Original 800K floppies - any hope?

  • The Beerslayer

    The Beerslayer - 2004-12-25

    I have a rather large collection of old 800K floppies with various software I'd like to use under Basilisk II.  The trouble is that I no longer have any Mac hardware that can read these floppies, and I understand that 800K floppies cannot be used at all in modern Windows 1.44MB floppy drive hardware. (True?)

    So my question is this: is there any way I can attach an 800K floppy drive to a modern Windows PC in order to use these old disks?  Were these drives ever available in, say, an external SCSI format, or any other format that could be attached to and recognized by a modern Windows PC?

    To further complicate matters, I'm sure some of these old games are copy-protected.  Can anyone see any reason whatsoever for hope that these games will ever be usable under Basilisk (or any other Mac emulator)?

    • Matt

      Matt - 2004-12-25

      the first thing i would suggest is searching for them, a bunch of old mac software can be found online. i would try http://www.the-underdogs.org/ and http://www.pure-mac.com/ first, but just google the games names and try configuring the search in a few different ways. about an external SCSI...no idea. research it, i'm sure youre not the only one who's had this problem.

      • Marcio Luis Teixeira

        Well, I bought a floppy drive module for my old PowerBook 3400c, copied all my floppies to the hard disk, used Adaptec Toast to create a CD image, FTPed the image over to my Window's machine, and burned it to a CD-ROM there. All of my Mac software collection did not even fill a single CD!

        So that's the *hard* way to do it, but it worked for me. You can probably get an old Mac off eBay cheaply so you can complete the conversion process, then trash the Mac and use your CD image with Basillisk! :)

        -- Marcio

    • The Beerslayer

      The Beerslayer - 2004-12-27

      Thanks for the responses, Matt and Marcio.

      I didn't know about pure-mac.com, but I checked and it seems like a whole lot more modern stuff than what I have.  the-underdogs.com, I already knew about, but they are almost strictly PC and have almost nothing for Mac (and whatever they might have is very difficult to find).

      Somewhere, I have an ancient PowerBook 140 that I don't think is even functional, but I can check.  IF I can find the darned thing, that is.  If I can find it, I ought to at least be able to get disk images from the 800K floppies onto 1.4MB floppies so that I can transfer them.  But I don't have much hope that it will even boot, assuming I can find it.

      Anyway, thanks again.

    • Allan Hunter

      Allan Hunter - 2005-01-03

      There actually is, or at least was, a 3rd-party hardware combination of floppy controller and floppy drive that would let you access 800K Mac diskettes on a PC.  It would do Amiga 880K diskettes too, if I remember correctly.  It wasn't cheap, though, and you had to uninstall bits of the normal system software and replace them with special drivers to work with the floppy controller, and what you ended up with wasn't 100% compatible with normal expected PC floppy drive behavior, although not too bad.  (Some kind of compressed disk format used by Microsoft for a few installers, 1.6 MB or something like that, would not work).  I'd give you a link but I can't remember where I read the page on it. 

      I remember being surprised that there'd be enough market to support such a thing.


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