.0.1 CD Beige" followed by a serial number. Under that it says, "Special Beige G3 CD"

I guess I'll have to actually run the darned thing to see what system it claims to be. Some Beiges have problems with 10.2.8 while others run it fine. I'm at 10.2.3 and rock-stable, but will probably move to at least 10.2.6 this weekend AFTER I deal with all the holiday digipix! (note - another reader wrote to say that TTPro 4 lists OS X 10.2.6 or later as required.)

(I had mentioned Xpostfacto 3.0 for installing 10.3/panther on unsupported Macs like the Beige G3)
Yes, I'm aware of Ryan Remple and XPostFacto. He needs to get some sort of Mac Hero award! I doubt I'll try Panther on this Beige, although those "Beigies" getting it installed with XPF report better performance than with Jag (Apple Beige G3 Discussion Forums). Remember that the current XPF version is still alpha, I think. No support for the on-board Rage64 (actually a RageII or RagePro depending on logic board revision) video chip, but works if you have a PCI graphix card, which I do. (Rev A Beiges have an ATI RageII, rev B and C have the RagePro onboard graphics chip - RagePro driver is present in 10.1.5 and later - see this previous article on OS X RagePro Driver Loading Tip/Mods-Mike)

My old Beige is still a workhorse, thanks to the excellent advise, articles and databases on your site. What started in 1999 as a Beige G3/300 Minitower AV with OS 8.5. 64MB RAM, and an 8GB hard drive now has Jag, two big hard drives, 640MB RAM, an original Radeon ME card, USB, and a Sonnet G3/500 ZIF upgrade. Runs X-Plane v7 quite well. And it's all your fault! ;)
(he later wrote)
After an hour of near-panic, I am up again. I tried booting from the "Beige-bootable" CD, Waited an hour for boot with no joy. After the three-finger salute, still no boot from any of the three boot partitions. I held down the option key and was able to boot to my 9.1 partition. Trying to eject the offending CD left me with a spinning watch icon resulting in yet another force restart. On boot, the spinning watch returned. I did a force-quit of the Finder and, when it restarted, I regained control of the desktop.

Once I was again in control, OS9's startup disk control panel reported the TTP4 disk to have 10.2.6 (Build 6L60). I ejected the CD, pointed the Start-up CP to my OSX partition, and was back up. Whew! Had me worried

Still seems like this is not quite ready for prime-time. As I mentioned in my second message, the TTP version on the CD is listed as 4.0.1
Allan "


Allan's original comments on the Beige G3 TTPro 4 CD version follow:

(added 12/31/2003)
" Mike, I qualified for the TTP4 update, but had not received my upgrade disk when posters on the Apple Discussion forum for Beige G3s reported problems. Panther does not officially support the Beige, so the Beige cannot boot from the TT4P CD.

I wrote Micromat on 12-11-03 with my concerns. A couple of days later the TTP4/10.3 CD arrived. On 12-16, Micromat tech support answered my message stating that they were working on a Beige-bootable CD. When I returned from Christmas holiday, the Beige-bootable disk was in the mailbox, postmarked 12-18. Good response.

Once I post-process hundreds of holiday digital pictures, I'll try the new disc. I am still concerned about eDrive; even in Jag, the Beige G3 boot partition must be the first 8GB of the master drive on ATA0. (this is true of even OS X 10.0.0 with the onboard IDE, also affects iMac 233-333Mhz models, AIO G3 and PB G3 wallstreet. One Beige G3 owner noted using Xposfacto's loader to work around this however. XPostfacto 3.x supports panther and is used by many 'unsupported' macs for OS X installs-Mike.) May be a lost cause, unless TTP4 has a way to get around the Beige install issues.
Thanks again for your wonderful site, and Happy Holidays!
Allan J. "


(added 12/31/2003)
" TTP4 works like a charm on my three Macs (TiBook 15" 400 mhz, G4 800/DP tower, AiBook 12" 1ghz). All boot from the CD (albeit slowly, as promised), and all tests and procedures work just fine.

The basic volume tests take an extremely long time to run, IMO, over an hour on my AiBook (which has the slowest HD of the lot, and the most files on it). Did a defrag and a directory rebuild and the tests/fixes ran substantially faster.

The eDrive concept is wonderful. I'd already built such a system, manually, on my TiBook, but it was nice to do it after the fact on the AiBook and G4. Added DiskWarrior, Synchronize Pro and Data Rescue X to the eDrive, so it's a one-stop-shop for fixing my primary partition. Very nice, indeed.

So far, no problems to report, although really I haven't had much trouble with OS X anyhow. I run DiskWarrior (from OS 9, before the X version shipped) every month or so, and that seems to keep things running nicely.
-Nik "


(added 12/31/2003)
" I have a G4 1.25 Ghz (mirrored doors) running 10.2.8 with 1.25GB ram, 4 hard drives. TechTool Pro 4 booted on my machine. Took quite a while 4-6 minutes. Ran all the tests fine...
- Buzz "


(added 12/31/2003)
" Greetings. I've been reading your reports on TTPro and decided to send a report on my experience. I'm running a 17" 1 Ghz iMac w/512 MB -10.3.2 on a 10.3 upgrade. I have a Logitech cordless elite Duo, JBL creatures, hp deskjet 3820, and a 160 Gb LaCie d2 400 firewire in two partitions of 25 and 135 Gb (one is used for daily backups, the other as an emergency boot disk). I received the 4.0.1 upgrade CD a few weeks back and installed it on my machine using the serial number on the upgrade offer card that was enclosed with the copy of Drive 10 I bought a few months back. Everything seemed fine.

I booted from the 4.0.1 CD and after a really long wait, the Tech Tool screen popped up and I was able to run the Advanced tests suite right away with no problems reported. Poking around the screens, I opened the performance tests and decided to run the maintenance tests. Everything seemed to go fine, TT checked and rebuilt the directories on the two partitions of my Firewire drive no problem.
When attempting to rebuild the directories on my boot drive, however, the process seemed to hang about halfway through. I noticed that it began by slowing down, processing smaller and smaller chunks, until finally the entire system froze, forcing me to restart via the power button. I have been able to reproduce this behavior despite deselecting/removing the firewire drives, disconnecting my deskjet, the Logitech and the Creatures (reconnecting the original pro speakers and keyboard), disabling journaling on the boot drive (through TT Pro's own tools I might add), and running TT from the emergency boot partition of my Firewire drive (which has 10.2.8 installed on it) and an eDrive. Every time it freezes at approximately the same place and forces me a to do a hard reboot.

I finally gave up and resorted to booting from my copy of Drive 10 to rebuild the directory. It had absolutely no problems doing so.
Thanks for a great site and an invaluable service to the apple community.
Sincerely, Tom P. "


(added 12/29/2003)
" Another report on disk defraging. I interupted defraging on a two non start up, data only drives. The drives are fine.
(not sure why a previous reader (below) said he had that problem with TTPro v4 and v3)

My computer is a dual 1GHZ with 1.5gig of RAM running 10.3.2.
One thing I am very pleased with about TTP4 is that you get a real book not just a PDF.
John D. "

A printed manual is included with the full version but as noted here before, if you order the upgrade CD you get only a PDF manual on the CD.


Follow-up/update from a Sonnet Tempo ATA/133 card user who sent a problem report previously.

