reading floppies from 1992 mac (probably orignal mac os)

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by jimmyinct, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. jimmyinct macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #1
    Hello,
    Ive been handed 5 floppy disks and ask to get the data off them
    The disk are dated 10/92

    I believe these disks use the Macintosh file system (MFS) from the time line and also because I cant open the disk with rosetta (which is built into intel macs to read the file system that predated them (HFS is old power pc format file system) (see reference) but i can open 1.4mb pc formatted disks on the same machines I have to use, the oldest being OS 9.1.

    I complied MFSlives on xcode and can read MFS sample files. I still cant read any of the disks. I believe this is because the floppy disk drive does not support MFS (see reference) which shows most floppy disks drives don’t support MFS.

    At this point, I think the only way to really get this to work is to find a Macintosh with MAC OS 8 or earlier, preferably 7 or earlier..

    Does anyone know anyone who offers a type of service to read old mac floppies like this.


    -Jim

    ====


    References

    1. Apple introduced Hierarchical File System as a replacement for MFS in September 1985. In Mac OS 7.6.1, Apple removed support for writing to MFS volumes, and in Mac OS 8 support for MFS volumes was removed altogether. Although Mac OS X has no built-in support for MFS, an example VFS plug-in from Apple called MFSLives provides read-only access to MFS volumes.

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_File_System

    2. At this point, you'll be able to mount any disk containing an MFS file system. As original MFS floppy disks are very thin on the ground these days (and floppy drives that can read them are even thinner), I've included a disk image of an example MFS file system in this package. Just double click the "Sample.img" file in the Finder, and it should mount on the desktop like any other disk image.

    From: Apple's MFSlives Xcode documentation
     
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    Oh boy???? I don't know what could possibly be on those floppies that make them relevant today, but that is totally not the question now is it?

    Aside from getting an old Mac SE to retrieve the data you should also be prepared to find out the disks are just no good anymore. We're all well aware of the problems that would occur with 3.5" floppies (I know I do/did!). Try a High School computer lab maybe for old hardware like an SE, or possibly an LC. Not sure what OS requirements you need.

    EDIT: ADMINS maybe move this to Apple Collectors forum. They'd all have some suggestions I'm sure.
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Would something like MacDrive on a PC with a floppy drive work?
     
  4. David Schmidt macrumors 6502

    David Schmidt

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Southeastern USA
    #4
    The problem you're up against is a hardware one, not a filesystem one. The disks are probably from the 800k, variable-speed era. No modern disk drive such as you'd find in a USB solution will be able to read it.

    Any Macintosh up to the beige G3 era will be able to read it with its internal floppy drive. So any friend with an old Mac in the attic will be able to help you out. If all of your friends' Macs have gone to meet their maker already, I offer a for-fee service: http://retrofloppy.com.
     
  5. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a

    DZ/015

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    It would be odd to find MFS formatted disks dated 10/92. By then, most everything was done in HFS.

    But I agree with David Schmidt, if you do not have an old Mac that can run system 6 (preferably) or system 7 (like an SE or II series), you will need to find a 3rd party to retrieve your data. Local Mac user groups can be useful in this situation also.
     
  6. jimmyinct thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #6
    thanks everyone.
    i will forward this on to the end user.

    there is data on the disks, not an applicaiton.


    David,
    what kind of format are you able to extract teh this type of disk too? Would i have to use an emulator or can you make a readable file for intel macs or pc?

    BTW..

    the diskettes are

    BASF 2DD double density
     
  7. shu82 macrumors 6502a

    shu82

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Rocket City, AL
    #7
    Ding Ding Ding, its a hardware issue. Those are 800k disks. You need a pre G3 mac. I have an SE or a PB 520 that could transfer those over to 1.4 mb disks in 30 seconds.

    Where are you located? Someone on here might be near you. Quadra to the rescue!!
     
  8. jimmyinct thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
  9. David Schmidt macrumors 6502

    David Schmidt

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Southeastern USA
    #9
    Depending on what's really on the disk, it'll be readable. Word processing files, for example, tend to be just fine. If the files are from ancient family tree tracking software, say, then the file will exist on media you can read now - but you might not have an application that can make sense of it. So, after copying, word processing files might have to be translated to RTF or similar that contemporary programs can understand.
     
  10. shu82 macrumors 6502a

    shu82

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Rocket City, AL
    #10
    I can't help you directly, but there should be a mac users group in your area.
    http://www.apple.com/usergroups/

    Surf around here, I'll bet you can find an old mac to use.
     
  11. jimmyinct thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #12
    You might try an Imation Superdisk drive (USB). Last I checked they could be found on Ebay for $5-10. I know they can read 1.4k floppy discs and I think they can also read 800k discs.
     
  13. David Schmidt macrumors 6502

    David Schmidt

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Southeastern USA
    #13
    Alas, no, USB and 800k don't mix. The new mechanisms can't do the variable speed gymnastics.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #14
    Indeed you are correct. (I had to try it myself!). The Imation drive reads HD floppies (some of them, anyway) but not DS floppies.
     
  15. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816

    Fiveos22

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    #15
    I had to do this a while back for a lab that had been just kinda stacking up the old systems for the last 30 years (I think I saw the last 20 years of Mac models...). I ended up setting up the old machines, popping in the disks and removing stuff to the internal hard-drives. Then I set up a LAN and slowly transferred the data from the older computers to the newer computers (waterfall fashion) until they made it to the 450 G4.

    It was time consuming...but it was probably the simplest way of doing things (I am not a computer person by training). If you can find some old machines lying around in some scrap corner I would definately go that route.
     

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