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TechTool Pro 6 Tools  Tools

TechTool Pro includes a number of tools that you can select from the Tools category. These include:

Select a tool from the list to display its configuration screen on the right.

Tools cannot be queued on the dock like Tests, since they cannot be interrupted while they perform their individual functions. The various tools are described in detail below.

 

eDrive eDrive

Use TechTool Pro's eDrive tool to create an emergency startup partition containing TechTool Pro on one of your hard drives. This new partition is created WITHOUT the need to reformat the drive on which it is created. The eDrive contains a basic Mac OS X system for your computer as well as a copy of TechTool Pro. If you ever have trouble with your normal startup volume, you can simply restart your computer from the eDrive. This will give you immediate access to the tools you need for recovery and repair. It eliminates the need for a bootable DVD or ancillary hard drive for system volume repair or maintenance. This may be particularly attractive for use on a portable computer. With an eDrive installed, you will not need to carry a repair DVD with you on the road. The eDrive can also be useful if you have updated TechTool Pro via download and do not have a copy of the newer program DVD.

warningWARNING Always remember to backup important data prior to performing major operations such as eDrive creation or removal, optimizations, and volume rebuilds.

Choose eDrive from the Tools category to display the eDrive Configuration screen.

eDrive Configuration

Use the eDrive Destination Volume pop-down menu to select the volume on which you wish to create the eDrive. You may choose the active system volume or an external volume. The volume size and amount of free space on the volume is displayed beneath the pop-down menu.

NoteNOTE On systems prior to Mac OS X 10.5, creating an eDrive on the main startup volume requires booting from the TechTool Pro DVD.

Note

NOTE The eDrive partition takes up 12 GB on the eDrive Destination Volume (this may change with future updates). In addition, there should be at least 10% to 15% free space remaining on the eDrive Destination volume after the eDrive creation.

Note

NOTE An eDrive cannot be created on a RAID volume since the partitioning of a RAID is controlled by the particular RAID software.

Use the Mac OS X Source Volume pop-down menu to select the volume containing the Mac OS X system components you wish to copy to the eDrive. The Mac OS X version and build will be listed beneath the pop-down menu.

Note

NOTE FileVault must be disabled on the Mac OS X Source Volume prior to creating an eDrive. It can be re-enabled once the eDrive has been created.

eDrive status information is displayed in the field below the two pop-down fields. If an eDrive currently exists, this is indicated in the status information field and the two pop-down menus will be inactive. Only one eDrive is allowed at a time.

To create an eDrive, select the eDrive Destination Volume and the Mac OS X Source Volume from the appropriate pop-down menus. Then click the Create eDrive button. The eDrive creation process occurs in five steps.

  • Partitioning—the drive is checked and the eDrive partition created
  • Applications—included applications are copied to the eDrive from the Mac OS X Source Volume
  • Users—the Users folder is copied to the eDrive from the Mac OS X Source Volume
  • Mac OS X Files—the necessary System and Library files are copied to the eDrive from the Mac OS X Source Volume

Progress is displayed on the stage as the eDrive partition is created and files copied to it.

eDrive Progress

As files are copied to the eDrive partition, their names will flash by below the animated stage graphics.

It typically takes between a half hour and an hour to create an eDrive. However, if there is not enough contiguous free space on the eDrive Destination Volume to hold the eDrive partition, it may take longer since files will need to be moved out of the way during the Partitioning. You can press the Stop button on the lower right side of the stage to stop the eDrive creation. This will result in incomplete eDrive which you can remove using the Remove eDrive option discussed below.

Use the Remove eDrive button to remove an existing eDrive and return the space used by the eDrive partition back to the original volume.

Click the Restart eDrive button to restart the computer from the eDrive. (This button is not available when booted to the TechTool Pro DVD.) You can also restart from the eDrive using the standard Mac OS X method of choosing the eDrive as the startup volume after restarting while holding down the "option" key. When the computer boots from the eDrive, TechTool Pro will automatically launch. When you quit TechTool Pro while started from the eDrive, the Startup Disk pane appears so that you can select the volume from which to restart.