(added 12/29/2003)
" Received this today from the TT folks:
    " Adam,
    Is the firmware version on the (sonnet tempo) Ultra-Tek 133 ATA card version 4.5? If so, we have seen that same type of issue with Sonnet ATA cards and have reported this issue to the creator of the firmware author. Hopefully the next update to the firmware of this card will resolve this issue.
    Thanks, Micromat Tech Support"

And, unfortunately, the answer to his question is yes and it sounds like TTPro 4 isn't going to work for me unless I switch root hard disks back to the built-in ATA. Perhaps others running Sonnet or Ultra-Tek PCI/ATA cards to interface their root disks will want to think twice about buying TTPro4 until the driver is updated.
Adam B. "


(added 12/24/2003)
" I have a new MDD 1.2 ghz DP. I put some ram in from Other World Computing to bring it up to 1.25GB. One of the DIMMs was apparently bad as I kept getting Kernel Panics. This went on for 2 days. I ran TTP 4.01 a couple of times and it never found a RAM problem. I finally got smart and ran the Apple Hardware Test that came with the machine and almost immediately one of the DIMMS showed up as faulty.

Not sure why TTP missed it but it did. I took the DIMM out and the Kernel Panics stopped. OWC replaced the DIMM without question. (Their Warranty policy is excellent.) That seems to have cured the problem the TTP never found.
David J. "


Reader comments on problems if disk defrag interrupted:

(added 12/23/2003)
" Using ibook G3 with OS X 10.3.2 (panther) and TTPro 4. Also external Granite firewire HD. Two partitions OS X and OS 9.2. I was defraging OS X partition and running about 3 hours when an Apple online update came in on the net and halted the defrag routine. Screwed up the OS and would not restart. Restarted from external drive and ran all the TTPro tests and then Warrior on the defective partiton. Nothing worked.
Did a clean OS X install and preserving users and other file data . On startup a screen came up with drive 'other' and asking for password. My password did not work plus all my other guesses. Tried TTPro and warrior again on the OS X with the same result. Finally had to erase the OS X partition and install OS X from original CD. Then a day wasted updating and reinstalling software. Note, my backup was 2 weeks old.

Had similar problem with Techtool version 3 when I had to get some financial data immediately and had to stop the defrag. Micromat should put a warning label on its defrag program,
'Use at your own risk, defrag program can crash your system if interrupted'
Jim C. "

Another reader (above) later reported no problems with interrupting a disk defrag.


(added 12/23/2003)
" Hello, reporting that I was able to boot TTP 4.0 from a Graphite G4 with Giga 1.2GHZ upgrade. OS used was Jaguar 10.2.8. I was able to check and optimize all drives which are a 60 GIG and a 40 GIG.
Note: Boot time was slow but it did it successfully.
Ruben "


(added 12/22/2003 - mail sent Dec. 20th)
" I received TTP 4 today. (Dec. 20th) I installed it on my hard drive, but was unable to use it because of a missing serial number. (Nothing bearing a S/N was sent - just the disk and an advertisement from Intego. Anybody else experience that?)

Anyway, I booted from the cd. Volume and File checks went fine. But when I tried rebuilding the disk directory, TTP4 crashed and rebooted from the hard drive.
Thanks,
Donnie A.

B&W 400 mhz
Maxtor 80 & 40 gb drives "

My TTPro 4 update order included a S/N printed on the invoice. Not sure how much ram he has installed, but some though that may be a factor in running from CD problems. (i.e. more prone to problems running from CD with macs that don't have a lot of RAM - but some readers w/512MB of ram noted problems running from CD.)


(added 12/22/2003 - mail sent Dec. 20th)
" No idea if this is relevant, since the majority of the readers are American (I think, anyway...), but Tech Tool Pro Australia has JUST received their copies of TTP4, and expect the people who registered for the free upgrades to receive them by Christmas...
I know I've been waiting for my copy of TTP4 for awhile, so this should be good.
Jonathan "


(added 12/19/2003)
" Some more less than positive feedback about TTPro 4. I have not been able to get TTPro 4 to successfully scan my PowerMac G4 Dual 450. When I boot from the CD (which is akin to watching paint dry) and run the Intermediate Suite it hangs during the File Structure/Finder Info portion of the testing, forcing me to reboot.
When I tried running the File Structure test alone it actually crashed and rebooted the computer on its own. The machine has been operating without any other glitches using OS X 10.2.8, it has 512 MB of RAM and Apple's 30 GB internal IDE hard drive (a Quantum Fireball mechanism).

I regularly repair permissions, boot in Safe Mode and run "fsck -y", and have been running Drive10 about once a month without any hardware or file problems identified. I e-mailed the details of these problems to Micromat today and am awaiting their reply.
I was quite happy with version 3 of TTPro, and it saved my drive after the directory had become corrupted on several occasions. However, I don't feel that I can entrust my computer's "health" to the current release of version 4. The CD will become a fancy coaster for now until Micromat can mail me a substantially more stable version.
Sincerely, Chris G. "


(added Dec. 18th, 2003)
" I wanted to let you know that the Data Recovery feature shows me absolutely nothing when I click on Volumes. Using PowerBook G4 Ti and 10.3.1.
-Adeeb "


(added Dec. 18th, 2003)
" Mike, Just an update about the RAM test problems with TechTool Pro 4. (see report yesterday below from a legacy Mac owner w/Sonnet Trio card) The problem appears to be with the firmware of the Sonnet PCI cards rather than the machine it is installed in. I have spoken with tech support at MicroMat and Sonnet and they have been in communication with each other and are working on the matter.
According to Micromat, the previous firmware did not exhibit this behavior. Although Micromat Tech said that the memory can be tested by removing the Sonnet card it is not likely that it is a problem unless you have some other symptom. Sonnet Tech indicated that the issue does not affect performance of the card/drives.
My hardware is Digital Audio, GigaDesigns 1.25 GHZ running ("tested at") 1.33 GHz, 1 GB RAM, OS X v10.2.8 (second version), including security updates, Sonnet Tempo Trio PCI controller, Acard 6880M PCI controller configured as RAID 0 for primary drive.
Richard "


(added Dec. 18th, 2003)
" I've run TTPro 4.0.1, from both the CD and from the Edrive, on my 1ghz Tibook. Seems just fine, and the rebuilding of the directory looks very much like Diskwarrior (although to me, as with Diskwarrior, the comparison chart between old and new directories is totally meaningless and requires a leap of faith to just hit OK).
The one problem I've encountered (and this also happened on my dual G4 desktop) is that when you run the Volume Structure test from the Edrive, either by itself or within one of the Suites, TTPro unexpectedly quits before finishing (and in the case of running from the CD, causes the machine to reboot). When I called Micromat tech support, they said this apparently happens with "some hard drives" and they are going to issue an update sometime to fix it. Meanwhile, they suggest not running that test (and apparently, it looks for problems but can't fix anything anyway -- so no harm done if it quits itself) and don't run the Suite which contains that test (which must mean Suites 2 & 3). So much for automatic checking.

