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external CD drive for power mac 8100

1035 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2013 12:22 PM by i.forgot.all.i.knew RSS
i.forgot.all.i.knew Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Jan 22, 2013 1:33 PM

I have an 18 year old power mac 8100/80 AV.  It has an internal CD drive that is read only.  I need a cd drive that is read/write so that I can copy thousands of files off the mac.  I'm assuming that an external drive may be the best route, rather than removing the old drive and installiing a new one.  Can someone please advise on two points:


1.  Is the external read/write CD drive the right way to go?


2.  Where can I obtain said drive?


Many thanks.



Power Macintosh 8100/80AV, Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier
  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,875 points)
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    Jan 22, 2013 3:49 PM (in response to i.forgot.all.i.knew)

    Finding a suitable SCSI CD-ROM drive (with both read and write capabilities) is not going to be easy. It would probably be a better idea to move all files to a modern computer over a network, and then burn a CD. Your Power Macintosh 8100/80 AV should have an AAUI Ethernet port, requiring merely an external AAUI to RJ-45 adapter (such as the Apple Ethernet Twisted-Pair Transceiver M0437). The setup depends on the other computer, and the exact operating systems involved.



  • Appaloosa mac man Level 5 Level 5 (4,300 points)
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    Jan 22, 2013 7:38 PM (in response to i.forgot.all.i.knew)

    I'm with Jan on this one, as usual.  Move the files to a newer computer.  Otherwise, you will need some vintage hardware.


    We started with a Yamaha internal IDE CD-ROM burner in a G3 desktop, then got an external Yamaha SCSI.  The external was $400 new at the same store.  We waited until it was $200 before we bought the external.  The internal was $90 because it was IDE.


    Find a recycler.  There is a great one in Seattle.  A G3 desktop should cost you $25.  A used CD-ROM burner might cost you $10.  The G3 will take an internal SCSI drive and an internal IDE drive.  It will also allow you to use an internal Zip drive.  USB was also a common option with the G3.


    Upgrading just one generation in hardware will buy you the tools needed to make the transition to current hardware.  Consider your options before spending too much on file recovery.  Keep in mind that you must save files in text or RTF or SYLK, etc. or some other universal format that newer software will recognize.



  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,875 points)
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    Jan 23, 2013 1:11 AM (in response to i.forgot.all.i.knew)

    Regarding file format compatibility, you could check whether the old format is listed under the Open dialogue in the new word processing program. This may not be the case if there is a major time span between versions. Otherwise, you would just have to carry out a test with a small number of files. As Jim indicated, saving in a different format (via the Save as dialogue) on the old computer may become necessary, but is not something one would want to do with thousands of files.


    You should be able to use 1.44 MB HD diskettes for transfers of smaller files to a PC. Check whether a PC Exchange control panel is active on the 8100/80 AV. Use PC-formatted disks (or reformat Mac floppies to PC format).


    Normally, the Ethernet (AAUI) port has an icon something like <...> (page 71 in the manual below).



    See also:



    Once the 8100/80 AV has been connected to the built-in Ethernet switch of a broadband router, you could access the Internet from this computer, too (providing that the TCP/IP settings are OK, and that you have a suitable web browser and/or email program installed). You should then be able to transfer files to another computer over the Internet.


    Alternatively, you could set the 8100/80 AV up as a (local) web server (perhaps via Web Sharing in Mac OS 8.6). I described a similar method (for a computer that did not have an operating system with a built-in web sharing control panel) in the last post here:




  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,875 points)
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    Jan 23, 2013 1:59 AM (in response to Jan Hedlund)



    If for some reason it is not possible to use (File Exchange/PC Exchange and) PC-formatted 1.44 MB HD floppy disks for transfers, you may want to try a utility such as TransMac, that would allow the handling of Mac disks on a Windows PC.

  • Appaloosa mac man Level 5 Level 5 (4,300 points)
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    Jan 23, 2013 6:50 AM (in response to i.forgot.all.i.knew)

    Jan reminded me of yet another option.  In 1989, I drove 100 miles to Redmond, WA to a company called Lap Link.  They had just come out with a program called LapLinkMac.  It was software for a PC that told the PC to look at a laptop hard drive through a com port, ie, LPT 1.


    The process was to connect the cable they provided to the printer port on the Mac and a designated com port on the PC.  The instructions said that the Mac printer port was always configured at the factory so if you had any trouble, it would be the fault of the PC because they are not uniformly configured.  The file transfer rate was 157,000 bps.  That was at a time when a 9,600 bps modem cost $1,000.00.  The cable and software was $95 or so.


    Take a look at software that will link a desktop computer to a laptop.  That software automatically handles file updates and version comparisons.


    The other approach is to find a user group.  If you were in Spokane, we could easily put your hard drive in a G3 desktop computer, put a blank PC hard drive in the same machine, make a fast copy of the SCSI hard drive on the IDE/PC hard drive and then you have a PC compatible drive.  One warning, unless you can find some magic bullet software for the PC, you might be better off doing the file transfers on a Mac.  Macs have been easier to use since 1984. 


    It all boils down to what your files are worth and what your time is worth.  There are some tasks we can do in minutes on older Macs that take hours or days on a PC.  Thanks, Bill Gates, for such a good sales job on PCs.




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