Setting up your vintage (classic) 68k Macintosh – Creating a bootable hard drive starting with a image file and an emulator

With SCSI being essentially obsolete, and the fact that Macintosh systems (since OS X 10.6 I think) can no longer write to HFS formatted disks, the best way to use modern systems when setting up your classic 68k system is to create a bootable disk image using a Macintosh 68k or PowerPC emulator then writing that disk image to a real or emulated disk drive.

Disk images are essentially binary (bit for bit) copies of the contents of a storage device or medium such as your Hard Drive, removable drive, memory card or CD-ROM (ISO files).  There are several types of disk images you’ll come across working with 68k systems:

  • Disk Copy 4.2 images, typically of floppy disks.   These were created by Disk Copy 4.2 a program provide by Apple, and were the most common images for sharing Macintosh software.   Now under emulation they are less popular, but they can be converted to standard “raw” disk images
  • Raw Disk Images of Floppy disks: contain a binary copy of a floppy disk.  The file size is the same size in bytes as the maximum amount that can be stored on the disk, e.g. 400k, 800k or 1440k.  These images can be used with Floppy-Emu, and can be read by emulators.
  • A Partition Image: contain a binary copy of a single partition from a hard drive or removable drive.  When emulators refer to a hard drive file, a Partition Image is typically what they are actually referring to and support.  These images lack both the boot sector, partition map.
  • A Hard Drive or Removable Drive Image : contain a binary copy of the complete contents of an initialized drive including the drive’s boot and partition information.   vMac can NOT read these files, Basilisk II can read and update the the first partition of these files, but not initialize them (partition them).   So far I’ve found 3 that can: MAME, PCE/macplus, SoftMac, I’ve created a separate blog entry for comparing what emulators can initialize and partition image files.

I use Hard Drive or Removable Drive Images to back up my old scsi drives and to setup from both real and emulated (e.g. SCSI2SD) drives.

This blog entry covers:

  1. reasons for using disk images,
  2. images I’ve created for you to use,
  3. how to create your own images,
  4. initializing your own images using an emulator,
  5. modifying the contents of disk images (mine or yours), and
  6. writing an Image back to a real or emulated (memory card) hard drive or removable drive (e.g. zip disk)

1. Reasons for using disk images

There are typically three main reasons for creating a disk image:

  1. I want to backup an existing hard drive or removable drive’s contents that I’ve managed to connect to a modern system (see my blog entry for Setting up your vintage (classic) 68k Macintosh for a list of connection methods)
  2. I want to create an image from an existing hard drive, removable drive, or memory card I’ve connected to a modern system so I can:
  3. I want to image an existing hard drive, removable drive, or memory card’s contents so I can edit the contents of the image then write the image back to the drive or card

2. Using one of the disk images I’ve already created

As I have time I am creating basic initialized and boot-able images formatted with Hierarchical File System (HFS), containing both System 6.0.8 and System 7.5.5 for the different removable drives or modern replacements that I own, and blog entries to explain any specific details for how to use the images, note the image files are compressed, and are typically around 30MB in size to download.

If you want to use one of these images you need to first determine which operating system you can, or want to run on your classic Macintosh, and check that your drive/card/media can hold the contents of the image (see note 1 under the table).