TechTool Pro automatically unmounts the eDrive from your desktop when your computer boots from a startup volume containing a valid installation of TechTool Pro. This is to protect the eDrive from possible corruption during regular computer use. We strongly suggest that you do not alter the contents of the eDrive for this reason. Doing so may make it unavailable during an emergency. When the eDrive is unmounted, it will not appear as a startup choice in the Startup Disk pane of the System Preferences. You can click the Mount eDrive button if you wish to mount the eDrive volume on the desktop.

warning

WARNING Do not use your computer for regular operations while booted from the eDrive. Use it for emergency recovery and repair only. The eDrive contains a minimal Mac OS X system. Programs other than TechTool Pro may not function as expected and this could cause problems and possible data loss when using other applications.

 

Volume Rebuild Volume Rebuild

The volume structures of a volume keep track of where every file and folder reside on a hard drive. This information is stored in a number of data structures, several of which are arranged as "trees". As data is written to and read from a drive, the layout of the data in these tree structures may become lopsided. This complicates the data structures and causes a slowdown in accessing data as the lopsided tree branches are traversed. For further information about the volumes structures, refer to the Volume Structures test earlier in this manual or the Macintosh File Systems section later in this manual.

Volume Rebuild attempts to build new volume structures from scratch, fully optimizing the directory data structures as it does so. In addition, if the volume structures are corrupted (as determined by the Volume Structures test), a volume rebuild may be able to correctly reconstruct them, resolving the problem.

Select Volume Rebuild in the Tools category to open the Volume Rebuild Configuration window.

Volume Rebuild Configuration

Select the volume you wish to rebuild from the volume list.

Note

NOTE In order to rebuild the volume structures of a volume, it must be unmounted. This means that you cannot do a volume structure rebuild of the current startup volume. To do this, you must reboot the computer and run TechTool Pro from another volume, such as from an eDrive or the TechTool Pro DVD.

warning

WARNING Before attempting to rebuild a volume, be sure any important data is backed up first if possible. Use the routines in TechTool Pro's Data Recovery tool if you cannot backup files normally. Although TechTool Pro will do its best to repair a corrupted volume, this is not always possible depending on the extent and seriousness of the corruption. There is always the chance that an attempt at repair may make problems worse and recovery afterwards more problematic.

Click the Run button to start the volume rebuild. Progress is displayed on the stage as the rebuild progresses.

Volume Rebuild Stage

If you want to stop the volume rebuild, click the Stop button on the right side of the stage. This will safely terminate the rebuild and leave the original volume structures untouched.

Note

NOTE Volume Rebuild does not officially support non-Apple RAID volumes. Your results may vary.

If TechTool Pro can rebuild the volume structures, it will display a Technical Comparison Data screen for the volume.

Volume Rebuild Comparison Screen

The Technical Comparison screen provides important technical information about both the original directories and the newly created directories. This includes details such as the total number of folders, files, etc. This data can help you decide whether or not to commit to the rebuild. Differences between the new and old directories are highlighted in color. Green indicates a normal change and red indicates an unusual and possibly problematic change. Click the Replace button to replace the original directories with the newly rebuilt ones. Click the Cancel button to keep the original directories.

warning

WARNING If there are RED changes in the Technical Comparison, it would be prudent to press the Cancel button and verify that important data is backed up before proceeding with the rebuild. An incorrect rebuild usually requires reinitializing the volume and restoring the data.

 

File Optimization File Optimization

File Optimization should be used as part of a general disk maintenance routine for your Macintosh. Although a fragmented drive will not cause your Macintosh to malfunction, it may keep it from performing to its full potential.

As files are written to and read from a volume, the file system instructs the drive mechanism where to store the file data. It can place this information anywhere there is available free space on the volume. If there is not a contiguous free area large enough to store a file, then the file system will fragment the file. It will save pieces onto different areas of the drive. This is transparent to you. Although a file appears as one complete logical item, in most cases it is actually physically scattered around the disk in many pieces. Fragmentation complicates the volume structures and makes the drive work harder to read the files, possibly slowing down performance. File optimization defragments the individual files on a volume.

