Category Archives: Computers

Mac OS X and Windows

BootCamp Download Stuck – How to Get Drivers for Macs to run Windows 7 or 8

— updated after BootCamp 5 release June 2013 —

Where can you get a direct download of Windows drivers for Macs if BootCamp is stuck, and says ‘could not continue’ or you have some other problem downloading the drivers?

The brute force solution: it’s a darned large download, so physically take your machine to somewhere with a very fast internet connection that can download 600MB – 1GB in a couple of minutes. There, you’re done. Especially if you have a laptop, this would be the simplest solution – even take it to an Apple Store.

For the rest of us:

  1. If not, then first find out your Mac’s ModelIdentifier
    • Q: How do I find my Mac’s Model Identifier?
      A: Open System Information, and look in the Hardware Overview section.
      In other words: Click Apple menu -> About this Mac -> More Info… -> System Report -> Hardware. Now, read down the list in the Hardware Overview panel, looking for Model Identifier
    • If you’re stuck, see the note below.
    • Note that a ModelIdentifierHasNoSpacesInItAtAll.
  2. Second, get a download manager. You can try doing without, but the reason you’re on this page is that you’re having trouble getting a file to download reliably. A download manager such as iGetter or Folx solves this problem.
  3. Then, search for your ModelIdentifier in the table below. Click the link to get the download package. Be patient as they are 600MB to over 1GB. It will be much simpler if you do the download in OS X, because OS X can open the downloaded file and also open the dmg file inside it.

  4. Still in Mac OS X, once your pkg is downloaded, double click it and install to a folder on your hard drive so you know where to find it. During the Installation, click the “Change Location” option so that you can choose where it gets installed.Image of OS X Installer step where you can choose the folder to install to

  5. The folder contains a nest of folders, the last of which contains a dmg disk image file. Double click that to open. At last! Here are your Windows installer files.Install BootCampESD 4 Find and Double click the dmg fileBootCamp WindowsSupport.dmg Contents

    BootCamp WindowsSupport.dmg Contents of Drivers Folder

  6. Copy them to a usb drive, or a burnable CD. NB, it’s still 660MB or more, so it’s a full CDs worth of burning time.
  7. Done. You can now proceed with Boot Camp assistant Windows installation and boot the Mac in Windows.

If you must do the download in Windows instead OS X, it’s harder. You will need the help on http://www.cafe-encounter.net/p860/opening-a-bootcamp-driver-download-on-windows-7-or-8-with-7-zip to open the pkg file and the dmg file inside it.

BootCamp Direct Download Links

Most of these driver downloads work for both Windows 7 and Windows 8. Windows 8 on 32-bit is not officially supported, but almost everything seems to works on fine on not-officially supported models: the only specific shortcoming I’m aware of is that the screen brightness buttons don’t work on all models.

Model Identifier Size & driver release date Direct Download Link
Macmini6,1
Macmini6,2
MacBookPro10,2
iMac13,1
iMac13,2
438MB, 3 Dec 2012 http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/54/18/041-8805/9tglhtxadqtnrro79rsdy4f0mkgu7wg6or/BootCampESD.pkg
MacBookPro9,1
MacBookPro9,2
1,058MB, 15 June 2012 http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/11/05/041-0925/g27es04pw9re5ggrfp3vuf8ew6r53asfz8/BootCampESD.pkg
MacBookPro10,1
MacBookAir5,1
MacBookAir5,2
942MB, 15 June 2012 hhttp://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/55/51/041-3891/se4uhpqng48t842cdsosqh28lft54fmswl/BootCampESD.pkg
MacBookAir4,1
MacBookAir4,2
Macmini5,1
Macmini5,2
Macmini5,3
676MB, 23 May 2012 hhttp://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/32/33/041-2303/W5jKtsQhhMgMXs3TKhPDqLXrpXyY2HdXMN/BootCampESD.pkg
MacBook2,1
MacBook3,1
MacBook4,1
MacBook5,1
MacBook5,2
MacBook5,3
MacBook6,1
MacBook7,1
MacBookAir1,1
MacBookAir2,1
MacBookAir3,1
MacBookAir3,2
MacBookPro2,1
MacBookPro2,2
MacBookPro3,1
MacBookPro4,1
MacBookPro5,1
MacBookPro5,2
MacBookPro5,3
MacBookPro5,4
MacBookPro5,5
MacBookPro6,1
MacBookPro6,2
MacBookPro7,1
MacBookPro8,1
MacBookPro8,2
MacBookPro8,3
MacPro1,1
MacPro2,1
MacPro3,1
MacPro4,1
MacPro5,1
Macmini2,1
Macmini3,1
Macmini4,1
iMac5,1
iMac6,1
iMac7,1
iMac8,1
iMac9,1
iMac10,1
iMac11,1
iMac11,2
iMac11,3
iMac12,1
iMac12,2
632MB, 23 May 2012 http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/33/54/041-2011/pRtCDYcWShMLxFggy3TzFzmfnnWQNFQBfJ/BootCampESD.pkg

Finding your ModelIdentifier

If you’re struggling to find your ModelIdentifier then you want the brilliant page at everymac.com which can tell you what model Mac you have based on serial number. On the result page after you submit, look carefully and you’ll the ModelIdentifier.

