Setting up your vintage (classic) 68k Macintosh – Selecting your System Software

As I mentioned in my Setting up your vintage (classic) 68k Macintosh a lot of the supporting information that used to be on Apple’s knowledge base about their older systems has slowly been disappearing. So I’ve decided to capture some of the key information I found useful in this blog. Starting with which Macintosh 68k and PPC Systems support the different operating systems released by Apple.

Not every Macintosh System can run every OS, for example System 8.1 (with a hack) was the last version to support the Motorola 68000 (68k) series of processors, while support for Macintosh Systems with the PowerPC series of processors started with System 7.1.2 and ended with OS X 10.5 (see Wikipedia’s: history of Mac OS).

To help myself in the future I’ve put together some Macintosh System Compatibility Tables so I know which systems support which versions (with links to any required the System Enablers for OS 7.x).

Note: The Macintosh XL uses a custom OS called MacWorks so is not included in the tables below.

! – Not supported
OK – Works with this version of system software
### – Works with this version of system software, but requires a Macintosh System Enabler, where ### = the ID code of the enabler (e.g. the enabler for the Color Classic to run 7.1 or 7 Pro is 401, and the last released version is 1.0.5)
??? – Works with this version of system software, but requires a Macintosh System Enabler, but I could not find information for which enabler.

System Software Release 1 to 5 Compatibility:

Major changes introduced by a release:

  • 2.1: Introduced support for the Hierarchical File System (HFS) for use the Macintosh Hard Disk 20 that was specifically released for the Macintosh 512.
    • For the Macintosh 128: the driver was loaded from RAM when booting from a floppy drive, and took to much RAM to be used with the Macintosh 128k.
    • For the Macintosh 512: required a special boot diskette that begins the boot up process, and on detecting the Macintosh Hard Disk 20, ejects the disk and then continues loading from the Hard Disk.
    • For the Macintosh 512Ke: native support for HFS was added to the ROM allowing for this system (and the Plus) to boot directly form the Macintosh Hard Disk 20 without using a floppy disk.
    • HFS has a limit of 65,535 files per logical disk (e.g. partition). (See Apple KBase Article 8647)
    • A way around the file limit is to use a tool like ShrinkWrap to create mountable disk images.
  • 3.0: Introduced support 800k floppy disks (Double Sided), and for SCSI, with a maximum partition size of 32MB (info from unverified source, will test on my MAC SE and update). SCSI would become a standard feature starting with the Macintosh Plus.
  • 4.1: Introduced support for 2GB partitions (See Apple KBase Article 8647)
Macintosh Model (68k) 4.1 4.0 3.4 3.3 3.2 3.1 3.0 2.1 2.0 1.1 1.0
128K (400k Floppy) ! ! ! ! OK OK OK OK OK OK OK
512K (400k Floppy) OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK
512Ke (800k Floppy) OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK
Plus (800k Floppy) OK OK OK OK OK OK OK ! ! ! !
SE (800k Floppy) OK OK OK OK ! ! ! ! ! ! !
II (800k Floppy) OK ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! !

System Software Release 5 and 6 Compatibility

Major changes introduced by a release:

  • 6.0.0: Introduced support for the Double Sided High Density 1.44 MB SuperDrive.
  • 6.0.2: First stable release. The two previous versions 6.0.0 ans 6.0.1 both had a significant amount of bugs and are not recommend.
Macintosh Model (68k) 6.0.8L 6.0.8 6.0.7 6.0.5 6.0.4 6.0.3 6.0.2 6.0.1 6.0.0 5.1 5.0
512Ke (800k Floppy) ! OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK
Plus (800k Floppy) ! OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK
SE (800k Floppy) ! OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK
SE/30 ! OK OK OK OK OK ! ! ! ! !
Classic OK OK OK OK OK OK ! ! ! ! !
Classic II OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Portable ! OK OK OK OK ! ! ! ! ! !
II ! OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK
IIx ! OK OK OK OK OK OK OK ! ! !
IIcx ! OK OK OK OK OK OK ! ! ! !
IIci ! OK OK OK OK ! ! ! ! ! !
IIfx ! OK OK OK ! ! ! ! ! ! !
IIsi ! OK OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
LC OK OK OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
LC II OK OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerBook 100 OK ? (P) (P) ! ! ! ! ! ! !

