11 Replies Latest reply: Jul 26, 2014 7:08 AM by Jan Hedlund
Bad Gold Eagle Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)


I'd like to buy a performa 5200 and make a clean install of OS9. Unfortunately, the disks were lost.


First, is it possible to get OS9 working on this machine? The Apple support page says it can only run 8.0 tops! (Macintosh Performa 5200CD:Technical Specifications)

Second, where can I find such disks? I tried macintoshgarden.org but only found this http://macintoshgarden.org/how-restore-the-performa-software, but the link for the 5200 is dead ;(



Bad Gold Eagle

  • Country Girl AK Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I have no experience with the Preforma's but I see the software mentioned for sale on the Low End Mac (LEM) swap list. This is not a support group but there are members selling legacy equipment and such


    You might find what you desire there

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,360 points)



    The easiest way is of course to buy an original system software CD (or a later appropriate genuine Apple retail system disc). However, if the Performa already has a (temporary) working system installed on its hard disk, but came without system disc/disks, you may have a free (albeit more complicated) option with files from Apple (via the Old Software Downloads list at http://www.info.apple.com/support/oldersoftwarelist.html).


    A Disk Tools PPC disk image can be found here :


    http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English -North_American/Macintosh/System/Mac_OS_8.1_Update/Disk_Tools_PPC.img.bin


    Disk Copy 6.3.3 (the Make a Floppy command under the Utilities menu) is used to create a bootable floppy disk from the disk image:


    http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English -North_American/Macintosh/Utilities/Disk_Copy/Disk_Copy_6.3.3.smi.bin


    You will find a complete System 7.5.3 here (under http://www.info.apple.com/support/oldersoftwarelist.html#system):


    http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English -North_American/Macintosh/System/Older_System/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3/System_7. 5.3_01of19.smi.bin


    http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English -North_American/Macintosh/System/Older_System/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3/System_7. 5.3_02of19.part.bin


    et cetera, to


    http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English -North_American/Macintosh/System/Older_System/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3/System_7. 5.3_19of19.part.bin


    There are several things to consider in connection with such an installation. First of all, one has to use a method for the transfer of files from a downloading modern Mac or PC (such as a CD-R in an ISO format). One must also have a suitable version of StuffIt Expander for the Performa. Furthermore, when ready to reformat, a System 7.5.3 needs Mac OS Standard (HFS), not Mac OS Extended (HFS+). Finally, the handling of the nineteen System 7.5.3 files is a bit special. If you wish to try all this, do post back for details.



  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,300 points)

    "I'd like to buy a performa 5200..."


    Of all of the early PowerPC processor-based all-in-one Macs, the 5200 is the last one I'd recommend purchasing.  It used the same problematic motherboard found in the Performa 6200s, which had significant design flaws.  A small number of motherboards had a bad 603/75 processor, while some others had a bad L2 Cache/ROM DIMM card.  A repair extension program corrected either of these defects - if found - many, many years ago.  You'd be far better served by a Power Macintosh 5500/225 or 5500/250.  The physical design and cabinet is the same as that used for the 5200, but the motherboard was much improved.  A 603e/225 MHz or 603e/250 MHz processor was so much better than a 603/75 MHz processor.  Additionally, a Power Mac 5500 has a PCI slot riser card, that accommodates (2) PCI cards.  This enables the use of a USB or FireWire PCI card.  The 5500 motherboard uses 168-pin EDO (not FPM) memory DIMMs, maxing out at 128 MBs of installed memory.  The 5200 uses the older 72-pin SIMMs.  Onscreen graphics is improved by the 5500's ATI graphics controller chip.  If you haven't bought the 5200, I'd recommend shopping around for a better choice.  If you've already purchased it, be sure to download the "5xxx/6xxx Tester" and run it to detect either known problem that I referenced earlier.  Instructions for using the downloadable Tester are described in its Read Me file. "The 5XXX/6XXX tester is designed to perform a diagnostic test on the logic board.  It is designed to test for known component issues which may cause system freezing."

  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,300 points)

    A correction regarding the 5500's PCI slot riser card:  It's the same one that was used in the Performa 6360 and provides only (1) PCI slot.  In the Power Mac 6500 mini-tower series, the 5500/6500 motherboard used a riser card that accommodated (2) PCI cards.

