Using Basilisk to edit my 68k bootable image files

One of the most popular features of my site is my ready made System 6.0.8 or System 7.5.5 bootable images for use with 68k Macintosh systems. This entry describes how you can edit my images on Windows 10 using Basilisk II. You probably know what Basilisk II is, but if not, a quick summary: Basilisk II (manual) is an open source emulator of 68k-based Macintosh computers that support 32 bit memory (see section 2) that runs on Windows, OS X and Linux (also works on some other platforms).

Because Basilisk II is already well documented on sites like Emaculation, I’m only going to describe the basics of how to setup Basilisk II and focus on how you can use it to add or remove files from the System 6.0.8 or System 7.5.5 bootable images available to download on my site.

Quick Start

  1. Download and install Basilisk II
  2. Create or download a 32bit clean Macintosh 68k ROM file, e.g. the LCIII ROM rom the internet archive (rename to LCIII.ROM) and place in your Basilisk II folder.
  3. Create or download a System 7 disk, drive or partition image, e.g. my System 7.5.5 drive image or partition image
  4. Use BasiliskIIGUI.exe to configure BasiliskII to point to you ROM file and your drive/partition image
  5. Load Basilisk II, and copy files from your host system on to the drive image using Basilisk.
  6. WARNING: Drive images with multiple partitions can not be edited with Basilisk II

1. Download and install Basilisk II

The latest versions for Windows, OS X and Linux can be found on the E-Maculation Forum.

For Windows, you need a combinations of downloads: the BasiliskII.exe file from the 2015 build and the complete Basilisk II application from the 2010 build located on the internet archive and the GTK-runtime environment.

  1. Create a destination folder on your system that you will install Basilisk II in.
  2. Download the 2010 build
  3. Unzip the 2010 build in to the installation folder you created (Figure 1)
  4. Download the latest windows build from the E-Maculation Forum
  5. Unzip the latest build of BasiliskII.exe (2015-02-26) in to the same installation folder (replacing the 2010 version of BasiliskII.exe) (Figure 2)
  6. Download the GTK-runtime environment
  7. run the gtk+-2.10.13-setup.exe file

Basilisk II is now installed, but not quite ready to run.

2. Download and select a ROM file

To run Basilisk II you’ll need a file containing a copy of the ROM from a 32 bit clean 68k Macintosh System the bios for any Macintosh System released after System 7 should be fine.

Luckily these ROM files are now available on the internet archive and can be used for personal/research purposes.   I personally use the Macintosh LCIII bios from my physical system, but you can also find the Macintosh LCIII bios, and other 68k bios files on the internet archive. If you download, rename to remove any spaces, dashes or special characters, e.g. to LCIII.ROM etc. I suggest putting the ROM file in to the same installation folder as the Basilisk II application but it’s up to you, just remember where you put it, you’ll need to know for Step 4 below.

3. Create or download a hard drive “image file”

Basilisk II can boot from any of my single partition System 7.5.5 Images (Basilisk II will NOT boot System 6.0.8 or earlier), and be used to edit any of my images. If you are using your own Drive Images, CAUTION, Basilisk II MUST NOT be used to edit Disk Images that contain multiple partitions, if you try to edit a Disk Image that contains multiple partitions you will corrupt the Drive Image. A drive image is a bit for bit copy of a bootable drive, for more details about types of image files can be found in my guide to using the DD tool to write Disk Images to the target media.

4. Configure Basilisk II

Basilisk II includes a program called BasiliskIIGUI.exe that can be used to configure Basilisk II, run BasiliskIIGUI.exe now.

For most users you’ll only have to worry about 2 of the tabs shown in the Basilisk II Settings windows:

  1. The Memory/Misc Tab (Figure 3) where you specify:
    • Set the RAM size for your emulated Macintosh System, I suggest 32MB as a good size for most needs.
    • Set your Mac Model ID.  Select Mac IIci.   Note the bios you’ve download does NOT have to match the Mac Model ID.  As I mentioned I personally use the LCIII Bios with no issues.
    • Set the location of the ROM file you plan to use
  2. The Volume Tab (Figure 4) where you specify the location of the file(s) representing the hard drive(s) for your emulated system:
    • Use the Add button to select one or more image files as your virtual drives.  The first on the list will be the “boot” drive by default.
    • The “boot” drive must be running System 7.x, e.g. my System 7.5.5 images, you can set images that boot older System files as your secondary or subsequent drives
    • I select you enable the “My Computer” icon option (check box at the bottom of Figure 4), this will drastically simplify moving files on to your Hard Drive image files
  3. Press the Start Button to begin using Basilisk II (bottom left of Figure 3 and 4).
 

