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TechNote #79: Last modified: 02/28/01
Last Reviewed: 02/28/01

MathType Found to "Appear Incompatible" by Alsoft DiskWarrior

The information in this document applies to:

MathType 3.x (Mac) Alsoft DiskWarrior (Mac)


Many customers have used the Mac File Manager Compatibility Checker from Alsoft's DiskWarrior to verify that MathType is compatible with Mac OS 9. The program issues an error message that describes MathType as "Appears Incompatible".  


The short answer is that we have tested MathType 3.x with OS 9 and have not found any problems. You can safely ignore this error.

The longer answer is that Mac OS 9 adds some new file system features: the ability to simultaneously access a larger number of files and the ability to access individual files that are larger than 2 GB. This is accurately reported by Alsoft. However, neither of these features has any impact on most applications, including MathType.

Alsoft's compatibility checker tests each application to see if it makes use of particular Mac system functions that it considers indicative of possible compatibility problems, according to their tech support department. The particular system function that appears to cause their compatibility checker to report MathType as incompatible is LMGetFSFCBLen. However, we have found that MathType's use of this function is legal and compatible. It simply tests the value returned by this function to see whether it is greater than zero as a test for the presence of HFS (Hierarchical File System). This use is allowed, as described in Apple's Tech Note 1184, to which Alsoft's web site also refers. It says, "FSFCBLen has a documented use (to test for the presence of HFS, as described earlier) and continues to work for that use."

We have contacted Alsoft, asking them to address this situation. If you have further questions about Alsoft's Mac OS 9 File Manager Compatibility Checker, please contact their technical support staff at

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