Click File Optimization from the Tools category to display the File Optimization Configuration screen.

File Optimization Configuration

Select the volume you wish to inspect or optimize from the volume list on the left. Click the Preview Optimization button to display the amount of file fragmentation for the selected volume. Upon completion, the size and names of all fragmented files are listed on the right side of the stage, as well as the total number of fragmented files. Click on a file name from the list to show the full path to the file or click the Show button to open a Finder window with the file selected in it.

File Optimization Results

Click the Run File Optimization button to defragment any fragmented files on the selected volume. Progress is displayed on the stage during defragmentation.

File Optimization Progress

Note

NOTE Running File Optimization from your startup volume can only defragment inactive files.

warning

WARNING Before optimizing, you should perform a Volume Structure test to be sure there is no corruption in the disk's directories. Optimizing a corrupted volume would most likely spread the corruption as file fragments are moved around on the hard disk.

File Optimization is fairly time consuming. It may take several hours to complete (you might want to start it at the end of the day and let it run overnight). You can stop the process if you wish by clicking the Stop button on the lower right side of the stage. When you click this button, TechTool Pro will finish defragmenting any files it is working on and gracefully stop the process.

warning

WARNING Do not force quit TechTool Pro when it is in the process of optimizing. An unexpected quit during optimization could cause file corruption.

To fully optimize a volume by defragmenting all individual files and consolidating the free space, run Volume Optimization.

 

Volume Optimization Volume Optimization

Volume Optimization should be used as part of a general disk maintenance routine for your Macintosh. Although a fragmented drive will not cause your Macintosh to malfunction, it may keep it from performing to its full potential.

As files are written to a volume, they may be scattered around on the hard drive. This fragments the free space on the hard drive. The Macintosh file system sometimes needs to allocate large contiguous blocks of free space for certain operations, such as for swap space. If it cannot do this, system performance may suffer. Volume Optimization displays a graphical representation of the free and used space and also optimizes the volume by consolidating the free space on it.

Select Volume Optimization in the Tools category to display the Volume Optimization Configuration screen.

Volume Optimization Configuration

Select the volume you wish to inspect or optimize from the volume list on the left. Click the Preview Optimization button to display information about the volume and a graph of the volume space usage on the stage.

Volume Optimization Preview

Click the Run Volume Optimization button to perform a volume optimization of the selected volume. Progress is displayed on the stage as the free space is defragmented.

Volume Optimization Progress

The stage displays a dynamic bar graph showing the distribution of data and free space on the drive. The higher the bar, the more data is stored in that area of the drive. As the optimization progresses, the area of the volume currently being optimized will be displayed in flashing yellow in the bar graph. The goal of volume optimization is to move all data to the beginning of the drive and all the free space to the end.

Note

NOTE To optimize a volume, it must be unmounted. This means that you cannot optimize the current startup volume. To optimize the normal startup volume you must boot the computer and run the program from another location, such as an eDrive.

warning

WARNING Before optimizing, you should perform a Volume Structure test to be sure there is no corruption in the disk's directories. Optimizing a corrupted volume would most likely spread the corruption as file fragments are moved around on the hard disk.

Volume Optimization is fairly time consuming. It may take several hours to complete (you might want to start it at the end of the day and let it run overnight). You can stop the process if you wish by clicking the Stop button on the lower right side of the stage. When you click this button, TechTool Pro will finish relocating any files it is working on and gracefully stop the process.

warning

WARNING Do not force quit TechTool Pro when it is in the process of optimizing. An unexpected quit during optimization could cause serious directory corruption.

Note

NOTE In some cases, the Volume Optimization tool may report that the Volume Header has become fragmented. In this case, you can use the Volume Cloning tool to optimize the volume, described below.

TechTool Pro 6 Volume Cloning  Volume Cloning

TechTool Pro offers the ability to create either a duplicate clone of an entire disk, or a file sync clone that copies every file on a disk to a backup drive, and then syncs changed files for subsequent clones. If the disk selected for cloning is a startup volume, the clone can also be bootable. A duplicate clone offers the possibility (but not a guarantee) that files lost on the original volume may be recoverable from the clone.

