Updated: 5 January 2020

MASTER INDEX of articles written, placed online or recommended by Alex Paterson


System 7.1 is an elegant operating system for older, less powerful Macs. (i.e. Macs with 68000, 68020 & 68030 chips) It has reasonably powerful features, yet runs quite happily on Macs with a total of only 4 mb of RAM and as such is relatively 'zippy'. For Older Macs this is the system to use as later 'Systems' (i.e. System 7.5.x and greater) are just too 'heavy' unless you have at least 8mb of RAM installed.

Macintosh computers can be 'booted up' (i.e. started up) from ANY external drive that spins so long as that disk contains a viable 'System Folder' on it. 1

This feature is unique to Macintosh computers and which makes the diagnosis and rebuilding of Mac computers a relatively simple process, unlike PCs. 2

It is far easier and faster to re-build 3 a Macintosh Computer's Hard Disk by 'booting up' the Computer from an EXTERNAL DRIVE which has its own bootup 'System', and all the required 'System' installation and diagnostic 'tools' on it. This article describes the procedure to rebuild a Power Book 180 Computer's Hard Disk and install System 7.1 on it using an EXTERNAL DRIVE as the source disk. The procedure is exactly the same for installing System 7.1 on any Macintosh computer except for the installation of Powerbook 180 System enabler. That particular step should be ignored for all other Macs.

NOTE: For the purpose of brevity, the term 'EXTERNAL DRIVE' will be used to describe any external Hard Disk, Zip disk, Jaz Disk, Syquest drive, magneto-optical disk or CD used as the source disk.


All computers need a 'System' to startup (bootup) and operate on; they will not operate without one. A 'System' is a set of software instructions (program) normally stored (written) on the Computer's hard disk. The 'System' is the 'brain' which runs the computer and on which the rest of the computer software is built. (i.e. it is the foundation) The Computer will not run without a 'System'; it acts as the interface between you and the computer.

The Computer's internal Hard Disk which you are about to rebuild is going to have all information on it (including any existing System) erased. For this reason the Computer needs to be started up on a 'System' located somewhere other than the Hard Disk you are about to format. In this case the bootup 'System' and diagnostic tools you are about to use will be located on the EXTERNAL DRIVE.


The following instructions assume the bootup 'System' and diagnostic tools you are about to use are located on an EXTERNAL DRIVE. You must ensure that the following items have been installed on the EXTERNAL DRIVE prior to starting the installation procedure.

Apart from having a viable 'System' 4 itself on the EXTERNAL DRIVE (i.e. a 'System' suitable to bootup the computer you are about to rebuild) mandatory items needed to perform the rebuild procedure include:

NOTE: FWB's Hard Disk Toolkit (HDT) is better than earlier versions of 'Apple HD SC Setup' as HDT has the ability to create multiple, password protected partitions. (more on this later)


NOTE: The following instructions specifically assume the use of FWB's Hard Disk Tookit (ver 1.3.1) and Shrinkwrap (ver 3.0) to rebuild a Powerbook 180, however the procedure is essentially the same no matter what you choose to use.

To boot up off the EXTERNAL DRIVE, we first have to tell the computer to use the 'EXTERNAL DRIVE' as the "Startup Disk". To do this:

1. Shutdown the Computer.

2. Connect the EXTERNAL DRIVE to Computer's SCSI port using the appropriate SCSI cable.

3. Power up the EXTERNAL DRIVE.

4. Startup the Computer by pressing the start button. (located at the back of the computer)

5. After startup, select 'Control panels' from the Apple Menu. (located at the top LH corner of the screen)

6. In the 'Control Panels' window select 'Startup Disk' (double click on it)

7. In the 'Startup Disk' window select the 'EXTERNAL DRIVE' icon as the startup disk.

8. Click once on the desktop to bring 'Finder' to the foreground and select 'Restart' from the 'Special' menu.

The computer should bootup off the 'System' written on the External Drive.

