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What Floppy Drive can I use with Mountain Lion to read and write floppy which can be read by SE30 with 7.1

3116 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Jul 7, 2013 11:39 AM by ibbsy RSS
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Jul 3, 2013 7:46 AM

I want to File Exchange between an iMac with 10.8.4 and a SE30 with 7.1.

All I want to do is install some software, such as Word 5.1 and a Chess game and some Fonts.

I have an external USB Floppy Drive but my iMac can only write to it IF I format as FAT, if I format it with the SE30 it can only be read and not written onto by the iMac.


Is there a way I can actually format/read/write Macintosh extended (HFS+) with Mountain Lion?


The external USB Floppy is a generic black one I bought from Amazon last week.


Someone else said I should get a Macally USB Floppy Drive and that reads/writes HFS+ etc with 10.8 no problem.

Is this because the Macally was released along with the Bondi Blue iMac?


I have tried using Apple Exchange on my SE30 - recorded some files onto the FAT formatted Floppy, and read it using Apple Exchange, but when 'translating' the Files transferred over as generic files which were no longer Macintosh programs or Files (eg Word 5.1 application or extensions/ Font suitcases etc) and could not be read.


Is there a way round this?


Or is there any way I can mount/read/write from the generic USB Floppy DRIVE with Sheepshaver (with 7.5.3)?


Any help or advice would be most appreciated.

Macintosh SE30, Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier, SE30 with System 7.5.3
  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,160 points)

    "Is there a way I can actually format/read/write Macintosh extended (HFS+) with Mountain Lion?"


    A floppy diskette formatted as an HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) volume can't be read by a Mac running OS 7.1 or even newer releases, such as 7.5.x, 7.6, 7.6.1, or 8.0.  The "Mac OS 8.1 Update" introduced support for HFS+ formatting, so that's as far back as you can go regarding the OS version.  The iMac can't format the floppy disks as an HFS (Mac OS Standard) volume.  If you plan to continue using the SE 30, you might want to consider checking eBay for a (used) SCSI CD-ROM drive.  Years ago, I bought some for use with my older Macs, including an LC and LC III, both of which have the slim pizza box case and no capacity for an internal optical drive.  It opens the door to so many possibilities for software installation.  You would likely need a third-party CD burning program for the iMac, such as Toast, that would include "Mac OS Standard" as a formatting option for blank CDs.  Apple distributed two external SCSI CD-ROM drives:  The model 300e (2x) and the 600e (4x), which were very good ones having the Matshita (Panasonic) internal drives mounted in a nice enclosure.  Third-party SCSI enclosures designed to accommodate 5.25" drives will also work, as I installed some pulled internal drives in a number of them as well. 

  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,160 points)

    For informational purposes only, you can check out the Apple CD-ROM 300e here, although I'd never recommend paying that much for one in 2013.  Scarcity doesn't justify outrageous pricing.  In addition to the external drive, a terminator (I'd recommend an "active" terminator - not "passive") and a good quality SCSI cable (Centronics-50 to DB-25) would be needed.

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,880 points)

    >I have tried using Apple Exchange on my SE30 - recorded some files onto the FAT formatted Floppy, and read it using Apple Exchange, but when 'translating' the Files transferred over as generic files which were no longer Macintosh programs or Files (eg Word 5.1 application or extensions/ Font suitcases etc) and could not be read.


    When downloading files intended for the SE/30 on the iMac, try to keep encoded (.bin and .hqx) or compressed (.sit) files unaltered. Transfer the files as they are to the SE/30. You could use PC-formatted 1.44 MB diskettes (if necessary, even a PC with a floppy drive can be used for downloads). Apple File Exchange would, as you already know, allow PC floppies to be read at the SE/30. Once copied to the SE/30 hard disk, the files can be decoded/decompressed by StuffIt Expander (4.0.1).


    If you do not have access to a suitable version of StuffIt Expander, the following discussion may be of interest to you:




  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,880 points)

    If you wish to connect the computers by wire, a serial null-modem link ought to be possible. However, this would require a USB-to-serial adapter for the iMac (and an appropriate terminal emulation application with file transfer capabilities). I do not know whether the latest version of the shareware program ZTerm works with an iMac under Mac OS X 10.8.4, but an early version should be OK for the System 7.1 SE/30. The serial link itself would consist of a Mac hardware handshake modem cable MiniDIN-8M to DB-25M combined with a standard PC-style null-modem cable DB-25F to DB-9F (or a multi-head null-modem cable with the latter connectors both ends).


    AppleTalk file sharing would not be possible because of file system incompatibilities. Other methods could be applied, though. An Ethernet card added to the SE/30 would allow TCP/IP networking (with the correct software installed). This would at least make it possible to transfer files over the Internet, or to use FTP or web servers locally.



