View Full Version : SE/30 Help

March 14th, 2010, 07:54 PM
Finally got my hands on some Macs - lots of them. Anyway among the haul were two SE/30s - one I have diagnosed as having something wrong with it's video system - garbled screen picture and etc. - but is otherwise functional afaik. The other one works 100% afaik, but the floppy drive and HDD have some sort of issues as it won't boot from either. Just in case I'm being a macnoob - tell me the steps to boot from a floppy on an SE/30 - will you? It is booting to the flashing floppy icon with a ? in it, btw. Made a OS7 bootdisk using a floppy writer utility on my pc packaged with that specific floppy image, popped the floppy in (which felt wrong) and tried booting holding Alt, C, and several other things, including the clear-PRAM combo, no go. Let me know what you guys think - thanks!

March 14th, 2010, 08:54 PM
Would this unit have the superdrive (which can read PC written disks), or is it stuck with the 800k drive, that can only read disks written to by another mac drive?

My SE (not /30) only has the 800k drive..

March 14th, 2010, 09:32 PM
About 50% of SEs come with 800K, and the others come with 1.44MB - all SE/30s come with 1.44MB.

March 15th, 2010, 04:52 AM
Your Macintosh can only read PC formatted disks after the system has loaded Apple File Exchange. You still need a startup disk written by a Mac. AFAIK, 800K drives can read 720K PC disks as well.

You can get it here: http://www.info.apple.com/support/oldersoftwarelist.html#system

March 15th, 2010, 07:54 AM
I thought all post-800K formats no longer used the variable spin rate stuff and thus a floppy written on a PC would work fine as long as it was HD. If I'm wrong on that then please recommend a program to write a floppy image (.sea on a Mac, isn't it?) from System 7 or teach me how to do it using the OS if the functionality is built-in.

March 15th, 2010, 08:10 AM
You mentioned that popping the disk in didn't "feel right" -- do you mean mechanically?

If so, you probably want to take your SE/30's floppy drive out, clear out all of the old grease, and re-lubricate it. I use WD-40 for both tasks, though a slightly heavier oil like 3-in-1 would be a good choice for re-lubrication. After you've gotten the new lubricant in, find a floppy you don't care about and work it in and out of the mechanism using the manual eject lever, until the drive auto-injects smoothly. There are little rollers along the sides of the drive you need to pay special attention to. Lubricate the spindle bearings too, and give the drive motor a spin with your finger to work the new oil in. After all that, wrap a floppy disk in a paper towel, and insert it wrong-side-first (metal tab end toward you, away from the drive) to pick up any extra oil.

Most of the old Macs I've restored had "failed" auto-inject drives that either wouldn't inject/eject or wouldn't read due to poor lubrication. I've gotten 100% of the working again, with a little care. Often, a drive that injects/ejects alright will have old gummed up grease around the spindle bearings, and that makes the disk spin slow.

Do you have an older Mac with a floppy drive to make disks from? Another 68k capable of booting the OS you want to install, with a known good floppy drive would be ideal. That way you can write out your disk image, and try to boot the machine you wrote it with using the new floppy. If you don't have a way to make floppies from images, PM me and I can send you a System 6 or System 7 disk set from the images.

About the SE/30 video problems: this is often due to a bad capacitor, or capacitors. Apple made a poor choice in one of the SE/30's analog board capacitors, it's an electrolytic when it should be at least a low-ESR electrolytic. If you need a replacement, I've got plenty of high-quality film capacitors of the correct value, which are both easier to install and better-looking than the "pile of ceramic disks" people often use!

March 15th, 2010, 09:18 AM
I am afraid to open an SE/30 due to the guy I got these from warning me that I could die instantly from touching the anode. I've opened monitors before, but apparently these are particularly dangerous? This has kept me from replacing the HDD in the SE/30 as I suspect that to be one of the problems, and the floppy drive too, as I have another SE/30 on hand with the dead screen that I could take parts from.

I have lots of 68K macs of the LC series and IIxx series that I can make disks from, but I don't know how to write disks using it, I'm completely new to Mac Classic other than a few brushes with emulators.

When I put the disk in it didn't click or feel like the disk was accepted, and it didn't seem to try to read it. I haven't tried to get the disk back out yet using a paperclip (or rather a little tool I have just for that).

I can't do the work necessary to replace the capacitors on the other SE/30, but I have a friend who probably can. Some of the last haul is supposed to go to him, so perhaps I'll give him that SE/30 since he should be capable of doing the precise soldering/desoldering necessary - I'm a soldering noob.

March 22nd, 2010, 09:33 PM
Best recommendation for not getting yourself killed while opening the SE/30 is to let it sit for a good long while, unplugged, before you go to town. I've heard tell of it taking a few days to discharge, I've heard people say to wait a week...I don't know, mine spends most of its time unplugged, so I never feel very apprehensive when I go to open it up. Just be careful and you won't shock yourself. I'm still not totally convinced the stories of the SE's lethality are true, but it'd definitely be a jolt you'd remember. Wear rubber gloves or something, if it makes you feel better.

The SE/30s really are terrific machines.

March 25th, 2010, 02:02 AM
When I first got my SE/30 the disk drive didn't work. I opened it up and found the drive clogged with dust. It's one of the problems with Macs...the slot is open so with the fan going everying is sucked in.

I disassembled the machine, cleaned the drive, lubed the rails, cleaned the heads with a cleaning disk and re-assembled. The drive then worked.

There is a way to discharge the screens safely. It's detailed here (http://www.biwa.ne.jp/~shamada/fullmac/repairEng.html)amongst other useful diagnostic stuff.


March 25th, 2010, 04:38 AM
I did find that exact page a week or so ago. My SE/30 has sat since I posted the last message I did in this thread. I plan to give my second SE/30 to my friend, since it requires some capacitor replacement and he has the better soldering skills of the two of us. We'll open both of them one day where we've both got free time and discharge both, then I'll be stealing the floppy drive from the second one. :P

I'll post back and let you guys know the results of our work when we get around to doing it. Thanks.