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Writing 800k IIgs disks on a 68k Mac

phreakindee

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So I just came into possession of an Apple IIgs, Rom version 01, Transwarp GS and an extra megabyte of RAM installed. This is my first Apple II series machine so I'm 100% noobing out here!

I don't have any disks for the thing, so I downloaded v6.0.1 of GS/OS from Apple's website. Seeing the format they came in, I extracted and wrote them to DS/DD floppies formatted to ProDOS using an LC 575 with System 7.6.1. But each time I try to boot them, it accesses the drive for a half second then gives the "unable to load ProDOS" message. I have two different 3.5" drives and tried both, same thing. It also gives the message when there is no disk inserted at all. Tried the diagnostic programs for the GS and Transwarp, both passed. The Control Panel seems to be good, but I don't really know if there's something I should look for either.

I have tried writing the disk images using both DiskCopy and DiskDup+ but neither of them have worked. I have also tried different brands of floppies (3M and Sony), both old and brand new, and none of them are booting into GS/OS. I was initializing disks before as ProDOS disks in the Finder, and also using the disk imaging programs, to make sure they weren't somehow being written as Mac OS disks.

I have a serial cable for ADTPro on the way, but it seems like I should be able to write GS/OS 3.5" disks at least on my LC 575. I also tried on my Performa 6400/180 with System 8.6 and got the same results, or lack thereof.

Any ideas on this? I've read of some people having success writing these disks on a newer Mac, but so far it's just no deal for me! I've also seen just as many not being able to write these disks. Am I missing something or is it just a crapshoot? Thanks.

EDIT
Okay, well I got to messing around in BASIC, typing in PR# commands, with three disk drives hooked in. I had the 2 3.5" drives and 1 5.25" drive. I typed in PR#5 and, for some reason, it booted GS/OS. What in the world? Why won't it boot from startup, but will from BASIC? And once I got into GS/OS, it says there is another disk labeled ":THOR" which has all sorts of programs on it. Looks like a hard drive? I didn't think this machine had one, but... yeah, is there some way I can access that? Haha, I feel like the more I find out the more questions I have.
 
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david__schmidt

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So I just came into possession of an Apple IIgs, Rom version 01, Transwarp GS and an extra megabyte of RAM installed. This is my first Apple II series machine so I'm 100% noobing out here!
Nice way to start out... hitting the jackpot!

I don't have any disks for the thing, so I downloaded v6.0.1 of GS/OS from Apple's website.
Apple goes out of its way to make it difficult to take their images and make them useable on the GS. Well, maybe it was easy back in 1994 when people still had things like LCs around. Anyway, as you eventually found... you did it all correctly. DiskDup+ is the most foolproof way to write 800k disks from a Mac. DiskCopy-created disks can fail to work on a GS, basically depending on what the hardware was used to create them. But DiskDup+ works no matter what.

Okay, well I got to messing around in BASIC, typing in PR# commands, with three disk drives hooked in. I had the 2 3.5" drives and 1 5.25" drive.
Make sure the 5-1/4" is the last one in the chain. You'll have trouble if it's in the middle somewhere.

I typed in PR#5 and, for some reason, it booted GS/OS. What in the world?
See? Your disks really did work. ;-)


Why won't it boot from startup, but will from BASIC?
It depends a bit on the startup order specified in your control panel. The default is to start at slot 7 and work your way down until something is found that's bootable. Depending on what's in the middle on slots #7 and #6, or depending on what behavior is specified in the control panel... different things will happen.


And once I got into GS/OS, it says there is another disk labeled ":THOR" which has all sorts of programs on it. Looks like a hard drive? I didn't think this machine had one, but... yeah, is there some way I can access that? Haha, I feel like the more I find out the more questions I have.
Lift the lid. Is there an IDE/CompactFlash kind of thing in there? What is THOR? It might be formatted, but lacks a ProDOS kernel - so trying to boot that gives you the "UNABLE TO LOAD PRODOS" message. Removing everything but a single floppy would give you very predictable results. Until you know what else is in there interrupting the startup sequence, we can't say for sure what you're going to see.
 

phreakindee

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Lift the lid. Is there an IDE/CompactFlash kind of thing in there? What is THOR? It might be formatted, but lacks a ProDOS kernel - so trying to boot that gives you the "UNABLE TO LOAD PRODOS" message. Removing everything but a single floppy would give you very predictable results. Until you know what else is in there interrupting the startup sequence, we can't say for sure what you're going to see.

Thanks for all the info!

Looks like there's an "InnerDrive 20" installed. It's like a whole replacement to the PSU, plus a card inserted in slot 7 with an IDE cable connecting the two. Quite a surprise to find, as I had no idea this was even included. Just reading about hard drives really quick, it seems like I should be able to install GS/OS 6.0.1 onto the thing and boot from that? Because as it is now, with Slot 7 selected to boot from, it's only giving the ProDOS error even though it appears GS/OS is installed on the drive.