NOTE: If for some reason the computer doesn't bootup off the System located on the EXTERNAL DRIVE (indicated by the External Drive's icon being located at the TOP right hand corner of the desktop) then you can force the computer to bootup off the EXTERNAL DRIVE by the holding down the following key combination at startup:

* Bypass startup drive and boot from external drive (or CD).... CMD-OPT-SHIFT-DELETE


Hard Disk Toolkit (HDT) is a software program used to format, partition and test Hard Disks, hence its name. HDT has some significant advantages over Apple's propriety software (called 'Apple HD SC Setup') used to perform similar tasks; the main advantage being the ability to create multiple hard disk partitions that are password protected for security. The following instructions pertains to HDT 1.3.1 which one should be able to obtain from your local Mac Guru. To launch HDT:

9. Find the 'HDT 1.3.1 Folder' on the EXTERNAL DRIVE, open it and locate the 'HDT Primer 1.3.1 PE' icon.

10. Double click on the 'HDT Primer 1.3.1 PE' icon. You will be presented with the HDT Primer window.

Next: Formatting the Hard Disk.


Formatting is the process of preparing the disk for use whereby the drive erases all existing data and maps the disk into blocks, sectors and tracks. To do this:

11. In the HDT Primer window click on the Computer's Hard Disk icon to select it and then click on the 'Format' button located at the top right hand corner of the window.

12. HDT will give you three (3) warnings that "formatting destroys all the data on the disk" and asks "Do you wish to continue?" Click 'Continue' as that is what you wish to do. HDT will then inform you it is "performing a low level format" on the hard disk and that it will take about 2 - 10 minutes depending on the size of the hard disk.

# IMPORTANT NOTE # HDT 1.3.1 has a minor fault in that it does NOT provide any indication that it is doing anything whilst it is formatting a hard disk. This fault is rather disconcerting as the computer appears to be 'frozen' and that nothing is happening. Almost certainly the program is doing its thing and so just wait about 10 minutes or so before assuming the computer is frozen.

13. After the formatting is completed you will be presented with the 'Hard Disk Partition' window which will inform you "formatting completed successfully" and ask you to "please choose a partitioning method."

Next: Partitioning the Hard Disk.


Partitioning a Hard Disk is the process whereby the Hard Disk is split up into different sections called 'Partitions' or 'Volumes', with each partition being assigned its own name and characteristics.

As part of the process of creating Partitions, a directory is created on the Hard Disk in order for the computer operating system to locate files. This process is called INITIALISATION.

To all intents and purposes each partition is treated by the computer as a separate pseudo hard disk and when 'mounted' onto the computer's desktop they have their own separate icons and names. (Partitions look and behave just like a separate Hard Disks mounted on the desktop)

By convention, the Hard Disk or Partition containing the bootup 'System' is always located at the top right hand corner of the 'Desktop', with the other partitions and/or drives (hard disks, Zip disks, CDs, floppies etc) positioned beneath it.

Each partition which has been created by HDT can be assigned different attributes such as password protection, automount, bootable, read only etc.

NOTE 1: You can elect to Initialise a Hard Disk without Formatting it.

NOTE 2: Initialisation only creates a new directory; it does NOT erase any old information on the disk, but rather makes the space where any old information is written available to be over written. (similar to putting items in the Trash) If you wish to permanently destroy the information written on a hard disk (or Zip disk etc) you MUST format it.

You have the option of structuring the computer with a single large partition (the default option) or you can structure the Hard Disk with 2 or more partitions using the 'Custom' option. If you choose this option it is suggested you create the largest proposed partition first. To do this:

14. Click on the 'Custom' button, then 'OK'. You will be presented with the 'Partition Directory' window.

15. As you wish to create a new partition, click on the 'New' button. You will be presented with the 'New Volume' (meaning partition) window.

16. Type in an appropriate name for the Hard Disk in the name field.

17. Leave the password field blank unless you want password protect the partition. (NOTE: You can assign that feature at a later date if you wish)

18. Set the partition size in the size field.

19. Leave the 'Automount' option selected (X) unless you DON'T want the partition to automount at startup. (NOTE: You can assign that feature at a later date if you wish)

20. Click on the 'Create' button.

21. Repeat the operation for subsequent partitions.

22. When you have finished creating all the required partitions, quit HDT.

Next: installing 'System 7.1' on the Hard Disk


(6 disk images in total plus Update 3 installer)


A 'System' is a set of software instructions (program) normally stored (written) on the Computer's hard disk. The 'System' is the 'brain' which runs the computer and on which the rest of the computer software is built. (i.e. it is the foundation) The Computer will not run without a 'System'; it acts as the interface between you and the computer.

