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How to make an installer disk


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Hello,

 

i am trying to make a copy of an installer disk for the first time. I will be using a Mac G3 to download the installer files from the internet. I am just confused on how to make a readable floppy disk for a classic mac? Could someone please tell me the names of any softwares that do this and the directions on how to do so.

 

The G3 does not come with an internal floppy drive. Would it be okay to use a USB one? I read online that some USB floppy drives can't be used to make readable floppy disk for classic macs.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciate it!

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You can't make an 800k Mac disk from a PC drive, as (like the 400k disks) they use a different encoding format that PC floppy controllers don't support. (Same goes for every USB floppy drive that I know of; the other problem with USB floppies is that some - most? All? - of them only support FAT12 disk access and not the low-level access needed for other filesystems.) It's probably possible to make a 1.44MB disk from a PC, though.

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I am just confused on how to make a readable floppy disk for a classic mac?

 

If I may inquire which machine is this for?

 

A 128K or 512K requires a machine that can support 800K disks. You can write a 400K disk on a machine that has an OS that doesn't speak 400K MFS at all.

 

A 128Ke, 512Ke, Plus, Plus ED, 512Ke ED, II, SE with dual 800Ks or 800K + HDD will require a machine with a 800K drive. Only a Macintosh with an internal drive (or compatible external, aka Duo, 2400c, a few other PowerBooks) and that can boot into OS 9 or earlier can support this operation. While there may be some esoteric options for PCs out there, the reality is that barring exotic hardware, there is zero support for 800K or 400Ks on the PC platform and zero support via USB FDDs because the 400Ks and 800Ks use GCR encoding, not MFM like the PC world. They also use variable speed drives, instead of fixed speed drives like the 720K and 1440K PC drives.

 

USB floppy drives will support HFS if the host system can read it (i.e. OS X, some (all?) Linux distros). Or, HFS Explorer...sort of. PCs can write HFS 1.44MB disk images if they are of the type supported by the imaging application, like NDIF.

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Sorry, I should have been more specific. I am trying to make OS and installer disks for a macintosh classic as well as an LC 580. If I am correct, both of these drives support 1.44 mb high density floppy disks. With that in mind, would using a G3 and a usb floppy drive be a viable option? Or should I seek for other options?

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That should work.

I used a PowerBook G3 and USB Floppy drive to make a set of 7.5.3 disks.

 

There was something fishy about Disk copy and the "Make a Floppy" command being greyed out. I'll try to remember or figure out what I had to do. This was is OS9 mind you, as I don't think OSX can correctly write a floppy through the GUI, however osx should be able to use DD.

(http://blog.roderickmann.org/2008/03/using-dd-to-write-floppy-disks-on-mac-os-x/)

 

EDIT: Here is all that there is to using a USB floppy with disk copy.

(http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-10337715-263.html)

Just needs a disk in the drive before you open disk copy.

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Nothing else is needed on a mac, all the relevant boot data is stored in the disk image itself and the mac transfers that over just fine.

On a PC different things are required only because a PC doesn't know what it is working with. Good luck!

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Sounds Great. I just have a few more questions before I start. Can I reuse old floppy disks? I have a few old floppies that I used on a PC and I thought I could reformat them and use them for this project. Would that work?

 

Also, could someone point me in the right direction for finding different OS versions and installer versions online? I have heard that you are able to download them off of apple's website but I haven't found the link when I googled for this. So just the recap... if I am using a Mac to do this, the procedure is that I download the desired OS from whatever online source and then simply drag and drop it into the floppy drive?

 

Thanks

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Both the Classic and the LC series use 1.44MB drives.

 

OS X can write NDIF images through DC or DU. $ dd will work with NDIF or DC 4.2 images.

 

As far as Systems go, 6.0.8, 7.0.1 and 7.5.3 are available from Apple's download page. Any other version requires a different source, either from floppy disks or CD-ROM media, depending on the System version. Owing to forum rules we can't provide any sources to other system versions other than places like LEM Swap or eBay.

 

The Classic should do well with a dual-boot of 6.0.8L and 7.0.1 or 7.1 Pro. The LC should work fine with 7.5.5 or 7.6.1.

 

The real problem with Apple's distribution of 7.5.3 on the old software download page is that none of the disks are bootable. Instead, it's a .smi install image that is distributed in segmented parts -- and it is not bootable; and requires a previous install of System 7.0, 7.1, or 7.5 for it to work, depending on the platform. A better idea is either a CD or another source like the excellent Legacy Recovery Disk.

 

All this and more is covered in the link in my signature. For example, the LC580 according to everymac has an IDE bus. This calls for a Platinum Deluxe upgrade.

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OS X can write NDIF images through DC or DU. $ dd will work with NDIF or DC 4.2 images.

 

Thanks for your detailed posting. Could you please explain more in detail what you mean with the quote above? I am really new to classic macs and don't really know the lingo, especially on the different formats used by macintoshes. To be honest, I only have a PC background so I am learning everything pretty much from scratch.

 

 

I was reading more about this online today and someone had said OSX does not do a good job of creating bootable disks for older macs. He suggested using older an older OS to get the job done. Is this at all true?

 

Thanks very much and sorry for asking you to "dumb down" the whole formatting ordeal.

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