Also did an Optimization of my Tibook last night -- actually went out for the evening, leaving the optimization running -- and returned at midnight to find the Tibook still chugging away. All was well in the morning.
Ken G. "


(added Dec. 17th, 2003)
" I received my long awaited TTPro 4 CD the other day, installed it without problem on my G4 500 Tower (upgraded to Giga Designs 800) running 10.2.8.
Created eDrive and booted to it successfully. Ran all tests including optimization successfully (if slowly) except that the program would crash consistently every time I ran the the File Structure test.
Of my two drives and 6 partitions it would crash only on the two partitions, one OS9 and one OSX, that I had my audio programs on (Cubase VST and SX respectively). It seemed to crash when it reached the Waves 4.0 plugins. When I run TTPro 3 from an OS9 partition on the same partitions, no problem.
A nice program but not so helpful if I can't use all the tools.
Michael J. "


Beige G3 Edrive Notes: (also would apply to PB G3 wallstreet, iMac 233-333, and AIO G3 if using the onboard IDE)

(added Dec. 17th, 2003)
" Originally rev A Beige G3/233, upgraded to rev B ROM, G3/533MHz ZIF, 386MB RAM, Radeon 7000 64M video card (flashed PC model I assume, since Mac 7000 is 32MB), 30GB and 40GB HD's, running 10.2.8.

Unable to do eDrive--tried several different ways, but I think the beige G3 requirement that the OSX be in the 1st 8M partition of the master drive has foiled all my attempts (I think the eDrive is recognized as a regular copy of OSX). (I supect the Edrive partition also has to be within the first 8GB of the drive if using the onboard IDE - and with the 4GB requirement, that means many OS X install partitions will not have enough free space to create the Edrive. A PCI IDE card connected drive shouldn't have these limitations though.-Mike)

Also had the HD that I put the eDrive on get screwed up when it was uninstalled--showed 10G more of the HD used than was actual--but fortunately TTP was then able to correct that problem. I haven't tried it yet, but I think what I'll have to do is switch my slave HD, which is the backup HD with it's own 1st 8G partition devoted to a copy of OS X, to the primary and vice-versa, then optimize and correct any problems that have developed on my primary OSX. Kind of a pain, but not too bad as computer things go.

Otherwise I have been pleased with the volume structure correction and optimization that was performed on the other partitions of my HD's, the myriad tests that can be done, and the safety routines that can be scheduled.
Mark P. "


Legacy Mac/Sonnet Trio Card Issues:

(added Dec. 17th, 2003)
" I used Techtool 4.0.1 on Mac OS 7300 upgraded with Sonnet 430 Mb G3 PCI card. It has also TRIO Sonnet ATA 133 card (USB+Firewire)
When running tests, I can't perform Memory, USB and Network tests. Green light just flashing and never stops.
No reports about activity while it is happening. Other tests work.
Didn't try to repair anything yet.
Adnrei
(I asked what OS version he was using:)
I use Mac OS X 10.2.6 "


Another report on the G5 misreported Dimm slot issue noted yesterday (below)

(added Dec. 17th, 2003)
" Yes, it true!
I'm using the G5 DP 2Ghz Mac with Panther 10.3.1.
With eDrive or the TTP CD booted, I show exactly the same Memory as you do.

Slot 7 has 512MB instead of 256MB
Slot 8 is empty.

I also get a shutdown of TTP 4.01 when using the Intermediate Test.
Once it starts testing my various drives for File Structure and Finder Info, I know that the test will never be completed.
TTP simply quits and gives me no information as to why it quit.
Another GEM of a product from Micromat.
Jonathankek"


Notes on TTPro Mis-Reporting on Installed RAM/Dimm Slots:

(added Dec. 16th, 2003)
" I ran TechTool Pro 4.0.1 on my G5 Dual 2.0Ghz with Panther 10.3.1 and found it to work very well including optimization, intermediate tests, and the eDrive. I installed extra memory (256 MB (original) + 512 + 256 +256 in each bank, properly paired) and TechTool properly reported slot0 to slot6 but said slot7 was empty! Apple profile reported all RAM as installed.
Henry
(I asked to make sure that all dimms were paired by like/size - i.e. for the "512" did he mean two 256MB pairs of two 512MB pairs -not just a single 512MB dimm.)
Yes, the RAM is properly paired by size and slot. If one of the eight RAM slots was empty why does the Apple profiler say it is there? "

After seeing his report, I also checked my Dual G5 (2GHz) test report from TTPro 4.0.1 - it also shows a slot 7 "empty" and doesn't properly recognize the last 2 slots are filled with two 256MB (the original dimms). I have six 512MB and two (OEM) 256MB dimms installed. TTpro's report says Dimm7 is empty - it's misreporting the pair of 256's in the last 2 slots as one 512MB in "Dimm6". ("Dimm6 and "dimm7" are the last two pairs of slots - both have 256MB dimms installed but TTPro is reporting 512MB in "Dimm6" and Dimm7 as empty.) This has to be a bug in TTPro 4.01.


(Report Updated twice)

(added Dec. 16th, 2003)
" I received my CD of TTP4 today, booted my B&W G3/350, PowerLogix G4/550 ZIF, Mac OS 10.3.1, from it, and tried the basic suite of tests. (Note he's also using a Sonnet ATA/133 card - which per his later report is related to the problem)
TTP got about half way through and then hung without testing memory, video memory or USB. It won't do any of those if individually selected, either. Nada. It just sits still, no progress bar, no action even after a long wait (given how long a CD-ROM boot takes, I was patient).

I'm certainly not trying anything else for now on a system and setup that gives me no grief whatever, but if there isn't a fix soon, I'll be asking for a refund.
Adam B.
(I asked if the PL G4/550 was running at the rated speed (not overclocked.))
Absolutely. PowerLogix sold these G4/550's for a short time (before they came out with the fast G3's) and I didn't alter it (The current line now includes G3/800 (reviewed here early in 2003, now they offer a G3/900 also) and G4/500 ZIFs for the B&W G3).

I did get a response from MicroMat as well.. It seems a number of their tests will not really function properly from the CD-ROM because BSD Unix has a problem running from a locked disk (in this case the CD-ROM) - it's itching to write logs. It also has problems in limited memory because Panther uses virtual memory a lot and it's not available either. That's why they've included the eDrive feature (an invisible emergency volume).
(He later wrote)
I installed TTP4 and created an eDisk as well (slooow) after the explanation below. Running tests one at a time from the installed version of TTP4 (instead of the CD-ROM) produces exactly the same results. It turns out that the Main Memory Test, USB Test, and Network Test all fail almost immediately after being started with a three-line console message that looks like this:

2003-12-17 14:41:35.446 TechTool Pro 4[778] *** -[NSCFString bytes]: selector not recognized
003-12-17 14:41:35.447 TechTool Pro 4[778] Exception raised during
posting of notification.
Ignored. exception: *** -[NSCFString bytes]:
selector not recognized

The TechTool folks are thinking about it ....
Do you want to hear what they say (if they say something)?
Adam "

Yes. (See his later report above - he's apparently using a Sonnet ATA/133 card that is related of this problem.


(added Dec. 15th, 2003)
" I have an 800 Mhz 15 " FP IMac running OS 10.2.8. I installed TTP 4.01 a couple of days ago. So far it has performed as advertised. The installation of the EDisk was straightforward. As other readers have reported, booting from the CD was painfully slow. However, once the EDisk is available it should not be necessary to use the CD again. (only if the HD is damaged to where no partition on it will boot)

I have performed routine directory and file repairs without incident. I have also done a full optimization of my primary volume. It was typically slow, as expected, but got the job done.
Based on my experience, I would not hesitate to recommend the program to others. There is no doubt that the major changes to the user interface made the program less intuitive and should be considered a backward step. However, even that should be no deterrent once one has worked through the manual.
Roger A. "

I thought the interface was pretty straight-forward actually. Thanks for running the tests and optimization before sending a report.


