Boot Camp Problems: Slow boot, Trackpad Drivers are atrocious! Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by andy06, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. andy06, Feb 15, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012

    andy06 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    #1
    1. Apple's trackpad/touchpad drivers for Windows are borderline atrocious, not half as good as the OS X ones. Anyone know of any alternate drivers or updates? Maybe some settings we can alter?

    Already checked out Trackpad++ Project [Home Page] and it seems shady (mandatory install of companion app AND mandatory weekly updates else it stops working).

    2. Apple pretty much installs every driver for every piece of hardware in the past 5 years leading to a mess in the Programs and Features pane. Is there a list of drivers that can be safely uninstalled?

    3. Why does Windows 7 boot so slow in Boot Camp? Is it because of SSD alignment issues or perhaps EFI/MBR emulation? It takes about 45 seconds on my MBA (and it should only take ~ 20 seconds as thats the time it takes on comparable ultrabooks)

    Thanks
     
  2. Sincci macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    I can only answer to your question #3. The boot is slow due to not having an AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) support while booting to Windows via Bootcamp (which is pretty much just a BIOS emulator). There are ways to either boot to Windows without Bootcamp by using pure EFI boot or changing some registry settings to enable AHCI, but these hacks will always disable the bootcamp manager on your Windows installation and thus make it impossible to for example increase/decrease your screen's brightness.

    It has been reported that the Windows 8 will boot natively in EFI mode on Macs, so perhaps the situation will improve once it gets released and Apple releases drivers for it.
     
  3. andy06, Feb 16, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012

    andy06 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    #3
    Thanks Sincci, great info! Makes perfect sense re:the AHCI thing :)

    Just couple of follow up questions:

    When you say while booting to Windows *via* Bootcamp and bootcamp being a BIOS emulator, Could you explain that a bit? I was under the impression that Boot Camp is merely a guided install tool. Windows is booting entirely as a native install once its installed right?

    How can I boot Windows without Boot Camp? Should I wipe the whole internal HDD and install Windows like I would on a regular PC? Will that speed it up? I still have to deal with the EFI (and possible lack of BIOS) yeah?

    The increase/decrease of screen's brightness is provided by Apple supplied drivers I think. The Boot Camp control applet in Windows only has Restart, keyboard and Trackpad settings I think. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

    Thank you
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    All version of Windows will boot via BIOS, so a big part of Boot Camp is to provide a BIOS emulation layer over the EFI/GPT.

    Only W764 (for desktop OSes) can boot from EFI directly, but is is looking for a later EFI version than the one that is implemented on most Macs. As Sincci says there are ways to force it, but they are not supported by either Apple or MS.

    B
     
  5. andy06 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    #5
    I am indeed using Windows 7 x64 and I have the latest release of Mac Hardware (MacBook Air 13 inch 2011 model). So it should be booting natively on mine?
     
  6. Sincci macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    Well, it won't boot natively without some hacking and to be honest, it's really not something that you should try if you really don't know what you are doing (or if you cannot accept the fact that it may at any point delete all your data and break both OS installations).

    There is a thread regarding this on this forum (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=696523), but as I said, it's somewhat risky and the benefits are not always worth it. In my case, having no way to control brightness on my display is just a deal breaker.
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    Just to provide some more context.

    Boot Camp consists of three things:

    1. The Boot Camp Assistant that helps you partition your drive non-destructively and guides you through the process
    2. The EFI firmware extensions to support legacy BIOS OSes
    3. The drivers that enable the Apple specific hardware to work

    The problem is that Windows (even W7x64 which can boot natively off EFI) tends to use BIOS where available, so due to the presence of the firmware extensions it will install in BIOS/MBR mode.

    If you force it to use EFI to boot, that breaks the drivers that don't expect that to be the case, ...

    B
     
  8. andy06 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    #8
    I read through the thread you guys provided. Thats some amazing work you guys have been upto :)

    If I'm understanding this correctly, to summarise:

    Even if I'm prepared to remove OS X and go all in with Windows on a clean disk, there is still no seamless way to get Windows working NATIVE natively? (as opposed to just natively ;))

    What about Windows 8 when its released? Will it work natively on EFI considering Apple's EFI1.1 and the standard UEFI2.0 differences?

    Also, related question: Won't all the effort by those guys on that thread be in vain since we're so close now to Betas of Mountain Lion 10.8 and Windows 8 and so Apple and MS will fix their respective stuff to work well together officially anyway?
     

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