Apple ProFile 5MB HDD repair

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tony359's picture
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Apple ProFile 5MB HDD repair

Hi all, 

 

I've recently got an Apple ProFile, 5MB HDD for the Apple ///, // and Lisa. It was not powering on so I repaired it - and as usual made a video! https://youtu.be/Vg4yNmrgVn0

 

Feedback and comments are welcome! I'll return it to someone who has a system capable of testing it soon - I only have an Apple // without the necessary card!

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Pretty cool.  It's too bad

Pretty cool.  It's too bad that working Profiles and the Seagate drive chassis they use are fairly rare these days.

 

I'd like to build a solid state emulator for the Profile that would plug into a Profile controller card and look to an Apple /// (or //e or Lisa) like a real drive.  I think enough of the interface and the protocol that is spoken over it is known to make it possible to do with a number of different microcontrollers.  Probably could put the actual storage on SD card or maybe even a USB drive.

 

Having the vintage drive working is great, but for more general use if I had one I'd probably want to save it and use modern hardware most of the time.

 

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I don't think it's still

I don't think it's still available

Probably didn't sell that well because of the price

http://sigmasevensystems.com/xprofile

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softwarejanitor wrote:I'd
softwarejanitor wrote:

I'd like to build a solid state emulator for the Profile that would plug into a Profile controller card and look to an Apple /// (or //e or Lisa) like a real drive.  I think enough of the interface and the protocol that is spoken over it is known to make it possible to do with a number of different microcontrollers.  Probably could put the actual storage on SD card or maybe even a USB drive.

 

A while ago I was thinking about the same idea. I have an Apple /// with a Profile interface card - but no Profile drive. I was looking into the original source code of the Profile driver to see how the Apple /// was "speaking" with the Z80 of the Profile controller board.

However, eventually I just replaced the Profile and Profile interface card with a DAN II controller and made an SOS driver for the DAN II. There are also drivers for other cards, like the CFFA. If the goal is to emulate the drive on a flash/SD card/USB anyway, then building extra hardware just to be able to reuse the original interface card, didn't make much sense to me. The detour with using the original interface card doesn't add much to the experience. Would be a different matter if the plan was to build a Profile replica using some actual/old hard drive (so you get the "real experience" of a spinning & beeping drive).

There are some programs, like Selector III, which do not rely on logical paths (volume names), but are hardcoded to expect a ".profile1" device. But even that doesn't matter - since you can rename devices with System Configuration Program (SCP). So you rename the device for the first drive of the CFFA/DAN][/.. to ".profile1" - and then even those programs with hardcoded device names just work. The flexibility of the "modern" SOS driver concept certainly has its advantages...

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Some things I like to do just

Some things I like to do just for the sake of doing them...  But I really like your idea of building a Profile compatible drive that uses some cheap IDE drive or something.  Pretty much any would do.  Hook it up to a suitable micro-controller and buld an interface and software to emulate the Profile interface...

 

Even cooler if I could find a Profile case, say one with a broken hard drive that is beyond repair cheap enough.  A lot of them also have failed power supplies, but I wouldn't even need that, just make a plate that fills the back of the case properly.  It would be super cool to make something that could hot swap the drive image being used to allow use of larger storage media but have the Apple /// think it's just a stock 5MB Profile.

 

 

 

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VintageMicro has the XProfile for Lisa now (Aug 2023)

VintageMicro has added the XProfile this month but only listed in the Lisa section.  I wonder if it has different firmware?

 

http://vintagemicros.com/catalog/lisa-xprofile-p-307.html

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Same firmware. It looks like

Same firmware. It looks like he’s eliminating installation in the Profile case. He’d previously said that you couldn’t just plug it into a Profile power supply. There had to be a voltage regulator which he no longer sells. When he no longer had the regulator he said the Profile power supply needed to be replaced. I’m wondering if one or more people fried the X/Profile doing an improper install.

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