(added Dec. 12th, 2003)
I received the CD a few days ago and have been running tests on my B&W G3 with 550 MHz G4 accelerator and a Radeon 7000 Mac edition video card as well as my G3 iBook. I can boot both machines from the CD. I installed eDrive on both machines. I've run every test and optimization except a surface scan. The program found some repairs to make in the volume and directory structure. Holding down the option key at boot on the B&W does not bring up a choice of drives, but it never has. The option key works as expected on the iBook. I am very pleased with the program. So far, it works as advertised.
Bob B.
I'm running 10.2.8 on both computers. Also, the B&W G3 has three Maxtor 40 GB drives, one on the primary IDE bus and two on a IDE PCI card. I have haxies, but I regularly run MacJanitor to clean up the system and I repair permissions whenever I install new software. "


(added Dec. 12th, 2003)
(Micromat TS reply to Ben's Package Restoration problem reportedly previously )
    "Ben, Note that recovering deleted files, especially in OS X since it writes regularly to the background, is problematic. If any sector of the data comprising the files is overwritten, then they are unrecoverable.

    The Protection File is a tool to assist with recovery. It is a backup of the disk directories as of the point it is made. It shows what was on the drive at that point and where it was located. When you delete files, the sectors holding the file data is freed to be reused--and may be overwritten at any time. If any portion of the files have been overwritten, then the Protection File will show you where the data used to reside, but it is no longer there. In other words the recovered files will be corrupt in that case. It sounds like that is what happened in this instance.
    Sincerely,
    Micromat Tech Support"

I didn't agree with your explanation for the corruption of my installers, so I did a test. Remember, the installers are on a different partition of my hard disk than my System folder and most of my data. I used Protection Setup to immediately backup directory data. Then, I deleted one of the installation packages. And, in the Data Recovery tool, I restored the package. Installer reported an Old or Missing Bill of Materials . . . a corrupt package.

I then tried a simple RTF file in the same way, and it restored perfectly. Finally, I tried an Application. This seemed to be corrupt similarly to the .pkg; it refused to launch, crashing after less than one bounce.

I think TechTool Pro 4 is simply unable to restore packaged files, such as applications. What's your experience?
- Ben R. "


(added Dec. 12th, 2003)
100 GHz G4 iMac, OS X 10.3.1, 512 MB RAM, 80 GB hard drive, 80 GB LaCie D2 400 FireWire external hard drive.

Because of problems with Canon printer, I did Erase and Install of Panther on my hard drive 3 days ago. Solved Canon printer problems by downloading (from Canon.Ca Web site) the updated drivers for i450 printer. After installing applications and documents on to hard drive, I cloned drive to FireWire Drive with Copy Cloner.

My TTP 4.0.1 CD arrived 2 days ago. I created eDrive on my internal hard drive, using the internal HAD as the source for eDrive. I then booted into eDrive without difficulty, ran TTP4 intermediate suite on my internal hard drive. Bunch of dates were repaired, but everything else passed.

This morning, because of increasing frequency of Unexpected Quits of TexEdit X v4.6 (a beta upgrade which was supposed to take care of bug in Panther causing the quits) and of Keyboard Maestro, I decided to repeat the check my hard drive with TTP4. Big mistake.

I booted into eDrive. Started TTP4, opened Tools Panel, and TTP "Unexpectedly Quit." I emailed the crash report to Micromat.

I then restarted TTP4 (bigger mistake) and ran the Intermediate suite on hard drive. Everything passed except Volume Structure test failed: Report said Allocation Overlap (-694).

I then rebooted, holding down option key, so I could boot in internal hard drive. Immediately upon start up, I was faced with Kernal Panic screen. Repeat efforts to start up got repeat kernal panics.

Fortunately, I was able to boot from the cloned FireWire Drive. The only suggestion that MicroMat Tech Support had was that there must be a bad block on the hard drive; TTP did not cause of problem, he claimed, since it would not have written anything to the hard drive. His suggestion: erase the hard drive, over-writing it with zeroes. Then clone from the FireWire Drive back to the internal HAD.

Since nothing seemed to get me booted into internal drive, I followed that advice. It worked and I now can boot from internal hard drive.

Needless to say, I am about to reinstall and use TTP 4.
Ronald G. "


(added Dec. 12th, 2003)
This is a continuation/update of my report earlier today. (see below) I talked with Micromat support about the preference problem, which I now know (before I spoke with tech support) is caused by the Data Wipe feature. If I wipe ANYTHING at all, even if it has nothing to do with anything significant, then all those preferences that I already listed get reverted. In addition, even if I start up using eDrive, then it messes with eDrive's system preferences! Tech Support had never heard of this happening, of course.
Mark N.
(Mark's previous mail follows:)

I'm running 10.3.1 on an 800 MHz dual-USB iBook with 640 MB RAM and a 30 GB drive. I also have a 60 GB Que! M3 firewire (400) drive partitioned into two volumes. All tests seem to work with all three volumes, except that the "Drive" tests do not even show up as options on either external drive partitions, so I can't do surface scans, for instance. I'm not sure why this should be. I contacted Micromat tech support, and it was not helpful. The guy said that TTP4 might not work with some external firewire drives, but if that were true, it shouldn't work with ANY of the tests, and not just the "Drive" tests. Like I said, it wasn't particularly illuminating. I've tried booting from the CD, booting from an eDrive, and just running the program from my normal startup (internal) disk. The only thing I haven't tried yet is to boot from one of the firewire volumes to see if that forces the tests to register. I'll do that later and report back if it works.

eDrive works fine, but of course I have to hold down "option" and choose it instead of holding down "e" as advertised. Speaking of which, has anyone tried holding down shift-e instead of just e? After all, the instructions are to hold down "E" and not "e." Maybe they actually mean it.

I noticed that MANY of my system preferences disappeared at some point after running TTP4. I'm not sure what test would do that. My sound preferences were gone (changed alert sounds from "glass" to "funk" and made it so that there was feedback when I changed volume), my clock settings were all reverted (back from 24 to 12 hour time, no seconds shown, &c.), my appearance preferences were gone (changed my highlight colors, the font smoothing style, and the minimum font for smoothing settings), changed from having double arrows at both ends (which I had adjusted using Tinker Tool) to double arrows only at one end, and changed my mouse settings to have faster tracking. I'm assuming that these were all defaults. I also had a different boot image (instead of the grey apple before boot) back to the grey apple. I'm guessing that TTP4 trashed a preference file?

Lastly, TTP4 crashes whenever I try to optimize the iPod drive, and doesn't correct the volume structure on the iPod. I also tried to "wipe" the iPod, and that didn't work either - it did SOMETHING for over an hour, and when it was "done," everything on my iPod was still on my iPod! The "wipe" seems to work on my internal hard drive. I know that I shouldn't really do maintenance on an iPod, but I would think that it should be able to do some of these basic things.

