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TOPIC: Free space remaining alert for volume Recovery

Free space remaining alert for volume Recovery 27 May 2018 10:41 #9689

TechTool Pro 9.6.3 posted a TechTool Protection Alert warning me that "The volume 'Recovery' has 12% free space remaining." It also advised me that "The Volume Usage threshold for this volume is configured in the TechTool Protection system preference."

This alert appears to reflect a bug in TechTool Pro. The volume "Recovery" mentioned in the alert is presumably the recovery volume on my startup drive. The startup volume is named "MP", not "Recovery". "Recovery" does NOT appear in the TechTool Pro system preference, contrary to the alert. Furthermore, while the startup volume "MP" does appear there, its Free Space Warning Threshold is set to 10%, so it should not be generating an alert if 12% free space remains. Because the system Preference doesn't list that volume, I cannot get rid of the warning alert because I cannot set a Free Space Warning Threshold for the volume "Recovery". I am not willing to uncheck the volume "MP" for a Free Space Warning because I want to know when it gets below 10% (and I don't know that unchecking "MP" would remove the alert for volume "Recovery", anyway, since TTP thinks, correctly, that "Recovery" is a different volume).

The startup drive is an internal APFS SSD in my Mac Pro (Late 2013) running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4).
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Free space remaining alert for volume Recovery 27 May 2018 11:42 #9690

Thanks for your clear and detailed report.

I suspect that something has gone wrong with the file at /Library/Application/Support/TechTool Protection/TechToolProtection.plist.

Make a screen capture of the way email alerts feature is set up, and then use the Customize button in the TechTool Pro installer and the checkboxes you see after using that button to uninstall the program. Then reinstall TechTool Pro.

I suggest restarting the Macintosh before you launch TechTool Pro and allow it to update the TechTool Protection system preferences pane, in case something in the operating system is currently causing confusion about what volumes are associated with the mount points in use. You will then have to re-enter your serial number and reconfigure the features in the TechTool Protection system preferences pane.

The TechTool Pro installer is in your Available Downloads, at the bottom of your My Account page, linked above.

Before you begin, I think it would be interesting to make a duplicate of the present TechToolProtection.plist file, and open it with a text editor or a plist editor. It would be interesting to see if the word "Recovery" is in the file. The /Library folder is normally invisible. The easiest way to open it is to use the "Go to Folder..." menu item in the Finder's Go menu, and then paste in this path: /Library/Application Support .


This appears to be a volume usage free space warning entry for a volume in the plist file:

<key>FilesystemUserVisibleName</key>
<string>Mac OS Extended (Journaled)</string>
<key>directoryOnOff</key>
<integer>1</integer>
<key>freeSpaceWarningLevel</key>
<integer>15</integer>
<key>isAlert</key>
<false/>
<key>isCoreStorageEncrypted</key>
<false/>
<key>isHFS</key>
<true/>
<key>isInternal</key>
<true/>
<key>isMasterBootRecordDevice</key>
<false/>
<key>isSolidStateDrive</key>
<false/>
<key>trashOnOff</key>
<integer>1</integer>
<key>usage</key>
<dict>
<key>calendarDate</key>
<date>2018-03-09T22:29:08Z</date>
<key>displayName</key>
<string>Macintosh HD</string>
<key>fs_freeSize</key>
<real>3797792325632</real>
<key>fs_number</key>
<integer>16777219</integer>
<key>fs_size</key>
<real>3999927369728</real>
<key>fs_usedSize</key>
<real>202135044096</real>
<key>percentFree</key>
<real>94.946533203125</real>
<key>result</key>
<string>passed</string>
</dict>


If uninstalling and reinstalling goes not work, please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You will receive a reply by email on Tuesday, and may be asked to send in some additional information, such as an Apple System Information report. Thanks for your cooperation.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
Last Edit: 27 May 2018 11:56 by micromattech3.
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Free space remaining alert for volume Recovery 27 May 2018 16:35 #9691

The plist file at /Library/Application Support/TechTool Protection/TechToolProtection.plist does contain the name "Recovery" -- three times, in fact. The file appears to me to be in good order.

Under the plist file's VolumeDict entry, it contains entries for all of my current external volumes (seven of them), plus some volumes that have been attached in the recent past, plus some "firmwaresyncd" volumes.

