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Hercule

Mac SE FDHD only partial boot

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Hello. I recently acquired a Mac SE FDHD and am having difficulty booting up. It switches on fine but just get the flashing question mark. So I created two System 6.0.8 disks as described on this useful website:

 

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/printpage/How-to-Generate-Floppy-Disks-for-Old-Macintosh-Computers/1713

 

Booting from floppy I get the mac smile, but a few seconds later it seems to struggle reading a file and then just ejects the disk. I have tried three other floppes and get the same problem.

 

Is anyone able to post me a 800k bootable Apple HD SC disk as dont have any other Mac.

Any other ideas?

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The serial number is CK93011PB02. It should have a high density floppy drive installed, is there any way of telling without opening it up?

Is there something wrong with the filters of the drive? I have tried a floppy disk cleaner but it made no difference. It does look very dusty inside.

Many thanks.

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My first guess is it's your floppy drive that's at fault, not the disk or the software.

 

This place will sell you a floppy with system software on it, if you suspect it is the disk that's the problem: http://rescuemyclassicmac.com

 

If you created a high density disk, and a Happy Mac appears when you insert the disk, that means the computer at least read the first few sectors of the disk successfully. So it means you have a high density drive.

Edited by bigmessowires

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I think its a floppy drive problem. Eventually you will need to open the case, take out the drive to clean and lube it.

Does it have 2 drives or 1 and a hard drive that is not working either?

 

 

try a later system software.

Anything later than System 6.08 is System 7. To run System 7 on a 68K Mac one needs 4Megs of RAM which we do not know it has or not. The Mac SE will run anything from System 6.04 to System 7.1

 

 

 

My first guess is it's your floppy drive that's at fault, not the disk or the software.

 

This place will sell you a floppy with system software on it, if you suspect it is the disk that's the problem: http://rescuemyclassicmac.com

 

If you created a high density disk, and a Happy Mac appears when you insert the disk, that means the computer at least read the first few sectors of the disk successfully. So it means you have a high density drive.

I agree, BMoW.

I use too sell bootable floppies from my Vintage Mac Site for the Big Apple Users Group. But I ran out of 800K Disks, and no longer can do this (or at least until I get more 800K Disks). I used to charge $3 per disk and $2.50 shipping and handling.

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Thanks for the replies. It has one high density floppy drive and an internal drive size unknown. If you try to boot up from the hard disk you just get the flashing question mark. I think on one occasion i heard it try to access the hard disk with four repetative humming sounds without any luck. I'll look into buying a long torx tt15 screwdriver to open it up. Did it get the happy mac face because it read a boot file on the disk and this completed the POST? If it read the boot file why won't it read the rest of the files and continue?

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A happy mac on the screen is good - it means the analog and logic board hardware is working, and the problem is very likely only with the disk or the disk drive. Does your last comment mean it has two floppy drives? You should be able to boot from either one, so try them both.

 

In order to get a happy mac to appear on screen, the Mac needs to read the first two sectors from the disk, and verify that the data begins with a particular signature. So that much must be working. It could still fail to read the rest of the disk for other reasons, like problems stepping between tracks or accessing both sides of the disk. Either problem can probably be fixed by disassembling and cleaning the floppy drive. Or if you really don't want to open up the case, you could consider an external drive emulator like my Floppy Emu, or an external SCSI drive with a pre-installed OS.

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I use too sell bootable floppies from my Vintage Mac Site for the Big Apple Users Group. But I ran out of 800K Disks, and no longer can do this (or at least until I get more 800K Disks). I used to charge $3 per disk and $2.50 shipping and handling.

 

I think you can still buy blank 800K disks on eBay. But I wonder how long this media lasts? Certainly a disk that was written 30 years ago may suffer "bit rot" today and have problems when you try to read it. But what about a 30 year old floppy that's freshly formatted and written in 2014? Will it last to 2044?

 

It's possible to use a 1.4 MB floppy as an 800K floppy, but my understanding is that it's not very reliable, because the resistivity (?) of the physical media is different, or something like that.

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I just have the one internal floppy drive. You can see the machine from my Hercule photo.

 

UPDATE: Something interesting happened. I thought I would press the Interrupt button to see the the Mac SE Easter egg which is four photos of the development team. Type G 41D89A. I couldnt enter any text - what a surprise! However I received a sad mac face with two codes:

 

0000000F

0000000D

 

I've read it's important when the sad mac face appears. So in summary, I get a happy mac face when booting from the floppy for about two seconds, it then ejects the disk. If I press the interrupt button at any stage, I get the sad mac with the same codes listed above.