Overall, I'm quite happy. Leaving the iPod out of it, and ignoring the (perhaps?) one-time trashing of my system preferences, everything seems to be in order.
Mark N. "


(added Dec. 12th, 2003)
Mike, While I've already reported to you on TTPro4.01 (glowingly - I've had zero problems), I thought I'd try the eDrive removal and see what happened. (I have a Dual G5 with two 250GB drives.) (One reader only so far noted removing an edrive left the main OS X partition unreadable - see older report below)

I'd already installed eDrives on both my drives (the same day I received the software from Micromat). So, to perform a test, I removed each eDrive and re-installed each; I had no problems at all. In all cases, I did the removals and reinstalls while started up from the Tech Tool CD.

Thanks for that Verax G03 (9800 pro cooler) install guide, BTW. I may get up the nerve to try that one soon. (My OEM Radeon is none too quiet either.)
Bill K. "


(added Dec. 11th, 2003)
tech tool pro 4 optimize function run from tt cd or from slave internal drive containing panther over master drive with os9.2 installed resulted in finder corruption and a stuck spinning 'beachball' when booting os9.
problem fixed by running Norton Disk Doctor from cd over os9 drive.
G4 400 sawtooth, OSX 10.3
Mr.C. "


(added Dec. 11th, 2003)
removing an eDrive... (in reply to the report yesterday below that noted removing an edrive left he entire drive unusable)
Well, I continue to us TTP4 (4.01) without any of the troubles others have reported here. Night and day.
I removed an eDrive from my main (boot) drive, and placed it on another drive. No problems at all. I'm still booting just fine.
hth -Tracy V.
I asked for mac model/OS details:
I'm running a Dual Processor (DP) macintosh desktop model with two 1.25 processors, commonly called the silver-drive door (SDD). (Mirror Drive Door model) 2 gigabytes of RAM and is running OS 10.3.1. It has 4 120 gigabyte Maxtor ATA drives.

I have used ALL the features of TTP4 now, including creating, removing and recreating, and then booting from, the eDrive. I have used the directory replacement features on all of these drives, and have optimized all of these drives. I've also used it on my I gigahertz TiBook, which is also running 10.3.1, and has a 60 gig Toshiba Drive.

The main drive on the DP machine has 64 gigabytes of files on it (some 20,000,000 files).
I don't use haxies; I regularly clean the system caches and update the permissions, and otherwise try to keep things running smoothly. "

I do the same thing... (I've always thought the less 3rd party addons/os mods, etc. in the mix the better as far as avoiding potention problems, even in the OS 7-9 era). Like some OS X problems in general, not sure why some are having problems and others not (for some specific issues).
But please include info on your specific system/hardware and OS version in case this is somehow hardware and/or OS specific. (The more detail in reports the better in case mac model/hardware installed or OS X version is a factor in problems. Thanks)


(added Dec. 10th, 2003)
I just booted up my G4 MDD 867 from the TTP 4 CD and experienced numerous freezes and crashes.

This G4 is a "build-to-order" from Apple with a SCSI Cheetah 10,000 rpm internal hard drive with no ports occupied except for the ethernet port for cable, one USB port for the Apple keyboard and one USB port for the Epson C-84 printer. The hard drive has one partition with Panther installed that is very stable, one partition with OS 9.2.2 and the last partition with game applications.

Starting out with the hardware tests, the computer froze during the monitor tests. The cursor would move around on a white screen (with a hint of the TTP logo in the background) forcing me to hold down the start up button on the computer to shut it down.

I restarted the machine by holding the C key and after another long wait to reboot (about twice as long as the Disk Warrior boot disk and about 30% longer than the NUM boot disk) I unchecked the VRAM test and once again attempted the hardware suite. It froze again requiring a forced restart.

TTP 4 cannot test the internal SCSI disk.

Rebooting with the TTP 4 CD, I then ran the maintenance script. That worked okay. The other tests also ran quickly without incident making some minor bundle bit and file date repairs. The reports are very confusing and should incorporate Disk Warrior's red ink approach showing what repairs were actually made.

Unfortunately, the application froze midway through the optimization program. It wouldn't even complete a single partition after about an hour trying to optimize a 10 gig partition containing about 3 gigs of data with less than one half of 1% fragmentation. The optimization is much slower than Speed Disk and does not display the optimization nearly as well as Speed Tools.

This same disk ran okay (though taking far longer to boot than other boot CDs such as Disk Warrior) when testing it on a PowerBook G4 17" with a single partition. It took TTP 4 about 2 hours to optimize the internal 60 gig hard drive containing 12 gigs of data and very little fragmentation (versus about an hour with Speed Tools on this same computer). But the application froze during the optimization process with one single file left to optimize. I had to force restart it.

So it appears that this is a pretty slow and rough program at this stage. NUM is far faster and works better even though it has not been optimized for Panther (coming at the end of this month according to their web site).

It's as if Micromat has expertise only with Apple's pre-OS X operating system and they cannot seem to find the cocoa programmers they need to recreate their past success. At this point, NUM appears to be way ahead of the curve when compared to TTP.
Best, Ted G "


(added Dec. 10th, 2003)
I installed tt4 and then wanted to remove the eDrive I had created..well..it made it impossible to access my actual HD causing me to have to do a complete clean install.
I shan't be using tt4 again and want my money back. I ordered tt4 last April 2003 and have waited 9 months for this?..I think not.
not happy...
zOOtie
I'm running 10.3.1 on a pismo G3 powerbook "


(added Dec. 10th, 2003)
So far, so good on a dual Ghz G4 running 10.2.6 and my wife's 12" 867Mhz G4 running 10.2.8. Successful, but slow, boots from CD ( seriously recommend using option key). Installed eDrive on both machines and used eDrive to test volumes, files, and finder. TTP4 found volume structure error on powerbook (caused I think by an ugly experiment attempting to use an iPod as a start-up volume) and successfully repaired it. The repair took about an hour and a half!
Defragged both machines, but decided disk optimization could wait 'cause I suspect that's going to take hours and hours. OS X/ TTP4 is definately not the zippy combination that OS 9/ TTP3 was. I have to say I'm happy with the product.
So far, so good...
Richard T. "


(added Dec. 10th, 2003)
I have booted the TTPro 4 CD and it has successfully done most all the tests plus optimization on a PowerMac G4 933, PowerMac G4 733, Lombard powerbook, and a 1 GHz TiBook.
Mike M. "


(added Dec. 9th, 2003)
"TTP4 (4.01) Package Restoration glitch
I had occasion to incidentally delete my folder of Apple installation packages during a Panther reinstall last week on my Lombard 400. (I hold onto my packages so I don't have to download them again and can reinstall software on a moments notice, if necessary.) I had just set up TechTool Pro 4 and wanted to restore the deleted files.

TTP seemed to do a great job handling the restoration, having properly saved protection data about the packages, and extracted them as requested. However, no package could install. TTP had not correctly restored the post-flight install programs.
I'm copying this message to Micromat tech support to inform of the issue.
- Ben R. "

Update - see Micromat's reply to this in a Dec. 12th post above.


(added Dec. 9th, 2003)
" MacG4 dual 1.25Ghz, mirror doors
MacOS 10.3.1, 1.25GB RAM
4 internal HD's (80/80/60/160), 1 external firewire HD (80)

Received TTP v4.0.1 CD today (upgrade from July pre release order).

