Most reliable 7.6.1 setup on M1 ?

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conflictdoubler
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Most reliable 7.6.1 setup on M1 ?

Post by conflictdoubler »

Curious: If you were wanting to emulate 7.6.1 in as reliable a fashion as possible under the latest macOS on M1, which direction would you go?

No complex software in this use case -- just file management in the Finder and lots of file moving, copying, aliases, custom icons, etc.

I am mostly interested in long-term reliability in the sense I don't want to have a silly 7.6.1 crash result in a dead hard drive image...

Thanks for your helpful guidance! :idea:
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Re: Most reliable 7.6.1 setup on M1 ?

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

You can run 7.6.1 on BasiliskII, SheepShaver, or Qemu 68k

BasiliskII and SheepShaver share much code. They are both matured applications and the builds posted here run natively on Apple Silicon. BasiliskII is a 68k emulator, SheepShaver is a PPC emulator. SheepShaver tends to be a little more stable.

Qemu 68k is in early development but may be the more complete emulator in the future.

Classic Mac OS versions will suffer from occasional system crashes, as they did on real hardware. If you keep regular backup copies of the hard drive image you can easily replace a damaged image with a recent healthy backup copy.

Not sure what you intend to do with the emulator. Just playing around in the MacOS 7.6.1 Finder?
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Re: Most reliable 7.6.1 setup on M1 ?

Post by conflictdoubler »

Hi Ronald - you are so kind to respond to me. Even before this, I owed you a debt of gratitude for all the helpful advice you've given others on this forum that helped me figure things out! I would have never been able to understand enough about emulation to make the jump if not for this awesome community and the moderation team :smile:

I was in a pretty bad living situation when I was a teen but thank goodness had a Mac; I think my brain just crawled up into our Performa and never left, meaning now I have a very hard time wanting to organize anything on OS 8 or newer. I have been using real Mac hardware running 9.2.2 for years, but I really like OS 7.6.1 and it seems plausible that I could have a better experience using OS 7.6.1 on my M1 Pro full time rather than just using the Mac as a fancy terminal.

Unfortunately, on my M1 Pro MacBook I keep having weird issues with the emulators I've tried. I'm also having trouble with a commercial Electron app, and the issues seem to be similar, so I was just about to wipe the MacBook and do a fresh clean install.

Since I have no idea between the emulators I tried to set up and the various commercial software I had installed, I was just hoping to get an idea of what was best for OS 7.6.1 setups in the current macOS / M1 environment.

Unless I'm off base, it sounds like for now SheepShaver would be the ultimate in flexibility for a 7.6.1 setup. I'll plan on keeping tabs and beginning to test Qemu 68k as soon as I can wrap my head around it.

My thanks to you again for even reading this, much less all the rest you've done for us Classic types around here.
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Re: Most reliable 7.6.1 setup on M1 ?

Post by conflictdoubler »

I'm sure it is something I am unknowingly doing, but unfortunately my new SheepShaver setup has become corrupted already.

tl;dr - what's the best recovery after a crash kills my disk image? Should I jump back to the last backup and restart from there (losing hours of progress), or is there anyway to generally fix and recover a .dsk image when it starts showing problems?

Here's the rundown of what I did and what happened:

Install SheepShaver
1) Following the awesome wiki guide, I install SDL & SheepShaver and set it up no problems (MacBook M1 Pro w/ Monterey)

Install Mac OS & Test a while
2) Install 7.6 + 7.6.1 update, minimal Apple-provided extensions needed just for the basic "System 7.5-7.6" experience like drag and drop - everything is smooth and works over many dozens of restarts and changes

Start using the Mac in SheepShaver
3) After using the system in SheepShaver for a few days creating folders, randomly during use I'll get a crash (understandable for System 7). At the time of the latest crash I was using 62 MB of a 2 GB .dsk image created in the SheepShaver Preferences pane. There were about 550 items on the disk, 95 which were empty folders I'd created as placeholders. When the crash occurred, I was changing a Control Panel setting. *****During this time I always Shut Down SheepShaver, but not when the Mac host laptop sleeps or the screen turns off.******

Experience Crash (expected for OS 7.6)
4) After Ctrl-Esc to get out full screen SheepShaver and a restart of the macOS Monterey host, I open SheepShaver again and often it works... but eventually (in this case about a day of solid use) it won't boot to the desktop with or without extensions, and it isn't even loading to the prompt for rebuilding desktop. When it does allow the rebuild desktop prompt, the OK button won't respond in the rebuild box... I have had this happen on real hardware when a drive is bad, so I am thinking my .dsk is corrupt...

What next...?
5) The disk image is corrupted and won't load to desktop; do I now have the ability in SheepShaver to boot using another .dsk and fix the corrupted .dsk in some way? I tried this using Disk First Aid but noticed the .dsk images appear as Floppy Disks and the repair / verify functions don't seem to work as they do on real hardware (unless I am confused, which is not uncommon)

Thanks for your advice! Hopefully I can figure out what I am doing that keeps sending me from emulator-land crashes back to 20-year-old hardware. Honestly I'd keep using the 20 year old hardware but the displays are all going so dim over the decades of use and it is only a matter of time until they all break. The original Mac OS truly was amazingly useful for the human mind, I hope to find a way to run it reliably on this M1 Pro laptop soon!
Last edited by conflictdoubler on Tue Apr 26, 2022 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Most reliable 7.6.1 setup on M1 ?

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

As I wrote before, if the file system on the virtual HD gets corrupted, the best way to get back to a working setup is to replace the startup disk image file with a recent backup.

Yes, the disk images mounted in SheepShaver (and BasiliskII) appear to the system as giant floppy disks.

If you want to try to repair the disk using Disk First Aid, you need to create a new startup disk to work from. It needs to be at the top of the volumes list because SheepShaver will start up from the first bootable volume from the top of the list. (As the setup manual notes, the Startup Disk control panel is not functional in SheepShaver and trying to use it may result in SheepShaver crashing.)

Start up from the new startup disk, launch Disk First Aid on that startup disk, and select the disk to be repaired at the top of the Disk First Aid window. The Verify and Repair buttons should then be activated.

The crash occurred when you were "changing a Control Panel setting". Which control panel was it?
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Re: Most reliable 7.6.1 setup on M1 ?

Post by conflictdoubler »

Thanks for repeating the info about how to recover - although I read it initially in your first post, I didn’t comprehend that you had preemptively answered my question about what to do when this happened.

Thanks again to you, I have a recovery plan and just need to do more regular backups as a habit or automated routine. The backup .disk worked great!

I believe it was the General control panel and I was changing what disk info to show in list view. May have been a regular Mac crash, as I had numerous Finder windows open and that can tempt fate even without changing settings…
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Most reliable 7.6.1 setup on M1 ?

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

conflictdoubler wrote: Tue Apr 26, 2022 10:02 pmI have a recovery plan and just need to do more regular backups as a habit or automated routine.
Note that backup copies of the disk image file should best be made while SheepShaver is not running.
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