Disk Image cloning saves the clone to a file. This is advan- tageous if another drive is not available. If a disk image of a bootable volume is created, the image may be restored to a disk using Apple's Disk Utility (located in /Applica- tions/Utilities). The resulting drive can also be bootable.  The advantage of cloning to a disk image is that you do not need to have an external hard drive or partition available, only enough free space on your hard drive. You can then copy the image to another device when that device becomes available, or make copies of the disk image to multiple locations.

Note

NOTE Volume Cloning is only availabe on systems running Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

Duplicate Cloning

Duplicate Cloning

To create a Duplicate clone, select Duplicate Cloning from the drop-down menu. Only disks or partitions larger than the source partition will be available as a destination for the clone.

Checking 'Verify destination copy' performs a verification on the destination volume after the copy to ensure a proper duplication from the source volume.

Checking 'Restore destination name' restores the destination volume to its original name. Otherwise, the name of the source volume will be used.

warning

WARNING Be sure to verify that the volume you are using as the destination for a volume clone does not con- tain any files before you erase it. All files on the destina- tion volume will be lost.

File Sync Cloning

File Sync Cloning

File Sync Cloning is also available. By choosing File Sync Cloning, the destination volume does not need to be erased. Subsequent clones will only copy files that are new or have changed since the last sync.

Choosing 'Skip newer destination files' ignores newer files on the destination volume. Files on the destination volume that have changed since last sync will not be replaced. If only the file size differs, the destination file will be replaced.

Choosing 'Enable destination ownership' copies owner and group permission settings from the source volume to the destination volume. This allows the volume to be bootable after sync. Otherwise, the owner and group settings of the current user and group will be used.

warning

WARNING Be sure to verify that the volume you are using as the destination for the clone does not contain any files before you erase it. All files on the destination volume will be lost.

Optimizing with the Cloning Tool

If the Volume Optimization tool reports that the directory of a volume is too fragmented to optimize, you can achieve the same effect using the Volume Cloning tool and an empty partition on an available drive that is large enough to contain all of the data on the volume to be optimized.

Begin by creating an empty partition that is the same size or slightly smaller than the source drive using a program such as Disk Utility. Next, set the Volume Cloning tool to use the File Sync Clone method, with the volume to be optimized as the source and the new partition as the destination. Click Clone to Volume... This process optimizes the data as it is copied.

After cloning is complete, verify the clone by holding 'option' at startup and verify that the clone starts up the Mac as expected. Then, start up from an eDrive to complete the process.

After starting up from the eDrive, return to the Cloning tool, this time selecting the Duplicate Cloning method. Reverse the source and destination, setting the clone as the source and your original hard drive as the destination. Click Clone to Volume... which will restore the data to the original drive, maintaining its optimized state.

Disk Image Cloning

Disk Image Cloning

To create a disk image clone, choose the source, the type of disk image. Clicking Clone to Volume... will dislpay a dialogue box in order to choose where to save the resulting disk image file. TechTool Pro will then copy the contents of the target drive to a .dmg file. Double-clicking the resulting .dmg file will mount the image, giving the user access to the files and folders contained within.

  • Read/Write - Choosing this option creates a .dmg file that mounts as a virtual disk when opened.  The .dmg file will be the same size as the disk being cloned, and files can be added to it when it is mounted.
  • Read/Write "sparse" disk image - Choosing this option creates a .sparseimage file.  It is the same as Read/Write option except that the size of the image file when unmounted will be close to the amount of data contained in the image, rather than the size of the disk.
  • Read/Write "sparse" disk bundle - Choosing this option creates a .sparsebundle file.  It is the same as the "sparse" disk image, except that the file is saved in "blocks," so as to be more efficiently backed up by tools such as Apple's Time Machine.
  • Read-Only disk image - Choosing this option creates a .dmg file.  It is the same as the Read/Write option except that it cannot be modified when mounted.

