Apple ][GS newbie questions

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Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 11

Hi all,
A few months ago I got my very first Apple computer, a llgs!! I know nothing about Apples. I got the book 'The New Apple II Users Guide' and it is very helpful. My system is a ROM 3 with 2x 3.5" , & 1x 5.25" FDD's. The system powers up and says 'check system devices'. None of the 3.5" or 5.25" disks that came with it boot. I get the same message for each disk. I do not have a prodos, or gs/os disk. I would like both OS diskzs. I could not find 'real' disks on an ebay search (though I may be using the wrong terms in the search). I have a Win98 machine with a 360k 5.25" drive, working USB connection, and internet access. I have lots of 5.25" blank disks. My main multiboot (XP thru Win10) only has USB, & BD/RW.
How can I get the IIgs up and running with an OS and some games?
Thanks

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Mr.Fix's picture
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Joined: Mar 22 2005
Posts: 100
Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

Hi and welcome to the world of Apple II computers! You have a very good 'initial' setup for a iigs, and when you start exploring other peripherals your wallet will be lighter! To get yourself up and running google "ADTPro" this will get you up and running, then start by looking at asimov ftp site to get GSOS 6.0.1 or whatever you fancy. Some great additions for you IIgs are CFFA3000 card, 4mb+ memory card, and if you want to make the iigs a more modern device look at the addition of raspberry pi with the apple ii pi card.

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Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

In order to get out of the racing-apple "Check devices" screen, hold down the ctrl key and hit the reset/power button on the keyboard. That will get you to the Applesoft BASIC prompt where you can do Applesofty things until you get yourself some disks.

Here is a decent quick reference to the commands and language available at that prompt (except ignore the LOAD/SAVE to cassette bits - you don't have a cassette port):
http://www.landsnail.com/a2ref.htm

speedyG's picture
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Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2413
Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

Hello KLund1,

welcome to the community....
well i´d recommend toe visit several past threads related to the topics....
here is a bunch of them:
http://www.applefritter.com/content/new-apple-gs-questions-about-floppy-drives
http://www.applefritter.com/content/i-bought-apple-iigs-yard-sale-and-need-some-help
http://www.applefritter.com/content/i-bought-apple-iigs-yard-sale-and-need-some-help
http://www.applefritter.com/content/running-games-iigs
http://www.applefritter.com/content/understanding-apple-ii-mass-storage

In that threads are postings that contain links to the ADT program to transfer
diskimages to the floppy drives of the IIGS
and explenations about availiable alternate solutions
and explenations to existing pitfalls
keeping Option key pressed while power on gives chance to enter option panel and check for correct settings of the IIGS
and turn on floppy devices.... daisychaining the floppies is explained in the user manual....
update: you should also check in option panel that slot is set to correct startup floppy
( i.e. 3,5 disk = slot 5 or 5,25 Disk = slot 6
scan= start searching at slot 7 then increment slots toward lower slot numbers )

there is also a link to the Apple Documentation Center where you may download several manuals related to the IIGS
in PDF Format and read that books at your PC
related to your availiable setup it would be usefull to know if yout PC setup has an availiable serial port
which is quite usefull with the ADT Disktransfer program and here are several past postings related to ADT and how to get it running at the IIGS
and at the link related to asimov you will find a bunch of software requested for use with the IIGS
which permits you to download .DSK images of real disks that may be transfered via ADT to the IIGS and generating
disks for everyday usage

i just also refer to the search function up at the top right corner where you may enter keywords and
get threads listed related to the topic of the keyword you´ve entered....

besides i assume that your username might indicate a location in Germany or at least area where German language is
spoken.... in that case it might be usefull to enter at google the term:
Apple User group Europe
the Group still has a respectable amount of members spread across the Germann country and you might
find some support in your local area by members just by visiting one of the local meetings.....

sincerely speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Joined: May 27 2013
Posts: 794
Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

Am I the only one here who thinks that the message, "check system devices" either means that there is a problem with the motherboard or that this statement is being confused with the message, "Check Startup Device"?

speedyG's picture
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Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2413
Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

insanitor wrote:

Am I the only one here who thinks that the message, "check system devices" either means that there is a problem with the motherboard or that this statement is being confused with the message, "Check Startup Device"?