An explanation about SHRINKWRAP.

The 'System' you are about to install on the Computer is archived (stored) on the EXTERNAL DRIVE as a set of disk images. A DISK IMAGE is an exact copy of an original floppy. You can use 'ShrinkWrap' to remake an exact copy of the original installer floppy set (6 floppies) or alternatively you can use 'ShrinkWrap' to simply 'mount' the images directly onto the 'desktop' just as if you had inserted the original floppies. Mounting disk images directly onto the computer 'desktop' negates the bother of physically re-making a set of floppy disks and the installation of the software occurs much faster than using 'real' floppies. (floppies are unreliable and very slow to use) If you choose to use 'ShrinkWrap' to mount the disk images directly onto the desktop (recommended) then you need to mount ALL of the installer set disk images (including PB180 Enabler131) onto the desktop prior to launching the first installer disk image. (i.e. mount all 6 images) To do this:

23. Locate the following items on the EXTERNAL DRIVE.

  1. 1. System 7.1
  2. 2. Enabler131 (for PB180) or whatever the applicable enabler is for your computer
  3. 3. System Update 3.0

24. Open the 'System 7.1' folder by double clicking on it. The contents of the 'System 7.1' are as follows:

25. Locate the program 'Shrinkwrap' on the EXTERNAL DRIVE. When you have located 'Shrinkwrap ' make an alias of the program (use 'Make Alias' from the 'File' menu in 'Finder') and drag the alias to some place convenient on the desktop. (Somewhere along the bottom of the screen is a convenient place)

Next, mount the disk images. (i.e. put the contents of the disk images into the computer's 'memory')

26. To 'mount' the disk images simply drag each image onto the Shrinkwrap alias and drop it. (i.e. drag & drop) The icons of each mounted image will appear on the right hand side of the desktop beneath the Hard Disk icon.

# IMPORTANT NOTE # The standard 'System' 7.1 you are about to install will not run a PB180 until it has been modified by the installation of 'PB 180 Enabler131'. You need to mount PB 180 Enabler131 images onto the desktop as well as the standard System 7.1 installer images prior to launching the installer.

27. Locate 'Enabler131' folder on the EXTERNAL DRIVE and open it. The contents are as follows:

28. Mount 'InstallMeFirst.image' onto the desktop by dragging and dropping them onto the 'Shrinkwrap' alias.

NOTE: 'DiskTools' is an emergency startup disk and is NOT installed onto your hard disk, so there is no point in mounting either of the DiskTools images.

You should now have a total of 6 disk images mounted on the desktop which are:

29. Commence the installation process by double clicking on the 'InstallMeFirst' image.

The 'Easy Install' dialog window should appear with the message:

"Click Install to place version Z 7.1 of

* Mac System Software

* Printing Software

* File sharing software

on the hard disk named 'Whatever you called the Hard Disk"

# IMPORTANT WARNING # If the destination disk is incorrect, use the 'Switch Disk' button to select the correct destination disk.

Click 'Install'

You will be presented with a progress window of what the installer is doing.

After you have been notified "Installation of SYS 7.1 on hard disk named 'whatever you called your hard disk' has been successful" click 'QUIT'.

30. Tidy up by closing the 'Install me first' window and dragging all the disk images laying on the desktop into the trash can.

Next: install System 7.1 Update 3.


System 7.1 Update 3 loads the latest System 7.1 enhancements and tuners for added computer stability and functionality. To install:

31. Locate 'System Update 3.0' folder on the EXTERNAL DRIVE and open it. The contents should be as follows:

NOTE: System Update 3.0 folders contain conventional installers, not ShrinkWrap images so there is no need to mount any disk images.

32. Double click on 'Install System Update' icon and follow the 'Easy Install' instructions.

# IMPORTANT WARNING # As before, ensure the destination disk is the correct one and if not use the 'Switch Disk' option to select the correct destination disk.

33. After the 'System Update 3.0' installation has been completed, 'quit' the installer.

Next: change the 'startup disk' back to the computer's own hard disk.


34. From the 'Apple' Menu (located at the top LH corner of the screen) select 'Control Panels'.

35. In the 'Control Panels' window double click on the 'Startup Disk' control panel icon.

36. In the 'Startup Disk' window select 'Whatever you named your hard disk' icon as the startup disk.

37. Click once on the desktop to bring 'Finder' to the foreground and then select 'Restart' from the 'Special' menu.

The computer should then bootup off the newly installed 'System 7.1' written on the Hard Disk.