 

 

TechTool Pro 6 Data Recovery Data Recovery

TechTool Pro's data recovery routines are designed to help you recover accidentally deleted files/folders or to recover files/folders from a corrupted volume that no longer mounts on the desktop. You should only try to recover personal data that is not already backed up. Don't try to recover application or system files, since such files typically don't operate properly by themselves. These files should be restored from their original source.

The options in Data Recovery work in conjunction with the data saved in TechTool Pro's Directory Backup files and Trash History. Directory Backup files are backups of a volume's directories. They contain important file location data, allowing TechTool Pro to easily find files that haven't already been overwritten. The Trash History is a record of the location of deleted files. This information allows TechTool Pro to recover a deleted file, again assuming it hasn't already been overwritten. Directory Backup and Trash History are configured via the TechTool Protection pane in the System Preferences. We strongly suggest enabling these features since they dramatically increase the chance of successful data recovery. However, even if the Protection features were not enabled prior to a problem, TechTool Pro may still be able to recover files from a corrupted drive by scanning the entire drive for directory data.

TechTool Pro's data recovery routines consist of three parts:

  • Protection—recover files/folders based on previously saved Directory Backup files
  • Drives—recover files/folders based on scavengeddirectory data
  • Trash—recover deleted files based on the Trash History

These options are covered in detail below.

Protection

Use this data recovery option to try to recover files or folders from a corrupted volume when TechTool Protection had been configured to save Directory Backup files for the volume.

To display the Data Recovery Protection configuration window, choose Data Recovery from the Tools category and then click the Protection tab.

Data Recovery Protection

The left side of the configuration window shows the Directory Backups list. Each recognized volume along with its associated Directory Backup files indented beneath the volume name is listed here. The Directory Backup files are identified by the date and time they were created. Typically, you would select the most recent available Directory Backup file since it will most accurately represent the state of the volume contents. TechTool Protection saves a maximum of three Directory Backup files for each volume, deleting the oldest one when necessary to save a new one.

Note

NOTE If a volume is badly corrupted, it is possible that the Directory Backup files cannot be read on it and it will not show up in this section of Data Recovery. In that case, try scavenging the entire hard drive in the Drives section.

Note

NOTE Directory Backup files are copies of the volume structures at an earlier time. Consequently they are not a completely accurate map of the location of files and folders on a volume. If a file has been moved or overwritten since the Directory Backup file was made, this will not be reflected in the Directory Backup file. In that case the recovered file will be corrupt. Be sure to open or check recovered files to be sure they are valid.

Drives

Use this data recovery option to try to recover files/folders from volumes for which no Directory Backup files are available. It will be slower since the entire hard drive (not just an individual volume) must be scanned for directory information.

To display the Data Recovery Drives configuration window, choose Data Recovery from the Tools category and then click the Drives tab.

Data Recovery Drives

The left side of the configuration window shows the Drives list. Each recognized drive is listed here.

Search

Once you have selected a drive or volume from which to recover data, enter the search options on the right side of the configuration window. Enter a search string in the "Folder or file name to locate" field (the search is not case sensitive). Then select the desired Search Criteria from the bullet list. The options are:

  • Contains—search for file/folder names containing the specified string
  • Starts With—search for file/folder names beginning with the specified string
  • Whole Words—search for file/folder names that exactly match the specified string
  • Ends With—search for file/folder names ending with the specified string

Note

NOTE When searching for a file using the Whole Words option, you must include the file's extension (if present) as a part of the file name. This is a three or four letter identifier (which is normally hidden by the Finder) following a period at the end of the file name. If you don't know the extension for the file, you might consider using the Contains search criterion instead. Press the Locate Files button to begin the search.

As the search is performed, progress will be displayed on the stage. When complete, the Data Recovery window will appear listing all files and folders that were found based on the search criteria, as well as other data about the found item.

Data Recovery Results

Select the file or folder of interest from the list. If the item is displayed in black, it is still available on the volume via the Finder. Click the Show button on the upper right to display it in a Finder window. If the item is displayed in red, it is not available via the Finder (the item has been deleted, the volume is not mounted, etc.). In that case, click the Restore button on the upper right to copy it to a folder on the desktop named TechTool Pro 6 Recovered Files. The item will be located in a subfolder whose name is the date and time of the recovery. (When booted to the DVD, a save dialog box will appear letting you choose a destination for the recovered items folder.)

