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TechTool Pro - is there any point?


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#1 Matt Diamond

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 12:25 AM

I've owned several versions of TechTool Pro. It used to be very useful to have around. Apple even used to ship a version of it with AppleCare. But I'm thinking it may be a waste of money now. Would be interested to hear if others agree.

The last few years there's always been a gotcha when I tried to use it. I tried to scan recently deleted files with v11 but the option was grayed out and it didn't say why-- the manual didn't help. The website claims APFS support with the latest version (13) but the FAQ says many features are not supported. Volume defrag and rebuilding are not; surface scan is, but to scan the boot disk you have to disable boot protection if you have a machine with a T2 chip.

The other hardware tests are a feel-good feature, but I don't put much faith in them. For example Micromat now sells a second product that tests memory more thoroughly than TTP does. So that feels like a ripoff.

I'm guessing with APFS there aren't any great third-party options now. Just Disk Utility, and keep good backups.

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#2 macdude22

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:20 PM

From inertia more than anything I have continued to keep a license of Tech Tool, but I can attest I have not had cause (or really trust) to use it on an APFS formatted devices. The computer stress test is moderately useful I suppose, but as a disk tool it's a non starter. APFS resolves most issues that resulted in HFS corruption anyway. The low level APFS APIs are undocumented (unlike HFS+) so neither Micromat nor Alsoft has been able to make an APFS compatible version, and it's not clear what an APFS compatible disk tool might do given that APFS was created to solve most of those problems with the aging file system. While mostly a blind box to the user, the basic HW diagnostics (MRI) are probably just as good as tech tool.

Even the surface scan/SMART data is subpar in tech tool, vs something like DriveDx (https://binaryfruit.com/drivedx). I think it's time to put tech tool out to pasture, even as I look (literally i'm looking at them right now) at several applecare Tech Tool disks.

It's been a struggle to not pull the trigger on v13 but I think I'll blow my nostalgic budget on Toast 19, which I actually do still use (currently using v17). I've always done well skipping every other version of Toast.

Honestly the best tool i've seen to deal with APFS muddling is Carbon Copy Cloner, it's got a lot of interfaces into APFS functionality like snapshots. Plus is a general all around good backup and cloning tool.
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#3 the Battle Cat

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:02 PM

Tech Tool has served me well in the past, saving my bacon
Spoiler
time and again.  But now it's time to give it the bunny farm talk with a .38 Special in my hand.  Ima keeping CCC.  All this because I trust my former moderator with my life except in Borderlands 3 when he can't be arsed because of his lame "ooh noo, your name disk-appeared and I can't fiiiiiinnnnd you" excuse.  I suspect he paid Randy to code that in so he doesn't have to stop a killin' acuzin some dern fool cat.
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#4 Janichsan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:16 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 10 November 2020 - 12:25 AM, said:

Volume defrag and rebuilding are not; ...
If we are talking about an SSD here, keep in mind that defragmenting such a drive is not only pointless, but also counterproductive, as it ultimately reduces the lifetime.

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#5 Matt Diamond

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:33 PM

Thanks!
I will look at CCC - I've used it in the past but have mostly been using SuperDuper!. Maybe CCC has some new tricks I should know about.

View PostJanichsan, on 10 November 2020 - 02:16 PM, said:

If we are talking about an SSD here, keep in mind that defragmenting such a drive is not only pointless, but also counterproductive, as it ultimately reduces the lifetime.
Understood. I was just giving examples of the many caveats the product ships with now.

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#6 macdude22

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 03:08 PM

I have both CCC licenses and Super Duper. I tend to like Super Duper for it's simplicity (and recommend it to most folks), but CCC has the power. I generally use CCC at work and Super Duper at home.

Bear in mind neither can currently make a bootable backup on macOS 11 due to a bug in asr.
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#7 mindnoise

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 06:57 AM

I have both, as Techtool Pro since 12 or so finally supports SMART-Monitoring for external USB-Drives it upped it's game quite a bit. But if you use it ONLY for that DriveDX is the better choice, I guess. Some other feautres of TTP have mostly become pointless IMHO like emergency startup disk. The Cloning is still handy, though.

Volume Defrag and Rebuilt etc. is still great if you use HDDs. For SSD it's pointless and actually damaging.

But honestly I still can't decide which one to ditch. For now the Upgrade from TTP12 to 13 was just $24 a few days back, so no biggie.

BTW: you can get Drive DX right now at www.bundlehunt.com for $6
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