 

Searching the Internet revealed the following, but I am unsure if this is only for sad mac on switch on rather than interrupt.

 

"Check & Replace Bourne Filter/ Resistor Network chip @ U2B (RP2) & U8B (RP10)"

 

Any help would be appreciated. Very frustrating.

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I don't have an SE to try, but I think that sad mac error by pressing the interrupt switch at that point is normal. The interrupt handler that runs the debugger isn't set up yet. If I hit the interrupt switch on my mac plus while it's waiting for a disk, it shows the same sad mac error.

 

Bottom line, it's very likely a disk drive problem. Open the case and repair or replace the drive, or use one of the previously mentioned external drive options.

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Thanks bigmessowires.

 

I assume I connect an external floppy to the 25 pin SCSI port? Do you know what the 19 pin port is? Do you have the model number of a suitable apple floppy drive?

 

Also is there a command prompt or BIOS I can get into like a PC?

 

Also when I hold Command Option P R to reset PRAM nothing happens so could it be that my keyboard is faulty.

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The 19 pin port is for an external floppy drive. You know, I'm not sure Apple ever made an external 1.4 MB floppy drive for that port - I can't find a model number for one. An external 800K floppy would work: though you'd be limited to smaller capacity disks. Those are model numbers M031 or A9M0106. But in my (very biased) opinion, instead of a standard external floppy drive, you'd be better off with a floppy drive emulator that loads disk images from an SD card - I sell a tool called Floppy Emu that does this: www.bigmessowires.com/macintosh-floppy-emu/ Then you can have hundreds of Macintosh disk images on a single SD card. Sorry if I sound like a salesman. :)

 

Your fastest and cheapest solution is still going to be servicing the existing drive yourself. It only needs a long handled Torx screwdriver to open the case, and then 30 minutes of your time and some grease to clean and lubricate the drive mechanism. You could check to see if there's an old internal HD in there at the same time, upgrade the RAM, etc.

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Thanks for all your help. I will look into buying a long torx screwdriver to open it up and clean the floppy drive. Will look into the emu.

 

What can you connect to and will work with the 25 pin SCSI cable? Can you connect a 1.4 MB SCSI floppy drive and will it boot off it?

 

Also Command Option P R was held down before switch on and has no effect neither causing the machine to reboot or to hear a second chime. Is there any way of checking the keyboard in this semi booted state?

 

Am I able to enter Open firmware if there is one to type something?

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Update - I ordered a long torx screwdriver set from ebay opened up the mac se and gave it a good clean. I washed the motherboard under the tap and dried it, changed the CMOS battery which was not soldered fortunately, and thoroughly cleaned the floppy drive with ear buds and white spirit. I also gave the monitor tube a good clean with kitchen wipes after waiting days for it to discharge. It now boots up fine on the floppy drive. The floppy drive was full of fluff and dust. Unfortunately the hard drive will not boot. It is an Apple Miniscribe 20 MB original. I managed to obtain the maintenance guide and from the yellow LED flashes was able to diagnose - it cant find track zero. Apple HD SC setup does not find it, saying it cant read the required information. Will Lido or any other tool format it even if it cant find track zero? Unsure why it cant create a new track zero. I just need to find a cheap 20MB SCSI replacement drive on ebay UK.

 

Interesting finds: Two of the three ROMs were slightly different to that advised in the service manual. 341-0701 and 341-0702 instead of 342-0701 and 342-0702. Must be an earlier version ROM set for the MAC SE FDHD. It seems to read 1.4MB floppies and work OK anyway.

 

I was trying to transfer the lido SCSI format tool to a PC floppy to try it on the SE. Can some one advise what the file extensions SIT and SEA mean? I think a SIT file are an archive but how do I transfer it onto a Mac floopy I have created using WinImage - do I need to use transMAC?

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SIT is a Stuffit archive file. These were common on Macs. While the PC world mostly used WinZip and ZIP files, Macs mostly used Stuffit and SIT files.

To expand SIT files you need either Stuffit, or the free version of it (Stuffit Expander). As you have a 68000 Mac AFAIK the last version you can run on it is 4.5 (4.0 under System 6). Please note that SIT files made by later versions (like Stuffit 5 IIRC) can not be opened by earlier versions, so you need to make sure it can be opened by the version of Stuffit you are using (or find a Mac/emulator running a later version of Stuffit to expand it).

 

 

SEA is a Self/Stuffit(?) Expanding Archive. It is like a SIT file, but you should be able to open it like a normal program, and it will decompress itself.

 

 

For making Mac compatible disks (1.44mb, not 800k or earlier) I have had luck in the past using HFSExplorer. It is getting on in years, but I think it still runs on Windows 7/8.

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