View Full Version : Help reading AppleWorks files (Apple IIe)

April 6th, 2006, 01:54 PM
Obtained via email:

I am looking to find a way to convert some disks made in the late 1990's on an Apple IIe, using Appleworks. These are the journals I wrote when my son was a baby. He will graduate from High school in June of this year. I just came from a friend here in Reno who has an Apple, but lots of error messages since it could not read the disks. Any ideas? I live in Reno, Nevada. I am not a computer pro and couldn't figure out how to post to your site. Any help would be appreciated.



I replied with:

Hello Zahra,

I'm not sure what type of errors you got but either his drives are bad or your disks are. Hopefully it was just the drive. If your friend has a head cleaning kit that might be enough to get it fixed up.

If you can get a machine that works you should be able to load the journals with Appleworks and send them over the serial port to a PC hooked up on the other end (you might need a null modem cable) by "printing" to a serial printer. I'm not that familiar with Appleworks so I can't be much more specific.

Another option would be to save the programs as text files and then send them over the serial port.

Yet another option is to get an Apple IIe emulator (http://www.zophar.net/apple2.html (http://www.zophar.net/apple2.html)) and try to read the disks on a PC. You'd need a PC with 5.25" drives, though, which might be as hard as finding an Apple IIe! :)

I'll cross post your email onto my boards and hopefully someone there can come up with something else.

If you're ever in the San Jose area I might be able to help as well.

Best of luck!

So. . . can anyone come up with any better ideas or is anyone local who could help directly?

April 6th, 2006, 02:20 PM
My AMD Athlon 64 system still liked 5/25 drives, I could donate a few to the cause if that the route they want to go....


Terry Yager
April 6th, 2006, 02:34 PM
I have a StarCard, but I doubt that will work if the disks can't be read on a *real* Apple ][.


April 7th, 2006, 08:01 AM
Since most of the Ideas on how to do it are good we all could use a bit more information. Are you sure it was Apple Works and not PFS or some other Word Process or system? PFS used a quite different system.

First which version of Apple Works did you use? If you used 4.0 and your friend has 1, or 2.0 or 3.0 he will problems reding files that were created with a higher version than he has.

Second you mention errors. As stated above what kind of errors? Apple Work data disks can not be booted up. They have no Dos. They are nothing more than data. You need to load the Apple Works program first than boot them.

How large were the files you created? Know that you will not remember how large they are.
If they are too large for the Apple you are trying to run them on you will have a problem. The easy way to tell if you remember what system you used to create them on. That is if You created them on a IIgs, or IIe then tried to run them on a II+ with 64k or less you could have problems.

You could run, Copy II+ to verify the disks. You can do this by each file or the whole disk to see what tracks are bad. By doing it by the files you can see if they are all bad or you copy the good ones over to another disk. You can read the bad file in copy II+ just what is bad will not come thru. It might not be easy to read, or the exact order of the words but they will be there.

Your friends drive might be off, dirty, speed fast or slow. Sometimes another drive will read the disk better.

Repair Works, might be able to repair damged Apple work files. Apple Works tended to have a problem sometimes when the disk you were using was full or almost full. Had to do with it keeping a buffering like file while you worked on the updating a file while retaining the old file as well until you saved it. The problem that sometimes happened when the disk was full, and had trouble saving the file.AHow Many disk are we talking about? Do they have center hub? Some the 5.25s with out the center hub do not clamp or center very good with most apple II drives. Not an expert with apple Works, or Know everything there is with the Apple II.

I and others can do it for you, but if you can find some one close that would be better.

Take Care