BootCamp Drivers – Direct Download of BootCampESD.pkg for Macs to Run Windows 7 or Windows 8

Do you find that BootCamp assistant download is stuck or or fails or could not continue?

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.

For the rest of us, there are 2 options:

The simple solution – recommended – is to use this list of Windows driver download links for Macs with OS X Mountain Lion (which includes all retina display macs) or Lion, Snow Leopard or Leopard. That’s about everything back to 2007.
There are also older links here, but they appear to be redundant — the Mountain Lion file covers Mac models going back to Leopard.

Finally, the DIY solution: Work out for yourself which download link you need.

The DIY way to find your BootCampESD.pkg download link from the sucatalog

Not for the faint-hearted.

  • Apple software update uses an sucatalog file, which contains a link to a BootCampESD.pkg file which contains the drivers. The sucatalog file in question contains several different links to bootcampesd.pkg, fordifferent Mac models. How to find the right one for your machine?
  • Tim Valenta did instructions in Nov 2011 that nearly worked for me in June 2012 at http://blog.timvalenta.com/2011/11/19/boot-camp-driver-downloads/ except that again, 6 months on, the catalog file seems to be laid out everso slightly differently; and the file downloaded is now in an easier to use format.
  • My steps to download the Lion or Mountain Lion drivers were as follows:

    How to Manually Download Windows Drivers for Macs Running BootCamp 4 or BootCamp 5

    1. Download from apple the http://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-mountainlion-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog file. Don’t double-click it, that won’t help.
    2. Instead, open it in a text editor or word processor.
    3. Search for each occurrence — as at August 2012 there were 6 — of BootCampESD.pkg. For instance, the one I needed is http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/33/54/041-2011/pRtCDYcWShMLxFggy3TzFzmfnnWQNFQBfJ/BootCampESD.pkg
    4. Notice in each such URL, the /041-2011/ or similar /041-XXXXX/ bit of it.
    5. Below each such occurrence, notice a URL for a file with the same 041-XXXXX in it and ending in English.dist, e.g. 041-2011.English.dist
    6. Paste the URL for each such English.dist file into your browser and open the Url. Here’s a list of them:
    7. Search for the Model Identifier for your Mac. For instance MacBookPro5,2 or Macmini4,1 or whatever
      • For instance the 041-2011 file contains these models: 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
      • How do you know your Model Identifier? Open System Information, and look in the Hardware Overview section. i.e. click Apple menu -> About this Mac -> More Info… -> Report -> Hardware -> and now read down the Hardware Overview looking for “Model Identifier:”
    8. Having found your 041-XXXXX number, download the BootCampESD.pkg url that has your number in it. I try to keep the page at bootcamp-driver-download up to date with all the pkg download URLs.
    9. Be patient as it’s probably 600MB.
    10. Once your pkg is downloaded, double click it and install to a folder on your hard drive so you know where to find it.
    11. 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. Again, the page at bootcamp-driver-download has pictures to help.
    12. Copy them to a thumb drive or a burnable CD or something. The point here is that you need the somewhere that a new install of windows with only minimal drivers can read them. NB, it’s still 660MB or more, so it’s a full CDs worth of burning time.
    13. You can now proceed with Boot Camp assistant Windows installation, which will eventually reboot your machine for startup in Windows.
    14. Once you’re in Windows, run the installer that you saved to CD or thumb drive.
    15. Done. Marvel as all your Apple hardware now works nearly as well as it does in Mac OS X.
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    0 Responses to BootCamp Drivers – Direct Download of BootCampESD.pkg for Macs to Run Windows 7 or Windows 8

    1. fauzan says:

      Hi Chris…
      I installed windows 7 on my macbook the other day using bootcamp.. but i cant connect to the internet and i cant play games on windows 7.. my friend told me i need the 64 bit bootcamp drivers for os mountain lion… do u know where i can get that? or do you know a solution so i can play games on my windows 7.. pls help me out thx

      • Hi fauzan, first try the ordinary bootcamp assistant again which is bound to get you the right drivers. The links above include both 64 and 32 bit for models that need it so they should work too. If you have a very new Mac, it may only work with 64 bit windows, so if you installed 32 bit that won’t work.

    2. Terry says:

      yes i just saw it .. but can i install all software just a single click ? or do i need to choose the suitable 1 between all the drivers ? thanks ..

    3. Franciso Lopes says:

      Meus parabens ao Postador e ao Administrador deste site. durante quese 6 meses andava loucamente atrás dos drivers para o meu macboo 1.1. Filizmente consegui e para Win8 Pro. Mais uma vez meus parabens.

    4. Christian Bernet says:

      Hi Chris,

      your Blog saved my day! Thank you very much. Shame on Apple for srcewing up there BootCamp service!

      Christian

    5. Maxim says:

      Hello Chris,

      I have a MacBook Pro 17-inch (Late 2011 – Model Identifier MacBookPro8,3). I had OS X Lion and I was able to install Windows 7 Pro via Boot Camp (v.4) without any problems. I recently installed OS X Mountain Lion and wanted to install the BC 5 drivers. I tried running the BC assistant and I downloaded the drivers several times. I downloaded the drivers directly from Apple, but nothing seems to work. I continue getting the following error: “The installer encountered errors before Boot Camp could be configured. To retry these operations at a later time, please run the installer again.”
      Do you have any ideas as to what the problem might be?

      Thank you,

      Maxim

    6. Jacob says:

      Thanks! This was super helpful, I’m currently downloading the latest package for my Mac (You’re list hasn’t updated with the 2013 rMBP yet, it’s 091-9354 by the way).

      My Windows install, sans drivers, currently can’t seem to read USB at all though, so I’m not sure if this will work if I can’t even see the USB drive. Any ideas? I can’t download directly to Windows because the machine shows not Network adapters, due to lack of drivers.

    7. Nicolas says:

      Hi Chris,

      we are trying here to deploy Bootcamp image on a MacBook5.1.

      We create a bootcamp Macbook that works perfectly fine. We create the bootcamp image as they explain it here :http://wiki.afp548.com/index.php/Create_a_Boot_Camp_image

      This page lead us to your very great blog !!

      So, I tryied to deploy the bootcamp image on a MacBook5.1, but the result ends with a message from Windows boot manager : “Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. … ”

      When I install our Windows DVD and click “Repair’, Windows boot and works fine. But we want to deploy this bootcamp image on many MacBook5.1; and we dont want to insert the windows dvd each time we have to create a bootcamp computer.

      Do you have any idea what would be the problem ?

      We download the good drivers, we use the script mentionned in this page http://wiki.afp548.com/index.php/Create_a_Boot_Camp_image

      There’s something we miss…Maybe you could help us.

      Thank you

      Nicolas

      • Hi Nicolas, I’m afraid I don’t have much to offer you, I’ve never had to solve the problem of creating a re-usable boot image. I would guess that you might get more help by ignoring the fact you’re doing it on Macs, and google for similar errors / help from people creating boot images for other PCs? I know most companies have some kind of solution for imaging PCs.

        My first guess would be, after you have created the image and run the repair process, can you then create a new image from that?

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