NOTE: Confirmation that the computer has actually booted up off the 'System' located on the computer's internal hard disk is indicated by that hard disk's icon being located at the very top of right hand corner of the screen.

Next check the installation has been completed satisfactorily and that the computer operates correctly.


38. Click on the Apple Menu (located at the top left hand corner of the screen) and check that the Apple pull down menu appears and if so, select 'Control Panels' to see if the Control Panels folder window appears.

39. Move the cursor all over the screen using the mouse.

If it all appears to working fine and is stable then move on and tidy up a few settings.


The computer will have booted up using some default settings which need to be changed for enhanced operation. The clock will also need to be set to the correct date and time.

40. Bootup the Computer from the Hard Disk (i.e. a standard startup)

41. Open the 'Control Panels Folder' (accessed from the 'Apple' menu)

42. In the Control Panels window double click on the:

43. Select 'Empty Trash' from the 'Special' menu to empty the trash can.

44. CREATE 'EXTENSIONS DISABLED' Folder. To do this:

In Finder window (click once on the desktop to bring the 'Finder' to the foreground) create a new folder (Command-N) and call it 'Extensions Disabled'. Put this folder in the 'System' folder. Unless you are intending to use any of the following Apple printers, drag their printing extensions from the 'Extensions' folder into the newly created 'Extensions Disabled' folder. (This will prevent the computer from loading them into memory at startup which saves memory and reduces bootup time)

45. Open the 'Chooser' window (accessed from the 'Apple' menu) and set 'Appletalk' to 'Inactive'. (otherwise the Powerbook will not be able to automatically go to 'Sleep')



1. Windows PC's do not have this feature which makes rebuilding them a much more difficult task.


2. External drives include floppies, any external hard disk, any magneto-optical drive, any magnetic drive like a Zip disk or CD.


3. 'Rebuild' a hard disk means format it and then install a 'SYSTEM' on it.


4. A 'viable' System is one that will bootup the particular computer you are about to rebuild. In the case of a PowerBook 180, System 7.1 MUST include PB180 System enabler for System 7.1 to run a PB180. You will need to research and experiment with your particular computer. Check out Apple's Enabler site for details at:

Directory of Apple Updates Older Systems

NOTE 1: If the EXTERNAL DRIVE is using System 7.5.x or System 7.6.x, the relevant enablers are already built into the actual System itself.

NOTE 2: Some older Macs won't run properly on SYS 7.5.x or greater if the System includes some sophisticated extensions not designed for older Macs. In that case you may have to boot up the computer from the EXTERNAL DRIVE with 'Extensions OFF'. To do this:

Hold down the keys SHIFT & CMD until the message "Welcome to Macintosh, Extensions Off" appears on the screen then release the keys.


5. The SYSTEM 7.1 disk images are now no longer free, but can be bought off Apple. Contact Apple to findout how to purchase SYS 7.1.

Alternatively, SYSTEM 7.0 is still freely available and can be downloaded at:

Directory of Apple SYS 7x


6. Check out Directory of Apple Updates Older Systems to see if your particular computer requires an enabler. Power Book 180 System 7.1 enabler disk images can be downloaded from the same place.


7. As of Janurary 2000, SYSTEM 7.1 Update 3 is no longer free, but can be bought off Apple. Contact Apple to findout how to purchase SYSTEM 7.1 Update 3.


8. As of Janurary 2000, 'Apple HD SC Setup' is no longer freely available. Contact Apple to findout how to purchase 'Apple HD SC Setup'.


Copyright Alex Paterson 1999




Alex PATERSON is an airline pilot by profession, now living in Queensland, Australia. He writes articles and advises on issues pertaining to aviation, politics, sociology, the environment, sustainable farming, history, computers, natural health therapies, esoteric teachings and spirituality.

He can be contacted at:


Photograph of Alex Paterson 


The document, 'Mac System 7.1.Installation Instructions' is the copyright of the author, Alex Paterson. All rights reserved by the author. Not withstanding this, the document may be reproduced and disseminated without the express permission of the author so long as reference to the author is made, no alterations are made to the document and no money is charged for it.