Some utilities are more useful than others. Almost all of them make grandiose promises, but only a select few deliver. Micromat's Techtool Pro 7, billed as the most advanced version in the troubleshooting and repair utility's 20-year history, does not disappoint. Now fully 64-bit compatible, the tool runs more quickly on the latest Apple systems.
Why a third-party tool?
Apple manufactures outstanding computers using quality hardware. Nevertheless, components fail. Diagnosing a faulty memory module, optimizing disk and file performance, and detecting a failing drive often require the use of third-party tools not included natively within OS X.
Why Techtool Pro 7?
Years working as a consultant and having to quickly and accurately diagnose and repair the cause of desktop and laptop failures taught me the critical importance of leveraging robust, reliable hardware diagnostic and repair applications. For years, Techtool has proven to be a program Mac professionals can trust to diagnose disk errors, perform volume maintenance, repair file structures, and add emergency recovery capabilities. Those features alone are worth the price of admission, which is $99.00 (USD) for the full version, $39.99 (USD) for an upgrade, and $299 (USD) for the 10-user business license.
But Techtool Pro 7 includes much more. The program packs numerous commonly-needed additional features. The utility now performs several memory tests to spot faulty RAM and identify memory errors. Techtool Pro can build an independent emergency startup disk to help better recover failed systems, while also enabling the easy recovery of files that users accidentally delete without having to recover backups. Mac administrators can leverage the Micromat software to clone volumes, defragment disks, monitor the Mac's LAN network connection and ports, and perform SMART disk checks, as well as confirm proper video memory functionality.
These are all critical tasks Mac administrators must complete regularly throughout the year. A tried-and-true troubleshooting and repair program is a necessity. Thankfully, Techtool Pro packs all these features and capabilities within an easily managed tool that also possesses an intelligent wizard.
Users can launch the wizard from the application's main screen, which also features prominent automotive-inspired gauges confirming processor and cache specifications, among other elements. The Run Check Computer button starts the wizard that triggers a full suite of diagnostic tests, including a memory test, disk surface scan, SMART check, volume structure diagnostic, and video memory test.
Running the wizard on my 2013 2.9 GHz MacBook Pro with 8 GB RAM and a traditional 750 GB hard drive required several hours to complete, but each of the tests can be run independently. In the case of my system, all tests completed in about 20 minutes, with the exception of the surface scan, which required additional time. The tool then alerted me to optimization tweaks, even though my machine is rather closely maintained and updated. Imagine how useful the tool subsequently will prove in the hands of harried administrators attempting to maintain a fleet of systems!
Do you use Techtool Pro 7 in your organization? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.