Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Feb 1, 2013 6:44 AM by Jan Hedlund
SayItOutLoud Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello everyone,


I'm trying to restore a Macintosh Powerbook 190cs with System 7.5.3. I have a MacBook Pro with Mac OS X 10.7.3. I downloaded all 19 files (the first file is a .smi while the rest are a .part file extension)to a separate folder and discovered that 10.7.3 can't read .smi files. I get the error "legacy image should be converted" if it's a .smi file or "file not recognized" if it's a .part file..


I tried to copy the files to brand new floppy HD disks but they don't fit on them...


I've also tried the following website to get some help:


No help because I need to extract the .dmg file from the .smi or .part file.


Is this merely impossible? Am I missing a step? I can't obtain an older Mac and was wondering if I can accomplish making the systems disks on my MacBook Pro with 10.7.3


Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,375 points)

    The 1.44 MB floppy disks must be formatted as Mac OS Standard (HFS) and not Mac OS Extended (HFS+), which may not be possible with your modern Mac.  For download convenience, each segment of the 19-part OS 7.5.3 download was designed to fit on a floppy disk.  Unfortunately, the resulting set of floppy disks doesn't function as an installer set of disks capable of booting the computer, because there isn't a System folder on any of them.  The floppy disks were only intended to be used as a means to copy each disk's partial file to the hard drive of the target computer.  Once all 19 segments have been copied, the first .smi file is double-clicked to create the disk image of the OS 7.5.3 installer on the desktop.  Drag that disk image to the hard drive and the OS 7.5.3 installer folder will be created on it.  Your PowerBook 190cs doesn't have a built-in optical drive, so that eliminates booting the computer from a compatible Mac OS installer disk.  The set of floppy disks can't boot the computer, so you're left with the OS already installed on the hard drive (assuming that there is any).  If the hard drive is blank, there is a SCSI (HDI-30) port on your PowerBook, so with the correct interface adapter, it could be possible to boot the computer from an external SCSI CD-ROM drive.  Acquiring one would only add to the expense of this restoration project.  Did you check eBay for an original set of the 190cs OS 7.5.2 installer disks?

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,510 points)



    Yes, as Jeff indicated, the idea is to transfer the nineteen files to the hard disk of the PowerBook 190cs, providing that said hard disk already contains a working system. Once the .bin (MacBinary) files have been decoded, one can mount the entire large image by double-clicking on the .smi. It is possible to carry out the installation directly from the thus mounted image.


    If the PB 190cs does not have an operating system at all, you could try to drag-copy a system folder from an appropriate Disk Tools floppy to the hard disk as a temporary solution.


    With a working (temporary) system, it is normally possible to transfer the nineteen downloaded System 7.5.3 files as they are on 1.44 MB HD floppies. If you have access to a suitable version of StuffIt Expander (4.0.1 or 5.5) on the PB 190cs, do not decode the .bin (MacBinary) until the files are there.


    If you think that the operating system on your modern Mac somehow limits the effective floppy size, a floppy-equipped Windows PC could perhaps be an alternativ. A utility such as TransMac should allow plain transfers on Mac-formatted 1.44 MB floppies, if the receiving PB 190cs does not have a PC Exchange control panel installed and active.


    One can make a floppy containing a ready-to-use StuffIt Expander (for Macintosh) 4.0.1 installer on a Windows PC (see the link below for details).




  • SayItOutLoud Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for both of your replies. I still haven't accomplished my objective but I believe it is possible. Here's a laundry list of what I attempted so far and recently discovered...


    1. The Powebook 190cs does have a bootable 7.5.3 operating system. I just want to reformat and give it a fresh copy


    2. I have two sets of brand new preformatted 1.44 HD floppies. One set is a Sony 1.44 HD formatted for the Mac and the other is preformatted for the PC


    3. When inserting a preformatted Mac floppy into my Macbook containing OS X 10.7.3, it doesn't recognize it. The USB floppy drive mounts, I insert the disk, the window pops up but when I attempt to drag and drop the first disk set (containing 7.5.3) it won't allow me. I get a "circle icon with a slash through it".


    4. I can insert a PC formatted floppy disk in 10.7.3, copy the first disk set, the Powerbook 190cs does recognize it but can't execute the file because it considers it as a "PC" application and not a "Mac" one.


    I just can't copy the files from Mac OS X to floppy and then transfer it to the Powerbook 190cs. I don't wish to invest any more money in obtaining other legacy equipment.


    Any other possibilities or suggestions? Perhaps I'm overlooking something?

