MicroDrive Turbo Rebuild – Partitions and CiderPress with “Special” 32MB Drive Images

December 28, 2018

This post is about how CiderPress and MicroDrive Turbo treat some 32 MB hard drive images that are found on Alex Lee’s site for the IIGS. Some of the images are larger than others by a block. This is not an issue with CFFA3000 cards or Emulators. But with MicroDrive Turbo cards and CiderPress this led to an issue with loading them onto the partitions as recommended by the microdrive documentation. This post carries on from my post of 5 days ago.


So I experimented by increasing the block size by one as you’ll see in the pictures below and the odd sized or other sized, if you want to call them that, images loaded just fine and work on the MicroDrive without issue so far.

This reports the files in KBytes but illustrates the different sizes.

The series of screens can also serve as a bit of a tutorial on using CiderPress to load images.

Image 1: The 3 Partitions that come standard. All are 65535 as recommended in the manual.

Image 2: Two of the three partitions appear on the desktop. The third does not appear since its image is not loaded, as yet.

Now I add a 4th Partition. A 65356 block partition.

Using the Volume Copier in CiderPress

You’ll see the 3rd and 4th Partitions listed. One at 65535 blocks. My experimental at 65536 blocks.

Loading the Productivity and Graphics image.

Now, loading the other size, block size, image. System Addons.

Here the images appear on the desktop.

Starting MicroDrive Setup from GSOS to add another partition, Load it, and use it.


MicroDrive Turbo CF Card Rebuild for IIGS

December 22, 2018

I recently had to rebuild the CF card that was in my MicroDrive Turbo. Here are some of the pictures as I went through creating the partitions with the MicroDrive Setup Utility Backup Disk. You’ll see I added partitions in increments and tested along the way. Like 1 partition, 2 partitions, 4, 8. I did test boots after 2, 4 and 8. Eight was my final. [Note: it’s best to read the wiki at the ReactiveMicro site covering the MDT before and while running setup]

I love the icon that comes with the MicroDrive Turbo Setup Disk.

Below: I added partition 2 but also changed default boot drive to 2.

Just an FYI: I’m running CiderPress in Windows XP using Parallels on my iMac.

Although there is a version of CiderPress that runs within Wine on Macs it will not recognize the CF Card. Tried it.

Note below: make sure you uncheck the box “open read only” or you won’t be able to Load. My card was a 512MB CF. Below noted as 500MB.

Select your partition. Then click Load From File button. Here I replaced partitions VG1 and VG2 with Audio Utilities and Prod Visual. Then select the image.

Note: for some reason MDT will not load images with size 32,769. It will load 32,768.

Further down is a picture of the error message. I work around this by loading in an Emulator and copying individual folders to an image which is 32,768 or smaller.

Since it says you need a partition of 65536, which is one block larger than the MDT Setup Utility Manual says I thought I might try to actually set up an image of this size and see what happens. Soon…

New TransWarpGS 16 MHz from ReactiveMicro

December 19, 2018

The new 16 MHz TransWarpGS finally arrived in time for Christmas. I pre-ordered it back in May. It is amazingly fast, to say the least. Those games that require lots of graphics (Jack Nicklaus Golf), and publishing (GraphicWriter3) really snap. Also need to mention HyperStudio and HyperCard. Wow. The first picture shows TWGS Reporter details. Note: this IIGS uses the Scart HDMI connector on my Toshiba LCD. i have other blog entries on setting the Scart and Cable.

Here’s the product picture.


Here’s the old cpu before removal.

I used two different length flat head screwdrivers to wedge it out. The long one working from the front of the IIGS and the short one from within the machine. I used the eraser as Lever support with the short screwdriver to help avoid slipping and hitting the motherboard. It worked amazingly well.

Here are the manual photos for plugging in the fan.

Turned it on, ran the self tests. That was it. Referenced the manual from ReactiveMicro wiki site throughout.

Removed the fan temporarily to see the oscillator.

It inserted quite readily.

Diversi-Tune playing.

Here is the setup, including the new CFFA3000 Card and the GGLABS Memory Card.

