7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 24, 2007 3:13 PM by Craigwd_2000
Alan Brau Level 1 (0 points)
I have some Word files which are on both floppy and hard drive, which I cannot load onto a new Mac (Tiger) or Windows XP. The floppy disk is unrecognized on those computers. Could anyone suggest conversion software? Can I connect my old hard disk to one of the new hard drives with a USB adapter? What software would I need? My old Mac is an LC.


Mac LC, Also, OSX Tiger
  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 (9,715 points)
    The floppy disk is unrecognized on those computers.

    The first thing to consider in a case like this is the size and format of the floppy disk. An 800K Mac-formatted DSDD/2DD diskette will never be recognised by a PC floppy drive (a 720K PC-formatted floppy is OK) nor by an external USB floppy drive connected to a modern Mac.

    So, you will have to make sure that the diskette used for any transfer is 1.44 MB HD. This type of diskette has two square holes (one of them has a slider).

    Now, the 1.44 MB diskette can be formatted either Mac or PC.

    A Mac-formatted 1.44 MB disk should be seen by a modern Mac. A PC needs additional software (such as the shareware program TransMac) to even detect this Mac-formatted 1.44 MB floppy.

    A PC-formatted 1.44 MB floppy disk can be used for transfers, too. However, that will require that the Macintosh LC has a PC Exchange control panel installed (standard from System 7.5) or that a separate application called Apple File Exchange is used (in one of the folders on the Tidbits system floppy of System 7.0.1/7.1).

    Could anyone suggest conversion software?

    Once the
  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 (9,715 points)

    floppy is recognised OK, the file format of the documents will have to be understandable. You could check the Open dialogues of the appropriate programs on the modern Mac and on the PC to see whether the old file formats are listed. If not, it may be worth trying an open source software suite as well (e.g. Open Office).

    I assume that the LC is still available. If necessary, you could re-save the files to a another file format via the Save As dialogue.

    If nothing else works, you may have to try a conversion utility (maybe MacLinkPlus).

    Can I connect my old hard disk to one of the new hard drives with a USB adapter?

    The old hard drive is SCSI. You may be able to find a SCSI adapter (for USB), but this is probabably not the best method to choose here. Even if the hardware can be connected, a PC would still have a problem with the file system on the hard disk.

    It would be possible to connect the Macintosh LC and a PC via a null-modem link between serial ports. A Mac modem cable (MiniDIN-8M to DB-25M) can be combined with a PC null-modem cable (DB-25F to DB-9F). A terminal emulation application with file transfer capabilities will have to be used on each side (this can be, for instance, the communications part of ClarisWorks on the Mac and HyperTerminal on a PC).

  • Alan Brau Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, Jan. I am using a 1.44 mB floppy, but I cannot get the new Mac to recognize it. Does the OSX system not recognize earlier versions of Mac?

    Would it be worthwhile to take the SCSI hard disk to a local Mac store? The salesperson there said that for a fee, he might be able to get the files onto a more up-to-date format.

    Best regards,

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,466 points)
    If the old diskette is HD type (with an extra hole opposite the write-protect hole) AND it was written in 1.4 MB format, it should be readable on a diskette drive (such as a USB diskette drive) on a Mac running Mac OS X.

    But if it is type 2D or DD, it can only be recorded as 800K on your older mac, and will not be readable on the newer Mac.
  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 (9,715 points)
    Hi Alan,

    Before you continue this, make sure that each tested floppy is locked (with the slider in its write-protected position) in order not to overwrite or erase anything.

    If your LC is fully operational, it is not a bad idea to make a set of 1.44 MB copies of the existing floppies.

    If PC Exchange is in the Control Panels folder on the LC, you could easily copy files to PC-formatted 1.44 MB HD diskettes as well (with PC Exchange installed, a PC-formatted floppy will appear with a "PC" icon on the Desktop). Otherwise, you may want to try to find Apple File Exchange (see above).

    Also, have you tried one of your 1.44 MB Mac floppies in a PC that has a Mac-to-PC disk handling utility? TransMac, as mentioned above, is one example. There used to be an old freeware program called HFVExplorer; it seems to be somewhat difficult to locate (Google) these days.

    If someone with the necessary expertise can help you connect the internal SCSI hard drive to another Mac, and transfer the files, why not?

  • Appaloosa mac man Level 5 (4,330 points)

    "Would it be worthwhile to take the SCSI hard disk to a local Mac store?" Only you can decide if it is worth the fee they will charge.

    Another idea is to find a Mac user group in your area. Putting your drive into an external SCSI enclosure and connecting it to a newer Mac would be the simplest way to move files from an old world computer to a newer one. Once someone has a connection to the internet, old world issues like cables and adapters disappear.

  • Craigwd_2000 Level 4 (1,300 points)
    I agree. Unfortately USB to SCSI or FireWire to SCSI adapters don't work with external SCSI hard drives. You'd need to have a PowerMac with a SCSI host adapter card in one of its PCI slots. Either that or a older Power Mac or 68k Mac with SCSI (the Mac 128k, Mac 512k & Mac 512ke don't have SCSI).