(P) According to Wikipedia the PowerBook 100 has partial support for System 6.0.7 and 6.0.5

System Software Release 7 Compatibility (introduced System Enablers)

The table is based on the the tables from Apple knowledge base (TA47341), I created this version with the assumption that the source article may be removed in the future (like many other articles that dealt with the vintage systems). I’ve also included links to any System Enablers needed for an OS to work properly on a system. Because Apple has removed these files from their site I’m linking to the cached copies on the Internet Archive. I’m also hosting these files on my site and will link to my copy if they ever disappear off the Internet Archive. For anyone that wants to have a copy of all the System Enablers they can also be found on the Macintosh Garden.

About System Enablers:

In the past when Apple released new computers the system software was revised. To get around this problem system enablers were written which contained information necessary for newer computers to start up. All Apple computers released since system software 7.1 (September 1992) require a system enabler to start up. For more information see my post on Current Version and Change History for these enablers.

System 7.5 contains a universal enabler was developed that supports all computers released before System 7.5.

Additional Notes for Systems running OS 7:

  • Before installing System 7 confirm that you have at least 2 Megabytes of RAM, preferably at least 4.
  • The Macintosh Plus, SE, SE/30, Classic, Classic II, LC, LC II, LC 580, Mac II, IIx, IIcx, IIsi, IIci, IIfx, Portable, PowerBook 100, 140, 145, 145B, 170, Quadra 700, 900, and 950, and Performa 200, 400, 405, 410, 430, 580, 640 and 6110-series all do NOT need a System Enabler.
  • System 7.5 introduced support for 4GB partitions, but kept the HFS limit of 65,535 files per logical disk (e.g. partition) (See Apple KBase Article 8647)
  • System 7.5.2 introduced support for 2TB partitions on some systems. (See Apple KBase Article 8647)
  • System 7.5.5 was the last to support 68k macs with less than a 68030 CPU
  • System 7.6 only supports 68k macs with a 68030 CPU or better, and Macs with 32-bit-clean ROMS (the Mac II, Mac IIx, Mac IIcx, and Mac SE/30 do NOT have 32 bit clean ROMS)
  • (1) The system was initially released with only 1 Megabyte of RAM but can be expanded to 4 or more Megabytes. (minimum for OS 7.1.x is 2 Megabytes of RAM)
  • (2) The system was initially released with only 2 Megabytes of RAM but can be expanded to 4 or more Megabytes. (minimum for OS 7.5.x is 4 Megabytes of RAM)
  • (#) The Apple Workgroup Server 95 uses the A/UX operating system.
  • + Also requires: System 7.5.5 SCSI Server Update, and PPC Interrupt Extension.
  • (A) System Enabler 131 replaces System Enabler 111 and System Enabler 121
  • (B) Express Modem users should also install the Duo Battery Patch extension)
  • (D) These computers shipped with 7.5.5 and require the enabler that shipped with it. These computers do not support Mac OS 7.6 but support Mac OS 7.6.1.
Macintosh
CPU 7.6.x 7.5.5 7.5.3 7.5.2 7.5.1 7.5 7.1.2P 7.1.2 7.1.1 7 Pro 7.1
(1) Plus (800k Floppy) 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ! OK
(1) SE (800k Floppy) 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(1) SE FDHD 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(1) SE/30 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(1) Classic 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(2) Classic II 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(1) Portable 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
Color Classic 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 401 401
Color Classic II (also called Performa 275) 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(1) II (800k Floppy) 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(1) IIx 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(1) IIcx 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(1) IIci 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
IIfx 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
(2) IIsi 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
IIvi,IIvx 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 001 001
(2) LC 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
LC II 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
LC III 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 003 003
LC 475 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 065 065
LC 520 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 403 403
LC 550 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 403 403
LC 575 (using this board in a Color Classic requires v.1.1 of the enabler to run in 512 x 384 resolution) 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 065
v.1.2
065
v.1.2
LC 580 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ! !
LC 630 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK 405 ! ! ! !
Macintosh TV 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 404 404
Centris 610 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 040 040
Centris 650 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 040 040
Centris 660AV 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 088 088
Portable 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
Performa 200, 400, 405, 410, 430 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ? OK
Performa 450, 460 to 467 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ? 308
Performa 475, 476 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ? 364
