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Working with the Standalone Version

General Information

It is recommended to make a print-out of at least this chapter for future reference in case of emergency.

Setting Up the Standalone Version

Before you can use the standalone version of TinkerTool System, you need to install the program via the pane Emergency Tool. Further information can be found in the the chapter The Pane Emergency Tool.

Starting the Standalone Version

To work with the standalone version, Mac OS X has to be started in its “most reduced” mode of operation. In this mode, only the system’s core (kernel), the service to launch programs, and a shell for the entry of commands are running. This is called Single User Mode. Usually, it can be used even in those cases where higher-level parts of Mac OS X have been damaged. Perform the following steps to bring Mac OS X into single user mode and launch the standalone version of TinkerTool System:

  1. Switch the computer on, or perform a restart in case it is running already.
  2. Hold the key combination ⌘ + S pressed until the computer switches from its usual light gray display during startup to a black screen with white text. You can then release the keys. (If pressing ⌘ + S appears to have no effect, please see the notes in the next section.)
  3. Wait until Mac OS X no longer adds any new messages to the screen. This can take a few seconds. The messages usually end with a prompt like :/ root#.
  4. Enter the command tts now and press the return key. You should see a greeting message beginning with the following text:
********************************************************************************
**               TinkerTool System Release 2 Standalone Utility               **
********************************************************************************

If your Computer is Protected with a Firmware Password

In single user mode of Mac OS X, you can access all data on the hard drive without any protection by permissions or passwords. Because this reduces system security, computers in professional environments are usually protected by an additional safety measure, the Firmware Password. After a firmware password has been defined for your computer, neither the start of a different operating system, nor the start of single user mode are possible without access to the hardware.

If your computer has been protected by a firmware password, you’ll have to remove it temporarily in order to use the standalone program. You have to know the password and your computer must still be capable of starting up from a system DVD or recovery partition correctly. Perform the following steps to remove the password:

  1. If your computer has originally been shipped with a system DVD and an optical drive, insert the system DVD into that drive. If not, continue with the next step.
  2. Switch the computer on, or perform a restart in case it is running already.
  3. During startup, hold the key pressed until the password entry screen appears.
  4. Enter the firmware password for this computer and press the return key.
  5. After correct entry of the password, a display to select the startup disk will appear. If your computer has originally been shipped with a system DVD and an optical drive, select the system DVD and press the return key. Mac OS X will now be started off the DVD. If your computer has no system DVD, select the recovery partition instead.
  6. Confirm that you like to use the system with the English language.
  7. In the display Install Mac OS X, do not press the button Continue, but select the menu item Utilities > Firmware Password Utility… instead.
  8. After a short time, the window Firmware Password Utility will appear. Press the button New.
  9. Remove the check mark at the option Require password to start this computer from another source and press OK.
  10. Press the button Quit. The password has been removed now.
  11. In the menu, select the item Utilities > Startup Disk….
  12. In the window Choose Startup Disk, select the disk partition usually used to launch the operating system.
  13. Press the button Restart….

After this procedure, you will be able to activate single user mode as described in the previous section.

Further information about the Firmware Password feature can be found in the documentation of your Apple computer.

Important Notes on Use of the Standalone Utility

Due to the special situation, the technical features available in single user mode are very limited. Please consider the following notes:

The Main Menu of the Application

Right after startup, the standalone application ensures some minimum functionality of the operating system and checks the state of the startup disk. This procedure will take a few minutes. After the check, the following menu will appear:

********************************************************************************
**               TinkerTool System Release 2 Standalone Utility               **
********************************************************************************

2010-08-20 00:00:00 +0000

Main Menu
=========

Please make a selection:

    [1]        Quick Repair Features
    [2]        Work with User Accounts
    [3]        Administration and Repair
    [4]        Advanced Features
    [5]        Show Computer Information
    [6]        About TinkerTool System Standalone Utility

    [0]        Quit TinkerTool System Standalone Utility

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: 
No screen saver or energy savers are active in this mode of operation. To avoid
permanent damage to the display screen, please ensure that not the same picture
is being displayed for more than a few hours.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The messages being displayed below the label NOTE can be different depending on the hardware model of the computer you are using. Please consider these messages carefully that are displayed in your concrete situation. At the left side above the menu, the current date and time are displayed in international notation.

To select a feature, simply press the respective digit key. The program will react immediately and very quickly on your input. Hitting the return key is not necessary. The functions of each of the menu items are described in detail in the following chapters:

Quitting the Application

To quit the application, press the key 0 in the main menu. The following menu will appear:

********************************************************************************
**               TinkerTool System Release 2 Standalone Utility               **
********************************************************************************

2010-08-20 00:00:00 +0000

Quit Application
================

Please make a selection:

        [1]        Reboot Computer
        [2]        Shutdown Computer

        [0]        Return to Single User Command Line

After pressing the key 1, the computer will be restarted into normal operation mode. By pressing the key 2, you can switch the computer off. The key 0 will bring you to the command-line prompt of single user mode.

If you have no experience working with the command-line, it will definitely not be recommended to activate the single user command prompt. In case you have reached the command-line unintentionally, you can start the standalone utility any time again by entering the command tts.

Canceling the Application Immediately

In case a severe user error or a critical technical fault occurs, the standalone utility can be canceled immediately, if required. Press the key combination ctrl + C to do this. The program will be halted immediately and any running procedures will not be completed properly. You will be returned to the command-line prompt of single user mode. Starting the standalone utility again is possible by entering tts.