  • Bad Gold Eagle Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)


    I saw on the web that the 5200 had a few problems, sometimes quite fatal...

    I can still change my mind, I haven't bought the computer yet.

    Will an SE/30 do the job? I mean it's basically as powerful as this performa (if not more) and a lot more reliable.

    With an external cd drive, and an etherbet card, it's got the same specs.

    What do you think?

  • JustSomeGuy Level 3 Level 3 (555 points)

    Bad Gold Eagle wrote:


    Will an SE/30 do the job? I mean it's basically as powerful as this performa (if not more) and a lot more reliable.

    With an external cd drive, and an etherbet card, it's got the same specs.


    No - no it doesn't. Not at all.


    It depends on what you want to do... you stated in your first post you wanted to run OS9.  The SE/30 is nowhere near capable of that.

  • Bad Gold Eagle Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I Just want to generate 800k floppies and i will have to transfer 1.44mb floppies from my pc (using trnasmac) to a 1.44mb mac to write on 800k floppies. That's all. I need to write in hfs not hfs+.

    i Wanted os9 because that's te max os for the performa.

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,360 points)

    In principle, you could use an SE/30 for this. However, a more modern pre-1998 Macintosh model with a built-in CD-ROM drive and an Ethernet card would be better. It would be an advantage if the computer is running System 7.5.3 or later. If the Performa 5200 that you found is cheap, I would not be too worried about any limitations when used mainly as an intermediate machine (of course, providing that the computer does not have the defects mentioned by Jeff). In order to make things easier, ensure that the computer that you buy has a working operating system from the beginning.


    Please note that the downloadable free System 7.5.3 works on a Performa 5200 but not on a 5500.


    System 7.5.3 or later means that it is easier to set up TCP/IP networking. Also, the system contains a PC Exchange control panel, allowing transfers on PC disks.


    If StuffIt Expander is installed on the Performa, and if the proper CD-ROM extension and helper files are in the system folder, one can also transfer files on a CD-R (burn at a low speed in an ISO format). Just keep any compression (.sit) or encoding (.hqx or .bin) until on the Performa.


    The highest supported OS is not always the best or most suitable OS. A newer OS often requires more RAM, and it can be slower.



  • Bad Gold Eagle Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Hi again. I think the se/30 can run 7.5.3 and i can find it on apple's website.

    It is true that the se/30 in question doesn't have an ethernet port or cd drive. I won't need a cd drive because i haven't got any other computer with a cd drive (macbook pro retina doesn't have one) and i don't need ethernet, i'll just use floppies for the transfer, i don't need a lot of space, i'll do one app at the time, so floppies are ok with me.

    Plus the Performa is really heavy! (22kg) whereas the se/30 is 8kg. A lot cheaper to package and send where i live.

    If the performa is falty and dies on me, i'll have to buy another one and it will be more expensive....

    If the se/30 can do the job, i'll take it


    Thanks guys for all your support.

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,360 points)

    Hello again,


    Yes, the SE/30 can run System 7.5.3. Just make sure that there is enough RAM installed (not less than 4 MB). See my first message for the links to the Apple download page. Please note though that the nineteen files (once decoded) together constitute a single large disk image. It is not a conventional set of system disks; the floppy-sized segments are not bootable. See the text file for details. Also, you need at least a temporary system folder on the SE/30's hard disk before you begin. The hard drive should not be smaller than 80 MB for a System 7.5.3 installation.


    An alternative system could be 7.0.1 or 7.1, if TCP/IP networking is not of primary interest. System 7.0.1 is available for download from Apple (albeit contained in a self-mounting image file, which requires special handling).


    If necessary, a plain 1.44 MB startup floppy could be created on an old Windows PC (from a Network Access Disk 7.5 disk image from Apple's Old Software Downloads page), through the use of an early PC version of StuffIt/Aladdin Expander and a disk image program such as WinImage. This involves using special techniques. Please post back if of interest.


    The system folder of a Network Access floppy can be used as a temporary system when copied to the internal hard disk of an SE/30.


    Also, StuffIt Expander for Macintosh in an appropriate version will be necessary or at least very useful on the SE/30. It is possible to create a floppy which includes a ready-to-use installer of the Mac version 4.0.1 on a Windows PC (capable of running a DOS program).