FAQ for the PC Compatibility cards

DISCLAIMER:Every hint, trick and bit on this page was submitted here to help you with your DOS and PC Compatibility card with the best knowledge and intention of the author. The author of the hint may be different from the webmaster. Noone gives you a guarantee that the given hint remedies your problem. The application of the hints might even worsen your situation or cause an explosion of your system or even of the whole universe. Neither the author nor the webmaster can be held liable for any possible, resulting damage - it's your own risk. If your problems increased after applying such a hint (or if your part of the universe exploded), please be so kind to inform the webmaster, so that others can be warned before running into the same problem.


I have a solution that is not covered here

If you have a solution or an answer which is not covered here or you have a correction or an amendment to an existing answer or any comments, please let me know and send an email to this adress: olivers-at-mac.com  

I have a question that is not covered here. Where should I adress to?

If you have a question or problem with your DOS or PC Compatibility card that is not covered here, you're not lost yet. The first step should be to investigate a little on your own. Read the manuals for the type of card you have. Most problems are covered there. If you still lack some information, you could for example go to Apple's Tech Info Library and search for "pc" and "compatibility". This returns about 50 hits that very probable cover your question. Searching for "dos" and "compatibility" returns as many hits. (Update: TIL no longer exists! Try http://kbase.info.apple.com instead - you need a free login) At the bottom of this page is a list of URLs that might be of assisstance as well.

If this didn't help, you can try to ask in the forum that deals with this kind of problems:
MacDOScard Forum: http://network54.com/Forum/30406

Apple had a forum for the DOS/PC Compatibility cards as well, but with the last restructure of their support website, they introduced the duty for registering and allowance of cookies and since then I am not willing anymore to monitor this spot.


What types of DOS/PC Compatibility Cards did Apple produce?

Once upon a time, Apple started producing Compatibility Cards that were code named "Houdini" and could be placed into Quadras. This period of time can be located in the first half of the nineties. As this lies before myself being proud Mac owner, I won't comment on this time, but I'd rather start in 1994/5, when Apple delivered a special model of the PowerMac 6100 with a DOS card:
  • DOS Compatibility card for Nubus slot in PowerMac 6100 with a 486/66 CPU
  • 7-inch PCI PC Compatibility card with 5x86/100MHz CPU
  • 12-inch PCI PC Compatibility card with Intel Pentium 100MHz CPU
  • 12-inch PCI PC Compatibility card with Intel Pentium 166MHz CPU
  • 12-inch PCI PC Compatibility card with Cyrix 6x86 133MHz CPU (166PR) for PowerMac 4400 and 7220

What software was included with the PC Compatibility card?

The (Nubus-slot) DOS Compatibility card included
  • one floppy disk with the MacOS drivers
  • one floppy disk with Apple's drivers for the PC side (for CD-ROM, mouse, folder sharing and clipboard sharing)
  • two floppy disks called "Display drivers" (for DOS, that is)
  • one floppy disk "Sound Blaster 16"
  • three floppy disks with DOS 6.22
  • six floppy disks with Windows 3.1

The (PCI-slot) PC Compatibility card included
  • one CD with the MacOS drivers
  • one CD with Apple's drivers for the PC side (for CD-ROM, mouse, folder sharing and clipboard sharing)
  • three floppy disks with DOS 6.22

Where can I download the original drivers from Apple?

As Apple's servers were re-organized several times, I currently don't know of a FTP address, where to get the drivers, but you can try this location:
Make sure that you download both the disc images 1of2 and 2of2!

Let me remind you that the above is the link to the US version. If you want a different localisation of the drivers, go to http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/, choose your localisation and click on DOS-Windows and DOS_and_PC_Compatibility_SW. Maybe there is an "up-to-date" localisation of your favourite language. Good luck!

The latest version that Apple released is 1.6.4. View the Read Me file for the US version of PC Setup 1.6.4 in order to find special clues applicable only to your card/version. The Quadra 610 requires version 1.0.2 of the PC Setup, which can be found in the same directory as the link above.


Where can I get more recent drivers?

You can get more recent drivers from FVDCS/Discovery Software's website under the following URL:
Check out their website for licensing information, new features and (un-)supported systems.
Update: They are giving away the software for free! See their website for a license code.
Update of the Update: As their website is down now for quite some time, here comes the license string:
Authorization Code: UEV-EVZ-7TU
License Name: FREE
License Site: 469
The following site has the drivers archived:
or try

I lost my manual. How does XYZ work?

You should not throw away things you might need again, but in the case of the manual, you might get away lucky. Apple offers most of the manuals for download at the following adress (search for "compatibility"):


You could find a lot relevant manuals via this direct link:

Maybe the following links may help and persist: http://home.earthlink.net/~strahm_s/manuals.html

Apple re-organizes their website and self-service support organization from time to time. As a consequence, the links to webspace inside of Apple become outdated after some time. As Apple and Apple's lawyers sue people that put the (service) manuals on their private, non-profit web pages, these pages won't live very long. At least as long there is no source for the manuals outside of DMCA-land. I can fully understand that Apple pays attention that their copyrights are respected enough, as long as Apple uses this material to generate income. But I can not understand why Apple does not release information for products that they ended support for years ago - or at least tolerates distribution of this info. But lawyers want to make money and they try to maximize their profit, no matter what's right or wrong, but only caring for their definition of society. Goddamn Lawyers! ;-)


An answer to most questions

Whilst reading the fabulous webpage of www.68kmla.net , I came across the article of Phil Beesley (www.vintagemacworld.com), that includes almost every information you can think of about the DOS and PC Compatibility cards. He gave me permission to include his article here, so here it comes:

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:10 pm Post subject: Re: Installing W95 on DOS Compatibility

My notes on DOS card installation. Feedback encouraged:

The information in this section relating to hardware also applies to the Reply and Radius versions of the Apple DOS cards. Reply/Radius cards use similar Mac and PC software to the Apple cards, so the notes below usually apply to the "clone" cards. If you own copies of Reply/Radius software, I encourage you to experiment with it and make it available to others. If not, try using Apple's software.

