[rescue] Apple II boot and other disks

Mike Hebel nimitz at nimitzbrood.com
Mon Aug 11 10:48:07 CDT 2003

On Monday, August 11, 2003, at 10:14 AM, Michael A. Turner wrote:

> 	I had an apple ][c at one time so I can offer some pointer. First
> off the ][c did not need any boot disk. It would boot and run without 
> having
> anything to boot from, you just could not do much at all. Load from a 
> disk
> and a minimal usage of basic is all you could do.

Most apps and games boot directly without anything else in the mix.

> 	About those floppies. Do not get to excited about them until after
> you have received the ][c and tested the floppy drive. My original one 
> died
> from a floppy controller failure. IT could read disks just fine, but 
> the
> second it wrote back to the disk for any reason (saving a file, 
> updating
> game info) it would write over track 00. This was the boot track for 
> the
> disk. Whatever you had been working on would also crash as the data was
> placed in the wrong areas. you would reboot and viola! the disk was no 
> good
> anymore.

This happened even when these systems were fairly "new".  The drives 
that were being used were subject to metal fatigue and alignment issues 
more than anything else.

> 	Since then I have had my hands on several of these systems and every
> one has suffered the same fate, invariably before I got my hands on 
> it. I
> have also talked to people about them and have heard the same fate has
> happened to dozens more. It would seem that they all failed en-mass 
> sometime
> around 1989. I have heard of some that worked as late as 1991 but that 
> was
> the latest.

It all depends on storage and use.  If the system was used very little 
and then stored the drive should, in theory, be fine.  YMMV.

> 	The reason I point all this out is it would be a shame for you to go
> buy 5 1/4 disks, download all this software, only to fin out that the 
> ][c
> while appearing functional, is really toast.

Or he could get an external floppy, there are some still floating 
around, and boot from that.  If he's extremely lucky he might find an 
external 720K 3.5" that works.  I know they existed for those machines 
because I used them in high school.

> The one thing a ][c in this
> conditions is good for though is fixing brain fried ][+ and ][e 
> systems. you
> can swap the main chips over with nothing more than a pocket knife.

Or, he could avoid shipping a whole machine and order a 6502c(?) from 
Digi-Key or Mouser for a few dollars.

Mike Hebel

Medieval Combat anyone? http://www.kingsofchaos.com/page.php?id=694655

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