Micromat TechTool ProToGo
Mac OS X 10.4.9 or greater
Age Rating: 4+
Lion includes a recovery partition that can be used to sort out problems with your Mac’s hard disk or operating system, while earlier versions of OS X included a DVD that could be used to boot your Mac when things went wrong. Those options work well enough for individual Macs, but if you have to look after a number of Macs with different hardware and software setups then TechTool ProToGo will be a useful addition to your troubleshooting armoury.
TechTool ProToGo actually includes two programs. The first is the popular TechTool Pro 6, which provides extensive diagnostic and maintenance tools for your hard disk. The second is ProTo Go, which allows you to install bootable versions of the Mac operating system on USB or Firewire devices such as memory sticks and hard disks. That will be quicker than trying to boot from DVD – or downloading Lion from the Mac App Store all over again – and will help you to get your Mac up and running as quickly as possible.
Of course, Mac hardware and software has changed a lot in recent years so ProToGo includes a number of built-in ‘profiles’ that are designed to work with many different types of Macs. There are profiles for recent machines running Lion and Snow Leopard, but there are also profiles that will work with older Macs going right back to PowerPC models running the ‘classic’ Mac OS 9. Each profile can also be set up to include programs such as Disk Utility or Activity Monitor to help you locate and repair problems on your Mac.
We found ProToGo simple to use and were able to boot both Lion and pre-Lion Macs using its built-in profiles – although the space required for many of the profiles means that you’ll probably need to install them on a hard disk rather than a little memory stick.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice
If you just own one or two Macs then you probably won’t need ProToGo’s extensive troubleshooting features. However, the program’s ability to boot a wide range of different hardware and software configurations will make it a useful tool for business and education users who have to look after multiple Macs within their organisation.