Houdini Peripheral Cable
The Houdini I and II peripheral cable (part number 590-2104) connects to an external 26 pin D connector on the DOS card. Two cables emerge from the 26 pin connector. One cable is for the joystick (and carries an appropriate icon) and the other is for the PC monitor, and has both male and female 15 pin Apple monitor connectors.

If you have only one monitor, plug the male 15 pin connector on the peripheral cable into the monitor connector on the back of the Mac. If you have a PowerMac 6100, you'll need an additional HDI-45 adaptor to connect to the back of the Mac. Plug the monitor into the female 15 pin connector on the peripheral cable. Video output from both Mac and PC will be displayed on the monitor.

If you have more than one monitor, plug the female 15 pin connector into the dedicated PC monitor. Use a Mac/VGA adaptor if necessary. Video output will be updated on all monitors, but you can only use the keyboard and mouse in one environment.

Pinouts for the Houdini cable are available. http://popcorn.cx/computers/apple/powermac/6100/cable.php

The Houdini 630 does not use a peripheral cable. Video signals from the Houdini 630 board are redirected to the built-in Mac monitor connector. The joystick connector connector is mounted on the back of the Mac 630/640.

PCI Compatibility Card Cable
The 7" and 12" PC Compatibility Cards use a different peripheral cable (part number 590-4539). The cable does not have a joystick connector and supports only one monitor.

If you have one monitor, plug the male 15 pin connector on the peripheral cable into the monitor connector on the back of the Mac. Plug the monitor into the female 15 pin connector on the peripheral cable. Video output from both Mac and PC will be displayed on the monitor.

If you have more than one monitor, plug the female 15 pin connector into the dedicated PC monitor. Use a Mac/VGA adaptor if necessary. A separate PCI graphics card is required for each dedicated Mac monitor. Video output will be updated on all monitors, but you can only use the keyboard and mouse in one environment.

Pinouts for the PCI card cable are available. http://homepage.mac.com/olivers/DOScard/MonCables.html

PC Sound Cable
The Houdini I and II cards and Apple PCI DOS cards use an additional internal cable to patch into the Mac sound system. The Houdini I card does not emulate a SoundBlaster card so sound output is limited to beeps and squeaks.

For a Mac without a built-in CD-ROM -- connect the 4 pin audio cable attached to the Houdini card or SoundBlaster module to the 4 pin audio header on the Mac logic board (where a CD-ROM audio cable would normally attach).

For a Mac with a built-in CD-ROM -- detach the audio cable from the CD-ROM where it attaches to the Mac logic board. Connect the 4 pin audio cable attached to the Houdini card, SoundBlaster module or PCI DOS card to the 4 pin audio header on the Mac logic board. Connect the audio cable from the CD-ROM to the 4 pin audio header on the DOS card.

**Check connector type info for the sound cable

Hard Disk Container Files
A container file is the file on the Mac hard disk that stores the virtual hard disk for the DOS card. A container file is created using the PC Setup control panel and PC Setup 1.6.4 can create a file up to 1GB in size (the maximum will be lower for earlier versions). For performance reasons, the container file should be stored on a fast hard disk on which SCSI Manager 4.3 drivers installed. You can create multiple container files with different MS-DOS or Windows configurations.

The container files used by Apple DOS cards (and clones), Orange Micro PC cards and emulators such as SoftWindows use a similar format. All can be viewed and modified in the Macintosh Finder using PC Exchange or a third party disk mounter. Container files are not really interchangeable between different types of DOS card or emulator. In a real PC, specific drivers are installed on the hard disk to support PC hardware, so the same rule applies for container files.

If using Windows 95 OSR2 or Windows 98, the container file can be FAT32 or FAT16 format. For all earlier versions of Windows and MS-DOS, the container file must be FAT16 format. If you wish to use a FAT32 format container file, it will only be accessible from the Macintosh Finder if you are using a FAT32-compatible version of PC Exchange. Similarly, Windows 95 or 98 Long File names will only be displayed if you are using a suitable version of PC Exchange.

Enthusiasts report that container files up to 2GB in size can be created using SoftWindows or other emulators. Apple's PC Setup software will work with these container files as long as you don't use SoftWindows to install an operating system.

Apple's PC Setup Software
Apple's PC Setup software works with Houdini cards, PCI DOS cards and clones from Reply/Radius. It comprises three parts:
* PC Setup Software for the Macintosh
* PC Setup DOS Drivers (on a floppy disk officially labelled "PC Compatibility Card PC Software") **check spelling
* PC Setup Additional DOS and Windows Drivers (on floppy disk or CD-ROM) **officially labelled?

Apple's DOS and Windows drivers support an Apple-compatible CD-ROM, folder sharing and clipboard sharing. Early versions of PC support software for the DOS card also included video drivers for MS-DOS applications such as AutoCAD or WordPerfect. MS-DOS and Windows are installed from the standard installation disks or CD-ROMs provided by Microsoft.

Three versions of the PC Setup software can be downloaded from Apple which cover most requirements.

PC Setup 1.0.2: This is the last downloadable release that supports the Houdini I card. The downloadable software from Apple only includes the PC Setup control panel, so you may need to hunt around for DOS drivers or experiment with those provided with PC Setup 1.5 or 1.6.4.

PC Setup 1.5: This version supports the Houdini II and LC 630/640 cards. It runs on System 7.5.3 on the LC 630/640, or 7.1.2 and 7.5.3 on the 6100, so it is handy if you don't have much RAM for the Mac OS. DOS clipboard sharing is not supported and RAM must be installed on a Houdini 630/640 card. Open Transport is not officially supported but many people found that Open Transport 1.1.1 works. The downloadable software from Apple includes separate Mac and PC disk images.