  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,880 points)

    >Ah, I need to get stuffit expander onto the SE30. So can't do this.


    Maybe you could ask someone with a Windows PC to help you create the floppy containing the ready-to-use StuffIt Expander 4.0.1 Mac installer (as described under the link above).




  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,880 points)

    >I think my only option is the CD Rom drive, unless that Macally USB Floppy works...


    A CD-ROM drive is a good idea, but you would need to transfer a CD-ROM extension (that is not damaged) to the system folder on the SE/30. Apple CD-ROM 5.4 should be OK for an original Apple CD-ROM drive.



    Disk Copy 6.3.3 will be needed for the disk image.



    Once again, download and keep the .bin files as they are. Decode using StuffIt Expander on the Macintosh SE/30.


    If there is a problem mounting a self-mounting image (.smi) or using Disk Copy 6.3.3 on the System 7.1 SE/30, try starting the computer from a Network Access Disk 7.5 (which can be made via Disk Copy 4.2, the Make A Copy button).





  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,880 points)

    Hello again,


    >except SCSI ones which require a case.


    It should not be too difficult to find a suitable Apple SCSI CD-ROM drive, complete in an enclosure with power supply, connectors and a SCSI ID switch. If absolutely necessary, third-party SCSI drives can be used as well, but that could mean more trouble finding the correct driver. There is a generic driver called CD-Sunrise that works with many drives.



    (see the 00cfg-abstracts.txt file for details about cd-sunrise-22c.hqx)


    >The thought of using a Windows PC to format a disk for a Mac to use on a Mac is bizarre!


    Yes, but if using PC-formatted 1.44 MB floppy disks is a working method (which it apparently is in this very case), you may just have to accept it. Typically, you wish to transfer files from the modern Mac to the SE/30, not the other way. The key is to make sure that any Mac application files are protected by an encoding (or compression) all the way to the SE/30, in order to prevent the resource fork from being lost. An application file with merely a data fork is not going to work as intended.


    BTW, StuffIt Expander is normally available for download in a protected (encoded or compressed) format, and you would need ... StuffIt Expander to decode it. That is why the special workaround with a DOS program on a PC is used to obtain a Macintosh installer (see the link in one of my earlier messages). You are not just formatting the floppy in that case, you are actually writing a disk image to a floppy on a PC when running the DOS program in question. The result will be a Macintosh (sic!) floppy disk, ready to be used on the SE/30. The disk contains a StuffIt Expander 4.0.1 installer for Mac. Having a StuffIt Expander utility on the older Mac is essential, so I recommend that you create at least this one disk.





  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,880 points)

    >surely there must be some Terminal command or workaround for 10.8 to be able to Format in HFS?


    Using dd to write an existing HFS disk image to a floppy may still work (but formatting/writing HFS from the operating system does not). You may want to compare this with the technique described in the article below. Obviously, this is only of interest if one wants to try creating floppies from certain (Disk Copy 4.2-style) downloaded 1.44 MB disk images.



    >If I got hold of an old iBook or Powerbook G4 (my sister has one) could I plug the USB Floppy drive I have into one of these and copy files over this way?


    At least according to the following Wikipedia article, writing HFS has not been supported since Mac OS X 10.6. This should mean that your idea with the USB floppy drive connected to one of the older computers mentioned could work. BTW, I do not think that the USB floppy drive type/make/model is of importance in this very context.


    Another idea could possibly be to use an even older intermediate computer for other file transfer methods (without a floppy).


    A PowerBook 520/520c/540/540c could run Mac OS 8.1, if at all necessary. It has built-in Ethernet (an external AAUI to RJ-45 transceiver is used), which would allow TCP/IP connections over a network. A LocalTalk connection to the SE/30 can be established via a plain Macintosh MiniDIN-8M to MiniDIN-8M printer cable. With the correct SCSI cable/adapter, one could also use the PowerBook as an external hard disk for the SE/30 in SCSI disk mode.


    A PowerBook 5300 can run Mac OS 8.1 or higher, if necessary. It does not have built-in Ethernet, but a PC Card (PCMCIA) network card can be used. Furthermore, with an inexpensive PC Card adapter for CompactFlash and a CompactFlash memory card, the computer would have a simple removable "hard disk". The CF card (in Mac or PC format) can be read by a modern computer (a USB reader may be needed), making it ideal for file transfers. LocalTalk can be used here too, and so can SCSI disk mode (HD target mode).




  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,880 points)



    >At least according to the following Wikipedia article


  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,880 points)



    >writing HFS has not been supported since Mac OS X 10.6


    writing HFS has not been supported since before Mac OS X 10.6


    See also reference 1 in the Wikipedia article



    and the following link from that web page:




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