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Floppy disks probably from a Mac and accessing content

 
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18268
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:07 pm    Post subject: Floppy disks probably from a Mac and accessing content Reply with quote

I think there are a few Mac users on the forum, Eileen and Ian from memory, so I'm asking for some help please!

At my late father's house we found several floppy disks, some obviously containing data, and some with music possibly himself playing his Yamaha digi piano. Some say for Mac (Verbatim brand) and others don't.

I've bought a cheap external usb floppy drive but when I plug it into my W7 laptop it says 'format disk'. I took it out as I think that by formatting would wipe data??

Question is do you have to have a special type of external floppy drive?

We found a mini mac going back to I think around 2004 and this past week we managed to get the screen to work, I think the connector was not in just quite right the last time. We packed it up and have brought it all home but I can't remember if it has a USB or a floppy drive. It's in a crate in the garage which I'll get too this week hopefully, but thought I'd ask before I attempt anything else.

Dad still used Apple as well as Windows around the dates on the disks but I'm pretty sure they are Mac formatted.

I've only once used a floppy and that was back in W98 days so haven't a clue about them.

The dates on the labels are from mid 90s to 2002 being the latest, I think.

One other thing I've discovered that there are 720 and 1.44 types of disk how can you tell what size you have?

Sorry to by so dense about all of this!

H
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FleetingEileenM



Joined: 30 Mar 2010
Posts: 5178
Location: Hampshire

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helen, I wouldn't be able to help you with this so I hope Ian or someone can.

I seem to remember that Colin was very good at this sort of problem but he hasn't posted here for ages. Maybe John could forward your query to him?

Good luck anyway. It would be wonderful to find out what is on those floppies.
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18268
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Eileen, I'd forgotten Colin was a Apple user. I think I my have an old contact for him somewhere.

H
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Lord Evan Elpuss



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 3358
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin was also my first thought when I saw this and remembering that he much preferred Mac to Windows.
Hope you manage to find someone who can help.
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Ian Robinson
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Joined: 11 Dec 2006
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Location: Chorley, Lancashire

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure I can help, but I'll try my best...

Your Mac Mini won't have a floppy drive (it may not even have a CD drive) as Apple dropped them from the late 90s. An external drive is the only way but you're probably going to have to plug into a Mac.

I know that my Mac can read Windows-formatted discs but it doesn't work the other way, so it's probably (hopefully) the case that your Windows didn't recognise that format - but it's a good job your didn't 'format disc' or it would indeed have wiped everything.

Hopefully you will be able to plug your external floppy drive into the Mac Mini and then it should read the discs.

Speaking of Mac Mini... it's doesn't actually have a screen. A Mac Mini was like a set-top box, and you could plug into any screen. Are you thinking of an iMac?

Regarding discs, the 1.44MB discs (the ones with more storage) usually had a hole in the upper left corner.
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18268
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ian that will get me started at least!

It is a mini Mac, fortunately we found the instruction manual, not in the same part of the house...... (it's been like that with everything, so we didn't throw out much until we covered everything first time round!)

Re the monitor I meant more that it wasn't an Apple one but a Sony one found in the same cupboard as the Mac, keyboard and mouse so must have been used for it. There was an adaptor attached to it so that it would work with the Mac.

It must have a CD drive then, as I saw a slit on one side. Sorry to be vague but I got it going and O/H fiddled as I was checking out his Windows machine for photos and company stuff.

So would you say the external that I've already got may work although it only says Windows operating system names? I've found one that is supposed to work with Macs for a tenner on Amazon so may order it. The one I got was even less than that so it didn't break the bank!

I'll check out the disks for holes.

If I can get the music ones to read onto the Mac I'm assuming I can save content to a USB stick. Will it have to be separate one from what I use for my W7 laptop, I'm guessing it will need to be formatted or something like that? My Total Recorder programme isn't Apple compatible but if I can get sound on to a stick I can put it onto the Windows laptop I think???

H
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Ian Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The external drive should work, although you may need to go to the manufacturer's website to get a driver. Even without one, it would hopefully spot the file on the disc.

I would say copy everything from each disc on to the Mac hard drive, then insert a USB stick (any format will do) into the Mac and copy on to that. Then eject and do what you like with it!
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18268
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian

First off I'll say I've never used a Mac so not sure at all of what I'm doing!

I plugged in the external drive and I think it appeared on some kind of list. Put disc in which said on label Formatted for Mac (some don't but I think they are all for the Mac). Nothing showed but there is stuff on it according to label. It gave a choice of First Aid, restore, erase and RAID. Did nothing.

I think on first page it listed that it was a Teac drive and that no IOS 9 drivers found so I'm guessing that is what is needed.

I have no internet connection and am unsure if I can connect to the BT Home Hub 5 using an ethernet cable without disrupting internet to other things.

Am wondering if it's worth it! There are 3 or 4 discs which could have recordings my Dad made of himself at piano.

H
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Ian Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Late now, will reply later but I do have to say that the chances of there being any particularly good quality music recordings on those floppy discs are slim bearing in mind the small storage size. Do you know if there are any files on the actual mac itself? Perhaps if you open up iTunes or Garageband?

PS I find Windows users over-think when using Macs. The solution is usually fairly simple before your eyes but Windows has trained you to look deeper than you need. Open up "About this Mac" from the Apple in the top left corner to see if there's much stuff on it.
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18268
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ian.

I looked in iTunes and Garageband yesterday and found nothing. He used his Windows computer for music back in the days of Napster etc......!

The discs have labels on saying 'Me' with a date which makes me think they are of Dad playing his Yamaha digi piano (he was good, having had a dance band in the early 50s). It has a floppy drive but I didn't try those discs on the piano as they were in his study with other office type disks. I'm not sure what system the piano uses and am waiting for Yamaha to come back to me as it can vary. I put another disc which said music and was with his CD stuff into the piano and it said 'format' which of course I didn't do.

Am I right is supposing that a more modern Mac would be able to read the disks on the external drive that I have?

There isn't much on the machine, 24 emails and a few photos which are also on his Windows computer.
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Ian Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helen May wrote:
Am I right is supposing that a more modern Mac would be able to read the disks on the external drive that I have?

You should be able to read them anyway, it's probably that your mac doesn't have the drivers for the external drive and can't communicate properly.

That said, when you put in the discs into your Mac, what actually comes up? Does the disc load on the desktop? If so, just double-click and see if there's anything there.
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18268
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard back from Yamaha and they say if the disks were recorded at the piano they will be MIDI files. I'll have to wait until we go back up there to try these 2 in the piano. The house is SSTC so I have a few weeks before the piano will go.

Nothing much comes up at all when I put them into the MAC. I've put it all away for the moment but I'll try and have another go.

Of course I don't think there would be WIFI on it so not that easy to configure. Yesterday I found the delivery note from J Lewis, dated 2005.

Don't know whether to give up altogether!

H
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