PC Setup 1.6.4: This is the last version released by Apple and it supports all but the Houdini I card. It requires 7.5.3 and Open Transport 1.1.1, and was officially supported by Apple up to Mac OS 8.1. In spite of these restrictions, many users have used PC Setup 1.6.4 in limited fashion with Mac OS 8.5, 8.6 and 9.x (see Networking Problems below for solutions). The downloadable software from Apple includes separate Mac and PC disk images. Apple's PC drivers are still 16 bit but you may wish to try using them with earlier versions of PC Setup.

PC Setup 2.x: Apple provided technical information about DOS cards to a third party developer, Discovery Software, so that they could write 32 bit Windows drivers to improve Windows 95 and 98 performance. PC Setup 2.x includes 32 bit hard disk and CD-ROM drivers, and enhances network support. It also supports Mac OS 8.5, 8.6 and 9.x and tries to correct earlier networking problems. PC Setup 2.x is not a full installation and it is necessary to install PC Setup 1.6.4 first.

PC Setup 2.x, was sold commercially for several years. When the third party developer discontinued it, PC Setup 2.1.7, the final version, was made available as a free download. You will need three files (Mac and PC installation sets and the PDF manual). Install using the license code below:
Authorization Code: UEV-EVZ-7TU
License Name: FREE
License Site: 469

PC Setup DIMM Patch: The 12" PCI DOS card is incompatible with some 32MB and 64MB DIMMs, causing freezes and crashes. The PC Setup DIMM patch modifies PC Setup 1.5 to correct this problem. The patch is not required for PC Setup 1.6.4.

Additional DOS and Windows drivers: At various times, Apple provided additional DOS and Windows drivers on floppy disk and CD-ROM. The Houdini I installation kit included a floppy disk with DOS drivers for WordPerfect and AutoCAD and the Houdini II kit included DOS drivers for the SoundBlaster module. For PCI DOS cards, Apple included a CD-ROM containing their latest Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 drivers.

Loss of a driver disk for the Houdini cards is unimportant (nobody cares about WordPerfect any longer and the DOS SoundBlaster drivers are readily downloadable). The driver support CD-ROM for PCI DOS cards is much more useful because it contains drivers that may be less easy to locate in the future. Windows 3.1 and Windows 95/98 drivers for sound and video are available now but that may not be true in two years. If you enjoy playing with DOS cards, download your drivers now. Apple's downloadable PC Setup 1.5 and 1.6.4 kits contain minimal drivers that do not necessarily provide full functionality for all DOS cards.

Basic Installation of PC Setup
The recipe below has worked for me in the past. Depending on the version of PC Setup and DOS card model, you may need to modify the procedures. Installation requires the following:
* PC Setup Mac installation floppy disk or CD-ROM
* PC Setup PC support floppy disk labelled "PC Compatibility Card PC Software" or similar
* MS-DOS 5.0 or higher installation floppy disks
* Windows installation floppy disks or CD-ROM (optional)
* PC Setup Additional DOS and Windows Drivers (on floppy disk or CD-ROM)

Whichever version of Windows you intend using, you should first perform a full installation of MS-DOS plus Apple's DOS drivers, as described in this section. This will ensure that the necessary drivers for Windows installation are present in your DOS card environment. If you intend using Windows 95 or 98 exclusively, you can remove the MS-DOS installation later. Any version of MS-DOS 5.0 or higher will work on a DOS card, but you need the installation disk set rather than the upgrade disk set. MS-DOS 4.0 and earlier should also work if you are hacking, but don't complain when Apple's drivers don't work.

To eject a floppy disk manually during installation, press Command-E. To eject a CD-ROM manually during installation, press Command-Y.

Stage 1: Install the PC Setup software appropriate for your DOS card and version of Mac OS. If you need to install PC Setup 2.x, install PC Setup 1.6.4 at this stage. PC Setup 1.6.4 should be upgraded later. Use the PC Setup control panel to create a container file (virtual hard disk) for the DOS card. This is a blank hard disk with no operating system installed.

Stage 2: Switch to the DOS card environment and boot it for the first time. Insert disk 1 of the MS-DOS installation set to launch the MS-DOS installer. Follow the instructions displayed on-screen to format the virtual hard disk and install MS-DOS. After installation, the DOS card will have a vanilla MS-DOS configuration that you might find on a standard PC.

Stage 3: Boot the new PC configuration which should startup from MS-DOS installed on the virtual hard disk. Insert the "PC Compatibility Card PC Software" floppy disk. At the DOS command prompt, type A:\SETUP.EXE and press Return. Follow the instructions displayed on-screen to install Windows and DOS support drivers.

Apple's DOS drivers were intended for users who would share data between MS-DOS and Mac applications. Games players may appreciate the notes below:
i. The Apple CD-ROM DOS driver is recommended, especially if you intend installing PC software from CD-ROM. Note that the Apple driver does not work with all third party CD-ROM drives. The hacks that allow you to use a third party CD-ROM using Apple's CD-ROM driver normally work with the PC Setup DOS driver (** see section on CD-ROMs).
ii. Clip board sharing and cut-and-paste can be ignored if you wish to conserve DOS memory.
iii. Similarly, Mac folder sharing can be ignored if you wish to conserve DOS memory.
iv. DOS will not install a mouse driver (this is normal behaviour; if you want a mouse in MS-DOS, you install the driver yourself). Most generic DOS mouse drivers will work. Windows 3.1 will work with the emulated Mac mouse without a specific driver.

Later versions of PC Setup install a driver in the Mouse directory on the virtual hard drive. If you are using a Houdini I card, Windows 3.1 installation disk 4 contains a suitable driver. Insert the floppy disk and type "expand a:\mousehp.co_ c:\dos\mousehp.com" at the command prompt. Edit your Autoexec.bat file to load the mouse driver.

DOS drivers for the SoundBlaster module (if fitted) are not installed by default. Standard SoundBlaster 16 drivers were provided where appropriate on floppy disk or CD-ROM, but you can use standard SoundBlaster 16 MS-DOS drivers if they have gone missing. Note that some DOS games have built-in SoundBlaster drivers so check the documentation for your games, because drivers may not be necessary.