  1. The OS 6.0.8 Bootable image is for older 68k systems that may only have 1MB of memory installed.  The SE/30, Classic, Classic II, Portable, II, IIx, IIcx, IIci, IIsi, LC typically shipped with only 1 MB of memory.  I’ve managed to track down a scan of the Apple Memory Guide from November 2000 (pdf) that shows how to upgrade the memory for these and other 68k systems.
  2. The OS 7.5.5 Bootable image is for the remaining 68k systems that have 2MB or more memory installed.
System 6.0.8 System 7.5.5 Apple IIe1 Size (bytes)2 Block Count3
CD-ROM N/A 650MB
FloppyEMU3 HD20 1GB HD20 1GB
Floppy Disk 1.44MB 1.44MB (7.5.0)
Iomega Zip Drive 100MB 100MB 100MB 94,371,840 90
Iomega Jazz Drive 1GB 1GB 1GB 985,661,440 940
2GB 2GB 2GB 1,971,322,880 1880
SCSI2SD5 500MB 500MB 500MB 492,830,720 470
1GB 1GB 1GB 985,661,440 940
2GB 2GB 2GB 1,971,322,880 1880
  1. The Apple IIe images have been pre-configured to support the Apple IIe Card.   They have System 7.5.5 as the “blessed” System, and they have been partitioned to include two 32MB ProDOS partitions with the remaining space containing an HFS formatted partition.   See my entry on using an Apple IIe Card for more information (coming soon)
  2. You need to confirm that the device you plan to write the image to has enough space to hold the image file (bytes).  Unfortunately media may have “bad sectors” so the available space on your media may not be enough to hold the image file.  If your drive/card is too small for any of my images, and is less than 3GB in size, I suggest you create your own image file, and optionally copy the files from one of my image files on to your image file (see instructions in the remaining sections of this blog entry for how to create, initialize and copy files on to your own image).  If your drive/media is larger than 3GB you are likely using an SCSI2SD card (see note 4 below), if not you’ll need to use a different method for setting up your classic Macintosh.
  3. Used with DD: bs=1M count=## for extracting the first portion of your SD card to an image file to edit/update.
  4. You do not need to use DD with this file, simply rename to HD20.dsk and copy the file to the SD card you are using with FloppyEMU
  5. See my entry on using SCSI2SD cards for more detailed instructions on how to use these image files if your card isn’t an exact match, or if you want to set up SCSI2SD as multiple virtual drives.  I haven’t created any image files larger than 2GB, I’m assuming if you have a drive larger than 2GB, you are using SCSI2SD, and you plan to setup your SD card as multiple virtual drives.

Each image contains:

  • The system folders for both System 6.0.8 and System 7.5.5, each containing the “minimal” files to boot, see section 5 below for instructions on how to copy files on to these images, and where to get the full version of system 7.5.5.  You can select which version you want to use using System Picker (see below)
  • Utilities for for getting setup:
    • System Picker by Kevin Aitken that allows you to select which System Folder is active (blessed) on restart (so you can boot with 7.5.5 then switch to 6.0.8 to reduce the memory overhead)
    • SCSIProbe 4.3 by Robert Polic will tell you the device type, vendor, product and version for any device connected to your SCSI bus.
    • TattleTech 2.59 and 2.17 by Decision Maker’s Software, Inc that provides detailed information on your system’s configuration.
    • A patched version of HD SC Setup 7.3.5 for formatting your SCSI drive, device or equivalent once you’ve booted your Macintosh (patched to support non-Apple SCSI Drives)
    • Lido 7.56 by Surfcity Software, an alternative utility for initializing and formatting drives.
    • Disk First Aid 7.2.2 by Apple a tool to verify and repair issues with your hard drive
    • ResEdit 2.1.3 lets you change creator/type codes
  • Utilities for installing Applications:
    • Disinfectant 3.7.1 by John Norstad a virus scan software for checking files you’ve been downloading off the web.  All files on this drive image have been scanned.
    • Disk Copy 4.2 by Steve Christensen (for Apple) for creating image files from floppy disks, or writing images back to floppy disks
    • DropDisk by Mike Wiese and Chris Cotton that allows you to quickly mount and use disk images created with Disk Copy or ShrinkWrap (drag image on to Drop Disk’s icon)
    • StuffIt 1.5.1 by Raymond Lau (the last shareware release before becoming an Aladdin product)
    • StuffIt Expander 5.5 (freeware, installed and installer) by Aladdin Systems, for opening StuffIt and other archive files (.arc, .bzip, .bin, .cpt, .dd, .gz, .hqx, .lha, .img, .lhz, .pkg, .sea, .sit, .smi, .tar,  taz, .uu, .Z, .zip)
    • MacBinary II+ 1.0.2 (freeware) by Peter Lewis, for encoding/decoding files as MacBinary (.bin)
    • ShrinkWrap Version 2.1 (last release before becoming an Aladdin product) by Chad Magendanz, for creating files that you can mount that emulate a floppy disk or hard disk.  I use this program to create 32MB ProDos image files that I can use to transport and backup the contents of my ProDos partitions I use with my Apple IIe card.
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.02 for viewing PDF files (manuals)
  • Drivers and extensions (included, but not installed):
  • Utilities for creating your own disk images / guides
  • Network and the Internet
    • Asanté EtherTalk installer v5.5.4 that came with my Desktop EN/SC (SCSI to Ethernet) adapter.
    • AsantéFAST Nubus driver (untested)
    • MacTCP 2.0.6 by Apple, let’s you configure your TCP-IP settings to connect to the internet
    • OpenTransport 1.3  by Apple, replaces MacTCP, faster, but requires more memory.
    • AppleShare Client 3.7.4.   Note: The installation of AppleShare Client 3.7.4 inhibits the use of Classic Networking in 7.5.3-7.5.5, because while ASC 3.7.4 is installed, OT 1.1.2 or later must be installed for it to be active. If you wish to use MacTCP in 7.5.3+, then do not install AS 3.7.4..
    • Internet Config 2.0.2 used by some applications to centrally manage your internet configuration so you don’t need to re-enter information multiple times
    • LaserWriter 8.5.1 updater, adds support for IP printing and installs the CFM-68k Runtime Enabler 4.0 required by Netscape Navigator 4.0 and some other software.
    • Fetch 2.1.2 by Dartmouth College a very simple FTP client.  I use this and my Asanté EN/SC to move files to and from my Windows PC.

