UPDATE (March 16, 2013): Hello again, in my first update in nearly 5 years I am interested in suggestions for building Redundant Robot into a retro software site. I am not sure if I want this to revolve simply around Mac OS Classic stuff or if we should go full blown 90′s video games invasion. I’ve had a recent stint of NES and SNES emulation madness and have fallen back in love with Mega Man and Mario games. Since I will be shortly joining the Dev Bootcamp (http://www.devbootcamp.com) I feel that Redundant could become a great project site for me. Let me hear if you guys have any thoughts!
UPDATE (July 7, 2008): For those who are confused with the Basilisk II instructions instead of SheepShaver you should realize that the technique for getting the Boot Disk working are virtually the same regardless of what emulator you’re using. If you do have questions please leave an EMAIL in the comments so I can respond to them (though I do tend to lag at replying). Or just email me.
Where to start? where to start?
With your modern Mac you start opening up the Emulators and start getting to it only to realize that you need a few things don’t you?
- Emulator Software
- Old Mac OS (typically System 7 – System 9.0)
- A Startup Disk
- Create a Hard Drive Image
- An Old Mac ROM (which might sound confusing)
- A Way to get old Software onto your New Mac!
- Getting your Mac to display 256 Colors
- Getting onto the Internet (under construction)
So there are many things that can prove to be pretty frustrating if you don’t know, or are too lazy to figure out. All of these things were so easy back in the 90′s when you had a floppy drive and software disks in good condition. Nowadays it isn’t as easy as just installing the software and going about your business is it?
I think I can help.
Defining the Problem
When I first embarked on a Nostalgia trip to the good ol’ days of System 7.1 it was not the lack of desire or that I didn’t care enough to do it. No, the problem was finding everything! It wasn’t like I could simply Google everything and start downloading. Hell, I couldn’t even Bittorrent the files I wanted. Every once in a while I would find exactly what I was looking for, only to click on the link and diskover that that link had been dead since the days of iTunes 1.0.
Getting everything together is probably the hardest part to this problem. Now I am going to share some software, and solve some problems for everyone out there. But I must make it clear. THIS IS ALL FOR BACKUP PURPOSES ONLY. If you do not own the software (or computers) already, then you are prohibited to download any of this software. Now that that’s out of the way…
Let’s get started!
1. Choosing the right Emulator
Ok there are two main emulators out there that are used the most: Basilisk II and SheepShaver. Between these two there are different things that each are capable of doing. For example, Basilisk II can run Mac OS Systems 0 – 8.1 , where SheepShaver is a better choice for running Systems 8.1 – 9.0.4. But some things they do have in common, like they both need ROMs from original Mac computers, and both have interfaces that are for lesser words, total pains in the ass. Not for everyone, but for many (as I have read many forums asking questions about just understanding the Preferences window).
So I will split each Emulator into it’s own section so that I don’t confuse anyone and also allow you to just get to whatever program you are most interested in.
I will begin with the first emulator I got working: Basilisk II.
Alright, to kick it off there are several ways that you can run this Emulator. You can download the Source code and use FinkCommander that uses Fink to compile Basilisk II under X11. You can run Basilisk II for Windows (but considering there are already tutorials on how to do that I said F-that). Or you can be smart and do less work and just download the damn thing for Mac OS X and be ready to go as soon as it is done unstuffing.
NOTE:There is a Basilisk that supports audio but I recommend setting up Basilisk using the non-audio version because the Audio supported version likes to crash when tweaking the preferences.
2. Finding Macintosh Boot ROMs
This might be one of the easiest steps, but in reality it proves to be very difficult, or rather very frustrating. Because the question comes up time and time again. Where can I get a Macintosh computer ROM???? Allow me to help.
- Old World 4mb ROM
- New World PPC ROM (best for SheepShaver)
- Apple II ROM
- Performa ROM (I’ve experienced best Results with Basilisk II)
- Quadra 650 ROM
- Quadra 900 ROM
- Mac Classic ROM (Never gotten this to really work, but I’ll include it)
So this should end your vast searches across the world wide web for Mac ROMs, although I found the search to not be impossible. All of these ROMs do not work great with both emulators, particularly the New World ROM must be used with SheepShaver (for some reason I forgot). And for Basilisk I recommend the Performa ROM (it makes System 7 boot rapidly).
So you downloaded a ROM(s) and put them into a directory and steer Basilisk to its location in the preferences window and you are ready to move onto getting booty.
I only put this section before creating a Hard Drive Image, because this is a pretty easy step. All you have to do is visit Apple’s FTP site of Old Software, and you can download OS 7.0.1 or 7.5.3.
- Mac OS System 7.0.1
- Mac OS System 7.5.3 (and 7.5.5 update)
- Mac OS System 9.0 (System Folder Only! Unzip and place in your Boot Image)
- Mac OS 9 Boot Image (120 megs) (Bootable Image For SheepShaver! Download place in Volumes and hit Start!)
Since the System 7.5.3 files come as a 19 part set of images I recommend starting with the System 7.0.1 disks just to get things rolling. I tried to combine the images so that you wouldn’t have to download all 19 of these things, but it was being really stupid and wouldn’t work for me so you’re on your own (although I had done it last week I swear!).
NOTE: You can use the Disk Tools.img (System 7.0.1) as a boot disk right away, and this will be needed when it comes to making a hard drive if you do not have the Classic environment installed.
3. Making a Hard Drive Disk Image
With Classic Mode Installed
This is again a pretty easy step, but it can be a pain in the ass if you don’t have Classic Mac OS, running under Mac OS X on your modern Mac. All you need is a copy of Disk Copy and run it in Classic environment and create a new image of whatever sizes you want. I usually make an image of 200 – 500 Mb depending on how much space of your real Hard Drive you want to give up.
With NO Classic Mode Installed
Ok, now if you don’t have Classic Mac OS installed on your modern Mac then I cannot guarantee that I have a solution but I will tell you how I figured a way around this.
Alright, open up Disk Utility from your Applications folder and go ahead and create a new image of whatever size. Now put your new .DMG file in the directory of Basilisk and you will now have to initialize your new drive by booting up your Macintosh using the Disk Tools.img as your boot device. To do this you will need to enter Basilisk and under preferences add your Drive Image, and the Disk Tools Image.
Ok so you should be able to hit save and start the emulator and it will run, eventually giving you this screen.
Alright, and once the initialization is all done you are ready to shut down and prepare for installation of Mac OS onto your Hard Drive Image.
4. Installing Mac OS onto your Disk Image Drive
Now assuming that everything is all set with your disk image and you have the correct ROM you can go ahead and install an operating system. I am going to demonstrate using System 7 as provided from Apple’s own FTP files. As I mentioned earlier the Disk Tools disk can be used to make sure that everything will boot correctly. For this purpose I will give a picture of what the Basilisk Preference window should look like and also break down what each preference is.
Assuming that everything is setup correctly then the emulator is ready to run (although I’m sure you couldn’t help trying it at least once up to this point).
Under Preferences>Disk Volumes, the System install disks should be added AND the Disk Image Drive to install onto (Very important!). And then you are able to boot up the system and the desktop should appear with all 6 of the disks located on the desktop and the disc image drive (MacHD in the picture below).
From here on it is just a matter of opening up the Install 1 disk and proceeding with the installation, a very fast installation that is. Once the install is complete the disks can be removed from the Disk Volume preferences panel in Basilisk and you are ready to go.