If you are experimenting with your DOS card configuration, you'll need an MS-DOS boot floppy for those times when it fails to boot. Create a DOS boot disk in the normal way using the command FORMAT A: /S. Note that this floppy disk will not work with FAT32 format hard disks.

MS-DOS 6.x may recommend that you run the Memmaker utility to optimise DOS memory. This utility will modify the DOS configuration files and may prevent MS-DOS from booting. To optimise DOS memory, refer to the sample Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files in conjunction with a good book about MS-DOS 5.0 or later.

Installation of Windows 3.1, 95 or 98
Windows 3.1 will run adequately on a PC with a modest amount of RAM (eg 8MB shared between the Mac and DOS card). Windows 95 will run very slowly on a Houdini I card with an 8MB SIMM on the DOS card, and much better if you install a 16MB SIMM. A more realistic option for running Windows 95 or 98 is a DOS card with at least a 486DX/2 66 processor and a 16MB SIMM.

Installation of Windows is much easier if you have the Windows driver CD-ROM or floppy disks that were originally supplied with the DOS card and the appropriate manual. Manuals for the PCI DOS cards can be found at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=50099. Manuals for the Houdini cards can be found at **find link! The ReadMe for PC Setup 1.6.4 can be found at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=24251.

Windows 3.1: All versions of Apple's PC Setup include Real Mode drivers that work adequately with Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups 3.1.1. Microsoft supplied Windows 3.1.x on standard PC floppy disks which can be used for installation on the Mac. After installing Windows 3.1, restart Windows. From the File menu in File Manager, select the option Run. In the dialog box, type A:\SETUP.EXE if your Windows drivers in the PC Setup package are on floppy disk. Type E:\SETUP.EXE if your Windows drivers in the PC Setup package are on CD-ROM.

Windows 95 and 98 with PC Setup 1.6.4 or earlier: Windows 95 and 98 will run in "compatibility mode" using Apple's Real Mode drivers. Performance is poor but Windows is relatively stable. Mac users are likely to notice that Long File Names are not supported under Windows.

Older versions of PC Exchange do not work with the DMF format floppy disks on which Windows 95/98 was distributed. Install from a Windows CD-ROM or upgrade to PC Exchange 2.0.7 or higher. When installing Windows 95 or 98, note the following points:
i. During hardware setup for Windows 95, ensure the option to look for a sound card is selected. This step is not required for Windows 98.
ii. Do not attempt to print a test page if prompted.
iii. Make sure that you have pre-formatted an MS-DOS floppy disk in advance if you choose the option to make a Windows 95 or 98
startup disk.
iv. Do not attempt to install or configure any networking software during installation.

After installing Windows 95 or 98, restart Windows. From the Start menu, select the option Run. In the dialog box, type A:\SETUP.EXE if your Windows drivers in the PC Setup package are on floppy disk. Type E:\SETUP.EXE if your Windows drivers in the PC Setup package are on CD-ROM. Install the APPLEVDO.INF separately if you have problems setting the display resolution. If sound is not reproduced correctly, follow the instructions in the ReadMe file for PC Setup 1.6.4.

Windows 95 and 98 with PC Setup 2.x: PC Setup 2.x includes Windows Protected Mode drivers but requires Windows 95B (OSR2), Windows 95C (OSR2.5) or Windows 98. The first version of Windows 95 (retrospectively named OSR1 or 95A) is not officially supported by PC Setup 2.x. PC Setup 2.x requires that you have first installed PC Setup 1.6.4 on both the Mac and Windows sides, so follow the instructions above first.

Once Windows is running satisfactorily with PC Setup 1.6.4, install the Mac software for PC Setup 2.x and reboot the Mac. Start Windows and install the PC Setup 2.x drivers from floppy disk or CD-ROM, following the instructions in the PC Setup 2.x documentation.

Miscellaneous Problems
RAM: Real RAM on a DOS card significantly improves performance, so install as much as you can afford. Virtual Memory and RAM Doubler are both associated with DOS card crashes and instability, particularly when the DOS card is using shared RAM. If you insist on using shared memory, you must have lots of RAM on the Mac.

CD-ROMs: Install the Apple CD-ROM extension on the Mac side even if using a non-Apple drive. The High Sierra and ISO 9660 Access extensions are required to read DOS CD-ROMs. The ISOnoHFS utility may be required to access some hybrid CD-ROMs with a DOS card. **Refer to section on CD-ROMs for the Mac.

DMF and PC Exchange: PC Exchange 2.0.7 or later is required to read the DMF format disks used by Microsoft for distributing software such as Windows 95. **Refer to section on PC disk access products for the Mac.

Clipboard Sharing: PC Setup 1.0.7 and earlier Windows drivers do not work with Windows 95 or 98. If you require clipboard sharing, you must use the PC Setup 1.5 or later drivers.

Startup Freezes: Installers for some applications will modify your Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files without warning. If the DOS card freezes on startup, boot from floppy disk and ensure that the Config.sys entry for Himem.sys reads as follows:

USB Support Extension Conflict: Some enthusiasts report that PC Setup conflicts with the USB Support extension when using a PCI USB card. The conflict does not appear to occur with built-in USB interfaces. The only work around is to create separate Extensions Manager configurations for the DOS card and for USB.

Networking Software Problems

PC Setup 1.5 requires Classic networking (MacTCP and the Network control panel) and does not work with Open Transport. If you require Open Transport, you must use PC Setup 1.6.4 or PC Setup 2.x.

PC Setup 1.6.4 is designed to work with Open Transport 1.1.1 or higher, but the PC Network Extension fails to identify the versions included with Mac OS 8.5 onwards. An error dialog will be displayed on startup. If you do not need Windows networking, the problem can be resolved by disabling the PC Network Extension.

