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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Macintosh Classic shows disk and question mark !?

Macintosh Classic shows disk and question mark !?
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Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
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Feb 19, 2013, 04:29 PM
 
Hey,
see, my dad and I bought a Macintosh Classic (from 1990) many years ago. Back then, it ran very well, I think I even managed to get it to work on our network (we have an old LocalTalk<->Ethernet bridge somewhere around, maybe I used that). I think it ran Mac OS 7.5. (I checked on the web, and it says it ran up to 7.5.5, or so).

Well, my parents are moving, finally, and they wonder what to do with the Classic. We started it up again and it only shows the disk with question mark, but you can use the mouse. Do you think the Hard Drive failed? Do you think I should try and reinstall the OS? (I have no floppy disks around here, but maybe I could get some. But is it worth a try?)

Any alternative? Any advice?
Thanks,
PeteParker
     
Clinically Insane
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Feb 19, 2013, 04:44 PM
 
Does the internal hard drive spin up?

It's quite possible that the internal buffer battery is depleted, and it can no longer find the boot disk because of that.

First thing to try is to reset the parameter RAM (hold down Cmd-Option-P-R immediately upon switching it on, and keep holding until the startup chime has sounded two or three times).
     
Mac Elite
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Feb 20, 2013, 09:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
... .
But is it worth a try?)
Definitely it IS!

When the folder icon with a blinking question mark shows up the Mac has loaded the ROM toolbox. Therefore a depleated PRAM battery shouldn´t raise the problems. I think it could be a corrupted system on the internal disk. You should search for a "disk tools" floppy or an entire "system install" floppy set. BTW, System 7.5.3 is available as a free download from Apple as a set of floppy images:

Index of /Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English-North_American/Macintosh/System/Older_System/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3


Macintosh Quadra 950, Centris 610, Powermac 6100, iBook dual USB, Powerbook 667 DVI, Powerbook 867 DVI, MacBook Pro early 2011
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 10:11 AM
 
Moving to classic... oh wai-
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 01:11 PM
 
I'd recommend starting with System 7.0.1 to see if everything is working, only because that OS requires a handful of floppies. The System 7.5.3 download from Apple is a single monolithic image. Getting it onto floppies would be a pain (and would require a crapload of floppies). You can use the Disk Tools image to make a bootable floppy with a couple utilities on it for verifying and formatting the internal hard drive.

If you figure out how to get it on your modern network, definitely post about it - most routers can't handle AppleTalk traffic. I never could get my Classic II on my network with a LocalTalk-to-Ethernet bridge. I gave up and went with an SE/30 with a PDS network card.
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 03:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
If you figure out how to get it on your modern network, definitely post about it - most routers can't handle AppleTalk traffic. I never could get my Classic II on my network with a LocalTalk-to-Ethernet bridge. I gave up and went with an SE/30 with a PDS network card.
Classic era Macintoshes can connect to an Ethernet network by way of the SCSI port. Back in the late 90s I remember using an Asante EN/SC adapter plugged into the back of an old Powerbook 180. Just over a year later I upgraded to a then-new iMac, just after my adapter failed, but the solution worked well for me while I had it.

Of course, now it's 15 years later and who knows what still might be available for something so obsolete. Try eBay, perhaps.
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 05:04 PM
 
The problem is most of the LocalTalk-to-Ethernet only forward AppleTalk network traffic and not IP traffic. There may be others that do both but remember there was no internet.

If you have a PCI erra Mac you can use it as your bridge. There is a control panel LocalTalk Bridge. Then you use router software like IPNetRouter

Oh also this. http://www.spacerogue.net/Camneerg/index.html

Also apparently there's a networking component for unix/linux that will handle IP over Appletalk tunneling. Thats more than I want to deal with though.
( Last edited by BLAZE_MkIV; Feb 20, 2013 at 05:18 PM. )
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 07:21 PM
 
Yeah, I tried the IPNetRouter route and found it was more frustrating than it was worth.

You're not going to get a 68k Mac on the Internet without an Ethernet adapter and TCP/IP.
     
   
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