1. Custom folder install resulted in program crashing during launch, before personalization screen. Initial installation was to select install to folder:
HD:Applications:Utilities:TechTool Pro 4 f: TechTool Pro
When that failed I moved TTP4 up one level. There it would launch and run.
(HD:Applications:Utilities:TechTool Pro)

2. One of my internal HD's has MacOS 10.3.1, another has 10.2.8. Installed TTP into the applications folder of each. While running TTP4 (4.01) from 10.2.8, running Tests:Volume Structures all drives except the drive containing 10.3.1 completed satisfactorily. The tests for the 10.3.1 HD continued at a declining rate until TTP4 crashed shortly before completing the test.

Running the test on this drive only, after restart allowed the test to progress to completion without crashing.

I'm a long time Mac and TechTool user .... been happy with the program in the past with the exception of their optimization which has never been any good. This release looks pretty bad to me at the moment. My confidence level is about 2 out of 10 in TTP4 at this moment.
I've sent these observations off to Micromat.
AC"

I've not used it to repair a drive yet, but I ran a the "Advanced Tests" suite from a 10.3.1 install HD on the Dual G5 (3.5GB ram) and all tests passed (incl. tests on the 2nd HD w/10.2.8). I have not run the tests from CD however which previous reports indicated caused a crash.


(added Dec. 9th, 2003)
" (quote from a previous recent report)
"I am experiencing a crash of Tech Tool Pro 4.01 when running the Intermediate Suite of tests. I boot the computer from the Tech Tool CD. This crash has been replicated at the same point in the Files diagnostics. It gets part of the way through the test, Tech Tool quits, and the computer reboots from the hard drive."

My experience is exactly the same. I have not tried it from the eDrive. I hope MicroMat fixes this soon.
Mac OS 10.2.6
dual 1.42 GHz
2GB RAM
DG "


(added Dec. 8th, 2003)
" Hi Mike, Just wanted to let you know that I experienced a problem with TechTool Pro 4.0.1. I was interested in the eDrive feature. I thought it would be wise to create an eDrive from a really clean install of MacOsX 10.3. (That's not really necessary, it only copies a minimum set of OS X files to the Edrive.-Mike) And since TTP4 includes a "Wipe Drive" utility, I decided to use it to clean my hard drive and then reinstall Panther and that clean drive.
So it booted from CD. After a long wait, it finally fired up. (as noted before here it takes a long time to boot from the CD even on a Dual G5 2GHz. Micromat said it can take up to 10 minutes on some systems.-Mike) I choosed the "Wipe" tool. I selected my hard drive. I started the erasing feature. And went because as it is a large drive, it took about 3 hours to erase.
3 hours later, the thing was done… or at least should have been because, even if the program states the the drive has been erased succesfully, it has simply left the drive untouched. What has been done during those 3 hours is a mystery to me…
Maybe other users experienced this problem?
Maybe I ran into this problem because the drive is set up as a RAID of 2 80 Gb drives ? I don't know.
Regards.
Fred
(he later wrote with more details)

Here's the info you asked for.
I'm running a MDD PowerMac Dual 1,25Ghz.
I think there's been 2 or 3 series of this machine. (the first models were FW400 (bootable from OS 9 also) vs the later FW800 models) Mine is the FW800 series (the one that will not boot in Os9). The machine currently runs under MacOsX 10.3 Server with no updates applied.
None of the drives included is the stock drive.
There are 3 drives in that machine :
- 2XSeagate Barracuda 80GB
- 1X Maxtor 120 GB
One of the Seagate drives is connected as a master to the ATA/100 bus.
The other Seagate is connected as a master to the ATA/66 bus.
The Maxtor drive is connected as a slave to the ATA/100 bus.
Both Seagate drives are configured as a single 150GB RAID volume and hosts the boot system. The RAID volume has been created using "Disk Utility" so it's "software RAID". Despite what I've read here and there, and RAID volume created with "Disk Utility" is perfectly bootable under Panther, as it used to be with MacOsX 10.2... (SoftRAID 3rd party software isn't bootable from RAID yet I don't think - as of v3.0.2 at least. Apple's OS X RAID is bootable as it's often used on servers in mirror mode.-Mike)

There is only one PCI card inserted in this computer. It's a LaCie "USB 2.0" card. Never checked if the "2.0" features work, but it adds 5 USB ports which is what I needed.

As an interesting point, I noticed that "Disk Utility" can "Erase" a RAID partition, but that the options that will allow "Writing Zeros" are disabled with RAID volumes. Maybe that can be the beginning of an explanation…
If I remember well, the "Wipe Info" feature from Norton SystemWoks 3 could erase a RAID volume with no problems (but I must confess I'm not sure about that).
Hope this info might help. "

I've not used the wipe feature (that may write zeros to the drive perhaps, which takes a long time.) But odd it didn't erase the drive. I'd contact Micromat tech support about this and see what they say. If any other reader has used the "Wipe" feature let me know.


(added Dec. 8th, 2003)
" Dual G5 2.0 Ghz PowerMac and PowerBook G4 1.33 Ghz, both running OS 10.3.1. Problem occurs at the same spot of diagnosis on both machines.

I am experiencing a crash of Tech Tool Pro 4.01 when running the Intermediate Suite of tests. I boot the computer from the Tech Tool CD. This crash has been replicated at the same point in the Files diagnostics. It gets part of the way through the test, Tech Tool quits, and the computer reboots from the hard drive.
Micromat is aware of the problem. I was told by Micromat's tech rep. to report this to him by e-mail if the crash keeps occurring for a replacement CD when a fix is created by Micromat.
Kenneth
(I asked if he had run the tests from TTPro 4.01 installed on the boot HD or from an Edrive)
I have not run TTPro 4.01 from the hard drive or from the eDrive. I have not done an install onto the hard drive of the program, testing it primarily in CD boot mode before going further.

I have two internal hard drives and will do the install and swap back and forth, or try using the eDrive mode.
Micromat is aware of the CD boot bug that crashes the program when doing the file diagnostics test. They said they are working on a fix. "

I ran the full suite of tests from the TTPro 4.01 installed on the 10.3.1 boot HD on my Dual G5 2GHz and all tests passed (including surface scan of HDs). I have not run the tests from a CD boot though (which has 10.3.0 on the CD). Regardless if there are problems running tests from the Boot CD that's not good of course. I asked him to send a heads-up when there's an updated CD.


(added Dec. 8th, 2003)
" So far tech tool seems fine on my 1 gig PM and my old sawtooth with a giga designs upgrade card and an added A06 dvd burner.... Any issues I will let you know.
Keith R. "


(added Dec. 5th, 2003)
" Hi Mike, Just wanted to let you know that I successfully installed TTPro and created eDrives on my Dual 1.25 FW 800 and my daughter's Flower Power iMac (Both running 10.3.1). Both computers booted from the cd and the eDrive, no problem. On my computer the eDrive is on one of my four internal hard drives (not my regular boot drive) and on a firewire drive attached to the iMac.