An unofficial patch utility is available that modifies the PC Network Extension 1.6.4 so that it is fooled into working with later versions of Open Transport. The patch utility expects to modify the US version of PC Network Extension 1.6.4 and may not work correctly with localised versions of PC Setup. The original version of PC Network Extension should be removed from the System Folder and replaced with the modified version. The patch utility can be found at **provide link summary.net/soft/PC-CardOS8.5NetPatch.sit.hqx. According to the author, this patch works for some network configurations, but not all. On some Macs, it is also necessary to replace the extension called Apple Enet with the Ethernet (Built-In) extension provided with Mac OS 8.5.

The more official solution to the network problems when using Mac OS 8.5 onwards is to use PC Setup 2.x.

SoundBlaster Configuration Problems
When installing Windows 95, you should always select the option to look for a sound card. If you make a mistake, the drivers can be installed by opening the Windows 95 Device Manager and scanning for updated hardware. Distorted sound in Windows 95 or 98 can be corrected by following the instructions in the ReadMe file for PC Setup 1.6.4.

If no sound is produced in Windows, ensure that the Sound Input setting in the Sound control panel is set to "Internal CD".

Thanks to Phil for this great compilation of knowledge!


What type of RAM does the card support?

  • The Nubus card that came in the PowerMac 6100 can carry either no memory at all (using a reserved portion of the RAM from the Mac motherboard with remarkable slowdowns) or it can carry one 72-pin PS/2 SIMM. If you have a FPM (fast page mode) SIMM, you should be on the safe side. The PowerMac 6100 works as well with EDO (enhanced data out) SIMMs (on the Mac motherboard), simply ignoring the EDO mode and using the EDOs in fast page mode only. This might be applicable to the DOS card as well (though I have not tested it). The maximum supported size of the SIMM is 32 MB, as there were no 64MB SIMMs at the time when the DOS card was supported by Apple. In the meantime, 64MB SIMMs evolved and I have heard that they do work as well. To get things short again: Use one 72 pin, FPM SIMM of max. 32MB size and things should be fine.

  • The PCI cards have up to 16MB soldered on the board of the PC Compatibility card (depending on the model you have) and all have one slot free. This one slot can be filled with a DIMM of the kind that was used for the PCI Macs at that time. To be precise: You need 5V, 168 pin, FPM DIMMs. If you want to use memory formerly used by your Mac, make sure that the memory does not come from a PowerMac 4400, as this was the only Apple model (to my knowledge) that used 3,3V EDO DIMMs. (Some clones used "this wrong type" of memory as well, e.g. UMAX Aegis). The card works well with the largest possible device of 64 MB summing up to a max. amount of RAM of 80MB (16MB soldered + 64 MB plugged in).
    Memory Links:
    Memory Type of the 12-Inch 166MHz card: http://www.megamemory.com/MacMemory/Apple/PCDOSCards/12in166CPCCompCd.html
    MemoryType of the 7-Inch 100MHz card: http://www.megamemory.com/MacMemory/Apple/PCDOSCards/7in100PCCompCd.html
    Another one for the 100MHz card: http://www.samintl.com/mem/n4140.htm

    Note:   According to an Apple PDF manual, the 100 MHz PCI cards need "JEDEC-standard 168-pin DRAM, which is 64-bit-wide, 168-pin fast-paged mode (FPM) with 70ns (or less) access time. EDO DRAMs are not supported. The 100 MHz 12-inch and 7-inch Compat Cards support only symmetrical DIMMs with a 2k refresh rate. DIMMs incorporating 4k refresh parts are not supported on the 7-inch Compat Card.

    The 166 MHz and PR166 Cards use 64-bit wide, 168-pin, 5V fast-page mode DRAM DIMMs, that have an access time of 60ns or less."

What does the monitor cable look like?

Depending on your card, the cable is three- or four-ended. The Nubus card (e.g. for the PowerMac 6100) does not feature a joystick port on the board of the card, so that this port was integrated into the cable. Concluding, we have one thick plug that is attached to the Mac video out, one short end plugged into the VGA out of the PC card, one end towards the monitor and for some models one end for the joystick. This setup applies for a single monitor setup.

If you have two monitors available, you could hook up one directly to the Mac and one directly to the PC card. For the PC Compatibility cards, you won't need a special cable (except possible adaptors depending on your monitor), for the DOS Compatibility card, you will need the three ended cable in order to be able to attach the joystick.

For more details and photos of the the monitor cables of the DOS and PC Compatibility Cards, check this out:
The Compatibility card monitor cable details and photos


Can I run the 12"-PCI card with a 133MHz Cyrix CPU (Pentium Rating 166) in my Mac?

Read this warning from Apple first:
WARNING Do not install the card that came installed in your Power
Macintosh 4400 or 7220 into any other computer. Using this card in
another computer could damage the system or cause random crashes.
Only a Power Macintosh 4400 or 7220 model can accommodate the
power requirements of this card.

Well, who knows if the card works in YOUR Mac. I can't give any guarantee, but some information: The 12" card with the 166 Cyrix CPU (the CPU runs at 133MHz, but is called 166, because the Cyrix processor's performance is copmarable to that of a 166MHz Intel Pentium CPU, therefore Cyrix labeled this CPU with PR 166 - PR=Pentium Rating) was sold in combination with or for only few Mac models. To my knowledge, the only two models were the 4400 and the 7220. The 7220 was not sold in Germany, probably in the US only. This 12" card with the Cyrix processor was sold at the same time as the much more expensive Pentium card. If you plug the Cyrix 12" card into a Mac different from the two above-mentioned (e.g. a beige G3) and start up the Mac, the "PC Setup" control panel tells you that this card does not work in this Mac.

You could speak some swearwords to your monitor, but you could also try to trick your Mac: Every Mac model has a unique Gestalt ID that allows software to identify the machine it runs on. The "PC Setup" control panel seems to query that Gestalt ID and consequently works, or refuses to work, depending on the Mac model you have. There are tools that modify this ID during startup of the Mac, for example "Wish I were".

