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Old Aug 20, 2011, 12:37 AM   #1
TGD1
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Windows 7 Drivers [MacBook Air 2011]

First post here....

I'm on the road, bought a new mid-2011 MacBook Air, and have already installed Win7 x64 from a pre-prepared USB stick i made at home before leaving.

Now, i am having a nightmare finding drivers to get the wireless, graphics, etc going in Win7.

So, i'm currently running a dual-boot MBA with a very limited Win7, and Lion - relying on wireless connections in hotels.

I've tried the BootCamp Assistant "download Windows support" option with 2 different USB sticks and it freezes about 20% through the "formatting" on both USB sticks.

So i download BootCamp 3.2.exe from the web, which then required BootCamp 3.1.exe to update from. So, i got 3.1.exe, which required BootCamp 3.0.exe - and this i can't find anywhere.

Is there a link on the Apple website to get Win7 x64 drivers? Because i certainly can't find anything!!!

BTW, my MBA didn't come with any USB stick (and no CD/DVD either) in the box, is this right??
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 12:41 AM   #2
KPOM
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The 2011 models do not ship with the OS X USB key anymore as the restore partition is built into the drive now. There is also an Internet Recovery option that works even if the restore partition is damaged.

Anyway, my suggestion is to first format your external USB drive as FAT32. Then plug it in, open up Boot Camp Assistant and select the option that says "Download the latest Windows support software from Apple." If you have an external DVD drive, try that if the USB key doesn't work.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 12:53 AM   #3
Cynicalone
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Start here...

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4818#2

If the USB was created with the Bootcamp Assitant in OS X it will have an exe program you can run that will install all the drivers.

I'm on my iPad right now so I can't post a screenshot. But you need Bootcamp 4.0 for the 2011 MacBook Air's.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 02:22 AM   #4
TGD1
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I've done as advised. I formatted both USB disks as FAT32 before running the BootCamp Assistant.

Yet, each time i run the bootcamp assistant and download the "Windows Support Software", it starts by FORMATTING the USB disk AGAIN, however it stops at about 20% through the format and nothing happens. No warnings, no nothing. Just stops.
After 1 hour, still nothing.

Is this something i'm supposed to wait for and leave running through the night?

Or is there a compatibility problem with BOTH my USB drives? (One of them, i'd already used to install Win7.)

And is there any reason why apple won't just upload the drivers as an .exe file free for download from their website?
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 02:56 AM   #5
TGD1
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Hmmm, just read this

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/windo...uide/3446?pg=2

Says it needs to download 1.5Gb of mostly useless data. Perhaps that is what happening (through wifi (extremely slow)) - although the BootCamp assistant perhaps erroneously states that it is Formatting.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 07:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGD1 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions.

I've done as advised. I formatted both USB disks as FAT32 before running the BootCamp Assistant.

Yet, each time i run the bootcamp assistant and download the "Windows Support Software", it starts by FORMATTING the USB disk AGAIN, however it stops at about 20% through the format and nothing happens. No warnings, no nothing. Just stops.
After 1 hour, still nothing.

Is this something i'm supposed to wait for and leave running through the night?

Or is there a compatibility problem with BOTH my USB drives? (One of them, i'd already used to install Win7.)

And is there any reason why apple won't just upload the drivers as an .exe file free for download from their website?

Hmmm, just read this

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/windo...uide/3446?pg=2

Says it needs to download 1.5Gb of mostly useless data. Perhaps that is what happening (through wifi (extremely slow)) - although the BootCamp assistant perhaps erroneously states that it is Formatting.

It might be an incompatibility. I have the external Superdrive and just copied them onto a DVD. It took a few minutes to download, IIRC.

Apple usually only posts Boot Camp updates to their website. The main reason is that the full version is usually part of the OS distribution. For instance, Leopard shipped with Boot Camp 2. Snow Leopard with Boot Camp 3, and Lion with Boot Camp 4. They want you to buy the latest OS to get the latest versions of Boot Camp.

That said, try contacting Apple Support. Phone support is free for 90 days, and while they don't provide Windows support, they do provide support for downloading Boot Camp.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 09:01 AM   #7
Cynicalone
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Here is the folders that should be on the USB that Bootcamp Assistant creates.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2011-08-20 at 8.58.50 AM.png
Views:	2578
Size:	85.8 KB
ID:	299758

I don't know if there is another way to install windows now that the MacBook Air doesn't come with installation media.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGD1 View Post
First post here....

I'm on the road, bought a new mid-2011 MacBook Air, and have already installed Win7 x64 from a pre-prepared USB stick i made at home before leaving.
I think that's the problem. The new Mac Airs come with Bootcamp 4.0. When I ran Bootcamp Assistant, it did everything for me. It asked me where the Windows ISO was, and it created the USB stick, downloaded the drivers, walked me through the partitioning, and rebooted the Air onto the stick so the Windows setup program would kick off. The only thing it didn't do for me was run the setup.exe file from the Windows Support folder to automatically install all the drivers.

As a former PC tech I was baffled. I had to do nothing. When that works, it's a thing of beauty. Sometimes it doesn't work. And sometimes we know too much for our own good and we do things / shortcuts that interfere with the way the install process is supposed to unfold.

I'd suggest rerunning Bootcamp Assistant and trying the option to download the drivers again. It's not 1.5GB. Mine was done in just a few minutes. I if takes longer there's something else wrong. Good luck!
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 11:23 AM   #9
turbotoes
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As above post, run bootcamp assistant from within lion, and just do the download drivers part, the driver download is is just under 700mb so that will give you an idea of how long it will take on your connection.
Not to meaning to be snide but why did you not run the preinstalled bootcamp in the first place? As it really does make the process a piece of cake.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 12:08 PM   #10
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I have to confess the first thing I did was buy a SuperDrive and burn the iso image of Win7 I already had onto a CD. I mean, you need the CD to install, right?

I was quite embarrassed when I ran Bootcamp assistant and it asked for the iso. I kept the SuperDrive but I never needed it.

The other thing I did was burn some cycles trying to figure out which drivers to use. After the initial install device manager showed a lot of unhappy devices. Thankfully I was fresh from my SuperDrive experience and deduced Apple would provide a better alternative. That's when I ran the setup.exe file in the Windows Support directory and all the drivers "magically" installed themselves. All I had to do was reboot and watch in awe how easy the whole thing was.

Apple does Windows better than Microsoft...
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Old Aug 21, 2011, 09:22 PM   #11
TGD1
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Thanks again guys.

And just to sum up, for anyone who may stumble upon this in a Google search:

Yes, use the Bootcamp Assistant in Lion to download the drivers.

When it says FORMATTING, it is actually DOWNLOADING. (So, the USB stick had no problems at all)

It downloaded a total of 683mb of software in my situation (MacBook Air August 2011).

Additionally, i had to go out and buy the USB to Ethernet adaptor as the WiFi was slow and unstable (as usually is), and in my location/situation this took a good few hours (through ethernet not wifi) - running on mains power.
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Old Jan 8, 2012, 11:02 AM   #12
Pooran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynicalone View Post
Here is the folders that should be on the USB that Bootcamp Assistant creates.

Attachment 299758

I don't know if there is another way to install windows now that the MacBook Air doesn't come with installation media.
Is there anyway, you can zip them and share it?
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 09:04 AM   #13
yahya1337
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First post too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooran View Post
Is there anyway, you can zip them and share it?
Here it is...
BootCampESD.pkg
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 09:15 AM   #14
NSTforYoMama
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Question

Once the drivers are initially DLed and installed, how do you ensure they are updated later on. Does the Apple Software Update Tool also update the drivers in Win7:confused
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