Types of Floppy Disk Drives

Old Macintosh computers can come with a 400 KB, an 800 KB or a 1.44 MB floppy disk drive, depending on the model. For models with 400 KB and 800 KB drives, you will need to buy 800 KB floppies, which are not sold at retail stores anymore. You will need to buy this kind of floppy on eBay or specialty online stores. Luckily, 1.44 MB floppies are still sold at office supply stores.

Macintosh 128K

This was the first Macintosh released, in 1984. It came with a 400 KB floppy disk drive, 128 kiB of RAM, and no hard disk drive. This computer doesn’t allow the installation of an internal or external hard disk drive. Its model number was “M0001.”

Macintosh 512K

Also known as “Fat Mac,” this was the second Macintosh released, in 1985, with 512 kiB of RAM and no hard disk drive. This computer doesn’t allow the installation of an internal hard disk drive. A proprietary external hard drive called Hard Disk 20 was available for this computer.

This model can come with either a 400 KB (model “M0001W”) or an 800 KB (models “M0001E” or “M0001D”) floppy disk drive. The models that came with the 800 KB floppy disk drive are called 512Ke.

If you are buying an old Macintosh 512K for your collection, try to buy the model with an 800 KB floppy disk drive, because you will be able to store more data per floppy.

Macintosh ED

The Macintosh ED was a Macintosh 512Ke with a different name. This model used the model number “M0001D” or “M0001ED.”

Macintosh Plus

The Macintosh Plus came with 1 MiB of memory (differently from the previous models, the RAM from the Plus is expandable, and sometimes you will buy a model where the previous owner has expanded the memory) and an 800 KB floppy disk drive. It didn’t come with an internal hard disk drive; however, it was the first Mac to come with an external SCSI port, allowing you to install any external hard drive using this interface. The model number for this computer was “M0001A.”

Macintosh Plus ED

This was a Macintosh Plus with a different name and used the model number “M0001AP.”

Macintosh SE

There are several different models of the Macintosh SE, so you will need to know exactly which model you have. The Macintosh SE FDHD, the Macintosh SE Superdrive, and the Macintosh SE/30 use a 1.44 MB floppy disk drive, while other models use an 800 KB floppy disk drive (unless the previous owner had upgraded the 800 KB drive with a 1.44 MB one).

Except for the model with two floppy disk drives, the Macintosh SE came with a 20 MB or 40 MB internal hard drive (40 MB or 80 MB for the Macintosh SE/30), unless the previous owner had replaced the hard drive with one with higher capacity.

The Macintosh SE came originally with 1 MiB of RAM, which could be expanded.

Other Models

Models other than those listed above generally came with a 1.44 MB floppy disk drive.

Now that you know what kind of floppy disk drive your computer has, let’s see how you can generate the floppies.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.