Solving USB3 issues on 2013/14 Macs running Windows 7 \ Boot Camp

imac2013

We run a lot of our Macs with a dual boot setup pushed out with DeployStudio so the machines can double up as standard Windows desktops. This has been working well, coupled with my BootCamp auto installer means the process is near enough fully automated and used the same version of Boot Camp support software across all our hardware. That was until we tried to use it with one of our new machines, a 21.5″, Late 2013 machine.

The first we noticed was message popping up saying that the version of Boot Camp wasn’t supported (5.1.56.21) which we were expecting; what we didn’t expect was the fact the keyboard and mouse didn’t work! Posts on the Apple forums suggested either rebuilding the image from scratch from fresh updated Boot Camp media or using Windows 8 instead.

We didn’t like the sound of either of those so my colleague Tristan Revell started digging and found a few possible causes, in the end he concluded USB3 was the problem after a couple of attempts to get various input devices to work after Windows started up

With that in mind we went back to Apple’s site and looked at the two updated versions of Boot Camp software (5.1.5621 and 5.1.5640). The way the download page is worded actually sends you off to the wrong version unless you read it very carefully!

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 14.33.28

Note to Apple, just put a list of supported machines on each page rather than telling us which ones it doesn’t work with… much easier to read that way (imo).

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 14.37.46  Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 14.44.20

Upon inspecting the 5.1.5640 package we spotted some interesting driver files in the $WinPE$ folder which looked very much like USB controller drivers. At that point we booted up the OS X side of the dual boot and enabled NTFS write support on the Windows drive.

We then replaced the old version of the Boot Camp support files (make sure you extract all folders from the ZIP file or the installer will moan) then copied the suspected USB3 drivers to C:\Windows\inf which meant if the files were correct they’d get automatically installed by Windows as sysprep completes. We also placed the contents of HCSwitch into the inf folder as well just to be sure.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 15.28.15

Once that was done we rebooted et voila, keyboard and mouse now working as expected and Device Manager reported Intel (R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller which confirmed our suspicions. The Boot Camp installer completed successfully with all drivers present and correct 🙂

Advertisements

18 Responses to Solving USB3 issues on 2013/14 Macs running Windows 7 \ Boot Camp

  1. Guang says:

    Thanks for the tips, I have been trying to fix this issue for the last few days, Just tried the solution and it’s working.

  2. Dave says:

    I am having more of a Windows Boot Manager issue. I created a dual boot image (Mavericks/Windows7 on a brand new 2014 iMac) then pulled the image to our Deploy Studio server (v1.6.11). When I deploy the image it works fine but when I boot to Windows I get a Windows Boot Manager asking me to repair my installation. Could it be that I am using the wrong bootcamp drivers? And seriously, if Windows 8 will fix it, I will gladly install that if it is more forgiving when running on Mac hardware. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

  3. gshaw0 says:

    Hi Dave, just checked with Tris (our Mac technican) and there’s a few things that might help…

    – when installing Windows we pre-partition the drive (50:50 split) so the 100MB recovery partition doesn’t get created
    – no options ticked on the DeplyStudio image restore screen for the Windows action (apart from expand volume)
    – Boot Camp tools embedded in the image but not run before capturing

    Sometimes we have encountered the boot manager error but tended to re-capture the image and we got a clean one next time around.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks. So you don’t pre-install Boot Camp tools prior to imaging? You run the BootCamp installer prior to restoring the image? I’ve never done that. Worth trying.

      • gshaw0 says:

        We set a Power shell script to run in the sysprep unattend.xml file to call the Boot Camp installer.

        I also wrote a little AutoIt script to run the Boot Camp support setup program without user interaction (search for Boot Camp on the blog and it should come up). Once the sysprep / auto script is complete you end up with a neat, automated dual boot system 🙂

  4. patgiam says:

    very good job. it was some hours I tried with the drivers I understand the principle but I was looking in the wrong place.
    thank you again

  5. Gauna says:

    Hello, I’ve got the same problem with USB devices in my iMac 27-Inch bootcamp’d with Win 7 Pro. I’ve tried to find a solution to fix it WITHOUT losing all my important files in Windows partition, I forgot to backup before i accidentally uninstalled “Intel (R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller”. I’m stupid, i know.
    Since two months, i’m stuck in Login Screen because my iMac couldn’t recognize all my keyboards/mouses to type my password to login.
    Is there a way to fix it without restore my iMac that filled with my important files? 😥

    • gshaw0 says:

      Hi, quickest way I can think of would be to see if it responds to a Remote Desktop session from another PC plugged into the network as if you can do that you’ve got full access to the Windows installation. Try that first and comment back if you’re having issues.

  6. Matt says:

    Thanks for the work around! I had been struggling with an Apple A1378 to get Windows 7 working and this finally brought peace, thanks!

  7. Pires says:

    Hey gshaw0.

    I’ve been trying to fix this issue but no luck so far.
    Once i get to the second part of the Win7 Professional 64bit installation (where you need to choose your name and your pc’s name) my mouse and keyboard stop working.

    I tried your method but i cannot get past the write into NTFS drive because it gives me the “-bash: /etc/fstab: Permission denied” error. Can you give me some help please?

    Cheers

  8. Tommy says:

    Where is C:\Windows\inf on the installer disk?

    • gshaw0 says:

      The C:\Windows\inf folder is installed on the hard drive during Windows setup. The post assumes you’ve already installed Windows 7 on the Mac but can’t get any further than the login screen due to the USB driver issues.

      • Tommy says:

        Ah. Our problem is we lose the keyboard and mouse as soon as the Windows installer starts. The drivers you described are there in the PE folder of the installer that BootCamp makes. Once BootCamp Assistant restarts the machine, it does’t automatically boot to the external drive (you have to hold option and choose that drive) and then when the installer starts, no keyboard and mouse.

      • gshaw0 says:

        I’m guessing this is a manual install of Windows rather than restoring an image? I suspect you might need to slipstream the drivers into the USB install media Bootcamp creates (although I would’ve thought it should be doing that in the first place)

      • Tommy says:

        Yes it is a manual install. We used to image, but not many want a BootCamp setup anymore. Most in our organization would rather just have a VM so they don’t have to reboot. We just do the occasional BootCamp manually. They drivers are already there in the WinPE folder, but it doesn’t load them. I just gave up and went with Windows 8.1, it installed without a hitch!

  9. Tommy says:

    Yes it is a manual install. We used to image, but not many want a BootCamp setup anymore. Most in our organization would rather just have a VM so they don’t have to reboot. We just do the occasional BootCamp manually. They drivers are already there in the WinPE folder, but it doesn’t load them. I just gave up and went with Windows 8.1, it installed without a hitch!

  10. Kenny Temowo says:

    Thank you so much! This was a huge help.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: