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Thread: macintosh se/30

  1. #1


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    macintosh se/30
    i recently picked up a couple of se/30 and one se, when i turn on the se a disk with a question mark flashes this is also the case for one of the se/30's. i know that i need to insert a disc but i dont know what disk or where to get it...any suggestions or anything i could maybe do??

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haunt13 View Post
    i recently picked up a couple of se/30 and one se, when i turn on the se a disk with a question mark flashes this is also the case for one of the se/30's. i know that i need to insert a disc but i dont know what disk or where to get it...any suggestions or anything i could maybe do??
    In case you didn't know...the SE and SE/30 are Apple computer models from the late 1980's. So we're dealing with 20+ year-old computers here.

    Even though these computers are 20+ years old...the "flashing ?" question is still asked very very often! The SE/30 came with a hard drive & floppy drive...the SE had two versions...one with a hard drive & a floppy drive...and a model with two floppy drives.

    If these computers have a hard drive...then the flashing ? means that either there is no OS on the HD...or the HD is dead. If the computer(s) have two floppy drives (no HD)...then you need a "floppy boot disk" to get it going.

    Old OS's for these OLD computers are available on the internet for free...you can download them...and then get them onto floppy disks. The problem is you need a computer that is new enough to get on the internet...AND has an internal floppy drive (that's working)..or be able to plug an external floppy drive into it...in order to format the disks and copy the OS files to.

    This is not an easy project...since you may need a couple different computers (of various vintages) to get it done.

    - 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

  3. #3

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I will do some looking and see what I can find OS wise. I am running System 7 on my SE. Some question that but it works great with 4-MB of RAM on both my Plus and SE. The SE-30 might have more RAM and I know the CPU is a bit faster. Been ages.

    Anyway will see what I can find. I wonder if the hard drives in the SE-30 are alive and not dead?

    Like Nick said though you will need another Mac with a floppy to make any OS disks for it. If you are serious about messing with them, I could mail you a floppy with the OS on it since it's not sold anymore and should be legal.

  4. #4


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    thanks for the replies! i have an external floppy drive that i hook into my pc downloaded system 6 on two 1.4mb mac formatted floppies. as soon as i inserted disk 1 into my classic II a prompt came up asking to format and erase all data. i dont have a newer mac, but my dad has a black macbook im wondering if i could hook up the external drive and download from there? as for dtravis i would love a copy in the mail i will pm you with my details!

  5. #5

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    The SE will run OS 7.5.5 as the last operating system available to them. You can download 7.5.3 from this link, 19 floppies in all, load the system and use Software Update to get the OS 7.5.5 update.

    Index of /Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English-North_American/Macintosh/System/Older_System/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  6. #6


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    cool thanks harryb2448!! now i just need to find 15 floppies and i'll be set!! would it be best to transfer these from a older macbook via external floppy drive?

  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haunt13 View Post
    would it be best to transfer these from a older macbook via external floppy drive?
    This would REALLY be a mix of old & new technologies...but according to this product:

    Slim External USB 3.5" inch 1.44MB Floppy Drive for MacBook Apple iMac Air White | eBay

    ...it seems like it could be done.

    Some of the old floppy drives on SE's (and Maybe early SE/30's) had an 800k floppy drive...and some had 1.44meg floppy drives. The external floppy drive linked above says it does 1.44meg floppies..so if you need the ability to format & read 800k floppy disks...you would want to verify that it can format & read both 800k and 1.44meg floppies.

    I will also throw this little "tidbit" your way. In my experience...the read/write mechanisms in floppy drives tend to "migrate" as they get older & more worn. What this means is...a floppy disk formatted in an older more used computer may or may not be readable in a newer less worn floppy drive (and vice-versa).

    So what I'm trying to say is...disks formatted in a brand new floppy drive (linked above)...may or may not be readable in a older more worn floppy drive in the old Mac computers you're working with. Everything may be fine...I'm just throwing it out there as a possibility.

    - 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

    Mac SK's Avatar
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    The thing is the floppies have to be old Mac formatted. You could use an external SCSI CD box and 7.5 on a CD. To boot from a SCSI you hold down the Apple+Shift+Option+Del keys at start up.

  9. #9


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    The question is where to acquire a scsi cd box, any suggestions??

  10. #10

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haunt13 View Post
    The question is where to acquire a scsi cd box, any suggestions??
    Check e-Bay (but they may not always be available). And in case there is any confusion...a SCSI CD-box is just an external SCSI CD drive.

    If you want to get creative...you could make your own external SCSI CD drive:

    Make Your Own External SCSI CD Rom Drive

    - Nick

    p.s. Remember...you're going to need the correct SCSI cable as well.
    - 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

  11. #11


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    I checked out the link you provided and it seems like fun project! My only concern is will a power Mac 6200 work as the test subject? And if it does how does one go about getting the software and successfully booting a se/30?

  12. #12

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haunt13 View Post
    I checked out the link you provided and it seems like fun project! My only concern is will a power Mac 6200 work as the test subject? And if it does how does one go about getting the software and successfully booting a se/30?
    Here's what you need (Mac OS 7.5.3 floppy install disks):

    Lot of Mac OS 7.5 Version 7.5.3 Floppy Disks!

    ...problem solved!

    - Nick

    p.s. Of course these disks are probably over 20 years old...so they may or may not work. But I have gotten some old OS install floppy's...and they worked fine.
    - 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

  13. #13

    Mac SK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Check e-Bay (but they may not always be available). And in case there is any confusion...a SCSI CD-box is just an external SCSI CD drive.

    If you want to get creative...you could make your own external SCSI CD drive:

    Make Your Own External SCSI CD Rom Drive

    - Nick

    p.s. Remember...you're going to need the correct SCSI cable as well.
    Yes you can make a box from a Tavern Tape SCSI Drive box. Just replace with a SCSI CD Rom Drive. Use an Apple drive...has the logo on the top..already has the apple firmware on the drive and will boot with no problem. Yes you will need a SCSI cable. DB-25 to 50 centronics.

    If you lived next door to me.. we would already have that puppy going.

  14. #14


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    i pulled the cd drive out of the performa 6200, it reads AppleCD 600i firmware and it is made by sony model CDU75S-25. if i have a db-25 to 50 centronics cable could i get these fellas runnin?

  15. #15


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    if i can, do i then burn the software onto a cd and try and run it that way?? would the se/30 and se even be able to recognize that??

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