I discuss the CFFA installation and fun in the next blog entry (coming soon).


OmniDisk SCSI Hard Drive Image in Virtual ][ – updated and new link

December 3, 2018

A SCSI Hard Drive in Virtual ][.

Note: Link Corrected and Updated Version Dec 3, 2018


This is a 2mg image I created in Virtual ][. It boots to Super Selector v3.22 which is a text based Program Selector. It works with a mouse or keyboard. I’ve also installed System Utilities v3.1, MouseWrite v2.6.8 and MouseCalc. I’ve already set the default startup subdirectories for MouseWrite, including Accessory and Speller (which you get to via Accessory). My updated version has AppleWorks 2,3,4 and 5, plus copyllplus9 and PublishIT4.

I have Super Selector on an actual scsi drive connected to my real lle.

The original 32 MB image supplied by the group.

Per Facebook Apple ll Enthusiasts forum.     I have a question. Virtual II on my Macbook Pro has trouble with a 32Mb .po disk image (unrecognized format, it says). I imagine I will be able to use it with the Apple II emulator on Win, but I wanted to ask if anyone knows how to make Virtual II open such files. After all, I bought this software… Thanks!!!

Courtesy of Mark Pilgrim who illustrated how to do this. You need to convert it to a .2mg image with CiderPress, then go to Virtual II configuration and set up a SCSI II Card with an OmniDisk. Then you can “Insert OmniDisk Image…” (under Media menu) to mount the .2mg image.

More MouseDesk 2 – Apple IIGS this time

November 26, 2018

My previous post for MouseDesk 2 dealt with the IIe and Laser. This post has some pictures and details on my experience on the Apple IIGS. The previous post was on April 1, 2018.

The IIGS is a Rom01 with a TransWarpGS, and for this experience a 3.5 with a FloppyEmu attached. In the final couple pictures I boot GSOS from the SCSI Drive and then invoke MouseDesk 2. [ It’s really rather redundant, but fun to see ].

Above I tried to run AppleWorks with Pinpoint Accessories but pathname was too long for AppleWorks / Pinpoint to deal with.


Here I started PublishIT4 and ran with no issues.

Below, I booted from the SCSI Drive. It’s partitions are Geek1 and Geek2.

The FloppyEmu partitions are all the other disk icons. Note, they are represented by 3.5″ floppy images. I suppose since the FloppyEmu boots off the SmartPort.

From the desktop I drilled down in GSharddrive and started up the GSOS App called Write Away. When I exited Write Away back to the GSOS Desktop. I was able to SAVE the document I created in Write Away.

Applied Engineering 5.25 Apple Drive

August 8, 2018

Picked this up and it works very well. No issues with it attached to Laser128 or Franklin Ace 500.

Mitac 5.25” Floppy Drive – part II: Speed RPMs

August 4, 2018

The Mitac drive works well from a reading and writing standpoint as long as you keep using this drive for any disks you write. It turns out the RPM for this drive is a little slow. So, if you write, say a pfs:Write data file to it, the file may be reported as no good by other floppy drives. I have five different brands of 5.25″ drives and this is the first time I’ve seen this issue. It still works great for read only disks like Print Shop Art, Carmen Sandiego Games, etc where you don’t write.

Anyhow, I thought I’d open it up and see if I could find a mechanism to adjust. Here are some pictures with notes. [could not find manual online]. There are a couple of links at the end to disk images on Asimov. Also a REALLY great article illustrating the workings of floppy drives.

Here was my first clue I had an issue. Formatting.

I used the MECC Analyzer Disk and the DataLife Drive Analyzer.

I was looking for something to adjust. The only item was the light blue piece at the top center of the picture. I have no idea if actually controls speed. It rotated easily. But made no difference no matter how far clockwise or counterclockwise I turned it. After about an hour of trying adjustments I called it a day. Maybe someone really knows these drives and can help someday.

Below is the bottom plate. To remove the drive you take out all 6 screws. Lift this plate off and then slide the floppy out the front of the chassis.

The Utilities can be downloaded from here:


A great article with pictures of floppy drive workings: