Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Dec 7, 2012 9:50 AM by Peter Temp
Peter Temp Level 1 (10 points)

Hi everyone,


This is a long shot but worth and ask I feel.

I have managed to find a Mac SE 30 that was going in the trash at work so took it home. The Mac itself does start up but only to a flashing floppy disk icon and nothing more. It looks like it has a floppy disk stuck inside it which the paper clip release doesn't do anything. You am push am entire paper clip trough the hole without hitting a thing.


I have looked online to see what can be done but I still can't find much. From why I found I think the hdd is broken and I can't be sure what's happened to the floppy drive.


Can anyone give me advice of how to get it working again? Or in the event its just a paper weight, then any neat mods I could do to it?



  • dalstott Level 4 (2,625 points)

    Some have gone the MacAquarium route.



    Or MacQuarium if you prefer.





  • paulpen Level 1 (30 points)

    Sounds like the Mac is fine. but probably needs a new hard drive (in the 40+ MEGAbyte range). You can usually find the service manual by doing a google search. (if not, let me know and i can send you the PDF). The SE30 is a pretty cool little Mac, though limited by today's standards. There's lots of older software that will run on it--check out macintoshgarden. This includes Mac OS 7.0.1, 7.1, and 7.5.3, so you can generate startup floppies to reinstall the OS to the hard drive. You'll just have to get that floppy disk out if there is one in there.

  • Peter Temp Level 1 (10 points)

    It is a pretty cool mac. Thanks for the names useful. I managed to get the floppy disk out. The force eject button looks busted so I had to gently lift the left corner of the disk and it ejected fine. I think the drive works but annoy be sure. That computer for sure attempted to read the disk that was in it as now that its out its much quiter. I also think the hdd may have sprung back to life. Apparently from what I've read they like to get stuck with age as the reader heads lock it up. It appears to be unstuck. The access light isn't sold red anymore an blinks when is being read. Still the Os is obiviously corrupt.


    My SE has an 800k floppy drive in it and I've heard it's difficult to format one an as I'm finding buying blanks is so hard. What are the best ways of formatting 800k floppys so that they work as boot disks?


    Hmm I've heard the PRAM batteries have a tendency to explode in these so I must some how have a look to check its not a bomb site.

  • paulpen Level 1 (30 points)

    I would have thought the SE30 had a 1.44MB floppy drive. Maybe it was replaced at some point w/ an 800k drive. You used to be able to buy pre-formatted floppy disks, but not anymore, unless you can find some online. Ideally you would have *another* old Mac with a floppy drive to create OS installer disks, though the Mac can be much newer than the SE30. You *might* also be able to do it in Basilisk II (Mac emulator) on a PC.


    It would definitely be worth opening the case to check/replace the battery and generally clean it up. If you're an electrical engineer type, you don't even really need the service manual. Just don't touch those capacitors.....

  • Peter Temp Level 1 (10 points)

    The SE+ has the 1.44 drive the SE comes with a 800k. Unless its had an upgrade in the past but I can't know for sure.


    Would a mac running the latest Mac OS be able to write bootable floppy disks? I have a USB drive for it. If not ill search on eBay for possible install disks.


    I must get it open but don't have the tools. Also people always recommend to discharge the CRT to stop yourself dieing haha. Looks like a lot more tools.

  • paulpen Level 1 (30 points)

    Is yours an SE30 or the original SE..? I used to have an SE and it had an 800k drive, but i checked everymac dot com and it says 1.44 for the SE30. Either way, it's always possible someone replaced it. As for opening the case, i did that once to increase the RAM, and it was a bit tricky but not all that hard. i think you might need one of those star-shaped screwdriver-like tools.


    As for creating startup/installer floppies, you'll need OS9 or earlier which limits you to a G4 system or earlier, preferably with a built-in floppy drive, although a USB one might do the job. I think you just create them using DiskCopy, once you download the images.


    As for discharing the CRT, even after you turn on the pwer switch--with the computer unplugged--the caps will still hold some charge. The only way i know that will totally discharge it is tossing it into the sea (a last resort to be sure). I never tried to discharge the CRT on mine--just don't touch the back of it.

  • Peter Temp Level 1 (10 points)

    Ah my mistake, thought I had a SE 30 but no I have an SE.


    Yer you need a torx screw driver, I don't have one of them haha.

    I guess the online option may be the easiest option. Also red to get a floppy disk drive cleaner.

    Good to know about the discharge, everything I saw online said to tamper or add anything on the SE you MUST discharge the CRT or it'll brake it... Scared me haha.

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

    Do not forget that all of those Macs have an external SCSI port.  External zip drives will boot that mac along with CD-ROM drives that have had the optical drive replaced by a SCSI hard drive.  You can do a lot with that port.



  • paulpen Level 1 (30 points)

    I did not do any unusual procedure to discharge the CRT when i opened my SE, other than turning the power switch ON *after* I unplugged it (to discharge some of the charge). But you also want to make sure you've grounded yourself *before* doing that, and then don't walk around until you're finished workingon it, especially not on a carpet.


    As for booting from a SCSI device, interesting idea. I never tried that because the floppy drive was okay in mine.

  • Gerard Van Schip Level 1 (40 points)

    First off the stuck floppy, you should hit something with the paperclip, are you sure there is a floppy inside, can you see it? If so then switch the Mac off, hold down the mouse button and keep it pressed down while switching on the Mac. It should eject the floppy providing the floppy drive is still working, does it make any sounds?


    Like PaulPen suggested you might want to look for an extermal SCSI drive or a SCSI Zip drive, of course both do mean you need to have the floppy drive working first as you need to install a system on the drives.


    Good luck, I LOVE the SE/30

  • Peter Temp Level 1 (10 points)

    There was a floppy disk in it. I tried the paperclip trick but as I pushed the paper clip in the hole it just went all the way in with no resitence. I got the disk out but lifting the left corner up and it just poped out. I think I've found the reason why the paperclip or eject didn't work. The drive appears to be holding the disk above the reader/motor as if the drive is empty, waiting for a disk. When I put the disk back in the machine never notices its been inserted so doen't lower it to the reader or even start to spin up. It may be busted.


    If it is busted can I just use any SCSI port drive or are there certain types it'll take? They are expensive on Ebay which is annoying for something so old.

  • Peter Temp Level 1 (10 points)

    The Mac SE can't use SCSI external card readers by any chance? Oh never mind they are so expensive!

  • dalstott Level 4 (2,625 points)

    You might find some parts or even a dead SE that appears to have collapsed from something other than your problem. Some forums about old Mac hardware have swap and sale sections. Below are some links I have gathered that may help. Good hunting.








  • paulpen Level 1 (30 points)

    Yes, Ebay has become more and more disgusting over the past few years. Now it's all about profiteering. People hoard these old Mac (and PC) parts, and since they know they'll never sell 90% of their hoard, they try to sell everything for 10x what it's actually worth. Still, from time to time there are  reasonably priced items there.


    As for the floppy drive, it might just be really dirty and if you take the SE apart, you might be able to open the drive and clean it. Also, the drive from some other older Macs would work if you can find one or borrow one.


    OR..... if you have another SCSI Mac, i think you could put the SE's hard drive into that as a 2nd hd, install the OS, and then put that back into the SE. I would try that.

Previous 1 2 Next