I successfully ran all tests and optimized all hard drives on both computers. There were minor errors found and repaired on all drives.
Diane P. "


(added Dec. 5th, 2003)
" Is everyone having horrendous times running TTP 4 optimization? 40 gig partition on internal sata drive has taken 5 hrs and is only 2/3 done. (So far I've only used it to optimize my PB G4/800's 2nd (20GB) partition which took a long time - I didn't time it but I suspect it took nearly an hour at least. A larger partition with more files (this partition had no bootable OS on it) would take much longer of course.-Mike)

Also a 60 gig ex 400 mb / sec firewire took 4 hrs and was not even 1/2 done optimising before i quit it. Both drives showed only slight fragmintaion? What the heck is going on here. I have tried running from the disk and installed version. (disk is extremely slow to mount)

Last Night I retested.
After running all Advanced tests and repairs with the rest of the program which is great from what I have tested. Of course when it doesn't find a problem or have anything to fix who really knows. I ran Optimization on a 40 gig partition on a internal sata 7200 on the dual G5 last night and it ran for 5 hrs before it appeared to lock up or at least become so slow as not to be working. I have also found that trying stopping or changing anything when the program is working can bring up the spinning wheel of death. Not always but way to often.
Panther X.3.1 on Dual 2 gig G5 1.5 mb ram
-Zooz "


(added Dec. 4th, 2003)
" I've been a user of Tech Tool Pro over the years and have been generally satisfied with their products. So when they announced an OS X update was forthcoming, I placed my order. That was back in March and due to development delays (or whatever...) Tech Tool Pro 4 was finally released last month and arrived Tuesday the 25th.

So I ran the program from the CD prior to installing (on my 800 mhz iMac running 10.2.8) and it found some minor errors in the volume structures which it corrected. Everything was fine at that point. I installed the software, set up the standard protection routines, you know the usual drive checks, etc... It has an option to partition off a portion of the hard drive to be used as an "eDrive", an emergency bootable partition. Since booting from the CD takes a bit more time it looked like a good idea. So I boot from the CD again, clicked on the eDrive option and started the setup. After quite some time, a message popped up stating that an error occured and that I nedded to check the volume structures. Ok, so I click on the appropriate test and the program quits & the computer reboots. It boots to the CD. I try the test again and it quits and reboots. So during the next reboot cycle I eject the CD and presto changeo, it's not booting at all.
I put the Tech Tool cd back in and it boots up. So I attempt to undo the last action I did which was to set up the eDrive, but when I select that option, nothing happens. It's like the option doesn't exist anymore. I click and nothing happens. So I run disk first aid from the OS X installation disk and it tells me:

    Verifying disk "".
    Checking HFS Plus volume.
    Invalid extent entry
    The volume %@ needs to be repaired.
    Verify completed.
    Repairing disk "".
    Checking HFS Plus volume.
    Invalid extent entry
    Repair completed.

But it can't repair the extent entry. So I go out and buy a copy of Disk Warrior. (I know many of you swear by this program...) It runs and tells me that my directory cannot be rebuilt. The original directory is too severely damaged. (2155, 2211). (the best utility for recovering files from badly damaged drives that can't be fixed by DW, etc. is Data Rescue from Prosoft. See the previous page of reader feedback on Data Rescue)

So after the Thanksgiving holiday I contacted Micromat. They were very sorry and said that if I took out my hard drive and send it to them, they'd try to fix it. Not a very satisfying solution, but I guess what else could they do? It was either that or have them send me my money back, reload my software and load whatever backups i have available. I'm getting my money back and keeping Disk Warrior...
Bob T."

This is the first problem report like this I've had from TTPro 4 owners. (I installed an Edrive fine on a G5 system here recently but I've not had to use it to repair a damaged disk yet and I did not enable any auto protection.) Note: Matthew sent a note today that there was a problem report at macsonly (see sidebar TTpro review link) with a G4 Cube. (BTW: the very long boot time from CD is seen here booting from the CD on a PB G4/800 and my Dual G5 and is normal per Micromat. It can take as long as 10 minutes they say to boot from the CD.)


(added Dec. 3rd, 2003)
" Received TechTool Pro version 4.01 CD today. Installed and created an E-drive as well. All is terrific so far. The E-drive appears for a few seconds on startup from my regular drive and then disappears (to remain safe according to the PDF manual that's included).

Several tests found minor difficulties. All were quickly repaired. New directories were created for both my internal drives (250GB serial ATAs on a dual G5, 2 GHZ) in just minutes. Both were favorable comparisons and I replaced the original directories. Faster performance resulted; though the difference is not startling, it is of course, most welcome.

Will probably spend the rest of this week investigating the many other tests available, but so far this software is all I'd hoped it would be. And it's the first program with a CD that will boot my G5, run tests on Panther, and in all, keep my new computer and OS in shape. The revised DiskWarrior missed its promised "end of November" due date, emailing me back "We apologize for the delay. We are hoping to release the update soon. Perhaps just another week or so". Of course, when that program is revised, I'll grab my update happily.

Just FYI, I updated to TechTool Pro using the $49.xx upgrade available to any new Mac/G5 owner with AppleCare (ie a TechTool Deluxe CD that accompanies the Apple protection plan.) My G5 AppleCare registration number didn't work via the Micromat website, but the phone no. for addressing such problems got me a representative who took care of everything. Even the overnight shipping.
Keep that tremendous website of yours purring, Mike. We all love and use it regularly. Many thanks.
Bill K."


(added Dec. 2nd, 2003)
" Mike, I've used TTP4 on most of the partitions of my G4 Sawtooth with a Powerlogix 1GHz upgrade card, 1.5GB RAM, and 2 HDs totalling 200GB internal storage. The HDs are roughly partitioned into 7 on one which has all my old OS9 stuff. An OS 9.2.2 boot partition, applications, storage, experimental, current works in progress, bootable utilities partition, and a very large scratch disk. My second HD has Panther with all associated files except swap files on one partition of 40GBs, a secondary scratch disk, a storage area for all sorts of stuff which happens to include a clone of my last Jaguar partition in it's entirety and the new eDrive, and an older OS X utilities drive which will soon go away.

I've run most of the tests of TTP4 on all my partitions except the OS X utils which is going to be erased soon. Half were run from the CD and half from the eDrive which was not created on my Panther boot partition, my main system. All the tests worked as advertised. I had no flaws. The biggest difference between OS9 based partitions and OS X is accounted for simply by the fact that there are so many more files in UNIX. For example, my OS 9.2.2 boot partition has 18,022 files. The partition which has my Panther system has 203,027 files in just over 14GB of space used. As a result the directory rebuilding and disc optimization take proportionately longer, as you might expect.

As I said, my eDrive is not on my primary boot partition, though it was placed on a partition (from which it created it's own) with a complete older Jaguar system. FYI the 4GB limitation is mentioned in the TTP4 manual on page 64 as a warning alert. (He must have the printed manual - there's no Edrive info like this on Page 64 of the update CD's PDF manual but I finally found the size alert on page 67.-Mike) The eDrive partition is 4GB although, in fact, the installation only uses 1.7GB and has 2.3GB available on my computer and numbers 41,998 files. The eDrive itself is a great leap forward as it allows users to upgrade and run the latest version of TTP4 without having to have a new CD for each upgrade. (The TTPro 4 'check for updates' feature still works when booted from the Edrive.-Mike)

For those who have not gotten the software yet, the eDrive automatically dismounts immediately after booting in OSX but is visible when booted into OS9. The way it becomes available is by holding down the Option key when booting and then choosing the eDrive. (That's a common way to boot from drives with new world rom macs and worked with the Edrive as I said yesterday - however the Micromat website TTPro 4 web page Edrive section mentions that the Edrive is bootable by pressing the "E" key at startup.

