Installing Windows 8 RTM to Apple Macbook Air (Boot Camp)

Hey everyone, I wanted to make a few notes to help others get Windows 8 running on their Macbook Air without it locking, freezing, or poor network performance.

First we should stop that whole freezing problem or you will get very upset in the middle of a driver install (been there.)

You need to open a command prompt as administrator. You can do this by clicking start, then typing “cmd” right clicking on the cmd icon and selecting “Run as Administrator’”

Once open run this command:

bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes

For those who want to know what this does please check out this great post:

Once installed you will need reboot then install the boot camp drivers. This is done by making the install disk in Apple OS (Mountain Kitty). THERE IS NO DOWNLOAD LINK FOR THIS! DARN YOU APPLE!!! WHAT A PAIN! /RANT OFF

Once you have the Boot Camp disk, copy the contents to a folder on your desktop. Right click on the setup.exe, go to the compatibility tab, then click “Change settings for all users” button on the bottom.

On the next screen change the  “run this program in compatibility mode for:” to Windows 7. Additionally check off the bottom box for “run this program as an administrator”.

Then click OK, then OK again, then run the setup.exe

Once installed go ahead and reboot. This should get you part of the way.

Don’t delete that BootCamp Install folder just yet, deep in there we need the following folder. Just be aware, we will use it soon.


Now lets click the start button, type “device manager” and click the settings “thing” on the top right to discover the “device manager” icon from the remains of the control panel.

Once device manager is open we have a few things to do. First lets take care of those two peskey un-drivered devices “coprocessor” and “SM Bus”.

Right click on one at a time and update the driver. Direct Windows to that folder on the desktop for \Drivers\NVidia\NVidiaChipset64 (or 32 if you are running x86). This folder should be able to updated both missing drivers.

NEXT lets go ahead and change the WiFi driver back to the native Windows 8 driver (Bootcamp had replaced it with a lesser driver that has some issues only in windows 8.)

Simply find the Wireless Network Adapter, its something like “Boardcom 802.11n” right click then “update driver software”, then Search Automaticly for updated drivers.

Thank should do it. Go ahead and reboot one last time for good measure.

Hopefully that saves some of you some time. IF I have helped you all I ask in return is leave a comment and say so. I get a great kick out of it.



20 Replies to “Installing Windows 8 RTM to Apple Macbook Air (Boot Camp)”

  1. Mr. Weintraub,
    I am a long time reader, and first time poster. Thanks for all the insight into many great topics.
    I have a comment and a question. First, I did something similar to this, but I just used the bootcamp assistant to do the entire install, and then ran the setup from the USB key when the install was done. It did everything you talked about above (except I never had the frezzing problem on a MBP Retina, so I didn’t do that step). Everything works with a few exceptions. The bootcamp CP applet really doesn’t work unless you run it as a user WITHOUT admin privs. I don’t know if this is case with your directions or not?
    Also, I am curious if the back-lit keyboard worked for you. It does not work on my system in Win8.

    1. Thanks Wayne!

      I disable UAC (User Access Control) and I think that may be why I have not seen the applet issue before. If you do the same its possible that Boot Camp is installing a different console for different hardware?

      I sadly do not have the backlit keyboard on my first Gen Macbook Air so I am unsure on how to resolve that.

      The freeze fix really only needs to be done if you are freezing. I have a feeling only the older apple hardware will see this issue. Its better not to do if your not having the problem as it could reduce battery saving features in Windows 8.

      1. Hi Eric, and thank you for your valuable contribution. I did your freeze fix, but seemed to have a freeze the first time I booted from Mac back into Windows 8. Anyway, I have been working for a while now, without a problem.

        However, I cannot seem to follow through your device manager fixes for “coprocessor” and “SM Bus”. I’ve looked high and low; they do not display when I open the Device Manager.

        Also, I followed your directions for updating the driver for “Boardcom 802.11n”, but it said it was already updated . . .