The Apple IIe images also contain:

  • On the HFS Partition
    • Apple IIe Card software version 2.2.1 updated to version 2.2.2d1
    • ProDOS File System extension, required to create and edit ProDOS partitions for use with an Apple IIe Card (found in the System folder of the Apple IIe Card software version 2.2.1 disk image)
    • Color Classic Update, I don’t think this is needed for the version 2.2.2d1 software.   This extension fixes a bug that kept Apple IIe cards from working on systems running system software 7.5. When running an Apple IIe card, the system software must provide the video mode used by Apple IIe computers. The extension adds this video mode to the video driver.
    • ProDOSTyper by Ivan X drag and drop files on to ProDOSTyper before copying them to a ProDOS value to prevent creating resource forks.   I avoid this issue by using ShrikWrap to create ProDOS disk images to store my ProDOS files.
  • On the first ProDOS Partition (the second is blank)
    • ProDOS
    • Apple DOS 3.3
    • DOS 3.3 Launcher by John MacLean and Andrew Roughan let’s you launch Apple DOS 3.3 programs from within ProDOS.
    • UnForkIT by Ivan X is a ProDOS 8 program that will convert extended (forked) files stored on a ProDOS volume, such as those created by GS/OS or classic Mac OS, into one or two standard files, allowing you to happily work with them in ProDOS.  It is of particular benefit to users of the IIe Card for Mac, because Mac OS will usually create extended files when copying to a ProDOS volume.
    • ShrinkIt 1.1 by Andy Nicholas and Dave Lyons for compressing/decompressing files/disk images
    • DiskMaker8  to create disk images
    • Dsk2File58 to open .dsk, .do and .po disk images and copy files to a volume
    • imfEDDup 2.3 by Brutal Deluxe Software for creating .dsk and .nib files, great for backing up your original disks

3. Creating your own hard drive / removable drive images (to initialize, edit or just as a backup)

You’ll need to create a hard drive / removable drive image that represents the entire contents of the drive you want to work with and then you’ll need to then initialize and partition the image using an emulator (see section 4)

Disk Duplicator (DD) is a standard application that can be used for imaging hard drives, removable drives, memory cards, usb keys, and CD ROMs.   This guide is written for DD, an application included with Macintosh OS X, and Linux, but not with MS Windows.   For MS Windows you can download version 0.6beta3 created by John Newbigin.