Performa 550, 560 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ? 332
Performa 575 to 578 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ? 364
Performa 580 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ? OK
Performa 600 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK 304 ! ! ! !
Performa 640 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ? OK
Performa 5300 PPC ! OK OK ! 406 ! ! ! ! ! !
Performa 6110 PPC ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ? OK
Performa 6200, 6300 PPC ! OK OK ! 406 ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerBook 100 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
PowerBook 140 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
PowerBook 145 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
PowerBook 145B 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
PowerBook 160 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 131 131
PowerBook 165 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 131 131
PowerBook 165c 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 131 131
PowerBook 170 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
PowerBook 180 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 131 131
PowerBook 180c 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 131 131
PowerBook 190 68k OK OK OK 190 ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerBook Duo 210 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! Duo (B) Duo (B)
PowerBook Duo 230 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! Duo (B) Duo (B)
PowerBook Duo 2300 68k OK OK OK 2300 ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerBook Duo 250 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! Duo (B) *
PowerBook Duo 270c 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! Duo *
PowerBook Duo 280 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! Duo
2.0
! !
PowerBook Duo 280c 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! Duo
2.0
! !
PowerBook 520, 520c 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! 500 ! !
PowerBook 540, 540c 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! 500 ! !
PowerBook 5300 PPC OK OK OK 5300 ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 5300/100 LC PPC OK OK OK ! 406 ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 5400/200 PPC OK OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 5500/225 PPC OK OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 6100/60 PPC OK OK OK ! OK OK ! PPC 1.02 ! ! !
PowerMac 6100/66 PPC OK OK OK ! PPC 1.1.1 PPC 1.1.1 ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 7100/66 PPC OK OK OK ! OK OK ! PPC 1.0.2 ! ! !
PowerMac 7100/80 PPC OK OK OK ! PPC 1.1.1 PPC 1.1.1 ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 7200/75 PPC OK OK OK 701
1.1
! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 7200/90 PPC OK OK OK 701
1.1
! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 7300/180 PPC ! OK 702 (D) ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 7300/200 PPC ! OK 702 (D) ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 7500/100 PPC OK OK OK 701
1.2
! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 8100/80 PPC OK OK OK ! OK OK ! PPC 1.0.2 ! ! !
PowerMac 8100/100 PPC OK OK OK ! PPC 1.1.1 PPC 1.1.1 ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 8100/110 PPC OK OK OK ! PPC 1.1.1 PPC 1.1.1 ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 8500/120 PPC OK OK OK 701
1.2
! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 8600/200 PPC ! OK 702 (D) ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 9500/120 PPC OK OK OK 701
1.1
! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 9500/132 PPC OK OK OK 701
1.1
! ! ! ! ! ! !
PowerMac 9600/200 PPC ! OK 702 (D) ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Quadra 605 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 065 065
Quadra 610 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 040 040
Quadra 630 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK 405 ! ! ! !
Quadra 650 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 040 040
Quadra 660AV 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 088 088
Quadra 700 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
Quadra 800 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 040 040
Quadra 840AV 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! 088 088
Quadra 900, 950 68k OK OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! OK OK
PowerMac 5200/75 LC PPC OK OK OK ! 406 ! ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 60 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ??? ???
Workgroup Server 80 68k ! OK OK ! OK OK ! ! ! ??? ???
(#) Workgroup Server 95 68k ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 6150/60 PPC OK OK+ OK ! OK OK ! ??? ! ! !
Workgroup Server 6150/66 PPC OK OK+ OK ! ??? ??? ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 7250/120 PPC OK OK+ OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 7350/180 PPC OK OK+ OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 8150/80 PPC OK OK+ OK ! OK OK ! ??? ! ! !
Workgroup Server 8150/110 PPC OK OK+ OK ! ??? ??? ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 8550/132 PPC OK OK+ OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 8550/200 PPC OK OK+ OK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 9150/80 PPC OK OK+ OK ! OK ! ! OK ! ! !
Workgroup Server 9150/120 PPC OK OK+ OK ! OK ! ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 9650/233 PPC 7.6.1 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Workgroup Server 9650/350 PPC 7.6.1 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *