Saturday, October 24, 2009

How to Uninstall TechTool 4 eDrive under SnowLeopard

Some web chatter suggests people are having trouble uninstalling TechTool Pro's eDrive after they install Snow Leopard. Here's what worked for me...
First, let me note that if you want to keep TechTool, they say you should upgrade to version 5. I would hope that version will work with 10.6 as it's now a month after the snowy one's release. Also, if you like eDrive, by all means don't uninstall it, but do by all means upgrade your TechTool. Finally, I did make a full bootable backup on an external hard drive before I did this, and you should too.
Background: TechTool is a powerful and well-regarded program as far as most reviews I've seen, and I had no problems with it. I also had no occasion to use it in the last two or more years. Call me lucky, but I had no drive corruption or system malfunctions, and I'm too cheap to keep upgrading a program that I don't use at least once a year. By the way, I have an alternate program, DiskWarrior, which, although it doesn't perform the many tasks TechTool does, has stood me in good stead for occasional severe directory problems, is very highly regarded, easy to use, and fast. Oh, and it has a free Snow Leopard upgrade (v4.2) if you already own 4.1. I'm not suggesting it's a good idea to go without a Mac maintenance app to augment Disk Utility.
The problem: It appears the eDrive partition, which TechTool creates to be a bootable emergency disk, no longer 'hides' itself under Snow Leopard. Likewise, I wasn't able to find a useful suggestion to uninstall it at the TechTool website forums. (It may be there; I just couldn't find it.) The suggestion I saw there, to use the TechTool install disk and click on the eDrive section to access an Uninstall function, didn't work because there was no pane that came up under eDrive. (Is this a product of 10.6 being on the hard drive on which it's trying to see an eDrive? No idea.) The only clear answer I did see in the Help forum at TechTool said not to use version 4 with Snow Leopard.
Other solutions: If you want, you could leave eDrive visible, and you could just ignore it and give up the <10GB drive space it uses. You might be able to erase it so you had a small partition on which to install a second, stripped-down version of Snow Leopard as an emergency boot disk. I haven't tried that. Again, I did this because I didn't want eDrive sitting there, and I couldn't afford to upgrade the TechTool program it stores. Again, if you want to update to TechTool 5, I assume you'll get eDrive functionality back, although I can't prove that either! Finally, some posts online noted that simply 'erasing' the eDrive didn't delete it, which makes sense, as it's a partition, not a file.
What I did: Since I couldn't access an eDrive pane from the TcchTool startup disk, I took these simple steps:
1. I made sure my bootable backup on an external Firewire drive was 100% current and bootable.
2. I opened Apple's Disk Utility, selected the internal drive with the eDrive partition, and deleted that partition.
To do this second step is pretty simple. Select the entire base drive (not a named partition), click on the Partition tab, scroll down to the part of the graphic labeled eDrive, select it, and hit the minus button below the graphic.
Finally: If you've had good luck upgrading TechTool instead, please post a comment. I expect that should work. If you have another solution (or another scenario) regarding eDrive deletion, please comment also.

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My first Mac was an original 1984 128K, my favorite Mac was the IIci, but the best Macs are the ones I use now.