Still stuck?

If you’re still stuck, then:

  1. Look through the comments for people with similar problems — there have been a couple of hundred so they cover pretty much everything I can suggest.
  2. Try my summary of problems/solutions for direct download of bootcamp drivers

References

See BootCampESD.pkg download instructions for references and for the DIY instructions to work out these links yourself.

Using a Windows Keyboard with Mac OS X

If you’ve got OS X 10.7 this should be easy:

  1. Plug the keyboard in
  2. Open System Preferences – Language and Text – Input Sources
  3. Behold, in the list of input sources, alpabetically below British, one called “British – PC”
  4. Choose it.

Done. What could be easier? If you keep the ordinary British one ticked as well (e.g. you have a laptop and second keyboard) then you’ll want to tick the ‘Show input menu in menu bar’ option so you can easily switch between them. I like have keyboard viewer in the input list too, so I can see what layout the computer thinks I’ve got.

If you’re on an older OS X and don’t have British PC layout in your list, this post includes a link to download a British Windows Keyboard Layout for Mac.

The windows key should work as your command key, and control and alt should work as expected. If, in addition, you go to System Preferences – Keyboard – Keyboard, you should also see a button called Modifier Keys, which allows you to swap around the ctrl/command/alt keys.
I do wish Apple would make up their mind about calling the alt key ‘option’. On my MacBook, the key is labelled ‘alt’ but in the Modifer Keys dialog box it’s called ‘option’

Missing Mail in OS X Lion – IMAP accounts such as gmail

In my case, this was easily solved. Click on a folder or inbox that is missing mail. Then from the menu, Mailbox – Rebuild.

A worst case would be – assuming that you do have all the mail on your IMAP server – backup (or just move) the mailboxes on your Mac, and then delete and re-create the accounts. DON’T do this unless you’re sure you made a copy OR that all your emails are on your IMAP server.

Mac OS X Lion, Snow Leopard, Leopard : Download BootCamp Drivers

updated October 2012. Go to the newer http://www.cafe-encounter.net/p682/download-bootcamp-drivers.

See BootCampESD.pkg download instructions for the DIY instructions on how to work out these links yourself.


Older download links for Windows drivers for Mac models to 2011

Use these instructions if BootCamp Assistant fails to download the drivers for you.

  1. Find your model in the table below. Click the link to get the download package. Be patient as they are 600MB to over 1GB.
    • Q: How do you find out your Mac’s Model Identifier?
      A: Open System Information, and look in the Hardware Overview section.
      In other words: Click Apple menu -> About this Mac -> More Info… -> System Report -> Hardware. Now, read down list in the Hardware Overview panel, looking for Model Identifier
  2. Once your pkg is downloaded, double click it and install to a folder on your hard drive so you know where to find it.
  3. The folder contains a nest of folders, the last of which contains a dmg disk image file. Double click to open. Voila. Here are your Windows installer files.
  4. Copy them to a usb drive, or a burnable CD. NB, it’s 600MB or even over 1GB. A CD is usually max 800MB.
  5. Done. You can now proceed with Boot Camp assistant Windows installation.

BootCamp Drivers Download Links for Macs running OS X Lion and Snow Leopard

Models

Drivers Download link

MacBookPro9,1
MacBookPro9,2

http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/11/05/041-0925/g27es04pw9re5ggrfp3vuf8ew6r53asfz8/BootCampESD.pkg

iMac12,1
iMac12,2 MacBookPro8,1 MacBookPro8,2 MacBookPro8,3

http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/53/34/041-4776/TpFRDjFyRJjSvtyj2vFsPyx2bH2NSYvwN9/BootCampESD.pkg

MacBookPro10,1
MacBookAir5,1 MacBookAir5,2

http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/55/51/041-3891/se4uhpqng48t842cdsosqh28lft54fmswl/BootCampESD.pkg

MacBookAir3,1
MacBookAir3,2

http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/32/15/041-4775/hgMfrNHd9W8W7d8n4JyqSFLksk5TYr2HXN/BootCampESD.pkg

MacBookAir4,1
MacBookAir4,2 Macmini5,1 Macmini5,2 Macmini5,3

http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/32/33/041-2303/W5jKtsQhhMgMXs3TKhPDqLXrpXyY2HdXMN/BootCampESD.pkg