If I don’t want to use DD, any application that creates “raw” disk images can be used, on MS Windows, I often use a program called the USB Image Tool by Alexander Beug, specifically version 1.72 (for some reason the latest version did not work for me), to create and write the image files for my iomega Zip Disks (I have a SCSI and a USB version of the drive), or memory cards attached to my modern system via USB.

The steps I follow when using DD to create the drive image:

  1. If I’m using windows, download dd for windows
  2. I attach or insert the hard drive, removable drive (Zip Drive, Jazz Disk etc), memory card (SD, Compact Flash etc.) that I want to image (see options 6 to 8 from my blog entry for Setting up your vintage (classic) 68k Macintosh for a list of connection methods)
  3. open the terminal / command line window
  4. Type dd --list (windows), diskutil list (linux and mac OS) and press return
  5. You should see a list of all attached drives for your system with their names, you should see the name or your micro SD, SD or CF card, you want the identifier of the floppy drive eg.
    • for linux or mac OS something like /dev/disk2
    • for windows something like \\.\Volume{bc8eb0e4-a23d-11e8-9982-00e18c7bb83e}\
  6. Use dd with the correct input and output options, “dd if=INPUTFILE of=OUTPUTFILE bs=BLOCKSIZE”:
    • INPUTFILE = {identifier from step 5}, e.g. /dev/disk2 or \\.\Volume{GUID}
    • OUTPUTFILE =  the location and name of the image you would like to create.
    • BLOCKSIZE, if dd is taking a long time, you can set the block size to speed things up, but what you set it at is dependent on the speed of the device you are working with, and the size of the device you are working with,  if you are working with an SD card try setting it to bs=1M (instead of the default of 512).
    • e.g:
      • linux or mac OS type “sudo dd if=/dev/disk2 of=OS_755_4GB-SD.dsk bs=1M
      • for windows type “dd if=\\.\Volume{bc8eb0e4-a23d-11e8-9982-00e18c7bb83e} of=OS_755_4GB-SD.dsk bs=1M --progress
    • press return
    • wait…. if you’ve connected via SCSI 1, USB 1 or USB 2, this could take some time for larger drives

4. Using an emulator to initialize the drive image

If you plan is to write back the disk image to a real or emulated drive, and then boot your 68k Macintosh from that drive, the image will have to be initialized to add the boot block and partition table.   Most emulators can not do this, they do not treat drive images as actual drives, instead they treat them as partitions, when these “partition” images are written back to you real or emulated drive they are missing the boot block and partition table and will not boot.

I’ve created a separate blog entry for comparing what emulators can initialize and partition image files.

5. Copying files to and setting up your drive image

Once you either downloaded one of the drive images I’ve created (section 2), or created your own (section 3 and 4), you’re probably going to want add files to the image before you write the image back to your drive, disk or memory card.   You can also always update the again later on by creating a new image file from you media after you’ve worked with it for awhile.

Also if you haven’t already, you’ll want to confirm which operating system you can, or want to run on your classic Macintosh.

  1. The System 6.0.8 Bootable image is for older 68k systems that may only have 1MB of memory installed.  The SE/30, Classic, Classic II, Portable, II, IIx, IIcx, IIci, IIsi, LC typically shipped with only 1 MB of memory.  I’ve managed to track down a scan of the Apple Memory Guide from November 2000 (pdf) that shows how to upgrade the memory for these and other 68k systems.   This image will NOT boot under Basalisk II you will need to use the System 7.5.5 image to boot in to the emulator.
  2. The System 7.5.5 Bootable image is for the remaining 68k systems that have 2MB or more memory installed.

