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When booting to Windows on my MacBook Pro 15" Late 2016 (A1707 EMC 3072) I receive this error intermittently. It happens on every reboot. Sometimes immediately. Sometimes after several minutes. It's a generic Windows error message prompt/alert.

Boot Camp

The system has encountered an error. A restart is required to recover.

Do you want to restart now?

OK | Cancel

All drivers and utilities were installed in Windows using the files generated by Boot Camp Assistant -> Download Windows Support Software while booted in macOS on this exact same machine.

Restarting does not resolve the issue. Windows 10 Pro (latest) is installed and Apple Software Update shows all Boot Camp and other Apple software is up to date.

Any tips on troubleshooting this? This is my first time trying Windows in Boot Camp. Is this sort of issue not uncommon?

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  • If you used the Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows 10, then you should not have to download the Windows Support Software as you describe. What did you do different from the this normal procedure? Apr 23, 2021 at 14:42
  • I didn't want to keep the macOS partition so I booted directly to a Windows 10 USB installer then manually installed the drivers from the Boot Camp Assistant when I was in Windows. I wouldn't think it should be any different from using Boot Camp to do the install, but maybe that's an incorrect assumption.
    – Will Haley
    Apr 23, 2021 at 14:56
  • The Windows Support Software is suppose to be on the same USB flash drive as the files from the Windows 10 ISO. The files stored in the $WinPEDriver$ folder are read during the installation of Windows. Do you know which release of the Windows 10 ISO you used to install? Apr 23, 2021 at 15:09
  • I googled "Windows 10 iso" to get the latest official from MS. 20H2 at time of writing, 64-bit. I assumed that installing the drivers/support files for Bootcamp manually would be the same as a guided Boot Camp install. However, I just now reinstalled everything; 1) Wiped the disk and installed macOS latest 2) Re-downloaded the ISO and went through Boot Camp "normally". I see now things working properly. No error, the touch bar works, etc. Seems like there is indeed a different (better) result when using the guided/unattended Boot Camp process and preserving the original macOS partition layout.
    – Will Haley
    Apr 23, 2021 at 16:54
  • If you are satisfied with using the Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows, then I will assume you have found your answer. Apr 23, 2021 at 17:56

1 Answer 1

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Don't wipe the macOS partition from the drive. Don't try to make Windows 10 the only OS on the MacBook's disk

I had installed Windows 10 on my MBP by wiping the disk completely and booting a Windows 10 USB installer then installing drivers/supporting files that had been pre-prepared from Boot Camp Assistant. My reasoning was that I did not care about macOS on the machine. I only wanted to run Windows 10.

Apparently, this results in a limited experience. I assumed installing the Boot Camp files in Windows 10 would provide optimal support. That was not the case for me.

  • The touchbar was not working at all in Windows 10
  • I was encountering the error mentioned above in Windows 10
  • The Boot Camp support services (which handled right clicks, mouse driver behavior, and other niceties) took a while to load in Windows 10

Installing Windows 10 "normally" through Boot Camp in macOS provided a much better experience.

  • The touchbar worked in Windows 10
  • The error above went away in Windows 10
  • Overall performance/behaviors seemed better in Windows 10

I'm now losing ~50GB of space to a macOS partition I never intend to use, but the install process resulted in a much better experience, which seems worthwhile.

It seems that installing Windows 10 on a bare macOS drive and installing Boot Camp support files does not produce the exact same experience as installing Windows 10 via Boot Camp and preserving the original macOS install in tandem.

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