I do run a Cyrix card in a beige G3 for more than a year now and had no trouble related to the card, but it's your own risk if you try this trick. The "Wish I were" software should be available on common internet sources for Macintosh shareware and with some fumbling, you could create a working preferences file (there is no setting for the PowerMac4400 included), but you could also download this package that includes a working 4400er prefs file already. Applying this trick did not affect my computer in any negative way. I've never experienced that any other Mac software refused to run due to "Wish I were".

I doubt that the 4400 or the 7220 have an extremely strong power supply and the other Macs don't and can't satisfy the demands of the Cyrix card regarding the amount of power that goes into the card. (In fact the 4400 has a 150W power pack according to Apple-History - check the power supply of your Mac there as well). Furthermore, I doubt that the 4400 and the 7220 have a specially modified PCI bus, which the other Macs don't have, so that it can carry the enormous power. But be warned. Vincent Quinn tried to run that card in his 7300. With Wish I were, the Mac started and the card ran fine, but on the fifth re-boot, his power supply died, so be warned!!!!! It is the life of YOUR Mac that your risking!!!


I want to network the PC side under OS 8.5 and above, but get an error message when booting the Mac

If you are running MacOS 8.5 and above and get the warning "version of Open Transport too old to network the PC environment" or something like this, you have two possibilities to get rid of it:
  • If you do not need networking on the PC side, simply remove the file "PC Network Extension" from the Extensions folder of your Mac OS System folder.
  • If you want to network the PC side, you can download a patch written by the great Jason T. Linhart (who brought other wonderful software like the free webserver "EasyServe" to the Macintosh platform) from the following URL:
    It's even listed at Download.com, but the download will be directed to the above mentioned site.
    This patch is not an Apple product, but has proved working for quite a number of people. It patches the network extension in a way that it accepts Open Transport version 2 and above being higher than version 1.1 and outputs a file called "PC Network Extension 1.6.5". After applying the patch, make sure that the original (version 1.6.4) file "PC Network Extension" is not anymore present in your Extensions folder.

    If you use non-US (e.g. German) versions of the PC Setup software, make sure to switch over to the US version before applying the patch. I think I found out, that the German version of the drivers on the PC side are not able to find the patched "PC Network Extension" (which is a US version) on the Mac side. If you insist on non-US software, you can try to keep the "PC Setup" control panel in its non-US version (e.g- "PC Einstellungen" for German), but use US versions for the rest and possibly this works as well.


I upgraded to a 3rd party SCSI-CD-ROM drive and since then I can't access the drive under DOS

Your SCSI-CD-ROM drive was too slow/defect and you upgraded to a newer/better/working one from a third party manufacturer. In the MacOS environment, you got the drive running by using a driver like CD ROM Toolkit, CD ROM Speedtools or alike, but in the PC environment, the drive is not recognized. What can you do?

Two things to tell: One bad thing, probably you wasted your money for the CD ROM driver under the MacOS. The good news is that you might get it working in both environments:

  • Backup the Apple driver for the CD-ROM, located in the system folder --> extensions and called something like "Apple CD/DVD Driver", to a safe place.
  • Make a duplicate of the file on the desktop
  • Open the duplicate with ResEdit.
  • Apply the modifications described in German computer magazine c't, no. 26/98, page 188, which can be found on the web at in English.
  • Do a switch-a-roo with the modified version on the desktop and the original version of the file in the system-->extensions folder.
  • Reboot the Mac.
  • Insert a CD.
If you can mount CD ROMs on the Mac desktop using this modified driver, you succeeded step one and can be confident to get it working in the DOS environment.
  • Unmount the CD from the Mac desktop.
  • Start up the PC.
  • Insert a PC-formatted CD (with ISO 9660 format).
This should give you access to the CD ROM drive under Windows. This procedure is for SCSI-CD ROM drives (IDE drives should work without special driver) and presumes that you have not modified/installed CD ROM drivers for the DOS environment. If, however, you already fumbled around with DOS drivers, first try to undo this and then install Apple's CD ROM driver for the DOS environment. The Apple driver is located on disk 2 of 2 of the drivers for the PC Compatibility cards.

If you have multiple CD-ROM drives/recorders connected to your SCSI chain and/or IDE controller, the MacOS CD-ROM driver drives all of the drives, but hands only one over to the PC card. So check out which one is handed over and use that one for the PC. If you have external drives, you can force not to use external drives, by switching them off (or better: not switching them on when booting the Mac).


Creating a bootable floppy disc for the PC Compatibility cards

  1. Create a boot disc with the help of a running Win9X system (not necessarily the PC Compatibility card)
  2. Copy the file CDROM.SYS from the "PC Compatibility 2of2" floppy disc to the boot floppy
  3. Make sure that the file MSCDEX.EXE is on the boot floppy as well (part of a DOS system in the folder C:\DOS)
  4. Add the line:
    to the file AUTOEXEC.BAT on the boot floppy
  5. Add the line:
    to the file CONFIG.SYS on the boot floppy
  6. If you want German keyboard layout at the prompt, make sure that the files COUNTRY.SYS, KEYB.COM, KEYBOARD.SYS and MODE.COM are on the floppy disc and add the following lines to the file AUTOEXEC.BAT:
    mode con cp prepare=((850) ega.cpi)
    mode con cp select=850
    keyb gr,,keyboard.sys

    and the following line to CONFIG.SYS:
Here you go. That should boot the PC Compatibility card to a DOS prompt with a loaded and working CD driver. To conclude, my boot disc includes the following files:

And the file AUTOEXEC.BAT looks like this:
mode con cp prepare=((850) ega.cpi)
mode con cp select=850
keyb gr,,keyboard.sys

and the file CONFIG.SYS looks like this:
device=display.sys con=(ega,,1)

This applies for a German system. The  blue  lines may be different or not present at all for other localisations of DOS/Win.

If you edit the files CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT in the MacOS environment, make sure, that the files are saved with DOS CRs and LFs. You can accomplish this for example with "Tex-Edit Plus".