MacBook2,1
MacBook3,1 MacBook4,1 MacBook5,1 MacBook5,2 MacBook5,3 MacBook6,1 MacBook7,1
MacBookAir1,1 MacBookAir2,1 MacBookAir3,1 MacBookAir3,2 MacBookPro2,1
MacBookPro2,2 MacBookPro3,1 MacBookPro4,1 MacBookPro5,1 MacBookPro5,2
MacBookPro5,3 MacBookPro5,4 MacBookPro5,5 MacBookPro6,1 MacBookPro6,2
MacBookPro7,1 MacBookPro8,1 MacBookPro8,2 MacBookPro8,3 MacPro1,1 MacPro2,1
MacPro3,1 MacPro4,1 MacPro5,1 Macmini2,1 Macmini3,1 Macmini4,1 iMac5,1
iMac6,1 iMac7,1 iMac8,1 iMac9,1 iMac10,1 iMac11,1 iMac11,2 iMac11,3 iMac12,1
iMac12,2

http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/33/54/041-2011/pRtCDYcWShMLxFggy3TzFzmfnnWQNFQBfJ/BootCampESD.pkg

Time Machine Backup fails on network

This article is a life’s-work saver if your network time machine backup is playing up.
I was all ready to give up on time machine as worse than worthless. It’s one thing for a backup to fail because of a wireless network failure. It’s an orders-of-magnitude different kettle of stinky fish for a failed backup to take down your entire backup history with it.


Copy of text

This is a modification of an original post for use when you have a corrupt sparsebundle backup on a NAS (as opposed to an external drive attached to a router) and it needs to be repaired. The NAS is likely a hardware product from the likes of Netgear, Synology, Buffalo or QNap – or for those of us with a home-grown backup server running FreeNAS.

The error you may see is “Time Machine completed a verification of your backups. To improve reliability, Time Machine must create a new backup for you.” This can be fixed by following the below.

From your Mac, connect to the network share that houses the sparsebundle. At the top level of the drive are the various sparsebundles that make up your individual computer backups. Do not double click on these sparsebundles or try to repair with Disk Utility.

Open Terminal and then switch to root by typing
sudo su –
and then enter your password.

The verication that has already run has marked your sparsebundle as bad, so first we need to make it look normal.
From the command line
chflags -R nouchg /Volumes/{name of your network share}/{name of}.sparsebundle
This may take a little while.

Now type
hdiutil attach -nomount -noverify -noautofsck /Volumes/{name of your network share/{name of}.sparsebundle

You will then see something like
/dev/diskx Apple_partition_scheme
/dev/diskxs1 Apple_partition_map
/dev/diskxs2 Apple_HFSX

Where x is the disk id for the external disk. You are interested in the one labeled Apple_HFSX or Apple_HFS. It might be 2, 3, 4 or higher.

At this point, I have found that the filesystem check is already happening. You can check for activity by tail’ing the fsck_hfs.log
tail -f /var/log/fsck_hfs.log

If fsck is going then in my experience it will be able to repair the sparsebundle. Go away for a few hours and let it chug away. When it is done, you will either see
‘The Volume was repaired successfully’
or
‘The Volume could not be repaired’

If the latter you can run disk repair again:
fsck_hfs -drfy /dev/diskxs2

(Optionally if you have the available RAM, you can set a RAM cache in the command above to help speed up this command like so:

fsck_hfs -drfy -c 750 /dev/diskxs2

This will use 750MB of RAM – feel free to change this amount to best fit your system (amount of RAM vs size of your Time Machine Sparsebundle). If you are unsure about this, use the first command. Make sure to replace x with whatever number your disk is from the output above.

The letters “drfy” tell the filecheck utility different things. d for ‘Show Debug’ – r for ‘Rebuild Catalog Tree’ – f for ‘Force’ and y for assume ‘yes’ to any prompts. Now go do something for an hour or two. Come back and
tail -f /var/log/fsck_hfs.log

If all went well, the last output you will see is ‘The Volume was repaired successfully’
Now you need to type
hdiutil detach /dev/diskxs2

You can redo the above for any other Time Machine sparse bundles you have permission to modify while you have the network share attached to your computer.

Final step.
When complete, you need to edit an plist file within the sparsebundle that records the state of the backup. On the top level of the sparsebundle find a file called com.apple.TimeMachine.MachineID.plist. Edit it and remove these two nodes

RecoveryBackupDeclinedDate
{whatever-the-date}

Finally you want to change
VerificationState
2

to
VerificationState
0

Now you can eject the network share and have Time Machine give it another go. After the (long) verification step, backups should proceed once again.

Notes:

Ideally this should be done over a gigabit wired network connection. Do not attempt using Wi-Fi. You also want to make sure your machine does not go to sleep during the above operation.

[Update: 12.23.2012]

If after running the initial

fsck_hfs -drfy /dev/diskxs2

command you get a message in the fsck_hfs.log along the lines of

RebuildBTree – record x in node y is not recoverable.

then try

fsck_hfs -p /dev/diskxs2

followed by

fsck_hfs -drfy /dev/diskxs2

And see if that works. It did for me today.

postscript

You can express your thanks to garth via a small donation using a paypal button his page at Garth’s website.