5. Using Basilisk II to edit image files

If everything worked the way it should you should see an icon called “This PC” on your Macintosh desktop in Basilisk (Figure 5), clicking on that icon will let you browse the contents of your host machines drive(s) (Figure 6) that you setup on your Volumes tab in the previous section (see bottom of Figure 4 above).

Simply select one of the drives in the This PC windows, e.g. drive D (Figure 6), which will open a new window listing the files and folders on that drive, you can select one or more files and drag them on to one of the Macintosh drives shown on the desktop (Figure 7), in Figure 6 and 7 I have my 2GB 7.5.5 drive open and have copied the ZTerm_1.0.1.sit.hqx, file on to the drive, which I can then unencode and uncompress using Stuffit Expander 4.0.2 found on my image files in the Store / Mount folder.

For a more detailed example of how to use Basilisk II to edit image files see my entry on how to upgrade my image files from the minimal version of System 6.0.8 and 7.5.5 to full versions using files found on the internet archive.

Once you have edited either the primary or secondary or other image file to contain the files you want, you can write or copy the image file to the device that you will connect to your real world Macintosh.

6. Drive Images with Multiple Partitions

You can not use Basilisk to directly edit a drive image that contains multiple partitions, trying to do so will corrupt the drive image. If you want to edit a drive image that contains multiple partition, or in the case of SCSI2SD perhaps even multiple drives and partitions, you will have to extract each partition to a separate file. I describe how I use the program DD on my Windows 10 machine (also available on Linux and Mac) to create a set of partition files from my 32GB SD card that I use with my LC 475 so I can edit their contents and then write them back to my SD card.

7. Macintosh and Linux

I’ve read that some Basilisk users have been able to directly mount their formatted SD in Basilisk II, I haven’t been able to do so, perhaps because I’m using Windows. If you have been able to and are using Linux or Macintosh please feel free to share the steps in the comments section.

4 thoughts on “Using Basilisk to edit my 68k bootable image files

  1. Very curious, I’m having problems on my SE. Is this because it’s not a 32bit? Is it because it runs a 68000 Instead of a 68030? I need to use a 32bit rom I understand but then the rom does not match my machines rom. How could I solve this issue?

    • What problems? Will it not boot? Before you try using any of the images I created you’ll need to open the image in Basilisk and then change the memory setting to 24bit and shut down the emulator.
      After you make this change the image will NOT boot in Basilisk, but should boot under your SE.

  2. My Mac SE30uses system 6, and I haven’t had luck yet getting system 6 working in Basilisk using your image. Am I missing something? For example when I try all I get is a warning about 24bit vs 32bit and have to restart Basilisk…

  3. OK, I figured it out!! It was difficult to understand, but basically, you need to follow the instructions EXACTLY as outlined on this page: https://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/basilisk_ii_setup

    Even if you, in the end, want system 6 on your Classic Mac, you must follow the above steps to simply get Basilisk II working. I was wrongly using different files and roms because I thought I needed those to make a system 6 image: nope. The point is, you get that running in Basilisk II, then you can actually run that emulator which is step one.

    Then, since the emulator now works, you remove the boot image, and add your image (with System 6 or whatever) but keep the install.hfv disk in Basilisk GUI. And once that is all done you can run Basilisk, and you’ll see your System 6 image and can now transfer files to it. When done, you can then write the image to an SD card and boom… put it in your old MacSE30 and you’re all good!

    Even more amazing, you can add sit files if you check the box that allows the GUI to see into your PC’s contents. I LOVE IT.

    And thanks bigtime to the writer of this blog… you’ve really helped me get this all working, though it wasn’t clear cut at first. Now that I read it again, I wonder, how I could have not understood it…hehe. Thanks!!

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