Mac OS X: Classic doesn't start, Mac OS 9 not installed or recognized

If Classic will not start up, Mac OS 9 may not be installed, or the Mac OS 9 System Folder may not be recognized, "blessed," or active.

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This document can help if Classic will not start up at all, or if the Classic startup process fails. An alert box with one of these messages appears:

  • "To start Classic, you need Mac OS 9.1 or later installed. See your documentation for instructions on installing this software."
  • "Classic cannot find a Mac OS 9 System Folder on the startup disk to use."
  • "No Classic System Folder. You do not have a version of Mac OS 9 installed that supports Classic."
  • "No startup volume. There is no volume with a system folder that supports starting Classic. Please install Mac OS 9.1 or later."
  • "You do not have sufficient permissions to run Classic from /System/Library/CoreServices. Please correct permissions and restart Classic."
  • "Cannot launch Classic, Classic Boot ROM missing or damaged, reinstall system software."
  • "You are running Classic without superuser (root privileges). Ensure that TruBluEnvironment is setuid and owned by root, or reinstall your Mac OS X System Software." Tip: If you see this message, read about superuser (root privileges).

Is Mac OS 9 installed?

Mac OS 9 is not necessary to use Mac OS X. However, to use Mac OS 9-compatible applications in the Classic environment you must have a Mac OS 9 System Folder.

To see if Mac OS 9 is installed:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. From the View menu, choose Classic.
  3. If you don't see a Mac OS 9 System Folder, you must install Mac OS 9. If you're sure Mac OS 9 is installed, go to "No 'blessed' Mac OS 9 System Folder" below.

Tip: If you have a Power Mac G5, iBook, or iMac G5 that came with Mac OS X 10.3.4 or 10.3.7, you can install a Mac OS 9 System Folder from your Additional Software & Apple Hardware Test disc. If you have a Mac Mini or PowerBook that came with 10.3.7, you can install a Mac OS 9 System Folder from the disc labeled Mac OS 9 Install Disc. More....

If a System Folder appears in Classic preferences, select it, then try to start Classic. If it still won't start, go to the next section.

No "blessed" Mac OS 9 System Folder

If Classic doesn't start, but Mac OS 9 is installed, the System Folder may not be "blessed".

Open System Preferences and choose Classic from the View menu. You may see an alert box with the message:

"No startup volume: There is no volume with a system folder that supports starting Classic. Please install Mac OS 9.1 or later."

It may not be necessary to reinstall Mac OS 9. Try these steps:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. From the View menu, choose Startup Disk. The Startup Disk pane appears.
  3. Note the current Startup Disk selection, which is a Mac OS X volume.
  4. Click the Mac OS 9 System Folder you want to bless.
  5. From the View menu, choose Show All.
  6. For Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, a sheet appears to confirm your choice. Click Change.
  7. From the View menu, choose Startup Disk.
  8. Reselect the volume you noted in Step 3.
  9. From the View menu, choose Show All.
  10. For Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, a sheet appears to confirm your choice. Click Change.
  11. Quit System Preferences.

For more information see "Mac OS: 'Startup Disk No Longer Has a Valid System Folder'".

Classic should be able to start now. If not, you may need to reinstall Mac OS 9 System Folder as described above. Otherwise, see what else you can do to troubleshoot the Classic Environment.

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