        Can you see what is going on?

        I bought Windows 8 Pro yesterday. My Airbook is from around Sept/Oct 2011.

        1. I have a feeling the later models have totally different hardware therefore some things like coprocessor and SM bus shouldn’t be needed. If there is nothing in device manager missing drivers you “should” be ok. The lock ups I would think should be solved by changing that first setting in the post. If not I am sorry but without the hardware I wouldn’t be able to do much. I would say however Apple can not be long from releasing boot camp drivers for Windows 8 now that its out.

          1. Hi Eric,
            I reset the energy saving window so as never to put the harddrive to sleep, which isn’t hard since it doesn’t have a hard drive. It hasn’t frozen since, and wakes up from sleep just fine.

      2. Actually, my Airbook locks up if I leave it inactive. Then when I reboot, I need to reboot again to have the mouse or track pad active.

  2. This has fixed my MBA issues! Amazing! I can do whatever I want without freezes! Only problem I had is when I try to update WiFi adapter it says it already has the latest drivers but I do notice it’s painfully slow connection. Any advice? Thanks

    1. I am very glad to hear it helped! What version of the driver are you currently using on WiFi. Its on the device manager property page.

      1. Thanks for the tips!

        I ran into this too. The driver version that cannot be rolled back, and doesn’t appear to need updating, is, published March 13 2012 by Microsoft. The Wi-Fi performance seems just fine.

        Anything for screen brightness (it varies wildly) or trackpad (there has got to be something more like Apple’s drivers than Apple’s own drivers.)

      2. (By the way, this was on a late-2011 13″ MacBook Air. Perhaps that is the difference between needing to switch Wi-Fi drivers and not. And, that last sentence of mine was supposed to be a question.)

      3. Hi Eric — thanks so much for the tips here. I’ve installed Win 8 a few times on my 2010 MBA and always gave up when it started locking up. These instructions worked great for me, but I am having the same problem as as Rich above, with the same Broadcom driver version. I also had it do a search for a drive on the Boot Camp disk, but it didn’t come up with anything.

      4. I think I maybe improved the situation by doing “update driver” on the Broadcom adapter, selecting to look on my local system for a driver, and then choosing from a list of drivers installed. There are two options — MS and Broadcom. The Broadcom one seems to work better.

        1. You have to make sure you are looking at the actual CD from IOS and not the boot camp update thing you can publicly download. Past that I just want to know, are you having a problem with network speeds and connectivity?

  3. Thanks my Macbook Pro works beautifully with Windows 8 now, any chance you can get the images to appear when volume or the eject keys are pressed, they work just would like the notification.

  4. Hi Eric, Thanks a lot for this! Note that I’m using a MacBook Pro, but it did have exactly the same issues, and apparantly the same fix. Unfortuanetly, I’m having the same problem as Rich. It says the newest driver software is already installed when trying to update the Network Adapter thingy, The driver version is

  5. Since I dont have the MBP hardware its hard to say. As long as your using the Windows 8 native driver that came with Windows 8 and not with Boot camp you “should” be ok.

    On the question of if we can get the UI to show volume and brightness changes….. I really want that too but I have not seen a way to do it. However once Apple creates real bootcamp drivers all of this should be fixed. I bet it wont be too long.

    For those who can not change the driver, are you seeing bad network speeds / connectivity?

    On the trackpad improvements, I HIGHLY recommend Trackpad++ it makes it as smooth as butter.

    The screen brightness is touch and go, the best thing you can do is disable adaptive screen brightness on the power settings but the real fix will likely have to wait for Apple to release new drivers.

  6. I see that you have a MacBook Air 2010, from your mention of Nvidia chipset. The latest 2012 models only come with Intel HD 4000, so there’s no freezing issue on installation.

  7. Since yesterday the internet speeds suddenly got terrible. It’s like every 5 seconds my ping drops to 10000 and then goes up again…

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