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yuhui Apr 21, 2001 12:44 AM
Highest OS for old Macs?

I recently acquired 3 old Macs: a IIci, an LC II and an LC III. These have various versions of MacOS on them, but I'm hoping to standardize it across the board.

These machines come with 3 1/2" floppy drives and have Ethernet cards installed. I don't intend to get an external CD-ROM drive for any of them, so the OS will have to be installed with floppies.

So what's the highest version of MacOS that can be installed on all of them?

Patrick Apr 21, 2001 01:32 AM
All 3 Macs run on 68030 processors, and can therefore run up to MacOS 7.61.
Allah Apr 22, 2001 11:52 AM
But you have to think of overhead. Yes they can run 7.6.1 but, 7.6.1 will require more ram and CPU time.
I would put 7.1 on all. 7.5.5 wouldn't be bad but you could get great functionality with 7.1

Carpé Bandwidth
drewman Apr 23, 2001 03:43 PM
If you want to run internet applications I would recommend at least 7.5.5 which is freely available on Apple's servers in floppy disk images. 7.1 requires MacTCP control panel to get on the internet which is a hard control panel to find these days...

7.6 is not yet free from Apple, so for low cost go with 7.5.5 and be sure to switch it to Open Transport networking.

Good luck!

yuhui Apr 23, 2001 04:06 PM
Thanks for all of the wonderful replies!

I checked Apple's Download site and found links to 7.5.5 *updates*, not a full installer. The 7.5.5 (and 7.5.3) update(s) require at 7.0, 7.1 and (I think) 7.2 to install.

If there's a full installer for 7.5.5 freely available for download, I'd really appreciate the URL.

runningdog Apr 24, 2001 12:02 AM
Full install of System 7.5.3 and formatted for floppies no less.

And finding MacTCP is not hard. You can get it and lots of old Mac software at
Tristrami Apr 24, 2001 09:03 AM
I've got a few more old LC IIs & IIs and software to run on them, too. Contact me if you're intersted at
jeromep Apr 27, 2001 11:38 PM
Well, there are two ways to look at running System 7 on older machines. First, 7.6.1 is significantly more stable than any version of 7.5. Second, you can usually find a full box of floppies for 7.6 on eBay, that is where I got mine, shirinked wraped and a bit shelf worn, but nice to have around. Third, the overhead of 7.6 is not significantly different than the overhead from 7.5, plus many programs that are still written to run on 68k require 7.6. So, if you are going to run a late model OS 7, choose 7.6.

On the other hand, 7.1 remains a stable and predictable release of the OS. Consider that if you download the floppy images for OT 1.1.1, you can install it reliably on 7.1, but you will need at least 5mb of RAM. I would suggest getting the OT 1.1.2 updater and applying that after you have confirmed that OT 1.1.1 installed well.
sKP May 4, 2001 04:01 AM
here's a tricky one... most people think you can't run OS 8.1 on them, but I'll tell you how to run OS 8.1...
you'll need
16 MB RAM required; more is better
80 MB hard drive an absolute minimum
on all computers
you'll also need a program called Pseud040
Boot up your Mac from your boot disk (NOT the 8.1 boot disk, just a 7.5 boot disk, or any boot disk capable of booting really)
and then just select the OS 8.1 CD and boot from it once this is done... easy : )
Now just install OS 8.1 as you would any other OS
need help?
tells you how as well

bradoesch May 8, 2001 02:09 AM
And why again would you want 8.1? On an LC II or LC III? I certainly hope not! I own both, and I would assume it would be super S-L-O-W running 8.1. Perhaps I'm just confused...

Why 1984, won't be
like "1984"
giantmike May 8, 2001 05:32 PM
Because it's fun to push machines way past their limits, and see them chug along. It may not always be the fastest, but it does work.

The Mac Information Depot. Why go anywhere else?
etphonehome May 10, 2001 05:50 PM
If you have a copy of System 7.6, use that by all means, but it probably isn't worth it to pay money for 7.6, since your 3 computers are probably worth less than $100 combined.

If you don't have a copy of 7.6, install 7.5.5, since it's free and almost as good. If any of your computers have 40 MB hard drives, you might want to install 7.1 on them instead, because 7.5 will use up to half of your hard drive, but you can cut that down a lot by removing unnecessary extensions.
yuhui May 10, 2001 11:38 PM
Just to let everyone know,

I downloaded OS 7.5.5, installed it on all computers, and everything works great!

Thanks for all the suggestions!
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