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An alternative way to create a TechTool Pro 4 eDrive Apps
Micromat's TechTool Pro 4 (TTP4) hardware and disk utility suite has an interesting feature called the "eDrive" (emergency drive), which is an additional partition containing a mini-OS X installation, from which you can boot to run TechTool Pro 4 and other diagnostic programs. In this way, you don't need to boot from the CD, which is very slow (too slow, one could say).

You can create the eDrive directly from within the TTP4 program, which then dynamically and non-destructively resizes your drive in order to accomodate an extra 6 GB HFS+ partition at the end of the selected drive.

But, the problem is that this process of creating an eDrive is quite unreliable and error-prone: for example, when I tried it (several times), it always ended up with an almost full (99%) mini-partition and an unbootable mini-OS X installation, even with wrong symlinks (/etc, and so on) at the root level and without the mach and mach.sym files--that is, comletely unusable as a second startup drive!

I still use TTP4 4.1.2 (PPC), not the latest Universal 4.5.2 version: having a PPC Power Mac and not having yet bought an Intel Mac, so maybe these problems have been solved with the newer version. (But looking at the Micromat forum, I see many eDrive problems.)

So, I had this additional 6 GB partition sitting at the end of my primary internal hard drive, and wondered, what should I do? Well, obviously, (re)create the eDrive manually, by myself!

So I took the Mac OS X 10.4 Install DVD and installed a minimal version (all optional components deselected) of OS X on the eDrive partition (which I still named eDrive, of course), after reformatting it. It installed about 2 GB of files to install, and then I performed the usual setup, then Software Update to bring the system up to date.

After I rebooted into my "main" partition, the eDrive behaved exactly as if it had been created with TTP4: after some seconds, it automatically unmounted from the Desktop, exactly as an original eDrive; and it is indeed selectable as a bootable eDrive from within TTP4.

There are some advantages in making the eDrive by yourself: for example, you can create only one account (e.g., the Administrator account you use in your main OS X), skip printer drivers, fonts and other optional installations, and so on.

An eDrive created in this way is probably even better than the "official" one (which just gets copied--but often with errors, as said above--from parts of your current Mac OS X install).

[kirkmc adds: I haven't tested this, not having TechTool Pro.]
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An alternative way to create a TechTool Pro 4 eDrive | 3 comments | Create New Account
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An alternative way to create a TechTool Pro 4 eDrive
Authored by: Sven G on Jun 01, '07 08:06:29AM

... And I forgot to say - but it should indeed be rather obvious - that I then manually (re)installed the TTP4 program on the self-made eDrive; while with the built-in eDrive creation routine, of course, TTP4 gets copied automatically (together with Safari, System Preferences, Console, Disk Utility, Terminal, etc.).

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An alternative way to create a TechTool Pro 4 eDrive
Authored by: TonyT on Jun 02, '07 09:47:27AM
A better way (if you have a thumb drive) is to use DasBoot

DasBoot is freeware. It will allow you to make a bootable flash drive using the system files on your TechTool Pro CD. I've loaded TTP as well as two other system tools on my flash drive.


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An alternative way to create a TechTool Pro 4 eDrive
Authored by: Sven G on Jun 03, '07 08:35:20AM

DasBoot would be a good option only if you have a CD with the most recent version of your favourite utilities; otherwise, you would get an older copy of TTP4, etc.: for example, my TechTool Pro CD has version 4.0.1 on it, while the most recent PPC version is 4.1.2 (and Universal is 4.5.2).

One could always try to modify the original CD, by making a read/write disk image of it and updating its main program (TTP4, in this case) and its Mac OS X: but maybe this would be difficult or even impossible to do, who knows...

It's a real pity that Apple hasn't yet publicly released its tools to make Mac OS X-based bootable CD/DVDs; and the freeware program BootCD doesn't yet work on 10.4.x Tiger (and maybe never will).

Anyway, let's hope it all gets easier with 10.5 Leopard...

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