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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. If you are currently reading this within the macOS Help Viewer, please use the share button for printing, not any menu items or keyboard shortcuts.

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, macOS 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. Under normal circumstances, it can be used even in those cases where higher-level parts of macOS have been damaged.

Single User Mode cannot be activated if your computer is protected by a firmware password. In this case, the protection feature needs to be removed temporarily. Please see the documentation of your Apple computer for more information on how to enable and disable the firmware password.

Perform the following steps to bring macOS 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 macOS 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 5 Standalone Utility                   **
********************************************************************************

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 5 Standalone Utility                   **
********************************************************************************

2017-07-20 12:00:00 +0000 (Universal Time Coordinated)

Main Menu
=========

Please make a selection:

    [1]        Basic 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
will be displayed for more than a few hours.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The messages 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 actual 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 5 Standalone Utility                   **
********************************************************************************

2017-07-20 12:00:00 +0000 (Universal Time Coordinated)

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.