Two other entries are of interest here: First, the startup volume entry appears with a path of "/", showing a freeSpaceWarningLevel entry of "10", a usage/displayName entry of "MP", a volumeMountFromName entry of "/dev/disk1s1", and a volumeMountToName entry of "/". Second, a recovery volume entry appears with a path of "/Volumes/Recovery" showing a freeSpaceWarningLevel entry of "15", a usage/displayName entry of "Recovery", a volumeMountFromName entry of "/dev/disk1s3", and a volumeMountToName entry of "/Volumes/Recovery". The usage/percentFree entries for both volumes are nearly, but not quite, identical, the startup volume at 13.127462387085 and the recovery volume at 13.1309585571289.

My spurious Protection Alerts are apparently presented because TechTool Protection sees the recovery volume entry with its freeSpaceWarningLevel entry of "15" instead of "10", and its freeSpace entry now at only about 13%. It fails to take into account the fact that the freeSpaceWarningLevel entry for the startup volume (which lives on the same drive as the recovery volume) is "10". The startup drive and both its volumes are formatted as APSF, but when TechTool Pro registers my Free Space Warning Threshold setting of 10% for the startup volume, it doesn't seem to realize that these two volumes are in the same APSF container and should presumably share the same freeSpaceWarningLevel.

So the bug lies in TechTool Pro's failure to set the recovery volume's freeSpaceWarningLevel to match when I set the Free Space Warning Threshold for the startup volume to 10%.

I have had previous versions of TechTool Pro installed on this computer for three years. It is possible that the recovery volume entry was created in the plist file in a past version of TechTool Pro and that TechTool Pro no longer records that information. I will delete the plist file and TechTool Pro now, then reinstall it from scratch. I'll let you know what the new plist files shows after I've done that.

By the way, I always leave the Email Alerts feature of TechTool Protection turned off. The Protection Alert I've been talking about is presented as an onscreen alert window.
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Free space remaining alert for volume Recovery 27 May 2018 16:44 #9692

Thanks for your thorough investigation of the problem.

Please send your observations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , along with a copy of the TechToolProtection.plist file. I hope it will be of help in seeing how the problem arose. Also, please let us know in your message if the reinstallation helps.

In case you have not encountered this before, the active startup volume is always mounted on "/"

I am not sure how TechTool Pro is handling the free space on APFS volumes, since the APFS format regards the free space on all volumes in a given APFS container as being shared by all of them. This aspect of the program, like APFS itself, may be a work in progress. Thanks for your cooperation.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Free space remaining alert for volume Recovery 27 May 2018 17:28 #9693

It would be helpful if you could try to recall whether you have ever mounted the Recovery HD volume, and whether you currently have a file named Recovery or Recovery HD at /Volumes . It would be odd for the TechToolProtection.plist file to be making a reference to a volume that had never been mounted by the system software in the same startup volume from which TechTool Pro is running.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Free space remaining alert for volume Recovery 27 May 2018 17:47 #9694

I do not recall whether I have ever mounted a Recovery volume on this Mac. I know I have done so on one or two of my Macs in the past, but I don't recall which. I just now looked at the /Volumes directory on this Mac, and it does NOT contain a Recovery volume, visible or invisible.

I also just finished completely uninstalling TechTool Pro, rebooting, reinstalling TechTool Pro 9.6.3 from scratch, restarting, and then setting the Free Space Warning Threshold to 10% on the startup volume, "MP". I examined the TechToolProtection.plist file, both immediately after reinstalling TechTool Pro and rebooting, and again after setting the threshold for the startup volume to 10%. On both occasions, the TechToolProtection.plist file did NOT contain any reference to a recovery volume.

I therefore conclude that my earlier surmise about TechTool Pro not currently doing anything with a recovery file in ordinary circumstances was correct. Nevertheless, it would seem that there is a bug, probably limited to very rare circumstances; namely, if a recovery volume has been mounted in the past, TechTool Pro will keep a reference to it and then fail to coordinate a subsequent change in the Free Space Warning Theshold for the startup volume with the original default 15% threshold for the recovery volume, resulting in the misleading Protection Alert.

I will email my observations and three versions of the TechToolProtection.plist file, as you requested. Thanks for your help.
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Free space remaining alert for volume Recovery 27 May 2018 18:11 #9695

You are welcome, and thanks for letting us know the results of reinstalling Techtool Pro, and for your cooperation in sending in the files.

I think your interpretation of what happened is quite likely, and I am going to have to ask about how free space warnings work for APFS volumes in the same APFS container.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
Last Edit: 27 May 2018 18:11 by micromattech3.
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