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dave4macs's picture
Joined: 2016 Jun 25
Will a USB floppy disk drive read old Macintosh disks?...

I'm talking about disks for games like Beyond Dark Castle. Would a USB floppy drive recognize, if I used a Macintosh emulator? The PC that I use is running Windows 10.


WhosIt.There's picture
Joined: 2014 Aug 23

Depends whether or not the emulator is set-up / able to recognise physical floppy drives (same with CDs and DVDs). Modern USB floppy drives themselves can read most Mac floppy disks given the appropriate software to do so, the exception being the original 400K disks. Unfortunately for those old disks you do need a real Mac with a floppy drive.

I've got a cheap Windows PC USB floppy drive that I can plug into my G3 PowerMac (via an added USB card in a spare internal slot) because the original internal floppy drive died. It works fine for the 800K and 1.44MB floppy disks.

As an aside, I wish it was possible to read Amiga disks without an Amiga. Sad
(There are a couple of way over-priced, hobby-built options.)

MikeTomTom's picture
Joined: 2009 Dec 7

If Windows 10 is capable of running the old 32bit version of "Basilisk II build 142" (see Historic versions on page & links to setup guides), then yes it is very much suited to mounting Mac formatted floppy disks over USB floppy drives and read/writing/formatting Mac HFS formatted floppy disks.

Caveat here is hardware related and that is; USB floppy disk drives are read/writable to 1.4MB Mac formatted floppy disks only - many older Mac games came on 800K & even 400K floppy media.

The original Beyond Dark Castle floppy disk images here at the MG are 800K, not 1.4 MB.

What did you need this for? - Transferring floppy disk images on PC & installing software onto an old original Mac, or reading original Mac formatted floppy disks on a PC and installing software to use on an emulator?

dave4macs's picture
Joined: 2016 Jun 25

I don't really need it, per se, but I would use it for reading original Mac formatted floppy disks on a PC for an emulator-Mini vMac. I would love to use Mini vMac on this Windows 10 PC. That, or find a Macintosh SE or Macintosh Classic for a decent price, so I could run my old Mac games on an actual Mac.

dave4macs's picture
Joined: 2016 Jun 25

Does Basilisk II Build 142 contain games, or would I need to somehow get disk images of games?

24bit's picture
Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Emaculation offers the DL of a 142 build compiled from scratch including some needful things.
and the guide:
There is no complete MacOS HDD nor a games collection included.

You may use this HDD image to boot:
Games are here at the Garden in abundance, if you want one not in an IMG container or encounter other obstacles, just let us know, please.

VMSZealot's picture
Joined: 2016 Oct 18

Plugged into a Mac? Yes - with the proviso that the disks are high density. Low density, 800k, disks can only be read in a genuine built-in Mac floppy drive.

Plugged into a PC? Again yes, with the same provisos as previously, but you'll need additional software to read and write HFS disks.

noway's picture
Joined: 2011 Sep 14

Mike´s suggestion of using BII Build 142 looks like the most promising to me.
The well done build does still run on WIN10-64 - to my own surprise. Smile
My W10 is build 1607 meanwhile but it should be noted that W10 was upgraded from W7. A clean W10 install may work too, but I had to learn that a few things have been kicked out of W10.
With BII-142 as everything is configured, insert a writable floppy and press Ctrl-Shift-F11 to mount it within BII. To remove, drag the floppy icon into the dustbin and only remove your floppy from the drive afterwards. - share DEINE Bilder

For reading/writing Mac HFS 1.4 MB floppies thats the way.
Fusion_PC, HFVExplorer or Leopard will do too.

Obviously the 800/400k Mac floppies written with variable rotation speed are off limits with any "modern" floppy drive.

Temporary Joe's picture
Joined: 2009 Nov 14

In my hazy memory of pouring into these Mac sites, I seem to remember the 400k/800k floppy divide was also as much as a software issue as it was a hardware issue and at some point, probably Mac OS 8, it was removed entirely, even if your Sys7 computer could do it.