Did the Apple ][ ever ship with an autostart ROM from the factory or were they all the older ROM with Trace/Step?

My guess would be that once the ][+ started shipping then new Apple ][ production (well at least once the non-autostart ROMs ran out) would have an autostart ROM but I can't find anything to confirm this.

Just to add Jim Sather in https://archive.org/details/understanding_the_apple_ii says that his rev 3 board came with a non-autostart ROM. (Thanks to @blrfl for making me check this)

  • 1
    I deleted my answer, as my comment about the hardware was incorrect. As far as I know, the Autostart ROM only shipped with the ][+.
    – Blrfl
    Mar 20, 2017 at 16:06
  • @Blrfl: What you wrote was true for the rev 0 Apple II. It had no power-up circuit. Mar 21, 2017 at 2:36
  • @NickWestgate Thought so, because I'd read an old manual that said to power up and then hit reset. I got into this with a ][+ in 1981 and missed out on the earlier versions. Did the older models with the power-up circuit jump through the reset vector and into the monitor?
    – Blrfl
    Mar 21, 2017 at 10:42
  • Think so, I have a non-autostart ROM in an ITT2020 so I should be able to test once I sort out my ][+ PSU. The reset circuitry was also on the floppy disk card.
    – PeterI
    Mar 21, 2017 at 11:18
  • @Blrfl: Me too (II+, 1981) but yeah, reset entered the monitor on the "old monitor" (non-autostart) ROM. It was sometimes mounted on a firmware card for reasons outlined here. Mar 21, 2017 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


I bought an Apple ][ serial number 219 in August 1977. I don't know what rev the motherboard was, but it did go directly to the monitor upon power up.

  • 1
    I'm pretty sure that 'autostart ROM' usually refers to the one that will automatically boot from a suitable Disk II floppy if inserted; what you're talking about is automatic power-on reset, which was indeed also missing from the earliest Apple IIs.
    – Tommy
    Sep 25, 2020 at 21:28
  • It has been a very long time (over 40 years) but I think I remember that when they started shipping Applesoft Basic in the ROMs, (which is probably ][+) that power on went directly to Applesoft Basic. But I don't remember any of my Apple 2's booting from a floppy on power up. I think we always had to type PR6 or something like that. Sep 27, 2020 at 1:42
  • Anything with that early a serial number I would expect to have a required a push of the reset button. If a floppy card was fitted it would have used the it's 556 to signal a reset. With the older ROM this would have dumped you into the montor and you'd need to type 6 Ctrl-P or Ctrl-B then pr#6 from basic. Obviously repairs and modifications could change this.
    – PeterI
    Sep 28, 2020 at 14:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.