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 PostPost subject: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 1:45 am 
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I recently rescued an original 1985-vintage Macintosh 512k. As it turned out, I had thought that the client that was tossing it out had not included the keyboard/mouse, but was happily surprised to see that these peripherals were in fact included in the load of Apple products the client dropped off on my computer shop for recycling.
Not only that, but an external 400k floppy drive for the system was also included.

As of right now, I've determined that I need to get some new dielectric grease for the external (and likely internal) drives, in order to make them work properly again. I currently do not have any sort of OS diskettes, and presumably no way to write such disks for the system. - Unless the later PowerMac G3 floppy drive is able to read/write these types of floppies - more on this in the next paragraph.

Along with the Mac, I rescued its younger brethren, a PowerMac 7200/120, and a PowerMac G4 tower (dual-firewire400 model). I already had one of these G4 towers, so another one in the house is great for spare parts and/or networking for Multiplayer Marathon gaming.

At this point, I'm waiting on a few things to come in, in order for my restoration to begin - proper lubricant for the disk drives, which are mechanically fit, just in need of a good cleaning and lubricating. The external floppy drive is literally just an internal drive inside of an external case, complete with all the same shielding that the internal drive posses. I opened that drive up to see if it was dusty, or if the read/write head needed cleaning, and ended up finding some odd toner-like powder on the inside of the drive - all located on an area directly below the floppy slot. Cleaning that up, and making sure that the read/write head was clean with a bit of iso-propyl alcohol, I reassembled the drive, while I wait on the lube to come in.

The Mac 512k luckily turns on without issue, beeps its iconic beep, and the screen comes on within seconds of warming up. Seeing as I have no working diskettes and no HD20 hard drive, the system is looking for a boot disk. The one floppy that was stuck in the mac's internal drive was just Microsoft Word (of all things), but the floppy disk itself seems to have seized up inside its housing, possibly from dust accumulating inside the disk, or perhaps from sticking to the drive head for the past 20+ years in storage.

The mouse works beautifully, but I have no way to test the keyboard until I have OS software to test all the hardware with. The clock battery had gone bad inside the machine, and was the first bit I removed from the machine to ensure that it doesn't leak any additional battery acid inside the machine. I've placed an order for a new clock battery, and will be cleaning the battery compartment as much as possible without replacing the contacts (if possible). I also have a set of TT15 torx bits coming in, in order for me to get into the system to fix the floppy drive, or at the least, clean the unit out.

I hope to make this a guide of sorts for anyone else that ends up rescuing one of these iconic machines in the future, and to document the steps from start to finish to get your 30yr old mac running in tip-top shape. I still have yet to figure out how I'm going to procure OS diskettes or a way to write my own disks with the powermac g3 I have - which I do not even know if that unit works; that's a project all in its own - but most of the time, those units seem to work just fine, likely due to the use of SCSI drives and relatively high-quality components, even in their 'bargain' models (the 7200 was a cheap version of the 75xx series machine). Even if the drive is busted, I have a few SCSI drives in variable sizes floating around the house that'll work just fine in the system.

Anyone know of another way to get MacOS 3.x/4.x onto one of these Classic Mac's without purchasing any additional equipment?

edit: I think I'm going to splurge a bit and get the FloppyEMU from http://www.bigmessowires.com/macintosh-floppy-emu/ since I'm not even sure if I'll be able to get diskettes for the drives, nor whether or not the drives are working at all. The furthest I've gotten with the seized floppy disk was an error indicating that the OS disk wasn't found - my guess is that the Microsoft Word diskette has some sort of loader on it, but not the whole OS. 0F0064 + sad mac is not what I want to see for eternity on this machine.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 11:18 am 
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Congrats on the new (old) Apple equipment! :) That FloppyEmu hardware will be very handy, especially when the original drive isn't functioning. Also, if I were you I'd look into replacing the capacitors in your Mac in the near future, as these tend to fail in an aging Macintosh. You might be able to get by for a few years without any going bad, but it will really prolong the life of this machine to replace them ASAP. Anyway, good luck with your 512k. I always love hearing about a good restoration project :)

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 12:09 pm 
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I think it's only the 800k drives that can read/write 400k disks as well, the high density ones can't do anything with the 400k disks.

The plus had some rescue image in it's ROM but you don't have a plus so it won't help you any.

Honestly when it comes to ancient HW, disks aren't worth the fight, you are better with the floppy emulator. And it'll be much easier to shuffle "disks" in/out of the mac.

You'll probably get the most bang out of it by setting up a localtalk network.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 11:08 pm 
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I was just looking at the files that used to be on Apple's FTP site at https://ia601606.us.archive.org/22/item ... le.com.idx It seems cruel that they gave out System 6.x, which you could use on an upgraded 512Ke (at least according to Wikipedia), but not System 4.x and 5.x, which could have been used on the 512K!


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:43 pm 
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………
louisw3 wrote:
I think it's only the 800k drives that can read/write 400k disks as well, the high density ones can't do anything with the 400k disks.

The plus had some rescue image in it's ROM but you don't have a plus so it won't help you any.
[/url].


All Apple SuperDrive floppy drives can write to 400k, 800k, and 1.4mb floppies.

