[vcf-midatlantic] Moving files from an old 68k-Mac to an emulator or other machine

Richard Cini rich.cini at gmail.com
Thu Sep 17 17:38:30 EDT 2020

My IIci is on the fritz (need to re-cap it), and I wanted to get some files off of my mother’s old (and long unused) Macintosh SE. I thought I’d mention this archiving path in case someone else is in the same boat. Unfortunately, it requires more than one type of Mac, and multiple ZIP drives, so if there are other possibilities, I’d like to know. I worked with only what I had on hand (i.e., I didn’t buy any extra hardware), but I’m sure there is a better way.


There are several parts to this:
The original Mac SE (800K floppy only)
A Mac that can read/write both 800k and 1.4MB disks (since the IIci was out-of-commission, I used my PowerBook 540c).
Two iomega ZIP drives. It just so happens I have both SCSI and USB versions.
A more current Mac that runs OSX *prior to* Catalina (10.15) since Catalina dropped support for HFS. I have a Mac Mini that runs El Capitan (10.11).

It took a bit of time to set everything up, but basically you have to get the iomega Zip Client onto the original Mac. Assuming you have no original disk, you can use HFVExplorer to put zipclient4.2 onto a 1.4MB floppy and then use the second Mac to move the file to an 800K disk. I didn’t have a spare external 1.4MB drive to test on the SE, but not sure it works without a ROM upgrade.


The second part is to use the SCSI ZIP drive on the SE to copy the files to a ZIP disk. The third part is to use the USB ZIP drive on the modern Mac to get the files off of the disk. So far, so good.


Then, you can use Basilisk or other emulator that can access the host’s file system to get the files into the emulation environment. The help file for HFVExplorer says it can access the ZIP drive, but I wasn’t able to get it to work. Thus, the need to use the two lifeboat Macs to get the files into the emulation environment.


I thought about Stuffing the files and then using a terminal program to send them to the modern Mac, but I couldn’t get MacTerminal to work properly; maybe a better terminal program would have worked.


Happy archiving!





Rich Cini





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