My new Mac does not have a floppy, how do I install/boot?

This one is easy, but time and hardware demanding: A way to get around this problem would be that you plug the PC card into an older PCI-Mac that has a floppy drive, install Win9X till the point where you don't need a floppy drive anymore, move the card to your new Mac and transfer the drive container to the new Mac as well (over the network or a hard drive).

If your PC environment hangs during startup, this is because the card checks boot drives in the order A: (floppy) and then C: (hard drive), but can't find drive A:. It was a solution for some persons to install a driver for an USB-floppy drive - no matter if you have one or not. When the PC card asks the Mac for drive A:, the Mac returns: no floppy and the PC side resumes booting. Don't nail me on the manufacturer of the USB-floppy drive driver, but please tell me, if you succeed with one.


Is it possible to access the card's BIOS?

Yes and no. Yes, it is much more easier to access the BIOS than with a PC as the BIOS is stored in the resource fork of the "PC Setup" control panel, but no, you can't access any of the settings within the BIOS as all you can find is binary code.  

My newly created drive container does not work, why?

I can't really tell you why, but I can tell you that there is an issue with OS 9 and creating drive containers. The drive containers created under OS 9 and above don't work when you try to use them. The workaround is to create the drive containers under OS 8.6 or below.
If you created a second drive container under OS 8.6 and it does not work anyway, you can try the following: At a DOS prompt type "FORMAT D: /S" - this should make the drive bootable.

I want to duplicate, enlarge,... my drive container

If you think that your drive container is too small or too big or you simply want to copy the content of one drive container to another one, you can do the following: Create the target drive container (see note on creating containers), assign drive letter D to new container, boot into Win9x of your old drive container and use the XCOPY command in a DOS box as follows:
XCOPY C:\*.* D:\ /S /E /C /H /K
This means that you call the application XCOPY and order it to copy everything ("*.*") from source drive C:\ to destination drive D:\. Afterwards, "everything" is specified more closely in the options, which mean in the given order: Copy all files and subdirectories, continue going on errors, copy hidden and system files, and keep the file attributes. It is important that you do this in a Win9x-DOS box, as this is the only way to keep long filenames. But you're not done yet! There will be a few open files, that are not copied that way. To rescue these over on the new drive container, it is necessary to shut down Win9x into DOS mode and manually copy these few files onto the new container. While doing that, you should take care of possible long filenames. Anyhow, don't trash the old drive container before you ensured that the new one has all files and is running.
This info was contributed by Henry Donzis.

The manual says, I can use a PC-formatted partition, can I?

In the manual of the Compat Cards, Apple says that, instead of using drive containers on Mac volumes, you can as well use partitions on SCSI devices that are PC-formatted (FAT16, that is) as C:\ or D:\ drives. This is correct, but read on! I once tried it and used a small SCSI hard drive. It worked for me, but was not too practical, because unlike with the drive containers, you can only access the partition from either the PC or the Mac side. If you want to copy files inside this drive from the Mac, you had to restart the Mac. If you want to use the new files from the PC side, you had to restart the Mac again. This seemed to me impractical. If, however, you can live with this state, you should not neglect the paragraph in one of Apple's service guides: "If you use a dedicated PC-formatted partition or SCSI device instead of a drive container, you may experience some disk read/write errors. Apple recommends using drive containers on Macintosh-formatted partitions or SCSI devices as your primary method of data storage." So be warned and have a backup!  

I want to play Grand Prix 2, but the system freezes

If you have a PC Compatibility card with a Cyrix CPU PR 166, 133MHz, running the 1.6.4 drivers and want to play the best car racing game ever, Geoff Crammond's "Formula 1 Grand Prix 2", the following problem might occur: The installation of the game under DOS works fine. You can start up the game and choose a track to race on, but when the game fades in the racing screen (or shortly afterwards), the system freezes.

If you have the above-mentioned problem and really, really wanna play that game, you could try the following:

  • Make a backup of your "PC Setup" 1.6.4 control panel
  • Get version 1.6.1 of the "PC Setup" control panel (from the original driver CD, your software archive, the internet, or friends)
  • Do not install the 1.6.1 software, but extract the control panel only to a secure place on your HD ("TomeViewer" can extract single files from installer "tomes")
  • Open the 1.6.1 "PC Setup" control panel with "ResEdit"
  • Open the 1.6.4 "PC Setup" control panel with "ResEdit" as well
  • Copy the BIOS ressources from the 1.6.1 file into the 1.6.4 file. Make sure that the numbers of the ressources are kept!
  • Save the modified "PC Setup" version 1.6.4 and close ResEdit
  • Make the modified "PC Setup" control panel active by removing the original and active version from the system folder and copying the modified version to the "Control Panels" folder in the system folder
  • Reboot the Mac
  • Switch to DOS and start GP2
  • Hope that you succeeded

Can I run Linux on my DOS/PC card?

To my knowledge, it is not possible to run Linux. There was a project that went in that direction, but I haven't heard that they did find a successful end of that project. Check their website: Linux...on a DOS Card! FAQ (meanwhile website down)

For WinNT, no is the answer as well. 32 bit drivers were the problem and still, after the release of PC Setup 2.1.7, NT is not supported on the cards. But relax: NT would have been a hog on the cards anyway, just as Win98 is - to my opinion.


Can I use the PC/DOS card when the Mac runs OS X, Linux, BeOS, ...?

Short answer: No! Longer answer: When you are running Linux on your Mac, you would need drivers that adress the card. This would be no problem if anyone wrote these drivers, but there are none. If you are running MacOS within the MOL emulator (Mac on Linux) on a Linux system, you would have the problem that the emulated hardware cannot adress real hardware. Technically, this would be possible, but again, noone has yet written the code for it. If you are running Mac OS X PB, you can't access the card as well. There are no drivers for OS X yet that can deal with the card. Randall Venhola (the guy behind PCSetup2.X) stated that he might be doing OS X drivers if he got about 100 pre-orders for the software, so give feedback to him, if you want these drivers. If you are running OS X and think: Ha! My card runs under OS 9 and OS 9 is classic in OS X, then both these statements are right, but the card won't run in classic anyway. The classic environment in OS X can't adress hardware directly, but has to do hardware requests via OS X and as there are no OS X drivers... You can mix these points and get the answer for the same question concerning BeOS, FreeBSD, or whatever OS you want to use.  

