Mel's Macintosh Universe: The Power Center 150
Mel's Macintosh Universe


Transferring Data from a G4 Power Mac
to a Macintosh Plus

March 22, 2003

A reader at my website writes:

"I've got a Mac Plus that I'm trying to get some info over from a download on my G4. The problem I have right now is getting info onto a 800K disk. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for any suggestions."

Regards, Ashley


As an owner of several Macs I can move information from my G4 Quicksilver to my ancient Mac Plus fairly easily.


The easiest way is to email the information from your G4 to your internet email account and then if you have the Plus set up for internet, retreiving that information on your Plus. Of course I know most people don't have internet email running on a Plus, so that may leave you out.

Both your Mac Plus and G4 need internet email access and related internet software. Getting that software for the G4 is easy, as most of those Macs come bundled with a suite of internet tools. On your Mac Plus you will need an external modem, internet connection software and at least an email program (such as Eudora) or a terminal program such as NCSA Telnet or Z-Term.


Most people with G4s and any newer Power Mac for that matter don't have a floppy disc drive.

There are vendors that will sell you a USB floppy disc drive for less than $90. While Apple may think floppies are obsolete, I highly recommend purchasing one. They come in very handy when you need to move small amounts of data from your G4 to other Macs or PCs. I own a SmartDisk USB floppy drive.

The problem with USB floppy drives is that they only read 1.4MB discs. The older 800k discs which the Macintosh Plus require, are not supported.

All is not lost however.

If you have access to a Macintosh not as old as your Plus (say a Mac IIsi, Quadra, biege G3 or whatever), you can transfer the data from your G4 to the third-party Mac. Copy the data from the G4 floppy to the third-party Mac's hard drive. After that, whip out your 800k floppy, insert that into the third party Mac and copy your data. From there you simply take the 800k floppy to your Mac Plus for the transfer of data. Nearly all of the biege Macintosh computers have floppy disc drives that read and write to both 1.4 MB and 800k floppy discs.


The 100 MB Zip drive is still a popular portable storage media, even though the discs themselves are more expensive than floppies or CDs. However if your G4 already has a Zip drive and if you have access to an older, external SCSI zip drive, you may be in luck.

If your zip drive is connected to your G4 all you do is copy your data to that Mac's zip drive.

If you have an older, SCSI based, external zip drive, you can easily connect it to your Mac Plus's SCSI port or daisy chain it to your external hard drive. Most people using a Macintosh Plus will likely be running a version of System 6.x or an early version of System 7.

In order for the Mac Plus to "see" the zip drive, it must have the Iomega driver. For System 6 this means only version 4.2 of that driver. You can also use this driver with your Mac Plus running System 7x.

Once you get your driver installed to the Plus and the zip drive connected to it, you are ready to transfer your files using a single zip disc.

All you do now is insert the zip disc into the zip drive on your G4, copy the data to the disc, eject it, and transfer the disc to the drive connected to your Mac Plus. From there it is a simple matter of copying the data to your Mac Plus' hard drive or even another floppy.


If you are so lucky as to have various Macs on a network, there is the possibility of transferring your data via your network. This would require having your G4 connected to a third party, modern Mac such as a biege G3 with both ethernet and serial talk capabilities, which then could be networked to the Plus using the old Appletalk protocol. From there the data could simply be transferred by using Appleshare (on the third party Mac) from the G4 to it, and then using "Public Folder" to access the hard drive on the Mac Plus (assuming System 6 usage on the Plus). Appleshare can be used if you are running System 7 on your Plus.


Here is a solution that I have never tried. In this case all you have to do is to burn a standard Mac formatted CD on your G4 with the information you want to trasnfer to the Mac Plus. Then if you have access to an old Apple CD 300 drive, connect it to the Plus and see if the information can be transferred by way of CD.

I am quite sure there are other options in which to transfer files from a G4 to the Mac. However these are probably the easiest and most common ways to do it.

If you have any questions feel free to email me.

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Copyright 1998-2003 by Melvin Ah Ching Productions.
Last update: March 22, 2003.