Trash

Use this data recovery option to recover deleted files/folders. This will only work to undelete items from volumes for which Trash History was active prior to the deletion and which were deleted within the time frame configured to record deleted files. . Trash History is configured in the TechTool Protection pane of System Preferences. You must run the installed copy of TechTool Pro when un-deleting files, since the Trash History is maintained by the current startup system. This option will not be available when booted to the TechTool Pro DVD.

Note

NOTE If the Finder is set to Empty Trash securely (set via the Finder Preferences under the Finder menu), deleted files cannot be recovered since they are immediately overwritten when the Trash is emptied.

To display the Data Recovery Trash configuration window, choose Data Recovery from the Tools category and then click the Trash tab.

Data Recovery Trash

Click the Show Trash History button to display the Trash History window.

Trash Recovery Results

All items that were moved to the Trash within the time frame configured for Trash History will be listed. If the item is displayed in black, it is still available via the Finder on the volume. Click the Show button on the upper right to display it in a Finder window. If the item is displayed in red, it is no longer available via the Finder (the item has been deleted). In that case, click the Restore button on the upper right to copy it to a folder on the desktop named TechTool Pro Recovered Files. The item will be located in a subfolder whose name is the date and time of the recovery.

Note

NOTE Be sure to open or check a recovered file to verify that it is valid. Trash History keeps a record of the location of files deleted from a volume. A file that has been deleted from the Trash can be overwritten by the file system at any time. If this happens, the file data is unrecoverable by any standard means. When TechTool Pro recovers such a file, it will most likely be unusable.

Note

NOTE Trash History displays the deleted files for the current user. If you want to recover files for a different user, you must first log into that user's account and run TechTool Pro from there.

 

TechTool Pro 6 Wipe Data Wipe Data

When a file is saved to a disk an entry is made for the file in the disk's directory. This directory entry records where the pieces of the actual file are stored on the disk. When a file is deleted from the disk, only its directory entry is deleted. The file data itself is still left on the drive and the locations occupied by the data are made available to be used to store other information. Until the data is actually overwritten by new information it is possible for the data to be recovered using a data recovery tool such as TechTool Pro.

There are times when one needs to permanently delete a file for security reasons. To permanently delete the data from the drive it must be completely overwritten. This is the purpose of Wipe Data. TechTool Pro offers a variety of methods to securely overwrite the data.

Select Wipe Data from the Tools category to display the Wipe Data configuration screen.

Wipe Data Configuration

The following functions and controls are available from the Wipe Data screen:

Overwrite Pattern

You may choose to overwrite selected data multiple times with the following patterns:

  • Binary 0000–Overwrites the file with all zeros.
  • Binary 1010–Overwrites the file with alternating ones and zeros.
  • Binary 1111–Overwrites the file with all ones.
  • Random ASCI Characters–Overwrites the file with pseudo-random pattern of zeros and ones. This can be helpful when trying to hide the fact that a file has been wiped.

Overwrite Level

Select the number of times the selection will be overwritten. The higher the number, the more secure the overwrite (and the longer the overwrite will take). Although overwriting the data once is normally sufficient to permanently erase the data, some government agencies specify that data must be overwritten a specific number of times to be considered securely deleted. The overwrite choices are:

  • 1-Pass Overwrite
  • 3-Pass Overwrite
  • 7-Pass Overwrite
  • 35-Pass Overwrite (referred to as the Gutmann method)

Select Item To Wipe... button

Click this button to select the item you wish to wipe. You can choose a file, folder, or entire volume. If you choose a volume, you can wipe either the entire volume or only the volume's unused free space. When you select an item its full path name will appear in the field below the buttons. This allows you to verify what item will be wiped before actually committing to the wipe.

Wipe Selection... button

Click this button to overwrite the selected file or folder the specified number of times with the selected pattern. Progress is displayed on the stage as the overwrite occurs.