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,510 points)

    4. Is the originally downloaded file still in its MacBinary (.bin) state?


    I do not know how Mac OS 10.7.3 handles files, but if the PC-formatted (1.44 MB HD) floppy disk is recognised, and if the system allows you to copy a file to this floppy, that method ought to work for transfers. But try to find a way of keeping each downloaded file as .bin (do not decode/decompress any files on the Mac OS 10.7.3 MacBook).


    Alternatively, use a Windows PC for downloads. Copy the (unaltered) MacBinary (.bin) files to 1.44 MB PC-formatted HD floppies for transfers to the PowerBook 190cs.


    Apparently, the PC Exchange control panel is active on the PB 190cs. Once at the PB 190cs, use StuffIt Expander to decode the .bin (drag the file onto the StuffIt Expander program icon, or open it from inside the utility; do not double-click on the file).


    Remember, all nineteen decoded files (one .smi and eighteen .part) have to be present in one single folder on the PB 190cs hard disk before you can mount the entire large disk image.


    In order to test if the transfer procedure works, it is easier to use any small application from Apple's software archive. For example, try to download and transfer Disk First Aid 7.2.2. If everything is OK, you should be able to launch that program on the PB 190cs.




  • SayItOutLoud Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply Jan. I think I made some inroads but I hit another roadblock. Here's what I've accomplished so far:


    1. I inserted a PC formatted floppy disk onto my MacBook running 10.7.3. I was able to copy the 1st .smi file (along with the 18 other disks in the set).


    2. On the Powerbook 190, I inserted the disk and it recognized it. I created a folder and managed to copy all 19 files in the folder <-- Success!


    3. The issue though, is that the Powerbook recognizes the .bin file and the .part files as text files : (  When I looked at the finder, it said document type was "PC Document"


    4. PC Exchange is available on the Powerbook. It is set to ON. However, one of the options that is on there that you didn't mention is that I have to make a file association. It wants to know what file it is, followed by what application it should open it with and then how to convert it <-- I wish I could post a screenshot


    5. So basically, all files have been transferred but have been converted to text files. They can't be opened.


    Any suggestions? I was unable to "drag and drop" the files on the PC Exchange icon so that didn't work. I had to open it up via control panel and that's when PC Exchange opened and I was confronted with all of the options I mentioned above.


    Do I have to start over again and copy the files? Or perhaps I can fix the files that are currently copied on the Powerbook?

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,510 points)

    1. Fine. So, all nineteen files were copied, in as many operations. Did you keep the files as MacBinary? If so, each downloaded and copied file should still have a .bin suffix in its name (after the .smi or the .part).


    2. Good. Are all nineteen files still MacBinary (.bin), or have you at this point used StuffIt Expander at the PB 190cs in order to decode the files?


    3. I am a bit confused here; see my questions above regarding the .bin. The result after a StuffIt Expander decoding (see my earlier message) should be one .smi and eighteen .part. These nineteen decoded (no more .bin now) files are the ones that constitute the total large disk image.


    4. Do not worry about file associations et cetera.


    5. In the common folder: All eighteen .part files are probably going to look like generic documents. The .smi file is really an application, and should have a special program icon. If not, try to drag the .smi file out of the folder, close the folder, and then drag the file back in. Alternatively, rebuild the Desktop.



    You are not supposed to drag any files onto the PC Exchange control panel. PC Exchange has already done its work when you can see the PC-formatted disk and copy files to the hard disk. Are you thinking about StuffIt Expander? As indicated earlier, you need a working copy of StuffIt Expander at the PB 190cs in order to decode .bin.



  • SayItOutLoud Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Jan,


    Thanks for your reply. I should also mention that the filenames are over the 8 character DOS limit. So when I copy the files over to the Powerbook, they get truncated i.e. filena~1.bin. So what I did is just renamed all of the files without changing the extension (i.e. 1.smi,  2.part, 3.part and so on...)


    I think the key missing part is the Stuffit Expander. I don't see it on the Powerbook. Pardon me for not knowing this but is StuffIt Expandert built into the PC Exchange application? Is it a separate program? Perhaps that is the missing piece?


    Yes, when I click on the .smi file to execute I get an error message (sorry I'm not in front of the Powerbook at the moment) that says something to the fact that the file can't be open due to the text file being beyond maximum capacity.


    I'm wondering if the PC Exchange conversion did something.

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,510 points)

    The truncated example seems to indicate that there was a .bin suffix. That is, the files were not decoded on the MacBook. Correct? The idea with keeping the MacBinary encoding until on the PB 190cs is to protect the contained Mac files.


