Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1


    Member Since
    Aug 25, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Unhappy Classic Mac not booting & How to switch floppy drives?
    First off, hello everyone, my name's David and I joined these forums to seek help concerning my old Macs. I hope I won't be making a nuisance of myself

    Now for a little background; I found an abandoned Mac SE this spring and being a fan of discontinued computers, I brought it home, hoping I could play around with it a bit. It appears to be in excellent condition, it boots up quick and smoothly in OS 6.0.8, everything is fine except for one thing; the drive is a 800k model, so I can't transfer any data to or from it.

    Since my enthusiasm was going through the roof at this point, I decided to go ahead and buy a Mac Classic so I could at least satisfy my need to geek out with a long-discontinued Apple machine. As soon as it arrived, I plugged it in only to find out it wouldn't beep or display anything. The fan is turning and the HDD sounds like it's loading, but nothing happens past that point. The keyboard lights flash for a split second as to say it's recognized but then, nothing. I opened it up to try to locate the problem, since I had the proper tools. I unplugged the HDD, then the floppy, then both, but it didn't do anything. I searched for loose wires or broken connections, but all I could find is what appears to be some sort of led-looking, broken glass capsule at the bottom of the case, along with a few plastic chips, making me believe it's been dropped or hit on at some point. At least it doesn't smokes or smell of burning plastic, so that's a fairly good sign, I guess.

    Based on my description, do you have any idea as to what may be the problem? Can it be fixed at all?

    Otherwise, since the floppy drive seems to be still in good shape, I was wondering if it was compatible with my SE, and if it is, how I could switch the SE's drive with the Classic's? I know the controller chips need to be changed too, but I don't know if I can just remove them from the Classic and plug them on the SE's motherboard.

    I hope you can give me directions, I'd really like to have a classic Mac I can actually play with.

  2. #2

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    8,968
    Specs:
    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    What data do you need to transfer to the SE and from what computer?

    It sounds as if the classic is too far gone, but they make really cool book ends
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Aug 25, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Bah, all I wanted is to play some old games and maybe even try to use Think C to make a program or two on a real vintage Mac. Looks like my best bet is to try to install the Classic's floppy drive and control chips in the SE, but can this be done at all to begin with?

  4. #4

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,760
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPhone 3GS Note 8!
    If it's an early SE, it might not have the HD controller chip in it for a 1.44 MB floppy. I know the later SE's all did though. Otherwise you can't just put in the 1.44MB Floppy from the Classic. I am taking off for the day, but when I return I will see what I can find to help you. Where are you trying to get the files from? I hope not from a PC as the PC can not read Apple formatted Floppies.

    I have 2 SE's here and a Classic. My Classic recently developed symptoms like yours. Have not had the time to troubleshoot.

  5. #5

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    8,968
    Specs:
    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    If you can find an old SCSI 1 hard drive, that is a good way to transfer data onto an SE, but it requires formatting the disk on the SE and using a bridge machine like an Apple g4 tower or similar that can still run os x and OS 9 and that has both modern USB and the capability to connect a SCSI 1 disk, usiing a SCSI card

    with such old macs you really need a bridge machine that can communicate with modern machines but still have enough legacy to transfer to an early 90s Mac
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Aug 25, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    If it's an early SE, it might not have the HD controller chip in it for a 1.44 MB floppy. I know the later SE's all did though. Otherwise you can't just put in the 1.44MB Floppy from the Classic. I am taking off for the day, but when I return I will see what I can find to help you. Where are you trying to get the files from? I hope not from a PC as the PC can not read Apple formatted Floppies.
    I knew about the controller chips, that's why I'm asking if it can be done at all, using the Classic's hardware. If the chips are compatible, I could just install everything in the SE, otherwise I'm kind of screwed.

    As for the files, I was thinking of using HFV Explorer to copy files from my PC to Mac formatted floppies. If that fails, I have an iMac G3 that could do the job, assuming my usb floppy drive is compatible with it. It doesn't have a SCSI port though, so I fear the idea of using it as a bridge may not be applicable in this case.

  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    33,272
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by DieJay View Post

    Now for a little background; I found an abandoned Mac SE this spring and being a fan of discontinued computers, I brought it home, hoping I could play around with it a bit. It appears to be in excellent condition, it boots up quick and smoothly in OS 6.0.8, everything is fine except for one thing; the drive is a 800k model, so I can't transfer any data to or from it.
    Here are two potentially simple option's:

    1. Look on e-Bay for an external floppy disk drive for your Mac SE. Here's the first one I came across...I'm sure there's more:

    Apple 3.5 External Floppy Drive Model A9M0106 | eBay

    2. Since you seem to be REALLY into the old Mac hardware...just find another SE like your's that is fully operational. I bought one a while ago for $15 bucks. Maybe even look for a Mac SE with the internal hard drive.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Aug 25, 2011
    Posts
    5
    I decided to open my SE to compare the hardware and it looks like the Classic and SE are not quite as similar as I thought. It turns out the three controller chips I need are not even used in the Classic, instead it uses a single larger chip that's definitely not compatible with the SE. On the bright side, I found out what that glass capsule was for; it was the tip of the cathode ray tube! It's as if someone tore apart the part that connects the CRT to the motherboard, breaking the glass tip along with it. That explains why it won't display anything.

    I really don't want to have to buy a whole new Mac just for that, and as far as I know, the external drive still needs the controller chips to be installed. I'll try to replace the CRT as it seems to be the same model on both Macs. Hopefully that will solve the problem, or at least most of it.

  9. #9

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,760
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPhone 3GS Note 8!
    The CRT should fit from the Classic into the SE. I did a swap from a Classic to an SE once in fact for the same reason. Keep us posted.

  10. #10

    RavingMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 07, 2008
    Location
    In Denial
    Posts
    7,847
    Specs:
    4GB Mac Mini 2012, 13" MBA, 15" MacBook Pro OSX 10.7, 32 GB iPhone 3GS, iPad2 64gb 3G
    You seem to know your stuff on the electronics side so this is probably blindingly obvious to you, but just in case. CRTs make outstanding capacitors . . . make sure you discharge any buildup and ground out the removed CRT if it is going to set around for any length of time.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  11. #11

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,760
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPhone 3GS Note 8!
    Quote Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
    You seem to know your stuff on the electronics side so this is probably blindingly obvious to you, but just in case. CRTs make outstanding capacitors . . . make sure you discharge any buildup and ground out the removed CRT if it is going to set around for any length of time.
    VERY much agreed. Be careful! Discharge that Anode wire on the side first before removing it.

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Aug 25, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
    You seem to know your stuff on the electronics side so this is probably blindingly obvious to you, but just in case. CRTs make outstanding capacitors . . . make sure you discharge any buildup and ground out the removed CRT if it is going to set around for any length of time.
    Heh, I sure wouldn't like to catch a 1500 volts shock, don't worry about it =P

    So anyway, I could switch the CRT from the SE to the Classic without problems, and surprise surprise, it worked! It now boots in OS 6.0.8 and everything is in order!... or almost anyway; the speaker still can't work, which is probably due to faulty capacitors according to another source, but I don't have soldering tools so I'll have to live with it.

    Now to find a way to dispose of my SE's leftovers.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Was Apple Innovator of Abolishing Floppy Drives?
    By simonvee in forum Apple Desktops
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 03-22-2015, 09:28 PM
  2. Mac Classic Floppy disks
    By tomokojeff in forum Other Hardware and Peripherals
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-18-2010, 06:50 PM
  3. five & 1/2 inch floppy disks?!
    By Doctor77 in forum Other Hardware and Peripherals
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-31-2008, 05:22 PM
  4. Booting from Classic??
    By huffstar in forum OS X - Operating System
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-14-2005, 04:24 PM
  5. Floppy drives
    By JRJ26 in forum Switcher Hangout
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-27-2004, 09:32 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •