Because the Mac OS is a sophisticated, complex operating system,
the problems a user encounters can be equally complex.
These are examples of some problems that may occur:
A handle can be de-referenced.
A routine can get a NIL pointer.
The stack can dip into the heap for just a few cycles and not be caught
by the stack sniffer.
An application can forget to check an error code.
A Macintosh usually crashes with a system error code while running
under System 6.0.x. Starting with System 7, errors are displayed in a different
fashion. Instead of displaying an error code, the system translates the
code to the appropriate words, like "Address Error".
Finding out what's wrong involves use of debugging tools, intricate
knowledge of Macintosh memory structures, and familiarity with the application
itself. Fixing it usually involves recompiling the source code. The table
below explains some of the codes.
ID=01 Bus Error
This means the computer tried to access memory that doesn't exist.
You can get this error on almost any Macintosh. If one of these computers
tried to access one or more bytes beyond the total number of bytes in RAM,
you see a bus error. You should never see this error on a Macintosh Plus
or SE, because address references that are out of bounds "roll over". This
means if one of these computers tries to access one byte beyond the total
bytes in RAM, it actually accesses the first byte in memory. If you see
this error on a Macintosh Plus or SE, it's reporting the wrong error or
having hardware problems.
ID=02 Address Error
The Motorola 68000 microprocessor can access memory in increments
of one byte (8 bits), one word (16 bits), or one long word (32 bits). The
microprocessor can access a byte of information at an odd or even memory
address. But it must access a word or long word at an even memory address.
So, when the microprocessor attempts to read or write a word or long word
at an odd address, you see this error. Since that's a 50/50 proposition
when running random code, this one shows up quite often.
ID=03 Illegal Instruction
The computer has a specific vocabulary of machine language instructions
it can understand. If a computer tries to execute an instruction that isn't
in its vocabulary, you see this error code. It's less likely than error
02, but still very common.
ID=04 Zero Divide Error
This error results if the microprocessor divides two numbers, and
the divisor is zero. Sometimes a programmer puts these in as debugging
aids, and then forgets to take them out.
ID=05 Range Check Error
Programmers can use an instruction in the Motorola 68000 to check
if a number is within a certain range. This error indicates that the number
tested isn't in the specified range.
ID=06 Overflow Error
Each number stored in a computer is given a certain amount of space.
The larger the number, the more space is needed to represent the number.
An overflow condition results if a generated number is too big for its
allotted space. A Motorola 68000 instruction tests for an overflow condition,
and displays this error if it detects an overflow.
ID=07 Privilege Violation
The Motorola 68000 runs in Supervisor or User mode. The Macintosh
should always be in Supervisor mode, but sometimes is placed in User mode.
Some of the instructions can only be executed in Supervisor mode. If the
computer attempts one of these instructions while in User mode, a Privilege
Violation error results.
ID=08 Trace Mode Error
A programmer can use a runtime debugger while in Trace mode. This
allows tracing through a program one instruction at a time. You see this
error if a debugger isn't installed and the 68000 is accidentally placed
in Trace mode.
ID=09 and ID=10 Line 1010 & 1111 Trap
There are many routines in the Macintosh ROM that can be called
by placing instructions in a program that aren't in the 68000's vocabulary.
When the 68000 encounters such an instruction, it looks it up in the instruction
table. This table gives the location of routines paired with each instruction.
If it finds an entry in the table for the instruction, it branches to the
routine. If there's no entry for the instruction, you see one of these
ID=12 Unimplemented Core Routine
A programmer might set breakpoints in parts of a program to inspect
for errors. This requires using a debugger. If a debugger isn't installed
when a breakpoint occurs, you see this error code.
ID=13 Uninstalled Interrupt
The Macintosh uses an interrupt to identify when devices like keyboards
and disk drives need service. Routines must be available in memory to tell
the computer how to service the device. If those routines aren't available,
you see this error.
ID=15 Segment Loader Error
Macintosh programs are broken up into segments, and each program
will always have at least one segment. Multiple segments allow loading
parts of the program into memory to provide more room for data in internal
RAM. The segment loader is responsible for loading a needed segment into
RAM. If the segment loader can't do this, you'll see this error.