Nope....
"check system devices"
means the system does not detect any startup device at all or has problem to find them
( normal when slots are set in option panel to "your card" instead of activating disk ports at slot 6 and 5.....
"Check Startup Device"
is rather more trouble with one of the devices
can´t read or no disk present.....
at the moment the user claims to have no disks at all...
so at the moment both problems are present
- but first problem raises first resulting from wrong option setup...
that´s reason that previous posts are related to enter the option panel....

if that is corrected next problem would raise up at horizon if no disks are present...
that´s reason i spotted to previous threads that explain how to get images and how to attempt ADT.....
sincerely speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

My cluelessness again!

quickthyme's picture
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Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

insanitor wrote:

My cluelessness again!

LOL... I suppose if everyone on here all had the same skills or level of knowledge, then there wouldn't be nearly as many exciting conversations to be had.

Also, once in a while, a fresh perspective turns out to be more helpful than one that is overly biased from experience. (not often, but sometimes) Wink

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Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

KLund1,

Welcome to "Club Fritter"!

Steven Smile

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"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

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Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 11
Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

Thanks everyone,
A lot of helpful info here from all these replies. My Main PC has a serial card in it. I use it mainly for SIO2PC (any of you know what that is? If you do then you know from I came.) ADTPro looks like the best solution to get started, and I have a 15' serial cable that will reach between the 2 machines. The links are very helpful too. I will have a lot of fun working through all this. I have upgraded the internal memory card to 1Meg (I did set the jumper correctly) And I have lots of blank DD 5.25" & 3.5" disks.
I was looking for some kind of SD, or CF hard drive solution that I could mount through a small slot on the front or side that I could dremil. But I can't find any that are for sale. There are some sites that show them but have none for sale. Or is even possible to download files to a SD/CF card on a PC and then move it to the IIgs and boot it up? Other 8-bit machines have this solution.
Thanks again everyone!!!
KLund1 Smile

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Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 11
Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

Well I have my next first problem. I think the keyboard is bad. Nothing happens when I hold the CTRL key and turn the computer on. I still get the Check System Device message. Nothing happens when I just press the large reset key above the keyboard. CTRL & Reset = nothing, apple key & ctrl then power switch = nothing. Other combinations do nothing. I always get to the same screen message. I've switched the cable to the other side. I've swap the cable to another svideo cable, same results. Also then 5.25" drive activates, stops, the a 3.5" drive for a second before the screen message appears.
Without getting past this msg screen I can not start ADTPro to make system disks.
I took the keyboard apart, and everything looks ok. The solder connection for both cables look ok. I reseated the IC. no change. Is there something on the motherboard I should check?
Also, you will laugh, I thought the joystick port on the IIgs was a serial connection. The serial cable fits. But now I have to fork out some cash for a custom looking cable I saw on the ADTpro website Sad

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Joined: May 27 2013
Posts: 794
Re: Apple ][GS newbie questions

quickthyme wrote:
insanitor wrote:

My cluelessness again!

LOL... I suppose if everyone on here all had the same skills or level of knowledge, then there wouldn't be nearly as many exciting conversations to be had.

Also, once in a while, a fresh perspective turns out to be more helpful than one that is overly biased from experience. (not often, but sometimes) Wink

I may not be the Apple II master of the universe, but I was a Watchmaker for Seiko Corporation of America. I worked for them for 6 years and one month. Everybody has to know something!

As for the topic: Usually, you remove all cards from the motherboard before any diagnostics. But I am thinking that the keyboard itself might be bad. You might have to purchase a ADB keyboard from Ebay.

The other option is for you to get an ADTPro kit with a floppy disk and a cable that goes into the modem port. And make sure that the slots are in order in the control panel by removing the battery. There are two batteries that go into a iigs: ones which leak, and ones which are just about to leak.

My other thought on this matter is that there might be a floppy disk stuck in one of the 3.5 drives. It is a common problem with those drives.