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)

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    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
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 16:06
  • @Blrfl: What you wrote was true for the rev 0 Apple II. It had no power-up circuit. Commented 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
    Commented 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
    Commented 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. Commented 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.

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    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
    Commented 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. Commented 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
    Commented Sep 28, 2020 at 14:01

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