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 7.5.5 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).

I’ve found EveryMac.com to be an excellent source for determining what range of version’s each system supports, but doesn’t provide which specific versions within those ranges are supported.  E.g. EveryMac.com states that the Color Classic supports Systems: 7.1-7.5.1, 7.5.3-7.6.1.   In reality the Color Classic does not support 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.1.2P.    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 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.
  • 3.0: Introduced support 800k floppy disks (Double Sided), and for SCSI.   SCSI would become a standard feature starting with the Macintosh Plus.
Macintosh Model 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 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.

A universal enabler was developed that supports all computers released before System 7.5. This enabler shipped with 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 all do NOT need a System Enabler.
  • (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
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)
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
!
OK
(1) SE (800k Floppy)
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
(1) SE FDHD
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
(1) SE/30
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
(1) Classic
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
(2) Classic II
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
(1) Portable
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
Color Classic
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
401
401
(1) II (800k Floppy)
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
(1) IIx
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
(1) IIcx
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
(1) IIci
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
IIfx
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
(2) IIsi
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
IIvi,IIvx
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
001
001
(2) LC
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
LC II
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
LC III
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
003
003
LC 475
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
065
065
LC 520
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
403
403
LC 550
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
403
403
LC 575
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
065
065
LC 580
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
!
!
LC 630
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
405
!
!
!
!
Macintosh TV
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
404
404
Centris 610
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
040
040
Centris 650
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
040
040
Centris 660AV
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
088
088
Quadra 605
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
065
065
Quadra 610
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
040
040
Quadra 630
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
405
!
!
!
!
Quadra 650
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
040
040
Quadra 660AV
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
088
088
Quadra 700
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
Quadra 800
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
040
040
Quadra 840AV
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
088
088
Quadra 900,950
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
PowerMac 5200/75 LC
OK
OK
OK
!
406
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 5300/100 LC
OK
OK
OK
!
406
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 5400/200
OK
OK
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 5500/225
OK
OK
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 6100/60
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
PPC 1.02
!
!
!
PowerMac 6100/66
OK
OK
OK
!
PPC 1.1.1
PPC 1.1.1
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 7100/66
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
PPC 1.0.2
!
!
!
PowerMac 7100/80
OK
OK
OK
!
PPC 1.1.1
PPC 1.1.1
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 7200/75
OK
OK
OK
701
1.1
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 7200/90
OK
OK
OK
701
1.1
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 7300/180
!
OK
702 (D)
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 7300/200
!
OK
702 (D)
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 7500/100
OK
OK
OK
701
1.2
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 8100/80
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
PPC 1.0.2
!
!
!
PowerMac 8100/100
OK
OK
OK
!
PPC 1.1.1
PPC 1.1.1
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 8100/110
OK
OK
OK
!
PPC 1.1.1
PPC 1.1.1
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 8500/120
OK
OK
OK
701
1.2
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 8600/200
!
OK
702 (D)
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 9500/120
OK
OK
OK
701
1.1
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 9500/132
OK
OK
OK
701
1.1
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerMac 9600/200
!
OK
702 (D)
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 60
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
???
???
Workgroup Server 80
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
???
???
(#) Workgroup Server 95
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 6150/60
OK
OK+
OK
!
OK
OK
!
???
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 6150/66
OK
OK+
OK
!
???
???
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 7250/120
OK
OK+
OK
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 7350/180
OK
OK+
OK
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 8150/80
OK
OK+
OK
!
OK
OK
!
???
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 8150/110
OK
OK+
OK
!
???
???
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 8550/132
OK
OK+
OK
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 8550/200
OK
OK+
OK
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 9150/80
OK
OK+
OK
!
OK
!
!
OK
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 9150/120
OK
OK+
OK
!
OK
!
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 9650/233
7.6.1
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Workgroup Server 9650/350
7.6.1
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Portable
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
PowerBook 100
!
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
PowerBook 140
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
PowerBook 145
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
PowerBook 145B
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
PowerBook 160
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
131
131
PowerBook 165
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
131
131
PowerBook 165c
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
131
131
PowerBook 170
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
OK
OK
PowerBook 180
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
131
131
PowerBook 180c
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
131
131
PowerBook 190
OK
OK
OK
190
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerBook Duo 210
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
Duo (B)
Duo (B)
PowerBook Duo 230
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
Duo (B)
Duo (B)
PowerBook Duo 2300
OK
OK
OK
2300
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
PowerBook Duo 250
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
Duo (B)
*
PowerBook Duo 270c
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
!
Duo
*
PowerBook Duo 280
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
Duo
2.0
!
!
PowerBook Duo 280c
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
Duo
2.0
!
!
PowerBook 520, 520c
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
500
!
!
PowerBook 540, 540c
OK
OK
OK
!
OK
OK
!
!
500
!
!
PowerBook 5300
OK
OK
OK
5300
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

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