Wipe Volume... button

Click this button to completely overwrite the entire volume's contents the specified number of times with the selected pattern. Note that ALL data on the volume will be lost. Progress is displayed on the stage as the overwrite occurs.

Wipe Free Space... button

Click this button to overwrite the free unused space on the selected volume the specified number of times with the selected pattern. Progress is displayed on the stage as the overwrite occurs.

WARNING Once the data is overwritten by TechTool Pro's Wipe Data routines there is no possibility of recovering the data. Confirm that you have made the correct selection by checking in the information field at the bottom of the Wipe Data Configuration screen before committing to the wipe.

 

TechTool Pro 6 Volume JournalingVolume Journaling

Journaling is a feature of the HFS+ file system that provides protection against volume corruption and data loss. It is supported by Mac OS X 10.2.2 and above. When journaling is enabled for a volume, the file system logs read/write transactions as they occur. If the computer should unexpectedly quit, then the file system will have access to a record of incomplete transactions in its "journal" on the drive and can quickly return the file system to a consistent state. This protects against volume structure problems and the need to test for or repair them after an improper shutdown.

Journaling adds a small amount of extra overhead to file reads and writes. In most cases the performance degradation will not be noticeable. However, for files requiring high transfer speeds, such as large video, graphics, or audio files, the reliability provided by journaling may not justify the performance slowdown when accessing the data. For more a more technical explanation of volume journaling, see the Macintosh File Systems section later in the manual.

The Volume Journaling tool in TechTool Pro allows you to turn journaling on or off for your HFS+ volumes. Choose Volume Journaling in the Tools category to display the Volume Journaling configuration screen.

Volume Journaling Configuration

Each available writable HFS+ volume will be listed in the configuration screen. When you select a volume from the list, the appropriate button on the lower right side of the screen will activate so that you can toggle the state of journaling for that volume.

 

TechTool Pro Disk Permissions Disk Permissions

The Macintosh operating system is based on the UNIX operating system. Like UNIX, it uses permissions in the file system. Every file and folder has a set of permissions associated with it that determine what users are allowed to read from, write to, or execute it. Permissions may become corrupt for one reason or another. Incorrect permissions can cause a wide variety of problems. They can make files or folders unavailable, they can keep applications from launching or working properly, and if the incorrect permissions are on system files, may even cause Finder problems or make the computer unable to boot from that system.

Each system volume contains a Library/Receipts folder. This folder holds package files that each contain a "Bill of Materials" file (with extension.bom). These Bill of Materials files store the correct permissions for the associated package—typically system and application packages. TechTool Pro makes use of this information to verify and repair permissions. Repairing permissions is easy to do and could well solve an annoying problem with the computer or an application.

To verify/repair the disk permissions for a volume, select Disk Permissions from the Tools category. This opens the Disk Permissions Configuration window.

Disk Permissions Config

In the configuration window, select the volume whose permissions you would like to check or repair. Then click the Verify Disk Permissions button to check the permissions or the Repair Disk Permissions button to repair any permissions that may be incorrectly set. Upon completion, any files with incorrect permissions or whose permissions were repaired will be listed in the Reports window.

TechTool Pro Local Network Local Network

The Local Network tool displays what Bonjour enabled devices and services are running on your local network. This tool lists the IP addresses of all network devices as well as the port number of any services running on the selected device.

Local Network Config

noteNOTE Handheld devices such as iPhones, iPod touches and iPads will only appear in the Local Network device list if they are running iOS 5 or later, which enables Bonjour support.

The Local Network tool can be hepful in debugging network problems (e.g. with a printer, AirPort Express, etc.). It can also help with security issues by revealing what ports are open and which applications are using them. Clicking on a given network device will reveal a list of services and their corresponding port numbers.

As a device becomes active or inactive, the green light will blink. Once the device is active, the light will stay green.

noteNOTE If you switch networks or a device is no longer part of the network, press the "Clear History" button.

 

TechTool Pro 6 Video Video

The Video area includes options for checking your computer's display and iSight compatible cameras. Choose Video in the Tools category to display the Video configuration screen. Use the tabs at the top of the configuration screen to choose either Video Geometry or iSight.

Video Geometry

Technicians use video geometry patterns and color screens as an aid in calibrating a monitor and checking it for defects. You may also find them helpful for confirming your monitor's color output and for making adjustments if your monitor has calibration controls.

Click the Video Geometry tab in the Video configuration window to bring up the Video Geometry configuration screen.

Video Configuration

TechTool Pro offers a number of test screens. Each screen is available via a button that shows the color/pattern that will be displayed. Simply click on a button to display the test pattern. Click again anywhere to return to the Video configuration screen.

Use the Primary Colors area to choose among the following solid colors:

  • Red–Paints the entire screen red.
  • Green–Paints the entire screen green.
  • Blue–Paints the entire screen blue.
  • Yellow–Paints the entire screen yellow.
  • White–Paints the entire screen white.
  • Black–Paints the entire screen black.

Use the Animate check box to turn on or off an animated pattern within the solid colored screen.

Use the Test Patterns area to choose among the following effects:

  • Bars–Displays a series of vertical color bars.
  • Text–Displays a screen full of black on white text characters.
  • Noise–Displays a constantly changing randomly colored noise pattern.
  • Cycle–Displays changing colored, animated text on a solid colored background.

iSight

Use the iSight tool to display the output from any attached iSight compatible cameras. Output from up to four cameras can be displayed simultaneously so that you can compare the outputs from different cameras. You might find this tool handy to use in the case where a camera does not appear to be providing a signal when used in other software. TechTool Pro directly accesses the camera signal and displays it if present.

To use the iSight tool, click the iSight tab in the Video configuration window to bring up the iSight configuration screen.

Video iSight Configuration

When you press the Start button, a window will appear for each recognized camera displaying the output from the camera. Press the Stop button to terminate.

 

TechTool Pro 6 Audio Audio

Mac OS X delivers today's professional standard for audio resolution–24-bit, 96 KHz. Core Audio manages all audio as 32-bit floating-point data. This allows your Mac to efficiently handle 24/96 as well as higher resolutions that may become common in the future. Core Audio also delivers highly optimized sample rate converters to allow programs that do not yet use this high-resolution format to provide data to Mac OS X without truncation.

Mac OS X delivers the best audio performance in desktop computing. The most fundamental measure of audio performance is throughput latency. That's the time it takes for audio to enter your Mac, travel through the system to your application and then pass back out to your monitoring system (speakers). Historically, Mac OS offered audio pros excellent latency of about 10ms.

The Core Audio HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) provides ultra low latency communications between applications and I/O devices that is measurably more efficient than previous solutions. M-Audio reports latency as low as 40 samples on Mac OS X from the company's audio interfaces. That translates into 1ms throughput latency–and you get this performance in a full multi-channel environment.

TechTool Pro's Audio tool lets you check the audio input and output of your computer. Like the Video tests, all Audio tests are non-qualified tests. This means that there are no pass/fail marks. It is up to you to determine whether the computer audio input or output is acceptable. The audio tests require stereo output to test properly. Without stereo output the tests will be monophonic.

Choose Audio in the Tools category to display the Audio configuration screen.

Audio Configuration

From this screen you vary the audio signal and monitor the outputs. The input and output sources are determined by the setting in the Sound pane of the System Preferences.

The left side of the configuration screen is the Audio Output area. In this area you can set various output options. The Sine Wave section has sliders that control the volume, frequency, and balance of a sine wave. Use the Start/Stop Tone button to begin or end the tone. To the right of the Sine Wave area is the Chromatic Scales button. Pressing this button plays back a series of chromatic scales. Beneath the above areas is the Speech Synthesis area. To hear synthesized speech, simply type the text you would like to hear in the text field and then press the Say Text button

The right portion of the Audio configuration screen displays a dynamic frequency bar graph of the audio input signal.

By adjusting the varying the audio output you can subjectively determine whether or not your audio circuitry and speakers are working, whether the two audio channels are balanced, and whether the full frequency and volume range is being produced through each channel.

 

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