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Tag: Macintosh 800k Floppy

The 800k floppy is a double sided 3.5″ floppy was introduced with the Macintosh Plus system, and also used with the Macintosh SE system.

Unfortunately Windows PCs cannot create these disks, nor can any of the iMac Systems that use USB floppy drives. To create these disks you’ll need one of the systems listed on my compatibility table: http://www.savagetaylor.com/2015/11/22/setting-up-your-vintage-classic-68k-macintosh-selecting-your-system-software/

Or skip the whole thing and just use a floppy disk emulator.

Floppy Drive: Using a 3.5″ HD Floppy Drive to setup your 68k Macintosh

Photo of a 3.5 inch floppy disk
Photo of a 3.5 inch floppy disk

Booting your classic 68k Macintosh from a 3.5 inch floppy disk was the most common and the easiest way to get most classic macs working when your starting with a more modern machine (most, but not all, more on that in a bit).

This post focuses on 3.5″ High Density (HD) disks that can be created using modern USB floppy drives.

I will create separate posts describing how to get started using 400k and 800k floppy disks using either a intermediary Macintosh that supports both these the HD format, or using floppy-emu to emulate these old drives.

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Selecting your System Software for your 68k Macintosh

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).

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Setting up your vintage (classic) 68k Macintosh

I recently pulled my old Macintosh Color Classic (with an Apple IIe Emulator Card) out of storage in preparation for a move to see if it still works (last used in 2001)… so far so good.   I also obtained a Macintosh LCIII to setup as my backup system in case the Macintosh Color Classic decides to die on me (need to get a cap job done on both of them).

When I started to look for the guides etc.  that I used back in 1999/2000, I quickly found out that Apple has finally started to abandon these old machines, removing the free downloads and knowledge base articles that vintage mac users have relied on.  Luckily the software can still be found on the internet archive, or sites like the Macintosh Garden and the Macintosh Repository, but it looks like it will be a lot harder to find the information that used to be in the knowledge base.   To help myself remember what to do in the future, and to hopefully help others, I’ve decided to put up a series of posts on how to set up these old systems with links to the disk images and files I use.

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