I just picked up a used Apple IIc. For some reason all I get when I boot is Check Disk Drive on the screen, even with a bootable disk in the internal drive:

display showing "check disk drive"

I cannot even get the system to read the external drive when powering on, so I assume I will have to tell the system to boot from the external drive once booting into BASIC.

Does anyone know how I might boot into BASIC and what command I need to run to load software from the external floppy drive?

  • I think you might have a hardware problem with the disk controller, but regardless, try LeftApple-Reset (i think). That should drop you at the Basic prompt, no disk required.
    – Geo...
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 21:30
  • Try a ProDOS (must be ProDOS!) disk in the external drive. Depending on ROM revision, it can boot from that.
    – Brian H
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 0:32

2 Answers 2


Press: Ctrl+Reset

This should get you to the Applesoft BASIC prompt, with a checkerboard cursor:


If you don't see that then something is wrong. Otherwise you can check your ROM version:



ROM version 255 can supposedly boot the external drive (though I've never tried this personally) but some disks might not boot correctly. You can try with:


ROM versions 0, 3, and 4 need to boot the internal drive first (as PR#7 does something else) then the external drive can be accessed as drive 2.

  • 1
    Thanks. Mine is ROM version 255. I was able to get into BASIC just fine. Commented May 23, 2020 at 16:23

Simply press RESET (depending on model and setting you might have to hold down CTRL or Open-Apple+CTRL before pressing RESET).

This will bring you into default APPLESOFT BASIC.

Just, BASIC does not contain any disk commands - unless DOS is loaded from floppy - which pressing Reset will abort :)

The only function available is to boot from a controller by typung PR#6RETURN - which I'd assume won't work either.

  • 1
    Since it is a //c, you would do Control-Reset. Reset by itself was only supported on the ][ and ][+ machines if you disabled the Control requirement (toggle switch inside the case on the keyboard PCB). Using Open-Apple plus Ctrl-Reset wouldn't bring him to BASIC since it would instead cause a cold boot of the machine.
    – bjb
    Commented May 28, 2020 at 1:14

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