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Mac System 6.0.8 for PowerBook 140, 145, and 170

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
pb170sys6.sit (578.60 KB)
For System 6.x
Guides on emulating older applications

The PowerBook 140 and 170 shipped with only 2 and 4 MB of RAM, respectively—barely adequate for their minimum operating system of Mac OS 7.0.1. While Apple insisted to western customers that only OS 7 could support the new machines' hardware features, delays in localizing it forced them to release these laptops in Japan with a hastily modified Kanji 6.0.7. Of course, users elsewhere immediately reverse-engineered this system to work in English, giving their laptops a substantial boost in speed and available memory.

The disk image here was created by basalgangster, inspired by the work of jimbauwens in 2011 and Jay Lieske in 1992. His goal was to identify "the minimum set of resources from the Japanese system required to make the regular English version of System 6.0.8 work on my PowerBook 170."

I suppose there may be some things that still need to be moved that I haven't encountered yet. I have been using my PowerBook 170 with this system for a while now though. It puts itself to sleep and wakes up ok, and even puts itself to sleep when the battery is too low. There isn't any message though, telling you that you are almost out of battery, etc. as there is in OS 7.

  — basalgangster

If you can test this system on a PowerBook 140 or 145, please update this page with your findings! (It is not expected to work on any later Macs—not even the 145B.)

Architecture: 68k


jeremywork's picture
by jeremywork - 2018, February 15 - 10:08am

Unfortunately I didn't see the note about the PowerBook 145B until after my bid was in, but I'm very excited to report System 6.0.8 works perfectly on my new 145B using this image.

Many thanks!

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2015, December 6 - 12:23am

  other 68030 System 7-only macs like the LC III or the IIvx?

Hi, both of those models shipped with 7.1, so are unlikely to boot up onto 7.0.1 or earlier.

Possible candidates other than the PowerBooks mentioned in the title:
  • LC II
  • Classic II
  • Quadra 700, 900, 950
  • Performa 200, 400, 450
All models that shipped with 7.0.1 on board (source: Apple Spec Database &

The '040 Quadras might not be suitable. I believe that the Classic II was originally shipped with a special 6.0.8L in the Pacific region only (elsewhere with 7.0.1). So I would think is a definite probability.

Dookie Boot's picture
by Dookie Boot - 2015, December 5 - 11:16pm

Has anyone tried this on other 68030 System 7-only macs like the LC III or the IIvx?

Mk.558's picture
by Mk.558 - 2014, September 28 - 4:22pm

Perhaps I failed to elaborate correctly.

The desktop background on a default install of System 6 is plain...checkboard. When Chooser is first opened on a default install of System 6, there is no machine name set. SuperClock does not come on a standard install of System 6. And others. They're all minor things, but just saying for the purists.

IIGS_User's picture
by IIGS_User - 2014, September 27 - 5:14pm

Owned the 145B in the past, but can't remember which OS version was installed on (probably 7).

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2014, September 26 - 11:04pm

"Just a caution, it's not a virgin setup of System 6"

Its because its a custom build of this particular SSW (using specific resources/files from a Japanese system). Read the Description above for more info.

Mk.558's picture
by Mk.558 - 2014, September 24 - 12:44am

Just a caution, it's not a virgin setup of System 6. Someone set the computer name, changed the default background, among a few other minor things.

deltroid's picture
by deltroid - 2012, October 7 - 5:13am

This works on my powerbook 170. Its much faster then 7.0+ and superfast when booted on a ramdisk. I used to (family) have a powerbook 145 and maybe using wish i were (does run on ss6?) or changing the gestalt using resedit would work? Thanks for posting.

theos911's picture
by theos911 - 2012, October 3 - 2:58am

Excellent, thanks for getting this gem finally preserved!