REVIEW: Micromat TechTool Protege

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Date: Monday, January 29th, 2007, 10:24
Category: Review

micromat-techtool-protege.jpg
Like many of you, I’ve done Macintosh support for years. In fact, I used to support several newspapers in Philadelphia and was the guy that arrived on site with two bags. One bag contained a bootable SCSI hard drive with the latest version of the Mac OS installed and every conceivable recovery, repair and diagnostic tool under the sun installed. The other bag contained my PowerBook and a selection of tools.
With this setup I could diagnose and fix most Mac problems on the spot, the problem was that it was heavy and, well, SCSI. Enough said. Today, I don’t do as much field support, but still carry a bootable Firewire hard drive and the original silk-screened Mac OS DVDs that came with my machine.
There’s a new tool that I’ve been using that has the potential to save me the hassle of carrying around that external hard drive: The TechTool Protege from Micromat.
Read more…


micromat-techtool-protege.jpg
Like many of you, I’ve done Macintosh support for years. In fact, I used to support several newspapers in Philadelphia and was the guy that arrived on site with two bags. One bag contained a bootable SCSI hard drive with the latest version of the Mac OS installed and every conceivable recovery, repair and diagnostic tool under the sun installed. The other bag contained my PowerBook and a selection of tools.
With this setup I could diagnose and fix most Mac problems on the spot, the problem was that it was heavy and, well, SCSI. Enough said. Today, I don’t do as much field support, but still carry a bootable Firewire hard drive and the original silk-screened Mac OS DVDs that came with my machine.
There’s a new tool that I’ve been using that has the potential to save me the hassle of carrying around that external hard drive: The TechTool Protege from Micromat.
Protege (US$229) is a 1GB Firewire flash drive that contains a bootable copy of Mac OS X and Micromat’s excellent TechTool Pro. The Protege will boot either Intel or PowerPC-based Macs (depending on how you set it up) and boots directly into the company’s TechTool Pro software so that you can fix what ails you.
Protege comes with everything you need to troubleshoot and repairing almost any Macintosh:

  • Latest Mac OS X Boot System
  • TechTool Pro
  • TechTool Pro User Manual
  • TechTool Protege Backup & Restore Application on CD
  • TechTool Protege Quick Start Guide
  • Disk Studio 1.5.2 disk utility
  • Disk Utility (Apple)
  • System Profiler (Apple)
  • Terminal (Apple)

TechTool Pro 4.5.2 is now universal binary so it runs natively on Intel-based Macs. The 1GB Protege (Intel) has about 378MB of free space remaining on it, so there’s plenty of room to install your other tools as well.
Protege’s width can prevent it from being inserted into Firewire ports when adjacent ports are occupied, but this can usually be remedied by removing the offending plugs. If the adjacent plugs cannot be removed then Micromat offers a Protege Port Extender (US$20) to solve that problem too.
If you’re in technical support Protege will keep you from having to carry extra drives and boot CDs and can usually get you out of a bind pretty quickly. I’d recommend that full time techs spring for the port extender for those tight squeezes.

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