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Claws224, IEEE Datacommunication Engineer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 5182
Experience:  IEEE, Microsoft
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What does Invalid BSD file type mean Often

Customer Question

What does "Invalid BSD file type" mean? Often Mac OS X 10.3.9's Disk Utility says my Mac OS 9.2.2 has many errors "Invalid BSD file type." I then fix them successfully. But a week or 2 later, it again shows many such errors. Mac OS 9.2.2's Disk First Aid never shows any errors on itself.   What does this mean? Is it a problem? How can I prevent it from happening?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Claws224 replied 8 years ago.


Could you try booting from the installer CD and running Disk Utility from there, By inserting the disk and boting with the C key held may have to Verify and Repair more than once before the errors stop.

Thencould you could also try booting into 9 and running First Aid. Again, you may have to run the Verify and Repair more than once.

Let us know how you get on.


Claws224 and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I've done both of those things many times, and they don't help. When I get the "Invalid BSD file type" errors, I can ALWAYS fix them, but they ALWAYS return a week or 3 later.

What does "Invalid BSD file type" *mean*?

I run Mac OS 9.2.2 and Mac OS X 10.3.9 on two separate logical partitions of the same physical hard drive. I switch back and forth between them daily. From each system, I copy files to and from the other system.

I suspect that the "Invalid BSD file type" errors stay away until I do a certain amount of (or certain *kind* of) copying of files between the two operating systems.

Because Mac OS X 10.3.9 fully supports Classic, what I'm doing should be fully supported, and not give errors.

How can I prevent the errors from *returning*?


Expert:  Claws224 replied 8 years ago.

Ok Mark,

The BSD errors are being caused by switching between your classic environment and your OSX environment.

I am unaware of any method to stop this from happening other than upgrading your OSX to a newer version that uses a a diferent BSD core.

Let me check with another mac expert here and see if he has any input.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Unfortunately upgrading to a newer Mac OS X won't help, because I also have Mac OS X Panther (10.5.3), and it does even more damage to my Mac OS 9.2.2 system disk. I called Apple Tech Support about it, and he said, "Panther has totally dropped support for Classic, so I can't help you."

Instead, can I ask these two mitigation questions (for which I'll pay you):

1. Exactly what *actions* am I doing between OS 9.2.2 and OS X that *cause* the "BSD file type" errors? If I can avoid doing those actions, that will avoid the errors.

2.How *serious* are the repercussions of having "Invalid BSD file type" errors? If they are irrelevant to my Mac OS 9.2.2 system, then I'll just ignore them, and sleep happy.

Expert:  Claws224 replied 8 years ago.


OS X.3 and abovehas has Classic support built in so that you can run your older applications without the trouble you are experiencing.

To be honest OSX and 9 dont play well together so you will continue to get the BSD errors,However you can repair them using the methods you already know and you should experience no problems or issues other thanthe occasional BSD message.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK, you've answered my question. I'll just repair the errors when I see them, and go on my merry way.

However, the URL document you cited is outdated. It says Mac OS X supports Classic, but it doesn't specify which *levels* of Mac OS X. That article was published 2 years ago, and since then, Mac OS X has abandoned Classic and replaced it with Rosetta.

For the future education of you and your colleagues, see the following references:

"Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger supports Classic Environment"

"Classic applications do not work on Intel processor-based Macs, or with Mac OS X 10.5."

"The last time that Apple switched CPU families—from the Motorola 68K CPU to the IBM/Motorola PowerPC—Apple included a Motorola 68K emulator in the new OS that made almost all 68K software work automatically on the new hardware. Apple has supported the 68K emulator for 11 years, but stopped supporting it during the transition to Intel CPUs. Included instead in the new OS for the Intel-based Macs is Rosetta. However, Apple dropped support for Classic mode on the new Intel Macs."

"Rosetta does not support Mac OS 9/Classic applications, or those applications requiring a G4 or G5 chip."

"Mac OS Classic currently only runs on the PowerPC (PPC) platform and will not be ported to run on the new Intel based Macintosh computers."

Thanks for your help.

Expert:  Claws224 replied 8 years ago.

Thanks Mark,

I appreciate the accept and the generous bonus.

Thanks for the other links also, I was aware of Rosetta but I thought you had 10.3 so I thought you might wish to check out classic as it is very stable and allows a lot more functionality for older applications.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

You're welcome!

I do have 10.3, but you and Aggie MacMaster suggested I solve my original problem by upgrading to higher than 10.3. Maybe 10.4 would have helped my original problem, but 10.5 now makes it worse.

What can you do? You win some, and you lose some.

Thanks again for helping me to feel safer that my errors aren't serious, and I've done all I can do to prevent them.