read extern drive in ubuntu

Liam Proven lproven at
Sun Jul 4 00:38:15 UTC 2010

On 3 July 2010 19:40, Douglas Pollard <dougpol1 at> wrote:
> On 07/03/2010 12:30 PM, Douglas Pollard wrote:
>> On 07/01/2010 09:27 AM, Liam Proven wrote:
>>> On 1 July 2010 14:13, Todd Edwards<tedwards at>   wrote:
>>>> I don't believe the format of the document is important in this case.
>>>> The computer she is connecting the drive to needs to be able to read the
>>>> file system on the drive. Being that it's an 'old' Macintosh drive I
>>>> would have no idea though unfortunately. I know the new Apple computers
>>>> use some flavor of EXT Journaled, but I'm still not sure if Ubuntu can
>>>> read it or not. Maybe someone with a bit more Apple experience can chime
>>>> in?
>>> No. Macs do not use any "flavour of EXT" - not ext2, ext3 or ext4. As
>>> I said in my earlier reply to this thread, they use HFS+ which Ubuntu
>>> can read - in my experience, without any extra software needed.
>> OK,  the lady sent me the hard drives. It turns out that they are not
>> hard drives at all.   They 3 1/2in. floppy's :-)     The problem I am
>> having now is that Ubuntu 10.04 does not seem able to see the floppy
>> drive.  I found a tutorial on line to make Ubuntu 8.04 see the drive and
>> mount it but it doesn't seem to work for 10.04.  Any body knowhow to set
>> that up.  I also have xp on my drive and the floppy drive works on it.
>> But it can't read the Macintosh floppy I haope ubuntu can.       Doug
>  Well I couldn't get 10.04 to mount or run the floppy drive. I put in a
> 6.06 live cd and the drive and the floppy will mount and run.  The
> floppy disks are 1980, 1981 vintage REALLY OLD. Now if anyone knows how
> to get Ubuntu to read and copy the files it will be
> appeciated.                          Thanks much,   Doug

The Mac did not go on sale until 1984! So there are no Mac floppies
from before then, definitely. The previous Apple machines, the Apple
II and Apple III, used 5.25" floppies, not 3.5".

It is remotely possible but very very unlikely they're from an Apple
Lisa. I have no clue what disk format the Lisa used or if it's
remotely Mac-compatible.

I /think/ my floppy drive works OK in 10.04 but I virtually never use
it so it's hard to say. I'm not sure I've tried it since I upgraded!

But to be honest, I am not sure you can read Mac floppies on Ubuntu.
If they are from a late-model Mac - end of the 1980s or later - and it
had a 1.4MB high-density drive, then the disk hardware can read them
but the OS possibly, probably, not.

If it is a mid-1980s Mac, they would be 800KB double-density floppies.
The Mac used a different encoding scheme for these from the PC, called
GCR, which PC disk hardware physically cannot read. There is no way
round this without hardware modifications such as a Catweasel
replacement floppy disk controller.

I think you may need a vintage Mac to read these, I'm afraid.

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