Why you should NOT install BootCamp Support Software Drivers upon installing Windows!!


macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 25, 2011
First of all I'm running Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro 15" Late 2011 through the recommended install method of BootCamp Assistant with a Windows 10 ISO burned to a DVD (tricked BCA with a Windows 8.1 ISO mounted through Daemon tools. After BCA partitions and automatically restarts Mac it doesn't know if your CD has XP, 10, 98 or 8 etc.

After a clean install of Windows 10 and not manually installing any drivers or BootCamp Support setup, a few restarts later, the only drivers/devices in device manager that complain are all Apple ones (like Facetime camera and bluetooth). Most were perfectly up to date and the chipset drivers were 3 years more recent than Apple's provided ones.

Windows 10 is doing a better job every year at automatically getting correct drivers for most hardware (chipset, ethernet, Wi-Fi etc.)

A few exceptions would be Cirrus audio, as Apple's provided ones are required for them (not found elsewhere) and the Bluetooth drivers. In all other cases, Apple drivers are horribly outdated and the Windows 10 self-found drivers work equally or better.

BootCamp Support software also unnecessarily installs some drivers for devices that are not even present on the Mac build it is running on.

It installs Realtek for no reason when there is only Cirrus audio on my mac, no sign of Realtek and the driver does not get used after installation, just exists for nothing. Also installs Marvell drivers when their ethernet controllers don't exist in any Mac after 2008. Heck it even tries to install Nvidia on AMD macs but fails (why even try in the first place. Apple could have written a simple file with configurations prior to bootcamp's setup.exe).

The worst part/experience for me was that the chipset drives installed by bootcamp's setup can be right clicked in device manager and updated as well like I mentioned earlier. So Windows knows the chipset is regular Intel and not Apple modified/specific and thus has modern drivers that existed during Windows 8.1 (since Windows 10 is not offically supported by Apple on this Mac, but works just perfectly like 8.1) but Apple intentionally did not use them. They literally did not use Windows 8.1 approved Intel chipset drives when they updated their support software in 2014.

On High Sierra with APFS, BootCamp Control Panel can no longer see the Macintosh HD drive and therefore it cannot do anything for me and does not change the startup disk (need to press option at startup) other than adjust trackpad settings or Apple remote settings. Neither of which I use with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Pro Tip: Get customized modern AMD graphics drivers for BootCamp on bootcampdrivers.com. They work perfectly and are signed to support all modern AMD features which AMD and Apple themselves don't provide.


Sorry for the rant but what I'm saying is that you can run Windows 10 or any Windows on a legacy Mac (2011 MBP in my case) without having to run the bootcamp support software setup.exe. Just go into the support software's "Apple" folder under "Drivers" folder and install what's needed for your apple only devices such as facetime, trackpad etc. But let windows handle the other crucial drivers on its own -- such as chipset, ethernet, get your own graphics drivers, etc. Don't let bootcamp automatically install outdated drivers just because Apple says so.
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