Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm setting up my MacBook Air for a Windows-only boot setup.
This was easy enough. It already had rEFIt on it, I just connected a Windows 7 boot thumb drive, and away I went.

However, it seems Apple does not let you download Bootcamp drivers outside of their assistant tool. Reinstalling OS X just for the drivers is ridiculous.

This laptop no longer has OS X on it at all. How do I get the required drivers? I cannot find them anywhere on Apple's support pages.

Every other manufacturer has their drivers available for download.

How do I download the Windows drivers for my 2010 MacBook Air without the BootCamp Assistant?

share|improve this question
add comment

6 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Yes, It is possible to download the Bootcamp drivers outside of the Bootcamp tool:

UPDATE :

The hard way, taken from http://www.cafe-encounter.net/p682/download-bootcamp-drivers is, I think, no longer needed.

  1. Download from Apple the http://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog file. Don’t double-click it.
  2. Open the index-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog file in a text editor or word processor.
  3. Search for each occurrence — as at August 2012 there were 6 — of BootCampESD.pkg. For instance, the one I needed is http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/33/54/041-2011/pRtCDYcWShMLxFggy3TzFzmfnnWQNFQBfJ/BootCampESD.pkg
  4. Notice in each such URL, the /041-2011/ or similar /041-XXXXX/ bit of it.
  5. Below each such occurrence, notice the URL for a file with the same 041-XXXXX in it and ending in English.dist, e.g. 041-2011.English.dist
  6. Paste the URL for each such English.dist file into your browser and open that url. Here’s a list of them:
  7. Search for the Model Identifier for your Mac. For instance MacBookPro5,2 or Macmini4,1.
    • For instance the 041-2011 file contains these models: MacBook2,1 MacBook3,1 MacBook4,1 MacBook5,1 MacBook5,2 MacBook5,3 MacBook6,1 MacBook7,1 MacBookAir1,1 MacBookAir2,1 MacBookAir3,1 MacBookAir3,2 MacBookPro2,1 MacBookPro2,2 MacBookPro3,1 MacBookPro4,1 MacBookPro5,1 MacBookPro5,2 MacBookPro5,3 MacBookPro5,4 MacBookPro5,5 MacBookPro6,1 MacBookPro6,2 MacBookPro7,1 MacBookPro8,1 MacBookPro8,2 MacBookPro8,3 MacPro1,1 MacPro2,1 MacPro3,1 MacPro4,1 MacPro5,1 Macmini2,1 Macmini3,1 Macmini4,1 iMac5,1 iMac6,1 iMac7,1 iMac8,1 iMac9,1 iMac10,1 iMac11,1 iMac11,2 iMac11,3 iMac12,1 iMac12,2
    • How do you know your Model Identifier? Open System Information, and look in the Hardware Overview section. i.e. click Apple menu -> About this Mac -> More Info… -> Report -> Hardware -> and now read down the Hardware Overview looking for “Model Identifier:”
  8. Having found your 041-XXXXX number, download the BootCampESD.pkg url that has your number in it. Again, here’s a list of them:
  9. Be patient as it’s probably 600MB.
  10. Once your pkg is downloaded, double click it and install to a folder on your hard drive so you know where to find it.
  11. The folder contains a nest of folders, the last of which contains a dmg disk image file. Double click to open. Voila. Here are your Windows installer files.
  12. Copy them to a USB drive, or a burnable CD. It’s still 660MB or more, so it’s a full CD worth of burning time.
  13. Done. You can now proceed with Boot Camp assistant Windows installation.

source: http://www.cafe-encounter.net/p824/bootcamp-drivers-direct-download-of-bootcampesd-pkg . The page was aimed at people struggling with BootCamp, but either way, it gets you to the BootCamp.pkg file, which contains the drivers.

You still need open the OS X installer pkg file to get the the contents out, and to open a DMG file. Some forum posts say 7-zip will open it on Windows. This http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Extracting_.dmg_files_on_Windows seems the best page for further help.

share|improve this answer
    
It would be nice when the procedure from cafe-encounter.net/p640/bootcamp-4-lion-drivers-download was inlined in the answer. –  Pro Backup Aug 2 '12 at 13:29
    
Inlined for you, at least as soon as my edit gets approved. –  Pro Backup Aug 3 '12 at 10:41
    
the file for mountain lion can be found here: swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/… –  lorenzog Aug 29 '12 at 19:29
    
This seems to be dead - did apple change something for windows 8? –  Richard J. Ross III Nov 1 '12 at 14:01
    
Really? The page at cafe-encounter.net/p682/download-bootcamp-drivers is still working, even updated for late 2012. –  Chris F Carroll Nov 11 '12 at 16:26
show 1 more comment

A link to a reference table of which download is intended for which Mac is provided in the first paragraph of each download page.

share|improve this answer
2  
Which download page are you referring to here? –  patrix Apr 4 at 17:20
add comment

Either Chris F Carroll needs to update his answer, or mark mine as correct!

Answer: http://support.apple.com/downloads/#macoscomponents

P.S. Perhaps I'm a bit of a 'paranoid ready-for-the-end-of-the-world' type, but anyway you look at it (or me) - I wouldn't recommend trusting third party downloads of drivers, unless you have the inside scoop on what goes into making them (which you don't). Why?

They are not responsible to you for supporting issues that occur, and they COULD contain malicious code.

share|improve this answer
    
To be fair, the question was asked 2 years ago! Also, please note, my website does NOT give you third party downloads: The links are all to URLs on swcdn.apple.com. The hard work -- and Apple is still not helping with this -- is working out which download link you need for which older model of Mac. The new apple bootcamp links at support.apple.com/downloads/#bootcamp are great but still only name a handful of models; for the rest you are left guessing which download you need. –  Chris F Carroll Mar 16 at 21:01
add comment

Found a quicker answer for myself... I figured out that only the URL to the pkg is HTTP. So I just start the download with Wireshark capture active, and use the "follow TCP stream" option to get the URL when I see an IP address show up lots of times during the download. Add host and URL together and you have your Mac's specific URL.

share|improve this answer
    
Oh and I found that if you run through the installer, /Library/Application Support/BootCamp/WindowsSupport.dmg is where I found it with a default installation. –  Daniel G Gutierrez Mar 16 '13 at 3:46
add comment

This 'Apple DL1443: Boot Camp Software Update 3.3 for Windows' is definitely the required Update. I have a 2010 Macbook Pro with Snow Leopard (10.6.8) installed and couldn't get the right Boot Camp upgrade using any of the Apple download software from within the bootcamp Application. After installing this Update/Upgrade suddenly all of the required drivers appeared in the Windows 'Device manager' and everything started working perfectly

share|improve this answer
add comment

Try this: Apple DL1443: Boot Camp Software Update 3.3 for Windows. It's called an update, but I suspect it doesn't require any pre-existing installed drivers.

That said, it's probably worth your while to keep a minimal OS X install, even if it's just on a spare external drive (you could probably get away with a 16 GB USB drive even). It gives you a good recovery option if anything goes wrong, and it also gives you a way to get the occasional firmware updates, which you can't install from Windows.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.