New Mac OS versions (System 7.6 and later, I think) can't write to the 128k and 512k's MFS filesystem.

The Plus doesn't have a ROM disk, you're thinking of the Classic.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 5:21 pm 
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Good luck with the restoration. I wish I could get my hands on a couple of old machines.


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Thu May 08, 2014 1:48 am 
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For the time being, I've got to see if the PowerMac 7200 I have still has a working 1.4MB SuperDrive, then I'll see about getting its cdrom drive to read burned discs - no idea if it will be able to do that, let alone write MFS floppies on 400kb disks.
I've signed up for the 68kmla forums, since they seem to have a huge wealth of knowledge regarding these machines - something I know very little about.

The only exposure to 68k macs I've had before now has been pulling data from their SCSI drives - specifically much later models, obviously. Even when I was a kid going through school, most of the Apple machines were either Apple II's or IIgs's, which I'm not sure were even using the 68k cpu - weren't the Apple II's using the 6502?

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Wed May 28, 2014 10:21 am 
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The Early Macintosh Disk images page can hook you up with the appropriate system disk images for your 512: http://earlymacintosh.org/disk_images.html

The correct one appears to be System 3.2/Finder 5.3

And jimmsta, you are correct. Most Apple computers (pre-Macintosh) were 6502-based. The //gs was 65816, and the Lisa and Early Macs were 68000.


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:56 am 
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Great job there!

I've restored a number of Pluses now, and the most common failure is a bad analog board, so you're lucky yours still works.

You can't rely on it forever, though; eventually, all those capacitors will need to be replaced.

Fortunately, it's a very easy job (especially compared to the Mac SE/30, a slightly younger relative model, as there are a number of SMD capacitors that leak their electrolyte on the circuit traces, often leading to corrosion of ICs and breakage of circuit traces and vias).

c


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:55 pm 
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As soon as I have the funds, I will be recapping this mac so as to keep it living as long as possible. I also need to re-grease the floppy drive(s), which seem to work, but need proper cleaning and greasing. I managed to get a System 3.2 diskette, and booted the system without issue. Quite amazing to see a 29yr old system boot up like it's nothing special.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:12 pm 
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Also keep a close eye on the RAM chips on the logic board. They are of the age where they're beginning to die due to moisture intrusion.

I know someone who can do a fantastic job replacing them for you if any of them start to die off, so if you want a referral, let me know.

When I got my 128k, it was incredible how special it was, especially since I got it right around the 30th anniversary of its release.

It's quite limited with that 128kb of RAM, though....

c

p.s. I highly recommend you join thinkclassic.org. It's a small forum right now, but it's bound to grow, and there are some very helpful people on there who wold be more than happy to assist you. *I hope this is OK, per forum rules*


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:16 am 
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Another bit of trivia that may or may not come in useful is that the 512K can be made to work with 800K floppy drive mechanisms (and use them as 800K) via the HD 20 Init. If you plug in an 800K drive mechanism in a 512K it will work as a 400K drive, though the drive will constantly poll (you'll here a "blip" every second) and the sounds it makes during operation are different then what it would make on an SE or other 800K system. Booting with the HD 20 Init will enable the drive to operate in full 800K mode on a 512K system.

About 20 years ago I was fortunate to run across a Mac 128K in a resale shop that was in nearly pristine condition -- except for the fact the motherboard "sad Mac"ed (It seems to have died early in its life and been stuffed away in someone's closet. The power supply was fully operational and the screen crisp and clean with no burn in or geometry issues). Was able to salvage a 512K motherboard from a junker I had on hand and "upgrade" it to a FAT Mac. The HD 20 Init came in handy as it let me use one my IIgs 800K superdrives as an external. I still have this system and may get around to trying to fix the original motherboard one of these days (defective RAM chip).

Good luck with your project.


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:51 pm 
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I recently acquired a 512K that had been dealer-upgraded to a Mac Plus. It came with an Apple 20MB hard drive and lots of software and worked for a little while but now it won't boot from the hard drive, which is strange. The lights flicker and something seems to be happening but the Mac won't boot until a floppy is inserted. It's cool to know that there are still others out there working with this specific model and trying to keep them alive. Looking forward to seeing your guide!


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:10 am 
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Hey, If it has a bit of yellowing, you can use Retr0bright. It will give the factory biege plastic look and feel to it.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:55 am 
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Anuextreme117 wrote:
Hey, If it has a bit of yellowing, you can use Retr0bright. It will give the factory biege plastic look and feel to it.


You can also use Easy Off oven cleaner in a pinch, though admittedly the results aren't nearly as impressive as what's shown on the retr0bright page.


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Restoration] Macintosh 512k        Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:22 pm 
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I plan on sending the mac out for recapping and various other replacement parts. The internal floppy doesn't seem to work at all, but the external floppy works fine. I'll take a look at the forum cc333 mentioned - I think I may already have, but forgot to bookmark it.

As for yellowing, the plastic isn't nearly as bad as even some newer beige-boxes I've had. I just haven't had the time to do a proper cleaning yet, let alone make up a mixture of retr0bright... I've been very busy with a new job, and going to the gym. Life gets in the way of hobbies :/

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