Is there some way to then have it check the floppy drive first, then boot from it if there's a disk in, without having to go into BASIC? I know can just select Slot 5 to boot from, which is how I have it set for now since it was on "Scan" and giving ProDOS errors, but it would be great to have it boot from the hard drive if there's no bootable floppy inserted.
 
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david__schmidt

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Looks like there's an "InnerDrive 20" installed. It's like a whole replacement to the PSU, plus a card inserted in slot 7 with an IDE cable connecting the two. Quite a surprise to find, as I had no idea this was even included.
So, you did hit the jackpot after all.

Just reading about hard drives really quick, it seems like I should be able to install GS/OS 6.0.1 onto the thing and boot from that? Because as it is now, with Slot 7 selected to boot from, it's only giving the ProDOS error even though it appears GS/OS is installed on the drive.
Yes you can. It's not clear to me if GSOS is coming from the hard drive, or if it's coming from the floppy you reconstituted. But doing a CAT /THOR or CAT,S7 should tell you what's on the (root of the) hard drive vs. CAT,S5 which will tell you what's on the floppy.

Is there some way to then have it check the floppy drive first, then boot from it if there's a disk in, without having to go into BASIC? I know can just select Slot 5 to boot from, which is how I have it set for now since it was on "Scan" and giving ProDOS errors, but it would be great to have it boot from the hard drive if there's no bootable floppy inserted.
Only if you move the hard drive controller to slot 4. Then it'll hit slot 5, fail to boot, then move on to slot 4. There are various schemes people have cooked up to give the option to boot from one device vs. another. I just interrupt a startup with Ctrl-Reset, then PR# to whatever I want if I don't want the default of the hard drive in slot 7.
 

phreakindee

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It's not clear to me if GSOS is coming from the hard drive, or if it's coming from the floppy you reconstituted. But doing a CAT /THOR or CAT,S7 should tell you what's on the (root of the) hard drive vs. CAT,S5 which will tell you what's on the floppy.

I was loading GSOS from a floppy. Once loaded from the floppy, I can look around in the contents of the hard drive and see that the GSOS system files are there, but it's just not booting from the hard drive. Although I just started seeing an error message when reading the hard drive, saying that it might be damaged and it will no longer let me see the files. That might be part of the problem.

Only if you move the hard drive controller to slot 4. Then it'll hit slot 5, fail to boot, then move on to slot 4. There are various schemes people have cooked up to give the option to boot from one device vs. another. I just interrupt a startup with Ctrl-Reset, then PR# to whatever I want if I don't want the default of the hard drive in slot 7.

That makes sense, thanks for the tip. Keeping it in Slot 7 seems to make sense then, at least if I can make sure the hard drive itself is really working!
 

david__schmidt

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Although I just started seeing an error message when reading the hard drive, saying that it might be damaged and it will no longer let me see the files. That might be part of the problem.
I'd wipe that thing clean and start over. Then I'd sell it (the drive) on eBay and buy one of the solid state solutions before it went belly-up. ;-)
 

TanruNomad

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Wow, you got a transwarp accelerator with that. Way to go man! I have a ZIPGSX on the way that I'm pretty excited about. The IIGS is one amazing machine and with a hard drive and an accelerator card you have a lot of options. You're a bit limited with only a 1MB Ram card, but not too limited. Below are some good resources for disk images. I know you like Out of this world, so that should be one you get right away

http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/gs/games/
 
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phreakindee

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Wow, you got a transwarp accelerator with that. Way to go man! I have a ZIPGSX on the way that I'm pretty excited about. The IIGS is one amazing machine and with a hard drive and an accelerator card you have a lot of options. You're a bit limited with only a 1MB Ram card, but not too limited. Below are some good resources for disk images. I know you like Out of this world, so that should be one of you get right away


Yes, I'm quite excited! This seems like a very nice place to get into the Apple II series, and it sounds like I stumbled into some really cool extra hardware I had no idea it would come with. Can't wait to try Out of this World, it's one of the few versions I've never played. All I have so far is Rastan, and it's incredible.

I've tried erasing the hard drive, but it says it needs to be initialized. I try to do that and it gives me an I/O $27 error. Something's gone wrong, because it was only a few minutes ago that I was able to access the drive and its files just fine, but now it's only giving I/O errors. It's a Western Digital WD 93028-X, seems a shame for it to have died suddenly after all these years! EDIT: And now it's working just fine. Then a couple minutes of writing GSOS to the drive, it stops again, giving an I/O error. Methinks the WD drive has issue.
 
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TanruNomad

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Hard drives can be a real pain. I use an IDE controller with CF cards and it will randomly error out sometimes. I actually had to completely reformat it and partition it not too long ago. I find that when I set the RAM disk down to 0 it works perfectly though and thats fine since I hardly ever need the ram disk unless I'm too lazy to copy something to a floppy and use ram instead.