    After each StuffIt Expander decoding of unaltered (even with truncated names) .bin files at the PB 190cs, the result should be a "normal" Mac file (.smi or .part).


    StuffIt Expander is a separate decoding/decompression utility. You may have StuffIt Expander 4.0.1 or 5.5 for Macintosh somewhere already. If not, and with access to a Windows PC with a built-in floppy drive, see the link in my first message above for how to create a Mac(!) disk with a working installer.



  • SayItOutLoud Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Jan,


    I backtracked and I did the following:


    1. Created a virtual machine with Windows XP


    2. Downloaded MacDisk


    3. Created 19 stuffit expander disks (via MacDisk utility)


    How should I proceed from there? Should I now go back to the MacBook pro and drag the .smi and .part files to the floppies again? I wasn't able to do it from the Windows XP VM as dragging the .smi and .part files prompted me to format the floppies again (I did not proceed to do this)

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,510 points)

    Hello again,


    Would it be correct to assume that the MacDisk mentioned in your reply is the utility used on Windows computers to handle Mac disks, not the MACDISK.EXE file that was referred to under the old discussion?



    The MACDISK.EXE file was a very small DOS application that would run on a PC. Once launched, the application would allow you to create a 1.44 MB floppy disk (which automatically changed from PC format to Mac format during the process) holding a ready-to-use StuffIt Expander installer for Macintosh. Typically, that MACDISK.EXE file was used directly on a PC with a built-in floppy drive (I do not know whether the application could be used under a virtual machine and/or with an external USB floppy drive). The thus created floppy disk was moved to a Macintosh computer, where StuffIt Expander then was installed.



  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,510 points)



    Since floppy disks are slow and have limited capacity, an alternative method can be used. A CompactFlash memory card works fine for transfers. A (Mac-reformatted) CompactFlash card with an appropriate system folder can even be used as a startup disk in many PowerBook models.


    In order to use the CF card in one of the PC Card slots of a PowerBook 190cs, a PC Card (PCMCIA) adapter for CompactFlash is required. These adapters are not expensive (try an Internet search). Of course, a suitable card reader (USB or other) is needed at the other computer as well.


    The CompactFlash card will act as a removable hard disk. One can easily drag and drop files onto the card.



  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,510 points)

    Addendum II


    If in fact, somehow, the MACDISK.EXE file was downloaded via the German web page, the DOS program launched, and a floppy disk successfully created, that diskette (one is sufficient) would appear as a Macintosh disk once moved to the PowerBook 190cs. It should then be possible to open the disk in question and locate the StuffIt Expander installer. Install StuffIt Expander on the PowerBook 190cs.


    With the utility on the PowerBook 190cs, you can drag MacBinary (.bin) files onto the StuffIt Expander icon, or open .bin files from inside the StuffIt Expander program, in order to decode them.


    Once all nineteen downloaded System 7.5.3 .bin files have been decoded on the PowerBook 190cs, the result should be one .smi and eighteen .part files. Place all these decoded files in one common folder. If necessary, rebuild the Desktop. Double-click on the first file = the .smi. This will mount the entire disk image. The System 7.5.3 installer will be found in the mounted image.



  • SayItOutLoud Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Jan. I will go refer back to your 2 posts and report back.

  • SayItOutLoud Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Jan,


    Success! Although there is a caveat to this that I will mention in a second...


    Here's what I did that made it work (per your instructions)


    1. Created Window XP VM


    2. Downloaded MacDisk.exe for StuffIt Expander 4.0.1


    3. Created floppy via MacDisk. exe on VM


    4. Downloaded all 19 parts of 7.5.3 to VM and copied them to floppies in PC format


    5. Installed StuffIt expander on Powerbook 190 via .exe from MacDisk


    6. Transferred all 19 files to Powerbook 190 in a separate folder


    7. Used StuffIt expander to decode the files to their respective .bin and .part files


    8. Clicked on the first disk set. Install of 7.5.3 launched via MacIntosh HD on Powerbook 190cc


    The two "hang ups" was that StuffIt Expander wasn't installed on the Powerbook and the 19 disk set was downloaded to the VM and not my MacBook Pro with 10.7.3. For some reason, copying the disk set via 10.7.3 wasn't working when transferred over to the Powerbook.


    All of this worked however the O/S just did an overwrite. I wanted to format the Powerbook 190 HD and do a fresh install of 7.5.3 (to protect privacy and delete data from previous owner).


    Is there much more to do to accomplish this?

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