Many tools for copying files to and from disk images will NOT work with drive images:

  • Will NOT work: HFVExplorer, Mini vMac
  • Will work: MAME, PCE/macplus, SoftMac, Basilisk II (will read/write to the first partition, ignores the rest)

Way’s to copy files on to these drive images:

  1. Use Basilisk II with the My Computer Icon enabled to move files between Basilisk II and the host system.
  2. Use SoftMac’s Transfer Utility to move files between SoftMac and the host system.
  3. Use HFVExplorer

If you used one of my images you will probably want to install the full version of System 7.5.5 or System 6.0.8.   Unfortunately due to copyright restrictions I could not include the full versions of this software on my images, but you can download and then install complete versions from the internet archive.

6. Writing your or my disk image to your drive, disk or memory card.

If you are using the CD-ROM image any image burning software should write it to a blank CD-R, suggest writing at a slow speed.

I find dd for windows to be a bit slow for writing images back on to the drive etc., so if you are writing to a USB connected drive or memory card reader to a Windows system, you may want to use  called the USB Image Tool by Alexander Beug, specifically version 1.72 (for some reason the latest version did not work for me) instead.

For dd, please be careful when running the following commands, if you accidentally “write” the image to the wrong disk you will overwrite data on that disk:

  1. Open the terminal / command line window
  2. Type dd --list (windows), diskutil list (linux and mac OS) and press return
  3. You should see a list of all attached drives for your system, with their names, you should see the name or your micro SD, SD or CF card, you want the identifier of the floppy drive eg. /disk2
  4. For linux and mac OS: type diskutil unmountDisk /dev/{identifier from step 3}, e.g.  diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2 and press return
  5. You should see a message: “Unmount of all volumes on {identifier from step 3} was successful”,
  6. The micro SD, SD or CF drive icon should disappear from your desktop (if it did not you may not have the correct device name, check to see if any of your other drives have stopped working) (I say should, because I’m unsure of this step, I believe unmounting the drive should cause it’s icon to disappear)
  7. Use dd with the correct input and output options (read points below), “dd if=INPUTFILE of=OUTPUTFILE bs=BLOCKSIZE
    • INPUTFILE = the location and name of the image you downloaded or created, you can optionally type “dd if=” then drag the disk image file on to the terminal server, this “should” insert the text you need for the input file.
    • OUTPUTFILE =  {identifier from step 3}, e.g. /dev/disk2 or for windows \\.\Volume{GUID}
    • BLOCKSIZE, if dd is taking a long time, you can set the block size to speed things up, but what you set it at is dependent on the speed of the device you are working with, and the size of the image file you are working with,  if you are working with an SD card try setting it to bs=1M.
    • e.g.
      • linux or mac OS type “sudo dd if=OS_755_4GB-SD.dsk of=/dev/disk2 bs=1M
      • for windows type “dd if=OS_755_4GB-SD.dsk of=\\.\Volume{bc8eb0e4-a23d-11e8-9982-00e18c7bb83e} bs=1M --size --progress
    • press return
  8. When your Modern System is done writing the image, exit the terminal / command line window and remove your card (or USB adapter and card)
  9. Insert your your SD, microSD or CF Card in to your SCSI adapter
  10. Turn on your Classic 68k Macintosh and it should boot

 

2 thoughts on “Setting up your vintage (classic) 68k Macintosh – Creating a bootable hard drive starting with a image file and an emulator

  1. This blog has been insanely helpful, but there’s just one thing I’d like to ask.

    After I get the image onto the SD card (and it now works in my MacSE30) let’s say in a month or two I want to take the image off the SD card and run in Basilisk?

    My question is: how do I copy the image from the SD card back to my computer? This would ensure I could make backups of my MacSE30’s contents (for example: word documents, saved games, keep my settings, etc.)

    Thanks so much, I look forward to your reply.

    • You can create an image file of everything on your SD card following the steps for “Creating your own disk images” in section 3 of this page and create an image of the entire SD.
      But as you’ve likely already read Basilisk will only be able to read the first partition of the image.
      There is a way to access the other partitions, but it’s tricky. You should be able to set the start and end position for dd to line up the the start and end location of the partition in the file, but if you get things wrong it will be a mess, so I just use the first partition in the image to add files, or use SoftMac instead (as described in section 5 of this entry)

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