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I have a Macintosh SE/30 with a formatted Disk. I'd like to install the latest System 7 on it that will run. According to Wikipedia that should be 7.5.5. According to several sources Apple has made it available for free. Where can I find it and how can I get it onto 1.44MB floppies for installation (the mac has a drive that supports them)?

  • 1
    Apple used to maintain an FTP full of good old stuff, but they ditched it over a decade ago. A real shame to see it disappear. I've had success just scrounging around the interwebs. For example, you might look at winworldpc.com/library/operating-systems and snoop around... – Geo... Oct 21 '18 at 20:02
  • Should we assume that you aren't interested in the easier ways of creating a bootable/workable SE/30 system today with modern components, and just want to experience the original way with floppies and spinning hard disks? – Brian H Oct 22 '18 at 23:51
  • Without additional hardware I the only I/O I have is floppy. – Andreas Hartmann Oct 23 '18 at 12:37
  • Installing from floppy is not actually all that bad. I've done both System 7.5.5 and (IIRC) A/UX from floppy and both went smoothly. Mind you, that was years ago so I could be mis-remembering. – Alex Hajnal Oct 23 '18 at 17:07
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These used to be available at ftp.download.info.apple.com but that site's been down for ages. Most (possibly all) of the files previously hosted there are available from archive.org either as a 7.4GB zip file or as individual files.

You'll probably need to start with System 7.5.3 then update to 7.5.51. Note that these assume you already have System 7 on your Mac though there is a work-around for older OSes2. Since you're it sounds like you're dealing with a bare system you'll also need to find a way to write the disk images onto physical floppy disks.

1 These files can be found, e.g., under the following paths (replace "English-North_American" or "English-International" with the desired language):

  • download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English-North_American/Macintosh/System/Older_System/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3/
  • download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English-North_American/Macintosh/Full_Installs/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3.part/
  • download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English-North_American/Macintosh/System/System_7.5.5_Update/
  • download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English-International/Macintosh/System/Full_Installs/

2 From one of the readme files:

This software is available as 19 parts of a self-mounting Disk Copy image. Download all 19 parts to your hard drive and then double-click on the first part to mount the compressed disk image on your desktop.

Note that self-mounting Disk Images require Mac OS version 7.0.1 or later. If you are using a version of Mac OS prior to this, you can download the System 7.5 Network Access floppy disk and boot your Macintosh from that to use this software.

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    I would strongly recommend System 7.1 over 7.5.x because 7.1 is more stable, and comes on many fewer floppy disks. I did install 7.5.5 from floppies and it took a long time. Mostly I don't like 7.5 because there are a lot more bugs than 7.1 and it can't run that many additional programs on a 68k Mac. System 7.6 is even better but can't run on the SE/30. – Michael Shopsin Oct 24 '18 at 15:09
  • Thanks, but now I'm still looking for a way to get the initial image onto floppies. – Andreas Hartmann Nov 7 '18 at 21:12
  • There are instructions that may work on a Mac: lowendmac.com/2008/creating-classic-mac-boot-floppies-in-os-x I'll see if I can hack something together for other systems. I mean who even uses modern Macs? – Andreas Hartmann Nov 7 '18 at 21:15

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