Reading Old Floppies

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iwerken, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. iwerken macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2006
    How do I read old floppies created on os 7? I have usb floppy disc reader, but it only reds os 8.6 and later. How do I read discs created on os earlier thatn that?
  2. PYR0M310N macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    can you see the files and they don't open at all, or can you just not see them at all?
  3. iwerken thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2006
    cannot see them at all

    i am running 10.4.8 on a macbook trying to read old 400 and 800 discs on my old 145b laptop. i can read the newer 1.4 floppys on usb floppy drive reader, but the lder disks do not show up at all.
  4. PYR0M310N macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
  5. Frank Palermo macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2005
    I believe the older 400K and 800K Mac floppy disk formats are simply not readable with modern USB floppy drives. Herb Johnson (a dealer in vintage Mac hardware) has a short writeup about the subject here: Essentially, the hardware in USB floppy drives (which are almost always designed to read the 1.4M format) is physically incapable of reading the 400K/800K format (it's not just a software incompatibility issue).

    If you want to retrieve files from the older floppies, you may have to set up an older Mac with a 400K/800K floppy drive as a "bridge" between the two formats (either by also attaching a 1.4M floppy drive to that Mac, or by networking that Mac to your newer machine and sending the files over the LAN). I'm not really familiar with the PowerBook 145b you mentioned, but hopefully at least one of those approaches will work with it.

    Sorry I don't have a better answer for you. :-\

  6. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    You are correct.
  7. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Are there old files you are looking for? Or what exactly is on the disks that you need? Cause you can probably find a copy of whatever on the net. If not, You might have to get creative with an old Mac and a network solution. One word: Appletalk. Good luck.
  8. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The other posters are correct that 400K and 800K floppies are simply not readable on USB floppy drives. The way I went about getting data off of old 800K floppies is by transferring the contents to Zip disks using my Mac II. There is support for SCSI Zip drives all the way back to System 6 (which is what is on my Mac II) and the resultant Zip disks work fine in a USB Zip drive.
  9. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    Us older apple collectors never have this problem, with a classic mac connected to our network ;) .

    If the data is highly important, you may want to look into getting an older 68k system like a quadra, or something similar on eBay for dirt cheap, preferably with an OS and built in ethernet.
  10. iwerken thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2006
    thanks for the help!

    thanks much for the help!

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