ID=17 through ID=24 Missing Packages 0-7
The Macintosh uses packages to do specific tasks. Some of the packages
are International Utilities, Binary-Decimal Conversion, Standard File Utilities,
and Disk Initialization. These packages are located in the System file.
If you get these errors, you probably have a damaged System file. Error
codes 15, 16, 26, 27, 30, and 31 also come up when the System file is damaged.
Try replacing the System file.
ID=25 Memory Full Error
You've probably run out of RAM. But you can get this error when
an earlier error causes the Macintosh to falsely detect an out-of-memory
ID=26 Bad Program Launch
The Macintosh couldn't execute the application opened.
ID=28 Stack Ran into Heap
This is similar to the Memory Full error. It's a good idea to save
your work frequently, and keep current backups of your hard disk data.
When a system crash does occur, you'll lose less data if you've taken these
Troubleshooting System Errors
It's a good idea to save your work frequently, and keep current
backup copies of your hard disk data. When a system crash occurs, you'll
lose less data if you've taken these precautions.
If you're getting system errors frequently, investigate these possibilities:
Try to open the document with a current version copy of the application.
Try opening other documents with the same copy of the application.
Check to see if the document size exceeds the application size limits.
Boot your system with extensions off (restart while holding the Shift
Any changes (new Control Panels, extensions, etc.) you've made to the
system might give you a clue to the cause of the crashes.
Make a note of the desk accessories you had open at the time of the
crash and exactly what you did before the crash.
Make a note of the error ID or text, and the version numbers of the
application and system software you were using.
Try to recreate the problem on another Macintosh.
Cleanly install your system software and try the application again.
Negative Error Codes
Here is a list of negative codes (0 to -261) with brief explanations.
General System Errors (VBL Mgr, Queue)
0 noErr 0 for success
No truncation necessary
queue element not found during deletion
Truncation indicator alone is wider
than the specified width
invalid queue element
core routine number out of range
unimplemented core routine
invalid queue element
no debugger installed to
handle debugger command
Color Manager Errors
I/O System Errors
Driver can't respond to Control call
Driver can't respond to Status call
Driver can't respond to Read call
Driver can't respond to Write call
Driver ref num doesn't match unit table
Driver ref num specifies NIL handle
in unit table
Requested read/write permission doesn't
match driver's open permission, or Attempt
to open RAM serial Driver failed
Close failed; Permission to close .MPP driver
tried to remove an open driver
DrvrInstall couldn't find driver in resources
IO call aborted by KillIO; Publisher has
written a new edition
IO abort error (Printing Manager)
Couldn't rd/wr/ctl/sts cause driver not opened
Unit table has no more entries
dce extension error
File System Errors
No such volume; volume not found
Bad file name; there may be no bad names
in the final system!
File not open
End of file; no additional data in the format
Tried to position to before start of
Memory full (open) or file won't fit (load)
Too many files open
File not found; Folder not found;Edition
container not found; Target not found
Disk is write-protected; Volume is locked
File is locked
Publisher writing to an edition
Volume is locked through software
File is busy (delete); Section doing I/O
Duplicate filename (rename); File found
instead of folder
File already open with write permission
Error in user parameter list
Reference number invalid
Get file position error
Volume is off line
Software lock on file; Not a subscriber
[permissions error on file open]
drive volume already on-line at MountVol
no such drive (tried to mount a bad drive num)
not a Macintosh disk (sig bytes are wrong)
External file system file system identifier
file system internal error: during rename
the old entry was deleted but could not be restored.
