Apple ProFile
Apple Lisa with a ProFile hard drive
DeveloperApple Computer
Typehard disk drive
Release dateSeptember 1981 (1981-09)[1][2][3][4][5]
Introductory price5 MB US$3,499 (equivalent to $11,727 in 2023)
DiscontinuedSeptember 1986 (1986-09)

The ProFile (codenamed Pippin[6]) is the first hard disk drive produced by Apple Computer, initially for use with the Apple III personal computer.[1] The original model had a formatted capacity of 5 MB and connected to a special interface card that plugged into an Apple III slot. In 1983, Apple offered a ProFile interface card for the Apple II, with software support for Apple ProDOS and Apple Pascal.

Additionally, in 1983, Apple introduced the Lisa computer, which was normally sold with a ProFile.[7] The ProFile could be connected to the built-in parallel port of the Lisa, or to a port on an optional dual-port parallel interface card. Up to three such interface cards could be installed, so in principle up to seven ProFile drives could be used on a Lisa.

The 5 MB ProFile was Apple's first hard drive, and was introduced in September 1981 at a price of US$3,499.[2][8] Later,[when?] a 10 MB model was offered, but required an upgraded PROM/interface card to recognize the additional 5 MB.[citation needed]

Internally, the ProFile consisted of a bare Seagate ST-506 stepper motor drive and mechanism, without the usual Seagate electronics, a digital and an analog circuit board designed and manufactured by Apple, and a power supply.

Later Lisa models could be configured with an internal 10 MB "Widget" voice-coil drive with a proprietary controller designed and built entirely by Apple, but the Widget was never offered as an external product for use with other Apple computers.

Apple did not offer another hard drive until it released the Hard Disk 20 designed specifically for the Macintosh 512K in September 1985 which could not be used on the Apple II or III families, or Lisa series. The ProFile could not be used on the Macintosh or the Apple IIc (for which Apple never offered an external hard disk drive of any kind).

By September 1986, the ProFile would be superseded by the introduction of the first cross-platform Hard Disk 20SC SCSI-based drive for the Macintosh and interface card for the Apple II family (excluding the IIc series, which had no SCSI interface of any kind) and Lisa/XL series.


  1. ^ a b "Inside Apple: A storehouse of knowledge (Vol. 1 No. 2)]". BYTE. Vol. 8, no. 5. May 1983. pp. 2–3.
  2. ^ a b "Apple II computer". Archived from the original on February 1, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  3. ^ "InfoNews/Software: Apple". InfoWorld. Vol. 4, no. 1. January 11, 1982. pp. 34–36. Archived from the original on October 17, 2021. Retrieved October 17, 2021. ...Medical Clinix will work with the floppy diskettes or the new Apple Profile harddisk...
  4. ^ Freiberger, Paul; Markoff, John (November 30, 1981). "It's official! Apple rolls out the III(again)". InfoWorld. Vol. 3, no. 28. p. 1. Archived from the original on October 17, 2021. Retrieved October 17, 2021. ...Profile, the new 5-megabyte hard disk, greatly increase the system's online storage capacity. Seagate, of Scotts Valley, California, is producing the drive for Apple...Profile, which is now being shipped to priced at $3495...
  5. ^ McMullen, Barbara E.; McMullen, John F. (February 21, 1984). "Apple Charts The Course For IBM". PC Magazine. Vol. 3, no. 3. p. 122-129. Archived from the original on October 17, 2021. Retrieved October 17, 2021. ...For example, it developed the Apple Profile, for the III in 1981...
  6. ^ Linzmayer, Owen W. (2004). Apple Confidential 2.0. No Starch Press. p. 41. ISBN 1-59327-010-0. LCCN 98-49132.
  7. ^ Dennis Longley; Michael Shain, eds. (1983). "LISA PERIPHERALS: Disk Drives". Microcomputer User's Handbook: The Complete and Up to Date Guide to Buying a Business Computer. The MacMillan Press. p. 166. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-06737-4. ISBN 9781349067374. Archived from the original on October 17, 2021. Retrieved October 17, 2021. ...The Lisa is supplied with a Profile 5-1/4 inch hard disk unit providing a further 5 Mb of storage. Additional Profile units may be added via interface expansion cards...
  8. ^ "Santa Clara Systems". InfoWorld (Advert). February 15, 1982. p. 46. Archived from the original on October 17, 2021. Retrieved October 17, 2021. Comparison table: ...Apple ProFile / Integrated Backup: None / Error Correction : None / Capacity Formatted: 5 MBytes / Avg Seek Time: 95 ms / Suggested List : $3495...