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Question: PowerBook G3 M534 Series V The Lombard

Seeking floppy drive advice for a relic "PowerPC" PowerBook-G3:

I have MS Word and some other files from the early 90's and on past 1999 created on PowerPC Macs. Those PowerPC won't open with their formatting these days! The "PowerPC processor" provoked MS to do software specifically for that processor - only a Mac with that vintage processor will recreate my docs with original formatting/graphics/etc. THIS IS THE SUCKY PEICE OF PROGRESS! I found a working PowerBook G3 M534 Series V + The Lombard Bronze Keyboard in great condition. It has what it calls 2 USB port. What it don't have is a floppy drive. I had an external USB floppy drive and many of my old discs were spinning up and opening text files and jpegs, and scrabbled MS Word files - plugged into a Mac 2009 mini.

I have totally misplaced that external floppy drive.

Question: Is there an external USB floppy drive that would be USB 1.0 compatible for this -

PowerPC G3, Lombard, Bronze Keyboard, 400MHz, MPN: M5343, from 1999?

Or, an aftermarket floppy drive to stick into one of it's Expansion Bay where the CD drive is?

Thanks for your attention!


PowerBook, iOS 9, FLOPPY DRIVE > PowerBook-G3-M534

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Nov 16, 2017 2:37 AM in response to ecafe In response to ecafe

There are/were several USB floppy drives. Many should work connected to USB 1.1. However, you may or may not need a powered USB hub (sometimes, the power supplied by a computer port is not quite sufficient for a floppy drive).

See also page 18 in the manual:

https://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/0/MA562/en_US/PowerBookG3_BronzeKeybdGett ingStarted.PDF

BTW, for (at least temporary) backup purposes, and/or if you intend to transfer many/larger files, an inexpensive PC Card adapter for CompactFlash with a standard CompactFlash memory card could be useful. Plug the adapter into the PC Card slot of the Lombard. A USB memory card reader can be used with a more modern computer.

PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze Keyboard) - Technical Specifications

Nov 16, 2017 2:37 AM

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Nov 16, 2017 1:08 PM in response to Jan Hedlund In response to Jan Hedlund

Thank you Jan!

I had not thought about the power supplied by the USB port not possibly being good enough to run a motor drive.

You reassurance allows me to jump to a current $16 generic PC/Mac floppy drive, and hope for the best.

All I need a PowerPC for is to open the "PowerPC exclusive" formatted MS Word docs I have on floppies (the ones that still mount). I have not seen a post-PowerPC Mac or app that will retain the formatting of my documents created on a PowerPC - I hope I'm not missing something here. I don't have any files on the boot drive of the Lombard laptop. Just need a PowerPC chipset, OS, and floppy drive to read my old floppies and then save them in a transportable format that preserves the formatting and layout of the document - like re-raving them as RTF files - for that much desired need for cross-platform document interchange.

At least that's what I hope can happen 🙂

Thank you again for your help and extra guidance, and time!



Nov 16, 2017 1:08 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 1:43 PM in response to ecafe In response to ecafe

Hello Kit,

You're welcome. Good luck with the project!

If the intention is to run Mac OS 8.6 or 9.x, you may also be interested in the application PrintToPDF for certain documents:


Additional information about some USB floppy drives here:

USB Mass Storage Support 1.3.5: Document and Software

Nov 16, 2017 1:43 PM

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Question: PowerBook G3 M534 Series V The Lombard