    "If you ever have trouble with your main drive, simply restart your computer holding the E key on your keyboard and your system will start from your Emergency Drive"

As I said yesterday, that did not work for me in my tests on the G5 at least (not tried other macs yet). No big deal since the familiar Option key works. -Mike
)

All in all, this is a marvelous piece of software. It worked without flaw but does take time. For example, disk optimizing on my primary boot partition took 2.5 hours. Rebuilding the directory took about the same time or was just a bit faster than DiskWarrior which was booted from an OS9 system (about an hour). After running the Maintenance portion of the Performance panel (rebuilding the directory), I graphed the volumes with DiskWarrior's graphing utility and found that TTP4 was just as effective as DW. All the tests flew on the OS9 based partitions and while the OS X tests were slower, it is just the mass of files which accounted for the differences.

Considering the facility of being able to run all the tests from Suites, the variety of tests, the tools available which I've not had reason to use yet such as Data Recovery and wiping data securely, and the safety features to recover files more easily in case of catastrophe and potentially spotting hard drive failure in advance of such a catastrophe, TechTool Pro is just as good a suite of utilities as one could hope for. That doesn't mention that aesthetically this software's interface is as well crafted as any OS X application which I've purchased to date.

Micromat might have delayed shipping for over half a year...but they shipped an absolute winner.
welles g. "


(added Dec. 2nd, 2003)
" Received and loaded my TTP4 on Saturday. I will confirm the long boot-up from the CD holding the "C" key on start-up. There is a message with TTP4 that if your computer won't boot from the CD, you have 30 days to return it. I thought for sure mine wasn't going to. I'm talking finger-tired holding the "C" key time.

I made an eDrive out of 1 of my partitions. The thing I don't understand is that there was 12G on this partition, now the capacity, according to the "Get Info" pull down, is now 4G. I understand it made a copy of the system files, etc., but where is it? It seems that the space has been relegated and used to some sort of invisible volume. It shows up on start-up on the desktop, then disappears.

Otherwise, I'm extremely happy and impressed with the features & speed of the program. Well worth the money.
Running a G3 with a 800Mghz Powerlogix upgrade chip, 1GB RAM
Andy "


(added Dec. 1st, 2003)
" Well I finally received my copy in saturdays mail. I installed it on my dual 867 MDD with 1.5G memory. The tests went great, i had a few minor problems with some bundle bits that it corrected and all is well now.
I like how it will run multiple tests at the same time, it makes for much faster testing. I have only had it for less than a day, but so far I love it. I do wish that the reporting after the tests are run would be a little easier to access.
Very nice program-- Jeff "


(added Nov. 26th, 2003)
" As a voluntary beta tester for 3 months, I was overwhelmed by the innovations, power, and speed of this outstanding diagnostic, repair and prevention software for Panther and Jaguar.

The Help program and the "i" (information) button drawers make this a relatively easy program to use. As a retired professor of communications, I greatly respect the efforts to the Micromat people to educate novices, as well as provide definitive information for the technically sophisticated.

The quick, easy-to-use Journaling Tool is a MUST for disabling journaling just before optimization. A click on it re-enables journaling after optimizing.

The e-Drive is a marvelous innovation that makes a computer act as if it had an external drive running TechTool Pro.

I like the prevention/early intervention provided by the battery of SMART hardware and Diagnostic Volume tests that not only can be scheduled at log-in or specific times or intervals, but that also can alert you by email of any problems!

From my experience as a beta tester, I know that Micromat pros listened--really listened--to bug reports and suggestions for improvements.
Norman N. "


(added Nov. 25th, 2003)
" excellent...and I've been in the business (computer, programming, Apple products) since 1978. TTP3 was only fair, albeit better than Nortons. TTP4 looks like a real winner. I had one issue of the clock test causing problems with my (retail) 9600 card (DP 1.25 SDD with 2 gigs RAM) (white out, necessitating a force quit), but every other feature is working fine. Program also ran fine on my Tibook. I've done directory optimizing on both machines, and will do a full optimize on my main machine tonight. EDrive seems to work as advertised.

True: I've only had it for 14 hours, but so far, this looks like a real winner.

Also, and fwiw, TT actually had directory re-creation _before_ Diskwarrior and they continue with it in TTP4. In fact, I actaully like the reporting better than DW (which is still a great program). But I may retire it if the quality of TTP4 continues to hold...
Cordially (and hth)
Tracy V."


(added Nov. 25th, 2003)
" Received my copy yesterday and booted from it running Panther on a G4 867. There's a lot of new features that look worthwhile but the new interface is not exactly intuitive especially since there previous Drive 10 was quite simple to navigate.
Getting the information after a test is run is hardly straightforward. An interesting side note is that journaling prohibits optimization and must be turned off to defrag the drive. Will work with it more before deciding about the merits of the interface but on first use it was not user friendly to this user.
-Brian "


(added Nov. 24th, 2003)
" Hi. Just wanted to report that I finally got my TechTool Pro 4 in the mail. I was surprised they released the product without news or email. (I just received a PR email tonight -Mike)
I got the update since I own Drive 10 and TTP3 already and it was supplied without any fanfare packaging. I only received the CD and an invoice. That's it. The manual can be read in PDF. Of course I'm a little disappointed since I want the printed manual and being a previous owner will give me the full package. (I'm not clear about that last comment - i.e. are any orders shipping with a printed manual.-Mike)

Anyway, the CD I received is version 4.0.1 and I installed it in my PBG4 running OS 10.2.8. I am not planning to update to Panther until the bugs are fixed next year. In the meantime, this version of TTP4 seems updated since the image of the computer they used is the G5. Upon installation and startup the software warned me that I have 30 days to report to Micromat if the CD is unable to be used as a startup disk. Again, since I'm using 10.2.8 it was able to start my computer without any problems... (It's usually the Mac model not the OS version on the drive that determines if a CD like this is bootable.-Mike)
Regards, Raymond O. "


(Older Micromat comments)

MicroMat Comments on 4.0.2 CDs: (sent by a reader who asked them about updated CDs - see below for tips on making an updated Boot CD - although BootCD current version doesn't support OS X 10.4/tiger)

" We know of no way to make an updated TechTool Pro 4 CD. (Clearly there is a way to burn an updated CD image - several readers have done it - see their reports below.-Mike) We would recommend that you consider creating an eDrive to avoid this issue in the future. The eDrive allows for a virtual memory file to be created since the eDrive is on a read/write volume, unlike the CD which is a read-only volume and does not allow for a VM file to be created when booted from it. Since Mac OS X is a virtual memory operating system, we realized that the eDrive feature was the best option to avoid issue like this and more importantly allow the user to have an emergency partition to boot from when issues arise. You may run the updater while booted from the hard drive and update the version of TTP 4 on it, thus elliminating the need for a bootable CD. This is how the program is designed to work.
Updated CDs are available for Micromat Sales for $24.97 plus shipping if you wish.
Please let us know if you have any further questions.
Thank You
Micromat Inc.
Technical Support Team "

Although the Edrive is a -very- nice feature, a bootable CD is still a plus in case no partitions on the drive will boot. Many of the problems readers noted previously here when booted from CD were blamed on no VM swap file (especially when run on a system without a lot of RAM).

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