Totally unrelated: I didn't realize you were the lazy game reviews guy until like 1 hour ago, haha. I tune into your channel everyday, you do awesome reviews. Im the guy over at http://www.youtube.com/brianpicchi incase you're wondering.
 

phreakindee

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I'll have to try that out with the RAM disk, as it seems to write just fine for a while, then once it gets about halfway done with copying files over it gives an I/O error. Same spot every time. I wonder if I could use a CF card IDE solution with the InnerDrive that's already installed in Slot 7... Don't really know how all that works yet, so yeah.

And yes, that's me! Hehe, I figured you were brianpicchi! Your videos are awesome as well, and your IIgs stuff really made me take a more serious look at the machine. So when I got the chance to get one, I jumped on it and am very glad I did! It's a sadly often-overlooked computer, and I hope to give it some well-deserved attention in the future. Once I get these newbie issues sorted out, of course!
 

chalackd

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That sounds like it's a real score of a system, I'm totally jealous ;) The Transwarp GS and internal hard drive both seem to be pretty rare and sought after these days.

If the card is standard IDE than there's a pretty good chance that you could just use one of those cheap IDE to CF adapters that are available.
 

phreakindee

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That sounds like it's a real score of a system, I'm totally jealous ;) The Transwarp GS and internal hard drive both seem to be pretty rare and sought after these days.

And for a system that was a donation, I certainly can't complain! :-D

Turns out the RAM disk was already turned to 0k, so I guess the I/O issues weren't from that. It's weird, I can initialize and erase it and write files to it, and even do about half of the installation of GSOS, but then it just stops with the I/O error. It at least installed ProDOS, so that answers my initial questions for this topic, but it then gives that error and freezes up the system. So I may be looking for another hard disk solution if these errors persist.
 

TanruNomad

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So how are you installing the gsos? How big is your HD and was it already partitioned? When you install GSOS (system 6.0.1) are you installing it to the first partition? Are you able to copy anything to that partition or does it always error out?
 

phreakindee

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So how are you installing the gsos? How big is your HD and was it already partitioned? When you install GSOS (system 6.0.1) are you installing it to the first partition? Are you able to copy anything to that partition or does it always error out?

The hard drive is a WD 20MB drive, and it didn't seem to be partitioned, it's just the whole drive. I simply initialized it and erased it using the GSOS system disk. I can copy some of the stuff (about halfway through the "Install to HD.." option of GSOS) but after that it gives an I/O error at the same spot every time. Would it be better to run something else and partition it off somehow first?
 

TanruNomad

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Oh, it's 20MB... You don't have to worry about partitioning it then since prodos can go up to 32MB segments. The fact it goes up to the halfway point every time you try to copy a program definitely says something. Typically the first half of the process is just reading the original source and the latter half is the actual writing of the content. So this would tell me your HD is not prodos compatible or perhaps something else is up with it. I wish I could be of more help, but i've never used an actual hard drive on the iigs, just CF cards. There are experts on the irc chat #a2c.chat that know much more about this stuff than I do. You can access it here: http://www.reactivemicro.com/chatroom.php

At least you have the IIGS modem-serial cable on the way so you can copy programs through ADTPro to floppies and play them that way.
 

phreakindee

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At least you have the IIGS modem-serial cable on the way so you can copy programs through ADTPro to floppies and play them that way.

Yes, and that is what I had planned on doing anyways, the hard drive was just an unexpected bonus! I still hope to get something working, hard disk-wise, and if I decide I really want to get serious there is always the IIgs MicroDrive IDE Controller and other such awesome things.

I do wonder about the drive though. It's a WD 93028-X, which was an IBM XT hard drive. But it looks like this InnerDrive was made to use it and it does read/write some files to it, but not but only ~1MB worth.
 

njroadfan

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Cards like the Innerdrive tend to be picky about drive geometry (the AE Vulcan is another one). Chances are that replacing it with a CF card+adapter won't work, but its worth a try. If you can't find a replacement, someone will buy the drive+card for a decent price.
 

magnusfalkirk

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So I just came into possession of an Apple IIgs, Rom version 01, Transwarp GS and an extra megabyte of RAM installed. This is my first Apple II series machine so I'm 100% noobing out here!

Okay, well I got to messing around in BASIC, typing in PR# commands, with three disk drives hooked in. I had the 2 3.5" drives and 1 5.25" drive. I typed in PR#5 and, for some reason, it booted GS/OS. What in the world? Why won't it boot from startup, but will from BASIC? And once I got into GS/OS, it says there is another disk labeled ":THOR" which has all sorts of programs on it. Looks like a hard drive? I didn't think this machine had one, but... yeah, is there some way I can access that? Haha, I feel like the more I find out the more questions I have.

Yuo can go to the Control Panel and select which slot the GS will boot from. From the sound of it right now it is set to Scan on startup. Got to Slots and scroll down to Startup. use either the right or left arrow key to change Startup from Scan to Slot 5. Press Return and get out of the Control Panel. Restart your GS and it should boot from Slot 5 with needing to t into Basic first.

Dean
 
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