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Hi all, I just picked up a Mac SE that is booting to the question mark. I've done some research and see that some of these were shipped with two disk drives and some with 1 disk drive and a built in hard drive of 20-40 MB. The back of mine says 1 Mbyte RAM, Two 800K drives. On the front I can see an 800K drive on the bottom. The drive on the top looks more like a a hard drive, with the plastic insert over where the disk drive would be with the little rectangular opening on the left end. This panel is pushed in on the left side.

I'm hoping to get some advice on fixing this. I'm guessing I'll need an 800K boot disk. I have a Macintosh Plus with the software package. Will any of the disks in there be useful for a boot disk? If not where can I get one?

Also, what is your take on what's going on with that top drive?



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Hi Dave, congratulations on your SE! Yes, you have the version with the hard drive and floppy drive. On a Mac, the ? at start up simply means no bootable system folder found. This could me the hard drive is not working, that it's just blank, or a the system folder is damaged. An SE will boot system 2.0.2 to 7.5.5 on an 800K floppy, so any floppy disk that wasn't specifically modified to not boot the SE should work be fine, but I don't think the original Plus disks will work. Typically the ideal OS for that machine will be 6.0.8 or 7.1, depending on which software you want to use. 6.0.8 will be faster, 7.1 has more feature and slightly better compatibility with new stuff. You can download these from if you know how to get them onto a floppy, otherwise you can buy a set off eBay. A few years ago I bought a whole system 7 set of disks from someone on eBay, it saved me a lot of time. I installed 7.5.5 on my SE/30. Once you have the disks, you can install a system on the hard drive (assuming it works). If you really want to have some fun, you can get a SCSI2SD (check out the podcast episode on that). So, replace the batter in your SE before is leaks, and check the capacitors, it's not a matter if if those will leak, but when.
Thanks for your reply! Sounds like it would be best to go for 7.1. Probably doesn't much matter how fast it goes since I won't be doing all that much on it. I mainly want to see if I can get it running. Thanks for reminding me about the battery. It's been a while, so I wouldn't have thought of it. So, I guess I'm on the hunt for a system 7 disk or an 800k disk. I have a sub floppy drive, but I wonder if my laptop will see an 800k disk on it.

Does your SE30 run ok with 7.5.5? I'm guessing mine would be really slow its that. Thanks!




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