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The Pane Emergency Tool

Introduction to the standalone utility

Under critical circumstances, your installation of Mac OS X could be damaged by a disk drive failure, or by a third-party application which used administrative permissions, in such a way that the operating system is no longer starting correctly or does not start at all. When you cannot work with the graphical user interface any longer, utility programs like TinkerTool System also can no longer be of any help to resolve this problem.

Similarly, Mac OS X might still be running, but an important system component which is needed by TinkerTool System could be damaged. Even if TinkerTool System is capable of repairing this failing component during normal operation, this will not help in this particular case, because you might not be able to launch TinkerTool System due to the damage.

However, TinkerTool System offers a solution which can help you even in those two critical cases. You can choose to install a special helper program for case of emergency: a standalone version of TinkerTool System which is capable of running in a minimal environment of Mac OS X even without a graphical user interface. This emergency tool is called TinkerTool System Standalone Utility.

Note that you have to install this standalone version of TinkerTool System precautionary, before a critical system problem occurs. When your system is already suffering from a severe technical problem, it might be too late for an installation, because Mac OS X might then no longer be capable of performing all necessary steps correctly.

Installing the Standalone Version

Installing the emergency tool is possible with a few mouse clicks only. Perform the following steps:

  1. Open the pane Emergency Tool of the section System Maintenance.
  2. Press the button Install Tool. (After updating TinkerTool System to a new version, this button might also be labeled as Update Tool.)
Emergency Tool
Emergency Tool

Removing the Standalone Version

If you should decide for some reason to remove the standalone application from your computer, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the pane Emergency Tool of the section System Maintenance. The status message The standalone utility is currently installed. will be shown in the lower left corner.
  2. Press the button Uninstall Tool.

Using the Standalone Version

The standalone version can be used in so-called single user mode of Mac OS X only. Detailed information on this topic can be found in the chapter Working with the Standalone Version of TinkerTool System.

Direct Use Cases for the Standalone Version

There are two special error situations where the graphical version of TinkerTool System intentionally rejects to launch in order not to jeopardize your system. In many cases you can use the standalone version immediately to resolve the problem:

Case 1:

When starting the application, you are receiving the message

Mac OS X is currently unable to run any applications performing security-related features. The operating system is seriously damaged. The system folder for the storage of temporary objects (“/tmp”) is either missing or has invalid permission settings. TinkerTool System Release 2 must quit now.

In this case you should use the feature Quick Repair > Repair Temporary Folder of the standalone application to resolve the problem. Further information can be found in the chapter Quick Repair Features.

Case 2:

When starting the application, you are receiving the message

Security Warning: TinkerTool System Release 2 has detected that your operating system has been set up to load software components of third-party vendors into the protected memory areas of TinkerTool System Release 2 and other applications. Those components could change the behavior of TinkerTool System Release 2 without any control. Because TinkerTool System Release 2 is designed to perform critical functions, this could be a security risk.

and the displayed list of critical components contains software which is not marked as a Haxie. You also have decided to remove the listed components in the safest way possible.

The problem outlined in case 2 can also be resolved via the graphical user interface, by removing the components listed in the message manually, e.g. using an uninstaller of the respective manufacturer, or in the Finder. However, if you suspect the system has been affected by malware, the automatic removal via the standalone version of TinkerTool System will be safer, because it is guaranteed that the standalone software cannot be influenced by third-party software of this type.

In this case you should use the items Administration and Repair > Delete System-Wide Input Managers and Work with User Accounts > Delete User-Related Input Managers of the standalone application to resolve the problem. Further information can be found in the chapters Administration and Repair and Work with User Accounts, respectively.