bad master directory block
Write permissions error; Not a publisher
Font Manager Errors
error during font declaration
font not declared
font substitution occurred
Disk, Serial Ports, Clock Specific Errors
drive not installed
r/w requested for an off-line drive
couldn't find 5 nybbles in 200 tries
couldn't find valid addr mark
read verify compare failed
addr mark checksum didn't check
bad addr mark bit slip nibbles
couldn't find a data mark header
bad data mark checksum
bad data mark bit slip nibbles
write underrun occurred
step handshake failed
track 0 detect doesn't change
unable to initialize IWM
tried to read 2nd side on a 1-sided drive
unable to correctly adjust disk speed
track number wrong on address mark
sector number never found on a track
can't find sector 0 after track format
can't get enough sync
track failed to verify
unable to read same clock value twice
time written did not verify
parameter RAM written didn't read-verify
InitUtil found the parameter RAM uninitialized
SCC receiver error (framing, parity, OR)
Break received (SCC)
Error opening socket
Invalid address or table is full
Data length too big
Packet too large or first entry of the write-data
structure didn't contain the full 14-byte header
No router available [for non-local send]
error in attaching/detaching protocol
Protocol handler is already attached,
node's protocol table is full, protocol
not attached, or protocol handler
pointer was not 0
Hardware error [excessive collisions on write]
driver Open error code (port is in use)
driver Open error code
(parameter RAM not configured for
hard error in ROZ
hard error in ROZ
soft error in ROZ
Scrap Manager Errors
No scrap exists error
Format not available [no object
of that type in scrap]
Storage Allocator Errors
Ran out of memory [not enough room
in heap zone]
GetHandleSize fails on baseText or
substitutionText; NIL master pointer
[handle was NIL in HandleZone or other]
Address was odd, or out of range
Attempted to operate on a free block;
GetHandleSize fails on baseText
[WhichZone failed (applied to free block)]
Trying to purge a locked or non-purgeable block
Address in zone check failed
Pointer Check failed
Block Check failed
Size Check failed
Trying to move a locked block (MoveHHi)
Directory not found
No free WDCB available
Move into offspring error
Not an HFS volume [wrong volume type error or
(obsolete) operation not supported for MFS]
Server volume has been disconnected.
Insufficient memory to update a pixmap
Internal file system error
Menu Manager Errors
System error code for MBDF not found
Couldn't find HMenu's parent in MenuKey
User canceled an operation
HFS FileID Errors
no file thread exists
file ID already exists
Color QuickDraw and Color Manager Errors
Region too big or complex
Pixel map record is deeper than
1 bit per pixel
[passed pixelmap is too large]
Not enough stack space for the
Color2Index failed to find an index
Failed to allocate memory for
Failed to allocate memory for structure
Range error on colorTable request
ColorTable entry protection violation
Invalid type of graphics device
Invalid resolution for MakeITable
Invalid pixel depth
Resource Manager Errors (other than I/O)
Extended resource has a bad format.
Resource bent ("the bends")
can't decompress a compressed resource
Resource already in memory
Writing past end of file
Offset or count out of bounds
Resource not found
Resource file not found
Attribute inconsistent with operation
Map inconsistent with operation
Sound Manager Errors
Required sound hardware not available
[no hardware support for the specified synthesizer]
Insufficient hardware available
[no more channels for the
No room in the queue
Problem loading the resource
Channel is corrupt or unusable
[invalid channel queue length]
Resource is corrupt or unusable
[handle to 'snd ' resource was invalid]
-207 notEnoughBufferSpace Insufficient
File is corrupt or unusable, or not
AIFF or AIFF-C
Channel is busy
Buffer is too small
Channel not currently used
Not enough CPU time available
A parameter is incorrect
-220 siNoSoundInHardware No sound
input hardware available
-221 siBadSoundInDevice Invalid
sound input device
-222 siNoBufferSpecified No buffer
-223 siInvalidCompression Invalid compression
Hard drive too slow to record
-225 siInvalidSampleRate Invalid
-226 siInvalidSampleSize Invalid
Sound input device is busy
Invalid device name
Invalid reference number
Input device hardware failure
Unknown type of information
MIDI Manager Errors
no client with that ID found
no port with that ID found
-252 midiTooManyPortsErr too many
ports already installed in the system
-253 midiTooManyConsErr too
many connections made
pending virtual connection created
pending virtual connection resolved
pending virtual connection removed
no connection exists between specified ports
couldn't write to all connected ports
name supplied is longer than 31 characters
duplicate client ID
command not supported for port type
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