The sound is fragmented under Win95?!?

Henry Donzis pointed out a solution what to do when the sound is fragmented under Windows95:

If you hear fragmented sound after installing Windows 95, you may need change the settings of your Creative Labs Sound Driver. Follow these steps:

1. In Windows 95 click Start, choose Settings, and then choose Control Panels.
2. Double click the System Control Panel.
3. Select the Device Manager Tab.
4. Double click the current Creative Labs Sound Blaster Driver from the "Sound, video, and game controllers heading".
5. Select the Resource Tab.
6. Make sure that the "Use automatic setting" box is unchecked.
7. Select "Basic Configuration 0000" from the "Setting based on" popup menu.
8. Click OK to close the open control panels.
9. Restart Windows 95.

This should do the trick. The info was found in the TIL and now is found under:


I want to print. How can I?

The print jobs from a Windows application are sent from that application to the print manager of the Windows operating system. Then, the print manager sends them to what Win thinks is a parallel interface LPT1. In reality the data that are sent to that virtual parallel interface are caught by the Mac environment, to be more precise by an application called "PC Print Spooler" which can be found in the system extensions. This print spooler does a little converting of the Win print job and passes it over to your Mac print system, so that it is spooled for a second time and finally printed. If you start the PC Print Spooler, you see in the preferences, that you have the choice between an EPSON printer and a postscript printer. Select here what is appropriate for you. If you do not have a PostScipt printer and your printer does not come from Epson as well, try the EPSON setting.

According to your selection in PC Print Spooler, you have to chose an appropriate printer driver under Windows. I think I remember to get at least some results with the EPSON LQ 2500 if you have an EPSON printer connected to your Mac and to get results with the driver for an old LaserWriter (e.g. Apple LaserWriter II NTX for PostScript level 1 and LaserWriter 630 for PostScript level 2), if you have a PostScript capable laser printer connected to the Mac. In any of the cases, you should go to the printer sttings in Win and "Disable bi-directional support for this printer" and disble the option "Check port state before printing" if available. These options should be disabled as a direct communication between Windows and printer is not possible. So disable any further communication before, while or after printing (like "Send CTRL+D before" and "after Job") and hope that it still works. Please tell me about your success with printing.

Though it is very likely to get at least some printing done on that way, it would be rational to try getting more complex print jobs done on the Mac side, if possible. If you experience problems with the common way of printing under Win, it might be adviseable to install Adobe's PostScript printer driver on the PC side and "print into a file". You should be able to transfer this file to the Mac environment, where it might be easier to handle this file (send to PS printer directly by dragging on its desktop icon / creating easy-printable PDF-file by distilling / display (and print) with Ghostview).

If your print jobs never get printed, have a look inside the "Spooler Rejected" folder inside the Preferences and move files outta there.


What are special keyboard commands?

There are some keyboard commands specially related to the DOS and PC Compatibility Cards, such as:

Alt-Ctrl-DeleteKeyboard reset (warm reboot)
Cmd-Alt-Ctrl-DeleteHard keyboard reset (cold reboot)
Cmd-yEject CD-ROM
Cmd-eEject floppy disk


I have problems running MSBACKUP

According to Christopher Yeleighton, it is not possible to use MSBACKUP in the usual way on the Compat Cards. The reason for this is that it bypasses BIOS using hardware ports directly, which is not possible on the Compat Cards. The remedy to this problem is to select compatibility mode:
in Backup To: list, select (*) MS-DOS drive and path: A:\ Everything should work fine in this setting.

It is possible to upgrade the CPU on an Apple 486 DOS card?

I received this hint from Jonas:
I used a 486 overdrive chip (NOT the pentium overdrive!!!). It is a drop-in replacement for 33 MHz 486 chips that gives you a 100 MHz 486. Unfortunately, the DOS card runs at 66 MHz, which as near as I can tell causes the CPU to run at 200 MHz. As of yet I dont know, but it seems to work, and it may be possible to underclock the DOS card to a more reasonable speed.
Please note that installing the overdrive chip will mean replacing the stock 6100 heatsink with a shorter one, and adding a cooling fan of some sort to the heatsinks. Also, my overdrive chip has one extra chip in one corner. I have no idea what it does, but there is no matching pin hole in the socket. I fixed this with a pushpin which allowed me to put the CPU in. So far everything seems to work.
Besides this, some people have managed to use other Intel, Cyrix and AMD chips in combination with a voltage converter (the 486 chips under 66 MHz used a 5 volt core, while the ones over 66 used 3.3 volts). I have not personally tried this due to the cost of the voltage converters. This method will also involve reworking to 6100 heatsinks.
Keep in mind that just sticking in a 100 MHz CPU will not run it at 100 MHz, but at the stock 66. Once again, it may be possible to clock it, but I'm not sure.

Thanks Jonas for contributing!

I need more websites related to the PC cards

Try these:
  • MacWindows
    They have some general info on cross platform topics. Formerly more towards the PC compat cards, now more towards emulation, server tools and general cross platform compatibility.

  • Apple TechNote
    This technote describes the way the Mac and the PC side communicate with each other. Developer stuff - not for the consumer.

  • ATI graphics card drivers US version
    ATI graphics card drivers German version
    ATI equipped some of the PC cards with graphics chips (mine has the Mach64 on it). You can grab more recent graphics drivers for the card there (my PC Compat Card works fine with a driver for "ATI Graphics Pro Turbo PCI (mach64 VT)" under Win95b).

  • The Mac DOS card FAQ
    Someone did what I do here earlier...

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Started on October, 11th, 2000     last update on March, 7th, 2007

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