I have a MacBook Air 2013 that does not have MacOS installed, but is booting Windows 8 Pro 64-bit (clean install, not upgraded from Windows 7) in a vhdx file via EFI. I'm not having any problems in booting Windows 8 or using it.
However, I can't seem to get the Boot Camp drivers to install properly. I don't need Boot Camp to help me boot, I just need the drivers to get things like the keyboard, trackpad, and wifi adapter functioning properly.
I downloaded Boot Camp Support Software 5.0.5033 and extracted the contents. I was not able to run Boot Camp setup directly. I got the message "Installation Error. Boot Camp x64 is unsupported on this computer model". From my research, this often happens when trying to install Boot Camp in Windows. As described here, I opened an elevated command prompt and navigated to the BootCamp\Drivers\Apple folder and ran "msiexec /i BootCamp.msi". This launched the Boot Camp install process, which appeared to install the Boot Camp drivers with no problems. I saw no error messages. After the install finished, I rebooted. The install seems to have partly worked - for example, the LED keyboard was dark before and now it is lit up, and a taskbar notification icon was added that says "ENG" and indicates I'm using an Apple keyboard.
However, I've noticed a number of things that suggests the drivers didn't install properly.
The Boot Camp Control Panel has only one tab, "Startup Disk". Based on this link which describes a typical Boot Camp install in Windows, I would expect the Control Panel to have tabs such as Keyboard, Trackpad, etc. None of those are present.
The Device Manager still shows the default drivers for devices such as the keyboard. Again, I would expect the Device Manager to look as it does in the previous link. Instead, I don't see any of the drivers that Boot Camp said it was installing. Also, the "Other Devices" branch has several devices such as the Network Controller, Bluetooth USB Host Controller, and PCI Simple Communications Controller listed as not functioning properly.
Finally, things like two-finger-clicking the trackpad to open the Windows context menu, or Fn+F5/Fn+F6 to decrease/increase the keyboard brightness, are not working.
I've tried running the Boot Camp install again, and it found the previous install and offered to repair it. I did this, and rebooted, but nothing has changed.
I've tried going into the BootCamp\Drivers\Apple folder and running the individual driver install executables. Again, these run with no problem and indicate that they succeeded by displaying green checkmarks, but again nothing changes.
I've tried going into Device Manager and updating the drivers manually (for instance, I told it to look in the Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository folders for the various Apple drivers such as the trackpad or wifi), but Windows just says it can't find any compatible drivers there.
I would try using the Apple Software Update, except I can't get the wifi adapter working. If that's likely to fix the problem, then I'll go get a dongle to hook up my Cat 5 cable.
In summary, is there anything special I need to know when installing the Boot Camp drivers in Windows 8?
It may be that the drivers in the Boot Camp Support Software 5.0.5033 are not recent enough for the hardware in the 2013 Mac Air. I'm not a driver expert but here are my observations.
I started by trying to get the wifi adapter driver updated. According to a teardown*, the Air has a Broadcom BCM4360. According to wikidevi* the Windows hardware ID for that is PCI\VEN_14E4&DEV_43A0.
I then went to \BootCamp\Drivers\Broadcom and opened BroadcomEthernet64.exe using 7Zip. There is only one .inf file in there, b57nd60a.inf. I opened that. I found references to Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Server 2008, but no Windows 8. I found many IDs named PCI\VEN_14e4&DEV_xxxx, but no PCI\VEN_14E4&DEV_43A0.
I also opened BroadcomNetworkAdapter64.exe. There is only one .inf file in there, bcmwl6.inf. I opened that and found references to Windows 7, but no Windows 8. I found IDs named PCI\VEN_14E4&DEV_43xx, which are a little closer to the mark, but no PCI\VEN_14E4&DEV_43A0.
My guess is that when I try to install the Boot Camp drivers, the process completes without any errors but many of the drivers are not actually installed because the Windows hardware IDs in the .inf files do not match the hardware in the machine.
I looked around to see if anyone else had a Windows 8 driver for the Broadcom BCM4360. The only one I've found so far is from ASUS*. I downloaded that driver package, scanned it for malware, opened it (it's a .zip file), and found one .inf file, bcmwl63.inf. I opened that and sure enough I found references to Windows 8 and PCI\VEN_14E4&DEV_43A0 in it. I then successfully installed the ASUS driver on the Air, and Windows Device Manager now recognizes that it has a wifi adapter. However, I'm not able to see any wireless networks, although there are plenty around me. I tried rebooting and that didn't help. My guess is that the ASUS driver has some particulars related to ASUS hardware that prevent it from working properly on the Air.
So is this perhaps just a question of waiting until Apple updates their Boot Camp drivers for Windows 8 to include the more modern hardware in the Air 2013?
- I can't post any more links. I'll try to add these links in a comment, but they're not crucial.